UFT blasts DOE for sowing “terrible atmosphere of fear” around the new evaluation system
UFT Secretary Michael Mendel sent a blistering email to Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his deputies earlier today charging that the manner in which principals and networks are practicing and preparing for the new evaluation system in schools “has been a disaster and that it has created a terrible atmosphere of fear around both the new evaluation system and the Danielson protocols.” He noted that in many parts of the city, teachers are being told that the new evaluation system is “a done deal,” even though many of the details are still be negotiated. In some cases, he said, teachers are being told that starting in January there will no longer be pre- and post-observations. “In many places,” he said, “eight or nine administrators are walking into a teacher’s room without warning, writing notes in the back of the room and leaving.” Mendel reaffirmed the union’s full commitment to a new evaluation system that supports professional growth throughout a teacher’s career and provides for a fair and honest evaluation process. But, he said, the present structure of the DOE and past practice since September 2011 “demonstrate that you cannot and will not roll it out successfully.” Mendel said that if the DOE does not insist that everyone “learn together in a non-threatening way,” the new evaluation system will be doomed to fail. “And let’s be clear,” he concluded. “This failure rests squarely on the DOE’s shoulders.”
It looks as though the rhetorical fight is escalating.