ALBANY, NY - New York State Education Commissioner John King says the Buffalo City School District's plan for teacher evaluations has now been approved by the State Education Department. The approval came just hours before the deadline set by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon King said "The new evaluation plan is great news for Buffalo teachers, administrators, parents, and most important, Buffalo students. It's a strong step toward helping teachers and principals improve their practice, which will in turn help students improve their performance and build a better future. Our goal is to make sure every student graduates from high school ready to succeed in college or careers. Buffalo's evaluation plan is a major step toward helping Buffalo students reach that goal."
Governor Andrew Cuomo previously issued a statement on Thursday that there will be no extensions or exceptions. His statement read: "The remaining districts and their unions have until midnight tonight to do the same (98% of districts have implemented such agreements in place) or they will forfeit the increase in education aid they have been counting on and both parties will have failed the children they serve."
The Buffalo district has already missed out on $26 million in funding since no agreement was in place with the Buffalo Teacher's Federation (BTF). An APPR agreement was required for the district to receive certain funding from the state and federal governments.
Getting an agreement on the teacher evaluations was a major problem for the district and union. The BTF had previously rejected plans that would evaluate students based on standardized test scores from students with poor attendance. Students with English as a Second Language, or ESL students, being factored in has also been a concern. But now an approved plan is in place.