Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chancellor Farina Knows Teachers' Evaluation Ratings Are In Jeopardy At "Struggling" Schools

Eliza Shapiro at Capital NY sat in on a meeting between NYCDOE Chancellor Farina and the superintendent of District 8, Karen Ames.

Here's an interesting bit of that report::

30 percent of students in one of the Renewal Schools are in temporary housing. Fariña closed her eyes and inhaled sharply when Ames described the school’s challenges, and said she wanted to put an “asterisk” next to city schools with extremely high levels of student poverty and homelessness.

Fariña also said she wants to establish a so-called asterisk for highly effective teachers who move to Renewal Schools. While Fariña said “it’s been easier to recruit teachers to Renewals than ever” because of strong professional development and a sense of mission, she’s concerned that effective teachers’ ratings will drop when they move from high-achieving schools to struggling ones.

Fariña said she was planning to follow one teacher who was leaving a high-performing school to teach at a Renewal School in Ames’ Bronx district.

“She’s going to do the same assessments, she’s going to do everything she did before,” Fariña said. “But the scores are only going to go to a certain point. How is that going to affect her rating? It’s not going to make her any less of a good teacher.”

Here's a question I have:

If "effective" teachers should get asterisks next to their names because they've chosen to work in a school with high poverty, high homelessness demographics next year, is it just possible that those "ineffective" or "developing" teachers that are already there working in that school might face the same challenges the new "effective" teachers are going to face next year and deserve asterisks too?

The dirty secret of education reform is that the problems in schools and districts with high poverty/high homelessness demographics are NOT caused by "bad teachers" - they're caused by all the effects that poverty has on the psychological, emotional, physical and social development of the children in those schools and districts.

Does that mean there's not some mismanagement in schools and/or districts that are "struggling"?

Of course not.

To that end, Shapiro reports that "Fariña asked Ames to outline consistency goals for all the schools in her district by October" to address the hodgepodge of programs that may not be the most effective way to educate children in the district.

But the truth is that most of the problem are not due to mismanagement, a lack of "consistency goals," or a plethora of "ineffective" teachers at those schools/districts, they're due to the effects of what Farina winced at - high rates of poverty and high rates of homelessness.

If Farina thinks the new "effective" teachers coming in to "struggling" schools deserve asterisks next to their names, then she also knows that a hell of a lot of the teachers already there deserve the same benefit of the doubt.


  1. You've made a lot of powerful points on this blog. This point is the at the very top of that list. You can't admit to some of the 'bad teacher' narrative without admitting to all of it.
    Great post.

  2. You should logically think she would know that, unfortunately a scapegoat is needed to replace the twin culprits of poverty and homelessness. Those superstar teachers will soon find themselves being rated ineffective and looking at a future as an ATR or termination.

  3. I LOVE THIS!!! This is HYSTERICALLY. They can't figure it out. LOVE IT!!!!!! What if we do this, how bout if we do that. Maybe this, maybe that. How bout an asterick. This is GREAT TO SEE. I'm crying laughing. What a DISASTER!!!! We were saying this YEARS AGO. I worked in a fantastic high school that closed. The teachers were phenomenal bs brilliant. They were "labeled" due to the struggles of the larger school. When they went to the ridiculous "mini schools" they were looked at differently, like they were actually better. What a JOKE! The kids make the school, NOT THE TEACHERS, NOTVTHE ADMINISTRATORS, NOT THAT PARTICULAR SUPERINTENDENT, ETC ETC. ITS THE STUDENTS!!! You think the TEACHERS at Bronx Science are "better" than the ones at Lehman High School? You think Brooklyn Tech has the "best" teachers? What about that mini school American Studies in the Bronx that is in the Lehman College PARKING LOT? No sports, no facilities, nothing!!!!! Oh wait, THEY GIT THE SMARTEST KIDS so it's "better" than every other school. It's actually ranked higher than Harrison HS in Westchester. Ah haa!!!! Hysterical. What a JOKE!!!!!!!! I can open a school in my back yard and have the smartest 30 kids in NYC take classes inside a tent and it would be ranked the best high school in NYC. What a JOKE!!!!!!!!!

    1. Wow, true post.

    2. 100% true. It's the students that make a school a success or failure. Bloomy knew this and rigged the student populations to create failure and success. Many great teachers are now ATRs. You don't have to be a great, good, or even marginal teacher at a Bronx Science. You could put a skid row transient in the classroom and you'd have astronomical success. Those kids are self motivated and teach themselves.

    3. This is the major point that needs to hit the mainstream public audience. I wish Susan Edelman would take the time to do a piece on this. Speaking of Brooklyn Texh, I know several Math teachers who teach there. They're really average at best. They would do average at any other school but landed at Brooklyn Tech way back. The kids are indeed self motivated as the post above mine reads. These teachers are being scored highly effective based on the school they teach in. If they were at my school in da Bronx, they'd be developing, at best. This whole evaluation thing is ridiculous. Totally fake.

    4. You are right 10:29. Supposedly the teachers in the burbs are better, but in actuality they are working with a different population. My school last year was more than half Special Needs. We had ELLs, kids in foster care and kids who had family members in jail. It is far more difficult to concentrate when you have so many factors running interference in your life.

      Abigail Shure

  4. Who is Farina kidding? I don't know of any highly effective veteran teachers going to these renewal schools. In fact, they are hiring "newbies" through the DOE's new teacher finder website.

  5. Common Core???................ *
    Danielson Rubric???............ *
    VAM???................................ *
    No Child Left Behind???........... *

    The effort to destroy public education???........ *
    Students lacking "rigor"???....... *
    PIZZA (or PISA) scores???...... What the heck, it's a privatization party.......................................... *

    The impact of harmful policies against the people of the United States???

    "We won't know if this thing works for at least ten years".

    Cuomo???............... *
    Christie???.............. *
    Walker???............... *

    Yes masters Gates, Bloomberg, and Walton...

    Here are our signatures and thank you for the contributions (or bribes)....

    Farina???.........should I do what is wrong, or what is right?... *

    So many questions...where can we begin to correct the wrongdoings committed against the American people???

    Let's begin with arrests and prosecutions of the faux leaders and corporate thieves for high crimes and treason against the people of the United States!!!

  6. “She’s going to do the same assessments, she’s going to do everything she did before,” Fariña said. “But the scores are only going to go to a certain point. How is that going to affect her rating? It’s not going to make her any less of a good teacher.”
    Farina said and then closed her eyes to the reality and implications of her statement.


    This NYT article out today explains what's going on behind the scenes and how corrupt bastard Cuomo is.

  8. Great Post. Do you think the UFT will be loudly throwing these words in the Chancellor's face?

  9. Nice post! I was having this conversation about a week ago - Why would a highly effective teacher go to a struggling school, even for a raise, if it means getting a lower rating and then being punished for it? What we speculated is that these types of teachers will be protected or promoted somehow - rigged ratings, or waivers. Otherwise they are risking career harm. Disclosure - I am HE at a functioning school and would not move for a $15, 000 raise and no protection. The point about teachers already in struggling schools receiving an asterisk is well -taken too! What, you only get an asterisk if you come in from the outside! It is the same island ,,,

  10. No veteran teacher will be willing to work in these schools for a mere five grand. These schools will be filled with TFAers and will eventually be shut down and handed over to charters. That is the bottom line and that is the plan.

  11. Don't sell short what people will do for money. And also some people who do not get it - they never had the really tough students and buy the line about ineffective teachers -

    1. I bought into that line about ten years ago. I left one of the city's best schools to go teach at one that's currently on 'the list'.
      Found my religion -quick!

  12. Ha! Had this conversation with someone recently about the "very special, highly rated" teachers at Townsend Harris HS. "We only hire the very best you know," she said to me, "and they're all highly effective". And they may very well be phenomenal educators, and I have nothing negative to say about them- but I'd love to see their ratings after a year at Grover Cleveland or August Martin.