Monday, March 30, 2015
Mulgrew Declares Victory As Governor Cuomo Gets His Way. - Teachers Are The Real Losers.
It appears that Governor Andrew Cuomo won big time in the budget as he gets many of the things he wanted in the teacher evaluation system. Not surprisingly, UFT Michael Mulgrew claimed victory for increased school aid and a delay in other issues in the Governor's education agenda. However, the teachers are the real losers. I guess for our disconnected UFT leadership its like Hamas claiming victory after the Israeli-Gaza conflict because they were left standing despite the devastation around them. Let's see what we lost under the proposed teacher evaluation system.
First, The Governor gets an additional year tacked on to a teacher's tenure, to four years. Moreover, in three of the four years, the teacher must be either "effective" or "highly effective" to be awarded tenure.
Second, the State will decide when a failing school closes down, not the City or school district.
Third, the State and not the school district will decide on the new teacher evaluation system, meaning that the high-stakes testing will be half of a teacher evaluation and an "ineffective" on this portion will automatically make the teacher either "ineffective" or "developing"..
Fourth, two consecutive "ineffective ratings" results in automatic disciplinary charges and three "ineffective rating" results in automatic termination.
Fifth, independent observers will be employed for part of a teacher's observation at cost to the school district. See how well this has worked for the ATRs?
Sixth, No union approval is necessary for implementing the new teacher evaluation system. It can and will be imposed on the teachers unions by the State.
Finally, all other unresolved issues will be given to the NYSED to develop a plan to implement them. Yes, the very same NYSED who will be subject to intense pressure from the Governor to follow his education agenda.
Already, there is a looming teacher shortage, as few college students are going into education and fewer yet into the classroom. Good luck getting good teachers for the New York City Public Schools as the higher paying suburbs, with better working conditions, and academically accomplished students will out compete the City for the dwindling supply of these "quality teachers". Of course, as UFT Michael Mulgrew continues to proclaims victory, the demoralization of the teaching profession just gets worse. Clueless politicians will continue to blame the teachers for student academic failure as the City struggles and fails to attract the necessary teaching talent necessary to raise student academic achievement.
The bottom line, is that accountability is for teachers and not the NYSED or the Governor.