So much for all those rallies, ad and rhetoric from union leaders that they're not going to let Governor Cuomo destroy public schools.
The budget agreement was announced last night and in it we got details of the new teacher evaluation system and other education reforms agreed to by Cuomo, the Assembly and the Senate.
Three parts should be particularly galling to you if you're a teacher:
1. NYSED gets the power to re-do the evaluation system to make it a "state-wide" system. Yes, that's right - the same people who gave "Dr" Ted J Morris Jr. a charter school get the power to impose a statewide evaluation system.
2. Teachers who are rated "ineffective" two years running are subject to being declared "incompetent" and fired within 90 days unless they can demonstrate "clear and convincing evidence" to the contrary. Teachers who are rated "ineffective" three years running are subject to disciplinary charges and expedited firing in 30 days unless they can prove the ratings were based on "fraud."
3. The state gets to takeover chronically "failing" schools (10 years or more) and if they cannot show improvement in one year. The state gets to take over moderately "failing schools (3 years of "failing") if they cannot show improvement in two years
In the past, NYSED rigged the Common Core tests so that 70% of students would fall below the proficiency rate.
There is no reason to think they won't rig the APPR re-do they've been tasked with so that large swaths of teachers are declared "ineffective" as well.
As is the case now, if a teacher is "ineffective" on the test component of the system, that teacher must be declared "ineffective" overall.
Two consecutive "ineffective" ratings and you're out of a job in 90 days - good luck finding "clear and convincing evidence" to the contrary that you're not "incompetent."
As for the state takeover plan, so-called "failing" schools have to submit a plan to NYSED to show how they'll improve in a year - NYSED gets final approval of the plan.
You can bet that plan will be as rigged by the sociopaths at NYSED as the Common Core test results.
If so-called "failing" schools do not hit their benchmarks in a year, they're handed over to the state for receivership.
Some schools that were "failing for three years or less get two years to show improvement.
In short, the state's going to be taking over lots of schools and handing them to charter operators.
On Saturday, NYSUT President Karen Magee said the following:
"The policies proposed by Gov. Cuomo are harmful to our children and
our students and that is unacceptable," she said, "and we are not going
to let him do that!"
Dunno how you read the above agreement details that we have, but it sure sounds like Cuomo got a lot of the policies he wanted in the budget.
I am especially concerned by the evaluation re-do.
Giving the sociopaths at NYSED the power to re-do teacher evaluations and impose a statewide system onto New York may provide politicians in Albany with some cover for the damage, but it surely doesn't bode well for schools, students or teachers.
I would expect that something like the New York City system that former NYSED Commissioner John King imposed on teachers in the NYCDOE will make it around the state.
Mark Naison summed the education policies agreed to in the budget framework this way:
Another disaster from our union leaders brought to us in a year where Cuomo had his budget agenda hijacked by Preet Bharara and Shelly Silver's arrest and his poll numbers plummet even before NYSUT began running ads against him (Cuomo's been under water in the Siena poll since late 2014.)