Blueprint for Change in New York: State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2010Report as inadecuate

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The 2009 "State Teacher Policy Yearbook" provided a comprehensive review of states' policies that impact the teaching profession. As a companion to last year's comprehensive state-by-state analysis, the 2010 edition provides each state with an individualized "Blueprint for Change," building off last year's "Yearbook" goals and recommendations. State teacher policy addresses a great many areas, including teacher preparation, certification, evaluation and compensation. With so many moving parts, it may be difficult for states to find a starting point on the road to reform. To this end, this paper provides a state-specific roadmap, organized in three main sections. Section 1 identifies policy concerns that need critical attention, the areas of highest priority for state policymakers. Section 2 outlines "low-hanging fruit," policy changes that can be implemented in relatively short order. Section 3 offers a short discussion of some longer-term systemic issues that states need to make sure stay on the radar. In the 2009 "State Teacher Policy Yearbook", New York had the following grades: (1) Delivering Well Prepared Teachers (D+); (2) Expanding the Teaching Pool (C); (3) Identifying Effective Teachers (D-); (4) Retaining Effective Teachers (C-); and (5) Exiting Ineffective Teachers (D). New York has an overall grade of D+ for 2009. In the last year, many states made significant changes to their teacher policies, spurred in many cases by the Race to the Top competition. Based on a review of state legislation, rules and regulations, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has identified the following recent policy changes in New York: (1) New York's evaluation system now includes measures of student achievement; (2) The state also provides for expedited hearings before a single hearing officer to dismiss teachers who have a pattern of ineffective performance; and (3) The state has broadened the providers of its alternate route to include nonprofit organizations. In response to NCTQ's policy update, the state added that several initiatives regarding teacher certification and preparation have begun. It will be piloting clinically rich undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher preparation programs aligned with the new performance-based assessments. New York also pointed out that to increase the supply of highly effective teachers in high-needs subjects, its Board of Regents has approved in concept secondary-level certification for applicants who demonstrate content-knowledge proficiency either through undergraduate or graduate course credits or a score of proficient or higher on acceptable rigorous examinations. The state reiterated its new requirements for teacher evaluations and pointed out that districts are not required to implement these changes until the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. Individual sections contain footnotes. The state also pointed out that it plans to create a statewide teacher career ladder for school districts to utilize in collective bargaining regarding student growth-based teacher compensation and the improvement of teaching practices. Finally, New York also reiterated its streamlined process to dismiss ineffective teachers, and it pointed out that, following a rating of "developing" or "ineffective," the teacher must be put on an improvement plan as soon as practicable but in no case later than 10 days after the date teachers are required to report prior to the beginning of the school year. (Contains 5 figures.) [For the related reports, see "Blueprint for Change: National Summary. State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2010" (ED515614) and "State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2009. New York" (ED511923).]

Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Policy, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Improvement, Tenure, Teacher Dismissal, State Government, State Regulation, Academic Achievement, Educational Improvement, Teacher Certification, Alternative Teacher Certification, Needs Assessment, Yearbooks, Retirement Benefits, Educational Change, Teacher Education, Special Education Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Educational Objectives, Comparative Analysis, Public Schools

National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:

Author: National Council on Teacher Quality


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