Tuesday, November 14, 2017
The Difference Between An Ineffective And Unsatisfactory Rating
I have been following the nyc educator blog with great interest and in a couple of his posts he mention that he asked the UFT leadership various questions about how many members received an "Ineffective" and "Unsatisfactory" rating. The reason nyc educator brought up the issue is that the UFT leadership, in trying to sell how wonderful the teacher evaluation system (APPR) is, compared to the old "S" and "U" system. It's like trying to sell a broken down mule as a race horse.
According to the UFT there were 3,000 annual unsatisfactory observations.under the old "S" and "U" system, compared to only 217 ineffective ratings last year. The problem is that its like comparing apples and oranges. Under the old "S" and "U" system a teacher can get an "unsatisfactory" rating for many different reasons by simply getting a letter to their file for that year, despite being rated an effective teacher, For example a teacher has an altercation with a student and despite the student being the aggressor, the Principal dumps a letter in the file for corporal punishment on the teacher who was just trying to defend himself. The result is an unsatisfactory rating for that year. Another example is that the Principal told a teacher to do lunch duty, even when no teacher was assigned lunch duty as their circular six assignment. The teacher said no and was charged with insubordination and a letter to the file which gave the Principal the right to give the teacher an unsatisfactory rating. Many ATRs received an unsatisfactory rating simply by getting a letter to the file for trivial offenses like making a silly joke, or showing up late to a classroom in a new school.
By contrast an "ineffective" rating is based solely on the pedagogy and not on alleged misconduct. An ineffective rating is determined by the teacher's classroom ability and how well his or her students growth factor is, based upon the "junk science" of high stakes testing.
Of the 3,000 unsatisfactory ratings (it turns out to be 2,000). How many were based on incompetence and how many for alleged misconduct? Moreover, an unsatisfactory rating still keeps the burden of proof on the DOE in any 3020-a cases. On the other hand, ineffective ratings are entirely based on alleged teacher incompetence and the burden of proof is now on the hapless teacher to prove he or she is not incompetent. A high bar to jump over.
In conclusion. comparing unsatisfactory ratings with ineffective ratings is more like comparing a misdemeanor with a felony. They are both negative but one is so much worse than the other.