Tuesday, June 18, 2013


We wasted another half a day of potential marking this afternoon as apparently the folks at McGraw-Hill cannot scan and upload the test papers to our computers as fast as we can read them.  Therefore, teachers  graded for a few hours in the morning and then had to sit around for most of the rest of the day waiting for more papers to come on line ready to be scored.

After lunch we were able to score only a handful of papers and then everything shut down again so after waiting around for an hour for more papers to come online, we were sent home.  What a complete waste of time and taxpayers' money.

If we were back grading the old way at our schools, we would probably be finished scoring by now.  Think about the students who may need  to pass a Regents to graduate but because of the glitches in the new system, they might not be able to know if they have graduated by the time the graduation ceremonies take place.

Personally, I am content to hang around with this group of great teachers at Cardozo High School but this new electronic grading process is not working very well so far.

One more point on the grading fiasco. Part of it is truly a throwback to the Industrial Revolution. Our computers are monitored by administration so that they know exactly how many papers we have scored and what grades we are giving.  We were told to make sure we keep up. More than a few teachers related how we truly feel like factory workers.

I'll update you as the week goes on.

It looks like the UFT will endorse Bill Thompson for mayor. No surprise there.  After AFT President Randi Weingarten decided to support Thompson, the drama was gone.  Should we be supporting Thompson?

He is endorsed by the Chancellor of the Regents Meryl Tisch who runs his campaign.  Tisch is a main architect of much of the so called reforms that are slowly killing the teaching profession. Alphonse D'Amato, one of the biggest teacher bashing politicians of all time, also backs Thompson.

John Liu, Bill deBlasio or the Green Party seem like much better alternatives when it comes to supporting teacher issues.  Some will argue that it is more important for us to back a winner. What has endorsing pro business Democrats done for UFT members?  Didn't NYSUT endorse Andrew Cuomo?  Didn't teacher unions across the country  back Barrack Obama twice?  Didn't the UFT endorse George Pataki? Can someone find anything that our support for these politicians and others gained us?

Another excellent analysis of the new teacher evaluation system was done by our friend Chaz.  Chaz compares the validation process in the new system to Peer Intervention + which is part of the current UFT contract.  In PIP+ a non-Department of Education consultant comes and observes a teacher who has been rated unsatisfactory and is in danger of being charged with incompetence.  Chaz points out that in the PIP+ process, the so called neutral person sent in to help the teacher upholds the U rating in over 90
% of the cases and that evidence is used to terminate the teacher.

In the current system, teachers can say no to PIP+ and the burden of proof to show a teacher is incompetent remains with the Board of Education.  Under the new evaluation system, teachers rated ineffective for a year will be forced into a PIP+ type validation process in year two and if the teacher fails, there will be a presumption of incompetence and the teacher will have to prove he/she is not incompetent which will be next to impossible.

Chaz estimates that around 3,500 teachers will be fired after the second year under the new evaluation system.  I think the number will be lower only because the DOE will not have sufficient personnel or enough arbitration dates to handle the increased volume of termination hearings.  As much as the UFT is usually willing to concede, I don't see them that easily agreeing to expand the arbitration dates to fire people.and smart teachers will fight back by documenting everything.

I expect to see the Daily News and NY Post go after us again because the termination process is too slow. They will point out how many teachers are on termination row almost daily. Ultimately, as I see it the new evaluation system is so illogical and complicated that it will hopefully collapse under the weight of its ridiculousness. Or maybe Mulgrew is right and a new fair way to evaluate teachers will emerge under a new mayor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the major should change the marking system back to the old ways.
instead of teachers going to other schools.