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Phys. Ed. Teachers in N.Y.C. to Be Evaluated Under New System

Under the new teacher-evaluation system unveiled this past weekend by New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., New York City physical education teachers will be subject to annual performance reviews.

The evaluation system, which will remain in place through the 2016-17 school year, will evaluate all teachers based on a combination of state-provided growth scores (20 to 25 percent), locally selected measures (15 to 20 percent) and observations (55 to 60 percent). For physical education teachers, whose students aren't subject to state-provided tests like they are in core subjects, the state education department will determine the "menu" to be used for the state-growth section of their evaluations.

Physical education teachers using a schoolwide measure based on state assessments will work with their principals to determine a schoolwide performance target using baseline data, according to a document from the United Federation of Teachers, the city's teachers' union. The phys. ed. teachers will receive points on their evaluations based on the percentage of students who meet or exceed the proposed performance benchmark.

For phys. ed. teachers who use an assessment developed by the city's department of education, they'll work with their principals to set growth targets for all of the students in their classes, according to the UFT. They'll also be awarded points (ranging from 0-20) based on the percentage of their students who meet or exceed the established growth targets. For instance: If fewer than 60 percent of students reach their targets, the teacher will receive an "ineffective" rating (anywhere between 0-12 points) in the growth-score measure. A "highly effective" phys. ed. teacher will have 90 to 100 percent of their students (between 18-20 points) satisfying their growth targets.

"The commissioner's plan is professional and fair and is designed to help teachers improve their skills throughout their careers," UFT president Michael Mulgrew said in a statement. "Our biggest concern, given this administration's terrible track record, is implementation."

A 2010 law passed by the state legislature required all evaluations of classroom teachers conducted following July 1, 2011, to include measures of student achievement across the state. The law specified that teacher and principal effectiveness would fall into one of four categories—"highly effective," effective," "developing," or "ineffective"—based on students' test scores and classroom observations.

New York City was one of a handful of districts that failed to meet a state-imposed deadline for having a new teacher-evaluation plan in place back in January. Last month, the state commissioner announced that he'd implement his own evaluation plan by June 1 if the union and city couldn't reach their own agreement.

My colleague Stephen Sawchuk will have plenty more about the new N.Y.C. evaluation system over on the Teacher Beat blog in the coming days.

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