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John C.

White, Deputy Chancellor


FROM: John White, Deputy Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

DATE: March 14, 2011

SUBJECT: Senate budget resolutions amending 2588 and 3012-c

In Race to the Top legislation passed in May 2010, now education law §3012-c, New York State
established parameters by which districts and unions would re-negotiate their teacher and principal
evaluation systems. The law aims to establish honest assessments of teacher and supervisor
performance, so that school districts can reward high performers, improve those in the middle of the
pack, and exit those who cannot get the job done with students.

At the same time, the law has two missing components that limit its impact:

• The evaluation system is not connected to a system of layoffs. Education law §2588 governs layoffs
and mandates that New York City layoffs be done based on reverse seniority rather than by merit or
evaluation rating. Only a change to §2588 would change this fact.

• §3012-c is scheduled to take full effect in the 2012-2013 school year, delaying its effect. Furthermore,
if a district or a union does not wish to implement the system, it does not have to until such time as it
agrees to a new collective bargaining agreement.

Governor Cuomo has emphasized the importance of accelerating implementation of §3012-c and
basing teacher layoff decisions on evaluations made under the new system instead of on seniority, as
per §2588. The Senate Majority’s budget resolution provides the first legislative proposal to do just
that, in addition to creating a one-year, interim process to serve until the new evaluation system is in
effect in New York City.

The Senate’s budget resolution amends §3012-c and §2588 so as to:

• Accelerate the timeline by which evaluation systems are to be implemented, as proposed by the
Governor March 1.

• Establish that future layoff systems should be based on that evaluation system.

• For layoffs determined in 2011 – when there will not yet have been such a system of evaluation –
establish a one-year, interim solution that uses merit as a basis for layoffs.

Division of Talent, Labor and Innovation • 52 Chambers Street • Room 320 • New York, NY 10007
Telephone: (212) 374-5580 Fax: (212) 374-5588
§3012c would be amended as follows:

• The statewide timeline for implementation of evaluation systems for all teachers would be moved
from September 2012 to September 2011.

• Districts and unions would be required to negotiate an evaluation system 180 days in advance of the
start of every school year. If they are unable to do this, the evaluation system for that year would be
determined through binding arbitration, by a jointly appointed arbitrator.

§2588 would be amended as follows:

• For New York City layoffs taking effect as of the 2012-2013 school year and beyond – by which time
there would be one years’ worth of evaluation ratings, all citywide layoffs are to be based on ratings.
Seniority may not be the sole factor.

• For layoffs to take effect in the 2011-2012 year, the city and union will negotiate a system of layoffs
that allows seniority to be one factor among others and does not allow the salary of an educator to
be a factor.

• In the event the union and the City are unable to reach an agreement 90 days before the start of the
2011-2012 school year, the categories of teachers proposed for layoff in S03501, introduced by Sen.
Flanagan, would be eligible for layoff. However, the budget resolution contains two changes to
these categories:

o Teachers rated “unsatisfactory” are now only eligible if they have received at least two such
ratings in the last five years or one such rating in the last two years. This change responds to
critiques that S03501 was unfair to teachers who had improved over time.

o The categories of teachers with low “value-added data” over multiple years and with
extended tenure decisions are not included. This responds to the critique that these
categories do not include an element of process that allows teachers to rectify their issues
or have the claim arbitrated or investigated in some way.

In amending both the evaluation law and the layoff law, the Senate has proposed a sensible long-term
basis by which districts and unions will negotiate layoffs. The short-term, interim proposal responds
to the need to keep effective teachers amidst layoffs but has been modified to ensure fairness to

Division of Talent, Labor and Innovation • 52 Chambers Street • Room 320 • New York, NY 10007
Telephone: (212) 374-5580 Fax: (212) 374-5588