Pa Ny Watching Teachers Closely On Testing Evaluations

08.02.11 | Sarah Harnisch

   First 170 teachers in Atlanta, Georgia-- then accusations of test cheating in Pennsylvania, now, New York wants to nip any cheaters before they ever even start. The New York State Education Commissioner is creating a high-level board to crack down on cheating by teachers, administrators and students on standardized tests.  The group will report back with its recommendations by the beginning of the school year. 

   In a similiar story, the Pennsylvania Department of Education says it hopes to begin the pilot program this fall, and plans to ask school districts to volunteer for it. State law currently forbids student perforamance from being used to evaluate teachers. Ninety-nine percent of teachers were reported "satisfactory" under the current system in which building principals normally do evaluations. An unsatisfactory rating can put an employee at risk of being fire. The Education Secretary fears the current system is protecting bad teachers-- and he's calling for changes.