Wednesday, October 09, 2013


The resolution below passed at the UFT Executive Board on Monday night.  To my eyes, it does not go nearly far enough to stop the madness that is occurring in our schools across the country, in general, and specifically in New York State and New York City. 

A moratorium on the high stakes test part of the new teacher evaluation system is a limited start but the UFT resolution says nothing about the punitive, required, multiple "gotcha" Danielson observations that are part of the new "Advance" teacher evaluation system and the UFT still praises the unproven Common Core Standards.

An immediate repeal of the whole evaluation system is what the UFT should be calling for along with further research to see if Common Core works.

Look at what is happening up in Syracuse where 40% of the teachers were rated developing or ineffective last year.  It could happen here in NYC too. The evaluation system called Advance must be put into full retreat and die if we are to start to win our professional dignity back. 

WHEREAS the United Federation of Teachers has since its founding been dedicated to creating
conditions in New York City pubic schools that enhance learning and help every child to achieve; and 

WHEREAS the UFT strongly supports the Common Core Learning Standards as a means toward 
ensuring that children in the city and across the country learn the critical thinking skills necessary for success in today’s competitive world; and ' 

WHEREAS the UFT has always held that teachers must be given adequate resources and professional development for the transition to the Common Core standards to succeed; and 

WHEREAS New York in the spring of 2013 administered new tests based on the Common Core before teachers and schools had even received currìcula aligned to the new standards, with the result that student scores plunged in New York City and across the state; and 

WHEREAS five weeks into the 2013-14 school year, many schools across New York City had still not received their new curricula aligned to the Common Core or had received them late, which is particularly problematic considering that the next round of state tests is to occur within a matter of months, in spring 2014; and 

WHEREAS it is harmful and unfair to children to give them high-stakes tests on material and skills which their schools have not had adequate time or resources to teach; and 

WHEREAS in New York City in particular a students scores on these tests can have life-changing
consequences, including possibly determining whether the student is promoted to the next grade; and 

WHEREAS in addition to the consequences for students, state tests count for 20 percent of a teacher's year-end performance rating under the new teacher evaluation and development system that was established by order of the state education commissioner this year; and 

WHEREAS the UFT continues to support having an evaluation system that bases a teacher's rating on multiple measures, rather than solely on a principals opinion; and that gives teachers a professional voice in their schools; and 

WHEREAS the UFT nevertheless holds that attaching high-stakes consequences to the new state exams at this time would be reckless and damaging to our public schools in light of the failure of the city to ensure that schools and teachers received adequate resources and professional development prior to the start of this school year; and 

WHEREAS, the UFT recognizes that the high stakes attached to New York State tests are a result of 
federal and state education laws as well as New York City Department of Education policy; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls for a moratorium on attaching high-stakes consequences to state tests until representatives of all interested parties - including parents and educators - have worked with members of Congress, the state Legislature, the state Commissioner of Education, the Board of Regents and the New York City Panel for Educational Policy to carefully examine how well the new curricula, professional development and tests align to the Common Core standards; and be it further 

RESOLVED, that this moratorium will allow the state to continue administering the tests but will require that both the state and city pause in attaching to the test results any high-stakes consequences for students, teachers or schools until all stakeholders are assured that the system for implementing 
Common Core standards is working as it should to give our children the world-class education they deserve.


Michael Fiorillo said...

As usual, dissembling and misdirection from 52 Broadway: having signed on with the so-called reformers for the "opportunity" to co-manage this train wreck, Mulgrew now offers these empty calories to an increasingly dissatisfied memberships.

Wake me up when they actively resist Race to the Top and the Common Corporate Standards.

Anonymous said...

Just another sickening example of how the UFT continues to sell out it's members. In my 15+ years as a UFT member, I have never been more ashamed of my once great union. It disgusts me how they are Hell bent on destroying the teaching career here in NYC. Now that teachers are actually going to canned due to this, maybe teachers will wake up and see what this beast truly is: a creation by the very union that is there to protect them.

From Under The Bus said...

Whereas, the UFT acknowledges making a critical decision on teacher evaluations not based on the research. What were we thinking? It also acknowledges an undermining of its dues-paying members, disregarding member input. It also acknowledges the existence of rubber rooms, in spite of a decision to dissolve them. It also acknowledges the selling out of all teachers. It also acknowledges not having a contract, and that at the next contract negotioations, we will demand retroactive pay and a 4% plus 4% increase over the last contract as per pattern bargaining. The UFT will ask for the Danielson Framework and all ties to teacher evaluation to cease and desist immediately. The UFT will ask its members for forgiveness, even though we will not get it from its members. The UFT will demand a shift of the Unity caucus to the MORE caucus, a teacher-friendly and rational group of citizens.
Resolved, the current UFT president, Micheal Mulgrew, will step down immediately, having corrupted and undermined a supportive agenda for its members.

Bastard Son of Daniel said...

Who, the hell, cares?

Anonymous said...

The students are having a ball as they realize it is all about the teacher's performance and not their accountability.