Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mulgrew, Myths And Misinformation

UFT President Michael Mulgrew sent an email out to the membership yesterday, saying that while no evaluation deal has been made with the DOE, negotiations on the new system would continue throughout the weekend.

He laid out two possibilities for what will happen from here:

The second, and less likely one, is that the UFT and the NYCDOE will not come to an agreement and the union will have to go the mattresses and

"get out into our communities to make sure that parents and others know that we, as always, are fighting to make the school system better for the kids we serve."

The first possibility, and the one I would bet the mortgage on, is that the UFT and the DOE come to an agreement on some egregious and awful evaluation system, in which case Mulgrew says

"we will need to do a lot of work very quickly to stop the spread of myths and misinformation. Communication and collaboration between colleagues will be key. Every school will also need to have a clear understanding about how to proceed."

And you know what he means by "myths and misinformation," don't you?

He means teachers in individual schools telling their colleagues the truth about this system rather than parroting the Unity talking points over it.

When that happens, the UFT will have to go on the attack and push back against anybody explaining how awful the system is and how badly we're all going to get screwed by the VAM and the 57 page Danielson rubric checklist and the growth models.

They'll try and muddy the waters with the kind of jive that Leo Casey was spewing here when the UFT decided it needed to push back against Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris for pointing out the flaws in the new APPR state evaluation system.

You can be sure that the UFT talking points over this negotiated deal will contain some version of the following:

1. The bad things in the deal that you think you're seeing, you're actually not seeing and here is Leo Casey's moral and intellectual successor now that he's moved on up to the AFT to expand upon that point with 10,000 words of drivel that essentially say "Believe what we say, not your lying eyes!"

2. If you think this deal is bad, you should have seen the stuff the DOE really wanted to put into it - We saved you a whole bunch of other truly odious stuff, so be happy with what you got

3. The UFT actually took Bloomberg and Walcott to the cleaners on this, but the mayor and the chancellor need to save face in the newspapers over that, and we're letting them do so

They'll try their best to make this deal - with the added value algorithms, the Danielson framework and its 57 page rubric checklist, the 13% appeals rule, the test component that will count for every teacher who teaches a subject that ends in a state test or a Regents exam, the Student Learning Objectives process that may count for up to 20% of the local part of the evaluation and will take hundreds of hours a semester to complete and add tons of paperwork to every teacher's workload - seem like it's not as bad as it is and anybody who says differently about it, they'll attack as they did Ravitch and Burris last February.

The mythologizing and misinformation will come from Mulgrew and his merry men and women with the double pensions, not from teachers in schools who have been paying attention to the whole APPR process since the Race to the Top fight started and can see through the propaganda the UFT and the NYSUT are slinging around these issues.

So look for the hard sell to come as soon as this sell-out deal is announced and look for the UFT to attack anyone who points out the truth about this system - whether it's respected educators like Carol Burris, respected historians like Diane Ravitch or individual teachers like yourself.

Mulgrew and Company know they've given away the store, they know what happened in Chicago and there has to be some awareness, even from them, that if APPR plays out as badly as it looks like it is going to play out, with tons of teachers getting "I-Rated" every year and everybody else being driven crazy by the insane new mandates, they're going to be in trouble.

They've lived off manipulation, deception and the apathy of the membership for a long time, but a few years of APPR may change that.

The UFT spin machine will be in overdrive for quite some time trying to tamp down just how bad this evaluation system is.


  1. The teachers of NYC are going to be PISSED when they find out that they got sold out by their own union. I honestly have no idea how Mulgrew and the UNITY hack crew think they can "sell" this crap to the members. Teachers in NYC are literally going to loose their jobs/houses/ability to put food on the table over this. This is simply insane. If any Unity hack comes to my school to try and explain what a good deal it is, I am going to let them have it with how we really feel. Lastly, it seems to me there will be no need for the UFT after this. Tenure will be gone, due process with be thrown out the window, and nobody will have a chance to grieve anything related to their evaluation. The UFT will become nothing more than a benefits/pension organization. The amount of anger that is going to be expressed by the rank and file next week is going be deafening!

    1. Many teachers still have no idea evals are going to change. The UFT has lived off member apathy for so long, perhaps they think most people won't notice the differences, or they'll just buy into the top-down spin and assume the UFT did the best they could.

      I dunno, I just know that people in my building are ALREADY pissed about the weekly focus groups, the standardized rubrics and common assessments, the extra work that goes along with the SLO's, the PD and cross-curricula meetings, the instructional rounds and post-round meetings. And that workload is NOTHING compared to what is coming.

      We'll see. Maybe Mulgrew and Company can spin it and come out on top. But I suspect that as bad as this is going to be, they would need to bring back every "Highly Effective" propagandist in history to pull it off.

    2. Anonymous,

      The UFT has been little more than a "benefits/pension organization" for years now.

      After they ram this evaluation process through, they will have devolved into nothing more than a dues collection organization.

      And at some point in the not-too-distant-future, all the $100+ grand a year, double pension place holders will find themselves out on the street, after their masters have determined they've outlived their usefulness.

    3. A bright spot in the darkness that is APPR and the UFT sell-out - maybe this will be the spark that ignites the membership to see the leadership as it truly is - a corrupt group of people who maintain power through manipulation, authoritarianism, and deception.

    4. Here's how it's going to happen. If an APPR is not approved, some teacher jobs will immediately be ended. The remaining teachers will be living in fear and will exist under an APPR that they know is intended to make them look like bad teachers. Those teachers will then do anything and everything to remain working. They will do Acuity testing, testing testing, sit politely thru PLO after PLO, create data that will be used against them, sit down, stand up, as they are told to do. Yes, they will be PISSED but they will do nothing but blog about how PISSED they are.
      How do I know this? I teach in Buffalo and went through the full HEDI rating on an APPR last school year. Many teachers remain uninformed and unconcerned. Quiet, quiet quiet. Shh, don't say anything that can be used against you on the APPR..... whisper, eyes down when admins do walkthroughs.
      And THAT is what will happen. It will happen not with a bang, but a whimper (and a blog comment).

    5. Having been around 12 years and seen how many teachers handle this kind of thing, I fear you are correct, Pineapple Hare.

  2. Carol Burris and Diane Ravitch know more than the UFT about evaluations and education issues. The UFT spin is false and misleading. Don't accept what the UFT is telling you. The evaluation system is based on Junk Science.

  3. Again I re-iterate my suspicion that Mauricio was yanked from a Principal's job and annointed a Community Superintendent to make sure no strong principal with a following was going to stand up to Albany and reinforce Buffalo's mage as a pack of renegade roobs trying to buck the man.