New Mission

New Mission

My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.

I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.

If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Board Of Regents Approves New Teacher Evaluation System

The Board of Regents has approved a draft of New York State regulations for a new teacher evaluation system but there seem to be big hurdles for its implementation.  The new model would mean that teachers get evaluated based on a combination of their students' state test results and performance in the classroom judged by school principals to be highly effective, effective, developing, or ineffective.  Here are some of the contested issues:

- student's state test results would account for 40% of the teacher evaluation which is twice as high as what the teachers' union agreed to last year
- should the emphasis be on state exams as opposed to local exams (or some combination of the two) and to what extent is this going to encourage "teaching to the test"
- the cut-off scores for each of the performance categories were raised making it harder for a teacher to attain "highly effective,""effective," etc.
- during negotiations, the DOE has fought for principals not to have to meet with teachers after a designation of "ineffective" to disuss areas of needed improvement
- Governor Cuomo wants this system to be put in place for all teachers (not just 4th through 8th grade math and reading teachers) in time for the 2011-2012 school year

The DOE and teachers' union would have to agree on these terms in order for this system to be put in place.  They haven't even been able to work out a new teachers contract which expired in October 2009.  Obviously there is some serious tensions here.