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Long IslandEducation

State begins approving teacher eval plans

ALBANY -- State Education Commissioner John King said yesterday he has approved teacher evaluation plans for 10 school districts while providing feedback to more than 100 about the measures required under legislation passed earlier this year.

King said he anticipates approving many more in coming weeks because of the approved model plans now posted online and technical assistance provided by the state Department of Education.

"The model plans approved today come from districts and teacher and principal unions that rolled up their sleeves and got the job done," he said.

The 10 districts include Bellmore and Kings Park. Others are Binghamton, Campbell-Savona, Jamesville-Dewitt, Pembroke, Schenectady, Syracuse, Union-Endicott and Valhalla.

The law requires the approximately 700 districts statewide to have approved teacher and principal evaluation plans by Jan. 17 to receive their share of an $805 million increase in state aid. The education department said plans will be posted on its website as they are approved.

Teacher evaluations will be kept secret from most taxpayers after state lawmakers in June overwhelmingly passed Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's bill. Under the measure, a teacher's evaluation will be released only to the parents and guardians of students in his or her class.

Districts historically have set their own evaluation processes, often relying heavily on classroom visits.

The state, to qualify for $700 million in federal Race to the Top funding, promised to develop a standard, objective teacher and principal evaluation system.

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