Wednesday, October 10, 2018


We hear regularly from UFT President Michael Mulgrew that very few people are rated ineffective under the current teacher evaluation system. That may be true but as we documented in February when attempting to get the UFT to sign on to get rid of the evaluation system, many more tenured teachers are being brought up on dismissal charges than in the past and non-tenured teachers with effective ratings are being discontinued and the UFT is doing virtually nothing about it.

A major problem is that under mayoral control of the schools Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg completely changed the culture at the Department of Education to one that totally devalues teachers. If we want more evidence, I was going through some old papers and found my notes for the October 25, 2004 UFT Executive Board meeting.

At that meeting, then Staff Director Michael Mendel reported that in the final pre-Joel Klein year of 2001-2002, only 651 teachers received an unsatisfactory rating. In the first Klein year when he was really doing more observing and planning than anything else, only 603 teachers were U rated. It jumped to 799 in 2003-04 and we know things grew progressively worse afterwards. It is astonishing to note that only 134 tenured teachers were brought up on charges in 2002-2003. We have almost three times as many facing dismissal hearings in the post-Klein era.

We started a petition to repeal the teacher evaluation system that over 1300 have signed (see right side of the page or go here). We can revert  to an S or U rating system and there doesn't have to be a spike in U ratings. What we really need is a cultural change at the Department of Education. Teachers need to be valued again.

The UFT should be doing a giant publicity campaign around such problems as school safety, unhealthy buildings and oversize classes. Instead, the UFT is in happy talk mode saying how it is mostly wonderful in the NYC schools.


Anonymous said...

Systemic age discrimination.

Anonymous said...

UFT should FOIL the exact number of "U", "Ineffective", and "Developing" ratings going back to the Klein era. UFT should also FOIL how many of those ratings were given to veteran teachers who have more than 15 years in the system. (I won't hold my breath though)

Anonymous said...

Many given to newbies too to destroy them. NYC system huge. Do not think your own experience tells whole story.

Anonymous said...

The union sucks. Time to opt out. How do I do that?

Anonymous said...

Principals are bringing up older teachers to incompetent charges by pressuring them to retire.

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Anonymous said...

Fair student funding is responsible for age discrimination , including but not limited to : negative observation ratings, being told harassing lies during your post-ob , being over-scrutinized on a daily basis as administrators look for anything they can call a problem even when it isn’t a problem, being treated differently than younger teachers and told you didn’t do enough of something during the lesson, false accusations, principals having derogatory conversations about you with parents in an effort to gang up against you, closing schools and dismissing only older teachers who have to go on interviews that they will never win, being unfairly targeted for termination charges, being ATRed and therefore sent like a bag lady or man from school to school. And the list goes on. And this is ALL the result of Fair Student Funding. Older teachers are being targeted in NYC, and the UFT is silent.

Anonymous said...

The observations of ATRs in rotating assignments is unprofessional and unacceptable on several counts:
*The ATRs often don't know the students.
*The ATRs often have been covering a class out of license, with or without the regular teacher's lesson plan.
*The ATRs are told to differentiate lessons for the students, but they have not met them or have not been provided their IEPs or other personal data such as ELL status.
* There are no consequences for these Supervisors to lie. Most of them are falsifying the dialogue.
*All a setup for engaging in age discrimination. The observation system used as a weapon to make an experienced teacher look like incompetent.
* The rating officer is someone an ATR never met. It used to be the Principal.
It is all about discrimination, and harassment. Thank you Mulgrew. How can a Union agree to have ATRs observed? It is a nuisance that is causing stress to teachers near retirement. It is a blank check given to Field Supervisors. It is wrong , and the UFT is to be blamed for accepting this secret deal which is a another fiasco.