Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gov. Cuomo urging tougher evaluations for teachers, increased importance on standardized tests

Saturday, May 14th 2011, 4:00 AM

At the urging of Gov. Cuomo, education leaders are pushing for tougher teacher evaluations - including giving more weight to students' scores on state exams.

The State Board of Regents is expected to vote Monday on the overhaul of teacher evaluations, mandated last year as part of the push for federal Race to the Top money.

"If done correctly, we will revive our education system to ensure students perform better and succeed in their future careers," Cuomo said in a letter to state Schools Chancellor Merryl Tisch.

"Now is our chance to make New York a leader in education performance."

The changes Cuomo pushed for - and which Tisch immediately endorsed - increased the importance of standardized tests in the evaluation process.

State tests can be used for up to 40% of the evaluations, and under his recommendations, teachers would be required to receive a positive rating on the test portion of the evaluation to receive a positive rating overall.

The governor is also offering financial incentives to state school districts that adopt the evaluations quickly.

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