The Official Blog of the Independent Community of Educators, a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers
Friday, February 26, 2021
TEACHER EVALUATION AGREEMENT
We’ve reached a teacher evaluation agreement with the city Department of Education for the 2020-21 school year under which most teachers will receive only one informal observation and members who have already had successful walkthroughs will not need to receive any additional observations at all.
As you know, New York State law requires that teachers be evaluated each year, and the governor declined to issue a waiver like he did last spring. The last thing you need is to be placed under any additional pressure this school year, so we sought to negotiate a evaluation process that is as simple as possible and takes into account this year’s extraordinary working conditions.
A fast and straightforward complaint resolution process has also been established for this school year to protect UFT members if principals don’t follow the correct procedures.
Here are the key highlights of the agreement:
One informal observation will be the default for all teachers who received a final rating of Developing, Effective or Highly Effective or no rating at all in the 2018-19 school year.
If a walkthrough observation has been completed and the teacher received an Effective or Highly Effective rating, that prior observation can count as their observation. No further observation would be required.
If a teacher receives a written report with a rating of Developing or Ineffective on the first observation, the teacher will receive a second formal observation with a pre-observation conference.
Teachers who received an Ineffective or Unsatisfactory rating in the 2018-19 school year will receive one informal and one formal observation.
All observations must be completed by June 12.
An initial planning conference is encouraged, but not required unless the teacher received an Ineffective or Unsatisfactory rating in the 2018-19 school year. If a principal chooses to hold initial planning conferences, no paperwork may be involved.
A summative conference is not required unless the teacher's year-end Measures of Teacher Practice score is Developing or Ineffective.
Substitute teachers will not be rated according to this evaluation system. Where state law requires a rating for substitutes, they will be rated Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
Only domains in the Danielson Rubric that can be seen or observed in an observation will count in this year’s evaluations. No specific number of domains can be required.
We worked to change the language of 3C - Engaging Students in Learning so it focuses on what the teacher says and does, not what students say or do. Student attendance cannot be a factor. The final language of 3C now says “evaluators should focus on the opportunities teachers are creating to foster student engagement, rather than the number of students with microphones and cameras turned on or off.”
Measures of Student Learning
A new citywide measure will be the default measure for the MOSL for this school year and will encompass the entire staff under the same MOSL. Extending the MOSL citywide ensures that the process shows our growth as a school system and removes the chance of being penalized for the individual challenges that students and staff are facing this year. But any school that has developed or used its own school-based MOSL in previous school years has the option to continue to use it.
The Biden administration recently declined to extend the blanket waiver on federally mandated standardized tests, but those tests, if they are administered in New York State, will have no bearing on teacher evaluation.
A new complaint process for procedural violations
Prior to receiving a final rating this school year, teachers who believe they have received an improper or unfair initial rating because of a procedural violation may challenge that rating through a simple, fast process created for this school year only. The APPR appeals process for a final rating remains the same.