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- NYSSBA RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE REBUTTAL -

RESOLUTION #10. SUPPORTING THE USE OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN APPR (page 15)
Resolution submitted by:
New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA) Board of Directors, on June 7, 2014
Rebuttal drafted on September 17, 2014
The following rebuttal has been prepared against the statement of support of the NYSSBA Resolutions
Committee and submitted by the Board of Education of the West Seneca Central School District on 9/17/2014
STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION
The Board of Education of the West Seneca Central School District disagrees
with the NYSSBA Resolution Committee Statement supporting continued use
of student performance data in Annual Professional Performance Review for
educators. While we share the Committees concern about the need for
sophisticated measures of performance for our employees, we see a
significant negative impact on our students, educators, and school district
finances resulting from the new APPR regulations.
The Board of Education of the West Seneca Central School District disagrees
with the Resolutions Committee that the current APPR evaluation system
measuring student growth using standardized testing is a valid assessment of
an educators job performance.

Our reasons for opposition to the resolution of support have three concerns;
Concern #1: Negative Student Impact:
Concern #2: Negative Educator Impact:
Concern #3: School District Financial Impact:




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SUMMARY OF CONCERNS
Concern #1: Negative Student Impact:
Narrowing of Curriculum: Due to the high-stakes nature of the 3-8 assessment requirements tied to
APPR, schools may focus primarily on the subjects of ELA and mathematics and reduce or eliminate
instruction in science, history, the arts, and physical education.
Schools and educators may emphasize test based skills over critical thinking and creativity.
The teacher-student dynamic may change: would a test score be more important than developing a well-
round human being?
Will fewer students be placed in challenging courses for fear of lower scores?
Program cuts and larger class sizes result from spending on APPR system.
Concern #2: Negative Educator Impact:
Would educator collaboration, a key factor in improving instruction, end as teachers would be placed in
competition with each other?
Teachers of English Language Learners , Advanced, and special education students tend to have lower growth
scores. Will teachers want to avoid teaching these students?
Growth scores using student performance on standardized testing is unreliable. Analysis of Growth Scores and
Value-Added Modeling (VAM) show significant discrepancies and inconsistencies from year to year when used
for educator evaluation . Studies (1) show the use of Growth Scores or VAM when using test scores to evaluate
educators to be an inconsistent measure of effectiveness.
Many factors influence student learning and test scores beyond the classroom teacher. This cannot be
accounted for when using Student Performance Data for evaluation.
VAM estimates of teacher effectiveness should not be used to make operational decisions because such
estimates are far too unstable to be considered fair or reliable. - Board on Testing and Assessment of the
National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences
Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that
the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions. Ranking
teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality. - American Statistical
Association: ASA Statement on Using Value-Added Models for Educational Assessment (2)
(1) - Baker, E. et al (2010) Problems with the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers. http://www.epi.org/publication/bp278/
(2) https://www.amstat.org/policy/pdfs/ASA_VAM_Statement.pdf




PAGE 3 OF 3 - NYSSBA RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE REBUTTAL from WEST SENECA CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT BOE - 09-17-2014 -

Concern #3: School District Financial Impact:
Financial Impact in times of shrinking school budgets.
Cost of APPR negotiations: Substitutes, extra stipends.
Cost of developing or purchasing extra student testing programs for local assessments used for teacher
evaluation.
Cost of training Administrators in APPR System Evaluations.
Cost of evaluation tools: Computer/iPad programs
Cost of training Administrators in use of evaluation tools. Schools in New York and around the nation have
used evaluation methods that improve instruction, promote professional development and collaboration. New
York State should move towards educator evaluation practices that have been proven to promote quality
teaching in every classroom instead using a system that is not a reliable measure of educator effectiveness.
- END -

c: wscsd/boe/fcalieri/apprrebuttal2014.doc