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Teacher Evaluation Impasse Costs New York City Hundreds Of Millions

In New York City, the failure to agree on a plan for evaluating its teachers is being widely criticized, especially because it means the city will now miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state financing.

At stake was $250 million in state aid, and another $200 million in grants, according to WNYC's Schoolbook education blog.

State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch says that missing the deadline, which was set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is "devastating," writes Schoolbook's Patricia Willens.

"'But just as devastating is the failure to implement an evaluation plan to give educators the feedback they need to improve their practice and help their students learn and succeed," Tisch added. "Unfortunately, the adults couldn't or wouldn't come together for the sake of New York's 1.1 million school children."

From member station WNYC (and Schoolbook), Yasmeen Khan filed a report for NPR's Newscast that discusses how the discussions broke down:

"It's no secret the teachers' union and Mayor Michael Bloomberg don't really get along. They've had a tense relationship around crafting an evaluation plan, which would in part use student test scores to rate teachers. The two sides were trying to meet a deadline set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who tied an agreement to an increase in state education aid."

"The union and Bloomberg administration came close — they do agree on that. But in the end there were still a few serious issues, such as how long a new evaluation system would even last. Mayor Bloomberg accuses the union of adding demands at the last second. The union says that's not true, and says it was the mayor who blew up the deal."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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