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New Rochelle School District Refuses to Provide Annual Professional Performance Review Scores to Parent

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New Rochelle School District Refuses to Provide Annual Professional Performance Review Scores to Parent

October 03, 2016 - 17:38
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A recent parent inquiry has brought the issue of APPR failures in New Rochelle to the fore, once again.

The District is refusing to provide her the APPR scores the her child's school principal.

For the past two years, the New Rochelle Board of Education has been in violation of its own state-approved Annual Professional Performance Review policy. Since 2014, the District has failed to conduct annual Performance Reviews of elementary school principals, as Talk of the Sound has previously reported. As a result, every New Rochelle elementary school principal has effectively “failed” their Annual Professional Performance Review, earning a rating of ”Ineffective”.

Despite failing to conduct Performance Reviews, the District filed APPR scores based on Performance Reviews alleged to have occurred. Four principals were granted tenure by the New Rochelle Board of Education based on fabricated Performance Review scores: Anthony DiCarlo (Trinity), Michael Galland (Davis, Columbus), Joanne Genovese (Barnard), and Sonya Nunez (Columbus). DiCarlo and Galland remained employed by the District. Genovese and Nunez are not employed by the District.

The Performance Reviews could not have been conducted because the District has not employed anyone who held the required job title and had the required certification to conduct Performance Reviews under the District’s own APPR plan. To this day, this remains the case.

The issue came up again recently when a parent requested the APPR evaluation score for her child’s elementary school principal and was denied the score which she is entitled to receive under New York State law.

According to an email exchange obtained by Talk of the Sound, Dr. Magda Parvey, hired a few days ago under the newly-created title of “Chief Educational Officer”, confirmed that the parent requested the score on August 23, 2016 but no score was provided.

On September 19th, Parvey wrote the parent:

2) You submitted a request to central office on August 23, for _______ evaluation score. You have not received a response, to date. The district is still in the process of tabulating scores for principal evaluations. Once this process is done, your request will be processed.

The parent is entitled to — and has since formerly requested — APPR scores for the principal at her child’s school for 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

Talk of the Sound believes that Parvey is stalling because there are no APPR scores for Nieves since the last ones were completed by Dr. Korstoff prior to the end of 2014. If there are scores it’s because they were fabricated because no Performance Reviews were conducted nor was there any qualified person to do conduct them.

Under New York State Law, each school district must perform annual evaluations of teachers and principals. The person performing the evaluation must be certified to perform evaluations. Each District must develop its own APPR plan which then must be approved by New York State Education Department.

The evaluation statute requires scoring each teacher and principal from 1-100 on an Annual Professional Performance Review based on a formula that considers student performance on statewide standardized tests, classroom observation and factors negotiated locally between districts and their teachers. Amid privacy concerns from teachers, lawmakers agreed to limit disclosure of a teacher's score only to parents and guardians of students in his or her class.

In New Rochelle, the APPR Plan approved by the New Rochelle Board of Education requires that the “Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Education” must have completed training from BOCES in order to conduct the evaluations of elementary school principals. There is no such person currently working for the district and has not been since 2014 when Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff retired.

Under the District's APPR Plan, each elementary principal earned a "0" score for the Performance Appraisal which counts for 60 of the 100 points. No elementary school principal could have earned higher than 40 points out of 100.

The District recently hired Dr. Magda Parvey. She started a few days ago and there is no record that she has undertaken the required BOCES training; nor does she hold the title of “Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Education”.