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City translates 241-page evaluation plan into a colorful webinar

The Department of Education effort to translate the city’s complex new evaluation system into manageable information for the 80,000 teachers who will be rated under it has started with a webinar.

Principals received a PowerPoint presentation in advance of today’s teacher-training day, and some took advantage of the time to walk their teachers through the new system. Principals have been asked to share the contents with their teachers before the first day of school on Sept. 9, according to Kirsten Busch, the Department of Education’s executive director of teacher effectiveness.

Confirming that they have made their way through the presentation also counts toward the training principals must have to become “lead evaluators” in the new system.

Most of the presentation rehashes information that appeared in the 241-page evaluation plan that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on the city on Saturday. But it also includes some new details about the protocol for formal evaluations; when the committees that will choose each school’s assessments will be formed (by June 18); and when those assessments will be given (baseline by Oct. 15; post-tasks starting March).

The United Federation of Teachers also distributed the presentation to chapter leaders on Wednesday evening, with a note cautioning that the union disputed some of its contents.

“There are areas of disagreement on what the commissioner’s agreement says and we’re trying to iron that out with them,” Secretary Michael Mendel said today. “We’re not making a big deal of it. The goal is to be on the same page and deliver the same message so this thing will succeed starting in September.”

Bush said the department had updated the presentation to reflect one thing the union had questioned: the amount of time that can elapse between a pre-observation meeting between a principal and teacher and when that observation can take place. King’s ruling was not clear on that point, she said.

“The PowerPoint is an attempt to convey to employees what the ruling was,” Bush said. “Some of the more intricate aspects of our new system, we will be getting clarification with the state on.”

The full presentation that was distributed to principals is below.

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