After an emergency amendment was adopted by the Board of Regents in June 2014 relating to the termination of probationary teachers and principals for reasons other than their APPR composite score or rating, the State Education Department issued updated guidance explaining the change and its effect on school districts' obligations under Education Law § 3012-c. Education Law § 3012-c requires that APPR be a significant factor in employment decisions, provided, however, that the statute does not affect districts' statutory right to terminate a probationary teacher or principal for statutorily and constitutionally permissible reasons other than performance. By narrowing the definition of “performance” to mean only a teacher's or principal's overall composite rating, SED has taken the position that permissible reasons “other than performance” for terminating a probationary teacher or principal would include not only misconduct, insubordination, etc., but also the quality of instruction or services provided by the probationary educator based on evidence other than the individual's overall composite rating.
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