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Few school districts submit evaluation plans

Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said the

Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said the district-by-district data, originally scheduled for a December release, would instead have to be put out early in 2013. Credit: istock

Monday marks the official deadline for school districts to submit teacher evaluation plans to the state Department of Education so that agency can begin an extended approvals process. But Long Island's education leaders expect only one-third or so of the region's 124 districts to have plans ready by then.

Far more districts should complete evaluation plans during the summer or after Labor Day, when teachers return, those leaders added. The July deadline is a bit of a formality, because districts don't face financial penalties for noncompliance until the middle of January.

"I think that's the most important thing, that people do intend to get their plans in for approval by the state Education Department by the beginning of the school year," said Maureen K. Bright, superintendent of Hicksville schools and head of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents.

Aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has made teacher job ratings a high priority, have established a website -- governor.ny.gov/BuildingaNew1/ny-students-first -- that shows whether districts have submitted plans. As of Friday, only three Long Island districts -- Deer Park, Fire Island and Freeport -- were checked off on the website for turning in plans. No districts were checked off in such counties as Westchester, Monroe and Erie.

Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the Education Department, said the agency expects to issue a preliminary statement Tuesday about the status of evaluation plans.Many districts complain that the state itself has slowed progress, through recent changes both in the law governing evaluations and its interpretations of that law.

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