County School Districts Rank Highly In Effectiveness

Teachers in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties fall in line in terms of effectiveness with their peers statewide, according to statistics released recently by the state Education Department.

Statewide, 94 percent of teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in the 2012-13 school year, the first year data became available.

Data for the 2013-14 school year is expected to be released later this year.

One percent of New York’s teachers rated ineffective while 5 percent rated as developing.

Of the 1,780 teachers in Chautauqua County 1 percent were rated ineffective, 6 percent developing, 65 percent effective and 28 percent highly effective.

Cattaraugus County’s 1,305 teachers were rated as 2 percent ineffective, 4 percent developing, 55 percent effective and 40 percent highly effective.

The scores were reached by evaluations of local test scores, state test scores and teaching in the classroom.

In terms of composite rankings, Randolph and Brocton school districts fared well.

For Brocton, all teachers landed in either effective or highly effective categories. The same went for Fredonia, Cassadaga Valley and Pine Valley school districts.

“Our teachers did fairly well,” said John Hertlein, Brocton superintendent. “Do our teachers need staff development and work to help our kids advance? Yes, and administrators do to. We all need to work hard at becoming better at what we do.”

Kimberly Moritz, superintendent for Randolph said her staff is focused on continuous improvement. Eighty percent of Randolph teachers were ranked as highly effective.

“Our students are doing well, and we’ve raised expectations for everyone,” Moritz said. “Our teachers know what they need to work on without achieving an effectiveness score from the state.”

Among statistical outliers are Frewsburg, which saw 3 percent of its teachers rated as ineffective and 5 percent rated developing. Jamestown teachers rated 1 percent ineffective and 14 percent as developing.

“I think the mandated teacher evaluation system is a work in progress,” said Jamestown Superintendent Tim Mains. “I don’t really put a lot of stock into it yet. My personal opinion is that we don’t think it’s wise to label kids, so I’m not sure it’s wise to label adults either. I will say having ratings for individual skills and practices allows us to talk about those skills and practices, but this effort to come up with a rating overall I’m not sure how accurate or helpful it always is.”

Ripley had 3 percent of its teachers rated as ineffective and 3 percent as developing while Silver Creek had 16 percent rated developing. Six percent of Salamanca’s teachers rated as ineffective with another 5 percent developing.

In terms of in-class effectiveness, which made up the majority of each teacher’s evaluation, 59 percent of teachers ranked effective in Chautauqua County, while 37 percent ranked highly effective. Fifty-three percent of Cattaraugus County teachers ranked highly effective in terms of classroom proficiency.

Statewide, 56 percent of teachers were ranked as highly effective.

The data doesn’t contain teacher names and excludes New York City teachers because evaluations didn’t begin there until this past school year.

More information is available at data.nysed.gov and allows those interested to look up the effectiveness of teachers and principals in specific districts or schools.

Parents can also view their child’s teacher rating from the district. The complete chart can be found on Page A3.