Posts Tagged 'Teacher evaluation'



Teacher Evaluation

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2013 Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: NA/UFT Leaflet 2013 September

TEACHER EVALUATION

New Action opposed the adoption of this new teacher evaluation system every step of the way. It weakens tenure and introduces rating teachers on students standardized test scores. We advocate changing or repealing the state law.

Already chapters are seeing disagreements between the DoE and the UFT about how the system should work. This was not ready for 2013 implementation.

But today the system is here. We are immediately faced with complexities: school-based committees have already chosen local measures (MOSL). Members must choose which observation model soon. There will be artifacts, discussions. At the September 9 UFT Executive Board, Regina Gori, Exec Board member and Chapter Leader at the Brooklyn New School, asked what recommendations we can make to members for the choices they are facing. The answer directed them to the “Quick Start Guide” for information, but the leadership is not willing to make recommendations, indicating this is a personal choice.

Our members come to Chapter Leaders seeking advice. They do so because the CLs often have greater knowledge or insight. Likewise CLs approach our union’s leadership. It is unseemly to deny advice to chapter leaders. This should change, now.

With good information, Chapter Leaders can lead informed chapter discussions. And discussion of issues that matter, including teacher evaluation, helps build stronger chapters.

New Action on Teacher Evaluation – our record is clear

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the January 2013 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2013 January

 

“A Train Wreck Waiting to Happen!”

New Action’s record on a New Teacher Evaluation System and Teacher Tenure is clear:

January 2010  – New Action/UFT absolutely opposes linking student test scores to teacher evaluation and tenure decisions. … AFT President Weingarten said she believes that standardized test scores and other measures of student performance should be an integral part of the evaluation process. Michael Mulgrew said “Her proposals would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here (in NYC).” We supported that statement.

March 2010Where We Stand calls for support and protection of untenured teachers. We also call for no change in tenure laws.

Her [Weingarten’s] proposals [for a teacher evaluation system] would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here. – Michael Mulgrew, January 2010

May 2010New Tenure Plan/ You could be Removed (after 2 years) Before the Letters in Your File (after 3 years) opposes the teacher evaluation system just proposed by the Board of Regents, with support from the NYSUT and UFT leaderships. “Two years in a row of “ineffective” ratings could lead to a 60 day termination process- no matter how senior the teacher, no matter how experienced, no matter whether they have tenure.”

January 2011 –“We OPPOSE tying tenure decisions to standardized tests. The negotiations on Race to the top in New York State led to many dangerous concessions.”

Are administrators with little or no teaching experience qualified to evaluate us?”

May 2011 – “New Action rightfully opposed the agreement leading to the Race to the Top legislation. Lifting the cap on charters. Putting in a new teacher evaluation system! And for what? 700 million that won’t prevent budget cuts or stop layoffs.

September 2011 – “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?

October 2011Danielson and Teacher Evaluation “In the hands of administrators who do not collaborate, this framework becomes a weapon pointed at us… We continue to be extremely concerned. Who is evaluating us and what are their credentials; what is their experience? Will outsiders evaluate? Are administrators with little or no teaching experience qualified to evaluate us?”

We know the DOE violates every agreement. In an evaluation agreement they will violate it as well. Tenured teachers cannot afford to wait and see.

March 2012New Evaluation System – Eliminate Tenured Teachers? “Our opinion has not changed. This new evaluation system will lead to an avalanche of ineffective ratings. We know the DOE violates every agreement. In an evaluation agreement they will violate it as well. Tenured teachers cannot afford to wait and see.

If there is no agreement, we must mobilize our membership – the onslaught from the DoE and the media against us will be fierce.

September 2012 – “The DOE shows nothing but bad faith on our current appeals process. 100% of the decisions being overturned is not a process-it is a farce, a cruel hoax. New Action remains deeply concerned about the potential for Bloomberg’s proposals for teacher evaluation system to be a thinly disguised assault on due process rights.”

GOING FORWARD IN 2012-2013 … OUR PRIORITIES

(from the New Action September 2012 Chapter Leaders meeting leaflet)
For a printable version click Leaflet 2012 September)

GETTING RID OF MAYORAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION

Mayoral Control has been an absolute disaster for educators, students, parents, and our communities.  Bloomberg has literally wrecked our schools with constant reorganizations, test prep, bashing our members, attacking our union, gutting special education, and closing schools.

ABUSIVE ADMINISTRATORS

We sincerely hope you are in one of the many schools with collaborative principals. That relationship makes for a healthy work environment and benefits staff and students. Too many principals, however, are not collaborative, and many are downright abusive. We need to modify the behavior of all abusive and troublesome administrators.

Last year New Action worked to rid Bronxdale High School of John Chase. He was removed from that school. New Action has published “14 Things You Can Do to Get Rid of an Abusive Administrator” which you can find on our website – or e-mail us at new.action.uft@gmail.com.

DEFEAT THE ULTRA-RIGHT

The current election is a choice between the current administration, and a party that would gut social security,  medicare, and Medicaid, a party that would promote vouchers, a party that displays outright hostility to unions, their members, and their rights. We cannot afford to have Scott Walker’s “no contract” policies go national.

We must commit ourselves to tirelessly working to reelect Barack Obama president. This includes phonebanking, talking to friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and even making trips to battleground states. We are under no illusions, we have had serious disagreements with Obama, including around Central Falls and Race to the Top. But where we disagree, we can talk and engage in dialogue.

We must do everything in our power to reelect President Barack Obama and defeat the ultra-right in November.

CONTRACT

The settlement of our contract is long overdue. The economic situation in no way the hang up. Rather, Bloomberg has insisted on outrageous concessions, including some that pit newer colleagues against more senior, that erode tenure, and that allow teachers to be fired as a result of a school being reorganized.  Bloomberg’s contract demands would disrupt schools and communities, and his “reforms” have.

We are currently in factfinding – but there is a danger that when the factfinder gives us some of what we want, and gives them some of what they want, that non-negotiables will be included.

We demand a good economic package, with no concessions on core issues.

TEACHER EVALUATION

We oppose tying tenure decisions to standardized tests. The negotiations on Race to the Top in New York State led to many dangerous concessions. 25% or 40% of tenure decisions will be based on student test results. This has the potential for disaster for our members.

The DoE shows nothing but bad faith on our current appeals process. 100% of the decisions being overturned is not a process – it is a farce, a cruel hoax.

New Action remains deeply concerned about the potential for Bloomberg’s proposals for teacher evaluation system to be a thinly disguised assault on due process rights.

STAND UP FOR CHAPTER LEADERS

As part of Bloomberg’s campaign against seniority and tenure, he has singled out one group of unionists in particular: Chapter Leaders.

The examples are numerous. Many have been reported on in our union paper. But the numbers reported are only the tip of the iceberg.  Some cases include chapter leaders being singled out for program abuse, forced to transfer schools, harassed with multiple “unsatisfactory” observations, and in every borough, chapter leaders who are singled out for unsubstantiated U-ratings.

We need to stand up for those who are our first line of defense—UFT chapter leaders!

TEACHER DATA REPORTS – TIME for DIRECT RESPONSE

New Action/UFT
a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers
PO Box 180574 North Richmond Hill, NY 11418
https://newaction.wordpress.com/

March 2012

TEACHER DATA REPORTS – TIME for DIRECT RESPONSE

Bloomberg can point a finger at the courts and say they did it. But the publication in the media has to be laid squarely at the feet of the Mayor. The city encouraged the media to file the FOI request, and then refused to raise as much as an objection in the courts against making these reports public.

It is heartening to read that the 99% (those scoring at the top of the TDRs) are circulating a letter of protest against these bogus stats.

The UFT membership has been under attack since Bloomberg took office. His legacy is in the tank  – but that doesn’t help those of us suffering from his disastrous leadership. When have working conditions have been worse, or the demoralization as great?

Chapters have been fighting back – against closing schools, against abusive administrators, against budget cuts, etc. New Action calls for a day of solidarity to let the mayor know that the membership of the UFT will not be beaten down.

NEW EVALUATION SYSTEM – ELIMINATE TENURED TEACHERS?

In January 2010 New Action warned about joining with the City to lobby for Race to the Top monies. New Action wrote in May 2010:New Action opposes the teacher evaluation system just proposed by the Board of Regents, with support from the NYSUT and UFT leaderships. We do not believe that even the best  […] Back in January 2010, in the face of similar proposals, made by AFT President Randi Weingarten, Michael Mulgrew wrote, ‘[These] proposals would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here.’”

May 2011, New Action wrote:  “How many times do we (our UFT) go into agreements with folks who turn around and go back on their word? Witness the Teacher Data Reports. And how can we support a system that allows tenured teachers to be terminated after 2 ratings of being “ineffective”? With too many principals today, the name of the game is to get rid of veteran teachers. Will the new evaluations lead to more unsatisfactory ratings? We all know the answer.

Our opinion has not changed. This new evaluation system will lead to an avalanche of ineffective ratings. We know the DOE violates every agreement. If we reach an evaluation agreement they will violate it as well. Tenured teachers cannot afford to wait and see.

DANIELSON AND TEACHER EVALUATION

October 2011

There has been much discussion of the “Danielson framework” – an evaluation system based on the work of Charlotte Danielson, designed to promote professional conversation and growth. Clearly Department of Education administrators are abusing the framework, using it to promote drive-by observations, using it for ratings when no system has been agreed.

The professional conversation piece – really the part Danielson herself created – is interesting. In the right hands it might even be pro-teacher. But today, that’s not the point.

In the hands of administrators who do not collaborate, this framework becomes a weapon pointed at us. Michael Mulgrew, Ernest Logan, and Dennis Walcott wrote a letter seeking to curb abuse of the framework. But why was the letter necessary?  Did hundreds of principals independently misunderstand the DoE’s intention? Or in the toxic atmosphere of Bloomberg’s third term, do many principals assume their job is to go after teachers? Reports from many schools testify to the lack of collaboration.

We continue to be extremely concerned. Who is evaluating us, and what are their credentials, what is their experience? Will outsiders evaluate? Are administrators with little or no teaching experience qualified to evaluate us? How many observations will occur? What protections will we have against abuse, what safeguards? What will the teacher improvement plan look like? How will the appeals process work? In the current system, we lose all our appeals of U-ratings. How different will the new system be?

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?

New Tenure Plan

You Could Be Removed (after 2 years) before the Letters in Your File (after 3 years)

New Action opposes the teacher evaluation system just proposed by the Board of Regents, with support from the NYSUT and UFT leaderships.

The proposal would base a significant part of each teacher’s rating, up to 40%, on test scores. We do not believe that even the best test of student achievement can provide an accurate measure of teacher effectiveness. But in New York State, where we know, and our union has repeatedly told us, the tests are broken?  Or, in New York City, where the City tests and Acuity tests are even worse?  Basing ratings on any tests would be bad enough, but on these?

The proposal would invest even more importance in standardized tests than they already have.  There would be pressure on teachers to do additional test prep. There would be pressure on teachers to inflate grades. Principals are already pressured by the poorly named Progress Reports to inflate grades, to play with numbers, to cheat. This proposal would establish that as the norm, would create schools and districts where the test scores and how to inflate them become the common culture. Our children our already over-tested.

The UFT just passed a resolution against extending testing down to K – 2. We should not be giving the state or administrators more reason to test kids, more reason to push teachers to teach what’s on the test rather than teach what the kids really need.

The proposal would change satisfactory and unsatisfactory, S and U, to “ineffective,” “developing,” “effective,”  and “highly effective.” Two years in a row of “ineffective”  ratings could lead to a 60 day termination process – no matter how senior the teacher, no matter how experienced, no matter whether they have tenure.

Back in January, in the face of similar proposals, made by AFT President Randi Weingarten, Michael Mulgrew wrote:

[these] proposals would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here.

Hundreds of schools have abusive administrators who are making life hell for our members. We have witnessed the drive to harass and get rid of senior teachers. We have witnessed new teachers being pitted against our veterans. The Bloomberg/Klein push to fire last years U-rated teachers and all of our ATRs FIRST is part of the picture. Will these same administrators now be “fair minded? Collaborative? Will they craft a fair “corrective” plan for “ineffective” teachers.

If we, the UFT, fought these changes, and they were forced on us, that would be different. If we brought our strength to bear, and tried to back the Regents down, but did not succeed, that would be different.

We voted for the Michael Mulgrew who stood tough on school closings. For the Michael Mulgrew who drew a line in the sand to protect ATRs , who fought school closings, and who stood up to Bloomberg and Klein. We expect nothing less on teacher evaluation and tenure.

Our union must step back and withdraw support from this proposal.

  • Say yes to protecting tenure.
  • Say no to more testing for kids.
  • SAY NO TO RATING TEACHERS BASED ON TESTS!

Content Policy

Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
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