Cuomo: New York Needs a Teacher Evaluation System by Year's End

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 03:12 PM

By WNYC's Brain Zumhagen

Courtesy of the Governor's office

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to defend his plan to deny school districts additional state funding unless they put in place a method for evaluating teachers.

Speaking to reporters in Yonkers, the governor pointed out that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has already threatened to withhold $1 billion in combined Race to the Top and other federal dollars from New York unless the evaluations are established. Cuomo said he can understand that teachers' unions have concerns about the evaluation system.

"I also understand that the students deserve it," the governor added. "The state said they were going to do it two years ago. The unions said they were going to do it two years ago. They haven't done it."

"The state can't afford to lose $1 billion in federal funds," Cuomo said.

The governor was in Yonkers Wednesday to present his budget plan to an audience of city officials and local high school students.

Meanwhile in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that he remains optimistic that his administration can reach a deal on evaluations with the United Federation of Teachers.

A spokesman for the UTF said the union's president, Michael Mulgrew, hopes the governor's comments will spur Mayor Bloomberg to return to the bargaining table.


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Comments [4]


Oh yes you can measure inspiration! Test scores will increase when they witness passion, excitment and enthusiasm in front of the classroom. The students will be inspired to read more and be eager to learn new material. It is a behavior that is modeled and should be included in the evaluations. Our Governor is correct that evaluations need to change - long are the days of mediocre teachers! I applaude our Governor!

Jan. 19 2012 02:19 AM

@744e5c696c2a72123d8f8b81f6a3f5d0:disqus An how do you measure a teacher's ability to inspire? This is the essential problem, that what makes a good teacher is often not a measurable quality. Standardized tests do not measure this kind of thing! 

Jan. 18 2012 10:27 PM

Not all teachers are bad. We need to acknowledge that some are - they are in every school district. They certainly need to be removed in a timely manner and we should not be bullied by the unions in doing so. I propose an evaluation be based on teacher effectiveness and the ability to inspire our students at every age and level. A teacher must be able to engage, connect, encourage and inspire in order to hold their jobs! That is the only way true learning and growth will occur.

Jan. 18 2012 10:05 PM
Buddy Bronx

In regard to poor teachers in the New York City school system, I believe there is one aspect of the problem in which few are recognizing. A supervisor/manager in the NYC DOE has 3-5 years in which to determine whether a teacher belongs in the classroom, requires further development, or should be removed. Mayor Bloomberg believes fifty percent of the teachers should be let go. Interestingly, due to the high turnover rate in the profession, the Mayor and the DOE are responsibile for hiring most of the teachers presently within the system. Additionally, the DOE is given up to five years to pinpoint a "dud" in the classroom and have the teacher removed. Why is the union getting the blame for something that is actually fully in control of the Mayor and the DOE? It is they who are: 1) responsibile for the hiring; 2) responsibile for the direct supervision and training of the new employee; 3) have the power to deny tenure to the teacher up to five years. Therefore, it is possible that the problem for employees that should not be teaching lies more with the hiring, training, and supervision policies of the DOE. They need to look at the hiring process not blame the union. Can we imagine any business organization having at the minimum up to three years and, if necessary, up to five years the ability and power to determine whether to keep an employee or advise the employee to find another career, but not doing so?

Jan. 18 2012 09:01 PM

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