From our notes on last week's Delegate Assembly, here is the part on teacher evaluations that has me quite concerned:
Question: Thanks Mulgrew, Principal scheduling observations and teachers have been told they would be doing observations. What is the status of that?
Answer: There are no observations. There is no evaluation agreement. State has not waived student learning but left evaluation up to districts. Many would like to go S or U but using authentic assessment will lead to teachers being treated in a fairer way. S or U led to thousands being rated poorly because they had a fight with a principal. Let's get basic authentic assessment in for this year. We are telling our people to do that. No observations at this point. We should have APPR done by early January. We need protocols on online classrooms. Administrators saying they want access as a teacher into a classroom. They already have access as administrator. They don't know how to run their own digital platform.
Recall that last school year evaluations were waived so everyone basically received no rating but pedagogues were still tenured. For this year, the choices are satisfactory-unsatisfactory or some variation of the Measures of Teacher Progress-Measures of Student Learning system. Mulgrew said we should have something done by early January. I am not expecting anything decent based on the UFT's track record.
How are administrators going to figure out the MOSL's? What are going to be the authentic assessments if there are no state exams? What are the local assessments? How many observations are going to be required by principals or assistant principals who mostly have less experience than the teachers on remote or socially distanced classes? Teachers and students have enough to worry about during a pandemic. I foresee the UFT and DOE agreeing to a less than ideal system. (That's not a bold prediction.)
What the union leadership should be doing is asking teachers how they want to be rated. A survey would be a good start. Tell chapter leaders to poll their members and get results back to the district representatives on whether teachers would prefer an S or U system or a MOTP-MOSL system. Please answer in the comments section and spare me the comments on opting out.
If you want your voice heard on the issue, now is the time to raise it up real loud. Two friends, John Lawhead (ICE-Solidarity) and Quinn Zannoni (Solidarity) had what I thought was a very good resolution on evaluations that Mulgrew ran out the clock at the DA so he wouldn't have to deal with it.
Motion No. 4 — Resolution Rejecting Remote Teaching Amendments to APPR (submitted by Quinn Zannoni)
WHEREAS, principals across the NYC Department of Education have been sharing among themselves a newly released Danielson Group framework for Remote Teaching; and
WHEREAS, the Danielson Framework for Remote Teaching is not on the New York State Education Department's list of Approved Teacher Practice Rubrics for New York State; and
WHEREAS, there is no sound basis for using any remote teaching evaluation framework, as there are no proven, research-based “best practices” for the experimental remote learning modality which has been under development and in operation for less than one full school year; and
WHEREAS, the city has adopted a remote teaching modality as a temporary emergency response measure and has no contractual approval to continue with the practice beyond the limited scope of a pilot program teaching high school AP and foreign language classes; and
WHEREAS, under the extenuating circumstances of a pandemic, adding an arbitrary, untested framework/rubric to an already confusing mix of ever-changing DOE directives regarding online schooling will do nothing but cause confusion and add stress for all stakeholders; and,
WHEREAS, most building administrators have no experience in teaching or evaluating teachingin an online setting; therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the UFT rejects any framework or rubric that purports to measure teacher effectiveness in a remote setting.
Calling it a day on ratings and waiting until next school year seems like a good suggestion.
What teachers need to do right away is scream very loudly if you don't want a remote version of the evaluation system thrown at you in 2021. At the very least, any agreement that changes the Contract the should be voted for by the Executive Board, DA, and membership. It won't happen if you scream to opt out and not to fight back.