One more shot at an evaluation system?
STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 1/26/2012, 4:17 p.m.
It looks like the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the city of New York are headed back to the negotiation table to discuss a new system for teacher evaluations, and hopes are high that a deal can be reached this time.
"We are determined to get it done," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew after testifying at a joint Assembly-Senate budget hearing on Monday.
Last month, talks fell apart due to the UFT's request for an outside arbitrator to hear teacher appeals when they're given negative evaluations.
During Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state budget last week, the governor threatened to introduce a teacher evaluation system of his own if the state Education Department, the city of New York and the school employees unions couldn't agree on one.
If some form of evaluation system is not instituted in the state soon, New York will lose $700 million in federal funding set aside for education.
In his speech, Cuomo said the state Education Department and school employees unions had up to 30 days to agree on a new "effective" teacher evaluation system or "the governor will propose an evaluation system in the 30-day budget amendments. Schools will be given one year to implement the system or risk forfeiting an increase in education aid in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school budgets," read a statement.
State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. has also weighed in on the issue.
"The governor is right to be frustrated," King said. "So far, there hasn't been much progress. There's more than a billion dollars at risk. We cannot fail to meet the commitments New York State made in Race to the Top. More importantly, we cannot fail the students, who are counting on us to deliver the education they need to succeed in college and career."