Updated 10/17/2012 04:15 PM
Districts struggling to meet new rules
Teaching students, preparing lessons plans and grading tests and papers already leaves teachers with a heavy workload. But the new statewide teacher evaluation system is forcing some to take on even more responsibilities. Our Bill Mich spoke with one local superintendent about how many districts are struggling to meet these new rules and guidelines the state has handed down.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- There is a new normal this year for students in districts across the state.
"If you're a child in New York State, you're going to have a lot of tests. You're going to have tests in art, music, phys ed, English, social studies and even more and that is all the objective to be able to get some baseline data to determine do teachers, and to what extent do teachers, have an impact on student learning over time," said Elmira Superintendent, Joe Hochreiter.
And those tests, part of the state's new teacher evaluation system, have created more responsibilities for educators. The state does not provide all of the tests that need to be administered, so some teachers must create their own on top of their regular duties. District superintendents approve those tests by using state guidelines. But this new system has created some growing pains.
"That is one thing that we are absolutely hearing across all schools, all regions is that we are asking a lot of our people to embrace a system that is just so new and in fact it is a system that continues to be refined," said Hochreiter.
Hochreiter says the state continues to send new guidelines to districts on a weekly basis making the implementation of this new system even tougher. He does believe, however, that this system can work.
"We're going to need to spend a couple of years determining whether or not we received our return on investment but I can tell you, with no uncertain terms, the stress levels are pretty high," Hochreiter said.
And not just high in Elmira, but across the 700 districts throughout the state.