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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339





What is APPR?

10 Things to Know about the new teacher evaluation system

Just like students, teachers and principals will now be given a number grade at the end of every year that represents their effectiveness rating thanks to the new state-required evaluation system called the Annual Professional Performance Review (or “APPR”). Teachers and principals have always been held to standards, but the new system is much more complicated and rigid – and, for the first time ever, a portion of it is tied to student performance on state exams.

APPR is just one part of the many reforms put in place by the NYS Board of Regents to improve student learning. It was developed to improve the state’s educational system and support the professional growth of educators in the state, which should ultimately lead to students being better prepared for college and career. There are many details to understand about APPR, so here are 10 facts you should know:

1. In order to receive federal Race to the Top and state education aid (which is vital for each district to operate), all school districts in New York are required by Jan. 17, 2013 to have adopted locally and received state approval of APPR plans for teachers and principals.

2. Each teacher and principal in grades K-12 will receive a rating of either: Highly effective, Effective, Developing or Ineffective (HEDI) – every year.

3. Teacher and principal ratings will be based on a 100-point score. A score between 0-64 would classify a teacher as “ineffective.” Those with a rating of 65-74 points are “developing,” and 75 to 90 points signifies “effective.” A rating from 91-100 means a teacher is “highly effective.”

4. The 100-point score will come from three areas: 60 percent will be based on observations of teachers in the classroom and other factors that measure how effective their teaching practices are; 20 to 25 percent will come from student growth based on state tests OR progress made toward meeting student-learning targets (a.k.a. Student Learning Objectives); and the final 15 to 20 percent will be based on measures of student achievement that are selected by each school district. All three sections are guided by NYSED regulations in terms of who does the evaluating, what can be included in the scoring and how the scoring must be done.

5. The exact details of the ratings will vary by district as a result of district policies and negotiations that are included in local teacher and administrator contracts.

6. The majority of the APPR must be bargained locally, including classroom observation procedures, the appeals process, Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) procedures and local selection of measures of student achievement. All negotiations are in the context of the extensive NYSED regulations that now govern APPR in NYS.

7. For subjects without a state assessment test (such as in grades outside of 4-8), teachers must use a Student Learning Objective (SLO) to gauge student growth. A SLO is an academic goal for students set at the start of the course that represents the most important learning of the year. SLO’s must t be based on student learning that is measurable; and must also be aligned to New York state’s Common Core learning standards.

8. Teachers will be observed a minimum of twice a year by the building principal or a trained administrator and one of these observations must be unannounced.

9. All APPR plans must include guidelines for improvement plans and an appeals process for those who are rated as ineffective.

10. Although the New York State Education Department has said teacher ratings will be released to the parents of students in each teacher’s classroom (or in each principal’s school), it is not clear how the release of these ratings will be implemented. The ratings for the 2012-2013 school year are anticipated in fall 2013.

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