While ethics reform may be dominating much of the conversation in Albany, education advocates are hoping the public and lawmakers don't forget there's much work to be done regarding teacher evaluations. Last month, the Assembly passed legislation to push back the deadline for local school districts to implement their teacher evaluation system. But final action has not been taken on that legislation.
The Assembly bill gives districts until November 2016 to get their plans together. Tim Kremer, with the New York State School Boards Association, says the original deadline would have meant districts would have to come up with their evaluation system over the summer, which is a difficult time for school officials.
"Let's take the time to do this right. We can't keep changing horses every year. Let's get this right the first time. Let's have an evaluation system that's fair, that's purposeful, don't make it a political statement.
The school evaluation requirements passed in the budget earlier this year only gave the New York State Board of Regents and the state Department of Education until June 30 to put regulations in place for the districts to follow. Just last week, the regents named a new state education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia. Elia has said the timetable for the evaluation system may need a second look.