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Mount Pleasant Schools Adjusts To Teacher Evaluation Changes

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Mount Pleasant Central School District Superintendent Susan Guiney doesn’t feel a new New York State law regarding the disclosure of teacher evaluations will have an adverse effect on her district going forward.

“We have a very open district here,” Guiney said.  “And I think the parents in this district know which teachers are performing well and which ones aren’t regardless of looking at their evaluations.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday that will allow parents to only see the teacher evaluations of their child’s teacher.  Evaluations for other teachers will be available to parents and members of the public, but with the names removed.  Cuomo said the law was put in place to protect teachers’ privacy while also allowing the public to view their performance.

The new law could put a speed bump in the road for parents who wish to request the best teacher for their child in future grades, which Guiney said goes on in Mount Pleasant and districts everywhere.

“All parents want the best teacher for their child,” Guiney said.  “And we work very closely with our parents and teacher groups to take into consideration a child’s needs in the classroom.”

As this law affects the access to teacher evaluations, Guiney said the Mount Pleasant district is still working on a local assessment for the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) of teachers. The evaluation system put in place in February allows districts to use 20 percent of the assessment on a locally established test or project that is approved by the state education department.

Guiney said an assessment such as a test created by the members of a subject’s department is one option that is being considered but nothing has been finalized. The constant changes to the teacher evaluation process have created a whirlwind, Guiney said.

“We’re working with our board of education on establishing a policy,” Guiney said.  “We’re sort of repairing the airplane while it’s in flight.”

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