HAMBURG, N.Y. — The Hamburg School Board held a special meeting Friday to approve the district's teacher evaluation plan. But, just before the meeting got underway, the Hamburg Teachers Association voted the plan down. The union says it had several issues with the plan, among them, the superintendent having final say on teacher rating appeals.
“That was not slipped in anywhere. That's the same appeals language that was agreed to last year,” said Hamburg Superintendent Steven Achramovitch.
The union also took issue with state's requirements regarding test scores.
“Some teachers were frustrated with the fact that the state wants to evaluate them using student test scores,” said Chris Cerrone, Hamburg Teachers Association. “It's not a valid measure of teaching ability, or even student ability, at all.
Union leaders say a teacher evaluation plan was agreed to last year, but the state made so many changes to regulations that a new plan had to be developed. The teacher's union says the district waited too long to negotiate an agreement.
“We're at the midnight hour now and I don't know how NYSED in Albany is going to react to this, if there's time to pull this off, or if it's too late at this point,” said Cerrone. “It’s unfortunate the whole process was pushed to the midnight hour.”
The plan has to be submitted to the state by January 17th, and with around $400,000 in state funding on the line, the district says it will do whatever it can to come to an agreement.
"We're committed here to putting our resources in to making that application and submission complete by the 17th, so hopefully we'll still be able to meet that deadline," said Achramovitch.
Achramovitch says he hopes to talk with the union's president sometime this weekend.