New teacher-evaluation plan to be unveiled

EDUCATION OBAMA: Has approved waivers freeing states from

EDUCATION

OBAMA: Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law with their agreement to improve how they prepare and evaluate students. "Race to the Top" competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursuing education policies Obama supports. Won approval for a college tax credit worth up to $10,000 over four years and more money for Pell grants for low-income college students. Wants Congress to agree to reduce federal aid to colleges that go too far in raising tuition.

ROMNEY: Supported the federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law. In 2007, said he was wrong earlier in career when he wanted the Education Department shut because he came to see the value of the federal government in "holding down the interests of the teachers' unions" and putting kids and parents first. Has said the student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama's "Race to the Top" competition "make sense" although the federal government should have less control over education. (Credit: Daniel Brennan)

ALBANY -- With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo expected to unveil a new teacher-evaluation system this week, lawmakers Wednesday expressed optimism about reaching a deal to limit public access to the appraisals.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said Cuomo talked this week with New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers, the state's largest teacher unions, about a compromise.

"I know the governor met with NYSUT and UFT," on Tuesday, Skelos said. "He has indicated he's going to come with some proposal."

With the legislature slated to adjourn for the year next Thursday, officials say they expect Cuomo to unveil a proposed bill by Friday so it can be printed and voted on before the session ends.

Unions, which support a bill by Assemb. Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) to limit access to parents only and via a freedom of information request, said compromise talks have been productive.

"Discussions are under way and we are encouraged by those discussions," said Carl Korn, NYSUT spokesman.

At issue is a revision of a new teacher-evaluation system that Cuomo and legislators approved earlier this year.

In a separate case focused on New York City teachers, a court ruled that teacher evaluations were subject to public-records laws -- sparking calls from teachers' unions to enact a new law to specifically make the evaluations private.

Some lawmakers note that evaluations of police and fire personnel aren't available publicly, and they want teachers treated the same way. Cuomo has said he supports parents-only access.

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