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Superintendent: Teacher Evaluations on Schedule

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Superintendent Christopher Clouet said he's confident the White Plains Public School District can meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo's deadline for implementing a new teacher performance review system and guarantee that local schools won't miss out on their share of $805 million in state aid.

"We have been in a series of conversations with our teacher union leadership, and this pre-dates by a year or more the governor’s proposal," said Clouet. "We are close to a consensus. The teachers and the administration share the same idea that a rigorous and fair evaluation system is good for everybody."

White Plains already has a "strong" evaluation procedure in place thanks to the Race to the Top, a federal program that financial rewards states who pledge to implement education policies set by the president, according to Clouet.

However, Cuomo's Executive Budget tied school districts' portion of state aid increases to fully implementing a new teacher review process by Jan. 17, 2013. The governor's new system calls for publicly available ratings to be compiled from principal observations, state test scores, and other locally-decided measures.

Clouet says test scores, an annual growth model, and an appeal process are the only new criteria White Plains schools will have to include in 2013 evaluations.

"How can we chart the growth of students from the beginning of the year to the end of the year? The growth model," Clouet said. "The growth model is something we are experimenting with using some different formulas. We have a number of teachers who have been working with us and volunteering their data."

White Plains will also be sorting out an appeal process for teachers who are rated ineffective and wish to have their evaluation studied.

"We believe that we can do some things that are going to make it a stronger profession for teachers and a better environment for kids," Clouet said.

The White Plains Teachers Association President Kerry Broderick did not return two calls for comment.

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