New York

Student growth counts for 20% of a teacher’s overall evaluation.  There are no state-wide assessments in music, so districts, schools, and/or teachers must develop their own “Comparable Growth measure SLO” (student learning objective) to assess students.  Students are given a performance task early in the year, and then a second test is administered at the end of the year.  

More information is available at:  

Among other information, one the website you will find sample SLOs for:

–       Instrumental Lessons Grade 5-8

–       Grade 5 Music Singing & Playing

–       Grade 5 Music Sight Reading

–       Band/Chorus/Orchestra Grade 9 Sight Reading

–       Grade 5 Composition  


Selections from an email from a veteran music educator:

In our district, we received a document outlining the teacher evaluation process.  It is 29 pages long, and adapted by the board of ed in October.  In a nutshell, teachers are evaluated on a 20% – 20% – 60% basis.  20% based on state growth measurements, 20% on local achievement measurements and 60% on classroom observation and NYS Teacher Standards.  If on the assessments my students do not meet the benchmark that I SET, my APPR score can become jeopardized.  If a teacher receives an OVERALL rating  ineffective or developing for 2 consecutive years, they are on the fast track OUT of a job.


The end of the year feels like a weight around my neck.  The SLO document is supposed to encourage us to focus on the most important learning.  However, it is based on the pre and then the post assessments we give.  While I do understand that writing about what was learned is important for students, I’m not sure at the elementary level writing is the critical component that I want to teach.


Here is a blog about teacher assessment created by New York music educators:

It’s difficult in an email to explain all that is happening.  I can tell you how I feel:  anxious, concerned and burdened and it seems my students are tested more than they receive instruction in ALL subjects!  I’ve been a teacher for 23 years now.  Long have I had to fight to keep my program but it gets cut more every year.  Now, I have to fight just to keep my job rather than share with my students what I love most. I understand that learning must be demonstrated.  I just think there has to be a better way than what we’re doing.