Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thoughts On The Teacher Evaluation Results

As I posted yesterday, NYC public school teachers were supposed to receive their APPR evaluation ratings sometime between 4:00 PM and 12:00 AM yesterday.

The NYCDOE sent my email notice out at 7:07 PM last night.

I didn't check for it until this morning.

To be honest, I have contempt for this system, both the observation components and the test-based accountability components.

My sense is, the observations are often rigged for pre-determined outcomes - teachers an administration wants to get rid of receive "developing" and "ineffective" on much of their Danielson observations while teachers an administration likes receive "effective" or highly effective" on much of their Danielson observations.

Yes, it's true that administrators have to gin up some evidence for the "ineffectives" and "developings" that they hand out to teachers during Danielson observations, but that hasn't stopped them from doing it.

Governor Cuomo called this APPR system "objective" a few years ago during the LIFO battle with Bloomberg, but the truth is, there's nothing objective about it - it just takes a little longer, has more moving parts, requires administrators document a few more things before handing out the "ineffective" and "devloping" ratings on the observation component.

As for the test-based accountability components, until I see the detailed information we're supposed to get in a few weeks from the state, all I have is a number the SED spit out that is supposed to represent how much "value" I added to my students' test scores.

What do the test-based accountability numbers really mean?

Who knows - trust that John King and his merry men and women in reform got the numbers right - at least until you get more detailed information about student scores and can check them for yourself.

Overall, this was a lot of b.s. work that did nothing to make me into a better teacher but sure did add hours and hours to my work year load by forcing me to document so many different parts of my job.

Ultimately that is what APPR teacher evaluations are about - forcing compliance on teaching methods by giving administrators the Danielson rubric to use as a bludgeon fo those who do not comply with administration decree, forcing teachers to teach to the test (or worry that their state or local test VAM's will come up low), and giving the state and the local district more control over teachers and the teaching profession.

One final thought - this system, so easily rigged either at the school level or at SED, can easily be shifted into bludgeoning more teachers as years go on.

Most teachers around the state last year were either effective or highly effective in their APPR ratings.

But with a little shift of the VAM at SED, that can easily be changed.

In fact, SED is already talking about pushing districts to get rid of the local test component and going with the state tests for the entire 40% of the test-based accountability component.

So be careful in how you think about this APPR system.

Just because it went okay for you the first time around doesn't mean John King, Merryl Tisch and their merry men and women in reform in Albany won't decide to rig it for different outcomes next time around.


  1. Exactly. What's to keep them from playing with these evaluations the same way they play with cut scores on state exams? Anyone breathing a sigh of relief better take another breath, a deep one...