Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Union Should Prepare Their Own Survey Of Principal Effectiveness & Grades If They Really Care About Their Members.

One of he most overlooked issues that has been under the media radar is the decreasing quality of the Administration at schools. Until the Bloomberg/Klein era most principals came up through the ranks with ten or more years of teaching experience and five years as an Assistant Principal. However, now we have the infamous "Leadership Academy Principals" with little or in some cases no teaching experience in the New York City Schools! The result is a reduction in the quality of the Administration when it comes to leadership of the school.

Now that it is becoming increasingly clear that Administration observations will become a very important part of the "teacher effectiveness evaluations". It is time to put the people who will be doing these evaluations, which could be 60% of the teacher grade, under review. My proposal would be that unions will issue an Administrator evaluation survey to all UFT represented staff at each and every school. These surveys will be comprehensive and include, but not limited to, the following items:

  • Leadership
  • Competency
  • Fairness
  • Budget Allocation
  • Accessibility
  • Respect
  • Unreported Violence
While these are just some general areas that the staff can rate the administrators on, I believe if the union leadership put their collective minds and our dues money to it, they can come up with a more detailed Administrative evaluation system.

The Principal evaluation report would be a counterbalance against vindictive and incompetent Principal observations in any teacher termination process under State law 3020-a. This could greatly help "level the playing field" at the teacher termination hearings. Moreover, by rating principals the union can identify those principals that should not be school leaders and publish a list to the media of these terrible principals. Furthermore, the list of "bad principals" will be given to all teachers who wish to transfer and bypass those schools. blogger jd2718 had the right idea in making a "do not apply" list of schools that teachers should stay clear of. The union should expand that list to all schools in the City and put the DOE on notice that the union will not tolerate bad administrators, especially principals. If the union really cares about its members, they must be pro active and put out a list of "bad principals" who received a "D" or "F" based upon their staff's evaluations. Anything less is a disservice to us all.


Anonymous said...

There has to be new rules implemented. An AP has to have at least 10 years of teaching experience IN A classroom and a Principal must be an AP for at least a few years before they are allowed to lead a school!

Anonymous said...


zulma said...

Is it possible to list, with the ones already listed, those other principals who have also committed these disgraceful abuses to the members, such as Ron Smolkin, Reginald Landeau Jr, and there was another principal that hit a teacher during a step 1 hearing. I can't remember his name. I know there are others. The most recent is John Chase, following in Richard Bost's footsteps, the Principal that was in the newspaper. I feel that listing all of them will definitely bring to the forefront that many of the principals are NOT qualified to lead a school.

I would like to post your blog of all these principals on my FB.


Anonymous said...

Principals need to make annual ADHD :
1. % yearly Lie, Cheat, and Steal data
2. % of school incidents NOT reported.
3. % special ed. students not being serviced.
4. % teachers harassed.
5. % tests upgraded behind closed doors.
6. % ap's chosen on friendship.
7. % discriminate language over hand-held communicators.
8. % knowledgeable of socialpathology.
9. % of school parents understanding they are being HAD.
10. % of anything being used on ARIS, SESIS, or antithesis!
11. % doing anything useful.

OTE admin said...

The problem with this evaluation idea is after all of the violators are out of the schools, there will be few to take their places. The vast majority of principals in the United States are subpar. Norway has the best idea of all, as I remember: teachers are the ones who promote the principals from their buildings, and if they are good, they work the next year. If not, they are voted out. That'll never happen here given the filthy politics that is the rule in American public education.

I quote a teacher who wrote on a message board: "In a dairy, it is the cream that rises to the top, but in education, it is the crap that rises."

Chaz said...


My Principal once told me that "cream rises to the top". I responded back to him "so does scum". As you can guess he and I did not see eye to eye.

zulma said...

Whatever happen to the UFT continuing the first initiated JKE evaluation?

When I presented it to the members in 2008, they jumped on it and filled out the survey. I don't know why it was stopped. I truly feel that the union leadership should return to a survey comparable to the JKE.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to seize the day.
Send out the call and join the fray.
Wrongs will be righted, if we are united. Let us seize the day!
Friends of the friendless seize the day.
Raise up the torch and light the way.
Proud and defiant, we'll slay the giant.
Let us seize the day.

1 for all and all for 1!

We need to start being a united front to finish this battle!

Anonymous said...

why did the union get rid of The Grapevine?

Chaz said...

Anon 7:00

Good question. Maybe somebody knows the reason why.

Rod said...

I agree with all of you. Principles and APs have not been helping teachers for decades. Eventually trained mentors were hired to coach and help with teacher effectiveness and hand-hold. This was always the job of the AP, but they were too busy with other stuff to ever perform classroom observations that would improve teacher practice nor did they know how, were not willing to do it nor were they psychologically fit to mentor. Hence teachers who were not up to par were left to drift. A principal could always get "rid" of a teacher. They just didn't want to invest the energy in trying to help at first. It was set up to fail because administrators came to dislike teachers. After all, they were our bosses. Now they have to be trained to use Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching similar to the systems the UFT and mentors used for over a decade decade in evaluating new teachers. They didn't trust it....because it was UFT backed and they were antagonistic to labor.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, Why don't you apply to be a principal? You think the job is very easy, so you should be good at it.

Anonymous said...

Being a long term teacher does not make you a good principal.

That is like saying if you played football in the NFL for 10 years you will be a good NFL coach. Many of the best coaches have never played football at a professional level.

Be a good manager (principal) has no relation to being a good teacher.

veteran teacher said...

I understand your comment on being in the NFL as a player doesn't make you a great coach, but would a great NFL coach be a guy who was never an assistant coach or a football player at any level? You need to be in this system for at least 15-20 years as a teacher in various settings, an AP and then principal so you understand just what goes on. As teachers for years in this system, we can easily tell which administrators were teachers and which were promoted b/c they slept with the right person, were the right nationality, right ethnicity, had a cousin who got them hired/passed through etc etc