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APPR - Frequently Asked Questions

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What is APPR?

New York state's teacher and principal evaluation law requires each classroom teacher and building principal to receive an Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) that results in a single, composite score and a rating of "highly effective," "effective," "developing," or "ineffective."

Teachers and principals are observed by trained evaluators selected by the district.

Parents/guardians have the right to obtain the APPR quality ratings and composite scores for their child's current teacher(s) and principal(s) once they are available.To initiate this request, please contact the superintendent's office.

Background information

 The intent of APPR is to assist educators in improving quality of instruction, student performance and readiness for colleges and careers. District APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and are negotiated with local unions. Under state guidelines, APPR takes into account classroom observations and student performance.

A portion of the evaluations is directly tied to student performance on state exams or other state-approved learning measures. District plans must be submitted to and approved by the NYS Education Department.

Have teachers and principals always been evaluated?

Yes. Teachers and principals have always been evaluated and held to specific standards. The APPR system was revamped in 2010, 2012 and, 2013 as a result of the federal Race to the Top education reform initiative, and again in 2015 as part of the 2015-16 New York State budget.

APPR was part of the larger federal Race to the Top education reform initiative aimed at improving the quality of instruction, student performance and college and career readiness. According to the State Education Department, “The purpose of the evaluation system is to ensure that there is an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school.”

What if a teacher/principal receives a rating of developing or ineffective?

Any teacher/principal rated as developing or ineffective will receive a negotiated Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) or Principal Improvement Plan (PIP). These plans identify areas in need of improvement and include a timeline for achieving improvement, the manner in which the improvement will be assessed and, where appropriate, activities to support improvement in those areas. A pattern of ineffective performance could lead to an expedited hearing process for termination. Teachers/principals who receive a rating of developing or ineffective may file an appeal.

If every district has a locally negotiated APPR plan, how do the effectiveness ratings of teachers and principals in my district compare to those in other districts?

Put simply, they don’t compare. While all districts must follow a certain set of guidelines when developing APPR plans, and then those plans must be approved by the State Education Department, many of the standards within these plans vary by district. This includes, but is not limited to, the observation rubrics districts decide to use, the student growth measures and assessments used in areas other than state standardized exams, and the way in which points are assigned within the different components. Similarly, districts routinely renegotiate their APPR plans with local unions, so it may be difficult to compare effectiveness ratings even within the same district from year to year.

Besides principals, are any other school administrators evaluated?

The state’s APPR law requires that building principals be evaluated based on the state guidelines. Other administrators within the district must be evaluated based on the district’s procedures outlined in collective bargaining agreements. Under state law, superintendents are required to be evaluated each year by the district’s governing body (typically the Board of Education).

How can I learn more?

Visit our APPR glossary webpage for helpful information. The district's plan may be downloaded from the publications page. Parents who wish to request these scores, once they are officially available in accordance with state law, should contact the superintendent's office.

For more information on the federal Race to the Top education initiative and NYS Regents Reform agenda, please visit the following websites:

• Engage NY:

• Common Core State Standards Initiative:





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