State approves local districts’ teacher evaluation plans

SARANAC LAKE – All three Tri-Lakes school districts got their teacher evaluation plans approved before a state-imposed deadline to do so this week.

“Our (Annual Professional Performance Review) document is officially approved,” Saranac Lake Central School District Assistant Superintendent Dan Bower told the district’s Board of Education Wednesday night.

The district had submitted its plan to the state Education Department in December, but it was revised and resubmitted several times before gaining final approval. The plan was the product of negotiations between the district’s administration and the Saranac Lake Teachers Association.

The state has also approved teacher evaluation plans submitted by the Tupper Lake and Lake Placid school districts.

All of the state’s nearly 700 districts had to submit a plan and have it approved by the state Education Department by Thursday night in order to receive an increase in state education aid for the current school year. A handful of districts missed the deadline, including New York City, Fallsburg in Sullivan County and Pine Plains in Dutchess County, according to the state Education Department website.

A law passed in New York in 2010 required districts to submit teacher evaluation plans. Twenty percent of the evaluations must be based on students’ growth on state tests. Another 20 percent must be based on local measures and the remaining 60 percent must include classroom observations and can also include parent or student surveys.

“The goal is to make certain every student graduates from high school college- and career-ready,” Education Commissioner John King said in a press release this week. “Effective evaluation plans that ensure every classroom is headed by a quality teacher and every school is headed by a quality principal will take us a long way toward that goal.”

Contact Chris Knight at

891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondack