Sen. Griffo cosponsors legislation that would eliminate use of state tests in teacher, principal evaluations

ALBANY - State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-C-I-Rome, announced today that he is cosponsoring legislation (S8301) in the state Senate that would amend the annual teacher and principal evaluation system to eliminate the mandatory use of state assessments to determine a teacher or principal's evaluation.

In 2015, New York State adopted a new annual teacher and principal evaluation system that required the use of state-created or administered assessments as a subcomponent to determine a teacher or principal's effectiveness. This approach to evaluating a teacher's performance and student's achievement has created many disparities. It has not been widely accepted by teachers and parents, prompting families to opt out.

The bill cosponsored by Sen. Griffo seeks to maintain the standards set for teacher and principal evaluations, while simultaneously addressing some of the concerns from parents and educators.

“Standardized test scores don’t accurately reflect the effectiveness of teachers and administrators in classrooms and school districts throughout the state,” Sen. Griffo said. “These teachers, principals and school districts are the ones who know their students best, so they should have the ability to negotiate whether they would like to use standardized tests in teacher or principal evaluations. This legislation ensures that a more fair and effective method of evaluating teachers and principals will be established.”

The bill has been referred to the state Senate’s Education Committee. There is companion legislation (A10475) in the state Assembly that is sponsored by state Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, a Democrat from the New York City area.

If the legislation is signed into law by the Governor, it would take effect immediately.