No penalty for Oysterponds' missed deadline

Tuesday’s runoff election between two Oysterponds School District

Tuesday’s runoff election between two Oysterponds School District Board of Education candidates who had tied in the May school vote has been canceled after one candidate withdrew her candidacy. (Credit: Erin Geismar)

The Oysterponds school district will not face financial penalties for failing to meet the state's Jan. 17 deadline for approval of its teacher and principal evaluation plan, administrators said Tuesday.

The district was the last on Long Island to receive approval because of a technical glitch.

Richard C. Malone, interim superintendent for the tiny, 78-student district, said he sent the plan to the New York State Board of Education on time but failed to include two required charts. The state rejected the plan because of the omission, Malone said.


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He resubmitted the plan and it was approved days later; the state sent Oysterponds a letter of acceptance dated Jan. 29.

Malone said he values the plan, calling it a useful tool.

"I don't have a bad taste for the plan; I have a bad taste for the process," he said.

The controversial evaluation plans tie teacher ratings to student academic achievement for the first time. Teachers and principals tried to fight the move, saying that while they welcome a better evaluation system, the method is flawed and unfair.

Every public school district in the state is mandated to comply; New York won $700 million in federal aid based on its adoption of the new policy.

Some school districts could face stiff penalties for failing to abide. New York City schools missed the deadline and are slated to lose more than $250 million in state aid as a result.

The Oysterponds district, which has had its state aid shrink in recent years, will suffer no financial punishment for the late filing, Malone said. The state could have taken away any increases in aid.

Oysterponds Union Free School District, located in Orient, serves students from prekindergarten through the sixth grade.

Nassau BOCES is still working on its evaluation plan.

Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the state education department, said BOCES did not have to comply with the Jan. 17 deadline because they are funded by local school districts and do not receive state aid.

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