SAANYS Supports Assembly Bill Amending APPR

SAANYS SUPPORTS
Assembly Bill #7303-A / Catherine Nolan

 

Assembly Bill 7303-A amends Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015, amending Education Law by:

  • Extending the date by which the State Board of Regents must promulgate regulations for an annual professional performance review (APPR) system under Section 3012-d;
  • Delinking increased state aid from the implementation of the Section 3012-d APPR;
  • Providing that school districts must submit documentation by November 15, 2016, showing that the district has fully implemented APPR;
  • Requiring the release of a significant portion of test questions and correct responses;
  • Requiring that student characteristic be considered in the development of state-provided growth scores;
  • Revising the subcomponents of the teacher observation category;
  • Including “other [approved] locally selected measures of student achievement” in the second optional supplemental assessment for APPR; and
  • Requiring that the commissioner establish a content review committee for all standardized test items in state assessments for grades three through eight.
  • The bill also provides $8.4 million to SED to help eliminate stand-alone field tests.

SAANYS Supports this legislation for the following reasons as it does address several of the immediate concerns regarding Section 3012-d:

  • The timeline set for the New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department to promulgate regulations for the implementation of a new APPR system under Section 3012-d would be extended from June 30, 2015 to November 17, 2015. At the April and May meetings of the Board of Regents, Board members repeatedly expressed upset in regard to the inadequate time allotted to promulgate regulations in a thoughtful and transparent manner. SAANYS agrees that the timeline is too short, and strongly supports an extension to November 17, 2015.
  • The extension of the deadline to November 15, 2016 for school districts and BOCES to implement the Section 3012-d APPR system is entirely appropriate in allowing for sufficient time to re-negotiate teacher collective bargaining agreements, to re-negotiate administrator collective bargaining agreements, to develop and implement new policies and procedures, to conduct necessary professional development in regard to the new system, and to submit a new APPR plan to the State Education Department for review and approval. The extended time frame will promote the more thoughtful and effective establishment of new APPR procedures. Moreover, there is no need to condition the receipt of additional state aid on the implementation of the new APPR system. Such conditions, if implemented, only hurt students.
  • Teachers and school leaders use test results to revise instruction and to target resources and support to teachers and to students. Releasing a “significant” amount of test questions and corresponding correct answers during the current school year (by June 1) will promote program planning and better position schools, classes, and students for success upon school opening in September.
  • It is essential and right that student characteristics, such as disability status, be considered in the development of state-provided growth scores. However, it is also recommended that the manner/method by which such characteristics are considered should also be examined and revised if appropriate. The department’s current methodology is not transparent, and is felt to be flawed for teachers, and even more flawed for principals.
  • Making the subcomponent two, impartial independent trained evaluator, optional for school districts and BOCES will remove an unfunded mandate and an additional administrative burden. To mandate the assignment of independent evaluators also weakens the ability of a teacher’s instructional leader – the principal – to evaluate and guide a teacher’s growth based on what the principal knows of the needs of his/her students. However, discretionary implementation of this procedure by school districts and BOCES could serve as a pilot program for determining the efficacy of such an approach.
  • Establishing a content review committee for the state assessments administered in grades three through eight is directly responsive to the strong concerns raised by parents and educators since the implementation of the common core-aligned assessments. The establishment of the committee will demonstrate that state leaders are listening, and the committee’s actions may be effective in reversing the growing incidence of students opting-out of such tests.

For more information, please contact James Viola, director of government relations, by telephoning

518-782-0600 or by e-mailing JViola@saanys.org.

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