Regent Collins expresses need for teacher input for future evaluations

Nov 30, 2018

The leader of the New York State Board of Regents recently directed State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and the State Education Department to return with a proposal to extend the moratorium that would de-link student assessments from teacher evaluations for one year. This would provide a one year extension for the 2019-2020 school year. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with State Regent Catherine Collins about involving teachers in creating better teacher evaluations.

New York State Regent Catherine Collins represents Western New York. She appeared this week at PS 61 Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"The bottom line is we basically want a better prepared student, so that's why we keep talking about evaluating the teachers to make sure they have the content to pass on,” remarked Collins.

Regent Collins tells WBFO News they are trying to work toward making sure future evaluations are something everyone can live with. The teachers Annual Professional Performance Review, known as APPR, has been a sore spot for educators because it was tied to test scores on Math and English assessments. But a moratorium was issued in response to the outcry.  

Buffalo classroom.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“Not something that's top down – okay – we wanted to come from bottom up – we want them involved, so we will have some meetings across the state, we will be talking to teachers, we’ll have a task force, so we will have individuals that will be out there talking to us about the best approach,” explained Collins.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) issued a state-wide teacher survey and more than 22,000 responded.  State Ed is now reviewing information and trying to allow teachers to play an active role in helping create future evaluations.

“And the teachers are the best ones, and principals, to tell us how they were evaluated – because we didn’t really want to cause any anxiety with our teachers – we wanted to be able to give them the flexibility to participate,” Collins replied.

Collins is hoping this can be sorted out with teachers.

“You know – I’ve always said let’s plan with not for – and that’s been my motto. If there’s something that needs to be changed – go to the experts – the teachers are the experts – they know,” declared Collins.