The board’s proposed new evaluation system ties teacher ratings to a score based on the observation of their classroom and student growth on standardized tests as well as a “performance task,” such as singing a song in music or doing a complicated word problem in math.
A key sticking point, said Bloch, is CPS’ proposal to create a teacher rating category that, based on projections from a pilot, would land 28 percent of teachers in the second from the bottom category of four possible categories. Teachers in that category whose scores do not improve after a year would be automatically moved to the bottom category, where they face dismissal if they don’t improve within 90 days.
The CPS cutoff scores make the second to the bottom category far too big, Bloch said.
“Thirty percent of teachers shouldn’t be on the bubble for discharge. That’s not a fair system,” Bloch said. “This is not reform. It’s simply mass firing of teachers in the hope that a new crop will somehow be better.”
Teachers are also concerned that their evaluation scores could fail to improve due to a host of factors beyond their control — a sudden increase in class size, the injection of more behavioral problems into their classroom, new principals who grade teachers more harshly than their predecessors, or an end-of-the-year heat wave that creates oppressive learning conditions in schools without air-conditioning. And, they say, if they don’t teach a tested subject, part of their evaluations will be based on schoolwide test growth in a subject they don’t even teach.
CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll contended teachers in the second-from-the-bottom category are safe, as long as their overall evaluation scores improve. Guidance based on the extra detail in the evaluation format should help them improve, Carroll said. And, teachers would serve on a committee that will make adjustments to the plan as needed, Carroll said.
However, one CTU delegate who asked for anonymity said teachers feel they can’t rely on their voice to be adequately heard on any joint CPS committee.
“This is a culture of distrust. We don’t trust them,” the delegate said.
These same problems exist here with the evaluation system in NY State.
Unlike CTU, our unions - the UFT and the NYSUT - held hands with our Tea Party Education Reform Governor while he pushed through an eval system that puts every teacher on a bell curve and slates the bottom rung to be fired every year.
These systems are rigged to fire a certain percentage of teachers every year.
Unlike our unions here in NY State, the CTU are fighting this system.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a union leadership that stood up for its members instead of selling them out?