We’ve heard all sorts of complaints about the state’s new evaluation system for teachers and principals.
Here’s a new one.
The Yonkers school administration wanted to start “block scheduling” at the city’s new Early College High School (at the site of the former Roosevelt H.S.) this fall. This would mean double periods in English and social studies for freshmen at the experimental high school, which is focused on — you guessed it — preparing students for college.
The ninth grade curriculum in those courses would be covered between September and January.
But the Yonkers Federation of Teachers had some concerns. If a student misses a lot of school or arrives, say, in October, and then does poorly on standardized tests, would those tests count against the student’s teachers in the state’s new evaluation system. The system grades teachers, in part, on how students progress on state tests and other assessments.
The union was also concerned about teachers not having enough time to plan for the longer classes.
So the union filed legal papers to stop the “block scheduling” from taking effect. Now the union and district have reached an agreement to let the longer classes go through. YFT President Pat Puleo told us today a student will have to have at least 80 percent attendance for their scores to count toward a teacher’s evaluation.
Plus, teachers will have time during the day for planning.
“We all want it to be successful, so let’s just give the teachers what they need,” Puleo said.
Yonkers was one of the last school districts in the state to reach an agreement with its teachers union over the implementation of a new evaluation system.
Wait, there’s more:
- We’ve started a new weekly education column, called “Class Notes,” here at the Hall Monitor blog. You should find it just below this post. My colleague Randi Weiner wrote the first one about what we’re setting out to do.
- Colleague Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy had a story Sunday about local schools spending $20 million this year on security.
- And our Lee Higgins had an update on Peekskill High School’s transcript scandal. He reports that eight students could not graduate in June because they were temporarily given credit for a class they did not take.
Here’s hoping everyone has a smooth return to school.