Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is This The Beginning Of The End For Seniority Protections? Is Teacher Tenure Next?

It appears that NYSUT and the UFT caved in to State pressure to gain RTTT funding by agreeing to a new teacher evaluation system. This system will allow teachers to be evaluated into four categories.

  • Highly effective
  • Effective
  • Developing
  • Ineffective
This new teacher evaluation system will make it easier for Administrators to remove senior teachers by labeling them "ineffective". While our unions claim that there will be additional protections to help and support struggling/targeted senior teachers, I'm not buying it. It is really a "gotcha program" to swiftly remove highly-paid senior teachers out of the schools and attack teacher tenure, In my opinion the unions prostituted themselves to get RTTT funds and put their members in danger. Our UFT press release praising the agreement notwithstanding.

Smart administrators will load up targeted teachers with the worst students, fail to supply them with proper support, unjustly compare the targeted teacher's class with higher achieving student classes, and write damaging observations to ensure the teacher gets two consecutive "ineffective" ratings and termination sixty days later. Furthermore, it will pit teacher against teacher and collaboration among teachers will cease to exist. Finally, look for an increase in cheating, not by the students, but by teachers. What were our foolish union leaders thinking? A possible short term funding gain at the expense of teacher due process? What will stop administrators from rating ATRs "ineffective"? Nothing according to this agreement.

I can only wonder what other goodies our union leaders have in store for us. How about donating part of our paychecks to Joel Klein to pay for his million dollar Deputy Chancellors he is hiring and the increased headcount at Tweed? Or is that where our raise will go to? How about exempting the teachers rated "highly effective" from seniority based layoffs? I wouldn't be surprised if Michael Mulgrew turns out to be "Randi lite" as many of my blogger friends have been claiming all along. I assume we will need to vote on this because it changes the contractual provisions. If so please vote Nooooooooooo!

What a piece of crap!


reality-based educator said...


Seniority means nothing if they can use test scores to declare you ineffective two years running.

Tenure means nothing either.

The evaluations tied to test scores is a HUGE cave by Mulgrew and company that will ultimately lead to no teacher making it past ten years.

Right around 8 years they will start to declare teachers ineffective and they will get them off the payroll before the ten year vestment.

The effect of this cannot be understated.

All veteran teachers who have more than 7 or so years to go to retirement need to start making plans for an alternative career.

Because in a few years time anybody with any time will be out on their asses.

Those with 7 or so years to go might be able to finagle a way to survive this and make it to retirement.

As for the effect on the classroom, it will be terrible.

Just teach to the test.

Obama ran against teaching to the test.

But his policies have expanded that to EVERY grade and EVERY subject.

What a scumbag.

Anonymous said...

AND, teachers will be fired within two months after the two years.

I'm numb all day. I can't believe our "union" would cave like this. What did the UFT get in return?

This is the issue that the teachers in Florida marched against and swayed their governor to veto. And we in the great , sophisticated, progressive New York City get a midnight, back room deal shoved down our throats? It figures, this is how oligarchies work. The little people matter little.

What do you expect from a shop teacher from Grady? You think that bald headed pimp Mulgrew stood any chance of standing ground , or WANTING to stand ground against the Big Boys? He's feathering his nest, and those around him. I just don't understand what kind of a "union" will be left in the future for the UFT. What are they thinking? Isn't this suicidal for the UFT's future?

reality-based educator said...


As far as I can see with this, there is no vote by teachers. If the state legislature passes the bill and the governor signs it, as is expected, it is law.

And the firings will commence in 2012 and accelerate thereafter.

Philip Nobile said...

My heart is with you Chaz and all the commentators. But my mind says that principals and teachers will simply inflate test scores to keep their jobs. Scrubbing is already rampant. As sure as Mulgrew sold us out in secret, just as he did with the TRC agreement, cheating will go galactic.

Anonymous said...

Okay, listen up, folks.

I believe that in Chicago, where this all began under the auspices of Duncan and Obama (Obama's real name is Barry Soetero), the teachers have their "union" in court now.

The union suits, the parasite class, who live off us, who feed their children and pay their mortgages, and pay for their clothing and jewelry and car insurance with OUR money, are not "caving." THE UNION IS THE ENEMY, THE UNION NEEDS:




They include these days: administrative law judges, home health care workers and others. They incorporated these people into the union so they would not need teachers.


In 10 days, your backsides are grass if you don't write, phone, fax, march on Albany and your legislators.

WAKE UP! We're all done if you don't stop being scared, unconscious, in denial.


Anonymous said...

This agreement will lead New York Teachers to the same sorry place that the teachers in Rhode Island faced. They will be FIRED as never before. There is no justification that the leadership can state that will prevent thousands upon thousands of teachers to go from apathy to hatred towards the union. Mulgrew is afraid of Bloomberg and is no doubt following advice from Weingarten. This local the last bastion of teacher unionism is now facing a slow death. They can recruit all the retirees and day care workers they want as far as the teacher ranks they have done more to divide and destroy with their sellout than the deformers could have dreamed of. May they all ROT in HELL.

Pogue said...

Better than rotting in hell, when is the next Delegate Assembly? Maybe a teacher demonstration is needed at UFT headquarters.

Invictus said...

What goes around, comes around.
What evil service they have done for the membership, will lead to their own irrelevance. Mark my words, a Union that sells out its membership for their own benefit, does not have the moral right to represent no one.
BTW, the block that voted for Unity, now you can sit back and be satisfied at your naiveness.

ed notes online said...

DA is today at 4pm. Too late for a demo but think of the future. However, there is no point of doing this unless you can get out a few hundred people to make a point. The ability to be able to organize a few hundred people seems to be missing from the opposition or else there are just not a few hundred people who feel strongly enough to do something about it. Thus, the doom and gloom.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the Union and State. We as teachers must be evaluated and held accountable for our performance.

Principals must also be held accountable for the school’s performance. If principals are held accountable, they will need to keep the best teachers no matter how expensive they are. If the principals only keep the least experienced (cheapest) teachers, the performance of the school will show and the principal would be out the door also.

We all have poor performing colleagues that are hiding behind tenure and the administration has no recourse to have them removed. I would support tenure after 15 years of experience but it should NOT be awarded after a mere 3-4 years. It takes a minimum of 5 years to truly understand the profession, so granting tenure after 3 years is ridiculous.

The evaluation system may not be perfect but it is a step in the right direction. We should be proud of what we do and want to be held accountable for our performance.

Anonymous said...

Here here to anonymous who posted at 4:20 AM. Anonymous is right on target - although I think tenure could be appropriately granted after about 7 years.
One of the reasons we're in this mess is because we protected a system that wasn't working. The rubber rooms were a problem for yrs as was the problem of getting rid underperforming teachers. Had we been at the forefront of coming up with solutions to these issues we would have set the agenda. As it stands now all we do is play defense against a constant barrage of attacks.
One of the things we could and should be doing is plastering the papers and blogs with comments that tenure is "due process" and isn't due process the American Way. We should educate the public about how underperforming teachers can be removed. We should show that the fact that there are underperforming teachers in our schools is because principals and the DOE have been too lazy to follow through or because under due process they can't prove their case in which case professional development is called for. If tenure is "due process" as the union says it is then we shouldn't be afraid to defend it - in fact it's is our public duty to defend due process and to demand it for every employee in every organization.

Anonymous said...

Who are these "get rid of the teachers" geniuses who are posting?

The parasitical union suits?

Young non-teachers who only call themselves teachers?

Some other brand of deluded, arrogant humans?

Thousands of decent, generous, extremely hard-working and caring people have been devastated and will be devastated by the pogrom directed toward teachers.

It is sad that so few of us are aware of and honor our unbreakable bonds with and connection to other people. Did we feel our interdependence upon one another, and did we honor our own beings, this destruction of human lives would not be happening.


The Veteran NY Teacher said...

Why not have principals, who have no vendettas or insecurities, simply wave their arms and dismiss on a whim?

trixie said...

I teach ELA with NO textbooks.

Our curriculum is a joke (really, nonexistant is a more accurate term, though I have been part of a team that's writing one)

AP and Principal are by and large fair and competent, but spend SO much time dealing with that 5-10% of kids who can't behave and/or get to school on time. I have not even been observed this year.

I have quite a few kids who managed to eke out level 2's on the ELA last year...but can barely read or write.

Maybe I do deserve to be fired for putting up with a job where I do not get MOST of what I need to be successful.

Chaz said...

I am amazed that some teachers actually support tgis. Don't you see how easy it will be for a vindictive and insecure Principal to target a teacher. The assumption that principals care more about their students' test scores fly in the face of the newly created small schools that have very few, if any, senior teachers. These "Leadership Academy" principals do not want great teachers, they want cheap and untenured teachers to control.

Anonymous said...

The statement “young non-teachers who call themselves teachers?” is an ignorant statement. Age and experience are not the only requirements to be a quality educator. Young or Old, the age of an educator does not determine the quality of an educator.

Before becoming a teacher ten years ago, I spent eight years in the business world. If businesses were run like schools, they would all be bankrupt. In the business world you are held accountable for your performance. Management does not fire the most experienced people because much of the time they are the best performing. They also don’t fire young top end talent just for being young. You keep the best of both.

Additionally, the business world has incentives to produce performance; you have “Carrot” (i.e. raises, promotions, etc.) and “Stick” (i.e. firing, demotions, etc.). In the education system you have no carrot and no stick. If educators are going to be evaluated, there needs to be good and bad consequences based on the evaluation. Only have negative consequences is not acceptable, high performing teachers need to be rewarded with raises/bonuses. Low performing teachers should be given the opportunity to improve on their performance. A poor performing teacher needs to be given clear and attainable targets before they are dismissed. I am a good teacher and not afraid to be evaluated. Many of those that don’t want to be evaluated are the teachers that are under performing and are afraid of the consequences.

There is no doubt that evaluating the performance of most jobs including educators is extremely difficult. This difficulty must not be used an excuse to not perform such a critical task.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, you are correct. A few principals will use this system as vindication to get rid of teachers they have personal issues with. Welcome to the rest of the world. In private industry it happens everyday. A few rogue principals using this system as vindication is not a reason to allow poor performing tenured teachers to stay in place. Please explain how teachers should be evaluated? Or should all teachers, even the poor performing teachers, be allowed to stay in place for the rest of their carriers after receiving tenure (please note tenure is received after only 3 to 4 years is most cases)?

Please do not pretend that all teachers are good performers. All jobs have both good and poor performers. There needs to be a mechanism to remove poor preforming employees.

Anonymous said...

To the Newbies:

There are not a 'few' vindictive principals who are vindictive. there are not a 'few' principals who want to cut consts. There are not a 'few' principals who play favorites and drive out non- favorites.
In general, the assortment of principals are failed teachers, leadership academy graduates, and the usual gamut of good and not-so-good you find in any organization.
They are not, as a group, to be trusted. There is a reason why tenure (due process) exists.

A Veteran Teacher

Anonymous said...

A Veteran Teacher,

I will ask again: Please explain how teachers should be evaluated? Or should all teachers, even the poor performing teachers, be allowed to stay in place for the rest of their carriers after receiving tenure (please note tenure is received after only 3 to 4 years is most cases)?

Please do not pretend that all teachers are good performers. All jobs have both good and poor performers.

A Newbie

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, and to add a footnote to this conversation, Michael Mulgrew had sent out an email to members as all this news was breaking: I'll paste the text here.:

Dear Colleague,

On Monday, the UFT, NYSUT and the State Education Department reached a new agreement — subject to legislative approval — to create a teacher evaluation and improvement plan.

As we all know, the current evaluation system is too subjective and too dependent on the whims of administrators. We also know many so-called reformers have long fought to base evaluations solely on test scores, something that we have adamantly opposed.

We have long sought an evaluation process based on multiple measures. We were emphatic on that point, as well as the necessity of teacher voice in the process.

Under the new agreement, which would take effect in September 2011, the majority of an individual’s evaluation is based on qualitative measures that may include observations, student portfolios and projects.

If a teacher is identified as ineffective, there will now be a genuine teacher improvement process to support his or her professional growth before any disciplinary action is taken. This is an unprecedented requirement in an evaluation system.

This new process will allow the rest of the state to follow the rubber room agreement we recently reached for those facing incompetence charges.

Here’s what you need to know:

* This process is much more objective than the current process.
* This process includes much more teacher voice.
* This process includes a true teacher improvement plan.
* This process limits the emphasis on standardized tests.

Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew

Anonymous said...

Sounds like step in the right direction. It may not be perfect but it is better than what we have today. What is everyone complaining about?

Anonymous said...

To Mister or Missus "carrot and stick."

Regarding evaluation tied to test scores, my research shows that the experts in the field of education metrics do not agree on the accuracy, and validity of the methods currently available. There is no agreement as to how to do this, ESPECIALLY in at-risk socioeconomic populations. They are also in a quandary in measuring high achieving groups. Anotherwords, should a teacher be held responsible for flat results in a very low achieving group? Who or how do you judge if another teacher could have made a difference? The experts can't agree on this. So, who will make the decision here as to what method will be used? Arne Duncan and the charter school crowd? Mr. Carrot, why should teachers blindly trust THAT group with their future?Why should we blindly trust Mulgrew, previously a SHOP teacher? How do we not know he isn't a puppet of larger forces? Ms. Stick , the methods, behavior, and treatment the Tweed crowd has adopted toward veteran teachers alone is reason for many to be skeptical, as is this middle of the night, backroom deal the shop teacher has pulled here. We also have many reasons to be highly skeptical of the UFT's half measures over the last five or so years, so Ms. Stick, the skepticism is understandable.

Anonymous said...

Most evaluations are mainly subjective, not only in teaching but in all industries.

How do you evaluate a sales person? Strictly on sales? What happens if a particular sales person has a weaker region to sell too? (in the teaching world this would be a poorer performing school/district). What happens if that sales person biggest client goes bankrupt? (in the teaching world this would be getting a class that is at a lower level than most). Does this mean sales people should not be evaluated? NO, the evaluator does there best to take this into account. The system isn't perfect but it still needs to be done.

You can sit here all day and make excuses of why evaluations are difficult and/or impossible for all types of different jobs. But the fact is most of the US workforce is evaluated on a regular basis and have consequences from those evaluations, fair or not. Why should teachers be exempt from ever being evaluated and held responsible?

Please explain what to do with a poor performing teacher that has 15+ years of experience? An acceptable answer is not leave the teacher in place until they retire in another 10 – 15 years. Please do not pretend that all the teachers you work with are top quality educators.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Stick, I'll give you a few examples of both the union , and the big biz goons who "Arne" and Obama so love. When my large high school began to reorganize, the UFT shitheads came in and promised that 50% of the existing staff would be hired into the new schools. Lying bastards!!! Of the, say 135 teachers , only 3 work in the new schools in that building. Years ago I worked in another school that was reorganized and they told us the same lame BS. NO ONE retained. So carrott . . . ALL of these teachers suck? ALL 130 of them?

Let's go to that jackal, Klein. Repeatedly over the last few years, since the ATR position was created, he has slandered and lambasted this group as BAD teachers. Everyone knows that the reason many of them have not been hired is that KLein doesn't WANT them hired. It's a classic setup. So Ms. Carrot, are you telling us that ALL of the ATRs are shit? ALL 1700 of them? Meanwhile, the UFT has played patty-cake with Klein by allowing his behavior to continue unabated without any legal action. The UFT has allowed principals to make false accusations for years against teachers without any repurcussions, EVEN AFTER THE ACCUSATIONS HAVE BEEN PROVEN FALSE! A good number of rubber room people were merely victims. Therefore, many have good reason to be skeptical of the UFT leadership, that adminsters like a gulag, where opposition is impossible. KLein has exhibited a scorched earth, total anhilation policy against veteran teachers that is perfectly understandable. Why? Because that is how "business" is done in this country these days . . . total scorched earth demolition of the opposition until you're "too big to fail." More on the forces behind the charter school movement (hedge fund operators, Jack Welch type CEOS, etc. ) to follow.

Ms. Carrot . . . we have good reason to treat whatever they throw at us with GREAT skepticism.

Chaz said...

Nobody has talked about how to control vindictive and insecure principals who target teachers? Show me the checks and balances? What are the consequences when administrators are caught lying or gaming the system?

The system must be fair and objective and nothing in this agreement requires that the teacher evaluation system to be fair and objective.

Anonymous said...

Carrot . . the existing contract allows principals and APs to observe teachers without limit. There IS an existing structure in place for evaluation.

Anonymous said...

Also Carrot . . . are ALL 1700 ATRs "bad teachers" . . . ?

Anonymous said...


Are you aware teachers are evaluated now? The rather obvious point here is the new linking of tenuous test results to definitive evaluations.
Too many teachers have been harmed too many times and seen their colleagues harmed too many times to have faith in a newly-tweaked and test-centric evaluative system.
If your specious postion is that there has to be some type of evaluation you will find no argument here. Re-read paragraph one of this post.

A Veteran Teacher

Chaz said...

I believe that the problem here is that newbie teachers are usually not targeted and don't have the experience to understand the union culture. It is only after they are approaching their vesting year and making a good salary that they realize that the Principal starts to look at them differently. What was gr4eat before is now a problem as the Principal eyes the budget.

Anonymous said...

An evaluation system with no consequences means nothing.

No one has answered what to do about the teacher with 15 years experience and is performing poorly. Do you just let them perform poorly until retirement?

Please don't pretend like we don't all know poor performing teachers with significant performance.

Susan Nunes said...

Frankly, I don't believe these "anonymous" trolls are teachers anyway. What real teacher would come up with the stupid anti-public education, anti-teacher talking points.

By the way, education is NOT like industry; industry doesn't blackball employees who are fired the way public education does. In private industry, one person doesn't have the power the way school principals do. They can ruin your careers forever. Most of them aren't any good--they are incompetent, vindictive, stupid, or just plain evil, and they aren't held accountable to anybody. THIS is the real problem in public education--not the teachers.

Susan Nunes said...

"No one has answered what to do about the teacher with 15 years experience and is performing poorly. Do you just let them perform poorly until retirement?"--Who determines who is "performing poorly"? Most principals are morons and wouldn't know good teaching if it bit them in the butt.

But you aren't a teacher anyway. Post under your real name and we can find out for ourselves.

NYC Educator said...

I was really hoping to find something new in Mulgrew. I liked the lawsuit that blocked the closing, albeit temporarily. But this is the same old stuff Ms.Weingarten loved to do, and Lord knows why.

This reeks of appeasement, a poor policy when dealing with a bunch of Machiavellian scoundrels like those residing in Tweed.

Anonymous said...

Please note that neither of you answered: what to do about the teacher with 15 years experience and is performing poorly. Do you just let them perform poorly until retirement?

I look forward to receiving an actual answer and not just rants about, "who can determine if someone is a good teacher".
You can say all you want, "who determines what a poor teacher is" but we all know there are poor performing teachers with significant experience.

All you do is complain when people try to make changes in the right direction. I have not seen one legitimate solution proposed, just complaints and ridiculous conspiracy theories about the DEVILS (I mean principals. Leaving things as is, is not a solution. The education system is broken and the teacher union continues to ignore it.

Pogue said...

We thought the system was broken eight years ago, so, Mayor Bloomberg was given the power to fix it. Still broken? Bloomberg, Klein, are systemic failures as is the bogus, race to the top, and the pro-charter/for profit movement. Let's get some politicians who have the balls to really deal with the attendance issues, THEN, the disciplinary issues, THEN the student responsibility issues, and THEN we can talk about legitimate teacher evaluations. Until then, it is non-educators foolishly and amateurishly dictating what they THINK are good educational policies.

Anonymous said...

I have not gotten any response from you on the questions I'm asking YOU! Are ALL the ATRs crap, unhirable teachers? Of course not, and you KNOW that if you're in this industry. Were all of those ATRs the sole factor responsible for the poor results in reorganized schools? Of course not.

And why is that relevant to your point, you ask?

It's relevant because we can't trust a diabolical regime with veteran teacher evaluations since it is acting so unethically in such a public way against another large group of mostly veteran teachers,the ATRs,most of whom are competent to very good teachers. Klein publicly slanders them, sets them up, then demands they be fired. This clearly is a professional genocide perpetrated by the same people you desire to rate more victms, woops, I mean veteran teachers. Why would you ask us to believe in fairness in future evaluations when Klein and Bloomberg have already proven they are merely intent on executing large numbers of the higher salaried staff?

This IS devlish, dishonest, and evil behavior.

It's reminds one of the treatment the Native Americans received at the hands of our government-lies upon lies leading to herding and extermination.

So, the answer to your question is:

a. Experts have not determined or agreed on an evaluative process or method that is valid,fair and reliable related to test scores.

b. The current administration clearly can not be trusted to be fair in ANY way in this matter as judged by their current business practices.

c. There IS a review process in place, that can be tweaked, but not destroyed, to evaluate staff.

d. The UFT has been completely dishonest in the past , and is complicit in this situation. I guess all Bloomberg has to do is invite The Shop Teacher over to one of his townhouse salons on the Upper East Side and show him what the world looks like from these heights telling him "all this can be yours." The Shop Teacher actually believes he belongs there. Yes, that's devlish to me.

To a dumb Shop Teacher from Brooklyn, it must be quite intoxicating and irresistable.

FidgetyTeach said...

So what does the union have left to offer to its members?

reality-based educator said...

Wow - where did the shills come from?

Anonymous said...

Your answer to my question is not an answer.

Your answer is basically; “There is no way and/or no one to evaluate teachers, so leave poor performing teachers in place.”

Is this to benefit the students? I THINK NOT. This Union mentality is used to protect ALL teachers (good and BAD) at all costs. The Union doesn’t care if there are poor performing teachers. They would rather rant about conspiracy theories about how everyone from the principals to the Mayor is out to get them.

GET OVER YOURSELF. The Principals, Superintendent, Mayor, etc are not sitting in their offices all day thinking about how to stick it to the teachers.

I obviously will not get a legitimate answer about what to do about poor performing teachers. As much as you want to pretend there are not poor performing teachers, there are and the Union continues to ignore this.

In answer to your question:
Not all ATR teachers are crap or unhirable. Please provide a plausible solution to sort through the teachers and determine which are good teachers and which are not. The answer can’t be to spare all teachers at all cost, good or bad.

I look forward to your response about how everyone in the world is out to get the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Klein's public slander and strategy against the ATRs is proof positive that they are out "to get" CERTAIN teachers.

You refuse to answer or admit this reality.

Because of the corrupt, thuggish, and threatening behavior of this cabal of forces, yes, they are out to get higher salaried teachers, and anything they do concerning this group should be fought against and stalled. They are not credible any longer.

Regarding helping "the children" I don't think Klein has the interests of the students in mind at all, ESPECIALLY the neediest of these kids when he floods schools with special needs and ELLs to accomplish his demolition for the benefit of your beloved "business class." Are you aware of the suit the DOE recently lost in the courts? Also how the DOE isn't complying and ignoring court orders on overcrowding?

By the way . . let me guess . . . you left the private sector . . . "to help the kids" . . . ? Get ready . . . you may very well be downsized again. Get your resume ready for "the open market."

Anonymous said...

Oh, and here is the "business class" you so cherish, and why they are so gung-ho about charter schools.


By the way, as far as "accountability", how are we to feel about being governed by a dictator, er "mayor" that knows no accountability. He was supposed to leave office last November . . . how and why is he still here? He bribed everyone from the city council to Thompsen, his opponent.

Bloomberg is a power hungry, egomaniac thug and yes, for these reasons CERTAIN teachers are his prey.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for proving that seniority needs to abolished. Teachers like you are out to help teachers like you. You have lost the love of teaching and the love for students.

I am a teacher “to help the kids”. I truly enjoy what and do. I spent three years teaching in a prestigious Westchester district before I left for the City (I was offered tenure in that district and turned it down). I left that school because I want to work with children who truly need me. I love the south Bronx! What I do means so much because so many of the students have so little. I hope I never lose the passion. I never want to have your attitude about teaching. You are the type of teacher that doesn’t ask what else can I do for the children, you ask what else can the school do for me.

It isn’t about the Mayor, the Superintendent, the principal, or you and me, it is about the students and what is best for them. If teachers lose the passion they need to be removed from the classroom. We can’t afford to have unmotivated teachers spending 8 hours a day with our children. Ensuring that the best and most dedicated teachers are in each and everyone classroom is critical.

As a note: I do not support Charter schools. I grew up and have always taught in public schools. There are so many great teachers within the public school system. My frustration is that there are a few rotten apples within each school who are hiding behind tenure. The passion is gone, the love is gone, and they are just going through the motions. Please don’t tell me you would prefer your child to have that teacher over a motivated and loving teacher (young or old).

ed notes online said...

Let's deal with these 2 statements:

"what to do about the teacher with 15 years experience and is performing poorly. Do you just let them perform poorly until retirement?"

"My frustration is that there are a few rotten apples within each school who are hiding behind tenure. The passion is gone, the love is gone, and they are just going through the motions."

First - there is a process and it is happening in many schools - even unfairly but it is happening. The supervisors give u rating after u rating and the teacher goes through a process and loses his job. I met one the other day. It takes time but it does happen. Is it perfect? Probably not. Some have suggested an independent body come in and observe a teacher.

There are also other options. If there is a feeling the teacher is not up to par then there are plenty of non-teaching jobs and lots of work to do in a school or in the system.

On the second point about your frustration over the few bad apples. I find it interesting that so many superb teachers who blog here and other places see exactly what you see but don't seem frustrated. Why not? Why do a few rotten apples make such a major difference when there are so many issues out there? Most of my former students were hassled by cops constantly on the streets for often no reason. Some were killed. It seems they are in much greater danger from bad apple cops who nothing ever seems to happen to. Or what about social workers who don't perform? I know, I know. You are narrowly focused on schools. That is the problem with your thinking. You don't see the big picture and you think you are saving children. Believe me, I was in the system for 35 years and I think I was pretty good as a teacher but I stopped deluding myself that I was a savior. Recently I receieved an email from a former 4th grade student from my class in 1982 where she said I must be proud of my contribution to the success of so many of the students in that class. I told her I deserve no credit. It wsa her amazing father who deserves any merit pay we might give.

Anonymous said...

You have 35 years of experience and you have only seen one teacher with tenure removed? In 35 years you only met one bad teacher? Seems somewhat low. That is good to hear.

Why is an outside company needed to do reviews? All types of industry do self-evaluations all day everyday. What makes education so special? Oh yea I forgot, all principals are the DEVIL and are looking to screw all experienced teachers. Evaluations with serious consequences are tough and subjective in almost all jobs, but than again most jobs are dealing with the DEVIL.

Your issue is that you focus on the big picture. You can't control the cops, the social works, the parents, etc. You can only can control your little world. To give up on what you can control, just because you can't control the other things is sad. I feel bad for you, as that is a horrible attitude.

I know as hard as I try I may only reach a few students my entire career. I will lose most students to the streets and/or other bad influences in their lives (including bad cops, teachers, etc.). If I can help one student become a productive member of society that would not have been otherwise, I believe my entire career will be worth it.

You attitude is why there should be no seniority. Some people get burnt out and stop trying. How is that fair to the kids? And to say what you’re basically saying; the rest of their lives suck, so why should teachers care, is not acceptable.

Thank you for continuing to prove my point of why seniority should be abolished.

The Veteran NY Teacher said...

There is somthing colorful and fascinating about an incessant shill flogging a red herring. As to the relentlessly repeated and thoroughly diversionary question of what to do with an ineffective 15 year teacher I say evaluate, assist, counsel, and remove if necessary via the existing structure. There is no disagreement in response to this red herring. The actual issue is the attachment of tenuous test results to evaluative judgments...and placing this wrongheaded construct in the hands of questionable principals.

Anonymous said...

To the person who keeps saying principals should be free to fire teachers at will: You assume principals are qualified and make deicisions based on what's good for the kids and that is a wrong assumption. Many principals are competent but many others are petty dictators who think sucking up to them equals good teaching.

How do you define a bad teacher or a good teacher? In Scarsdale, I am sure all of the students are learning while in poorer inner city communities it is much more difficult. How do you measure growth? It is so subjective.

Evaluate me on what I can control not on factors that are way out of my hands. When two of the students I taught became pregnant, was it my fault they didn't come in for their tests?

When others are arrested or suspended, is that my fault too?

Blaming teachers for the problems that go way beyond the classroom is naive and doesn't help anyone, least of all these kids. An earlier poster who said this new evaluation system will lead to rampant grade inflation was correct.

Having teachers working in fear who will pass everyone will not do any good for these kids.

As for all the teachers complaining here, where were you at UFT election time? Were you pounding the pavement for ICE-TJC trying to organize and get votes out? It takes more than a post on a blog to make change happen.

Anonymous said...

How do you define "poorly performing teachers"? Are they the ones with kids that are loaded with "issues"? Are they the ones with kids whose parents send them to school ill prepared and can NEVER be reached? The teachers in my P.S. school work their tails off and do everything right-bulletin boards, rubrics, reading first, rug time, small group instruction, differentiated learning, etc but some (a lot) of kids don't even hear the teacher talk. They should be evaluated for spec. ed but their parents don't believe that their children are not normal.(in denial).
Who suffers? the child, the other kids in the class and of course the "poorly performing teacher".

VEGA said...

Reading all of this back and forth is making me ill. I am a 23 year vet, former ATR thanks to a vet principal who was secure enough in herself to not be afraid of experience. I have had a great and productive year but still voiced my support for my fellow vets and garnished alot of votes for ICE/TJC in both of my schools. Still only 26% of teachers voted - more retirees than active. Sickening!!!! Instead of this internal bickering between real teachers and bloggers posing as teachers, realize that the table is being set between the union and Bloomberg/Klein for the biggest sellout of all time. WE cave on the RR, teacher assessment and pension. Charter school cap is in the works. This will give us the "magic" RTT money to make the layoffs disappear and Mulgrew look like a hero. This will then be part of the PERB fact finding that will result in a larger than
4% raise over a three year period. The contract will be settled late next school year with a 0%, 4%, 6% raise or something like that. The contract will begin and end on the same day. How do I know this? It's called 2002? The subsequent contract screwed us royally. Thankfully I will be out because, considering the bickering, Bloomberg/Klein/Mulgrew are brilliant. The over 70% that didn't vote - you will get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Most of you "Vet" teachers have no clue what the young teachers are going through. It was 1976 last time layoffs were made in the City. Almost all of you have been teaching for less than 34 years. Thanks for the screw you young teacher attitude. You have all been lucky to have never experianced this. Thanks for the support!!

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaz said...


I don't believe for a moment that Bloomberg & Klein will lay you off. Instead they will find the money to keep you and cut the school budget for supplies, services, and supplementary personnel.

However, how come you so willingly accept the million dollars that Joel Klein is spending on non-educator deputy chancellors? How about the large increase in headcount at Tweed? Instead you blame the victims, the teachers.

Solidarity is what makes our union strong but to agree with the enemy only hurts us all.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, you're 60. Please retire to save my job.

Anonymous said...

Who has a "screw you" attitude for the young teachers?

You're only a pawn in the game. The "screw THEM" attitude is for Klein and The Dictator, because it's screw or be screwed.

The vast majority of the younger teachers in my building are fine young people. I don't hate them. But the vast majority, I mean ALL of the building is filled with brand new young teachers, all untenured, which PROVES our point precisely! Only newbies are getting hired ! When you see maybe 100 hires being untenured new teachers, and maybe 3 or 4 vet teachers, you KNOW something's up! Meanwhile 1700 ATRs go unhired. And I'm not exagerating the numbers above. The ENTIRE building of mini-schools are brand new hires.

VEGA said...

To the "teachers" and others who are mocking the veteren teachers, telling Chaz to retire, etc just tell me how any parent would want your attitude in front of our children. I and most vets were products of this school system, and proudly contributed to the success of thousands of lives. I am having dinner next week with one of them with an MBA. We grew up not just in NYC but in the very communities we teach in. We have taught the mothers of our current students. We have connections. All that to hear the whining of those who are getting a free Masters and crying because they have to deal with a seniority system that bumped many of us in the 1990's Check your facts before quoting history. I am sure I will receive another mocking response from a "teacher". Chaz, that comment for you to retire is valuable and in archive as it only proves the atmosphere of age discrimination. Hang in there brother.

Anonymous said...

Firing all young teacher is not age discrimination? You want to firing teachers not based on skill set or performance, simply because they are young. Sounds like age discrimination to me.

Anonymous said...

Who is getting a free Masters??

Chaz said...

Thanks Vega. By the way "newbie" I am not 60. Your attitude is exactly why veteran teachers discount you and why Leadership Academy principals want clueless people like you.

You are just what Joel Klein wants, cheap, not vested, and clueless in his "children last" program.

Anonymous said...

You are not getting "fired because we are young." You'll be getting a LAYOFF because those are the civil service laws which have been on the books, LAWS, for 100 years. Civil service jobs have always been so. Whether these laws are changed by society, well, we'll see. But for you to expect those laws to be arbitrarily changed overnight because it's convenient for the Dictator scumbags in charge, is a bit much.

VEGA said...

Hey "newbie" if you read your post and look at the terrible grammer, you are right. You didn't receive a Masters (free or otherwise) From now on I will only acknowledge intelligent posts.

Anonymous said...

Good one Vega. I hope you feel better about yourself now.

proofoflife said...

I'm cheating! I am going to create a gang like set of hand signals that only me and the students know.

proofoflife said...

P.S. after sitting around thinking of my "testing " gang language ie pick my nose once' A 'pick my nose twice' B' and so on, I would like to post some serious thoughts, if I may be so bold .( after three corona's, a day of scoring , a week of craziness from teaching, testing and scoring , lovable kids , intimate moments with my principal ( as CL) I do have a few opinions. 1- I teach history/art, Should I throw down the primary source documents ? ( for fear of grades?) and pick up my paint brushes and clay instead? 2- Monetary compensation? ANON 12:46 I am almost completely bankrupt ( and would be more so than I am now) if my boss dictated salary. I would loose mega non- existent bucks. Why? I have a tendency to ask too many questions. Last but not least, as far as lazy principals I agree 101% The process to fire a "real" incompetent teacher is in place, but this would require effort on the administrator part. They would have to visit the classroom frequently and document all. My AP sits in her office all day ( perhaps she is bogged down with paper work, or having a fling with the gym teacher) whatever the case ( I hope it's the second case for her benefit) as a "has been" U rated advocate ( a position 'pulled ' from me by the UFT) the admin should have mucho documentation on their improvement plan! My AP said to me , and I quote , " why didn't you tell me?" Okay , time for another corona! Enjoy the weekend. I will be scoring.

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