Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Performance Assessment Thursday

We are giving the ELA Measures of Student Learning Performance Assessments to students today and tomorrow so that every teacher in the school can be evaluated to see how much growth students make from September to June.

Because it makes total sense that social studies, science, art, physical education and other teachers outside of English Language Arts be evaluated using the ELA Measures of Student Learning Performance Assessments.

Oh, wait - no, it really doesn't make sense at all.

In fact, James Eterno reports at ICEUFT that even our intrepid UFT leadership seems to understand that:

He then spoke about evaluations and said we would not go back to the old system even though the current process is not that great.  The biggest concern is the Measures of Student Learning portion of the system. He said we had an agreement with the Department of Education in March that fell apart that was much better than the system State Education Department Commissioner John King imposed in his arbitration.
He added that there are contradictions in the arbitration and that it isn't going to work but that the point of it is to support and develop the work that teachers do.  He told us he can't understand how a teacher who does not teach English can be held accountable for English test results.  He then stated that this is not the evaluation system we would want a year from now and said it would be fixed in contract negotiations.

That's interesting that Mulgrew is now stating the system as currently imposed isn't so great because he keeps sending us emails telling us how much better it is than the old evaluation system (see here and here for that.)

But I have some news for our intrepid UFT leadership over their hope of "fixing" the problems with the system in contract negotiations with the new mayor.

NYSED Commissioner King, the man who imposed this system on NYC teachers through the 2016-2017 year, has final say on any revisions or changes to evaluation systems through contractual negotiation.

So whatever changes they hope to bring to this system, whatever "fixes" they want to propose, they have to not only get the new mayor on board with them, they have to get NYSED Commissioner King on board.

King has already attacked Buffalo over a side agreement the district made with the union, pledging not to fire any teachers using the APPR system the first year because the system kinks still have not been worked out.

King was outraged that Buffalo wanted to make sure the system worked before using it to fire anybody and he and his boss, Governor Cuomo, threatened to pull back all kinds of funding for the district if they did not agree to use the untested, unpiloted, unfinished evaluation system for high stakes decisions like firing teachers.

This is not the action of somebody who will readily sign off on "fixes" to the current teacher evaluation system he imposed on us.

Now maybe Mulgrew and the next mayor can convince King and his NYSED reformers that the changes they want to the system make sense and are fair and just to everybody involved.

But I have yet to see any glimpse of common sense, fairness or justice from our NYSED commissioner in Albany, so they have an uphill battle at getting major "fixes" to the system through.

As always, hope to be wrong about this stuff.

I hope Mulgrew and de Blasio make an agreement on the system that gets rid of much (or all) of the insanity and makes the system as workable as possible within the confines of the law.

But it pays to be cynical these days around anything in education, so I have my doubts that King will sign off on anything that doesn't look pretty much like what we already have in place.

Unless pressure is put on Cuomo and the other pols in Albany over this stuff, that is.

That would be the only way I see King caving on his "reforms."

Happy Performance Assessment Thursday everybody!

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