NYC Educator posts that high school teachers may be subject to a new component in the evaluation system known as a "growth model" that will use a pre-test in the beginning of the semester and a Regents exam at the end of the semester in order to derive 20%-40% of the teacher's evaluation from so-called student performance (AKA, student test scores.)
This method has even less validity than the already notoriously error-riddled value added measurement (AKA, VAM) that is used to measure so-called student growth from one year to the next on subject tests.
But just because these growth and value-added measurement methods are error-riddled (87% maximum margin of error on the ELA VAM used by the NYCDOE), subject to wide swings in stability and/or totally hogwash as a way to measure teacher effectiveness doesn't mean the NYCDOE and the NYSED won't try and impose them onto us, nor does it mean that the UFT will try and protect us from them.
On the contrary, the UFT and the NYSUT were both on stage last February with Cuomo, Tisch and King when all this nonsense was announced and they were "at the table" during the discussions on how this new system would be devised and how it would work.
APPR is as much the UFT's and the NYSUT's baby as it is Tisch's, King's, Cuomo's and Pearson's.
Now it seems to me that the geniuses at the NYSED who brought us the Pineapple and the Hare and the geniuses at Tweed who brought us the truly awful Acuity exams are not going to get any better when they bring us the tests that will be used for VAM or growth models.
Remember, they're as much under the gun as the rest of us, trying to develop the tests and get them out as fast as they can before the public and the legislature come to their sense and change the laws to something less insane than "Eval By Test Score".
So you can bet the tests that will be used as pre-tests for high school teacher growth models will not actually be designed to work with the new Regents tests to measure growth any more than the elementary or middle school tests have been designed to measure "added value" from year to year by a teacher in isolation from many other factors.
I see no reason why we, the teachers, should not band together and sue the city and the state over this holy mess in order to protect ourselves.
Let's be honest here - the UFT and the NYSUT are not going to do this because they are invested in this system.
They helped develop it.
They stood on stage with Cuomo and Tisch and King and patted themselves on the back for what a swell system it is.
And when critics took to the Twitter and the Internets to point out all the flaws in the system and warn how damaging this system was going to be to schools, students and teachers - critics like Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris - the UFT and the NYSUT defended the system and sent Lyin' Leo Casey out there to tell us the system scrapes the skies it's so good and we should ignore all the Negative Nellie's who say differently.
So unfortunately we cannot rely upon our union to protect us from this garbage.
We must protect ourselves from it.
This means banding together and suing over the VAM and the growth models, which will be error-riddled, unreliable and suffer from wide swings in stability from year to year, as an unfair and indeed, illegal way to evaluate NY State school teachers.
I expect an evaluation deal between the UFT and the NYCDOE will be announced by the middle of next week before the Cuomo evaluation cliff deadline hits.
The discussions of lawyering up and suing the governor, the NYSED, the Regents, and the NYCDOE for imposing an unfair, unjust, invalid evaluation system upon teachers should start directly after that announcement.