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Poll: Linking Teacher Evaluations to State Aid Won’t Expedite Agreement

Submitted by the New York State School Boards Association

School board members don’t see a quick resolution to the teacher evaluation process even though state and federal aid are at stake, according to a recent online poll from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

Nearly two-thirds of the 526 respondents to the poll said they did not believe linking state aid to the completion of a teacher and principal evaluation system would expedite a fair agreement.

“School boards do not want to be put in a position to accept a watered-down evaluation system,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “The threat of funding losses will not resonate as strongly with employees as it does with school officials who must manage the budget and make ends meet.”

If the teachers’ union does not drop its lawsuit challenging the state’s approach to Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans and come to agreement on the new system within the next month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that he would put his own APPR plan into his 30 day budget amendments.

Kremer said this approach recognizes the difficulty of reaching agreement under the current law, which requires teacher and principal evaluation systems to be collectively bargained.

Half the respondents to the poll agreed and said they would prefer Gov. Cuomo impose a uniform statewide evaluation system rather than the current system in which school districts collectively bargain separate agreements with their teachers’ and principals’ unions. Another 35 percent said they would not support that move, while 15 percent responded “don’t know.”

“With districts potentially having to make significant concessions for the sake of a swift agreement on APPR, it’s no surprise that many school board members would rather see the governor impose his own system,” said Kremer.