Thiele bill would change educators’ evaluations

COURTESY PHOTO Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.
COURTESY PHOTO Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.

UPDATE: A day after Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) announced sponsorship of a bill to eliminate standardized test results given to students as a criterion for evaluating teacher performances, he announced the bill had been passed.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) is co-sponsoring legislation to change the way in which the state evaluates teachers’ and administrators’ performances.
The new bill, if it gains traction in Albany, would eliminate the current mandate that uses results of standardized math and English learning arts tests administered to students in grades three through eight as a criterion for judging educators.

The new legislation would also prohibit the standardized test scores from being included in students’ permanent records.

The proposed changes grew out of several discussions in recent weeks involving the Assembly Majority Conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo and educators, Mr. Thiele said.

In place of the current system the legislation would enable school districts and teachers to negotiate an effective and fair evaluation system to meet diverse needs of students and communities, he said.

“By allowing school districts and educators to help craft an evaluation that measures a teacher’s or principal’s performance, we will be able to better serve all of our kids and ensure they get the quality education they need to succeed,” Mr. Thiele said.

The legislation introduced would provide “a more equitable, student-centered rating system” and help to ensure that under-performing schools, teachers and principals receive the tools and assistance they need to improve, he said.

The bill wold eliminate the use of the state-provided growth model in an educator’s evaluation, he said. Instead, each educator would be required to have a student learning objective consistent with a goal-setting process determined or developed by the Commissioner of Education.

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