NYC: Teacher Evaluation Effort Derails

Judy Hartnett's picture
Monday, January 2, 2012

Plans for a new teacher rating system for New York City schools that would include measures of student performance—a hallmark of national education reform efforts—were dealt a setback on Friday after negotiations broke down between the city and the teachers union.

The failure to reach an agreement before a year-end deadline had an immediate, if minimal, effect: The state suspended a program to funnel nearly $60 million in federal funds to the city to improve a small number of troubled schools. The money represents less than 0.3% of the Department of Education's annual budget.

More broadly, however, the breakdown suggests a stalemate over implementing new teacher evaluations for the entire city school system, a state requirement that's also one of the most ambitious items on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's schools agenda. In addition, including student performance in teacher evaluations is a key component of President Barack Obama's education policies.

"I don't know what comes next at this point," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

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