Union Sues to Stop New Teacher Evaluations

The state teachers union has sued New York's Board of Regents and the education commissioner in an effort to stop the implementation of a new system of teacher evaluation that relies more on student performance in standardized tests.

The federation of local unions claims the new system gives too much weight to student test scores, by letting districts base 40 percent of a teacher's rating on state exams. It says the legislature passed a law last year limiting the role of state exams to only 20 percent.

A state education department spokesman says the new teacher evaluation system will help districts recognize excellent teachers while providing an objective means of removing those who are ineffective. He also said he’s confident the courts will uphold the regulation.

School districts are supposed to begin using the new teacher evaluations in the coming year. The state is also holding up federal grants for struggling schools until New York City negotiates an evaluation system with its teachers union.