Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vaunted New Cuomo APPR Evaluation Plan Not In Place For NYC Yet

Gotham Schools:

The first day of school is Sept. 9, but it will be at least a month before New York City teachers know exactly how they will be graded this year.

The de Blasio administration plans to wait until at least October to decide if it will comply with a new state law and make changes to its teacher evaluation system this year or seek to delay the process. Districts will lose state funding if the changes aren’t in place by Nov. 15, according to the law, but officials have said they will give districts more time if needed.

Excellent - nothing like uncertainty around evaluations.

Reformers seem to love changes, don't they?

Change the tests, change the standards, change the curriculum, change the PD, changes the evaluation system - over and over and over.

The cynic in me wonders if the constant change isn't meant to undermine students, teachers and schools, give reformers their "failure" metrics and data and help them push their privatization agenda.

The pragmatist in me thinks that's exactly the case.

There may be a saving grace this year on the evaluation changes, however.

The judge in the Lederman case is expected to issue a decision later this month or sometime next month.

If the test score component - the NYSED "Black Box" of "We rate you the way we want to and you'll take it and like it!" - is tossed, that could result in the whole evaluation system being thrown out and force Cuomo and the Legislature to start over again.

Won't that be fun?

The likelihood is that the state will appeal a Lederman decision like that, but that would just throw more uncertainty into the system.

And in the end, that seems to be the point of education reform and the Cuomo agenda.

Burn and churn, burn and churn, burn and churn...


  1. Here in NYS/NYC we are entering the fourth year under the Regents Reform Agenda (RTTT/NCLBW). Is there any supporter of this test-and-punish reform movement who can describe just one, over-arching positive benefit for the nearly three million students of our state? Just one tangible benefit that has made blowing up a working system worth it?

    Hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of teacher hours and hundreds of billions of student/parent hours.
    Just one thing that has made it worth our time, our energy, and our money?

    1. Totally agree. Has been meant to steal resources, time and energy away from meaningful work that would help students while making it look like teachers are getting some "accountability."

  2. So the big question is this: Will there be any unannounced observations that count for our evaluation between the first day of school and the end of October? If so, will they count? My understanding is that there will be TWO observations under the new law. (one by the principal and one boy an outside evaluator) My question is if a principal does an observation between now and the end of October, will that count as the one observation that they have to do? Thoughts on this are much appreciated!

    1. Assume the old system remains in place until a new system is announced. That's what I am doing.

      Even then, Lederman case can throw monkey wrench into the whole mess.

      We'll see.

      As commenter above alluded to, this is just about spending money on stuff that harms public schools, students and teachers, in the hopes of "breaking" the system.

  3. If we assume the old system is in place, then any observation that a principal does in Sept/Oct before the new law goes into place should count then? If so, they will NOT have to do an additional observation after Oct? On the other hand, if a principal does an observation before the new law kicks in, would that observation be voided out? It is not that easy to just assume we will be running under the current system. I have a feeling that the DOE will tell principals to put everything on ice till the NYC either starts the requirements under the new law or fills out the waiver in which case we will officially operate under the current system.

    1. Can't imagine any AP outside of one out to get you would do an observation in September considering all the holidays and such.

      But observations will have to start by October if old system is in place - four observations per teacher are, you know, a lot.

    2. Yep. Four are a lot. That is why I am actually "excited" about the new law as my principal in theory should only be required to do one observation. However, it is a blessing and a haunting at the same time. It is great that there is only one observation. On the flip side that observation counts for 80% of the observation aspect of the evaluation. (The outside observer can count for 20%) The other million dollar question is which observation will be the announced vs unannounced? Will the principal do the announced observation and the outside evaluator do the unannounced? These details are the most important factors as mentioned above for teachers in non-tested subject areas.

    3. I agree about the 2 vs. 4. I was looking forward to that.

      We'll see how it all plays out. As I wrote below, the bigger the mess, the better. It's Cuomo's system, he's got to defend the mess.

  4. It is beyond crucial that the UFT/CSA make it clear what the expectation will be when school starts in Sept regarding the new law. The vast majority of teachers do not teach a tested subject and thus the only thing they can focus on is the ONE PRINCIPAL OBSERVATION that will count for 80% under the new law. Teachers need to know the "rules" as to when this observation can take place. (Can it take place under the current system between now and Oct or must it take place after the new law kicks in in November)

    1. Might be beyond crucial, but doesn't look like it will happen.

      Listen, if they switch the eval system two months in, just helps with court challenges later (i.e., changing goal posts during the year...)

    2. Yes, but court challenges will not help any teacher who gets stuck with a bad observation that might take place when that observation should not have taken place to begin with.

    3. Sure it will - 3020a disciplinary hearing based upon observation that took place that shouldn't have taken place?

      Listen, don't worry about this - the mess gets worse by the year, and the more messy it gets, the less likely it holds.

      The opt out rate is putting pressure on the system, the Lederman case is putting pressure on the system, the increasing opposition to rating teachers via test scores in the polling is putting pressure on the system.

      This is falling apart, no matter how much Cuomo and his ed deform donors want to hold it together. It's just too much of a mess for them to argue that it's beneficial.

      That's the thing to remember here - the messier it gets, the better. Because then it's easy to rip in the media, the court of public opinion, etc.

  5. Right about the mess. Even the media are straining to defend this stupidery. And, boy do they seem to want to defend it. Their headlines are just less and less credible each day. NY1 look like a bunch of dunderheaded suck ups every time they talk about Success Academy. Lindsay Christ is alright, though. But, good ol' Errol Lewis cuts her off every time.

    1. Yes, Crist is good. Louis is a charter shill, was at the DN, is still now.


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