It's never been popular among teachers and now more then 600 educators in the Rochester City School District say the State's Teacher Evaluation system is unfair. Hundreds are appealing their Annual Professional Performance Review.
“Ineffective” or “needs development.” That's how more than 900 Rochester City School teachers were rated under the state's new Annual Professional Performance Review.
Each district was required to implement the new teacher evaluation system last year or risk losing state funding.
Forty percent of a city school teacher's rating under this evaluation plan is based on student test scores: Half on state testing, the other half on local testing. The other 60 percent is based on classroom observations conducted by district officials.
Teachers' unions across the state have long been opposed to this type of rating system. Rochester Teachers Association president Adam Urbanski believes the APPR unfairly grades teachers in urban public schools.
In a phone interview, Urbanski said, "If anyone actually believes city teachers are less effective than suburban teachers, let's swap for a year and see if we receive different results."
Only the teachers who are rated “ineffective” or “needs development” can appeal their rating. For example, a teacher would have to prove the school or state did not provide resources to facilitate a fair teaching environment, or that an evaluation included scoring on tests a teacher's student opted out of.
The appeals process is handled by teams made up of teachers and administrators. They look at the evidence and decide whether to uphold or deny an appeal. The rating can be changed if the appeal is upheld.
School Board President Malik Evans released a statement on the process:
"While we cannot comment on individual ratings, we are committed to ensuring that we help all teachers improve instruction which will ensure all of our students reach their full potential."
A teacher can lose their job if they get two consecutive years of an "ineffective" rating.