Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Daily News Editorial Says Cuomo Evaluation System Will Give Most Power To The Mayor

Here's what the Daily News editorial writers think the new evaluation system will look like:

Cuomo envisions giving state Education Commissioner John King the power to design an evaluation program for the city’s teachers. He must draft legislation that would:

l Explicitly bar King from giving teachers the right to file grievances about this, that or the other aspect of how principals judge their performance.

l Prohibit King from restricting the ability of principals to formally or informally observe teachers at work in the classroom, as well as from setting onerous rules for the paperwork that must precede and follow observations.

l Order King to enact a system no later than June 1 in the event that Mulgrew and Bloomberg are still at loggerheads then. Waiting until Sept. 17, the date that’s been floating about, would delay the start of evaluations for yet another year.

l Specify that King’s system would stay in effect indefinitely unless the union and this mayor or the next one come to terms on acceptable amendments.

l Make the city’s children and taxpayers whole by delivering the $250 million in aid that’s now counted as lost.

The word from Albany is that Cuomo has bought into all these principles, with the exceptions of the lifespan of King’s scheme and, critically, forking over the $250 million.

Whether they are right that Cuomo has bought into these provisions or not, clearly they want these provisions in place - especially the part about not being able to grieve an unfair or unjust evaluation by a principal.

In addition to the details above, the system also has the following:

- Teachers would be evaluated on the basis of classroom observations by principals and student performance on state tests.

- Teachers would be ranked using a four-tier rating system: ineffective, developing, effective or highly effective. Those who earn a rating of ineffective two years in a row would be targeted for termination.

- Teachers would have limited opportunities to appeal their ratings. Neutral parties would be brought in to settle disputed ratings and aid with classroom observations.

- The new system would be put in place in time for the city to qualify for an increase in state aid for the 2013-14 school year.

- State officials are not yet sure whether the new system will include a sunset clause to limit how long the scheme remains in place.

I love how they use the word "scheme" to describe the new evaluation system, because that is certainly what it is.

The use of student test scores to make high stakes decisions on teachers is going to cause a lot of damage to children and schools.

The value-added measurements they are going to use for the test scores have high margins of error and the Pearson tests are error-riddled, but they're going to use those scores and that VAM to evaluate "effective" teachers anyway.

In addition, evaluating teachers using test scores is going to result in the narrowing of the curriculum to only what is tested and make FEAR the overwhelming theme in NYC schools for both students and teachers, but perhaps that's exactly what the neo-liberals running the state as well as the neo-liberals writing for the Daily News want.

Everybody in FEAR that they're going to be fired based on crap tests and a crap VAM and a crap growth model and a 57 page observation rubric that nobody could be rated "effective" on and a system that no longer allows teachers to challenge unfair or unjust ratings.

Welcome to 21st century America, - Obama's America, Cuomo's America, Bloomberg's America - where the oligarchs put into place whatever employee evaluation system they want, place all the onus of the education system onto the teachers (but not, of course, on themselves) and railroad as many teachers out of the system as they can and replace them either with younger, cheaper teachers (who themselves will be railroaded out in a few years) or computer programs hawked by the edu-entrepreneur class.

1 comment:

  1. If this is in fact what Cuomo will enact, then tenure has been eliminated. I hope that this information is incorrect.