Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bloomberg Says Individual Teacher Evaluations Must Be Released To The Public Or He's Cutting $250 Million From The School Budget

Here's a new wrinkle to the teacher evaluation/APPRstory - Bloomberg wants the UFT to agree that individual teacher evaluations will be released to the public or he will cut $250 million from the school budget:

Mayor Bloomberg would rather slash the budgets of city schools than let bad teachers off the hook, he said.

City officials have been locked in a standoff with the teachers union for months over how teachers will be evaluated by their principals.

They’ll lose $250 million in state funds if they can’t reach a deal by Jan. 17.

But Mayor Bloomberg said he’d rather lose the money — and make “painful cuts” to public schools or other agencies — than cut a deal that doesn’t “hold their feet to the fire.”

“If we can’t come to an agreement, it’s going to be very painful,” Bloomberg told host John Gambling on his weekly Friday radio show. “But the city’s certainly not going to sign on to any agreement that isn’t a real evaluation agreement, and one that can be monitored by the public.”

In his most strident language yet on the standoff, he said he wants all teacher evaluations released to the public, even though the state passed a law in June that would prohibit publishing teachers’ names with the ratings.

So which is it?  
The Tweedies say making teacher evaluations public isn't part of the negotiations, Bloomberg says it is part of them.

State law says all the evaluations of teachers in a particular school have to be made public, but not the individual evaluations of teachers with names attached.

It's hard to see how Bloomberg and the NYCDOE can force the UFT to agree to make individual evaluations public as part of this negotiation.

Mulgrew responded to the mayor's statements with the following:

Although Bloomberg said he’s still optimistic a deal can be reached in time to avoid the cuts, teachers union president Michael Mulgrew said he’s “not hopeful” it will happen.

“It seems like the mayor is more interested in using the evaluations to hold teachers’ feet to the fire, than he is in helping them do their jobs better,” Mulgrew said.

Well, no kidding, Mike.

The UFT does NOT have to make this deal.

$250 million is chump change in Bloomberg's world.

That's the cost of ARIS and some outside consultant overruns.

But the UFT has NOT done the job of educating the public of what this new evaluation entails and how it will harm not just teachers but students by forcing a narrowed curriculum, both city and state tests in every subject in every grade all throughout the year simply to grade teachers and an atmosphere of fear and stress throughout the system.

So ultimately I am not confident that the UFT isn't going to cave to almost anything the Tweedies and Bloomberg wants.

In fact, this "Individual Teacher Evaluations Must Be Releases To The Public" demand by Bloomberg may be a coordinated effort between the union and the city to make the eventual sell-out look a little less worse than it is.

Remember when Klein and Bloomberg wanted to take away 5 sick days as part of contract negotiations, along with a host of other odious demands, and when the UFT eventual came back with the garbage contract signed they said "Hey, it could have been worse...we saved your sick days!"?

I do.

I wouldn't be surprised if this Bloomberg demand isn't another shuck and jive move to make the eventual sell-out more palatable to the membership.

Either way, you know a very bad evaluation agreement is coming down the pike because Mulgrew said one piece of truth - the mayor isn't interested in helping teachers with their craft, he's interested in "holding their feet to the fire."

That's all this APPR system is about.

We'll show you lazy, entitled teachers.

So what if the new evaluation system adds tests in every subject in every grade, both city and state, simply to grade teachers?

So what if the new evaluation system adds a value-added measurement using those scores that is error-riddled and unstable?

So what if the new evaluation system utilizes a classroom observation rubric with a checklist the size of War and Peace?

So what if the new evaluation system puts the test makers and data crunchers first, the children last?

So what if the new evaluation system strips money and resources from the classroom and gives them over to testing? 
So what if the new evaluation system adds a Student Learning Objective process so complex and convoluted that no one can explain it (even though it will amount to 20% of a teacher's evaluation score)?

So what?

This is about showing you lazy, entitled teachers that you no longer have work protections or a reasonable expectation of keeping your job in case your administrator doesn't like the color shirt you're wearing on Tuesday.

This is about being vindictive and punitive.

This is about showing you they mean business.

Oh, and it's about giving the districts the tools they need to turn teaching into a right-to-work profession in which a teacher can be fired at any time for any reason, just like in charter schools.

That's all this is about.

You would think our union would be worried about such a move by the city and the state.

But oh, no - there was Mikey and Dickey and the rest of the state union leadership holding hands with Cuomo, Tisch and King last February when the first nail on this APPR coffin was driven in.

The problem here is not that Bloomberg and Cuomo and the corporate ed deformers are pushing for this stuff.

The problem is that our unions are agreeing to it rather than educating the public about the damages this system will cause to students and public education.


  1. Here's where I don't agree with you -- that there is vindictiveness, etc. This is strictly a business issue that goes beyond Bloomberg and is part of the national assault on the teaching profession. Tenure must be ended or the tools be handed over to do an end run around it. This system is the wedge they need that other cities like DC, Newark, Detroit etc have gotten. It allows them to use the data to get rid of high priced teachers -- they can pick and choose.

  2. I agree with Cuomo and Tisch and King and Murdoch and Duncan and the rest it is just neo-liberalism playing itself out in policy maneuvers.

    But for Bloomberg, it is vindictive.

    The contempt he shows for teachers is above and beyond what any other pol shows us.

    I suspect it is a misogyny thing with him - remember the EEOC cases against him for the way he treated women at Bloomberg LP. His company had a track record of treating women badly. And he has a track record of treating women badly. And the majority of teachers are woman. He really does seem to relish talking about teacher lay offs or holding our feet to the fire more than than any other sector of public employee.

  3. OK, I may be naive, but isn't Bloomberg legally required to bargain in good faith? Threatening layoffs if the union doesn't agree to his terms would, it seems to me, violate that.

    1. It is clear they are not bargaining in good faith. But the union would have to make that charge and I have yet to see them make that.

  4. Teachmy class MrMayorDecember 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    The sell out is coming...sadly, I do not think that our fellow teachers have the guts to stick to our guns and vote down any sell out contract. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

    1. There is no vote. There is no contract. The leadership makes the agreement and we will have to live with it. The only vote will get is in the UFT elections come March.

    2. Do you hear this! RBE is correct. Mulgrew decides the fate of teachers regarding the APPR. Therefore, the rank-and-file MUST decide Mulgrew's fate come March 2013.

      Here's the opportunity to turn our union around and MORE.

  5. I really hope that Mulgrew is serious about rejecting any worthless evaluation. (He talks the talk but I am not sure if he is going to walk the walk) The fact is the city does not need this money as it will only be used for more evaluation testing. It is paramount for all teachers to realize how serious this evaluation deal is and how it will impact every teacher for every day of their entire career. Lastly, if a crappy new evaluation is signed in a back room deal it will be referred to as MULGREW's CONTRACT. The backlash against the UFT will be massive.

    1. I hope to be wrong, but I think the deal is all but a done deal and it will be even worse than we all imagine. It will be our job to tie this to Mulgrew every day and make sure all of our colleagues know this is MULGREW'S EVALUATION AGREEMENT (MEA).

      We may not be able to rid ourselves of this sellout this election, but after a few years of MEA and the subsequent firings and fear, we may be able to do what CTU did in Chicago to the old guard.

  6. "Although Bloomberg said he’s still optimistic a deal can be reached in time to avoid the cuts, teachers union president Michael Mulgrew said he’s “not hopeful” it will happen."

    So what is it MIKE? Tell the teachers you lead what is going on here. The truth of the matter is that the few teachers who do have a clue to what is happening are readers of blogs. None of this was mentioned in the Union paper. How come? I am telling as many as I can about the situation. Most are shocked about what is happening and angry that they knew so little. I am asking them to tell others as well. They simply could not understand why they are left in the dark. They thought nothing was happening. Half my school now knows about MORE and Julie C. I cannot wait until I see a "suit" from the UFT come to my school and have him her speak.

  7. I agree about Bloomberg's vindictiveness. Every time our little emperor doesn't get his way, he thinks up some kind of nastiness as a retaliatory move.

  8. I wonder if they're not sowing the seeds of their own destruction with this evaluation agreement. I ave already seen many teachers in my building - even the apolitical ones - fed up with all the new bullshit, like the weekly focus groups per prep, the weekly instructional rounds, the PLC's, the common "assessments." Add to that the VAM, the SLO's, the PIP's and all the other crap APPR brings, and you have the potential for mutiny.

    We'll see - a lot has to happen for mutiny to come about.

    But if the APPR system is as bad as advertised, the seeds will be sown for it.