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More ‘highly effective’ growth scores for New York City teachers

New York City teachers fared slightly better than teachers in the rest of the state on metrics that will now factor into their annual ratings.

In the city, 8 percent of teachers received ratings of “highly effective” on their state growth scores for the 2011-2012 school year, compared to 6 percent in the rest of the state, according to data that the city released today. Another 76 percent of city teachers netted “effective” ratings, compared to 77 percent in the rest of the state.

In both the city and the rest of the state, 6 percent of teachers received “highly ineffective” ratings on their growth scores.

Growth scores calculate students’ improvement on state math and reading tests, adjusting for the students’ past performance, the performance of similar students, and the reliability of the exams. Starting next year, under the city’s new evaluation system, they will count for 20 percent of the ratings of teachers whose students take state math and reading exams in grades three through eight. (The state had planned to adopt a different formula and increase the weight to 25 percent but appears likely to drop the plan for now.)

The new numbers support city and union officials’ argument that new teacher evaluations that weigh student test scores, which will be produced next year for New York City teachers for the first time, are unlikely to result in large numbers of teachers receiving low ratings. Two consecutive “ineffective” ratings could trigger termination proceedings under the law.

The state released the teacher rating data to districts back in August, nearly a year ago, and teachers who received the scores got a chance to the view them in December. In the future, the public will get a window into the scores, but in accordance with a law passed last year, only aggregate data will be available and parents will have to ask their principal for access. The state is supposed to shield all information that could allow people to link ratings with individual teachers.