The Annual Professional
Review (APPR) is an evaluation plan for teachers and principals
that was implemented by New York State
to comply with Federal Race to the Top regulations.
The APPR Mandate
In 2010-11, the New York State Legislature passed a bill that mandates 60 percent of a teacher’s evaluation be based on subjective measures like a principal’s observations, a review of student work, or surveys of parents and students; 20 percent on local tests or other assessments; and 20 percent on state tests. The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union challenged the new law, but have since reached a final evaluation deal with the state. School districts must have begun implementation of their approved APPR plan by January 2013 in order to be eligible for any potential state aid increase.
According to experts, this new system is
much more complicated and rigid than past performance-based
evaluative tools. The APPR was created to support the
professional growth of NYS educators. A successful review system
should provide timely feedback, an opportunity to acknowledge
educators’ strengths and weaknesses and an opportunity for growth
as an educator. The review system should ultimately result in
better classroom teachers for all New York State students.
Professional Growth Benefits Instruction
Providing educators an opportunity for growth is a chance to enhance the teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom. In the end, students will reap the benefits of a review system meant to provide timely feedback and the opportunity to identify educators’ strengths and weaknesses.
Regardless of any ongoing debates about
APPR, the district is obligated to evaluate teachers and
principals. APPR regulations require training and certification
for Lead Evaluators/Evaluators, the development of a new data
analysis process and time set aside for teacher and principal
What does this mean for Liberty?
In 2011-12, the district established an APPR committee comprised of members of the administrative, teaching and central office staff. This committee studied requirements of the new law and selected a teacher evaluation rubric and local assessment for the district. Administrators also attended local BOCES training on the evaluation of teachers under the new APPR requirements.
For the first time ever, a portion of
teacher evaluation and assessment will be tied to student
performance. The testing framework that Liberty is utilizing is
called Measures of Academic Progress or MAP, developed by the
Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). According to Assistant
Superintendent for Curriculum Carol Napolitano, The NWEA
assessment tool was selected because it is all-encompassing for
ELA and math skills. The program starts at kindergarten, and the
district currently tests up to tenth grade. A unique feature of
this test is that it is administered solely on a computer – a
challenge that many teachers said their students mastered easily.
Home/School Partnerships: Critical for Student Success
It is important to remember that these new
laws and regulations are all designed with one goal in mind –
improving student achievement across the country and the state,
and helping students be better prepared for the 21st century job
market that awaits them. As school leaders and teachers work
together to understand and implement each facet of the new
legislation, it is important that students and parents join in
this effort. Home and school partnerships are crucial to student
success, especially during times of tremendous change.
• APPR FAQ