Monday, October 05, 2015
The Failure Of Our Union To Make Life Better For Our Members. Part III, The APPR.
Back in 2010 President Obama and his basketball playing buddy, Arnie Duncan, dangled $4.4 billion dollars to the States if they would link teacher evaluation to the Common Core standards, this was labeled Race to the Top (RttT). Eventually 48 States took the bribe and the leader was New York State, which received $700 million dollars, thanks in a large part to the UFT who supported the State proposal. Interestingly, none of the money actually went to the classroom but was used to develop the high-stakes Common Core tests, pay for consultant fees like Pearson, and to evolve the "Junk Science" as part of the teacher evaluation system. Did our union even bother to poll the members about what they thought? Of course not. The union leadership knew that the members would have voted overwhelmingly against RttT, yet the union leadership supported this ill-fated venture and UFT President Michael Mulgrew even stated that he would punch Common Core critics in their face! Yes, the very same Michael Mulgrew who claimed victory when the City was forced to evaluate teachers on 22 components of the Charlotte Danielson rubric when the Bloomberg Administration only wanted 7, yet Michael Mulgrew claimed victory again when it was reduced from 22 to 8, go figure.
Across New York State parents are "opting out" their students from the destructive high-stakes Common Core tests and on Long Island 50% "opted out" with 75% doing so because of the teacher evaluation tie-in. Yet our UFT President did not support the "opt out" movement despite the State teachers union (NYSUT) doing so. The reason is that our union leadership supports the APPR and is willing to throw some teachers to the wolves as long as the union leadership gets what it wants for themselves, the power to do as they please. Already 70% of the teachers subject to peer valudators (the rat pack) in the approved teacher evaluation system have been deemed "ineffective" and since the burden of proof is now placed on the teacher rather than the DOE as in the past, expect most, if not all of them to be terminated in their 3020-a hearing. Of course Michael; Mulgrew claimed victory yet again despite Michael Bloomberg outmaneuvering him by getting the APPR without negotiating a contract as promised by our leadership.
Finally, our UFT President claimed victory one more time when the new APPR now requires the "Junk Science" to be 50% of a teacher's evaluation and even allowed the Democratic leadership who dominates the State Assembly to vote for it. With friends like Michael Mulgrew and his cronies who needs enemies?