People have asked us to comment on the recent agreement between NYSUT and the State Education Department on teacher evaluations. Basically, the deal is another loss for UFT members and teachers across the state because as of 2011 40% of our rating will be based on student progress. Since there are so many variables that go into pupil progress, most over which the teacher has little or no control, this looks like a terrible way to rate teachers.
UFT spin says that Joel Klein wanted to make 100% of our rating based on student progress on standardized tests and we stopped him. This is ridiculous. It's like saying someone wants to steal $1000 from us but we only gave away $400 so this is a victory.
As an opposition representative said at last week's Delegate Assembly, this agreement is a terrible precedent. It takes us down a road we don't want to go down and is ripe for abuse by unscrupulous administrators.
The new rating system will provide us with four grades and rewards and sanctions will be based upon how we are rated.
At least at the DA Unity/UFT leaders admitted that U ratings and discontinuances are way up. They are way up in large part because of the 2002 and 2005 contracts. In 2002 we allowed arbitrators to rewrite letters to our file and in 2005 we gave up our right to contest the accuracy and fairness of file letters thus opening the door to the full scale attack on our profession.
Basically, last week's May DA was a summary of this agreement with Unity spin and then there was a discussion with mostly Unity people dominating it. The only other subject talked about was the budget.
Here is a link to the State Education Department so you can read about the rating agreement yourself.