It is rather unusual to draft something online on a blog but since the readers at this blog inspired this draft, I leave it up to you to edit and hopefully we will get a consensus. While anonymous comments are welcome as usual, any serious editing should be done on email. Email at ICEUFT@mail.com so we can work on this.
It's time to come forward and say who you are since we will all need to sign the finalized version. The recent West Virginia strike proved that from the ground up teachers can improve their lives but we have to stop hiding and come out in the open.We can't expect Michael Mulgrew or Randi Weingarten to help us; we must do it ourselves.
I want to send this to President Mulgrew, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature.
Draft petition to repeal NYS Teacher Evaluation Laws 3012-c and 3012-d
We must return teacher evaluation to local districts free from state mandates by repealing New York State Education Laws 3012-c and. 3012-d.
- Evaluating teachers based on student results on tests and other student assessments that were never designed to rate educators is neither a scientifically or educationally sound way to be used for a Measure of Student Learning portion of a teacher's rating.
- The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher evaluations is subjective and highly unfair, particularly in NYC where the Danielson Framework has been used not to help teachers grow as professionals but as a weapon to frighten teachers into teaching to score points on arbitrary rubrics in multiple unnecessary classroom observations.
Why we are starting this petition?
The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher ratings in New York City is based on the Danielson Framework whose creator, Charlotte Danielson, said this about teacher evaluation in Education Week:
There is ...little consensus on how the profession should define "good teaching." Many state systems require districts to evaluate teachers on the learning gains of their students. These policies have been implemented despite the objections from many in the measurement community regarding the limitations of available tests and the challenge of accurately attributing student learning to individual teachers.
Even when personnel policies define good teaching as the teaching practices that promote student learning and are validated by independent research, few jurisdictions require their evaluators to actually demonstrate skill in making accurate judgments. But since evaluators must assign a score, teaching is distilled to numbers, ratings, and rankings, conveying a reductive nature to educators' professional worth and undermining their overall confidence in the system.
I'm deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in the academic and policy communities) believe it's time for a major rethinking of how we structure teacher evaluation to ensure that teachers, as professionals, can benefit from numerous opportunities to continually refine their craft.Teachers in NY are frustrated and demoralised by a teacher evaluation system that has robbed us of our professionalism.
Teachers have no confidence in the evaluation system that reduces teacher worth into a meaningless series of numbers and letters. Teachers in NYC fear classroom observations are not being used to help them grow professionally, but instead teachers must teach to try to score points on Ms. Danielson's often misused framework.
In NYC, there is a climate of fear in the classroom which does not lead to improved teacher practice. Four observations per year for veteran teachers is excessive. One per year or every other year is sufficient for the vast majority of veteran teachers. Ms.Danielson stated in Education Week that after three years in the classroom, teachers become part of a "professional community" and should be treated as such.
Personnel policies for the teachers not practicing below standard—approximately 94 percent of them—would have, at their core, a focus on professional development, replacing the emphasis on ratings with one on learning.
We agree. To get there we must first repeal Education Law 3012-c and 3012-d and return teacher evaluation to local districts, free from state mandates.