Monday, April 16, 2012

The Answer, or the Problem?

Seal of New York.
Seal of New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This year New York State has implemented a new Annual Professional Performance Review. This does not eliminate the original standing APPR brought about in 100.2 of the Commissioner's regulations, but instead builds upon it.
This new APPR is based upon the fact that standardized test scores are not at their best, and in order to fix this problem the state wants change. They have decided to do this by making it mandatory for all classroom teachers, and school principals to be reviewed on their teaching methods/effectiveness. From what I have researched, this program was designed, and initiated quite quickly resulting in frustration from many professionals within the education/teaching community. This is because there are many unanswered question pertaining to this evaluation, and the impact it can have on a school district. 
Within the first few minutes of my research I have found a few un-discussed areas of this performance evaluation that I find quite alarming. This APPR is set in place to evaluate "classroom teachers, and principals." Individuals who are exempt from this evaluation are school attendance teacher, school counselor, school dental hygiene teacher, school nurse-teacher, school psychologist, and school social workers. So this makes me ask the question, "where does the school Physical Education Teacher fit into this new APPR? Their is nothing that I have read pertaining to this area thus far. Also what about teachers who teach inclusive classes? If they are evaluated on their overall ability to increase academic performance within a certain time period for an inclusive class they will most likely be considered ineffective. Inclusive students learn at a different pace, and different methods need to be taken in order to develop change in academic performance. A different standard needs to be put in place for this scenario in the evaluation of teachers.
These are just a few of the problems I have found while quickly learning about this new APPR. I am for teachers being held accountable for their actions, and am a strong believer in always developing your teaching methods to be a more effective teacher. I think though that this program was implemented too quickly, and many crucial areas of student development and learning were overlooked. 
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