So far, the fight over how no-show students factor into teacher evaluations has remained in Buffalo.
That will change.
When Rochester teachers first struck a deal on teacher evaluations, they had a clause requiring only students with a minimum 80 percent attendance be counted.
The state wouldn’t okay the evaluation plan unless the clause was removed. The union agreed to substitute the state’s language, which said the ratio of test scores used to evaluate teachers would be proportionate to students’ presence in the classroom.
Sounds reasonable, right?
But the state only allows the ratio to be used on state tests – not local measurements, which count for 20 percent of a teacher’s grade. The possibility still remains a teacher’s score could be dragged down by no-show kids.
There’s only one reason the union agreed to the state’s changes. For this year only, Rochester teachers are “held harmless” by their evaluations. They can’t be disciplined or fired. Their evaluations won’t even go into their personnel files.
Next school year, the evaluations count. Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski said teachers will not agree to any evaluation plan that doesn’t have a student attendance exemption, setting up a showdown like the one we’re seeing in Buffalo.
“I fully agree with Buffalo teachers. I fully support them,” Urbanski said.
Urbanski says he’s writing to the state education commissioner about the attendance issue.
The stakes are incredibly high. Districts that don’t comply with the state could lose millions of dollars in funding.
More Links of the Day:
– CSX wants to tear down the Hojack Swing Bridge this fall, but it still needs a permit from the DEC. The permit process might be the only window preservationists have to save the structure.
– Cue the scary music! Every six minute a child goes to the emergency room who was injured in a stair-related accident. Most of them fell, but some took a tumble in a parent’s arms. One doctor suggests kids learn to “scoot on their bottoms.”
– Have you checked out those new Coke machines? They’re making their way to Rochester.