Archive for the 'Teacher Evaluation' Category



Resolution on delinking testing from evaluation

New Action urges: delink teacher evaluation from test scores. Unity responds by not letting members vote.

The following resolution was presented by Jonathan Halabi (New Action) at the Monday, January 11 UFT Executive Board meeting. A representative from Unity moved to table (could be for future consideration, but usually this parliamentary procedure is used to kill a motion, but spares members their caucus on the board from voting No), and it was in fact tabled, on a caucus-line vote.

The speaker did not present a clear case (which we would otherwise report). In fact, the difference is that we asked to take a stand against using tests to rate teachers, but Unity only wants to delay using the tests, claiming against all evidence that it will be possible, four years down the road, to fairly rate teachers based on test scores. They want a pause (they have it), but they still favor rating teachers based on tests.

New Action continues to oppose rating teachers based on tests.

Resolution on delinking testing from evaluation

Whereas the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top forced states to adopt teacher evaluation schemes that included the use of student test scores, and

Whereas New York State adopted a new teacher evaluation scheme that incorporates student test scores, and

Whereas the test score component of a teacher’s evaluation is arbitrary, and varies more school to school than teacher to teacher, and New York State has refused to reveal how the test score component of evaluations are calculated, and in a decade of using such scores (including previous schemes) such schemes have shown no evidence that they can work, and

Whereas President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, replacing No Child Left Behind and dropping the requirement that test scores be used in teacher evaluation, and

Whereas the New York State Board of Regents voted for a four year moratorium on using Common Core tests as part of teacher evaluation,

Therefore be it resolved that NYSUT opposes the use of test scores to evaluate teachers, and be it further

Resolved that NYSUT and its locals will use traditional media and social media to publicize this stance, and be it further

Resolved that NYSUT will communicate this opposition to all its locals across New York State, and to the AFT, and be it further

Resolved that NYSUT will use the period of the four year moratorium to lobby for a change in New York State Education law to remove student test scores from teacher evaluation in New York State.

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New Action Proposals and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision for NYC Schools

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2015 UFT Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2015 September

In his first day back to school remarks “Equity and Excellence” Major Bill de Blasio laid out two goals for our schools and school children. First was to increase the graduation rate, which stands at 68.4%. Second was to make sure those graduates have the skills to make it to the next level. His initiative to provide free, full-day pre-kindergarten is already a major accomplishment. His commitment to work with educators and not against them is a great advance over his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg.

He laid out six measures 1) giving educators the preparation and support they need to teach Common Core standards; 2) for teachers to work collaboratively with one another; 3) for schools to be safe and supported; 4) to make parents welcome and to open lines of communication; 5) to have school leaders with a strong vision and to open to feedback from the school community; and 6) to develop a sense of real trust throughout the school community. New Action applauds many of these goals, with the obvious exception of Common Core.

New Action would add several points to the Mayor’s list. Reduce class size. Remove the threat of being rated ineffective due to standardized test scores (See Sherri Lederman of Long Island). On trust the Mayor and Chancellor must do much more – administrators need to act collaboratively with staff – not just give feedback. Too many administrators still go after outspoken staff members, rate them unfairly, and target veteran teachers. Administrators should be held accountable for training probationers, and arbitrary discontinuances should be questioned. Schools in New York have become the most segregated in the nation – the Mayor needs to address issues of diversity. The City must also correct the sharp decline of teachers of color in NYC. We welcome much of Mayor de Blasio’s vision and sincerely hope he is receptive of several of New Action’s suggestions.

New Action 2015 – 2016 Priority Issues

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2015 UFT Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2015 September

Abusive Administrators – Identify them, retrain them, work to remove them

Teacher Evaluation – mitigate the effects, seek to repeal the State law tying ratings to test scores

Probationers and ATRs – protect vulnerable members from arbitrary and vindictive administrators

Congratulations, after a long year

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the June 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: June June 2015 Leaflet Front

Congratulations to Reelected and Newly Elected Chapter Leaders!

What a big responsibility! Chapter Leaders are the backbone of our union. Take a deep breath, recharge over the summer, and let’s work together to build a stronger union and a better school system next year!

A long 2014 – 2015

This was Year 2 of the new evaluation system. In December Merryl Tisch recommended horrible changes – Cuomo took them, and tried to force them through the State budget. We tried to stop some, but he got his way on too much. We will see more changes to the evaluation system coming soon.

This year the opt-out movement became a union issue in New York State. NYSUT took a strong stance. The Delegate Assembly rejected a strong resolution, but eventually adopted an opt-out stance.

Year Two of the de Blasio and Fariña administration continued to produce friendliness at the top, but without positive change reaching the schools. We need to let them know we expect better for 2015 – 2016.

Call / Write to help make evaluation fairer

Yesterday, seven regents advocated for a more fair process for determining how teachers will be evaluated in New York State. Their statement can be found here<http://dianeravitch.net/2015/06/09/significant-number-of-new-york-regents-offer-alternative-vision-of-teacher-evaluation/>.

The regents listed below are all from Metropolitan New York and did not sign on to the statement which offers an alternative vision of teacher evaluation. Two more signers would constitute a majority of the Board of Regents.

All those concerned about the APPR should phone/write these 4 NYC-connected regents to strongly encourage them to sign on to the statement.
Lester W. Young, Jr
Member at Large
55 Hanson Place, Suite 400, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
(718) 722-2796<tel:%28718%29%20722-2796>
Regent.Young@nysed.gov (link sends e-mail)<mailto:Regent.Young@nysed.gov>

Charles R. Bendit
Member
1st Judicial District
111 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1500, New York, N.Y. 10011
Phone (212) 220-9945<tel:%28212%29%20220-9945>
Regent.Bendit@nysed.gov (link sends e-mail)<mailto:Regent.Bendit@nysed.gov>

James E. Cottrell
Member
Member at Large
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue – Box 6, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11203-2098
(718) 270-2331<tel:%28718%29%20270-2331>
Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov (link sends e-mail)<mailto:Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov>
Christine D. Cea
Member
13th Judicial District
1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314Regent.Cea@nysed.gov (link sends e-mail)<mailto:Regent.Cea@nysed.gov>

Tripod Surveys – Don’t Count, Won’t Count – but Fariña Won’t Let Go

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

In the new new evaluation law, there are no student surveys of teachers. But there were in the old new law, which is why the DoE prepared “tripod” surveys and sent them into the high schools. This year was supposed to be a pilot that doesn’t count. There is no “next year” because of the change in law. And the surveys take half an hour of class time – while students are preparing for Regents exams (which count in MOSLs)

New Action brought this issue to the UFT leadership, who were rebuffed when they asked to pull the surveys. What is Fariña thinking?

Regents Fight over Details – Ratings based on test scores must go!

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

The Board of Regents is discussing implementation of the new NYS law on evaluation. Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the Board, and Cuomo’s co-author of this anti-teacher legislation, is being forced by the other Regents to backpedal on many details.

New Action supports attempts to lessen the impact of this bad system.

But using student test scores to rate teachers is plain wrong. At last month’s Delegate Assembly we amended the leadership’s resolution to drop UFT support of test scores to rate teachers.

Now we need to lead a fight to dump the law.