Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The new evaluation system mandates teachers who receive a rating of developing or ineffective will get a Teacher Improvement Plan. Part of the T.I.P. is a conference with an administrator to discuss the plan.

Our colleague John Elfrank sat through a conference recently.

WARNING: Don't try this if you still have years in the system and/or you are looking to win friends and influence people among administration.

TIP Responses:

AP: Mr. Elfrank-Dana, What are your areas of strength?

Me: Why don’t you tell me? This is your meeting?

AP: Oh, no this is a collaboration.
Me: So, I can leave and it won’t be considered insubordination?
AP: uh…

Me: Look, YOU gave me this Developing rating. It’s not mine. So, you need to answer the question.

AP: What are your areas for improvement?

Me: You tell me. You tell me what I have to do to be an Effective rated teacher, You tell me what you are going to do for me to get me there.

AP: What were your strengths?
Me: This process is a fraud. It’s a product of Bloomberg and my union president who has the IQ of a tree stump. It’s an illusion of due diligence. This process is a part of a larger war on public education.  I will answer as a prisoner of war.

AP: What are your MOTP and MOSL goals for this year and your timeline to meet these goals?
Me: John Elfrank Dana, Teacher/Chapter Leader, File no. XXXXXX

AP: When would you like your summative meeting to take place?

Me: John Elfrank Dana, Teacher/Chapter Leader, File no. XXXXXX

And so on…

AP: The evaluator chooses if video will be used. (She points our rightly that the UFT gave the discretion of video to the evaluator instead of the evaluated. Way to go Mulgrew!)

Me: Why would  you not want to use video? (background, I had formals videoed last year and they had to give me Effective, as they couldn’t make stuff up. But, they refused to look at them as I argued I should have gotten Highly Effective and the proof of 100 percent engagement for both formals was in the video).
AP: I am not saying I won’t.
Me: So, what do you say?
AP: I won’t say now.

Me: This is symptomatic of what I am talking about.

This whole process is a fraud.

I said staff should request no more than one unannounced observation (as is the minimum stated in Advance p.9) The principal said no. I argued, in other TIP meetings,  that this is supposed to be collaborative and not dictatorial. The minimum of one informal unannounced is there. Why would they put it in if it’s not an option? We will file APPR complaints if they don’t concede. Janella Hinds shared with me that she thinks unannounced observations are a good thing. I said, it sounds like I’m talking to the Gates Foundation. And that the UFT can ignore our complaints but a judge down the road may not.

In solidarity,

John Elfrank-Dana
UFT Chapter Leader


Anonymous said...

thank you for your post! The silence on this issue is unbelievable! An amazing senior teacher at my school was degraded from highly effective rating to developing rating because the teacher instructs special education illiterate students.What is the Union doing???? Nothing!!! First it was the the ATRs, next up SpED teachers. Who will stand up for them? No one. And as the poem goes... who will stand up for you, when the DOE & UFT screw you.

Anonymous said...

Jsmes,I know this is unrelated to the TIP, but it has to do with being an ATR, and I thought you needed to know what happened with me yesterday. I received emails last Sunday morning telling me I had 2 mandatory interviews this week. One was supposed to be yesterday, Sept. 17 and the other on Friday the 19th. It had said in the email that the principal had a right to cancel but was to notify us by the afternoon prior in an email. Well, I checked my email Tuesday night and did not have any new mail. When I arrived at my assigned school, my principal told me he got an email that stated my interview was cancelled but he wasn't able to bring it up on his blackberry to show me. I checked my email again and nothing new. I then called the school where the interview was scheduled. The payroll secretary there said she asked an admin and was not told it was cancelled so she said to come on in. I left my assigned school in Bushwick, Brooklyn and drove to a middle school in Crown Heights for the interview. After I arrived there the principal walked over and said the interview had been cancelled because they had already filled it with another ATR.
The AP said that the network was supposed to send out cancellation emails but I never received it. This must be corrected so in the future noone wastes gas, or endangers themselves traveling in poor weather or dealing with difficult public transportation. James, please let the uft know about this.

Anonymous said...

notify the uft-
dont forge t
if we neglect to show for two mandated interviews
we potentially could lose our jobs. what a farce.

James Eterno said...

If we don't show up for two mandated interviews, we have resigned. I was concerned today. What if the subway train got stuck? Please be careful and professional everyone.

Anonymous said...

How about this one for ya:
I was told by my principal that if i didn't have a "comprehensive" lesson plan for an informal observation, I would be rated as ineffective.

Anonymous said...

This piece insults tree stumps by comparing their IQs to the UFT president. On behalf of all tree stumps, I demand an apology.