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The New York State Education Department was kind enough to welcome everyone back to school with a massive data dump late Thursday, without any prior notice, of the much anticipated teacher evaluation results broken down by district. (Click here for today's story by Sandra Tan.)

In an e-mail from the department's communications office sent out at 3:51 p.m. Dennis Tompkins writes:

"Today's release of evaluation data will enable New Yorkers to see, for the first time, the results of their schools' teacher and principal evaluations. The goal of the evaluation process has always been to improve teaching and learning by targeting professional development where it is most needed in order to improve student outcomes. When teachers and principals receive the right tools to improve their practice, their students benefit -- it's really as straightforward as that.

It is important to remember that each APPR [teacher evaluation] plan is locally negotiated and unique.  Be sure to first look at the district's APPR plan to understand what measures are being used to calculate the evaluation ratings.  Only the State-provided growth measure data are calculated at the state level, in a consistent manner across all districts, using the state's enhanced growth model."

The results are tied to the state's controversial teacher evaluation system, which assess educators based on observations, state test scores and other locally decided measures.

The state released statewide data in October and this new information offers a further breakdown.