The New Teacher Evaluation

September 2011

THE NEW TEACHER EVALUATION

Are you in a Transformation, Restart, Talent Management Pilot Program, or just plain “traditional” school? Heard about the new Teacher Evaluation model? Has your principal already announced that your school will be moving into a new evaluation system? One with Network “Leaders” or outside consultants who will be observing teachers under the new Danielson inspired evaluation system up to 12 times a year.

Back in May of 2010, New Action opposed the teacher evaluation system proposed by the Board of Regents. The legislation, subsequently adopted, bases 20% of each teachers’ rating on test scores. Fortunately, our state union, NYSUT, just successfully challenged NYSED’s attempt to unilaterally allow it to be increased to 40% in some districts.

More significantly, we opposed the Spring 2010 proposal because it could well be the end of tenure as we know it. No matter what evaluation system is developed tenured teachers can be dismissed after 2 “ineffective” ratings. In a system that is fair and collaborative perhaps a new approach to rating teachers could work. DOES ANYONE believe that we are working in an atmosphere of collegiality? Just look at the 40% of new teachers who had their probation extended. Can you imagine what will happen when administrators can get rid of veteran teachers by giving two straight years of ineffective ratings?

New Action has sent out the warning signals. We rightfully opposed the agreement leading to the Race to the Top legislation. Today we have some concerns:

  • We are losing nearly 100% of the appeals process for U-ratings and discontinuances. Unless the appeals process for challenging ineffective ratings is independent of DOE control how can any of us support the new teacher evaluation system?
  • Who are the “experts” who will be observing and rating teachers – new and veterans? Are they licensed New York City administrators? Are they outside consultants or are they hired by agencies hired by DOE to evaluate us?  And are we looking at the pedagogical qualifications of Leadership Academy principals?
  • We should not rush to any agreement unless the DOE shows good faith by totally changing the current appeals process. Why should we believe that they will abide by a new appeals process until they start handling the current process fairly?
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