Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, January 4, 2013

UFT Takes To The Airwaves Over Evaluation Impasse With A Really Lame Ad

From Capital Tonight:

With the Jan. 17 deadline looming for school districts to have teacher evaluation plans approved by the state or risk losing a four percent aid increase, the NYC teachers union is going on the offensive against Mayor Bloomberg, accusing him of playing politics at kids’ expense.

The UFT is out today with a new TV ad that slams Bloomberg’s entire education policy legacy over the past 11 years, saying he has adopted a “my way or the highway” without regard to teachers or students.

The 30-second spot reviews several not-so-highlights in Bloomberg’s tenure – including his failed selection of Cathie Black, a magazine executive with no education experience, as NYC schools chancellor.

The spot will air through the Jan. 17 deadline on local broadcast stations as well as cable television networks in the New York City area.

It will be seen during some of television’s most popular shows, including: Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Daily Show, Jeopardy, Judge Judy, SNL, and Knicks games. It will also appear regularly on NY1, Bravo, Lifetime, TNT, HGTV, USA and BET.

Here's the ad:

It's a horrible ad that still uses the frame that teachers are "bad" and need to "improve".

Nothing like using a frame for the issue that implicitly puts teachers on the defensive.

What the ad should be telling the public is that New York City teachers are some of the best and most dedicated teachers in America, but there are many challenges they face every day in the school system and the mayor is doing his best to make them worse by the week.

He's increased class size even as he's increased the budget for central administration, outside education consultants and high stakes testing.

He's threatening to cut counselors and social workers even as students face ever more difficult socio-emotional problems.

He's threatening to cut after school activities for students.

He has fought to delay getting dangerous toxic substances out of the public school buildings and has knowingly sent children to school in buildings with cancer-causing toxins in them.

He wants to have students take BOTH city and state high stakes standardized tests in every grade in every subject from K-12 all the year through, not to help improve student performance but simply to evaluate their teachers.

He wants to use a teacher evaluation system based upon student test scores that has a median margin of error of 52% and a maximum margin of error of 87% so that eventually EVERY teacher will be declared "ineffective".

This evaluation system is going to make the education system worse, not better.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a failure as an education mayor, but as is usual with him, he's displacing the blame and responsibility onto others - in this case, teachers and principals.

He's not interested in making schools better - he's interested in making himself look better politically.

That should be the "tough" ad they run.

Capital Tonight called the UFT ad "tough" against the mayor.

Not the way I see it.

As is usual with the UFT, it's a half-assed lame attempt to seem "tough" while actually undermining their own case.

Who's doing these ads for them - 0 for 8 Bob Shrum?


  1. I am always unhappy with the quality of the ads the UFT puts on the air now and again when the last straw finally breaks the camel's back, and this one has the same amateurish, sheepish quality as all the preceding did. We need more frequent, less apologetic ads that inform and enlighten the public who endure a steady diet of Bloomberg's unique, arrogant pap via all the dailies who are in his thrall, sad to say. Principals who are experienced educators do not need a script disguised as an "evaluation system" to tell them who is effective and who isn't. And the poorly written, convoluted tests being touted as a valid means of evaluating the efficacy of a teacher are no such thing: they are designed to measure student achievement- nothing more. The poster "reality-based educator" is right on. Teachers are not hired by the UFT, nor would the UFT hire principals with no education experience. Bloomberg's bloated bureaucratic minions do, though, per his orders. You-know-what flows downhill, after all. If the schools are in chaos, Bloomberg put them there, and he did so because that's exactly the way he wants them. I must say, though, that I did hear his reaction on this latest ad and I do believe, mild as it is, it may have burned the royal hindquarters just a sounded as if he may have inadvertently spit some blood and a feather or two at Mr. Gambling.

  2. Why in the world the UFT does not go after the mayors record on the amount of money he has allocated for the DOE budget? The budget is now more than 23 billion, it was around 11 billion when he took control of the schools. Show that and connect that fact to his education record of minimal if any real progress for students!!

  3. Only two possible answers: 1) the UFT is afraid of Bloomberg and is cowardly or 2) the Union leadership is posturing with Mayor Bloomberg while secretly planning to throw the rank and file under the bus in order to make personal gains for personal selfish reasons. Clearly, the Union leadership does not want to know what the rank and file members want with regard to the evaluation system. They are not willing to find out what teachers think about the new evaluation system. They are unwilling to fight against Bloomberg. As a lame duck mayor with a horrible record and legacy, Bloomberg is an easy target to knock down and easy to discredit.