Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007 stipulates that New York State teachers cannot be awarded tenure unless they successfully use student performance data (including, but not limited to, performance on state assessments) to guide their instruction. A 2008 amendment to Chapter 57 prohibits districts from using test scores to evaluate teachers, while maintaining the requirement that teachers use test scores to improve instruction (see attached NYSUT Bulletin).

School districts must therefore provide teachers with "timely and relevant student data." Districts, schools of education, and other professional development services must help teachers learn how to integrate assessment results into their planning and classroom practices.

This is big. What are districts doing to help teachers meet this tenure requirement and professional obligation? How are teachers meeting this personal challenge?

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Ken, this is an interesting topic and one that districts must begin to think about and address. I'll be interested to read what other schools are doing. It's also an issue that non-tenured teachers need training in and need to be made aware. I wonder how many are?
Thanks for your reply, Carole.
I'm not sure if this is on the radar yet. School leaders have so many other challenges that demand attention.
It is important to remember, however, that this focus on data analytic skills - examining patterns and relationships, asking questions and proposing solutions - may actually help schools solve some of their other systemic difficulties.
It will be great to hear what school folks discover as this initiative moves forward.
This still remains a toothless tiger for the time being. Providing the teacher with a copy of their school report card, having school data in your district PDP and evidence of planning by the teacher that targets students in the district who need help based on any form of testing, would seem to be compliance with the regulation.

We all know the value of school data at the local level. While this may bring some recognition of that need, it should have little impact on the tenure process.
I think you are correct that this scenario will likely meet the minimum requirements. For many districts, however, this minimum compliance will be a step up from current practice.

Some districts will require more, however. I know of at least one district that is considering adding a course to its new teacher institute to address this need. I am sure this group would love to hear more about those initiatives.

Perhaps I am naive, but I believe many teachers will take steps to develop/refine these skills, independent of any employer requirement, simply to help their students learn. Maybe someone in the group can post about those pioneers.

What will really move things forward, however, is when schools of education make data analysis and integration a required strand of teacher preparation coursework and student teacher placements. That would get both new teachers and their more experienced mentors involved.

Thanks for the reply.
I agree that any good discussion of school data by new teachers (and veteran teachers) that can be easily transferred into classroom practices is a good thing. A good place to incorporate this might be as part of a series of workshops for new teachers. I know many of the teacher centers especially MESTRACT have been offering terrific series for the new teacher. They would be a good resource for anyone looking for programs and needs of new teachers that can be promoted or included by a school district.
I agree. I would love to hear more about professional development opportunities that others have heard about or experienced.
Hi Ken,
Thanks for all that you do to keep everyone informed. I am looking for any info from NYSED related to this - I haven't found too much. I see that the documentation here is from NYSUT. Anything from NYSED? Thanks! - Mary
Hi Mary,
I have not yet seen any guidance memos from SED. I think the NYSUT bulletin is useful, not only because it is succinct and clear, but because it should reassure all parties that the most powerful teacher organization in New York State is acknowledging the new requirements and will therefore want to be at the table when new initiatives are implemented.

Minimally, districts' Professional Development Plans, which are developed jointly with the teachers' union, will need to be reviewed in light of the new law. We would love to hear from anyone who is aware of changes being considered for their district's PDP.
This is the beginning of an opportunity for us all to work together to do more than just the bare minimum to meet the letter of the law. Opportunities for meaningful professional development will emerge soon, and I hope they will be embraced by all involved. Teachers have been enthusiastic when presented with worthwhile tools and workshops. Working, empowered data teams at schools have the potential to assist with meaningful change and improvement. This has to start somewhere and sometime. Maybe the answer is here and now....
ESBOCES Regional Information Center, Student Data Services understands the need placed on school districts to deliver meaningful data-driven professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators due to the Chapter 57 requirements.

In response to the need of districts to provide teachers with the resources to gather high quality data, as well as to understand what the data is saying in terms of student assessment and to inform instruction, Student Data Services is in the process of developing a series of significant professional learning sessions to support the success of school districts in this endeavor.

What resource better than the Data Warehouse can provide school districts with the resources needed for success?

Please watch for updates from us on this very important topic.
Hi Ken,

I'm curious as to the update of the memo and its implementation. One source told me this was not going to affect teacher tenure after all. I wish I could remember who said it but I don't. Do you know if this is the case, and if not, might there be a recommendation made for new teachers who are obtaining their professional license, that they be mandated to receive a certain requirement of PD hours in the area of data analysis and intervention methods? It doesn't seem to me that there is anything wrong with asking the required 175 hours of professional development every 5 years to be concentrated in areas which will directly affect student learning, like data analysis, implementation and redesign of instruction and RTI. Perhaps I am missing something...or maybe there are requirements already taking place?
As far as I know, this is still moving forward. The requirement is written into law, and now the Regents are trying to figure out implementation issues.

The most recent presentation on the topic from Johanna Duncan-Poitier to the Board of Regents (June 2008) is attached.

If you are interested, you can follow the Regents action at

Specifically here (in the "Higher Education" section of each month's link)

I hope this helps. Thanks for helping to keep this discussion going!







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