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Harrison, Pine Plains districts among last handful with no approved teacher plan
Two Hudson Valley school districts are among just six statewide that have not submitted teacher and principal evaluation plans to the state Education Department, according to a news release Friday.
School districts have until Thursday to receive state approval for their plans and secure their state school aid increases for 2012-13.
Just six of 691 school districts statewide -- including New York City -- have not submitted their plans. Westchester County's Harrison Central School District and Pine Plains Central School District in Dutchess both have not submitted plans.
Harrison Superintendent Louis Wool said he refuses to sacrifice the high quality of the current evaluation process, which has received recognition as exemplary, to meet a timeline. The district stands to lose about $150,000 in school aid, but Wool argues that the cost of litigating a challenge to an evaluation would be far greater.
Wool is cautiously optimistic that the district will submit the plans on time.
"It is unfortunate that so many districts were forced to submit assessments crafted at breakneck speed with little opportunity to build in the rigor or validity necessary to withstand the inevitable challenges that will follow from teachers who believe they have been unfairly evaluated," Wool said in an email Sunday.
Pine Plains Superintendent Linda Kaumeyer told the Poughkeepsie Journal that the teachers union wants a full contract settlement along with agreeing on an evaluation plan. The district was not slated to receive any school aid increase, so no money is at stake, she said.
Forty other school districts -- including Pocantico Hills, Pawling, Yonkers, East Ramapo and Wappingers -- have submitted plans but need to address questions raised by the state before receiving approval.