New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an online initiative to get parents and students involved in pushing for local implementation of the new statewide evaluation system agreed upon last month. “Now that we have created a national model for teacher evaluations, we need the parents, students and people of New York to help us make sure it gets implemented in our schools,” Governor Cuomo said. “I hope the countless parents and advocates who have been demanding accountability in our schools will use www.nystudentsfirst.com to get involved in our efforts to put students first and reform our education system.” The new system splits a teacher’s evaluation between their own performance as measured by a variety of metrics and on classroom observation, which will account for 60% of the teacher’s evaluation. The remaining 40% is accounted for by student achievement, split equally between results in state tests and local tests. This mirrors a national trend towards basing teacher evaluations on measurable student performance. The agreement significantly tightens the scoring system to ensure student achievement and teacher performance are both properly taken into account for teacher ratings. Teachers or principals that are rated ineffective in the 40 points could not receive a developing score overall. Ineffective: 0 – 64 Developing: 65 – 74 Effective: 75 – 90 Highly Effective: 91 – 100 Of major importance in the new agreement is that it gives the SED Commissioner authority to reject local evaluation plans that are considered insufficient. StudentsFirst will include an interactive map tracking the implementation of the new system in the 696 school districts throughout the states. Interested parties can sign up to receive information and alerts about their local district’s implementation progress. A deadline for local implementation to be agreed has been set at January, 16, 2013 by Governor Cuomo.