Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More And More District 75 Teachers Have Stopped Working Summer School Due To The Stress Of The Teacher Evaluation System.

This summer a highly regarded District 75 school who had most of their teachers work the summer found, to their shock ,that a majority of the teachers refused to work over the summer.  This was despite the fact that these teachers get federal 683 money or 17.5% of their pay to work the six weeks. This is essentially double their salary for the summer school position.  The question is why did so many teachers opt out working the summer?  The simple answer is the increased stress due to the teacher evaluation system and its only going to get worse.

Starting last year, many teachers found out that the State and DOE were insisting that teachers instruct their students in Common Core and academics when many of the students don't have the ability to function independently in the world they exist in.  That's right District 75 teachers who used to teach "life skills" like taking their students to a supermarket and buy things by counting change are now being taught in the classroom Geometry and other academic subjects despite these students not being testable but are being tested anyway and their results are being used to evaluate their teacher.

Gone are the teaching of "life skills" such as counting change, dressing one self, taking mass transit, making simple meals, do domestic chores, and investigate their neighborhood.  Skills necessary to be a functioning adult,  Instead they are being taught about the Presidents,  using Geometry to determine angles, and read  non-fiction books.  Many of the District 75 students are incapable of doing the academics demanded by the SED and the DOE but the teachers are told to do it anyway.  Predictably, the results are terrible and many of the teachers saw their "highly effective" and "effective" ratings drop accordingly.

With the new, more punitive testing requirements imposed by the SED, their is a real danger that many District 75 teachers will be unfairly rated "developing" or even "ineffective" since the high-stakes test is 50% of a teacher's evaluation and these District 75 students will be assigned a grade, even the untestable ones if the State gets its way!

With the added stress of the Danielson rubric and the 50% high-stakes testing requirement for the teacher evaluation system, many District 75 teachers have decided not to work the summer as they prepare for the next school year with the real losers the special education students who lose their teachers for the summer months.

Children last...always. Especially the most needy!


aa said...

Its called blood money. Its always our fault. Criminal student, my fault. Student curses and threatens me, my fault. Student no shows, give them more chances to pass. 5 month term turns into an 18 day summer program, fail that, get a 4 day makeup, that doesnt work, do it online.

Anonymous said...

Right on. I need the summer off after this year and I will not work summers until I am ready to retire to pad my pension.

Anonymous said...

LOL Doesn't work that way. Not that it ever did.

Anonymous said...

Haven't worked summers in a while now, due to the reasons cited above.

Even though I'm nearing retirement, don't even want to work the next two years to "pad" my pension. Who needs the stress and aggravation during the summer that we experience the rest of the year for what your other commenter aptly calls: "blood money"?

September through June is more than enough time to raise my blood pressure and turn my hair gray, thanks, working in District 75.

Anonymous said...

It's worse than that!!! I'm working the 683 program this summer and we're not getting our first pay check until July 21st. I don't see how they can get away with this. Thanks to our lousy contract and union. Some of the teachers are living from one pay check to the next. Normally, we get paid approximately every 2 weeks in the 683 program. Payroll never announced, of coarse, that the pay periods changed. The PID Teachers are not getting August's check until October. I hope, but I fear we won't get our money until October.

They have this Unique Program that incorporates the Common Core Standards. If the child is TBI and severely delayed, how on earth can you teach him to read, hold a pen to write a sentence and answer multiple choice questions. I've been doing this for 30 years and I can't believe the amount of ignorance and stupidity. And yes...they're pushing us out, but I'm not caving in. Thank you so much for this article. Sometimes, the situation seems so bleak, but then I read your articles.

Anonymous said...

What's sad is that many regular education kids I've met on my odyssey can't do the "life skills" you've mentioned. Telling time, signing their names, making change, cooking a simple meal - the list goes on and on. Home economics, penmanship, and civil service should be reintroduced to all students. Some high school students bearly know how to tie their shoes (I mean sneakers- no one wears shoes). A few years ago I had to tie about 30 Windsor knots for kids who had never worn a tie, (the highlight of that year- I'm serious). I taught them a valuable skill - something my father taught me. What's being done to District 75 students and teachers is simply horrible. The students who are most in need are always the group that are hurt the most.

Anonymous said...

Anon7:30 AM: 'Pad your pension'? Work this your last year and your FAS will barely increase and will result in a few cents increase in your monthly pension. Are you sure you are a teacher? If so, you may want to learn the latest pension rules.

retired teacher said...

To Anon7:30AM - When I started to plan my retirement I looked into staying an extra year. I was tier 1 and that pension is based on last year's actual salary. I looked into it and came to the realization that if I worked another year I would be taking home an extra $40 a month after taxes. It wasn't worth the aggravation of saying another year.
You folks in Tiers 3 and 4 have your retirement pension based on the average of the highest three years of earnings. Working a lot of per session or doing coverages won't help your pension that much and might affect your sanity.
Once again I urge teachers to go to a pension consultation and get the facts. Don't listen to the guy in the lounge or any of the stuff you may get from an outside source.
There is a tier 3/4 session at UFT headquarters on Thursday August 27th. If you are free I'm sure you'll find the trek into lower Manhattan worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Tier IV restrictions are even greater than you state but agree all should attend.

Quinn said...

D75 alternate assessments like SANDI and NYSAA have zero "test validity". Search all of the academic journals in the world and you'll find no research to back them up. You might as well test a kid with the back of a cereal box. The assessments are littered with mistakes and spelling errors. One question asks students to plot a point on the "coordinated grid". Another shows a rectangle with a 4 by 6 grid, yet it has the numbers 5 and 10 written along the sides. After administering the exams, we get told to trash the invalid questions -- then re-test with new ones. It's an embarrassment and a reminder that the State doesn't care enough about our population.

Anonymous said...

Good sum-up of the D75 chaos here:

Anonymous said...

Civil service, I think you meant civics.

Why would we want them learning this? Then, they'd realize that the school system is just a project for the plutocrats.

A valid civics class would tell how there used to be a Board of Ed. Now we've got test scandals 24/7, and principals in other crooked ways this blog tells.