Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NY State To Tie Teacher Evaluations To Test Scores

A direct result of President Change We Can Believe In:

The State Education Department and New York’s teachers’ unions have reached a deal to overhaul teacher evaluations and tie them to student test scores, brokering a compromise on an issue the unions had bitterly opposed for years.

The agreement, reached in time for the state’s second bid at $700 million in federal education grants, would scrap the current system whereby teachers were rated simply satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Instead, annual evaluations would place teachers in one of four categories — highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective. While the deal would not have any immediate effect on teacher pay, it could make it easier for schools to fire teachers deemed subpar.

“We believe that if done correctly this will change the landscape dramatically,” said David M. Steiner, the state education commissioner. “This is not a gotcha system. This is about creating professional development that can really improve education.”

Teachers would be measured on a 100-point scale, with 20 percent points based on how much students improve on the standardized state exams. Another 20 percent would be based on local tests, which would have to be developed by each school system. After two years, 25 percent would be based on the state exams and 15 percent would come from the local tests.

The remainder of the evaluation will come from observations from principals and other teachers, and other measures. If teachers are rated ineffective for two consecutive years, they would face firing through an expedited hearing process that must conclude within 60 days. Currently hearings can drag on for several months.

The changes, which Mr. Steiner, his deputy John King and Merryl H. Tisch, the chancellor of the State Board of Regents, described in an interview on Monday, are subject to approval by the State Legislature. Ms. Tisch said they needed lawmakers to approve a package of education legislation within the next 10 days, so that the state could meet the June 1 application deadline for the federal competition known as Race to the Top.

All so the state can get a couple of years of dough from President Change We Can Believe In.

40% of teacher evaluations tied to test scores.

Tests at every level in every class.

More testing.

More data.

Eventually, salaries based on your designation - "highly effective," "effective," "developing," or you're fired.

And according to the Times, the unions brokered this deal.

Sold out by the unions and the politicians.

You can be sure with the Education Department saying 2/3rds of teachers are "bad" and in need of development that this new system will be used as bludgeon to fire thousands of teachers.

You can be sure to that this will supersede tenure and principals will be able to use it to get expensive vets off their staffs and bring in cheaper newbies.

This will be a disaster for teachers and schools.

I'm teaching a remedial class of support service students and students who have failed the Regents at least once.

Many do not show up to class despite weekly calls home and visits to their guidance counselors by either myself or the support services teacher who works with me.

Even when they're in class, they're attention spans last for about 15 seconds before the distractions start.

Dunno how many are actually going to even show up for both days of the ELA exam, let alone how many will do well enough to pass.

But if my co-teacher and I are to be "graded" according to how these children fare on the state tests, well, we're screwed.

And again, this is ALL due to President Change We Can Believe In.

McCain/Palin would have never gotten this thing through.

Let the politicians know, this goes through, no votes for the Dems who support it.

Though with the unions "brokering" this deal, I don't see how it doesn't pass overwhelmingly.

But we'll see.


  1. Mulgrew didn't fight against this?

  2. Since I am an ISS teacher, I'd like to know how I'm supposed to raise the learning rate, IQ, and ability of my students to learn more than a 2 step algorithm of any kind for kids who start out as "learning disabled". Very few are actually "learning disabled"; they used to be labelled educably mentally retarded. They were educable but not for algebra. So many teachers will be fired or at the least chastised because these kids just aren't meant for certain programs. It's time to move out of New York State. My New York money will go a lot further in Florida.

  3. It seems Mulgrew waited until he was overwhelmingly re-elected and then caved on it.

    Dunno, there are few details about which unions signed onto this, but you'd have to think the UFT and the NYSUT are the ones. Plus the NYSUT head is in the article offering some jive about how this is better than doing evaluations totally on scores.

    Yeah, they sold us out.

  4. Ah, yes, more accountability on the teachers, none on the kids!

  5. You said it.

    More testing.
    More Data.

    This decision just guts any thought of comprehensive education. What elementary teacher will be teaching arts, science or social studies, when they know that their job hinges on how students score on high stakes ELA or Math test.

    I wonder what students are going to say test prep is their favorite subject?

  6. The UFT Weingarten/Mulgrew have turned New York into Rhode Island. Bet you can figure out what will happen to teachers in closing schools. Bet the DOE appeal to close the NYC schools will now succeed.

    U.F.T. = U are F _ _ _K _ _ D Totally

  7. The Union reps will have hard time spinning this as "a good thing."

  8. Can we have a recall election and get rid of Mulgrew? I can't believe that they did this....

    The UFT really is just a dues collection monopoly and not a union!

  9. I am going to withdraw my COPE funds I have been giving to the UFT for "lobbying" for more than 25 years if there is any way I can. I see what "lobby" actually means to the UFT. So much for the teaching profession and the quality of educational life in New York State. You can kiss my born-in-Brooklyn ass goodbye as soon as my kid finishes his stint at the still-decent-and-functioning NYC high school he attends.

  10. This was a really underhanded deal.

    The irony is that they claim they did this so they can win the RttT funds, but the cost of creating the new tests will cost more than what they're going to get from Obama.

    So at the end of the day, class sizes will still go up, teachers will still be laid off this year, but the test and evaluation rules have been rewritten so that tenure and seniority no longer mean anything.

    Obama really got his change.

  11. We have been betrayed by our own Union! I am completely disgusted... I want to get back every union due I've ever paid...they've made sure that the admin. who dislikes me (and my big opinionated mouth) now has the ability to stack my class with low performers-torture me with "TIP" and fire me-regardless of tenure...WONDERFUL!! So now my classroom turns into a test-taking time for teaching thinking skills-we are here to pass tests so that politicians can pat themselves on the back and talk about how they've "improved" education! SPLENDID!

    And they send out this propaganda piece paper called, "NY Teacher" to make me happy about it all? An insult to injury....already looking on for another job

  12. The NYSUT Union leadership needs to be removed. I thought that I was a member of a labor union that was looking out for the membership. Obviously I was wrong.