Saturday, October 08, 2016


Michael Mulgrew at the September Chapter Leader meeting made a big deal about the UFT fighting against excessive paperwork and making sure teachers in core subjects have curriculum. How real and how winnable is this battle?

I do take the President at his word that they are trying to stop the excessive paperwork and see to it that everyone has curriculum. This post concentrates on curriculum.

Here is what Arthur Goldstein said in his minutes of the September meeting on this issue:

No. one issue for members, from poll, is paperwork. Was problem years ago, is no provision in contract, yet two years later it remains number one issue. There is a disconnect because things members are doing are things they are not supposed to do, as per contract. Much paperwork is tied to curriculum. Who thinks they get curriculum? Much laughter ensues. Should be a list of topics, with scope and sequence, with what students are expected to know, for semester or year: Why are teachers writing this? Why would a principal ask you to write something she is supposed to supply.

We get paperwork complaints in June because of bad rating fears. Important to file complaints more early. We have to change that culture. Mulgrew's issue is we have to figure who has a curriculum, who doesn't, and how we systematically collect it. DOE has a lot of curriculum offered to principals online. Why do they ask us for it?

If administration just tells teachers to go to the Engage NY website, does that constitute providing a curriculum?

What specifically does our Contract say?

Article 7R2 covers curriculum:

2. Curriculum The Board of Education (DOE) agrees to provide teachers with either a year-long or semester long Curriculum that is aligned with State Standards in all Core Subjects. Curriculum is defined as:

a) a list of content and topics; 
b) scope and sequence; and 
c) a list of what students are expected to know and be able to do after studying each topic. 

Core Subjects are defined as follows: Math (including, but not limited to, Algebra and Geometry), Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science (including, but not limited to, General Science, Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics), Foreign Languages and other subject areas named by the DOE and shared with the UFT. It is understood that the DOE’s obligation to provide curriculum shall extend to Core courses that may be electives. 

It is further understood by both parties that there are instances where teachers may want to participate in the development of curriculum. Such instances include, but are not limited to, the creation of new themed schools or programs within a school, or where a teacher or group of teachers wishes to create or help create a set of lessons around a particular theme or subject, where approved by the principal. 

Nothing in this agreement is intended to prohibit voluntary collaboration or work by teachers and other school staff on curriculum. However, if there is a specific request by the DOE or a school administrator for a teacher or teachers to write curriculum, then the teacher(s) must be given sufficient time during the work day to do so, in accordance with provisions of the collective bargaining agreement or given sufficient time after school, in accordance with the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement pertaining to Per Session.

This provision seems to give the administrators some work in developing curriculum. But what constitutes an adequate curriculum? As is par for the course, the UFT allows language to be inserted in the contract that lets the DOE off the hook. Here is the last paragraph of Article 7R2:

The failure to provide curriculum as defined above shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures set forth in Article Twenty-Two of the collective bargaining agreement. However, such grievances shall be strictly limited to whether a curriculum, as defined above, was provided. The sufficiency and quality of the curriculum provided shall not be grievable.

If administrations provides something from a foreign country or another state or just copies the state rubbish and says it is the curriculum, what can we do about it?

Go out and fight for that curriculum folks. However, when you get a pile of garbage that is called curriculum or are directed to some website for it, I hope if teachers try to grieve that the UFT backs them up. This contractual language unfortunately does not give me too much hope that we will all be receiving adequate curriculum at any time in the near or distant future


Anonymous said...

Such a joke. I do not know a single teacher who is complaining about "paperwork". Evaluations are a much, much, bigger topic for the teachers at my school. I will take a ten foot tall stack of paperwork any day instead of living in fear of drive by observations.

Anonymous said...

The real problem at least in my school with curriculum is that admin is getting the teachers to write it for free during PD. You can read it right there in the excerpt above that they must give an additional prep or per-session after school to write curriculum if they request that you do it. If they were teaching us "how" to write curriculum in PD that would be different but no they are expecting it to be written and given to them for free. Where is the money from the budget for curriculum going if I am writing it for free? Not to mention the conspiracy theorist in me that thinks they will take my curriculum, written by a vet teacher, and hand it off to a newbie that costs them half of what the pay for me after they run me out of the profession.

Anonymous said...

Observations are a much bigger problem than curriculum or paperwork for most of us. UFT doesn't care about that.

Anonymous said...

We must keep these teachers working 24/7. First let's close the Office of Curriculum Development and throw out all the scopes, sequences, curriculum maps, and binders with the accompanied lesson plans. Next, let get the worst possible textbooks money can buy (from Pearson, of course), insuring that these books can't be used. Try to buy a personal copy machine! because there's no money for paper, ink, or a
Xerox machine. Now let's add extra working time to Monday's and Tuesday's, we'll use this time to tell you how terrible you are. Then let's get rid of grade books and put everything on the ridiculously named Schedula - but instead of putting grades in once a term, grade them each time they come to class (and you better pass them, even if they don't show up). Now let's add Common Core to make sure they get proper work. Now let's align CC to NY State standards. Now, let's make they are all aligned to NYC standards. Now let's make sure that those lesson plans follow the format given out by your individual school. Now lets make sure that your lesson is delivered according the bribed educator Ms. Danielson's methodology. The UFT and Mulgrew? They are irrelevant in every possible way.

Unitymustgo! said...

Sorry to be off topic, but just saw this in the past weeks NYCDOE Principals Weekly. The DOE can freeze the salaries based upon their evaluation? Wow?: Information about Performance-Based Salary Step Transactions in the September 15 Paycheck
All schools

September 15 paychecks included salary step adjustments for specific annualized UFT instructional employees paid below step 8b, based on their June 2016 or prior year performance ratings in the Employee Information System (EIS). Affected employees had their salary step frozen, continued frozen, or restored as appropriate. Notification letters were mailed to employees at their home addresses.

You can view detailed salary information for your staff members by taking the following steps in the EIS:

• Access the EIS Option 2.6 (Table of Organization Processing).
• Enter the individual EIS ID number. Press enter.
• View the Person Inquiry by PTF Screen.
• Press F4 to access the window.
• Select the window Option 2 (Display Employee Salary History). Press enter.
• View the Salary History screen and explanatory message which appears on the top.

Announcements about performance-based salary freezings and restorations for Advance-rated teachers will be announced in a future edition of Principals’ Weekly.

Affected employees with inquiries about these transactions can call HR Connect at 718 935-4000. The Payroll Secretary Support Line is also available at 718 935-4003.

Anonymous said...

That's great! When these teachers get too expensive we can freeze their salaries until we terminate. Nothing new by the way.

Anonymous said...

Haha to uft tweeting bullying is up because of Trump.

Anonymous said...

That's because he won big time tonight. Those moderators were clearly biased, and I detest Trump. I won't vote for Crooked Hillary ethier. The UFT endorsement is the kiss of death for every politician.

Anonymous said...

There was bullying when I was in HS 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

UFT is so crooked. They waste our dues on garbage, do nothing for us in the most dire situations, have reps sitting in the office who know less than I do, the list goes on and on...

Anonymous said...

Yes that's why Rotten Randi chose Crooked Hillary. The UFT is more concerned about their buffets than about their members - Let them eat Quail! Mulgrew should invest in some diction lessons, a hair transplant and a tailored suit - also a visit to a priest, minister, rabbi or therapist to discuss moral behavior as it regards to honest representation for those he purports to represent.

Anonymous said...

A dem at all costs...