Thursday, May 30, 2013


          The following piece is taken from last Friday’s UFT weekly update for Chapter Leaders.  My take is both the UFT and city are planning to claim victory when State Education Commissioner John King releases his arbitration decision on Saturday.  I am very skeptical; the devil will be in the details.
The UFT expects to receive a decision from the state on Saturday, June 1 about the new evaluation system for teachers in New York City. The state’s decision will come out of binding arbitration between the union and the city’s Department of Education, which will culminate in two days of hearings in Albany in late May (this week).
           The arbitration is necessary because of the Department of Education’s failure to negotiate in good faith. Upon release of the state’s binding arbitration ruling, the union will carefully comb through it. The UFT’s staff will come into work on Sunday, June 2, to prepare a fact sheet and other materials that will explain the details of the evaluation system to members.               
UFT President Michael Mulgrew warned delegates at the May 22 meeting to expect the DOE to read the state ruling differently than the union. He said the union will fight to make sure the DOE implements the evaluation system correctly: as a tool for supporting teachers and helping them develop throughout their careers. Chapter Leaders should be aware that in response to a question from a delegate about the DOE’s planned team training in the Danielson Framework for Teaching, Mulgrew said, “We never signed off on this. We don’t approve of it.”

Is there anybody out there who believes the new evaluation system will be a tool for "supporting teachers and helping them develop throughout their careers?"

At Jamaica, we have had multiple "low stakes" administrator observations being done to practice for the new Danielson framework.    I had seven administrators in my room, some from Jamaica and some from outside,  for a class last week. I would call that an unnatural environment for learning. I believe this type of observation is quite disruptive to the learning process.   It is good to know the practice is not signed off on by the UFT.


Marjorie STamberg said...

Today we had 7 come in to two teachers rooms --- it is extremely disruptive and as you say has nothing to do with "supporting teachers." Even the language is grotesque: "school reform" is really charterization and union-busting. Now these Danielson trainers to train administrators to rate us out of the DOE are called "talent coaches" !

Anonymous said...

Purely Orwellian.

GeoKaro said...

Other dueling announcement, June 1:
the Buffalo Teachers Federation is suing in court, over the issue of the use of evaluations leading to terminations. They originally had an MOU stipulating against such use of their evaluations.
Buffalo Teachers Fed.'s Evaluations Suit - MOU Too Embarrassing for Mulgrew to Let NYC Teachers See No wonder Mulgrew isn't pushing for us to go to Albany June 8.

Talent coaches, hah! Notice how often these people --like our union leadership-- have not been in the classroom for years.

GeoKaro said...

Buffalo teachers are fighting over the evaluation termination tie-in as are implicit in the agreements for the appeals;

our UFT not just allowed evaluations for negative end of year reviews, they gave the NYC DOE a silver platter of a 7% quota.

See UFT President Mulgrew says about 7% of teachers will have bad ratings under the new evaluation system at NYC Educator.

GeoKaro said...

NYC Educator:

Anonymous said...

The 7% is a statewide average. NYC will probably be higher.

Anonymous said...

I work at Jamaica. I heard Friday that five administrators walked in to a classroom, stayed about two minutes and then left. They asked the teacher why the ac didn't work. It is one of the few air conditioners in classrooms and it is broken. Saved by the heat. Also, I heard kids are upset by intrusions.

Jeff A said...

Just got mulgrew's letter telling me how good the ruling was. Of course no actual copy of the ruling. Just telling us all we need to worry our little heads about. it is much too difficult for us to understand the complexity so why bother linking or posting the ruling. Does anyone else feel like our union purposely withholds info from the rank and file?