The Buffalo teachers' union and the school district still cannot reach an agreement on the new evaluation system. Instead of caving in, the teachers plan to walk out when State Education Commissioner John King addresses the New York State United Teachers next week in Buffalo. I wonder if New York City teachers will be asked to support them in solidarity? Buffalo is risking Race To The Top funds because they don't have a new evaluation agreement in place.
It looks as though some of our upstate colleagues refuse to submit willingly to value added assessments that are really an excuse to weaken tenure and make it easier to fire teachers.
This particular quote from Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore concerning the State Education Commissioner says a great deal: "[King and his team]They are so far removed from the realities of the classroom and what is really important about measuring student growth and teacher performance that they are just blundering and muddying the waters and issuing edicts that have no connection to reality as to what will really help teachers teach and students learn."
Rumore continued: "They have no concept as to what the problems teachers are facing, whether student absenteeism, or the 40 different languages spoken by students in our district, or the special-education students. People are so far removed from the classroom," Rumore said of the state education department.
Now that's a union leader!
In a related topic, I was in attendance on Tuesday night at an anti high stakes testing forum where Rockville Centre Central High School Principal Carol Burris was on a panel opposing using student tests to evaluate teachers along with Class Size Matters Leonie Haimson and two teachers. They talked about writing a teacher letter opposing the new evaluation system. One pretty good letter from our friends upstate already exists.
Here is the link. http://signon.org/sign/educators-for-fair-evaluatio?source=s.tw&r_by=3842702
Please consider signing it.