MAYVILLE - Rookie teachers judged "ineffective" cannot be terminated just on that account, Chautauqua Lake School District Benjamin Spitzer told incredulous school board members during the board's meeting on Wednesday, May 9.
Spitzer was summarizing 92 pages of "guidance" sent by the New York State Education Department regarding a revised teacher and principal evaluation law signed by Governor Cuomo March 27.
The revisions require teachers to be judged "Highly Effective," "Effective," "Developing" and "Ineffective." An ineffective rating means "Overall performance and results do not meet standards," according to the state.
Photo by Dave O’Connor
Chautauqua Lake Central School District Superintendent Benjamin Spitzer, center back, describes New York State’s Annual Professional Performance Review for Teachers and Principals at the district’s school board meeting May 9. Board members from left to right are: Jason Delcamp; Micheal Ludwig; Board President Jill Scott; Kim Weborg-Benson; Board Vice President Jay Baker; and Deborah Cross-Fuller.
The guidance advises local school districts, "If a teacher or principal is rated 'Developing' or 'Ineffective' the school district or BOCES is required to develop and implement a teacher or principal improvement plan."
Practically, Spitzer explained, this means new teachers and principals can remain while undergoing the requirements of an improvement plan. Then, they would be rated again and yet another improvement plan would be required if they again were rated either developing or ineffective.
Teachers and principals will be "tenured from the date of hire," was Board Vice President Jay Baker's comment on the mandated improvement plans. The revisions, Baker added, "show the power of NYSCEA (New York State Council of Educational Associations)."
In other matters the board learned various geographical proposals effectively sunk re-alignment of the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association for 2012-13. Chautauqua Lake has sought to make schedules require less travel whenever possible.
Lightning does strike twice, board members were reminded. Again this year lightning hit the districts fuel pumps and caused damage to circuit boards. The Village of Mayville is currently fueling buses at cost until repairs are completed.