Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, December 28, 2012

NY Daily News: Some Schools Already Using Danielson Rubric To "U" Rate Teachers

At the end of this article on the PERB complaint filed by the NYCDOE comes this:

On Thursday, Mulgrew blasted the city for “playing games,” saying he wants talks to resume but first wants to discuss how schools will be trained to properly implement the evaluations before settling on specifics.

Even as the sides are warring, the Daily News has learned that schools are already using part of that new evaluation to fire or otherwise tar teachers.

Five teachers have separately filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court to allege that they improperly received unsatisfactory ratings based on the new, still unapproved method of observing them at work.
“Those cases are very clear examples and evidence that (Department of Education officials) don’t know what they’re doing,” Mulgrew said.

In the most recent case, filed last Friday, former special education teacher Kristin Achtziger received two satisfactory ratings in previous years at Public School 199 in Queens, but was dismissed last year after her school improperly started using a new method, the suit alleges.

Under current rules, teachers meet with their administrators before and after an administrator observes them and know when they’re going to be observed.

Achtziger says she had a formal observation only once last school year — and received a positive rating, but the administration also conducted unannounced “walkthroughs” and never alerted her to problems until the end of June, when she was fired.
Clearly the Daily News learned this information from Mulgrew.

If the NYCDOE is already using the Danielson rubric to "U" rate teachers, even though the agreement to use the rubric is not yet in place, and Bloomberg is demanding the UFT agree to release teacher evaluations to the press, even though state law says that shouldn't happen, why isn't Mulgrew and the UFT filing a counter-complaint against Bloomberg, Walcott and the NYCDOE for failure to negotiate in good faith?

Once again, the UFT allows Bloomberg, Walcott and the DOE to frame the issue for the public - the headline people will hear is "NYC DEPT. OF ED FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST TEACHERS" rather than "BLOOMBERG CALLS FOR TEACHERS TO BREAK STATE LAW IN EVALUATIONS".

If you're going to fight a p.r. battle with these guys, you have to do it effectively and respond to every charge and complaint with a counter-charge and counter-complaint that exposes the dishonesty and vindictiveness of Bloomberg, Walcott, and the Tweedies.

In addition, if the Danielson rubric, with its 57 page checklist, is already being used to "U" rate teachers before it's put into place, what does the UFT think is going to happen after it's put into place?

And why was the UFT selling the Danielson rubric so heavily as the bestest thing to happen to education since chalk when it's not difficult to see that an observation rubric with a complex 57 page checklist and 22 different components to be used to evaluate teachers in a 45 minute observation period is unworkable in practice?

The UFT ought to be telling the public what a nightmare this APPR system is going to be once it is put into place, with the test score based component with the 86% maximum margin of error and the Danielson rubric with the complex 57 page checklist and the 22 different components to be used on teachers for a 45 minute evaluation.

The UFT ought to be telling parents how teachers are now going to be placed on a GREAT BIG APPR BELL CURVE and evaluated against each other, how the system will make teachers compete against each other over test scores and how students will be harmed by this competition as test scores trump everything else in the evaluation rubric.

But the UFT isn't telling the public about any of this.

Instead they're sitting back and allowing the NYCDOE and Bloomberg to frame the issues in the media and then responding in a reactive way to whatever Bloomberg and the NYCDOE pull to promote their agenda.

It's as if the UFT isn't trying to effectively put a stop to this nonsense.

And that is most likely the reason for the current UFT strategy.

They want this system in place, they just want to make it look like they tried to protect members and fought the thing even as, effectively, their efforts don't amount to a hill of beans in actually fighting it.

Let me repeat, Accountable Talk wrote that a member of the UFT brain trust told him that APPR has to be put into place because not enough teachers are being "U" rated in the current system.
Judging by the strategy the UFT and the NYSUT have followed in the Race to the Top/APPR battles, I completely believe that is what the union brain trust believes.

You can see it from the way they fail to effectively fight the NYSED, the Regents and the NYCDOE on this nonsense, the way they attacked Carol Burris or Diane Ravitch for pointing out the flaws in the system, the way they sent out Leo Casey to shill for the wonders of APPR.

It's a pity that we don't have an actual union looking to actually protect its members and actually fightthis very harmful APPR system, but alas, we do not.

Instead we have a union leadership that is looking to give the appearance like they're fighting APPR and corporate education reform even as they do little to fight against those things.

The fix is in.


  1. I totally believe what the UFT insider said about "not enough teachers are getting U rated". The UFT thinks it has to throw a bunch of teachers under the bus in order to please Bloomberg to stay solvent as an organization and "win" the press war. It is absolutely disgusting what they are up to. In almost 20 years of teaching I have never been more sad at the state of affairs with the UFT.

  2. Michael Mulgrew is marginalizing the careers of dedicated, lifelong teachers. Either way you slice the cake, Mulgrew, by not stepping up to the plate, is treating his members like a triple c rated junk bond. Teachers have become more volatile as the days go by. Is this anyway for a union president to treat its members?

  3. To me, the saddest thing about all of this is that 90% of rank and file teachers have no clue at all that they are about to be sold out with a nightmare new evaluation. If money is thrown into the mix, you can bet that they will all just drool at the cash and not think of the consequences in a year when they see their VAM scores cause them to loose their jobs.

  4. The UFT leadership has consistently acted on the belief that more money will get teachers to agree to anything. Look no further than the 2005 contract for proof of that. The new evaluations will make that contract look like the signing of the Wagner Act.

  5. If this evaluation system is agreed upon and teachers will be subjected to the Danielson evaluation model, then they better not arm teachers as some have suggested.

  6. Giving the new evaluation system to the DOE is like giving an assault rifle to Adam Lanza, as it were, only difference is mass firings of teachers instead of mass murder of children and their teachers. That is perhaps why Adam Lanza chose a school rather than a movie theater as his venue for violence. The "new" new is that our schools are now the battleground and war zone for the sociopathic ideologues.

    Many of these same mercenaries are veterans of the economic fiasco known the mortgage banking collapse. As hedge fund managers, financial gurus, and unfit media moguls they are dangerous because they will once again dump the taxpayers with a huge liability. Rather than take responsibility for their self-serving lies and propaganda, they will manipulate our political and legal system to achieve their anti-social ambitions.

    There is indeed a tragic connection between the Newtown shootings and the mismanagement of the Bloomberg regime and his education deform friends. In brief, it is sociopathic ideology gone out of control. The evaluation rubric will empower the DOE to engage in mass firings of teachers. It will be done spontaneously, at the will of their emperor, and entirely by surprise. remember. When has the DOE supported the education of our kids? It has always been money first and foremost, with kids , safety and teachers last.