Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Now We Know What Bloomberg And Cuomo Discussed Over Dinner Two Weeks Ago

I predicted last week that Cuomo and Bloomberg had made some kind of deal on LIFO when they met for dinner a few weeks back.

Turns out the deal was over teacher evaluations and test scores, not LIFO.

Cuomo, in calling for the Regents to tie 40% of teacher evaluations to test scores and to override state law and have that stipulation supersede any agreement with the local unions, has given everything Bloomberg and the corporate reformers could ever want to get rid of any teacher they want any time they want.

Cuomo has put a cherry on top of this ed reform dessert by calling for all teachers to be rated "positive' on the part of their evaluation tied to test scores or be declared an "ineffective teacher."

Any teacher declared "ineffective" two years running is fired, so this is a big deal.

Did the UFT know this was coming? Were the blindsided? Were they in on the deal?

Hard to know, and Mulgrew's non-statement regarding the Cuomo proposal tells us nothing other than he doesn't want to go on record and say anything substantive about this.

I will don my Carnac hat one more time (thanks for lending it out, Mr. Talk!) and make one more prediction, now that I have been proven at least half right in the prediction I made last week.

So here is my new prediction:

The Regents vote to give Cuomo what he wants on this. The timetable for implementation is moved up. Layoffs go off in NYC. Chaos reigns supreme in the NYC public school system over the layoffs and indeed, all over the state, as the fall-out from the new evaluation system becomes clear to people (most of whom aren't paying as close attention as some of us in the anti-ed deform movement and have no idea this is coming down the pike.)

What's the goal of all of this?

Why to bust the unions and make teaching an at-will job, of course!

I just ran the pension I'll receive after ten years in the system.

It's peanuts.

I ran what the pension would look like if I worked fifteen years.

It's still peanuts.

It's not until it gets to the twenty year range that the money starts to add up.

And when you get to max and 62, well, that's when the pension becomes what I might term "decent".

Not lucrative, mind you, but certainly better than what you'd get if they got you out of the system before that.

So the goal here is to make sure that nobody gets out of the peanut pension stage anymore.

They know the oldtimers around now (the very ones they're pitting the E4E's against) are going to collect their pensions.

But they want to target anybody with fifteen years or less in the system and get those people out NOW.

Evaluate them with value-added measurements based upon test scores from newly implemented tests, declare thousands of teachers "ineffective" every year and start the mass teacher turnover movement that the corporate reformers are drooling for.

Within ten years, they can have a whole new corps of teachers as the oldtimers are all gone and the people in the fifteen years and under range either get fed up and move on or get moved on after the test score evals are wielded against them.

And our union leadership did not see this coming or worse, was in on it, or knew it was coming and was powerless to mitigate it.

Anyway it happened, it's bad.

The problem, of course, is that by buying into the reform rhetoric publicly, the teachers union leadership have empowered the ed reform critics and given validity to their critiques.

We in the anti-corporate ed deform movement have said for a while now that it is important to NOT give on in these issues, to not allow test scores to be tied to evals even a little because it a) makes it look like this is a valid way to do evaluations when the MOE's show that it is NOT and b) gives the ed deform movement the impetus to go for more and more on the concession front.

But the Randi Weingartens, desperate for attention and "a seat at the table" and a pat on the head from their corporate overlords, never frame the issues in a way that invalidates the corporate reform agenda.

And so we are left with the current state of affairs and always on the defensive.

Tests will be used to evaluate teachers.

Some archaic value-added system will be used on us.

No one will know how it works, it will be more complicated than quantum physics, but the corporate reform people will assure us that these "assessments" are "fair" and "merit-based".

And the firings will commence soon afterward.

Heckuva job, UFT.

Heckuva job, AFT.

If I had known this was coming down on Thursday, I wouldn't have just booed Weingarten at the rally.

I would have gotten to her and told her EXACTLY what I think of her corporate-friendly lap dog act.

As for Mulgrew, he's just a more blue collar version of Randi - a sell-out through and through.

Any union leader who allows this kind of stuff to happen to their membership ought to end up out of a job and out of power.

But this is how these people maintain power - they sell out their memberships.


  1. Short of successfully fighting all of this off, my suggestion to teachers with ten or more years of service is to try a few tablespoons of cat food every day.

    You'll be surprised to learn that after the first few months you can almost choke it down. You do start to get used to it.

    As for housing, that's a little tougher, as I've yet to find materials on the street that are lightweight, waterproof and insulated enough to keep me warm in the winter months. But I'm confident enough in Chinese ingenuity that something will be found by the time I'm (inevitably) judged an ineffective teacher.

  2. Also, Cuomo threw a major bone to Bloomberg months ago when he moved up the new assessments one year. Originally, they wouldn't be official and count on a teacher's record until Sept. '12-now the new plan starts this coming Sept. That chops off a full year of service to those poor souls who may encounter a rating problem any time soon.

  3. Channel 1, when they covered this story Fri. afternoon, did portray this as the end of LIFO.

    I also think that Cuomo and Bloomberg cut Mulgrew off at the knees--my gut feeling is that he didn't know.

  4. The major problem is that state and Fed level Dem. "leaders" are completely behind all of this, from Obama on down...where do you go from here...?

  5. What's going to happen to my job? All I've ever wanted to do is teach! Why does this make me evil?
    I've only got 8 years in, and all of that in District 7 (South Bronx) which, due to its high poverty tends to score low on all standardized tests. I THINK I do a good job, my students tend to pass the Regents pretty well, and I've taught my first set of AP students this year, and I THINK they'll do well. But they won't be scoring like the kids in Stuy...which means I won't have a job much longer.