Sunday, April 22, 2012

Something in the Air Upstate as Teachers Rebel Against Teacher Evaluation System Based on Student Test Scores

The Buffalo teachers' union and the school district still cannot reach an agreement on the new evaluation system.  Instead of caving in, the teachers plan to walk out when State Education Commissioner John King addresses the New York State United Teachers next week in Buffalo.   I wonder if New York City teachers will be asked to support them in solidarity? Buffalo is risking Race To The Top funds because they don't have a new evaluation agreement in place.

It looks as though some of our upstate colleagues refuse to submit willingly to value added assessments that are really an excuse to weaken tenure and make it easier to fire teachers.

This particular quote from Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore concerning the State Education Commissioner says a great deal: "[King and his team]They are so far removed from the realities of the classroom and what is really important about measuring student growth and teacher performance that they are just blundering and muddying the waters and issuing edicts that have no connection to reality as to what will really help teachers teach and students learn." 

Rumore continued: "They have no concept as to what the problems teachers are facing, whether student absenteeism, or the 40 different languages spoken by students in our district, or the special-education students. People are so far removed from the classroom," Rumore said of the state education department.

Now that's a union leader!

In a related topic, I was in attendance on Tuesday night at an anti high stakes testing forum where Rockville Centre Central High School Principal Carol Burris was on a panel opposing using student tests to evaluate teachers along with Class Size Matters Leonie Haimson and two teachers.  They talked about writing a teacher letter opposing the new evaluation system.  One pretty good letter from our friends upstate already exists.

Here is the link.

Please consider signing it.


Chaz said...

SED Commissioner King wants the teacher evaluation system to include truants. Any union that agrees to ignore student attendance must be out of their minds.

Leo Casey claims the DOE and the union agreed to a 85-90% student attendance factor. I am not so sure the SED would accept it, even if the DOE agreed with it.

Anonymous said...

Schools are scored based on truant test scores and they are closed if too many don't show up. Don't believe a final evaluation system won't include truants. This is the DOE.

Paul Hogan said...

Signed on.

Thanks for the link James.

Paul Hogan

Anonymous said...

This guy Rumore looks like the real deal.

Unlike Mulgrew, the Buffalo teachers leader is willing to play hardball with the scumbag politicians who just want to beat up on organized workers.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the AFT or UFT will support our fellow educators. Buffalo teachers stay strong!!! Many districts around the country are giving the RTTT funds a kick through the door including Montgomery County, Md.

Anonymous said...

This greenhorn who hid out in charter schools where the real kids get kicked out never learned how to settle a dispute so he's created a power struggle with BTF and Phil Rumore. Too bad lil John, now you're getting schooled by the master. And nobody in Buffalo is giving an inch so sit there looking like the rookie teacher you are while everyone takes note that you Sir are in waaay over your head. A battle tested Commish would have worked this all out by now and would be working hard with the districts to dump this $32 million contract with Pearson even if they are going to pay for Cuomo's 2016 whitehouse run. As it stands though we have Commissioner Pineapple with egg on his face stuck in no-man's land where his arrogance and ignorance of the basic fundamentals of ed leadership have planted him. Anyone say "No confidence?" Oh I think BTF just did. Solidarity and Sanity in 2012 the year we kick the "reformers" to the curb.

Pedro Nicolas Payano said...

Test scores are useful in determining a student's progress. However, other factors should be considered, such as: student participation, class quizzes and exams. A classroom teacher should have a real understanding on how much a student has learned. All that should be taken into account.

By: Pedro Nicolas Payano