(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2013 Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: NA/UFT DA Leaflet October 2013
The Teacher Evaluation Train Wreck is Unfolding Before Us
Since January 2010, New Action’s record on a new Teacher Evaluation System and Teacher Tenure is clear: New Action/UFT absolutely opposes linking student test scores to teacher evaluation and tenure decisions. At the June 2013 UFT Executive Board, Jonathan Halabi, New Action co-chair, spoke against the newly imposed teacher evaluation system announced by NYS ed commissioner John King.
Today in the schools there is a mess. Principals were not well-trained in the new system, and many are making it up as they go along. Some are rating items they do not observe. In some schools our contractual rights to plan our lessons is being infringed upon. There is routine collection of lesson plans; there are schools where lesson plan format is being dictated. There are observations being conducted not according to the agreement, or observations occurring before planning conferences, or planning conferences not scheduled at all. And when a teacher disagrees with the principal, there is no recourse.
Teachers are now reading the Danielson Framework and are angry about aspects. For the first time there is some focus on Domain 4. Will you be downgraded for not participating in an after school activity that your principal asks you to attend? For not at least once a year reporting a colleague’s disparaging remark about a child? (what if you don’t hear one?) For disagreeing with the principal’s rating of an aspect of your lesson?