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State-level conflict over teacher evals said to be near resolution

A week that was packed with conflict over teacher evaluations is drawing to close with news that detente is nearing — at least at the state level.

Here’s a statement we just received from the State Education Department, confirming rumors that have been swirling since shortly after Gov. Cuomo issued an ultimatum Monday on teacher evaluations:

New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr., along with New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi, today announced that negotiations going on since October are now making significant progress and continue in earnest towards settlement.

We’ve been hearing for over a week that a settlement is basically a done deal, but that the two sides have to first play politics to their respective constituents. “They can’t cut a deal until they posture for their public,” as a source put it. In recent weeks, NYSUT has held press conferences and issued several statements denouncing what they say is SED’s unwillingness to settle.

A settlement between the state and NYSUT would stop Cuomo from trying to use the budget process to impose new evaluations without union consent. But it would do little to soothe tensions in New York City, where the relationship between the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers seemed only to worsen this week.

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