Tim Kremer

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The New York state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

The latest version of teacher and principal evaluations were pushed through in this year’s state budget by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It requires that the reviews be based more heavily on controversial standardized tests. The new plans are due this fall.

Teacher evaluation top the list of 2015 education issues

Dec 29, 2014
Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

What to do with New York state's controversial teacher evaluation program is going to be one of the top education issues facing state officials in 2015.

More than 95 percent of teachers in New York state were rated effective or highly effective, according to the New York State Education Department. Those numbers are a far contrast from student performance. Proficiency in math and English Language Arts among students statewide averages less than 35 percent. Only one-third of graduating students are considered career or college ready.

Sean MacEntee / Flickr

New York voters will decide in November whether the state should borrow $2 billion for new technology, including iPads, in school classrooms. Teachers and school administrators who could benefit from the funds say they are supportive, but want to see more details.

The Bond Act, as it reads on the November ballot, would provide access to classroom technology and high-speed Internet connections, as well as offer funds to build more pre-kindergarten classrooms and replace the trailers that some overcrowded schools in New York City have been using to teach students.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Residents of school districts across the state go to the polls today to vote on budgets. These spending plans were created in the shadow of the state’s property tax cap program.

Most of the schools in New York state are offering budgets that keep tax increases below the state’s suggested two percent tax cap. These budgets are also increasing spending at an average rate of 2.6 percent.

To make up the difference, Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association says most districts are dipping into savings.

An on-time state budget is good news for school districts across the state, as they plug in the hard numbers to proposed budgets.