In the weekly email for Chapter Leaders, the UFT reports that there is relief on paperwork coming for UFT members. Here is the story taken directly from the Union.
The UFT and the Department of Education reached agreement on May 19 on a broader set of enforceable paperwork standards in the union’s ongoing effort to reduce and eliminate the excessive paper and electronic demands that are taking educators’ time away from students. The three new standards, negotiated by the union based on teacher feedback, builds on the first systemwide standards, which were negotiated and implemented at the beginning of the school year as a result of the paperwork provision in the 2014 contract. “Excessive paperwork is the biggest daily issue facing our members in schools,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “These standards give educators a tool to get relief if they can’t resolve the issue at the school level.” Read the expanded paperwork standards.
Now here is the entire agreement copied below. If you can find any real relief or gains here, please point them out to us. It looks to these eyes like there are enough loopholes in these standards to drive a truck through.
Paperwork Reduction Standards
I. General Standard
Educators and Related Service Providers shall not be required, whether on paper or electronically, to perform redundant, duplicative, unnecessary or unreasonable amounts of record keeping concerning the performance of, plans for or evaluation of students, unless necessary in order to comply with federal or state statutory or other legal requirements imposed on the DOE.
II. The Quality Review:
Schools are to present only existing curricular and existing school-level documents to contextualize the assessment of all Quality Indicators, especially 1.1, rather than create documents for the sole purpose of the Quality Review. Additionally, evidence can be verbal or observable in the classroom/school environment within existing school processes and will include a review of only those documents used in the normal course of teaching and learning. Reviewers and evaluators will consider the time of the year that the visit takes place and the work underway in each school when they review curricular and other school-level documents.
III. Special Education/D75
1. The DOE has discontinued the use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and CAP to record the provision of related services to K-12 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and will use SESIS encounter attendance as the primary system of record for related service provision, and BESIS for ESL provision.
2. The DOE will continue to engage UFT to prioritize how to streamline and enhance SESIS functionality to increase usability. The system enhancements will commence on a rolling basis as identified.
3. Each school or program shall continue to engage with all users of SESIS to provide adequate time and computer access to complete SESIS-related tasks.
IV. Data Systems and Attendance
1. Schools may adopt only one school-based system for tracking student attendance (not including SESIS) in addition to the DOE source attendance system, except when expressly required by law or expressly required to receive federal, state or private grant funds schools may have additional attendance systems as required.
2. The DOE will explore and pursue options to integrate attendance-taking systems with as many other tasks as possible as part of our commitment to the UFT to reduce teacher paperwork.
3. Educators and related service providers are not required to print collections or binders of documents that are available in electronic databases. Teachers are responsible for complying with reasonable requests for printing any documents for the purposes of parent interactions/communications and professional conversations with supervisors.
4. School staff will continue to be responsible, based on student need, for providing reports related to student achievement, report cards, a student’s IEP, student behavior, and the social/emotional development of individual students. Such requests will not be routinized, school-wide or solely for the purpose of creating a binder for the storage of information.
5. Educators and Related Service Providers shall be required to keep grades and/or session notes in one manner, unless necessary in order to comply with federal or state statutory or other legal requirements imposed on DOE. Staff required to use online or electronic systems shall be provided adequate computer access during the workday. This is in addition to the DoE source system until such time as systems can be aligned.
V. Parent Engagement, Other Professional Work, and Professional Development
Parent Engagement, Other Professional Work and Professional Development time shall not generate excessive or redundant paperwork or electronic work. This shall not preclude a principal from creating reasonable requirements requiring teachers to briefly track Parent Engagement time. (See appendix for sample).
Every spring, and at the request of either party, the Central Paperwork Committee shall review the standards to see if they need to be modified and/or updated.
Who sits on the District Paperwork Committee? What is its role? These District Committees will be made up of an equal number of representatives from the UFT and the DOE. The committee will include the District/High School Superintendent or his/her designee, and it will be primarily responsible for ensuring that the standards are met.
What happens when the school-level consultation does not bring a paperwork issue to resolution? Paperwork concerns will be addressed at the school level first. If the school staff, principal, and superintendent cannot come to agreement, the issue will be raised at the district-level committee. Should the District Committee be unable to resolve the issue, as per the system-wide paperwork reduction standards, the central committee will hear the issue. The decision of the central committee will be enforced by the superintendent.
What are examples of tasks that may be performed during the Monday PD time and/or Tuesday parent engagement time? As per the Memorandum of Agreement, when Parent Engagement and/or Professional Development activities are not taking place, teachers may participate in other professional activities: collaborative planning, Lesson Study, Inquiry and review of student work, work related to Measures of Student Learning (“MOSL”), IEP-related work, work related to computer systems/data entry; preparing and grading student assessments; mentoring; as well as responsibilities related to teacher leader duties for all individuals in Teacher Leadership Positions.
What is a unit plan? The UFT and the DOE have agreed upon this format as the acceptable format for the unit plan.
What about the paperwork associated with Teacher Evaluation and Measures of Student Learning (MOSL)? These tasks are required. There will be one or two periods of time during the school year, based upon a school’s MOSL selections, which will be designated as “MOSL windows” for the entire school district by the DOE. During these MOSL windows, teachers shall be permitted to devote as much time as necessary during the entire Parent Engagement periods of time to perform MOSL-related work. Should teachers not have a need to do MOSL-related work during the MOSL window, they shall engage in either Parent Engagement or Other Professional work.