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15 March 2012

Dear Friends:
You are receiving this message because you have indicated your support for the New York State Principals' Open Letter Regarding the NYS APPR Legislation ( We thank you for your support and would like to provide you with an update on activities of the past few weeks. As always, the most recent version of the APPR Position paper (with all signatures) is available at: Given that the paper with signatures is over 119 pages long, we have also created a separate link for the four-page paper alone.
It Is Not Over!
Despite what you might have heard in the press, the approval of the evaluation system is not a done deal! The legislators have left Albany and the lobbying frenzy is just beginning. Please make your voices heard!
The advertisement we prepared will be running early next week. There is a copy of the ad in the Announcements section of our website ( Please circulate the advertisement as widely as possible!
As a reminder, we are proposing the following three modifications to the law:
  1. Apply the confidentiality provisions of Civil Rights Law §50-a to teachers and principals. This would prevent evaluation scores from being released to the public.
  2. Adjust the scoring ranges so that the 40% attributed to test scores cannot be the deciding factor in an educator’s evaluation.  
  3. Pilot the NYS APPR system for effectiveness before full implementation.
Of course, we will continue to argue our points:
  • The use of scores as an evaluation tool is unreliable --- there are significant margins of error reported by even the most optimistic supporters of using scores to evaluate teachers
  • The use of value added measures are unstable --- studies have shown teachers experience huge changes in their score from year to year
  • The use of scores to evaluate teachers will change the nature of schools for the worse
  • We are not afraid of “rigorous” evaluations; we welcome them! We cannot, however, accept seriously flawed evaluations.
Contact your Local Legislator!
Let the Legislators know that you are not pleased with this deal! Fax a copy of the advertisement to their office. Remember, you can find contact information to your local legislator through the following link:
Thank you for your courage to stand up for our students and schools.
Sean and Carol
Sean C. Feeney, Ph.D.
The Wheatley School
11 Bacon Road
Old Westbury, NY  11568