Thursday, May 21, 2015


Our friend NYC Educator has continued our tradition of doing monthly Delegate Assembly reports. For those who are new to the blog, I am in exile since Jamaica High School, where I worked for 28 years, closed in 2014 so I cannot have a DA seat this year.  If  Absent Teacher Reserves (ATRs) want to get elected as a Delegate or Chapter Leader for the next three years, we have to run for office at the schools we were in on May 4 even though we have no right to a position in these schools for next year when our DA term would commence.  Real fair isn't it?

Some of us put in a complaint on behalf of Absent Teacher Reserves to the UFT and when it was denied by the Executive Board, we appealed to the AFT.  There has been no response from AFT President Randi Weingarten after a week and a half.  We have to exhaust all internal remedies before we can go to the federal government for help.  Meanwhile, the DA marches on without the ATRs, including me.

It is good to know that NYC Educator is at the DA reporting so I don't have to go sit in the visitors' section on the 19th floor.

Judging from NYC Educator's minutes, nothing earth shattering happened this month.  Digging through his piece, here is my favorite part.  Below is a summary of President Michael Mulgrew's view of the new and soon to be spun improved evaluation system.  NYC Educator's notes on Mulgrew's report say this about the Matrix that the next rating system will be based on:

"Matrix—Misunderstood. For first time, if MOSL (Measures of Student Learning, i.e. student test score results) effective or developing, teacher can’t be rated ineffective. Says it will work for us until we can change federal law. Says state believes admin in cahoots with teachers and that’s what they act on. Says UFT is smart and tactical, and that we wanted this out of hands of legislature, which wanted minimum number of ineffective ratings (an ineffective rating quota). Says student proficiency ought not to be equated with teacher ratings."

The usual Mulgrew victory dance on how wonderful the UFT is doing and how the evaluation system is just great. Smart and tactical?  I might choose some different words.

I just had my fourth Danielson observation in a month today (I don't think administration at Middle College HS, where I have been assigned for the year, knew the school had to evaluate me when I first came there).  So far they haven't been bad observations but I am not feeling the love for any of the new evaluation system.  It is a pain in the butt that does nothing to improve instruction.

According what I am reading from the State Education Department via Perdido Street School, we might only have to have two ten minute observations next year. The person evaluating teachers from outside the school that the UFT wants to count for up to 25% of our rating can figure out we are effective in ten minutes. Another UFT victory? As long as the kids show growth on those deeply flawed exams that around 200,000 students opted out of, we'll be fine.

We can see the whole mess coming apart.  All that is keeping ed deform together is the big bucks of the people who want to destroy public education.

Thanks NYC Educator for sitting through each DA.  We appreciate your efforts

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