Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Let The UFT Leadership Know How You Feel About ADVANCE, Danielson And The Common Core

Here was my response to Peter Goodman, Unity hack extraordinaire, who left some spin at Gotham Schools on the new evaluation system that went like this:

First Goodman:

On the just released state teacher evaluation 50% of teachers were "highly effective" and 41% "effective" with 1% "ineffective," these do include NYC, our plan just started, so, just maybe, teachers were overreacting .. On the grades 3-8 scores teachers in NYC scored considerably better than the rest of the state.

Take a deep breath, maybe the guys and gals who negotiated the plan on the union side knew what they were doing.

My response:

It must be swell to write this spin from the comfort of your living room, not having to step into a classroom and deal with the 22 Danielson competencies, worry about VAM, grade thousands of ELA "performance assessments" that will be used to evaluate PE, art, and vocational teachers, and deal with all the extra paper work and drudge work that has been added to our work lives without one extra dollar in compensation.
Speak to teachers who aren't members of the Unity/New Action chorus line and you will find out your spin won't go over so well with the rank and file working under this disaster. Morale is super low in my school, teachers who used to be apolitical about this stuff are angry as hell (and want to take it on the union leadership that agreed to this garbage as part of RttT), and even the few younger teachers who wanted a new evaluation system and once liked the Common Core reforms now think both ADVANCE and the Common Core suck.

The UFT leadership has been able to b.s. its way through previous sell-outs like the infamous '05 contract surrender. But your insularity, along with the insularity of the rest of the leadership, will not serve you well this time around. You can not b.s. people with spin and propaganda over ADVANCE and Danielson because everyone is living through this nightmare evaluation system and no one I know likes it - except for Mike Mulgrew and John King, of course. The more you defend it, the more out of touch you seem.

Leave your own responses in the comment section.

How do you feel about ADVANCE, Danielson, and Common Core?

Are you ready to take a deep breath and relax, as Goodman advises from the comfort of his retirement naugahyde recliner?


  1. As a retired teacher, my colleagues keep emailing me and telling me how horrible the ADVANCE (which I call regress) is and the common core was designed to ensure that children do not succeed. They ask me if the union will ever push Article 8I (Reduction of Paperwork). I advise them to write to the union leadership especially since two years ago they did a survey where the DRs asked CLs to describe the excessive paperwork in their school. Unfortunately, it went no where.

    It breaks my heart when I hear how many of my colleagues want to leave the profession or they're telling others not to come into the teaching profession. They go home exhausted and morally drained. Some of my colleagues who NEVER wanted to get involved in union activities are changing their minds and learning about the other non-Unity caucuses. One colleague emailed me that he will push to have his colleagues sign the Beck letter (which I'm not familiar with but I have heard of it). Some members do not want to give to COPE or want to stop the automatic deduction. Teachers are very, very upset and I can't for the life of me why the union is so detached.

    The union should reflect on the decision they made when they signed for the RttT, boasted the new teacher evaluation, defended the common core, and irresponsibly gave away a certain part of the contract without going to the collective bargaining table. It is time for the union leadership to actually think about the members, the rank-and-file, and make good by having the ed law 3012-c changed immediately. Instead of a moratorium, which means nothing more than a pause, a complete cease and desist with the use of test scores to rate teachers must be demanded.

    I told many of my colleagues that 2016 is another UFT election year and the members will painfully remember the struggles, the excessive paperwork, the demoralization of their profession of 2013 and in 2014. The union will probably try to change the constitution again to increase the percentage of retirees that count towards the election. This is one retiree that will not vote in favor of a union leadership that neglects and ignores the painful cries of my colleagues and my dear friends. Either the union takes another route or they will see a different path come 2016.

    1. An excellent analysis of the situation, I noticed that... I may use this as the focus for a post.