Friday, March 30, 2018


 Jeff Kaufman sent this out earlier. It is from CNN.

Oklahoma legislators approved a measure including a $6,100 pay raise for teachers, but the state teacher's union says the bill doesn't go far enough and plans to walk out Monday.

House Bill 1010XX, which was described as "the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state" passed both the state House and Senate this week. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill on Thursday.

"This is a very historic moment in Oklahoma's time," Fallin said of funding measures that included the pay boost. "It was not easy getting here."

For weeks, Oklahoma teachers have been considering a walkout over what they say is their breaking point over pay andeducation funding. The state ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association, in a list that includes Washington, D.C. Mississippi and South Dakota rank lower.

Inspired by the West Virginia strike in which teachers demanded and got a pay raise from state leaders earlier this month, similar efforts have taken off in Oklahoma and Arizona.

The Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union that represents nearly 40,000 members andschool personnel, called the passage of the bill "a truly historic moment," but one that remains "incomplete," according to its president, Alicia Priest.

Teachers and school staff will walk off their jobs on Monday and descend on the state Capitol, she said in video commentsposted on Facebook.

Teacher militancy is alive and growing as the Arizona teachers are fighting collectively for a better deal too.

What will it take for N.Y. teachers to catch this militancy fever that started in West Virginia and is spreading throughout the country?

The answer is if there are issues that the vast majority of teachers think are worth fighting over, then we can rise too.

How about our awful NYS teacher evaluation system? Over 500 have already signed the petition at the right to repeal the evaluation law. If we all spread it, we can make a difference.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. If all who signed can just convince two or three others to do the same, a movement could start to really grow.


Anonymous said...

I would strike in a hot minute over the bullshit evaluation system in NYC. It is the worst thing to ever happen to the teaching career here. Fear and anxiety fill the lives of all teachers on a daily basis. The joy of teaching has been replaced with one thing: FEAR.

Anonymous said...

Dont expect an on time contract. The precedent has already been set. Work without a
contract for 5 years, then the city is broke,then you love 1% raises and you wait 6 years to receive back pay, with 0% interest.
The UFT has already proven that this is acceptable so why the hell would the city not play that again?

Anonymous said...

11:07- agreed 100%. I didn't even realize how bad my anxiety is until I wasn't in the bathroom 3 times before 7 AM today. The stress is killing me.

Unfortunately, I can count on one hand the number of teachers in my building who WOULDN'T cross a picket line. It's sickening.

Anonymous said...

I have been diagnosed with chronic insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder and I know for a fact it is job related. Every day I go into school wondering if that might be the first day that might lead to being labeled ineffective which could lead to termination and the loss of my house.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is going to strike for an evaluation system. Nobody is going to strike for an evaluation system where more than 98% of those evaluated get a non-adverse rating.

The owner of this blog is in the business of fear. If you read this board you would think that everyone is either being discontinued or 3020 - the truth is completely different.

You are worried about the first day that you would be rated ineffective but you made it 2/3 through the year. Perhaps you you stop worrying. Realize that you know you are a good teacher and perhaps others out there would realize that too. There are like 1,800 schools in the city which means most teachers don’t even have 1 adverse rating in their building.

The best cause for beating your medical condition is to stop reading this board and remember who you are.

RBE said...

1:40 PM Unity shill slings the "98% are getting a non-adverse rating" argument just like the Unity shills at the DA and exec board meetings sling the "Ineffective ratings are lowest ever" argument, but neither of those take into account the stress levels and toll the evaluation system is taking on the health of teachers. Commenters above note how they've been diagnosed with anxiety or are suffering from insomnia or are in the bathroom three times before 7 AM, but to the Unity shills, all is swell because "Hey, so few adverse ratings."

My health has been affected by the evaluation system stress as well. Same goes for many teachers in my building - both older vets and new teachers. People HATE the system and DESPISE the UFT for defending it.

Unity shills can sling their bullshit arguments all they want - when Janus comes and 30%+ flee the union because leadership is completely unresponsive to rank/file concerns/needs/worries, the UFT will finally understand just how clueless and out of touch they are.

Anonymous said...

It's not that there are a ton of people being rated ineffective for the year. It's that principals, like in the last 3 schools I worked in, like to give everyone shitty ratings in the first semester so they can show improvement in the next and make it look like they are helping you. In reality it is how they try to keep you under their thumb all year until they dole out that observation that saves you. That is the anxiety. Will I make it through if I don't kiss ass? who knows? I was rated by three different people this year and pretty much did the same stuff every lesson and the ratings were all over the place.Danielson's rubric is best used as a tool to keep people on their toes and under their thumbs. It has to end.

Anonymous said...

I friggin hate the evaluation system. Been teaching in the DOE for my entire career. When it was S/U I was happy and got an “S” every year. Since the new Danielson bullshit that started a few years ago I have been rated “Effective”, but just made the cut. To be told you are a satisfactory teacher for such a long time and now being considered barley effective is a horrible mind fuck of the worst degree. I am also aware that some tenured teachers are being brought up on 3020a charges for incompetence. Will I be next? This is the nightmare of the current state of affairs as a teacher in NYC. This fear is legitimate despite what others may simply refer to as nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Unity UFT rep refused to post link to petition. talked to about 50 teachers( all of whom are chronic complainers) about petition, only 5 signed. What is wrong with these people? Lazy? stupid? Scared? or do they really like this system?

Anonymous said...

Anno 3:30: can you go more into detail? Was this a school chapter meeting? How did petition link come up? Why did only 5 sign? What are the teachers at your school complaining about? Me thinks your school is filled with newbies who never worked under the old S/U evaluation system. Fill us in. Quite curious about your experience.

Educat said...

The current evaluation system was very shrewdly designed (with the help of the UFT)
to put a weapon into the hands of admins with which to terrorize staff.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a decent school with reasonable supervisors, you wont experience the pain that this weapon can inflict.
If your supervisor is an asshole, or maybe you are just coming up short, then you will experience just how sharp the Danielson knife can be as they slice you up into pieces.
The shame of it is UFT leadership KNOWS this but pretends otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Poor evaluations on the subjective Danielson rubric can be (and are given) given to teachers who fail too many children, take too many days off, cost too much money against the schools budget, don’t kiss a good ass or for a thousand other reasons. Plus only 13% of those rated ineffective can appeal their ratings. Reverting back to the S/U system and abolishing the Danielson rubric will provide a much needed check on administration and more teachers will then be willing to do the right thing for the children that they teach, the colleagues that they Work with and society at large, instead of living in fear of their jobs and allowing corruption and abuse continue. Plus Mayoral control must also be abolished.

Anonymous said...

I am beyond delighted to hear that I am not alone in living in fear of our current evaluation nightmare. Words alone can not describe our fear. The simple fact that the UFT is complicit in our horror is really what burns me up. We pay over a thousand dollars a year to our union that supports this craziness. NYPD and NYFD do not have to deal with job performance evaluations like us. This must end now!

Anonymous said...

If they don't do something about this bad evaluation system, I predict the beginning of the end of the United Federation of Teachers.

Recently, UFT conducted a survey regarding the evaluation and other things. I wonder if they would publish those results. Members have a right to see them.

Anonymous said...

to 140pm
Danielson needs to go now. I don't know who writes this blog. The truth is the truth. Evaluations should look to support teachers not attack and degrade them. Ratings are rewarded based on principal favorites. If you have not experienced this good for you but be warned
your time will come. Todays favorites are on tomorrows hit list. I have seen this happen in the school I work in. We all must support a change. Teachers should not live in fear of drive by observations its just wrong.

James Eterno said...

Unity sent someone over to comment apparently. 1:40 said in part:

"The owner of this blog is in the business of fear. If you read this board you would think that everyone is either being discontinued or 3020 - the truth is completely different."

We have addressed the issue of the ratings being irrelevant as to whether or not teachers are charged or discontinued. Some of those 98% not rated adversely have been charged and discontunued. More people are under attack now compared to the old evaluation system.

It is true that it is a small percentage of teachers that are actually charged, based on next to nothing usually, but it is sufficient to scare many others and keep most of us in line as the other comments show. That is harmful to us and the kids as many have documented how the fear of a bad rating has led to rampant grade inflation, safety issues and of course it has impacted adversely on the health of teachers. Many of us struggle for many hours to write complicated, useless lesson plans to adhere to the Danielson rubric rather than spending our energy doing what is best for the kids.

I don't wish to peddle fear; I want people to overcome their very well placed fear of a broken evaluation system to collectively rise up to take back our profession. If you don't think we teach in a climate of extreme anxiety/worry in too many NYC schools, then I believe you are are quite out of touch with reality. That is Unity Caucus.

Spread that petition please.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time, but this is the first time I'm commenting. I've never liked the Danielson evaluation even though I have always had good ratings. I signed the petition and told a few teachers about it at my school. I was surprised to learn that the teachers I spoke to actually like, or don't mind the evaluation system. Also, one responded by saying that they heard the UFT was working on getting rid of the evaluation system, so they didn't feel that they needed to sign the petition.

Anonymous said...

The only teachers who like the current evaluation system are newbies who never worked under the much better old S/U system. Even those teachers are stressed the hell out and would love a more sane evaluation system. NYSUT is at least pushing for a legal change so evaluations can be decided upon at the local district level. This could usher in a return to S/U. In the meantime, the UFT needs to get us 2 observations and eliminate the Danielson rubric in our next contract. If we still have 4 observations and Danielson in the next contract, I am pulling my dues. I will refuse to pay and support a union that does not have my career interest in mind.

Anonymous said...

@9:10 - I won't pull my dues, but I guess I understand why you might. Out of the seven teachers I told, four had 10+ years in the system. They were indifferent about the evaluations, or they thought that the system is going to be changed via UFT/NYSUT anyway. I'm just saying; I think this explains the low number of signatures. I figured thousands would have signed the petition by now, but I thought wrong. Anyhow, thank you, James, for doing what I couldn't.

Anonymous said...

We need to push the UFT to lead the push the change for evaluations at both the state and city level. Unity is at least showing interest via the survey questions asking about evaluations but Mulgrew was up in Albany recently saying the city evaluation should be a “model” for the rest of the state. Watch what they do, not what they say. Bottom line is that a ton of teachers are going to be withohlding dues as a referendum on our displeasure of the evaluation system if it does not change here in NYC.

Anonymous said...

UFT created the evaluation system. Why would they ever want to get rid of it?

Anonymous said...

Hey Unity Shill, James does not peddle fear. He tells the truth. He represents the voice of the rank and file. I understand that Unity Shills may not recognize that voice because they stopped listening to the rank and file decades ago but it is OUR VOICE. You know who peddles fear? Unity. "Accept more shit now because offers will only get shittier if we demand more." "Learn to live with the abuse because the abuse will get worse if you complain about it" is right out of Unity's playbook. Danielson is the most stressful aaspect of teaching right now whether you acknolwledge it or not. Once we are tied to test scores again the stress doubles. Danielson is an absurd and unreasonable rubric to use to evaluate teachers. Tying us to test scores is equally absurd and unreasonable. Thank you, James, for everything you post. Roseanne McCosh-Dues paying UFT member who is immune to Unity bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Roseanne has it right.

NYC Educator said...

It's disappointing that people, rather than engage in actual conversation, will post anonymous comments and engage in personal attack. James Eterno is as knowledgeable on Contract matters as anyone I know, and is a great resource for me personally as I try to navigate the job of being chapter leader in a very large school. James does not create fear. People feel it.

Of course, that's not the case if you're working over at 52. I have watched people get up and make the most outrageous arguments over why it's better to have more, rather than fewer, observations. The argument is you'll do better with more. The problem is we proposed fewer only for those already doing well. This would reduce the stress level somewhat for a lot of working teachers. It's also the system favored over most of the state.

I am consistently amazed at the inability of the people who run our union to create proactive argument. Even though I disagree with them. I can always imagine better argument on the other side. It doesn't take a whole lot of thought.

Anonymous said...

GO Kentucky!!!

Anonymous said...

Many may fear speaking out publicly against the evaluation system.

Anonymous said...

Then put in a pseudonym and sign the damn petition. Teachers aren't called NY's dumbest for no reason.

Anonymous said...

James,just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are from Unity or other opposition group. While I find your blog useful at times, you are not always interested in sharing truth. You often exaggerate and distort facts to fit your personal agenda.

It is a fact that most teachers are not adversely rated but you make it seem as if the opposite were true. Not sure what you gain from doing so. I have always questioned why you go overboard to vilify school administrators and anyone else who doesn't share your views. But it makes sense now.

James Eterno said...

Hard to react to a straw man argument. Someone makes a claim another person never made and then argues against it.

I never ever hinted that most teachers are adversely rated and I certainly do not vilify those who do not share my views. Lots of decent people don't agree with me on many issues. That's fine. We accept that here.

As for administrators, every administrator who we criticize has unjustifiably attacked teachers. We call them out on that.

Anonymous said...

From a neutral perspective, you hear only one side of the story which is what fellow teachers tell you and you then you draw a sweeping conclusion that the administrator was in the wrong. How many teachers ever informed you that they were in the wrong so you can post it on this blog? I've never once seen a post where you make the claim that the teacher was at fault or maybe both the teacher and administrator played a role in the situation.

How can anyone determine justification if you only here one side of the story? I happen to like my principal. But if I'm pissed off at them about something, I can just all you up so you can write about them? I wouldn't want that for me if I were an administrator.

Anyway, I am pro Janus, you are no different from Unity, always pushing a personal agenda.

James Eterno said...

People pay union dues and expect union advocacy. That is our job. Principals have their own union, the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, to tell their side and they have a huge weighted DOE power structure behind them.

1:25 needs to look up the purpose of a union which is to be the voice of workers, not the boss.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked, my union dues don't go to you. You are a union member just like me. No one asked you to be the "voice" of the UFT.

I think its ironic that you claim you want collaboration between administrator and teachers but you are not interested in hearing their viewpoint or finding what the truth of a matter is. That's because you have your own agenda, James, just like every other UFT faction.

James Eterno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Eterno said...

3:33:00 PM
Do you know what an activist is? You will have to ask the administrators I worked with if I listen to them. Many would probably say I have been reasonable.