We learned from Arthur Goldstein's report from last night's Executive Board meeting that the UFT has no intention of reducing the required number of observations. According to Arthur, UFT Personnel Specialist Amy Arundell said the following:
We're not interested in reducing number of for stakes observations. Principals are. Does everyone remember drive bys with S and U? We wanted to overrule people giving judgments based on little data.
As usual, the UFT does not present a complete picture. First of all, someone had to be rated based on formal observations under the old system so drive bys alone could not lead to an adverse rating. We dealt with this successfully through the grievance process at Jamaica High School.
What were the minimum number of observations in the old Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory system?
This is from the Office of Appeals and Reviews. It is page 4 of the old Rating Pedagogical Staff Members guide.
Please note the minimum number of observations for tenured teachers in the districts was one per year and it was the same for high school teachers on maximum.
There was even wording in there to make sure teachers who were in danger of receiving adverse ratings were observed more often.
For teachers with special needs it said, "As many additional observations as are needed should be made for teachers who have particular needs and for any teacher whose performance is less than satisfactory."
That simple safeguard could have been put into the new evaluation agreement instead of 20 pages of "legaleze" favoring management that the UFT agreed to put in with double the number of observations than the state mandates.
One observation from administration in the school and one from an independent outside evaluator is all that is required in the state law and it is what so many teacher unions and their superintendents are agreeing to in New York State outside of NYC.
If I was negotiating, I could have negotiated this in about a minute and a half so that the vast majority of teachers in NYC would be having two observations per year but teachers in danger of adverse Measures of Teacher Practice ratings could have more. It's that simple.
I wonder where the incompetence starts and the malevolence towards teachers ends with UFT leadership.