Ferrara Fiorenza P.C.

Dramatic Changes to Required Annual Teacher and Principal Performance Review Procedures

The State Legislature in 2010 adopted a new law (Education Law § 3012-c) providing for dramatic changes in how school districts and BOCES will evaluate teachers and principals. A number of significant changes will take effect with Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPRs) this upcoming school year. 

In addition, on May 13, 2011, Governor Cuomo sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Board of Regents requesting further changes to the new evaluation system to improve and accelerate the performance evaluation process. As a result of the Governor’s recommendations, the Board of Regents further amended its regulations to comport with the Governor’s request.

Under the new APPR evaluation system, New York State will differentiate teacher and principal effectiveness using four new rating categories and APPRs will now result in a single composite effectiveness score between (0-100), which will reflect multiple measures of teacher and principal effectiveness.

As the 2010-2011 school year comes to a close, school districts and BOCES should begin to prepare for the timelines and bargaining issues presented by these new laws and regulations.

For example, as soon as September 1, 2011, school districts and BOCES must adopt these new APPR plans for its teachers in the subjects of English language arts or mathematics for students in grades 4-8 and building principals of schools in which these teachers are employed. 

By no later than September 10, 2011, or within 10 days of adopting the APPR plan whichever is later, the new APPR plans must be approved by the governing body of the school district or BOCES, filed in the district office and made available on the district’s website and for review by any individual upon request.

As a general overview, the statute and regulations require these new APPR plans to include: 

            1.       the local measures of student achievement used for the evaluation of teachers and principals;

             2.      the name of the approved teacher and/or principal practices rubric that shall be used or proof of a variance;

             3.      any other instruments that will be used to evaluate teachers’ or principals’ performance for the remaining 60 points of the evaluation; and

              4.      the scoring methodology for the assignment of points for the locally selected measures of student achievement and other measures of teacher or principal effectiveness

  • A description of the process for ensuring that NYSED receives accurate teacher and student data and verification of rosters and course linkage data including enrollment and attendance data;
  • A description of how the District or BOCES report to NYSED the sub-component scores and total composite effectiveness score for each teacher and principal;
  • A description of the assessment development, security, and scoring process utilized;
  • A description of the details of the evaluation system, which shall include, but are not limited to:


  • A description of how timely and constructive feedback will be provided to classroom teachers and building principals on their APPR; and
  • A description of the appeals procedures that will be used.

A number of these issues must be bargained and situations may vary depending on the school district/BOCES. Moreover, implementing these requirements may prove to be a difficult task over the summer months ahead. If nothing else, during this time, school districts/BOCES should seek to: 

  • Schedule bargaining sessions or, at a minimum, offer dates during which the school district/BOCES is available to bargain.
  • Agree upon an SED approved rubric (Rubrics should be available by mid-July).
  • Agree upon local assessment procedures and choose local assessment(s) (SED approved third-party assessments should be available by mid-July).
  • Choose and begin training for evaluators and lead evaluators.

These issues are further complicated by the fact that the New York State United Teachers (“NYSUT”) recently filed a lawsuit claiming that the new regulations violate state law and exceed the Regents' authority.  We will keep you informed about any new developments regarding this litigation. 

In the meantime, our office has prepared guidelines and time tables to assist school boards with implementing these new APPR plans. If you have any further questions about these issues or about how to implement and bargain these new APPR plans, please feel free to contact us at (315) 437-7600.


Excerpted from the July 2011 edition of "School Law Matters".  To view the entire newsletter, please click here.