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Teacher Evaluation Effort Derails

by News on January 3, 2012

in Government Employee Unions, State and Local, State Legislation, Surveys and Reports

By Lisa Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal

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.


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