Teachers uncover thousands of flawed Buffalo evaluations

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – More than a thousand Buffalo teachers received flawed evaluations this week.

They were first discovered Monday by one teacher who said her scores just couldn’t be that low.

“They were crushed when they got their scores and said how could this be?” said Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore.
The new member of the State Board of Regents from Buffalo, Dr. Catherine Collins, said she was getting calls as well.

“Teachers who have called me to say that they’ve been doing wonderful work, and now all of a sudden they’re ineffective. That’s heartbreaking,” she said.

In a letter from Truenorthlogic, the company responsible for the calculating and reporting of the teachers’ scores, CEO Jim Rosenthal said “We are embarrassed and sorry for our mistake…We find our error unacceptable…” He said measures have been taken “to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

“It just shows the flaws in the system,” said Rumore. “I mean how do we know that there’ isn’t more that is wrong with the calculations?”

The error comes at a time when the teacher evaluation system is being re-evaluated.

Many object that twenty percent of a teacher’s net worth is based on how well the teacher’s students score on standardized tests.

This is also a time when the Common Core approach to education is being challenged.

“We wanted more looking at observation,” says Dr. Collins, speaking about teacher evaluations. “We wanted to have other means of measuring what kids know.”

Chancellor Emeritus Bob Bennett, now off of the New York Board of Regents, says no teachers have lost their jobs because of the new evaluation system. Still, he calls the miscalculations unfortunate.

“I think this is a serious glitch, a serious problem, and if I were a teacher I would be pretty angry and I would demand it be fixed. And it’s fixable,” he said.

Dr. Genelle Morris, whose district office submitted all the data to the company for the evaluations. said “This incident is very unfortunate and doesn’t help build trust in the evaluation system.”

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