Evaluation Confindentiality Bill Passes

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The senate and assembly passed Governor Cuomo’s bill (S.7792 / A.10786) regarding the access and disclosure of APPR evaluations and scores for teachers and principals.

The bills provide a measure of administrative relief for school principals (compared to A.9814-A, which would have required individual meetings with parents/guardians) but we do not feel that principals will receive sufficient or equitable confidentiality – especially those who work in smaller school districts. The bills also establish new unfunded procedural and data reporting requirements for school districts (many of which may impact principals and other school administrators).
A summary of the provisions of the bills follows.  

  • The companion bills specify roles and responsibilities for school districts/BOCES and for SED in fully disclosing and releasing final HEDI ratings and composite scores (0 to 100) from Annual Professional Performance Reviews of teachers and principals. The bills would become effective on July 1, 2012 and require that SED, school districts, and BOCES ensure that any public release of APPR data does NOT contain personally identifying information for any teacher or principal.
  • School districts and BOCES would be required to fully disclose and release HEDI ratings and composite effectiveness scores to parents and legal guardians as follows:

– Upon parent/guardian request, to fully disclose and release to the parents and legal guardians of a student, in any manner (including by phone and in person), the final HEDI rating and composite effectiveness score for each of the teacher and for the principal of the school building to which the student is currently assigned.

– Conspicuous notice of the right to obtain APPR information must be provided to all parents and guardians.

– Orally or in writing, explain the scoring ranges for the HEDI ratings to parents and legal guardians.

– Offer parents and legal guardians opportunities to understand the scores in the context of teacher evaluation and student performance.

– Make reasonable efforts to verify that any review request is a bonafide request by a parent or guardian entitled to review and receive the requested data.

  • SED would be required to fully disclose APPR data to the public on its website or by other means, as follows:

– The data must be suitable for research, analysis, and comparison.

– For principals – by school district – final HEDI ratings and composite effectiveness scores.

– For teachers – by school building – evaluation data.

– Within each district and school building – by class, subject, and grade.

– Final APPR ratings and composite effectiveness scores shall also be disclosed according to state region, district wealth, district need category, student enrollment, type of school (elementary, middle, high school), student need (poverty level), district spending.

– On a year-to-year basis, final HEDI ratings and composite effectiveness scores by the percentage or number of teachers and principals in each rating category moving to a higher rating category than the previous year, to a lower rating category and retained in each rating category.

– Data on tenure granting and denial based on final HEDI rating categories.