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September 25, 2017
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Stillwater News

What is APPR?

10 things to know about the new teacher evaluation system

Updated Jan. 17, 2013 – Just like students, Stillwater teachers and principals will now be given a number grade at the end of every year that represents their effectiveness rating. This is thanks to the new state-required evaluation system called the Annual Professional Performance Review (or “APPR”). Teachers and principals have always been evaluated and held to standards, but the new system is more governed by rules set by the state — and, for the first time ever, a portion of teacher evaluation is directly tied to student performance. View APPR FACT SHEET (PDF)

APPR is just one of the many reforms put in place by the New York State Board of Regents to improve student learning. It was developed to improve the state’s educational system and support the professional growth of educators in the state, which should ultimately lead to students being better prepared for college and career. There are many details to understand about APPR, so here are 10 facts you should know:

  • In order to receive federal Race to the Top and state education aid (which is vital for districts to operate), all school districts in New York are required by Jan. 17, 2013 to have adopted locally and received state approval of APPR plans for teachers and principals. At least until then, districts will be in different stages of adopting and implementing APPR. Stillwater Central School District’s APPR plan has already been approved by the state.
  • Each teacher and principal in grades K-12 will receive a rating of either: highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective – every year.
  •  Teacher and principal ratings will be based on a 100-point score. A score between 0-64 would classify a teacher as “ineffective.” Those with a rating of 65-74 points are “developing,” and 75 to 90 points signifies “effective.” A rating from 91-100 means a teacher is “highly effective.”
  • The 100-point score will come from three areas: 60 percent will be based on observations of teachers in the classroom and other factors that measure how effective their teaching practices are; 20 to 25 percent will come from student growth based on state tests OR progress made toward meeting student-learning targets (a.k.a. Student Learning Objectives or SLOs); and the final 15 to 20 percent will be based on measures of student achievement that are selected by each school district. All three sections are guided by New York State Education Department regulations in terms of who does the evaluating, what can be included in the scoring and how the scoring must be done.
  • The exact details of the ratings will vary by district as a result of district policies and negotiations that are included in local teacher and administrator contracts.
  • The majority of the APPR must be bargained locally, including classroom observation procedures, the appeals process, Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) procedures and local selection of measures of student achievement. All negotiations must also follow the extensive regulations from the New York State Education Department that govern APPR.
  • For subjects without a state assessment test (such as in grades outside of 4-8), teachers must use a Student Learning Objective (SLO) to gauge student growth. A SLO is an academic goal for students set at the start of the course that represents the most important learning of the year. SLOs must be based on student learning that is measurable, and must also be aligned to New York state’s Common Core Learning Standards.
  • Teachers will be observed at least twice a year by the building principal or a trained administrator, and one of those observations must be unannounced.
  • All APPR plans must include guidelines for improvement plans and an appeals process for those who are rated as ineffective.
  • Although the New York State Education Department has said teacher ratings will be released to the parents of students in each teacher’s classroom (or in each principal’s school), it is not clear how the release of these ratings will be implemented. The ratings for the 2012-13 school year are anticipated in fall 2013.
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