Wednesday, December 21, 2016


The UFT and Department of Education have agreed to a new teacher evaluation system and it looks like it is business as usual with the UFT coming out on the short end at the negotiating table, particularly on observations.

The 2015 state law 3012-d calls for at least two observations per year for teachers. The districts around the state had to negotiate a new evaluation system with their local teacher unions by the end of 2016 based on this law. I have looked at districts where there are agreements and they are having two observations for tenured teachers for the year and a few have more for non-tenured teachers. State law calls for a minimum of two observations and most districts and unions are agreeing to two. It makes sense. You can judge the plans for yourself here.

Even the UFT couldn't mess this one up, right?


The UFT somehow managed to agree to more minimum observations for effective and highly effective teachers than the current system calls for. Right now a teacher rated effective can opt for four informal observations per year. Under the new system it will be four by administration and two (not for evaluation) by other teachers. Who is in there in negotiations representing the classroom teacher? That is three times as many observations as the state calls for.

Does anyone want more observations?

As for the rest of the agreement, it looks like test scores or student growth will count for half of teacher ratings instead of the current 40%. There are new options coming in for the Measures of Student Learning portion that won't be tests but will increase paperwork documentation by leaps and bounds to show how students are learning. Who grades these new "authentic assessments"? Will it be the same principals who continually harass our members?

Below is Mulgrew's email explaining the new system. That is followed by Chancellor Farina's email to principals.

Dear James,
Today, we wrapped up some important unfinished business on teacher evaluation. In 2015, we were able to get state lawmakers to make some positive changes to the evaluation law. The next step was to negotiate with the city Department of Education to bring the city’s teacher evaluation system into alignment with the new state law. We went into those negotiations saying that any agreement must reduce the impact of standardized test scores, and we achieved that goal.
The new system, when fully implemented, will include more authentic student learning measures — from essays and projects to demonstrations of proficiency in physical education and the arts — that genuinely demonstrate what we do as teachers and what our students are learning. Whatever the assessments chosen to measure student learning, they will carry less weight because the new matrix used to determine final ratings focuses the final rating on each teacher’s strength.
Though this agreement was reached mid-year, our goal is to make the transition to the new system as smooth as possible. The observation option you selected at the start of the year remains in place. In January, your MOSL committee will meet to select the student learning measures your school will use this school year (the choices for this school year are similar to last year).
Teachers deserve a professional evaluation system in which administrators and teachers can work together to improve instruction in a safe and respectful environment. Those are the beliefs that underpin this agreement. If your principal tries to use the teacher evaluation system to play gotcha, that’s not in keeping with the spirit of our agreement and we will fight.

A new, simpler way to score

Starting this school year, you will have one measure of student learning instead of two. That measure will be factored into your final rating in a more straightforward, fairer way.
In the new system, teachers will no longer receive a score between zero and 100. Instead, the DOE will use a matrix to determine your final rating by combining your rating for Measures of Teaching Practice (MOTP) and your rating for Measures of Student Learning (MOSL).
The matrix makes it easy to determine your final rating. You find the box where your MOSL rating and your MOTP rating intersect, and that’s your final rating (see the chart below).
For example, if you receive an Effective in student learning measures and a Developing in teaching practice, your overall rating will be Effective.

Looking ahead: More authentic assessments

The DOE and the UFT are working to build out four Measures of Student Learning for other subjects and grades that would be available as part of your school’s MOSL selection process. The new options will be collaboratively developed by the UFT and the DOE and expanded in later years into grades and subjects where both the UFT and the DOE believe their inclusion in evaluation will be fair for teachers and beneficial for schools. All Measures of Student Learning will be aligned to grade- and subject-level standards and curriculum.
Here are the four measures under development (up from two this school year):
1. Project-Based Learning Assessments (new) are at least partly composed of work that students have developed over time in conjunction with a specific project-based learning unit.
2.  Student Learning Inventories (also new) are collections of student work that will include both DOE-developed components as well as classroom artifacts (student work) that capture student growth.
3. Performance-Based Assessments are assessments the UFT and the DOE have collaboratively developed to learn how well a student understands and completes a specific task. These assessments are already a part of our evaluation system but may be expanded into other grades and subjects starting in 2017-2018.
4. Progress Monitoring Assessments are third-party assessments that allow teachers to assess academic performance. Examples include Degrees of Reading Power and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. These assessments are part of our current evaluation system.

Looking ahead: Modified observation options

Under the new system, there will still be four observation options, but we’ve expanded the choices for teachers rated Effective or Highly Effective in the prior year.
Starting in the 2017–18 school year, teachers rated Effective — in addition to those rated Highly Effective — may choose Observation Options 3, which includes a minimum of four informal, unannounced observations plus teachers agree to open their classrooms to colleagues for at least two non-evaluative classroom visits. Highly Effective teachers may also now choose Observation Option 4, which includes a minimum of three informal, unannounced observations plus three times when teachers open their classrooms for a visiting colleague to observe and learn from their teaching.
As part of our agreement, we were also able to negotiate new safeguards and support for teachers rated Developing and Ineffective.
I realize it’s a lot to digest. That’s why we have put together a new guide that will give you the information you need to know in a simple, easy-to-digest format.
I hope you’ll join us in lobbying Albany this spring to make permanent the current moratorium on using the state ELA and math Common Core tests for students in Grades 3 to 8 to evaluate teachers. That would lock in this new focus on authentic measures of student learning.
Thank you for everything that you do.
Michael Mulgrew

Dear Colleagues,

As you prepare for time off with friends and loved ones, I want to share an important update regarding changes to our teacher and principal development and evaluation systems.

Today I announced that the City has reached agreements with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) regarding evaluation plans for teachers and principals. Our system aligns to New York State Education Law §3012-d, as well as to the Board of Regents Regulations that prohibit educators from being evaluated based on student performance on grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and math State exams until the 2019-20 school year.
Throughout our conversations with the UFT and CSA, our shared focus remained consistent: improving student achievement. I am pleased to say our new teacher and principal evaluation plans, combined with our continued focus on strong professional learning, represents an important step towards this goal.

The new plans will continue to craft high-quality teacher and principal development and evaluation systems based on multiple measures, and systems that create opportunities for educators to continually grow and improve so that all students receive an equitable and excellent education. They will also promote stability for our schools, ensuring school staff can continue to focus on their work in the classroom.
Important highlights from the agreements:

Teacher Evaluation
The Measures of Teacher Practice (MOTP) components of Advance remain largely unchanged and any evaluative observations already completed for teachers will be included in this year’s evaluation process, in addition to those observations completed during the remainder of the school year. Guidance regarding reconvening your school-based Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) committees and making MOSL selections will be provided in January 2017. Additionally, we are in the process of applying to the New York State Education Department for a waiver from the Independent Evaluator requirement and will keep you apprised of our progress.

Looking ahead to the 2017-18 school year, we have  streamlined observation options to provide more teachers with the opportunity for intentional collaboration, learning alongside both Effective and Highly Effective-rated teachers through classroom visits. We have also begun developing innovative assessments for additional MOSL-eligibility purposes, as well as expanding current options. These assessments include:
·         Additional performance-based assessments like the New York City Performance Tasks in additional grades and subjects.
·         Expanding progress monitoring assessments to other grades. Currently progress monitors, such as the Running Records, are offered primarily in early childhood grades.
·         New project based-learning assessments that build on the work being done when schools use a project-based learning pedagogical approach.
·         New student learning inventories which will include a collection of purposeful student work over time.

Principal Evaluation
Evaluative observations already completed by superintendents and Principal Leadership Facilitators will be included in this year’s evaluation process, in addition to those observations completed in the remaining months of the school year. Information on assessments included in principal evaluation MOSL will be available in January 2017.

Additionally, we are working with the CSA to select a new rubric for principal observations (Measures of Leadership Practice). We will pilot two rubrics in the 2017-18 school year. Each rubric will be piloted in one community school district and at schools supervised by one of the City’s high school superintendents, with one rubric to be selected for citywide use beginning in school year 2018-19.

We will continue to keep you updated on implementation plans, and provide ongoing support regarding next steps.

As always, thank you for your tireless work and partnership in ensuring 1.1 million students receive the best education possible.


Carmen FariƱa


Anonymous said...

This is literally the most disgusting thing the UFT has done since the 2005 contract. State law mandates TWO observations per year. The majority of districts throughout the ENTIRE state are now using two observations for tenured teachers. The UFT agreed behind closed doors to have twice that amount. The UFT could have walked away from negotiations but agreed to this nonsense. This new evaluation is worse that we have now. In simple terms, we have the same minimum amount of observations AND have to add portfolios if a teacher does not want to use tests for the rest of the other 50% of their evaluation. Basically the UFT got us nothing when every other NYS teacher union is now going living large. Friggin' NYC teachers will be waking every day to the exact same "gotcha" system that we have been dealing with times 2 now. Tell your local Unity hack to go to Hell when they come by your school to say what a great deal the new evaluation is.

Anonymous said...

The UFT just committed suicide.

Anonymous said...

WTF! I don't understand at all, how could they make it so much worse? The amount of paperwork, portfolios, etc. we'll have to do...teachers were paid thousands to have open classrooms, now we're required to!! And for free! I am sick over this, absolutely sick! Lots more work and no more pay!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is another example of Mulgrew accommodating Farina (and in absentia deBlasio) at the expense of the rank and file. Would Bloomberg have gotten this deal? No f-cking way. How much more damage does this dude have to do before teachers say enough? This will all end in mass layoffs and the end of this pathetic union.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of Mulgrew accommodating Farina (and in absentia deBlasio) at the expense of the rank and file. Would Bloomberg have gotten this deal? No f-cking way. How much more damage does this dude have to do before teachers say enough? This will all end in mass layoffs and the end of this pathetic union.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t one of them 4 15-min obvs that count and 2 teachers that don’t count? I think that most teachers don’t have the time to sit in someone else’s classroom. Not going to happen unless they use it for their 4e.

He’s going to say that if there is only two, then one bad obvs can ruin a teacher. He’s also going to mention giving admins paperwork. I don’t know why the Admins would want to do all this paperwork. Two and done would be what I want if I was doing the observing. Their union didn’t help them out either.

I know a bunch of people who picked 6 this year to make their AP work harder.

I think I rather stay with Regents grades and not do binders.

Happy Vacation (can’t wait to be observed this Friday afternoon).

Pogue said...

I would think most teachers would want only two observations, like other districts in the state. This union leadership continues to screw over the rank and file. They've been out of touch for awhile and are only looking out for themselves as this profession and union is destroyed from within.

Thank you Milgrew. Thank you Unity.

Anonymous said...

Hold on a second. Other districts like on LI may haveonly 2 observations because they respect and pay their teachers well and want to keep them. So much so that no teacher is rated ineffective in most districts out here. So how does that translate to NYC and the other cities in NYS? I bet you they don't do what LI does

sullio said...

It seems Mulgrew held out for an even crappier APPR. Well done!

Anonymous said...

The UFT is working against teachers on behalf of Bill Gates, Arne Duncan and the Koch brothers,
This deal scrapes the skies!

Anonymous said...

I have to do IEPs all the time, they take hours each now, that's doing them "quick," I am literally shaking with the amount of new paperwork I see! You think these "inter visits" will just be "go to Mr. Smiths room if you want to see addition being taught," no way! There will be preconferences or posting your lesson and a post learning conference, etc. I've written comments supporting our union over and over again. Im done! And when that day comes when union dues are a choice rather than obligatory, I am also done!

Anonymous said...

I am a physical education teacher and I have no desire to do any of this portfolio nonsense with my 400 kids. If I read the MOSL part it seems that tests can be used. Does this mean I can use the ELA/Math tests of kids in my school next year like we do now? Please, please, any info is appreciated on this!

James Eterno said...

I believe the answer is yes physical ed teacher in many cases but I think your MOSL Committee and principal can agree to portfolios. Have to see details.

anon said...

Fn quislings.

Anonymous said...

This will all end soon. There will be a new case before a reconstituted Supreme Court and scores of members will jump ship. Members have been abandoned by NYSUT and they know it. Unfortunately we will all become pawns of the corporations who will come in and take over the schools. At the state union level we have not gotten the leadership we need but rather the leadership we deserve !!!

Anonymous said...

So things will really never get better. It's funny if you look at the UFT facebook page. All the people on UFT payroll are saying what a great win this is. Out of 65 comments, only about 5 are negative.

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

A minimum of 2. MINIMUM! For many of this, little has changed. We all know admins who do tons of observations. Still the UFT told us to piss off. I really am becoming more and more discouraged with this union. It's like they want us to leave.

Anonymous said...

King Clovis- It was always minimums but most administrators had better things to do than do four observations a year. Now we can add more. What a crap deal.

Janusz said...

And the only, easy thing to change that was to open a envelope and not vote for Mulgrew. At least more then 18% us. All complaining will make us feel better momentarily until we will get hit by reality again. Vote for right people!!!!! IF you survive on payroll to the next vote

Anonymous said...

All part of the plot to push out tier 4 people . Mulgrew clearly in on that plot. Everything they do is to hurt teachers.

Wake up !!!

Unknown said...

Under the old system,the MOSL committee could recommend an option for the school, however the principal had final say. Will it work the same way under the new system?

Anonymous said...

Default system up to Chancellor if MOSL committee and principal cannot agree according to what I saw from UFT.

Anonymous said...

Don't expect help from chancellor. Farina hates teachers especially if they have been in system more than 5 years.

Anonymous said...

create a throwaway account, if you want, and help colleagues on facebook understand. right now threads are stacked with quislings.

Anonymous said...

Point them here.

Anonymous said...

Those would be Quislings mostly on the UFT payroll.

Anonymous said...

Even on the day before the break, these fucking APs are going out of their way to destroy people careers in this abomination of a school. All the APs here have to shit on every teacher here.

Anonymous said...

Told an African American male good morning he hold me to shut the fuck up. Gotta love the rockaways.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Well, thanks to this, the UFT just lost a few thousand more dues-paying members when Friedrichs II is confirmed by Trump's Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

I'm out too. What the f do I need a union for if they don't do anything but take our money and maybe provide an eyeglass voucher?

Anonymous said...

Now it is down to this: After over 20 years teaching in NYC, literally the only reason I am staying put is the pension. I plan on opting out of the UFT if and when we become a right to work state. I also plan on using the $1,300 to get an education lawyer on retainer in the event that I might need one in the future. Only possible reason to stay in the UFT is so I can get my parking permit for one month out of the entire year. (But then again, it is only $160.0 to put my car in a lot, so I guess I will just quit the UFT asap)

Anonymous said...

I worked for 10 years back in the day before mayoral control. During those years, I worked in 4 schools, and the relationship between teachers and admins was always collegial. Sure they were your superiors, but they understood that their role was to support you and help you be the most effective teacher possible.

Then along came mayoral control and leadershit academy, etc, etc and its been all downhill since. So many of these admins are such assholes. We need the UFT more than ever but they are just a paper tiger.

Best advice for newbies: Get your teaching chops and then get the hell out of town.

Quinn Zannoni said...

UFT members should start paying dues to CSA after Friedrichs and we'll get down to two evaluations.

Anonymous said...

All I want for Christmas is my two observations.

James Eterno said...

Scary thoughts Quinn.