New York City still lacks teacher evaluation plan

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New York City still had not submitted a plan to evaluate its public school teachers Wednesday, one day before a New York State-imposed deadline.

The city stands to lose $450 million in state aid and grants if it does not reach an agreement with the union representing 75,000 teachers and submit an evaluation plan by today.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he is "always hopeful."

"There's always been dialogue," Bloomberg said. "Sometimes it's encouraging, sometimes it isn't. I can't read the tea leaves."

A spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers said talks are continuing.

Each of the state's nearly 700 school districts was told to submit a plan for how to evaluate teachers by Jan. 17. New York City was one of a handful of districts that had not turned in a plan by yesterday.

Under state law, 20 percent of the ratings must be based on students' growth on state tests.

Another 20 percent must be based on local measures and the remaining 60 percent must include classroom observations and can also include parent or student surveys.

The UFT scheduled a meeting of its Delegates Assembly for Thursday to vote on a plan if there is one.

Bloomberg was asked about the evaluations deal as he briefed reporters on another labor issue, a school bus strike affecting more than 150,000 students that started yesterday.

He said the strike has not distracted city officials from negotiating an evaluation agreement.

"One thing has nothing to do with another," Bloomberg said.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott added, "I think we can multitask very easily."

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