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Race to the Top Legislative Reforms

Statement of Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director, New York State School Boards Association

The New York State School Boards Association is cautiously optimistic about a proposal to include student achievement data in teacher evaluations.

At first glance, the proposal seems to strike a balance, with 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation being based on student performance data and 60 percent based on locally defined criteria. If enacted, the proposal could give administrators and school boards new tools to measure student achievement, make decisions about teacher effectiveness, and chart a path toward professional development.

Equally important, the proposal promises to provide for an expedited removal of ineffective teachers. A recent informal poll of over 500 school board members indicated that six in 10 respondents support changes to the teacher disciplinary process to strengthen New York’s Race to the Top application – more than any other legislative proposal.

These proposals have been a long time in the making. If implemented properly, they could improve teacher quality and have a meaningful impact on student achievement.

The New York State School Boards Association represents nearly 680 school boards and more than 5,000 school board members in New York.