APPR Glossary of Terms

APPR Glossary of Terms

APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review): A state-governed process for evaluating New York’s teachers and principals. Teachers and principals are given a score for the student performance category and the observation category along with an overall effectiveness rating at the end of each school year. A portion of that rating is directly tied to student performance on state exams or other state-approved learning measures. District APPR plans must be submitted to and approved by the New York State Education Department.

Appeals process: A process required by education law and negotiated locally by which teachers or principals can contest their HEDI ratings.
Benchmark or formative assessment: Tests administered throughout the school year that give teachers immediate feedback on how students are meeting academic standards. Benchmark or formative assessments can be used as a tool to measure individual student progress toward academic goals and to help teachers identify content areas that need further attention or students who need extra help.

Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS): The state learning standards, which are essentially a series of learning goals and expectations that guide curriculum development and teaching practices across the state. The standards, adopted by New York in 2011, are comprised of the Common Core State Standards – national academic standards developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers – along with a small set of additional standards. The Common Core State Standards were developed by a group of key stakeholders – teachers, business representatives, school administrators, governors, state education leaders, and content experts – from 46 states, including New York.

Conversion: The process by which observation and student performance measures are translated into numerical scores and by which those numerical scores are then translated into associated HEDI ratings using a state-designed matrix system.

Growth model: The NYS Education Department’s system for comparing the progress (i.e., academic growth) of similar students and by which those numerical scores are converted into associated effectiveness ratings using a consistent scale.

Growth score: State-provided growth scores measure student performance in the current year compared to that of similar students statewide. They are provided to teachers whose courses end in a state-created or administered test for which there is a state-provided growth model and at least 50 percent of a teacher’s students are covered under the state-provided measure.

Hardship Waiver: The means through which districts/BOCES that are unable to complete and receive state approval on a new APPR plan – consistent with regulations set forth in the Education Transformation Act of 2015 – by the Nov. 15, 2015 deadline can maintain their eligibility for a state aid increase and extend the deadline for approval of their new APPR plans.

HEDI rating: An effectiveness rating of highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective given to all teachers and principals in the state, as determined by state law.
Rubric: A set of consistent criteria and standards used to outline expectations of quality performance and measure success in achieving those expectations. Districts must choose from a list of state-approved rubrics to guide evaluation and scoring of classroom observations.

SLO (Student Learning Objective): An academic goal for the school year set by teachers and administrators for a group of students that is specific, measurable, based on prior student learning data, and aligned to state curriculum standards. Assessment of student progress toward SLOs is used to determine a student growth score for teachers who are not provided a growth score by the state. The process by which the SLOs are set, reviewed and assessed is determined at the local level. Under the 2015 APPR regulations, all teachers who receive a state-provided growth score must have a back-up SLO for comparable growth measures in case there are not enough students, not enough scores, or unforeseen issues with the data used to generate such a score.

TIP/PIP (Teacher/Principal Improvement Plan): A professional development plan provided to teachers/principals rated as developing or ineffective. A TIP/PIP identifies areas in need of improvement and includes a timeline for achieving improvement, the manner in which the improvement will be assessed, and, where appropriate, activities to support a teacher’s/principal’s improvement in those areas.