What is APPR?
APPR stands for Annual Professional Performance
Review and it is the process by which teachers and principals are
evaluated in New York State. The intent of APPR is to assist educators
to improve the quality of instruction in schools and, in turn, to
improve students’ performance and readiness for colleges and careers.
District APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and be negotiated
with local unions. Under state guidelines, APPR takes into account
classroom observations and student performance. Teachers and principals
across New York ultimately receive an overall effectiveness rating every
Have teachers and principals always been
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, which included an ambitious education reform
agenda. Under the APPR system, evaluation plans must adhere to more
stringent guidelines set by the state. 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.
What is the goal of APPR?
The evaluation system was one pillar of the larger
federal Race to the Top education reform initiative that aims to improve
the quality of instruction in our schools and, in turn, improve student
performance and college and career readiness. The APPR requirements aim
to provide standardized, objective evaluation results that can be used
to better focus professional development for teachers and principals.
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.”
Why is APPR changing again in the 2015-16 school
As part of the 2015-16 New York state budget,
lawmakers approved the Education Transformation Act of 2015, which
includes Section 3012-d of Education Law and Subpart 30-3 of the
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Under the new legislation,
school districts and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES)
are expected to submit new APPR plans for teachers and building
principals, and gain the NYS Education Department's approval for such
plans, by Nov. 15, 2015 in order to receive their scheduled increases in
state aid for the 2015-16 school year and future school years until a
new plan is in place. The newly redesigned teacher evaluation system is
one part of an ambitious education reform agenda that addresses other
key areas, such as teacher preparation, certification and tenure.
What is the timeframe for implementation of new APPR
School districts across the state are in various
stages of negotiating new APPR plans that meet the requirements set
forth in Education Law 3012-d. Districts and BOCES with hardships that
affect their ability to meet the Nov. 15, 2015 deadline for implementing
the new APPR plan during the 2015-16 school year are required to submit
hardship waiver applications to the NYS Education Department in order to
extend this deadline without risk of losing their eligibility for a
state aid increase.
All districts and BOCES granted hardship waivers
must continue to implement their previously approved APPR plans until a
new plan is agreed to by the district and local bargaining unit.
New APPR plans approved prior to March 1, 2016 will
apply to the 2015-16 school year. New plans approved after March 1, 2016
will apply to the 2016-17 school year.
How is the new evaluation system different? How are
principals and teachers evaluated?
Just as they did under the previous APPR system,
under the system approved by the state in 2015 teachers and principals
will earn one of four final ratings: highly effective, effective,
developing or ineffective (HEDI). However, the new APPR framework does
away with the three-component system (20 percent for student growth, 20
percent for student achievement, and 60 percent for observations) and
replaces it with a system where student performance and observation
scores are each weighted and combined in a state-designed matrix to
determine a final overall ranking. Each component has mandatory and
optional subcomponents, some of which will be locally negotiated in
accordance with state guidelines. Details can be found at
Are APPR scores available to the public?
No, schools are prohibited by law from releasing
APPR scores to the public. Under the 2015 state law, the following
individual teacher and principal data may be released to parents:
student performance score, teacher observation score and overall rating.
By law, scores can only be released to parents who specifically request
them and they can only be released for a student’s current teacher(s)
and principal. Parents who wish to request these scores should contact
their child’s school.
Is teacher/principal experience taken into account
in each APPR evaluation?
Guidance from the NYS Education Department has been
that districts are not expected to consider educator experience as part
of the APPR process.
Who evaluates teachers and principals?
Teachers and principals are observed by trained
evaluators selected by the district. All lead evaluators, independent
observers and peer observers must complete training.
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
Besides principals, are any other school
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 about APPR in my school
Visit our APPR
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
• Engage NY:
• Common Core Learning Standards:
• Common Core State Standards Initiative:
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