State Education Department may delay teacher evaluations

Apr 23, 2015

A classroom in WNY
Credit File Photo / WBFO News

There is word the State Education Department plans to delay the implementation of new teacher evaluations for school districts facing hardships until September of 2016.

The current deadline is November 15. Meanwhile, the counsel for Governor Cuomo is warning education officials that their authority to delay the implementation of a new teacher evaluation system should be done so sparingly.

Regents Chancellor Tisch visiting a Niagara Falls City School.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Capital New York reports State Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch has “directed State Education Department staff to find a solution that administratively extends the deadline for evaluation approval until September 1, 2016 for districts facing hardships meeting the deadline” that was prescribed in the recently enacted state budget.  She has also directed SED staff to meet with officials from Governor’s Office and the Legislature to find a solution consistent with the intent of the law.

The deadline was included in a series of education policy changes approved by the state legislature and Governor Cuomo in the new budget.  Districts without the evaluations in place, face a loss of state aid.   

Cuomo's counsel is criticizing the move, saying a delay would be disregarding the law. 

“The law is clear that the additional state funding is linked to a teacher evaluation system, just like last year,” Alphonso David said in a statement obtained by Capital New York. “The State Education Department and Chancellor Tisch should do their job properly and competently and enact the regulations governing the process by the end of June as prescribed by the law." 

David adds, "Under existing law, SED may have a hardship exemption procedure if SED defines the process by regulation and if the hardship is genuine and due to a particular circumstance, but that is the exception not the rule.”