THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
/ THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Executive DirectorNew York State Education DepartmentOffice of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Policy and Programs89 Washington Avenue, 1071 EBAAlbany, NY 12234Office: (518) 486-2573Fax: (518) 474-4130
March 25, 2013Dr. Pamela BrownSuperintendentBuffalo Public Schools712 City HallBuffalo, New York 14202Dear Superintendent Brown:It has recently come to the attention of the Department that the Buffalo TeacherFederation’s website, located athttp://www.btfny.org, contains information relating tothe previously discussed January 15, 2013 memorandum of understanding (“MOU”). The documented information appears to inaccurately indicate that the MOU signed byyou and the teachers’ union president regarding your district’s APPR plan is still ineffect. For example, in the February 2013 President’s Report, reference is made to
which allegedly states in part, that “No teacher will be negatively affected bythe results of their evaluation rating for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.”Such language is contrary to Education Law §3012-c(1) and Section 30-2.1 of the Rulesof the Board of Regents, which require that annual professional performance reviews(APPRs) “be a significant factor for employment decisions including but not limited to,promotion, retention, tenure determination, termination, and supplementalcompensation” and contradicts the specific assurances provided by the BPS and theircollective bargaining agents in its approved APPR plan, that “the evaluation system willbe used as a significant factor for employment decisions and teacher and principaldevelopment.”
In addition, for the 2012-2013 school year, BPS is eligible for approximately $11million in federal §1003(g) School Improvement Grant (“SIG”) funds to implement the Transformation and Restart Models in certain schools. In order to faithfully implementthe federal Transformation Model in accordance with the federal requirements, schooldistricts must, among other things, “[i]dentify and reward school leaders, teachers, andother staff, who, in implementing this model, have increased student achievement andhigh school graduation rates and
identify and remove those who, after ampleopportunities have been provided for them to improve their professional practice,have not done so”
(emphasis added). As you are aware, failure to comply with theSIG requirements through implementation of an evaluation system that does not useteacher and principal evaluations in making such employment decisions could result inthe suspension of such funding.