Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, November 30, 2012

APPR Is Not About Feedback

New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch is putting pressure on the UFT to agree to an evaluation system with the NYCDOE.

She writes the following in the NY Post:

In February, Gov. Cuomo stood with state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. and the heads of city and state teachers unions to announce agreement on a new evaluation system for teachers and principals. The new law was a groundbreaking accord that laid the foundation for a fair, responsible process to provide educators with constructive evaluations that can strengthen teaching and learning.
Nine months later, more than 600 school districts around the state have submitted evaluation plans, and Commissioner King has approved more than 250 of those plans. Unfortunately, New York City isn’t one of those districts.

This isn’t just about money, although the city stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars if it doesn’t have an approved plan in place by Jan. 17. And it’s not about a “gotcha” system to get rid of teachers. This is about giving teachers and principals the tools they need to strengthen their skills and improve their instruction.

Research and common sense tell us the best way to improve student performance is to make sure that every child is in a class headed by a great teacher and every school is run by a great principal.

Common sense tells us something else: Just like the rest of us, teachers and principals need objective feedback to get better at their jobs. An effective evaluation plan lets educators receive professional development tailored to their needs, and gives top practitioners the opportunity to serve as mentors for their colleagues.

That’s why the state Board of Regents included implementation of strong evaluation programs as a key pillar of its education-reform agenda.

Now if she were being honest about this system being about giving feedback to teachers and helping them to improve, that would be all fine and good.

But she isn't.

The system is rigged against teachers - as Carol Burris has noted here and Sean Feeney has noted here.

Merryl Tisch says test scores are an "essential component" of teacher evaluations.

John Kuhn explains here why putting such high stakes on standardized tests is damaging to students here.

Merryl Tisch isn't interested in giving feedback to teachers, improving schools or giving students a better education.

She's interested in giving the education reformers the tools they need to shed expensive teacher salaries at will.

That's what the unworkable teacher observations are about, that's what the endless standardized testing is about, that's what the algorithm developed by the state to measure so-called student growth is about.

This is a "gotcha" system set up to clear the rolls of as many teachers as possible and make the profession into a right-to-work job.

Unfortunately because the sell-outs at the NYSUT and the UFT agreed to this stuff, that's exactly what is going to happen.

Merryl Tisch can make believe this system is "for the kids" all she wants (and notice the usual "WE HAVE NO TIME!" urgency in her propaganda piece in the Post that is a blueprint from the Shock Doctrinaires.)

This system is for the education reform criminals, the hedge fund managers, the for-profit and quasi-non profit charter operators and the privatizers.


  1. This is happening in all of the urban districts in NY State. You are 100% correct in your opinions. In Buffalo, teachers and our union are being publicly vilified for not negotiating any further on the APPR. We submitted one on time but Albany did not like it. Our submission was an attempt at fairness to teachers within the confines of the legislation.
    The possible loss of money makes this issue a "hot" one for the public. Our district has even posted a rant against the union/teachers on the district website.
    Thanks for your recent writing. You have been on a roll! Keep up the good work.

  2. Bruce Baker of Rutgers said it best about Tisch:

    The above from Bruce is powerful! Tisch a lying, irresponsible, heartless, selfish, self-promoting educrat.

  3. I quite agree. Our principal and a "trainer" from the Chancellor's office barged into our early childhood special ed/bilingual classroom and in ten minutes were able to "deduce" that my partner and I would get all ones on the Danielson criteria......why, because we did not have a lesson plan.....Of course we had a lesson's the one I've had in my head for over twenty five years, aim, do now, activity, review and summation....then they came back for five minutes and even when I showed them a lesson plan, told me that it wasn't for that day, because the date above it was a different date...I had to show them the pen that I was using this day was blue and the pen that I used on the other day was black...but this was to no avail, the principal is still saying that I didn't have a lesson plan....Lesson: If I try to correct something that they say is wrong I'm called a liar. Question: Does anyone thing that these folks are interested in improvement???? They call us an Inquiry School. Well, I hate to say it, but this kind of pseudo science and attitude of superiority of these 'trainers" from the Chancellor's office in New York City reminds me of what the Nazi's did to my great grandparents when they took away their property, their dignity, their rights and their lives.... Tweed continues to be the most corrupt name in New York City. And Mayor Bloomberg is not going to go down in history as a person who met the needs of the children and families in New York City's school system. More like the person who destroyed the opportunity of our schools to serve all the children and provide opportunity. Sad, really sad.