State education officials announced Wednesday that they have approved 107 teacher evaluation plans submitted by school districts, including 34 districts on Long Island.
Education Department officials also said they have provided feedback to nearly 200 additional districts on how their plans must be revised to win approval. Under state law, districts failing to obtain Albany's OK by Jan. 17 risk partial loss of state financial aid.
"There's positive momentum," Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said.
King's department is using federal Race to the Top money to hire six additional attorneys and up to nine other workers to process plans more rapidly. That's in addition to 22 staffers already assigned to the project.
A total of 314 districts have submitted plans so far for evaluating the job performance of teachers and school principals. That leaves 382 districts that have not turned in plans, according to Tom Dunn, a department spokesman.
Local districts whose plans since have won state approval include Amagansett, Babylon, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Center Moriches, Copiague, Deer Park, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Franklin Square, Freeport, Great Neck, Half Hollow Hills, Hampton Bays, Harborfields, Hauppauge, Hewlett-Woodmere, Island Trees, Jericho, Levittown, Lynbrook, Manhasset, Mineola, Oceanside, Plainedge, Rocky Point, Sayville, Smithtown, Three Village, Uniondale, Valley Stream 24 and Valley Stream 30.
Herb Brown, Oceanside's superintendent, said he is happy that his district's plan -- the product of three months' negotiations between the district and its teacher union -- was approved. Brown added, however, that colleagues in other districts have voiced concern that they might not meet the January deadline, either because local negotiations with unions fail or the approval process moves too slowly.
"That could happen because the state took on more than it could handle," Brown said.