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State Approves Tarrytown's Teacher Evaluation Plan

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – The state Education Department has approved the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns’ teacher and principal evaluation plan, making it one of a handful in the area, said Superintendent Howard Smith.

“We're all squared away as far as the state’s concerned and are ready to move forward,” Smith said.

The teacher evaluations are the result of new state guidelines. Under the district’s plan, 60 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on classroom observation and state teaching standards, 20 percent is based on student growth on state assessment tests and 20 percent is based on other locally determined measures.

Evaluation scores are divided into four categories: highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective. Teachers and principals will be able to appeal their scores. Teachers who don’t meet standards will be required to go through a teacher improvement plan.

Smith said Tarrytown is one of five school districts in the area and only 10 percent in the state to have their evaluation plans approved.

“That's a credit to a lot of hard work under Dr. Tantillo's leadership last year and the cooperation of our teachers’ union and our administrators’ union,” he said.

School officials criticized the new regulations last October and continued to note issues with the state’s rushing into new evaluation guidelines —although Smith said the idea of applying evaluation standards was good.

Tarrytown used an existing teacher evaluation model and built on that to create new guidelines, Smith said.

“We were able to take something we had and adapted it as we needed to,” he said.

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