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Irvington Plans New Teacher, Principal Evaluations

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – A new teacher and principal evaluation plan developed by the Irvington school district would measure performance on student growth on state assessments, observations and comparing students across district classrooms in the same subject and grade.

Irvington school board members unanimously approved the plan during a recent meeting.

The state-mandated evaluation grades teachers and principals on a 100-point system. The new teacher evaluations will be available to the public with teachers' names removed. Parents will be able to see the evaluation of their child's current teacher, but will not be allowed to match evaluations with teachers in future grades.

"Teacher and principal evaluations help teachers and principals improve their practice, which in turn helps students improve their performance. Public disclosure of individual ratings would just get in the way of that progress,” New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said in a statement.

According to the Irvington school district, 40 percent of a teacher's evaluation will be based on state tests and comparing students across classrooms. The district notes that math and English language arts teachers in grades four through eight will use state assessments to determine student growth. Teachers without a comparable state assessment will develop student learning objectives.

Teachers will receive four observations in the evaluation process for a total of 60 percent. There will be one formal planned observation, one formal unannounced observation and two informal walk-throughs.

Principals will also be evaluated under the new law, with scores based on student growth, local objectives and measuring effectiveness. Sixty percent of Irvington's plan includes grading principals on how they manage change, the focus of their leadership and how they build a purposeful community. Principals will be observed “within their own setting” at least six times a year, according to the district's plan.

Teachers and principals will receive scores of highly effective, effective, developing, and ineffective for all components of the evaluation, with effective teachers meeting the state average.

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