Wednesday, March 23, 2016

LIVE BLOGGING FROM MARCH DA (Updated); UNITY VOTES TWICE TO KEEP TESTING AS PART OF OUR EVALUATIONS

Today (Wedensday) is the March Delegate Assembly.  Sorry in advance for smart phone errors (edited Thursday early).

President's Report
Mulgrew called for a moment of silence for victims of terrorism.

National
Supreme Court now divided 4-4. People know now who the people behind Friedrichs are. We will continue our Union Proud campaign. The agency fee issue will be decided if not now then soon.

People can work on Hillary Clinton campaign. AFT endorsed her.

State
Betty Rosa now Chancellor of Board of Regents. She was a teacher. We can work with State Ed Dept.

Un-timed tests: We are working with Chancellor Farina on meaning of students making progress so that we are not forcing kids to leave tests.

Lobby day: Large UFT contingent went to Albany.

We have had a rigorous discussion in NYSUT on changing evaluation law. Legislature wants to do this one. We have things like portfolios and authentic assessments. Other NYSUT locals want to go back to principals rating teachers exclusively. We want real learning to be part of evaluation. Some small locals want to use this too but others want to go back to principals having total control over rating teachers.

We want local control of evaluations.

Independent validators: We are trying to keep them in law.

100 hours PD not in for this year.

Artie Pepper on health agreement:
No premiums to our plans. We kept that from contract. We are meetings savings targets. This is a citywide agreement.

GHI still $15 for primary care copay. No copay if in Advantage Care.

Emergency room copay up to $150. Waived if admitted.

Internet doctor. Can Skype doctor for $15 copay. Called telemedicine.

Urgent care up to $50.

HIP : HIP preferred zero copay. Not in preferred network, $10 copay.

Discount for Weight-watchers.

As of July 1, zero copays for certain preventative things for GHI.

Mulgrew came back and thanked Artie.

Mulgrew continues:
Families for Excellent Schools says NYC public schools are unsafe and out of control.

Bad school year for charter schools. We fight with 4 chains of charter schools. NYC teachers public schools highest growth scores in state. Post and Daily News back to bashing us.

Arbitrations:
SESIS Arbitration 2
System can't be fixed. We expect to win a great deal of money again on this just like the first SESIS arbitration

Paras suspended without pay automatically if arrested. We are fighting that policy in arbitration too.

Family Leave
Pattern set by non union workers. Would cost us over $200 million. Mulgrew thinks we should keep pushing on this.

May 4
Celebration of school event. We need to talk about passion and promise for public education.

5K run Coney Island in April.

May 7
Spring conference. Chapter leaders designed PD.

President thanked officers for conferences on Saturdays.

He congratulated four teachers for achieving National Board Certification.

He recognized founders of UFT and sang happy birthday to UFT.

Staff Director Report
Union loud and proud campaign going on.

Staff Director Leroy Barr mentioned some other dates for upcoming events.

Ballots go out for UFT election on May 5. Please vote.

Question Period:
Q Social worker having work diverted to guidance counselor according to proposed regulations. What is UFT doing concerning social workers?
Mulgrew Answer: We don't support changes in regulations.  Some children need clinical intervention. Told state not to tie city's hands.

Q What is cost of family leave?
A If we follow plan set by non union city workers, we would give up .5% salary increase and give back two days.
That pattern not acceptable to UFT but we have a plan to propose to city.

Q What are we doing about other anti worker court cases?
A People opposed to us want a total free market system. Right wing has other cases. Free speech vs agency fee has to be decided. Even if Scalia is dead, we can't rest on this case.

Q Are alternate assessments still tied toward our MOSL?
A Waiting for answer from state. Our position is it should not be used for MOSL this year. However, if we don't use tests, then 100% of evaluation is up to principal.

Q What can people expect for state 20% on evaluation?
A Can't use state generated growth score. It will revert to principal's judgment or a different test

Q What happened to hard to staff school differential?
A Part of discussion with DOE along with what happens with extended time next year.

Motion Period
Lauren Cohen from MORE introduced a resolution to decouple testing from evaluation.

Two points of order on not allowing us to advertise MORE on our resolutions.  Both turned down by President.

Lauren said moratorium only covers one test. Others substituted. Value added is like a broken scale. It is always wrong. UFT should lead on saying judging teachers on student test scores is wrong. Connecticut de-linked the two successfully so there is precedent.

Emil Pietramonaco spoke against saying we could get something authentic. We don't want 100% principals judging us.

Unity voted resolution down but it did get some support. I would say around 30%.

Special orders of Business

Mel Aaronson motivated a recognition of 56th anniversary of UFT. It carried unanimously.

Resolution to support Professional Staff Congress was next (CUNY teachers).  They have been at impasse for years. We support PSC. Resolution was amended
by its maker to restore 1/2 billion dollar cut to CUNY.

It carried unanimously.

Receivership finally came up after months of waiting. Janella Hinds motivated the Unity resolution after offering a technical amendment. The UFT opposes receivership.

I was able to offer the MORE Amendment to repeal the entire law that created receivership.  My case was simple: Receivership is the law so the only way to get rid of it is to repeal the law. A friendly State Ed Department can only write regulations. The law that says teachers and others must reapply for their jobs is on the books. Teachers in Buffalo will be laid off if they aren't rehired by the receiver's committee regardless of seniority or tenure status. The only way to fix this is to repeal the law. Other parts of the law called the Education Transformation Act of 2015 which also includes test based teacher evaluations and at least 4 years to get tenure.

To get this law repealed we have the political wind at our back. The governor is unpopular on education and opt-out is going well. The parents are with us (and we also have a new Chancellor of the Board of Regents who seems friendly).

Vice President for Middle Schools Rich Mantel responded by saying we can't throw out the baby with the bath water.  There are good things in the law we don't want to lose.

We lost the vote by about 2 to 1 with some not voting at all.

Two more resolutions passed. One condemned Islamophobia and another supported the Chicago Teachers Union.

Final take on tonight: Unity voted in favor of student test results being used to evaluate teachers twice.

If anyone can find parts we like in the educational Transformation act, please tell us.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking like the outside evaluators are going to actually be happening come September. That is going to be a craptacular show for sure.

Anonymous said...

Islamatopia? I have UFTopia, for good cause. How about ATRs? Not a word.

Anonymous said...

Unreal. This leadership will not listen. Look at how many teachers are quitting because of the Danielson/Common Core eval! Epic numbers. The Union keeps trying to blame it on the phantom "improving economy." Yet, every T has told me that has nothing to do with it. The ones who left midyear had nothing lined up. They were totally demoralized. Jesus. Have our backs, guys. Wake up and listen to us.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to go back to my principal having sole discretion, but I don't want to have students who may be incredibly challenged put their pencil down when taking tests that determine my professional survival. I want real learning. I want authentic assessment and I want to be in control of the assignments and the frameworks for evaluation.

Anonymous said...

I want to be left alone in my classroom after I got tenure like in the 90's.

Anonymous said...

Yup. The scrutiny in the classroom and the nit-picking is unreal. I *do* want to go back. There was *nothing* wrong with the old system.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys really want the crazy principals' "observations" to be our rating?

BTW, nobody said that they want test scores to be used to rate us. Typical MORE.

My on said...

When I think baking over my career. I have had 11 principals. Out of those 11 maybe one decent one who really knew her stuff. Many of them ran from the classroom because they couldn't hack it as a teacher. In many cases I knew more than they did. Let us not talk about these newer principals who do not have the experience or know how. Why would I want them to have full control?

My on said...

When I think baking over my career. I have had 11 principals. Out of those 11 maybe one decent one who really knew her stuff. Many of them ran from the classroom because they couldn't hack it as a teacher. In many cases I knew more than they did. Let us not talk about these newer principals who do not have the experience or know how. Why would I want them to have full control?

My on said...

When I think back over my career. I have had 11 principals. Out of those 11 maybe one decent one who really knew her stuff. Many of them ran from the classroom because they couldn't hack it as a teacher. In many cases I knew more than they did. Let us not talk about these newer principals who do not have the experience or know how. Why would I want them to have full control?

My on said...

When I think back over my career. I have had 11 principals. Out of those 11 maybe one decent one who really knew her stuff. Many of them ran from the classroom because they couldn't hack it as a teacher. In many cases I knew more than they did. Let us not talk about these newer principals who do not have the experience or know how. Why would I want them to have full control?

Anonymous said...

Going back to principals having sole discretion is crazy. How is this idea new, creative and exciting? This sounds more like DOE rhetoric where we end back where we started.

Anonymous said...

As and ATR who is subjected to a confusing number of possible evaluators, I would welcome a classroom that I had control over with an authentic assessment system that I could feel good about. Principals are randomly vindictive and we cannot allow them to have complete control over our evaluations, even if we consider the added percentages to be less than authentic.

Anonymous said...

Going "back" to where we started is the right thing to do if 3 years of the new "exciting" thing has been shown not to work. If the old way was better, then go back to it.

Frustrated teachers said...

As someone who had a vindictive and petty principal for almost a decade I am very glad principals can no longer arbitrarily assess teachers - they can't be trusted

John Kamps said...

The new way evaluation system hasn't been perfect but has given us less poorly rated teachers where as the old system if you weren't liked by a principal for whatever reason you were u rated and deemed a bad teacher. The new way still needs a few improvements but is better then it was and to suggest going backwards is absurd we need to move forward and continue to work to towards change.

John Kamps said...

The new way evaluation system hasn't been perfect but has given us less poorly rated teachers where as the old system if you weren't liked by a principal for whatever reason you were u rated and deemed a bad teacher. The new way still needs a few improvements but is better then it was and to suggest going backwards is absurd we need to move forward and continue to work to towards change.

Anonymous said...

John, you have a vested interest in making the systems seem like progress since you are a UFT official. But, I get the sense from my colleagues - members - that this system is *very* discouraging. Do you hear us? It's very important that you do.

Anonymous said...

The new APPR stinks!! Administrators using danielson rubric to harass teachers PLUS teachers have to worry about growth scores. Yeah that's so much better . NOT

Loser unity you did this to us

James Eterno said...

The new system is horrible. If a principal wants you out, it is simple. Rate you with mostly ones and a few twos thrown in on the Danielson scale. If you are in a decent school, the student test results move you up to developing for the year instead of ineffective. Now you are stuck with a Teacher Improvement plan. Next, the principal writes a letter for your file for some trivial nonsense and you are soon thereafter facing 3020a charges. It is happening. The only way to move ahead is to go to a system where observations can be challenged, not just on procedural grounds, but based on content. That is a real check on principal power. That was possible under the old system if the UFT fought for it.Instead, they diminished and then gave away our right to grieve most material in our file.I understand observations were tough to beat on content but that should have been something we insisted on in negotiations in exchange for accepting so little money so many times.