Arthur Goldstein's Executive Board minutes are must reading for UFT members. Last night, according to Arthur's report, UFT President Michael Mulgrew responded to a question about the new chancellor search by conceding that Department of Education middle level management is out of control.
What was that Mike?
Here are the minutes from this part of Arthur's report:
Having conversations—slim pickings for chancellor—not offering names, but telling them where to look and what we want. Need someone who wants meaningful collaboration. Middle management is problematic. no quality insurance. We want a teacher. Mayor agrees.
Lists are amusing. Post and Times almost identical. Half list fired by current admin. Most names pushed grads of Broad Academy. We are not fans.
Mayor has clear plan and policies. Based on research so they don’t write about that. They have to follow mayor’s benchmarks. Mayor puts ten year plans forth. Does not seem to be time line. Could take months. If we get right person, fine, but middle management out of control. Probably not looking internally.
If middle management is out of control and problematic, where the hell has the UFT been the last four years?
Hasn't Mulgrew been touting how wonderful the NYC schools are? Aren't we a model school system?
What are we doing now to reign MIDDLE management in?
We also learned from Arthur's report that the UFT is attempting to bring Regents marking back to the schools. That would not make people who earn money doing per session marking exams happy but I think it does make sense for the school system overall as most of us are professionals who mark fairly.
However, we do have to be careful here because there are too many schools where administrators pressure teachers to pass everyone no matter what. They would turn up the heat on teachers on Regents marking. Also, our ratings and the principals' are tied to these grades. That needs to end.
Here is what Arthur asked and the answer from HSVP Janella Hinds:
Arthur Goldstein—MORE—Some people here know that my school and others are now giving midterms during this week, which is Regents week. Some schools are holding classes while they’re doing that, and while all English teachers are out of the building grading. It seems like Queens principals are having contests over how many things they can make their teachers can juggle at one time.
Not too long ago, we graded our own Regents papers and the city didn’t need to pull our teachers out of the building or pay for who knows how many hours of per session. Then Merryl Tisch decided we must all be a bunch of crooks and forbade us from grading our own students on standardized tests.
I can understand why they might suspect dishonesty. The state lowers standards and declares Michael Bloomberg a genius, then raises them and says all the teachers must be incompetent.
A bright light, for me, was when Janella proposed we move grading back into our own schools. An even better move would be to remove the ban on us grading our own students. I’d argue that if we were not fit to grade our own students then none of us should ever been hired.
So my questions are whether we’ve made any progress toward placing grading in home schools, and also whether we might move to make the geniuses in Albany reconsider a regulation that stereotypes us as a bunch of crooks. Just because they are, it doesn’t follow that we are.
Janella Hinds—Should not have both education and assessment moving. Conversations in process. Believe it would be more economically sound to keep teachers in school. Will talk with state to see about this.
Hey Arthur, at least the Unity crowd let you ask your question this time. That's progress.