Thursday, February 05, 2015

FARINA DOESN'T WANT "FLYBY" OBSERVATIONS FOR TEACHERS BUT WHAT ABOUT ATRS?

In a recent NY Times article and in testimony before Albany lawmakers, Chancellor Carmen Farina stated that she is no fan of Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal that 50% of teacher ratings should be based on student scores on one state test.  She also objected to Cuomo's plan for teachers to be observed by evaluators from outside of their schools. 

According to the Times, Farina explained how "teachers needed to be observed over time, watched for things like whether they engaged with parents or gave special attention to students who needed extra help, and that 'flybys' could not replace that."  But what about Absent Teacher Reserves Madam Chancellor? 

ATRs are observed in "flybys" all the time by roving Department of education supervisors. A traveling ATR pointed out to me how our Chancellor should be consistent when it comes to observations. 

Everyone knows these "flyby" observations are useless as the teacher usually doesn't know the students or the parents.  Sometimes the "flybys" take place with ATRs teaching subjects they are not licensed or certified to teach and with lessons that are planned by teachers who are absent.

Even in a standard observation, a teacher does not control all of the variables which makes it stressful. In these ATR "flybys" the anxiety is increased greatly because the teacher in many instances could not possibly have much control over the class as students often have no respect for substitutes which can make classroom management a nightmare. An ATR has no leverage over student grades and it might not be easy to get in touch with parents or even have access to deans or school safety if there are problems.  

The Chancellor should practice what she preaches and end "flybys" for ATRs by roving supervisors.


PS--ATRs need to challenge these ridiculous "flyby" evaluations as Chaz explains.  Contact the chapter leader in the school you are assigned to or us at ICEUFT@gmail.com if you need help.

The ATR Alliance will be meeting on February 12 at 5:30 pm at 512 Clinton Avenue (the Freedom School) in Brooklyn. Please join us.

13 comments:

  1. Farina doesn't want atrs

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  2. Thanks James, glad your still fighting to protect the rights of atr's. Our union has stopped but glad others are still fighting!

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  3. I might welcome a flyby observation if it was from an experienced teacher. I have a principal who never taught and doesn't understand anything about teaching. I was one of those rare teachers who was actually saved by standardized tests. My principal gave me awful evaluations all year, but my Regents scores were good so I ended up with an effective for the year. I don't know if I'll get that lucky again this year. Although I'm sure the impartial observer that Cuomo speaks of will probably be some DOE henchman. So all in all, I've come to a decision that you really can't win anymore and in 10 years there should be a whopping huge teacher shortage. Who in their right mind would ever want to do this job?

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  4. Someone always needs a job. They will go back to the Philippines to recruit again.

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  5. So maybe the new evaluation ain't so bad after all

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    Replies
    1. Warning warning Unity troll alert.

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    2. Excuse me but I'm not Unity or any caucus. I have been on the fence between the new evaluation and the old. I know it has been crazy following all of the new expectations but in my school my administration isn't so bad. I've been at this schugiol for 3 years now and it is noting like my old one. They have been very supportive and haven't gone after people at all. I understand some people's stress about it but compared to what it used to be that it could be whatever an AP says without any guidelines meant simply that they can give me a U anytime they want. But I guess I can't have an open mind and comment here without being called a unity troll

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  6. The observations should actually be called "drive by's"......the intended result is the same.

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  7. The administrator resides in the fantasy world of EDUCATIONAL THEORY.
    According to this theory, you as an ATR are SUPPOSED to control your classroom. It doesn't matter if you don't know the children. You as an ATR are also SUPPOSED to be able to teach all subject areas. if you fail to do either, you will then be written up.

    THANK YOU UFT FOR PUTTING SO MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS IN THIS EDUCATIONAL NIGHTMARE.

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  8. You think the UFT cares? Dues keep coming and reelection is just about guaranteed. They laugh at us.

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  9. It's now February and guess if we got our promised retro
    pay!

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  10. And retirees will still vote 90% for Unity. We have met the enemy and they are us.

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