Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 30, 2015

Outside Observers Coming To Evaluate You

The Cuomo administration declared victory in the budget battle over education reform:

A senior administration official last night called the public education system across the “$50 billion industry” that is resistant to reform.  
At the same time, the reforms agreed to in the budget framework represent one of the biggest shifts in education policy in the state’s history, the official said. 
Still, in the early reporting there’s some disagreement over the extent of the changes: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie last night told reporters there is input from the Department of Education on helping develop teacher evaluation criteria.
The official last night said SED’s role in criteria development for evaluations was minimal, save for helping put together a second, optional test for school districts to use.

One of those "big shifts" in education policy?

Outside observers:

The agreement includes a new teacher evaluation criteria that will include both state-based tests as well as principal and independent observation. School districts can opt for a second test for teacher evaluations developed by the state Department of Education, according to an administration official.

Also the evaluation is tied to state aid and not subject to a labor agreement:

School districts must implement the new evaluation criteria by November, and doing so is linked to state education aid, the administration official said.  
An administration official insisted on Sunday evening said the new evaluation criteria would need to be included in new contracts between teachers and districts, but would not be subject to collective bargaining with local units.  
“It’s in the law,” the official said.

Cuomo basically won everything, albet with a few slight modifications.

He got the new evaluation system tied to state aid.

He got state receivership of "failing" schools.

He got an evaluation system that has so-called independent outside observers.

He got tenure changes.

He got expedited teacher firings based on test scores (come up "ineffective" on the test component and you have to be rated "ineffective" overall - two straight "ineffectives" and you're fired.)

The UFT is declaring victory because the charter cap wasn't raised, but that's coming later in the legislative session, make no mistake about that.

This budget deal is a disaster of monumental proportions, a huge victory for Cuomo and a huge defeat for teachers.

As for the teachers union leadership, they don't care one way or the other - they still get paid and get their perks.

They're not worried about unannounced outside observations and two "ineffectives" and they're fired.

So of course Mulgrew's declaring victory.

But this isn't a victory for teachers - this is, as Cuomo officials called it, "the biggest shift in education policy in the state's history"

In short, the teacher firings and school closings commence in two years.

12 comments:

  1. TWO QUESTIONS: 1) Where does it say that the observations conducted by ourside observers have to be "unannounced"? 2) What percentage of test scores will now make up our evaluations?

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  2. 11:00 And nothing on the NYSUT web site.

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    Replies
    1. Important to note: NYSUT lobbyists were the ONLY ones allowed just outside the speakers conference room as late as 8:30 last night. All other lobbyists were expressly kicked out,
      So whatever was agreed to, NYSUT (which is the UFT) seems to be able to, at least, live with it (which is another reason why I caucus with MORE).

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  3. It's going to be a matrix not a percentage score any longer. They did this so they can "hide" the percentage value of the tests. Make no mistake it is 50% or more.

    Local control has been completely lost now.

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  4. NYSUT’s Magee Still Seeking Details
    MAR 30TH - 11:44 AM
    Posted by Nick Reisman in Education 0 Comments
    The president of the statewide teachers union on Monday was not willing to declare a win or directly bash the framework budget agreement given the lack of bill language on education.

    “Until the details come out, it’s hard to draw any straight conclusions,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee.

    We do know the budget includes plans that make it easier for schools to fire teachers who are deemed poor performing over the course of several years, extends granting tenure to four years and creates a new evaluation system for teachers that takes a blended approach of both state-based tests as well as local observation into account.

    A receivership program for struggling or “failing” schools was also agreed to in the spending plan, which includes a year-long turnaround period for schools that submit plans to the state Department of Education.

    Merit pay was also included in the budget plan as well, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

    “At this point in time the governor’s budget is not a budge that’s good for all kids in New York state,” Magee told reporters. “That’s a concern we still have.”

    But the specifics are yet to be fully fleshed out as state lawmakers return to the Capitol today to begin voting on the budget legislation that has already aged.

    An administration official last night said the changes to the evaluation criteria won’t require going back to the collective bargaining process.

    “He’s really looking at some attacks on collective bargaining as they relate to the annual professional performance review,” Magee said. “My understanding because the details aren’t clear at this time, the language isn’t written in at this time, but my understand is he’s going to be giving a lot of this work to the Board of Regents.”

    The state Department of Education’s role in the performance review criteria, however, is said to be limited to developing a second, optional test for school districts that could be included in evaluations.

    “The evaluation program and the conversations what we’re hearing at this time will include a combination of local measures, state measures,” Magee said. “The devil’s in the details and we do not have the details at this point in time, unfortunately.”

    ReplyDelete
  5. NYSUT’s Magee Still Seeking Details
    MAR 30TH - 11:44 AM
    Posted by Nick Reisman in Education 0 Comments
    The president of the statewide teachers union on Monday was not willing to declare a win or directly bash the framework budget agreement given the lack of bill language on education.

    “Until the details come out, it’s hard to draw any straight conclusions,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee.

    We do know the budget includes plans that make it easier for schools to fire teachers who are deemed poor performing over the course of several years, extends granting tenure to four years and creates a new evaluation system for teachers that takes a blended approach of both state-based tests as well as local observation into account.

    A receivership program for struggling or “failing” schools was also agreed to in the spending plan, which includes a year-long turnaround period for schools that submit plans to the state Department of Education.

    Merit pay was also included in the budget plan as well, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

    “At this point in time the governor’s budget is not a budge that’s good for all kids in New York state,” Magee told reporters. “That’s a concern we still have.”

    But the specifics are yet to be fully fleshed out as state lawmakers return to the Capitol today to begin voting on the budget legislation that has already aged.

    An administration official last night said the changes to the evaluation criteria won’t require going back to the collective bargaining process.

    “He’s really looking at some attacks on collective bargaining as they relate to the annual professional performance review,” Magee said. “My understanding because the details aren’t clear at this time, the language isn’t written in at this time, but my understand is he’s going to be giving a lot of this work to the Board of Regents.”

    The state Department of Education’s role in the performance review criteria, however, is said to be limited to developing a second, optional test for school districts that could be included in evaluations.

    “The evaluation program and the conversations what we’re hearing at this time will include a combination of local measures, state measures,” Magee said. “The devil’s in the details and we do not have the details at this point in time, unfortunately.”

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  6. Is this an unfunded mandate or are the outside evaluators are to be paid a bounty for each teacher ?

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  7. the freak'n deform loving state ed dept?

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  8. I teach high school art. If I am evaluated by a non-certified art evaluator does anybody think I have a good shot at winning a lawsuit if found ineffective on my outside observation?

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  9. Here is the bottom line in all of this:

    1. The Senate GOP and Cuomo both have axes to grind with NYSUT because they did not get its endorsement, etc.

    2. The charter school industry has pumped about $5 million into Cuomo's campaign coffers in the past couple of years and $1 million alone in the Senate GOP campaign committee in just the last election cycle. (This doesn't count contributions to individual senators such as Education Committee Chair John J. Flanagan, Jr.

    3. Cuomo and the Senate GOP are hoping that tenure gets declared unconstitutional. An elimination of first in; first out is next. (Are they also planning on voiding the seniority system for the 200,000 state workers and the millions of village, town, county and city workers?)

    4. Only about 5% of charter school teachers are unionized. Tenure means nothing there.

    5. We are slowly moving toward a statewide teacher contract with one salary schedule, one set of benefits, identical class size regs, etc. This will seriously clamp down on salaries/benefits and erode whatever decent working conditions we have. The statewide evaluation system is the beginning of this.

    6. A statewide contract will be pitched as a cost saving measure in the age of the tax cap. Legislators pay 27% of their health insurance premiums (I think) so those teachers with a lower figure can expect to see drastically higher costs coming their way.

    7. If the present trend continues we will not even recognize the public school system of today in 15-20 years. It will be largely privatized with a lack of teacher rights, etc. It will also be somewhat segregated as many private schools are now, especially in suburbia.

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  10. The end of days is upon us.

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  11. These outside evaluators are going to soak up ALL of the additional funding, the same way testing, grading and new curriculum centered around Common Core absorbed all of the Race to the Top funds. We lose BIG TIME!

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