Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, November 29, 2012

John King And Merryl Tisch Expect APPR To Be In Effect This Year

So far, the UFT and the NYCDOE have not come to any agreement on the new evaluation system known as APPR.

Until that happens, the old system remains in place.

Andrew Cuomo has set a January 17th deadline for when all school districts in NY State must complete agreements with their local unions over the evaluation system or lose a budget increase.

So far, 85% of districts and unions have come to agreement.

The Asshats4Educators, the Gates Foundation-funded astroturf corporate reform teachers group held a supersecret meeting with Chancellor Dennis Walcott over the issue earlier this week.

Gotham Schools, in covering the Walcott event, took the opportunity to look at the tribulations we can expect once an agreement is reached between the UFT and the NYCDOE (and we should expect an agreement - the media are already going hard and heavy on the UFT for the evaluation deal and heaven forbid Mulgrew and Company should refuse to make a bad agreement when the media are beating them up in the papers.)

Now one would think that since the evaluation agreement deadline isn't until January 17th and the school year started in September that the new evaluation system wouldn't go into effect until next school year since half of this school year will already be over by the time of the agreement deadline.

But one would be wrong about that.

Unless districts want to forfeit the Cuomo money, the new evaluation system must be agreed to and in place THIS YEAR.

That means no more S/U ratings - we're onto the "highly effective," "effective," "developing," and "ineffective" rating system based upon the Danielson rubric, 20% state tests scores and 20% local test scores - even though we don't have any local tests yet, many teachers do not teach students who take state tests every year, and nobody has been evaluated using the 57 page Danielson rubric as of yet.

Why rush into the evaluation system this year - one that is so complex that even the architects of it have trouble explaining it - when it could be slowly implemented over time?

Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch says that just can't be:

Tisch suggested that she thought the complexity of implementing an agreement could be one thing stopping the city and union from reaching one. “I don’t know why they are delaying, but if the delay is for the purpose of not implementing this year, I would say to all of them think about that twice,” she said.

Yes, you see teachers and their union reps should think twice about trying to protect themselves from a complex piece of voodoo VAM and just bend over and take it the way Walcott and Bloomberg want to give it to them.

So what if the new evaluation system is unworkable and error-riddled, the local tests don't exist yet (or if they do, they are newly patented and the accuracy of using them for high stakes teacher evals is dubious at best), and the state VAM is full of voodoo?

As Tisch and the other state education hack NYSED Commissioner John King wrote at Schoolbook earlier this week, we can't wait to get these reforms or measures right and accuracy should be no obstacle to the state's movement to fire as many teachers as it can as quickly as it can.

We have to seize the moment and do these half-baked reforms and this unworkable evaluation system that is bound to collapse in on itself as quickly as we can.

If anybody thinks corporate clowns like Tisch, King and Walcott actually give a shit about students in all of this, their actions around the need for speedy implementation of an error-riddled system ought to disabuse them of that notion.

This is simply about institutionalizing the tools districts will need to shed thousands of expensive teachers and replace them with cheaper TFA Barbie dolls and newbies and repeat that process every few years.

It's about breaking the unions.

One would think the UFT and the NYSUT would know that and fight against that sort of thing.

But just as one would be wrong about the Regents and the NYSED not forcing the implementation of a complex new evaluation system mid-way through a school year when none of the logistics are in place to run it effectively, one would be wrong about the union leadership understanding that by agreeing to this nonsense, they are signing their own death warrants.

It's difficult to see how the UFT and the NYSUT exist in the future when the new norm will be most teachers getting fired before they hit five years in and the membership will be in complete turmoil, constantly battling each other on the GREAT APPR BELL CURVE, and districts have all the tools they need to turn teaching into a right-to-work (i.e., right-to-be-fired) profession.


  1. I have one big question: Does not the Triborough Amendment state that current muncipal contracts stay in place until a new contract is negotiated? In other words, the current UFT contract has the "S" or "U" system in place. I do not see how a new state evaluation program can be forced on the UFT unless we agree to it via a contract agreement. I have brought this question up many times in the past year and nobody seems to have an answer to it. Seems to me that the only way a new evaluation system can be brought to NYC is if the UFT agrees to it in a contract. Anybody have an idea on this point?
    PS-THE CLASH rule!

  2. Even if that is the case, and I don't know that it is, I would expect the UFT and the NYSUT to cave - just as they caved after they won the initial lawsuit over the evaluation deal when Cuomo, Tisch and King wanted to raise the test part to 40% even though the original state law said only 20%.

    It is unfortunate, but I totally expect my union to fuck me and my fellow teachers in this deal, then go out and have cocktails and a nice meal on my dues.

  3. The Danielson rubric is a scheme for at-will firing of higher paid teachers. The DOE intends to use it as evidence for at-will firing of higher paid , more experienced teachers. This is essential to Bloomberg's ground game and end game. It will bring low job security, lower paying jobs, lower poor benefits and no freedom of speech or action for teachers. It is a Brave New World driven by Orwellian control of thought and action. The money saved will never be returned to taxpayers. Instead it t will be transferred into the hands of wealthy profiteers and corporations as they build more charter schools, and as they churn the development of educational supplies and technology. It is too large a "pie" for these greedy individuals to ignore. They have already devoured the mortgage and housing industries. They are looking for a new banquet to feast their greedy paws on. The education budgets of local, state and federal governments is their new "road kill".

  4. I agree - anything that utilizes a rubric that is longer in page length the minute allotment of the class is clearly a "gotcha" system. The UFT has talked up the Danielson rubric, so they have no leg to stand on when the Tweedies require school principals and ap's to use it to clear out a certain percentage of teachers every year. And they will most certainly do just that.