Wednesday, September 14, 2016

When An Observation Is Not An Observation.

I have been hearing from various teachers that their school administration is trying to require them to follow a detailed lesson plan format, in direct violation of the contract.  Moreover, to push teachers to do the administration directed lesson plan, the administration is trying a different approach to compel teachers to follow their rules and fall into their web of destruction.  The administrators are telling teachers that one of their observations will be solely based upon their lesson plan and not actually observing the lesson in the classroom.  That's right.  some school administrators are proposing to do a lesson plan based observation without watching the lesson!

I suspect, the school administration is getting their marching orders from the Superintendent who is trying to circumvent the union contract that allows the teacher to determine the format and content of his or her lesson plan. Moreover, by having all teachers follow a boilerplate lesson plan, it makes it easier for the school administration to compare lesson plans and decide which lesson plan is inadequate and punish the teacher for it.  Finally, if the teaching staff cowers to the administration dictates, they can more easily manipulate the teachers to ignore other union contract provisions, be it per session activities, prep period duties, and meetings during lunch.

Speaking of observations, its time to meet your DOE field supervisor (assassin).  That's correct, the ATRs in
rotation have been notified that their field assassin will be meeting with then during the next two weeks.  interestingly, some ATRs who were excessed from closing schools have never had a field assassin assigned to them.  One teacher has been an ATR for 8 years and has never had one assigned to him.  By contrast, any ATR that were subject to discipline (3020-a, letter to their file as an ATR, or attendance issues) will automatically be given a DOE field assassin.

Why the inequality?  It goes back to somebody once telling me that the ATRs are put on two lists.  List one are teachers who were simply excessed from closing schools while the other list are teachers that were disciplined. Guess which list is more likely to get a field assassin?

Remember, rotating ATRs are subject to the teaching of the 21st century requirements and not Danielson. So don't allow the field assassins tell you that they are evaluating you under Charlotte Dainelson in the classroom.


Anonymous said...

Just read the last issue of the New York Teacher. Mulgrew's letter to everyone went on and on about money but NOT A SINGLE THING about what is happening with the evaluation changes in NY State. My understanding is that NYC/UFT have till Jan 1st to come up with a new evaluation plan as required by NY State law. Me thinks there are a a lot of behind door meeting going on right now and we will all be handed a very crapy Christmas present in the form of an even worse evaluation system. Does anyone have any word or info on what is going on with evaluations?

Anonymous said...

Justin Stsrk is s vile rabid slug - Disne Ludvigsen is a stupid ugly cu-t and Andre Barrett is a two timing schmuck

Anonymous said...

These field supervisors come with an agenda, which is to terminate the most experienced workforce.

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Anonymous said...

ATR Supervisor Justin Stark was an APO of a failed school in Queens (Far Rock?), and never supervised / coached / developed teaching staff. The man was in charge of purchase orders and bell schedules. Why is that fool allowed to observe 20 year veteran teachers and U rate them?

The other horrific fact, is that when ATR supervisors were given the choice of being put into a school to be a real AP, or become hitmen, they chose the former.

Hey Mulgrew, this one's on you asshole!

Anonymous said...

That is, they chose the latter.

Anonymous said...

How on earth is Justin Stark still allowed to derail careers? He's a tool.

Anonymous said...

How is the UFT and Mulgrew allowing ATR supervisors to evaluate, intimidate, harrass and rate ATRs? Why is the UFT allowing for automatic yearly Unsatisfactories for all ATRs that go over 10 day absent WITH doctors notes and CAR balances? Once you receive a U for the year they hound you unmercifully . "You're an old, fat slob who can't teach anymore. Retire." - James Quaile in the teacher's cafeteria of Lehman HS, in front of everyone in the room. The lady was a 30 year old veteran who started crying. She retired.

Anonymous said...

Were Justin Stark's parents first cousins? would really explain just about everything.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday an A.P. walked into the classroom of a coworker and looked at his lesson plan. It was a two page lesson plan with all the bells and whistles. However, it did not follow the new format the admins are telling us we all must use. She pointed to it and asked, "Is this your lesson plan?" When he replied, "Yes," she snapped back. "No, it is not a lesson plan," and walked out.

I have no hope in this system anymore. I know some teachers work in these wonderland schools where the sun always shines and the administrators bring them coffee and donuts every morning, but many of us work in schools that seem not much better than North Korea - with informers, cruel leaders who make examples of others and oppress without warning - literally PTSD factories.

I intend to retire as early as possible, even with a reduced pension. Just give me medical and $1000 a month for life and I will be happy. The insanity I see has made many teachers bitter, and while I still have some of my sunny disposition, I want to get out before it is all gone.

Anonymous said...

My principal is telling people they must have all their questions scripted in their lesson plans and if there is an ICT class, they must list the Co teaching model they will be using in the lesson plan.

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Anonymous said...

I agree anon 9:35. I have 4 yrs until retirement. How am I ever going to make it in a system that is so messed up! I just keep my head down smile and pray they leave me alone. As an atr I do whatever they tell me.

Anonymous said...

Dwarka from Bryant has nearly $200,000 missing from her school budget, but she's still in charge.

Hey Mulgrew....when will you say something?

Anonymous said...

From my understanding, principals can NOT dictate the format of any teacher's lesson plan. The only exception is if the teacher received a "U" or "ineffective" rating from the previous year. Anybody want to chime in on what the contract says?

Anonymous said...

I've heard they can dictate if you are endanger of getting a u or ineffective rating. Very vague wording which is what admins always pounce on.

Anonymous said...

If Trump wins we'll have a supreme court justice who will support the Freidrichs case in California. Imagine what better ways to spend $1,300+ than to give it to a self serving union with deaf ears. No Contract Book from 2014 in members hands, no complete raises and retro until 2020, TDA fixed fund reduced from 8.25 to 7% while administrators still get 8.25% The UFT and NYSUT are already hurting from reduced COPE money from members. The writing is on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:08: UFT and NYSUT don't deserve any COPE money. They squander our dues monies giving rented warehouse space to Occupy Wall Street thugs, paying for bus transportation to Eric Garner rallies, cozying up to and collaborating with DOE folks, having lavish banquets, going on pseudo-educational junkets to exotic places, etc. They brag about how great their negotiated contracts are for us when in reality they withhold monies legally due us and make us laughingstocks at waiting for tiny raises over a long stretch of time that don't even keep up with COLA, hand back vacation days and rights, and set us up for scapegoats for every ill in the school system. The only handwriting I see on the wall is that despite getting good money from its members, the union has allowed them to be harassed, terrorized, made pariahs of, and terminated while at the same time supporting very questionable social justice causes. That's NOT what it was created to do.

The DOE has become a laboratory for every Tom, Dick & Harry's "progressive" educational technique, whether it has been tested or not. The DOE has also become the arena for politicians wanting to impress the common folks with their desire for better education for their kids, at the same time tying the hands of the very people charged with doing so. It would be ludicrous to trust cashiers with performing brain surgery or accountants with designing nuclear power plants. Why should politicians think that they are qualified to dictate educational programs and policies to experienced educators?

While hobbling the hands of teachers to educate students with enormous time-gobbling formats for curricula, lessons and data mining, making them jump through 50 required hoops every day in addition to the simple transmission of knowledge, and at the same time refusing to allow appropriate discipline for disruptive students, it is no surprise that only about 25% of the students are college ready at the end of their high school education. This is even WITH the widespread inflation of grades, credit recovery, and outright fraud regarding student credits. And the lash continues to fall on the backs of teachers for all this mess. It is no surprise that enrollment in education courses is down about 35% at colleges and that teacher shortages are popping up in many places. You'd have to be a wide eyed fool to sign up for this. To paraphrase country-western minstrel Willie Nelson:

"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be teachers.

Don't let 'em write lessons for those not caring much.

Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be teachers.

'Cos they're always at fault and under assault.

With no help from the U.F of T.

Coffee said...

16. My religion prevents me from joining a union and/or paying union does. What do I do?

The NLRA provides that "any employee who is a member of and adheres to established and traditional tenets...or teachings of a bona fide religion, body or sect which has historically held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting labor organizations shall not be required to join or financially support any labor organization as a condition of employment...."

Workers whose religious beliefs don't allow them to pay dues are entitled to alternative arrangement, allowing them to be exempt from paying dues. However, these individuals may be required to make a contribution in the same amount to a nonreligious organization or a non-labor organization, and still may be required to pay reasonable costs for grievance claims on their behalf if handled by the union.

Coffee said...

26. I no longer want to be represented by my union. Is there any way to get rid of a union after it's established?

Yes. Under the NLRA, there are multiple avenues for you to pursue. One way is to petition the NLRB to hold a decertification election, which if successful, means the union no longer represents any of the employees in your bargaining unit. Note, this is different from a deauthorization election which simply removes any forced unionism clauses in your contract.

To have a decertification election you must first obtain approval from 30% of the bargaining unit to establish this step - then you must campaign to get the majority of votes needed to get rid of the union.

The other method is to withdraw your membership - in writing. Depending on your state's laws, you may have to continue paying dues and fees, but will not be officially a member.

Anonymous said...

Stark is useless and a waste of resources.

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