Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Teacher Evaluation System Should be Eliminated.

I have watched with amusement how our Governor, Andrew Cuomo has made a 180 degree pivot on linking test scores to teacher evaluations.  First, he demanded that at least 20% of a teacher's evaluation should be linked to a student's growth score based upon high stakes Common Core tests.  When the results showed that.only 1% of the teachers were rated "ineffective", he demanded a more onerous evaluation.The Governor pushed the State to make Common Core based high stakes testing to be 50% of a teacher's evaluation , based on student growth.   It seemed that the Governor won the battle but it soon became apparent that he was losing the war in the teacher evaluation system that he was trying to impose.

First, was the parent led "opt out" movement that saw mostly middle class suburban families "opt out" their child from taking the Common Core tests.  On Long Island over 50% of the students opted out and 40% upstate chose not to take the tests.  While some claimed the teacher unions were responsible in convincing parents to "opt out".  The truth is most teacher unions remained silent and when they did recommend that their students should "opt out", the percentage of students opting out skyrocketed to 75% or higher.  The two most powerful teacher unions NYSUT and the UFT had no position on the "opt out" movement, had they supported the parents you would have seen a much higher "opt out" percentage Statewide.

Next. a lawsuit filed by a teacher on the validation of the "growth factor" used in the teacher evaluation system, was successful and the judge ruled the "growth factor" was "junk Science".
This growth algorithm was on trial in the Sheri G. Linderman case and the ruling is the death kneel of linking student growth to a teacher's-evaluation score.

When it came to public opinion, the Governor soon realized that supporting an unpopular teacher evaluation system and the dispersed Common Core tests his approval ratings were sinking and since their was no more federal money from the Obama Administration to bribe the Governor in supporting Obama's education reform goals, Governor Andrew Cuomo made his 180 degree pivot and supported a four year moratorium on linking Common Core tests to the teacher evaluation system.  No longer is the Governor  bashing teachers and their union, instead he now supports them as he wants another term as Governor and looking ahead to run for President.

While teachers no longer need to worry about the use of the high stakes testing being linked to their evaluation, except for the high schools, the other parts of the teacher evaluation system stays in place.  If you get three consecutive "ineffectives" you are automatically sent into a 3020-a termination hearing.  and a school district can send a teacher who receives two consecutive "ineffectives" can also be sent into a 3020-a termination hearing.  While this is not much different from what existed before, the difference is that the "burden of proof" is on the teacher to prove their innocence where the "burden of proof" was on the school district to prove the teacher's guilt.  Moreover, it now takes four years to obtain tenure, not three.  Finally, in NYC the teacher evaluation system requires four observations, using the terrible Danielson rubric, not two like the rest of the State.

Let's get rid of the teacher evaluation system and come up with a fair and teacher approved evaluation system and don't believe what you read by the newspaper's editorial boards.


Anonymous said...


Test based evaluations aren't just being used against high school teachers. The horribly constructed state NYSESLAT is being used against ESL teachers grades K-12. Foreign language teachers are being graded on their own ridiculously Common Corey aligned tests. The MOSL's are being used for all those who came under the umbrella of the moratorium.

Anonymous said...

The only practical way to eliminate the teacher evaluation is to withhold UFT dues.
If teachers are not willing to show a tough no nonsense se attitude with Mulgrew, then stop whining about the evaluation. It is a tiresome exercise in childish whining.

Anonymous said...

This is about their war against public education. Their central objective is to privatize and profit by establishing charter schools. said...

Thank you for this post. This is very interesting information for me.

Anonymous said...

As somebody who was denied tenure and fired based on Danielson I know all too well how flawed the model is.

The theory behind the inception of Danielson being used as an evaluation tool was to provide the growing teacher with a support model in fostering their pedagogy as well as their own personal growth. It was to be assumed that every administrator would use the Danielson framework in a fair and equitable way. After all, as teachers we are always growing and developing every single day. In reality Danielson (in my opinion) has proven to be disastrous. The teacher is at the mercy of the individual evaluator who will use the framework to retain those whom they want to keep and go after those whom they seek to get rid of. Danielson is a subjective and arbitrary evaluation tool. There was good purpose behind the inception of it, but in too often of cases the Danielson framework has simply been used as a weapon by a vindictive administrator against a vulnerable teacher. In my case, it was used as precisely that. The current evaluation system fully empowers the evaluator to pick and choose what specific evidence to be used in support of the evaluator’s score. In my case, and in the case of my colleague (another discontinued teacher), the evidence used to support the evaluator’s findings were either falsified or was purposely taken out of context. If every person in the building was evaluated in the same manner as were my colleague and I, then every single staff member in the building would have been rated as ineffective that year.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much a school union rep makes? I read some district reps are making 150-175 with uft and doe salary. crazy!!

James Eterno said...

Support our petition to fully repeal the evaluation law.


Anonymous said...

The teacher evaluation process is a joke . I work in district 75. Many students are non verbal yet my A.P. constantly says I need to get the students to discuss the topics ...I feel like a Broadway actor . Common sense goes out the window . I am a cluster teacher . There is no art or pe or technology education standard test .... district 75 is not properly represented by the Danielson framework.

Anonymous said...

I am a cluster teacher in a K-8. I teach the lower grades. When test scores were part of my evaluation a few years ago, what did they use? Middle school grades! I don't teach middle school! So ridiculous!

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