Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The UFT Leadership Try To Cover Their Asses Over The New Evaluation System

UFT President Michael Mulgrew and NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi got taken to the cleaners on the teacher evaluation deal with the state this week.

Mulgrew sent out an email yesterday that conveniently forgot to mention the new teacher eval deal he and DeadEye Dick agreed to, but today he sends out one that links to a misleading Q&A at the UFT site.

Here's what the Q&A says about the new requirements of the evaluation system regarding test scores:

NYSUT and state leaders settled the disputed details of the statewide evaluation system. That deal clarifies and strengthens the 2010 evaluation law by clearly limiting the weight of the state’s growth model based on its tests and reinforcing collective bargaining as the vehicle for shaping evaluations to meet local needs. A full 80 percent of the evaluation system must be negotiated in each locality. Now with this explicit guidance about how to proceed, localities should be able to move ahead with implementation.

Here is the NY Times article announcing the deal between the state and the unions:

The agreement, announced at a news conference in Albany, allows school districts to base up to 40 percent of a teacher’s annual review on student performance on state standardized tests.

Half of that portion must be based on students’ test score growth from one year to the next.

For the other half, the agreement offers the roughly 700 school districts in the state some latitude. They could use test data to measure student achievement in some other way — say, the progress of specific groups of students, like those who are not proficient in English or have special needs. They also could devise their own tests, or use tests developed by a third party, provided that the tests were approved by the state.

The remaining 60 percent of a teacher’s rating is to come from subjective measurements, primarily classroom observations by principals.

The UFT is using the 20%+20% part of the test portion of the evaluation (20% coming from state tests, 20% coming from either city tests, third party tests or the city analyzing the state test data a different way than the state is) to distract from the fact that a total of 40% of a teacher's evaluation is coming from test scores.

In addition, the UFT Q&A fails to mention that if you come up "ineffective" on the test portion of the evaluation (the 40%), you have to be declared "ineffective" overall as a teacher.

Here is the press release Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and NYSED Commissioner John King issued after the deal that touches on that matter:

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch and State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said today the newly agreed upon teacher and principal evaluation system was made possible by a collaborative willingness to implement a process that will help improve student performance.
...

King said teachers will be rated as either ineffective; developing; effective; or highly effective based on a scale of 100 points.

Other key provisions of the agreement include:

State assessments can be used for up to 40 percent of the evaluation if the local 20 percent share based on state assessments is used differently and collectively bargained;

The remaining subjective, collectively bargained 60 percent must consist of tightly defined, research backed measures. A majority (at least 31 percent) of the 60 percent must be based on classroom observations by a principal or trained administrator;

There must be multiple observations and at least one observation must be unannounced;

Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall. Teachers who are developing or ineffective will get assistance and support to improve performance. Teachers who remain ineffective can be removed from classrooms;

All evaluations must be done annually by September 1;

All evaluation plans are subject to review and approval by the Commissioner to ensure rigor, quality and consistency with standards;

The Commissioner has the authority to require corrective action, including the use of independent evaluators, when districts evaluate their teachers positively regardless of students’ academic progress; and

Appeals must be timely and expeditious and districts may terminate probationary teachers/principals or grant or deny tenure while an appeal is pending.

The UFT can jive and shuck all they want about how the system isn't in place yet until Mulgrew comes to some agreement with Bloomberg.

The fact is, the NYSUT and the UFT agreed to a framework that allowed the state to mandate 40% of teacher evaluations come from test scores and a teacher MUST be declared "ineffective" overall if they come up "ineffective" on just the part of the teacher evaluation that comes from test scores.

And you can bet the same political pressure that was put on the NYSUT to drop their successful lawsuit against the state over the testing part of the evaluation and agree to EVERYTHING the governor, the Regents Chancellor and the NYSED Commissioner wanted for the evaluations will be put on Mulgrew and the UFT to come to an agreement by January 2012 that gives the city and Bloomberg EVERYTHING he wants on the evaluations.

So far, the UFT has shown no ability to stand up to political pressure or indeed, win any major concessions.

Not unless you think the UFT getting Bloomberg to agree to independent arbiters for 13% of teachers rated ineffective is a major concession.

The misleading doesn't stop there in the UFT Q&A. The Q&A says the following about the use of local assessments that are negotiated between the local districts and the unions:

That deal clarifies and strengthens the 2010 evaluation law by clearly limiting the weight of the state’s growth model based on its tests and reinforcing collective bargaining as the vehicle for shaping evaluations to meet local needs

The reality is, the deal gives the NYSED Commissioner full powers to declare any locally-negotiated agreement null and void if he decides the assessment the local district and the union agreed to is not "rigorous" enough.

Again, here are Tisch and King on that expanded powers that the NYSED Commissioner did not have in the original 2010 Race to the Top law as passed by the legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Paterson but does have now:

All evaluation plans are subject to review and approval by the Commissioner to ensure rigor, quality and consistency with standards;

That means if King decides the local assessment part of the evaluation plan is not rigorous enough, he can reject it. The unions were hoping to get some kind of agreement that would allow for portfolio assessments or some other kind of classroom-based assessment to be used for 20% of the evaluation based upon local measures of student growth. But as the Times reported on Friday, the kind of measures of student growth that local districts can use is limited to this:

They could use test data to measure student achievement in some other way — say, the progress of specific groups of students, like those who are not proficient in English or have special needs. They also could devise their own tests, or use tests developed by a third party, provided that the tests were approved by the state.

Notice - each part has the word "test" in it.

Local districts can use state test data differently than the state, they can create their own tests or buy third party tests and use that.

But the 20% of the eval based upon local measures of student growth MUST come from test scores.

Finally the unions also gave the NYSED Commissioner expanded powers to decide if local districts are being "rigorous" enough in their evaluations of teachers. If Commissioner King decides they are not, he can send in his own evaluators:

The Commissioner has the authority to require corrective action, including the use of independent evaluators, when districts evaluate their teachers positively regardless of students’ academic progress;


Mulgrew and the UFT leadership got taken to the cleaners in this deal. Same goes for Iannuzzi and the NYSUT leadership.

Mulgrew is now trying to cover his ass and fool the majority of the UFT membership that he and Iannuzzi got a good deal for teachers.

They did NOT get a good deal for teachers.

He and Iannuzzi sold us out.

To reiterate: we now will have 40% of our teacher evaluations based upon test scores (20% from the state; 20% from the city OR 40% from the state apportioned into two separate 20% data sets.)

If a teacher is declared "ineffective" on the test part of the evaluation (the 40%), he or she MUST be declared "ineffective" overall as a teacher.

Two years of an "ineffective" rating and you are terminated unless you can prove you're not "incompetent."

In addition, the unions gave the NYSED Commissioner expanded powers to decide what local assessments are "rigorous" enough to count for the 20% local assessment criteria.

Assessments that do not meet the NYSED Commissioner's standards of rigor will be rejected.

Also, the unions gave the NYSED Commissioner the right to decide if districts are being rigorous enough in their evaluation of teachers and send in his own independent evaluators if he decides he doesn't like the process.

Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership want to rewrite the history of this week and use deception and omission to make believe that the teacher evaluation framework agreed to by the unions and the state is not a deleterious piece of garbage that makes test scores THE determining factor in a teacher evaluation and allows for teachers to be fired if they come up "ineffective" on just that part of the eval.

As usual, the UFT leadership has gotten destroyed in a negotiation and now is lying and deceiving to make believe it didn't happen.

5 comments:

  1. Benito Mussolini -
    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

    We are no longer in the America of freedom. We are in a corporate facist/totalitarian state. The government/corporate/union/yeoman machinations over this assessment deal should erase any doubt in your mind about this. The NY Gov. destroyed collective bargaining rights of the workers by demanding the UFT drop it's SUCCESSFUL suit against DOE concerning assessments here. He destroyed the judicial system's opinion and role on this, since they sided with the UFT on this one. He imposed an iron fist in delivering this part of the $500 billion annual US Ed. market to the corporations. Oh...and by the way...you have to be deaf,dumb, and blind not to realize that what the NY Gov. just did DWARFS what the Repub Gov. of Wisconsin did last year in destroying collective bargaining rights of the teachers there. The NY Gov just destroyed collective bargaining rights by completely shouting down the courts, the unions, and the court of public opinion. People stuck in that Dems good, Repubs bad are completely missing the boat. They are identical on issues important to corporate power. However, I consider the Dems MUCH more insidious, since they are wolves in sheep's clothing-they claim to be for the common man...but are identical to the GOP in answering to the same masters. At least the workers in Wisconsin raised a ruckus. The pussies here in NYC, with the exception of a handful who are protesting all of this, deserve what they get.

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  2. Just watch the test scores sky rocket because there will be big time cheating.

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