Update Regarding SLOs

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SAANYS’ central office and field representatives are receiving a rash of technical assistance inquiries pertaining to school and school district responsibilities for the development of APPR subcomponent 1 growth scores for high school principals. The inquiries ask whether student learning objectives (SLOs) are now required for high school principals and whether the content of school district APPR plans is now moot in regard to high school principals’ subcomponent 1 evaluation procedures.

The APPR plans negotiated by administrative units and approved by the State Education Department remain in full force and effect as written. There is no requirement that high school principals must develop student learning objectives for the 2012-13 school year. NYSED reference materials continue to indicate that SED will generate a HSP growth score for 2012-13. 

Upon investigation, it appears that the revised directives emanate from one or more regional network teams – not from the State Education Department. The basis for this revision of APPR instructions is unknown. On approximately a monthly basis, SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey, Deputy Executive Director Don Nickson, and Director of Government Relations Jim Viola meet with Commissioner John King and Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz to discuss policy and program issues, the preponderance of which pertain to APPR requirements and implementation. The matter of growth scores for high school principals was raised at three meetings during the current school year, and each time the department’s leaders responded that they fully expect to generate subcomponent 1 growth scores for high school principals. In addition, SAANYS is represented at each of the SED Network Team Institutes by SAANYS negotiator Jennie Pennington and Jim Viola, neither of whom have ever heard of such a new requirement for high school principals articulated at these meetings.

We have consistently said that any change to APPR requirements should be clearly communicated by SED. Such important information should come first from those with primary decision making authority. Should that occur, we will be certain to issue an appropriate update.