Top 10 Things: APPR
What is APPR? Here are the top 10 things to know about the new teacher
Just like students, teachers and
principals will now be given a number grade at the end of every
year that represents their effectiveness rating. This is thanks to
the new state-required evaluation system called the Annual
Professional Performance Review (or “APPR”). Teachers and
principals have always been evaluated and held to standards, but
the new system is more governed by rules set by the state – and,
for the first time ever, a portion of teacher evaluation is
directly tied to student performance.
APPR is just one of the many reforms put in place by the New York
State Board of Regents to improve student learning. It was
developed to improve the state’s educational system and support
the professional growth of educators in the state, which should
ultimately lead to students being better prepared for college and
career. There are many details to understand about APPR, so here
are 10 facts you should know:
In order to receive federal Race to the
Top and state education aid (which is vital for districts to
operate), all school districts in New York are required by Jan.
17, 2013 to have adopted locally and received state approval of
APPR plans for teachers and principals. At least until then,
districts will be in different stages of adopting and implementing
Each teacher and principal in grades K-12 will receive a rating of
either: highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective –
Teacher and principal ratings will be
based on a 100-point score. A score between 0-64 would classify a
teacher as “ineffective.” Those with a rating of 65-74 points are
“developing,” and 75 to 90 points signifies “effective.” A rating
from 91-100 means a teacher is “highly effective.”
The 100-point score will come from three
areas: 60 percent will be based on observations of teachers in the
classroom and other factors that measure how effective their
teaching practices are; 20 to 25 percent will come from student
growth based on state tests OR progress made toward meeting
student-learning targets (a.k.a. Student Learning Objectives or
SLOs); and the final 15 to 20 percent will be based on measures of
student achievement that are selected by each school district. All
three sections are guided by New York State Education Department
regulations in terms of who does the evaluating, what can be
included in the scoring and how the scoring must be done.
The exact details of the ratings will vary by district as a result
of district policies and negotiations that are included in local
teacher and administrator contracts.
The majority of the APPR must be bargained locally, including
classroom observation procedures, the appeals process, Teacher
Improvement Plan (TIP) procedures and local selection of measures
of student achievement. All negotiations must also follow the
extensive regulations from the New York State Education Department
that govern APPR.
For subjects without a state assessment test (such as in grades
outside of 4-8), teachers must use a Student Learning Objective
(SLO) to gauge student growth. A SLO is an academic goal for
students set at the start of the course that represents the most
important learning of the year. SLOs must be based on student
learning that is measurable, and must also be aligned to New York
state’s Common Core Learning Standards.
Teachers will be observed at least twice a year by the building
principal or a trained administrator, and one of those
observations must be unannounced.
All APPR plans must include guidelines
for improvement plans and an appeals process for those who are
rated as ineffective.
Although the New York State Education
Department has said teacher ratings will be released to the
parents of students in each teacher’s classroom (or in each
principal’s school), it is not clear how the release of these
ratings will be implemented. The ratings for the 2012-13 school
year are anticipated in fall 2013.