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Alvarez on APPR Plan; Scholastic and Athletic Accomplishments

A message from Rye City School District Superintendent Frank Alvarez.

Dear Community Members,

The school year is well underway now that we have entered October, and we have already seen some excellent accomplishments take place in our buildings. Fourteen of our high school students have received recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Program; five were named Semifinalists, and nine were honored as Commended Students. We will be presenting them with special acknowledgments at the October 23 Board of Education meeting and welcome all who would like to attend and join us in congratulating their achievements. 

Our athletes have started a successful season as well, and the Parsons Street Players will be showcasing their fall production, And Then There Were None, during the weekend of October 12. 

In other news, we are pleased to have submitted our APPR plan to the State Education Department, from which we are now awaiting approval. The plan reflects the collaborative efforts of our teachers and administrators, who put in a great deal of time over the summer to participate in our discussions and negations. I believe the plan, coupled with the Common Core Learning Standards shifts, will put us in a good place in terms of student achievement and teacher effectiveness, two of our district goals.

You will be hearing more about our goals and APPR plan in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Frank Alvarez

Bob Zahm October 10, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Rye students have now tested to baseline teacher's performance as part of the new teacher performance evaluation system – the APPR. But, the nature of these tests or expectations for student performance has not been explained to parents in any systematic way. Do these tests provide any fundamental value to the instruction of our children? No Do the test results really mean anything? No. They just define the teacher’s starting point for the Albany and DC Edu-bureaucracies. Do the tests hurt the students? Not physically. But emotionally, given that they’ve been taught to do well on tests but should be unable to do well on these, maybe. And then there’s the lost instruction time. If the students were not expected to do well, were the tests needed? For instructional purposes: No For baselining: No. A zero could have been assumed each child, thereby saving testing costs and instructional time. And how can teacher performance realistically be assessed based on one year’s results? There’s no true baseline for what teacher’s should accomplish with their students in a given year. There’s no understanding of what achieving an improvement of x % means for a gifted class vs a challenged class. So, thanks to Gov Cuomo, Ed Sec. Arnie Duncan, & Pres Obama for forcing this new way of evaluating our teachers down the throats of our children. The Race to the Top NY “won” certainly isn’t going to be a “win” for Rye students.

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