Learn more about New York's teacher and
principal evaluation system
What is APPR?
APPR stands for Annual
Professional Performance Review and it is the process by which teachers
and principals are evaluated in New York State. The intent of APPR is to
assist educators to improve the quality of instruction in schools and,
in turn, to improve students’ performance and readiness for colleges and
careers. District APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and be
negotiated with local unions. Under state guidelines, APPR takes into
account classroom observations and student performance. Teachers and
principals across New York ultimately receive an overall effectiveness
rating every year.
Have teachers and
principals always been evaluated?
Yes. Teachers and principals have
always been evaluated and held to specific standards. The APPR system
was revamped in 2010, 2012 and, 2013 as a result of the federal Race to
the Top education reform initiative, and again in 2015 as part of the
2015-16 New York State budget, which included an ambitious education
reform agenda. Under the APPR system, evaluation plans must adhere to
more stringent guidelines set by the state. A portion of the evaluations
is directly tied to student performance on state exams or other
state-approved learning measures. District plans must be submitted to
and approved by the NYS Education Department.
What is the goal of APPR?
The evaluation system was one
pillar of the larger federal Race to the Top education reform initiative
that aims to improve the quality of instruction in our schools and, in
turn, improve student performance and college and career readiness. The
APPR requirements aim to provide standardized, objective evaluation
results that can be used to better focus professional development for
teachers and principals. According to the State Education Department,
“The purpose of the evaluation system is to ensure that there is an
effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every
Why is APPR changing again
in the 2015-16 school year?
As part of the 2015-16 New York
state budget, lawmakers approved the Education Transformation Act of
2015, which includes Section 3012-d of Education Law and Subpart 30-3 of
the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Under the new
legislation, school districts and boards of cooperative educational
services (BOCES) are expected to submit new APPR plans for teachers and
building principals, and gain the NYS Education Department's approval
for such plans. The newly redesigned teacher
evaluation system is one part of an ambitious education reform agenda
that addresses other key areas, such as teacher preparation,
certification and tenure.
What is the timeframe for
implementation of new APPR plans?
School districts across the state
are in various stages of negotiating new APPR plans that meet the
requirements set forth in Education Law 3012-d. All districts are
required to submit and have approved a new APPR plan by September 1,
All districts and BOCES granted
hardship waivers must continue to implement their previously approved
APPR plans until a new plan is agreed to by the district and local
How is the new evaluation
system different? How are principals and teachers evaluated?
Just as they did under the
previous APPR system, under the system approved by the state in 2015
teachers and principals will earn one of four final ratings: highly
effective, effective, developing or ineffective (HEDI). While the
district is working at negotiating a new plan, our current plan stays in
Are APPR scores available
to the public?
No, schools are prohibited by law
from releasing APPR scores to the public. Under the 2015 state law, the
following individual teacher and principal data may be released to
parents: student performance score, teacher observation score and
overall rating. By law, scores can only be released to parents who
specifically request them and they can only be released for a student’s
current teacher(s) and principal. Parents who wish to request these
scores should contact their child’s school.
experience taken into account in each APPR evaluation?
Guidance from the NYS Education
Department has been that districts are not expected to consider educator
experience as part of the APPR process.
Who evaluates teachers and
Teachers and principals are
observed by trained evaluators selected by the district. All lead
evaluators, independent observers and peer observers must complete
What if a
teacher/principal receives a rating of developing or ineffective?
Any teacher/principal rated as
developing or ineffective will receive a negotiated Teacher Improvement
Plan (TIP) or Principal Improvement Plan (PIP). These plans identify
areas in need of improvement and include a timeline for achieving
improvement, the manner in which the improvement will be assessed and,
where appropriate, activities to support improvement in those areas. A
pattern of ineffective performance could lead to an expedited hearing
process for termination. Teachers/principals who receive a rating of
developing or ineffective may file an appeal.
If every district has a
locally negotiated APPR plan, how do the effectiveness ratings of
teachers and principals in my district compare to those in other
Put simply, they don’t compare.
While all districts must follow a certain set of guidelines when
developing APPR plans, and then those plans must be approved by the
State Education Department, many of the standards within these plans
vary by district. This includes, but is not limited to, the observation
rubrics districts decide to use, the student growth measures and
assessments used in areas other than state standardized exams, and the
way in which points are assigned within the different components.
Similarly, districts routinely renegotiate their APPR plans with local
unions, so it may be difficult to compare effectiveness ratings even
within the same district from year to year.
Besides principals, are
any other school administrators evaluated?
The state’s APPR law requires that
building principals be evaluated based on the state guidelines. Other
administrators within the district must be evaluated based on the
district’s procedures outlined in collective bargaining agreements.
Under state law, superintendents are required to be evaluated each year
by the district’s governing body (typically the Board of Education).
How can I learn more about
APPR in my school district?
Call the district’s curriculum
office at 615-6730 to learn more about APPR in the Goshen Central School
District. On the left-hand side of this page, you’ll find a copy of the
district’s state-approved APPR plan and information on how to request
the effectiveness rating(s) for your children’s teacher(s) and/or
For more information on the
federal Race to the Top education initiative and NYS Regents Reform
agenda, please visit the following websites: