Friday, 22 March 2013 00:00
Submitted by NYSSBA Executive Director, Timothy G. Kremer
School districts outside the state’s five largest cities expect to spend an average of $155,355 to implement the state’s new teacher and principal evaluation system this year, based on an analysis of 80 districts that submitted cost data to NYSSBA. Those one-year costs are nearly $55,000 more than the average four-year federal grant awarded to New York school districts to implement the program.
“School boards have long supported the goals of the new teacher and principal evaluation system as a way to improve student achievement,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Our analysis, however, shows that the cost of this state initiative falls heavily on school districts. This seriously jeopardizes school districts’ ability to meet other state and federal requirements and properly serve students.”
In 2010, the federal government awarded New York State $697 million in Race to the Top grant funds. About half of the funding will go to local school districts over four years to implement the state’s new Annual Professional Performance Review system (APPR), as well as other initiatives. Yet the average Race to the Top grant of $100,670 (excluding the “Big Five” city school districts) falls $54,685 short of school districts’ average implementation costs, according to NYSSBA’s analysis.
NYSSBA found that school districts incurred APPR implementation costs in several broad categories: Salaries (compensation for employees, substitutes, trainers or consultants associated with additional costs incurred), Training (fees related to professional development, certification and related items), Assessments (costs associated with developing State Learning Objectives (SLOs) or other measurements, purchasing third-party state-approved assessments as well as related costs) Software and Technology (purchase, installation, and implementation of technology) and miscellaneous expenses, such as printing.
Implementation costs for APPR in the 80 school districts analyzed by NYSSBA ranged from a low of $15,500 to a high of $626,583. “When we talk about unfunded— or, in this case, underfunded— mandates, this is exactly what we mean,” said Kremer.
In conjunction with the cost analysis, NYSSBA is releasing a research brief that takes an in-depth look at five of the State Education Department’s 10 model teacher evaluation plans. The brief examines how these model plans address the key components of the APPR law: state assessments to measure student growth, locally selected measures of student achievement, “other measures” of teacher effectiveness, and the appeals process.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.
To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.
The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also. Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:23
The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”
Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”
Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.