Nixon came out for a repeal of the teacher evaluation law. That is a major step forward. Teacher evaluation is at least on the table for this legislative session in Albany. However, this is no time to be celebrating. It's a time to push for much, much more.
We learn from Chalkbeat through Michael Mulgrew that the State Assembly has been working on changing the teacher evaluation law for months. Here is Mulgrew's quote on Nixon's support for repealing the evaluation law:
“We are happy to hear of any and all support for a measure to limit the problems of standardized tests. But let the record be clear: we have been working with legislators and the executive branch for months to reform New York State’s obsession with and misuse of standardized tests,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Ms. Nixon’s 11th hour public statement on the bill – while it may score political points – won’t help it get enacted.”
Isn't it funny how the actual bill was introduced on the same day as Nixon came out for repeal of the evaluation law?
I do not think this bill goes nearly far enough toward restoring teacher dignity in NYS, especially in NYC because we are still rated based on assessments that were never designed to rate teachers or principals and nothing changes on observations.
This is from the Albany Times Union on the bill:
If I understand the bill correctly, we get the state exams taken out of our evaluations although we may still use them if we want to. No big win.
Meanwhile, multiple Danielson observations and some other state, city or locally created exams or student growth portfolios (subject to grading by God knows who in NYC) remain in our evaluations.
If the grading is controlled locally, this could be a step backwards for NYC. I saw how an assistant principal manipulated grading to sink someone's rating. The potential for abuse in NYC is huge.
This is a bill that looks like it is more for public relations than fixing the system. It may be an attempt to end the opt out from testing movement and also silence Cynthia Nixon's campaign on the teacher evaluation issue. Hopefully, people will see through what appears at first look to be just a slightly changed version of an awful evaluation system.
For example, unless I missed something, anyone rated ineffective twice still carries the burden of proof in a termination hearing. No tenured teacher carried that burden under the old Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory system. The bill looks like it was created by, you guessed it, UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
Please, please, please continue to get people to sign our petition to repeal the entire teacher and principal evaluation laws and return it to the old Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory system.