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Legislative Alert: June 5, 2023

New York State AFL-CIO
06 Jun, 2023
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President's Message

Restore Fairness and Local Control in APPR  
S6880 Mayer/A7525 Benedetto

This bill amends the Education Law to restore fairness and local control to the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process by allowing school districts to either keep the APPR system that is currently in place or allow them to collectively bargain for a new system that will provide accountability, allow them to make tenure decisions and provide feedback to educators.

The existing APPR system is burdensome, expensive, and denies local control to school districts throughout the state. School districts need the ability to negotiate their own evaluation systems for educators and administrators, as historically was the case before 2010, and to make tenure decisions with appropriate guardrails in law, to ensure academic excellence for students and school communities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, students and educators have shifted abruptly to remote learning and back to the classroom where they have had to confront issues such as learning loss, increased anxiety, and other lingering health and mental health challenges that were brought on by the pandemic. The current APPR statute does not account for situations like this, is cumbersome and has taken precious time and resources away from meeting these challenges.

The current APPR system is a vestige of the federal “Race to the Top” program that was enacted in 2009 and is no longer required by federal law. In fact, when the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) was enacted in 2015, after receiving input from administrators, educators, and their constituencies, a bipartisan consensus was reached that the federal government should not be involved in educator evaluations. Unfortunately, the current APPR process remains an unnecessary and costly diversion for local school districts that should instead be able to focus on student needs.

Mario Cilento, President

Upcoming Events

Monday, June 5, 2023, 1:00 p.m.