The UFT is seeking an agreement that meets the spirit of the teacher evaluation legislation in two important ways:
1) The agreement must focus on creating a process to help teachers improve their performance by providing them with feedback on the specific classroom issues that need to be addressed, recommended strategies to address these issues and specific assistance from supervisors and other school personnel in implementing the recommended strategies.
2) for teachers rated ineffective — an impartial outside review by a qualified and mutually-agreed-upon third party.
The DOE wants teachers who are rated "ineffective" or "developing" to suffer immediate and severe consequences - including the "ineffective" ones losing their jobs - all on the say-so of a value-added evaluation system with a margin of error between 12%-36% and the word of a school principal.
In addition, the evaluation system uses a bell curve for all teachers, so every year some teachers will HAVE to be declared "ineffective" whether they really are or they really aren't (even according to the criteria the state is using - so-called student performance on tests.)
So the system is set up to declare a portion of the teachers in every district "ineffective" every year, fire those teachers, and replace them with newer (and cheaper) ones.
Is this system REALLY meant to improve public education or simply provide a way for cities and districts to fire as many teachers as they can every year, regardless of quality?
The UFT offered to go to binding arbitration on this but the DOE refused.
Norm at Ed Notes thinks this was the UFT's way of giving the DOE what it wants on this issue while keeping their hands clean.
I agree with that.
The UFT should NEVER have agreed to the evaluations based upon test scores from the beginning.
Once they did, it was inevitable that the corporate education reformers running the NYSED and the NYCDOE would attempt to ram through a system that would arbitrarily punish veteran teachers as "ineffective" using a value-added system based on student test scores that is so complex NASA scientists couldn't explain it.
They're not looking to get rid of "bad teachers."
They're looking to get rid of the expensive (i.e., veteran) ones.
The new evaluation system based upon so-called student performance is the means to do this.
You can bet if Bloomberg, Walcott and King get their way on this, thousands of veteran teachers will be declared "ineffective" with the new system and immediately fired.
That has ALWAYS been the plan.
The corporate education reformers ginned up a phony education crisis in order to bust the unions and fire veteran, tenured teachers.
Let's see if the UFT REALLY means to stop this or if they're playing games.
I am not convinced there still will not be a sell-out on this in the end.