NYS teachers making the grade

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM EDT

By Dan Miner, Buffalo Business First

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NYS teachers making the grade

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM EDT

The state Education Department released preliminary statewide ratings for teachers and principals Tuesday, but stakeholders will have to wait until later this year for more detailed information.

The results show 91.5 percent of teachers with a rating of Highly Effective or Effective, 4.4 percent as Developing and 1 percent as Ineffective.

For principals, 86.9 percent were rated Highly Effective of Effective. 7.5 percent as Developing and 2.1 percent as Ineffective.

The composite ratings do not include New York City educators, since teachers there are in the first year of their plan and do not yet have composite ratings. The rest of the state’s districts are in their second year of the plan.

Nor do they include a breakdown of how individual districts or schools fared. In New York City, evaluations of individual teachers will be publicly available, but in the rest of the state only parents can access the individual evaluations.

What do the results mean? State Education Commissioner John King Jr. called them “striking” in the number of positive ratings after the difficult first-year roll out of Common Core standards in classrooms.

“It’s clear that teachers are rising to the challenge of teaching the Common Core,” King said. “It’s also clear that it’s time to put aside talk about a moratorium on the use of state assessments in educator evaluations and focus on ensuring all students receive the rigorous and engaging instruction that will help them to prepare for college and careers.”

Under state law, 60 percent of the ratings are based on observations and other measures agreed upon at the local level through collective bargaining, according to NYSED. Twenty percent is based on student performance on grades 4-8 assessments or locally determined student learning objectives and the final 20 percent is based upon locally bargained, locally determined objective measures.

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