Rochester teachers just received their “ratings” under a new state-mandated program called APPR (“Annual Professional Performance Review”):
While a small percentage of teachers received the “Ineffective” rating, altogether too many dedicated and excellent teachers were rated as “Developing.” Even some teachers who received a perfect (60 points) or near perfect score for their Professional Practice were dismayed to find out that they were “developing.” […]
Apparently the “Professional Practice” score is one determined by the teacher’s principal. The APPR score is based in part on performance on standardized tests and on other not-so-clear factors:
Michael Occhino was among the teachers rated “developing.” The All City High science teacher has been teaching in the district for 23 years. He is one of only about 60 nationally board-certified teachers in the district. He’s a lead teacher and mentor. Occhino is also a visiting instructor of education at the University of Rochester. He’s now been labeled as needing help and must come up with an individualized improvement plan.
“For me, it is impossible for me to tell how my scores were computed,” Occhino said. “It’s thoroughly opaque. I don’t know how my pre and post tests were utilized.”
Rochester City Schools have terrible outcomes for students as measured by standardized tests and graduation rates. I’m sure a few of the teachers have issues, but they’re teaching students who enter schools with 1/10th the vocabulary of their suburban counterparts. Unfortunately, our political establishment has a long history of falling for blame-the teacher snake oil, so I’m guessing teachers will be subject to fresh, new humiliation as another school year begins.