Two months in the fall of 2014. Two retirements I’m glad I witnessed. Of course I am writing about Mariano Rivera and Michael Mendel.
Both Yankee fans (one in pinstripes).
Both ended long careers
Both in New York.
And I was at both of their goodbyes. (In fact, I was at Mariano Rivera Day at the Stadium, and then at his last game. I was there when Jeter and Pettite took Mariano out for the last time, which is probably my #1 all time Yankee Stadium moment)
I did not get bobbleheads for either of the 2014 NYC Goodbye M & Ms (I chose to skip the Rivera bobblehead game, and Mendel apparently did not have a bobblehead day. I might have gone.)
I liked both of them from the first time I saw them – Mariano as a shaky starting pitcher. Do you remember – unhittable until the first hit, and then he would collapse? Mendel as a regular at UFT stuff.
I sat in the front rows at their goodbyes. With Fran Miller who got the guards to let her sit in the handicapped seating at the top rail (because her hip was painful), and with Michael Shulman who was friends with people at the friends of Mendel table.
Both got standing ovations, and I stood and applauded. A lot.
But I never met Rivera. I met Mendel. Spoke with him lots of times.
Rivera’s a baseball player. A star. He got paid a lot of money to play a game. He did play it well. But we cheered him on as he entertained us, and as he benefited. We are no longer talking about similarities.
If you don’t know who Michael Mendel is you’ll probably never know who he is. He was a teacher. And he worked for the members (paid by the union.) Now, I might say about lots of people at 52 Broadway that they work for the union, and that would be true. It’s not insulting. Could say it about Michael Mendel. But some people, you always know they are working for the members. Mendel was one of them.
At his retirement dinner, Amy Arundell and Adam Ross emceed. They were really good.
Larry Becker, DoE Human Resources, he killed. Made fun of Mendel for claiming knowledge of rules that were only written down on cocktail napkins or pages torn form desk calendars, and eventually pulled out an actual agreement, framed, written on a page torn from a calendar, with about five more stories and anecdotes in between. The audience howled. You listened to that, and you knew, this guy respected Mendel, he liked Mendel. Not only was delivery sharp, but he must have spent hours writing and revising that speech. You don’t that for just anybody. You prepare for something that matters. For Larry Becker, Mendel mattered.
Weingarten, Mulgrew, and Howie Solomon also spoke. And then Michael spoke.
There were times over the years that I loved what Mendel was saying. He was a lion with the DoE, when he had to be. He got indignant when members were wronged. It offended his sense of decency.
But we belong to different caucuses. There were times he agreed with what I said. And he told me so – and I appreciated that. It is such a nice thing when someone goes out of their way to say something nice. And there were times we disagreed. I remember one time I spoke quite clearly, and opposed to the direction our leadership was trying to take us. Many people were angry at me that day. But the next time he saw me, Mendel came up to me and said “Jonathan” and he may have been wagging his finger a little, “Jonathan, I disagree completely with the what you said, but I wanted you to know that you spoke very well.” Mensch.
And it wasn’t just me. He knew we are on the same side. He knew how to disagree, but also how to say a kind word. He even knew how to apologize, a rare enough skill these days. Remember his last DA? Megan (don’t know if she was TJC or MORE at the time) had presented a resolution a year or two earlier that Unity did not like, but also that was riddled with errors. Mendel took the floor to oppose it, and though there was no danger of losing the vote, he went entirely over the top in attacking and mocking it… And at the last DA he apologized, publicly. Not for opposing the resolution, but for expressing himself in an unfraternal sort of way. Mensch.
There were times he just got it wrong… but even then, he was doing what he thought was best for the members. Even when Mendel raised his voice at me (he thinks he didn’t, but he did), even then, he was “animated” because he thought what I was proposing was bad for the members. I never minded that. I wanted to change what he thought, of course. But how can you mind when a leader is passionate because he cares about the members? I’d rather get yelled at by Michael Mendel then be politely addressed by some of the snakes slithering around the system.
I liked Mendel’s speech.
He defended teaching – as a profession. “I don’t like it when people tell young people not to be teachers” I applauded nervously, because I myself have been waffling on my own advice-giving lately. The teaching part is wonderful, but I worry about how awful the system has become.
He wished for the day when teachers will again decide what to do and how to do it in their classrooms.
He told stories. Funny. Silly. He could have told about going head to head with some of the bozos at the DoE. But the story he chose to highlight is one about a member, a weak man who needed some help, and how Mendel yelled (yelled) at a Board of Ed guy, yelled at him to do the right thing by his employee, and how the Human Resources guy did just that.
Mendel standing up for someone too weak to defend himself.
The new NY State teacher evaluation law (APPR, 3012c) says that if a teacher is ineffective on the State and Local measures, that all the regular in-school stuff, the principal’s judgment, observations, don’t count. And that is wrong.
New Action introduced a resolution at last night’s UFT Executive Board making changing this aspect of the State Law a legislative priority for the UFT, and engaging the mayor-elect in jointly lobbying for change.
LeRoy Barr moved to table this resolution, and the Unity majority voted to do so, thus the resolution was not acted upon.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
Last June Mulgrew wrote to members about the evaluation system John King proposed:
“The commissioner’s plan is professional and fair and is designed to help teachers improve their skills throughout their careers. “
But in September, with a groundswell of member complaints, Mulgrew changed his tune. His public utterances make it sound like the entire problem is with the Local Measures (MOSL).
Unity is not yet ready to admit that the state law itself is a problem. Maybe because Unity helped write it.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
But the resolution did not attack the entire state law. We focused on a particularly egregious requirement. I can’t tell you why Unity chose to table. Perhaps they are thinking it over. Perhaps they will be there, but not quite yet. Or perhaps they are stubbornly supporting 3012c.
But this is so egregious – if your principal says you are good, that might not count at all – that perhaps all Unity was doing was protecting its members from voting no on something that was completely wholesome and right and matched what the members need. It would not be the first time that they have used the “motion to table” to spare their members having to vote no on a no-brainer: in 2009 when I moved the endorsement of Bill Thompson, Unity did not force their members to vote no – instead they moved to table.
Yesterday the AFT sent out an e-mail under Weingarten’s signature – I must have gotten five copies. They announced a “Reclaiming the Promise” campaign.
The part I liked said:
This is why we are asking you to stand with us and push back on privatization, austerity, mass schools closures, and test fixation, which have not moved the needle in the right direction. It is time we reclaim the promise of public education — not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as it can be — to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed. This will be central to our work in the coming years, and the AFT executive council passed a resolution this week formalizing this as AFT policy.
But as this is the AFT, I am tempted to read between the lines. “Push back on privatization” vs “end privatization” – is that me being picky? Are “mass school closures” bad, but single ones ok? Does “test fixation” mean the AFT still likes standardized testing, just in more measured amounts?
For some of those, I may be being unreasonably picky, for others, time will tell. But my attention was drawn somewhere else.
“Reclaiming the promise of public education is about: Fighting for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places for teaching and learning”
This went out under the signature of Randi Weingarten, who fifteen years ago, in a series of closed-door meetings, conspired to take away every neighborhood high school in the Bronx.
This is not a question of small schools versus large – although that was certainly part of the conspiracy. Breaking up large high schools was combined with “school choice” in such a way that not a single child in the Bronx was left with a high school associated with their neighborhood or community.
Look, I want to stop privatization, end austerity, stop school closures, massively reduce high stakes testing… And I want every child to have a good neighborhood elementary school, middle school, and high school. I promise.
But I think the person nominally in charge of the effort should come clean about her own past role in disenfranchising communities.
In some schools a staff hates the principal – thinks he’s horrible, doesn’t trust him. Sometimes a staff adores a principal – thinks she does a great job, takes her at her word.
But what would you think if a staff likes the guy in charge, but doesn’t think he can run a school?
At one charter school in Manhattan, three out of four teachers trust the principal. But wait. Only one out of seven think she is an effective manager. At the Leadership Institute in District 9, in the Bronx, over 80% trust their principal, but only a third think she makes the school run smoothly. And at Invictus Prep, a charter school in Brooklyn, 95% of the teachers trust the principal at his word. But only half think he’s competent.
The 2013 Learning Environment surveys reveal this situation to be more common than one might expect. At 96 schools, at least one in five staffers thinks the principal trustworthy, but not competent. And in over 200 more schools at least 10% of the staff makes the same assessment.
These schools are not distributed evenly across the City. Charter schools are over-represented (8% of city schools, but 17% of the top of the list). Fifteen districts have only 0 – 2 schools on the top of the list.
Think about the teachers filling in the survey. They bubbled a negative answer, so they weren’t so scared of retaliation that they were sugarcoating their responses. And they did check off “I trust him at his word,” so they weren’t, in anger, bubbling all bottom scores for their principals. This is a group of honest survey-takers. They considered each answer, and they meant what they wrote. Which is not to say that the message was always “my guy’s incompetent.”
Individual schools bear individual scrutiny. The slightly higher than expected numbers of middle schools may reflect the real challenges presented by that age group. The overrepresentation of progressive schools (Debbie Maier’s Central Park East I is right near the top, along with a copycat, River East Elementary) may indicate a mismatch of expectations between leadership and staff at that type of school. Or maybe not. There are schools with a recently appointed principal, who has not settled in, or with a principal appointed after the surveys were conducted. The principal of a school targeted by the DoE is sometimes treated like a lame duck by the staff. Consider this list a flag… a flag to look more closely. Being here does not mean that any individual school has a problem.
But 300 schools? There are not reasonable explanations for all of them, or most of them. This is part of Bloomberg’s legacy – swarms of incompetent principals. A tough old principal could tell all of Tweed to go to hell, because she knew she could teach, she had authority based on competence, knowledge, experience. But Bloomberg didn’t want that. His administrators have no real skill set to fall back on. And by crumbling our schools into mini-schools, Bloomberg created much more demand for administrators than there were qualified candidates. The Leadership Academy, especially, created scores if not hundreds of principals with insufficient pedagogical training, and lacking good management habits. Many are the authoritarian monsters that have been written about in these and other pages. But apparently many have chosen to be nice and fly below the radar.
So what should we do with nice guys who can’t run schools? Help them get better??? (that seems like a lot of work) Worry about their ability to rate us? (yes, but they are nice) Worry about their ability to train us? (yup) Send them for career counseling? The questions are insane, but that’s what Bloomberg has done to us.
Some technical stuff: I am reporting only part of the list, 231 schools. If 100% of the staff think a principal is trustworthy, and 80% think he’s competent, I don’t think that’s worth talking about. But if 60% trust her, but only 40% think she can do the job, I think that one belongs. So a rule? I put no school on the list where 80% of the staff reports the principal is effective. All schools with gaps of 20% or more are on the list. And if two thirds of the staff reported the principal to be an effective manager, I looked for a fall off of at least 15%. Otherwise, I used 10% as the cutoff.
Here’s the list. Please bear in mind, there are many possible explanations for a school’s inclusion. The reader is encouraged not to draw conclusions from a school’s presence on the list, but to use it as a starting point.
List of schools where many teachers agree or strongly agree “I trust my principal at his word” but disagree or strongly disagree “My principal is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly”
|D||B||Sch Name||Type||2a. I trust the principal at his or her word. (Agree strongly or Agree)||1g. The principal at my school is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly. (Agree Strongly or Agree)||2a minus 1g. (I trust the guy, but he can’t run a school)|
|84||M||Broome Street Acad Charter Sch||HS||86%||27%||60%|
|84||K||Invictus Prep Charter Sch||MS||96%||48%||48%|
|4||M||Central Park East I||ES||69%||23%||45%|
|4||M||River East Elementary||ES||65%||21%||44%|
|14||K||PS 250 George H. Lindsay||ES||90%||52%||38%|
|84||K||New Dawn Charter HS||HS||88%||50%||38%|
|17||K||Intl HS at Prospect Heights||HS||90%||53%||37%|
|8||X||Sch for Tourism & Hospitality||HS||88%||51%||37%|
|8||X||Archimedes Acad – Math, Sci & Tech Apps||MS/HS||74%||37%||37%|
|7||X||Young Leaders ES||ES||55%||18%||37%|
|3||M||WEST PREP Acad||MS||93%||58%||36%|
|1||M||Tompkins Square MS||MS||95%||60%||35%|
|32||K||Bushwick Ldrs HS for Acad Excellence||HS||85%||50%||35%|
|7||X||PS / IS 224||MS||73%||38%||35%|
|84||X||New York City Montessori Charter Sch||ECC||100%||66%||34%|
|29||Q||Community Voices MS||MS||87%||53%||34%|
|13||K||The Urban Assembly Unison Sch||MS||50%||17%||34%|
|84||X||New Vsns Charter HS for Humanities II||HS||100%||67%||33%|
|13||K||Freedom Acad HS||HS||55%||22%||33%|
|84||K||Bushwick Ascend Charter Sch||ECC||33%||0%||33%|
|2||M||BUSINESS OF SPORTS Sch||HS||83%||52%||32%|
|32||K||Evergreen MS for Urban Explor||MS||66%||33%||32%|
|9||X||HS for Violin & Dance||HS||82%||50%||31%|
|2||M||Quest to Learn||MS/HS||77%||46%||31%|
|12||X||E.S.M.T- IS 190||MS||93%||65%||29%|
|3||M||PS 242 Young Diplomats Magnet Acad||ES||75%||46%||29%|
|28||Q||JHS 008 Richard S. Grossley||MS||70%||42%||29%|
|2||M||PS 198 Isador E. Ida Straus||ES||61%||32%||29%|
|24||Q||IS 093 Ridgewood||MS||81%||54%||28%|
|84||X||Hyde Leadership Charter Sch||ES/MS/HS||76%||49%||28%|
|25||Q||PS/MS 200 Pomonok Sch & STAR Acad||ES/MS||75%||47%||28%|
|27||Q||PS / MS 114 Belle Harbor||ES/MS||79%||53%||27%|
|2||M||Liberty HS Acad for Newcomers||HST||77%||50%||27%|
|23||K||Frederick Douglass Acad VII HS||HS||88%||61%||26%|
|24||Q||PS 088 Seneca||ES||73%||48%||26%|
|1||M||PS 134 Henrietta Szold||ES||69%||43%||26%|
|84||Q||Acad of the City Charter Sch||ECC||67%||40%||26%|
|32||K||PS 151 Lyndon B. Johnson||ES||66%||39%||26%|
|12||X||PS 044 David C. Farragut||ES||39%||12%||26%|
|27||Q||PS 045 Clarence Witherspoon||ES||70%||45%||25%|
|84||K||Bklyn Excelsior Charter Sch||ES/MS||87%||63%||24%|
|30||Q||Baccalaureate Sch for Global Education||MS/HS||81%||57%||24%|
|7||X||Samuel Gompers CTE HS||HS||66%||42%||24%|
|84||X||Academic Leadership Charter Sch||ES||64%||40%||24%|
|4||M||JHS 013 Jackie Robinson||MS||50%||26%||24%|
|25||Q||PS 107 Thomas A Dooley||ES||100%||78%||23%|
|23||K||Bklyn Democracy Acad||HST||100%||77%||23%|
|13||K||Acad of Arts & Letters||ES/MS||88%||65%||23%|
|9||X||Urban Sci Acad||MS||87%||64%||23%|
|5||M||Choir Acad of Harlem||MS/HS||73%||50%||23%|
|11||X||The Bxwood Prep Acad||HS||71%||47%||23%|
|13||K||MS 596 Peace Acad||MS||61%||39%||23%|
|2||M||THE HS FOR Lang & DIPLOMACY||HS||58%||36%||23%|
|25||Q||PS 164 Qns Valley||ES/MS||93%||72%||22%|
|25||Q||North Qns Community HS||HST||86%||64%||22%|
|11||X||Acad Schol & Entrep’ship: A Coll Bd Sch||MS/HS||85%||63%||22%|
|14||K||Frances Perkins Acad||HS||64%||43%||22%|
|29||Q||Qns Prep Acad||HS||59%||36%||22%|
|84||M||Harlem Village Acad HS||HS||53%||30%||22%|
|17||K||Bklyn Acad of Sci & the Environment||HS||97%||76%||21%|
|11||X||PS 021 Philip H. Sheridan||ES||94%||73%||21%|
|9||X||IS 219 New Venture Sch||MS||90%||69%||21%|
|84||K||Achievement First Crown Hts Charter Sch||ES/MS||89%||67%||21%|
|21||K||IS 096 Seth Low||MS||84%||64%||21%|
|84||K||The Ethical Comm’y Charter Sch (TECCS)||ES||81%||59%||21%|
|15||K||PS 261 Philip Livingston||ES||78%||57%||21%|
|11||X||PS 087 Bx||ES||77%||56%||21%|
|84||M||Renaissance Charter HS for Innovation||HS||73%||52%||21%|
|1||M||PS 137 John L. Bernstein||ES||67%||47%||21%|
|84||K||Fahari Acad Charter Sch||MS||66%||44%||21%|
|18||K||Urban Action Acad||HS||64%||43%||21%|
|10||X||HS for Teaching & the Profs||HS||63%||42%||21%|
|19||K||World Acad for Total Comm’y Health HS||HS||45%||24%||21%|
|16||K||Sch of Business, Finance & Entrep’ship||MS||93%||73%||20%|
|84||M||Harlem Village Acad Ldr’ship Charter Sch||ES/MS||93%||73%||20%|
|31||R||IS R002 George L. Egbert||MS||82%||61%||20%|
|2||M||PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island||ES/MS||80%||60%||20%|
|14||K||PS 059 William Floyd||ES||80%||60%||20%|
|29||Q||PS 134 Hollis||ES||79%||59%||20%|
|17||K||MS for the Arts||MS||74%||53%||20%|
|8||X||Gateway Sch for Envmntl Res & Tech||HS||62%||44%||20%|
|9||X||THE FAMILY Sch||ES||60%||40%||20%|
|19||K||PS 328 Phyllis Wheatley||ES/MS||58%||37%||20%|
|1||M||Henry Street Sch for Intl Studies||MS/HS||97%||79%||19%|
|27||Q||Rock’y Pkwy HS for Envmntl Sust’bility||HS||95%||77%||19%|
|18||K||IS 068 Isaac Bildersee||MS||87%||68%||19%|
|11||X||Bx Aerospace HS||HS||82%||63%||19%|
|18||K||Cultural Acad for the Arts & Scis||HS||72%||53%||19%|
|10||X||JHS 080 The Mosholu Parkway||MS||63%||43%||19%|
|2||M||The Urban Assembly Acad of Govt & Law||HS||48%||29%||19%|
|3||M||MS 256 Academic & Athletic Excellence||MS||44%||25%||19%|
|23||K||PS 327 Dr. Rose B. English||ES/MS||90%||73%||18%|
|11||X||Bx HS for the Visual Arts||HS||91%||72%||18%|
|29||Q||Pathways College Prep Sch: Coll Bd Sch||MS/HS||89%||72%||18%|
|21||K||Rachel Carson HS for Coastal Studies||HS||87%||70%||18%|
|29||Q||PS/MS 147 Ronald McNair||ES/MS||86%||67%||18%|
|17||K||PS 167 The Parkway||ES||83%||66%||18%|
|14||K||PS 034 Oliver H. Perry||ES||85%||65%||18%|
|2||M||Legacy Sch for Integrated Studies||HS||81%||63%||18%|
|17||K||Bklyn Sch for Music & Theatre||HS||78%||59%||18%|
|8||X||Bx BRIDGES HS||HS||92%||75%||17%|
|10||X||Kingsbridge Intl HS||HS||83%||67%||17%|
|17||K||Acad for Col Prep & C’r’r Explor: Coll Bd||MS/HS||85%||67%||17%|
|84||K||Success Acad Charter Sch Bed-Stuy 1||ECC||79%||61%||17%|
|13||K||PS 270 Johann DeKalb||ES||75%||58%||17%|
|15||K||Sec Sch for Law||MS/HS||72%||54%||17%|
|75||X||PS X012 Lewis & Clark Sch||D75||59%||42%||17%|
|19||K||Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep Sch||HS||92%||76%||16%|
|29||Q||Jean Nuzzi Intermediate Sch||MS||89%||73%||16%|
|2||M||The UA Sch of Design & Construction||HS||88%||72%||16%|
|16||K||Upper Sch @ PS 25||MS||89%||72%||16%|
|26||Q||PS 133 Qns||ES||86%||70%||16%|
|28||Q||PS 050 Talfourd Lawn ES||ES||83%||69%||16%|
|1||M||University Neighborhood HS||HS||84%||68%||16%|
|20||K||IS 30 Mary White Ovington||MS||84%||68%||16%|
|84||K||Lefferts Gardens Charter Sch||ECC||83%||67%||16%|
|15||K||PS 124 Silas B. Dutcher||ES||74%||57%||16%|
|4||M||PS 050 Vito Marcantonio||ES/MS||68%||52%||16%|
|6||M||IS 218 Salome Urena||MS||63%||48%||16%|
|10||X||Thomas C. Giordano MS 45||MS||54%||38%||16%|
|25||Q||Leonard P Stavisky Early Chldhd Sch||ECC||43%||27%||16%|
|18||K||PS 233 Langston Hughes||ES||95%||79%||15%|
|84||K||Community Partnership Charter Sch||ES/MS||91%||76%||15%|
|5||M||New Design MS||MS||86%||72%||15%|
|4||M||Mosaic Prep Acad||ES||85%||71%||15%|
|19||K||EAST NEW YORK MS OF EXCELLENCE||MS||85%||70%||15%|
|10||X||DeWitt Clinton HS||HS||84%||70%||15%|
|13||K||PS 054 Samuel C. Barnes||ES||85%||70%||15%|
|8||X||JHS 125 Henry Hudson||MS||83%||69%||15%|
|31||R||Gaynor McCown Expedit’ry Learning Sch||HS||81%||66%||15%|
|10||X||PS 246 Poe Ctr||ES||80%||65%||15%|
|12||X||PS 092 Bx||ES||79%||65%||15%|
|3||M||HS of Arts & Tech||HS||77%||61%||15%|
|84||M||New Heights Acad Charter Sch||MS/HS||75%||60%||15%|
|13||K||Urban Assembly HS of Music & Art||HS||72%||58%||15%|
|10||X||Marie Curie Sch for Med, Nurs, Hlth Profs||HS||65%||49%||15%|
|10||X||PS / IS 54||ES||47%||32%||15%|
|9||X||PS 163 Arthur A. Schomburg||ES||48%||31%||15%|
|5||M||Acad for Social Action: A Coll Bd Sch||MS/HS||45%||30%||15%|
|29||Q||PS 038 Rosedale||ES||43%||28%||15%|
|29||Q||Math, Sci Research & Tech Magnet HS||HS||42%||27%||15%|
|30||Q||PS 151 Mary D. Carter||ES||36%||22%||15%|
|3||M||The UA Sch for Green Careers||HS||21%||6%||15%|
|15||K||Sec Sch for Journalism||MS/HS||20%||5%||15%|
|9||X||Bx HS of Business||HS||78%||64%||14%|
|14||K||JHS 050 John D. Wells||MS||69%||55%||14%|
|8||X||Banana Kelly HS||HS||68%||55%||14%|
|22||K||PS 052 Sheepshead Bay||ES||53%||39%||14%|
|3||M||Richard Rodgers Sch of The Arts & Tech||ES||50%||36%||14%|
|31||R||PS 030 Westerleigh||ES||46%||31%||14%|
|3||M||STEM Institute of Manhattan||ES||29%||14%||14%|
|21||K||PS 238 Anne Sullivan||ES/MS||77%||63%||13%|
|23||K||General D. Chappie James MS of Sci||MS||76%||63%||13%|
|29||Q||PS 156 Laurelton||ES/MS||75%||62%||13%|
|7||X||PS 018 John Peter Zenger||ES||74%||61%||13%|
|12||X||THE CINEMA Sch||HS||69%||56%||13%|
|1||M||Collab Acad Sci, Tech, & Lang-Arts Ed’n||MS||67%||53%||13%|
|84||K||New Hope Acad Charter Sch||ES||67%||53%||13%|
|22||K||PS 236 Mill Basin||ES||61%||49%||13%|
|31||R||PS 74 FUTURE LEADERS ES||ECC||60%||47%||13%|
|3||M||PS 165 Robert E. Simon||ES/MS||55%||42%||13%|
|9||X||SHERIDAN Acad FOR YOUNG LEADERS||ES||54%||41%||13%|
|13||K||Sci Skills Ctr HS Sci, Tech, Creative Arts||HS||50%||36%||13%|
|31||R||PS 036 J. C. Drumgoole||ES||48%||35%||13%|
|7||X||Mott Haven Village Prep HS||HS||36%||23%||13%|
|28||Q||Young Women’s Leadership Sch, Qns||MS/HS||26%||13%||13%|
|84||M||The Opportunity Charter Sch||MS/HS||79%||66%||12%|
|29||Q||Law, Govt & Community Service HS||HS||76%||65%||12%|
|18||K||PS 135 Sheldon A. Brookner||ES||76%||63%||12%|
|23||K||PS 178 Saint Clair Mckelway||ES/MS||77%||63%||12%|
|4||M||PS 096 Joseph Lanzetta||ES/MS||75%||62%||12%|
|84||K||Explore Excel Charter Sch||ES||74%||62%||12%|
|9||X||IS 313 Sch of Leadership Development||MS||71%||60%||12%|
|21||K||PS 288 The Shirley Tanyhill||ES/MS||72%||60%||12%|
|84||K||Summit Acad Charter Sch||MS/HS||71%||59%||12%|
|12||X||Sch of Performing Arts||MS||71%||58%||12%|
|6||M||Washington Heights Acad||ES||69%||57%||12%|
|9||X||Acad for Lang & Tech||HS||68%||56%||12%|
|19||K||PS 306 Ethan Allen||ES/MS||63%||52%||12%|
|7||X||Hostos-Lincoln Acad of Sci||MS/HS||64%||52%||12%|
|4||M||PS 007 Samuel Stern||ES/MS||56%||43%||12%|
|11||X||PS 068 Bx||ES||56%||43%||12%|
|22||K||PS 139 Alexine A. Fenty||ES||53%||41%||12%|
|10||X||PS 024 Spuyten Duyvil||ES||48%||37%||12%|
|15||K||Bklyn Sch for Global Studies||MS/HS||36%||24%||12%|
|10||X||PS 091 Bx||ES||35%||23%||12%|
|84||K||Explore Charter Sch||ES/MS||77%||66%||11%|
|28||Q||PS 048 William Wordsworth||ES||75%||64%||11%|
|75||M||Manhattan Sch for Career Development||D75||74%||63%||11%|
|14||K||PS 018 Edward Bush||ES||75%||63%||11%|
|19||K||Bklyn Lab Sch||HS||67%||56%||11%|
|7||X||JHS 162 Lola Rodriguez De Tio||MS||67%||56%||11%|
|84||X||Tech Intl Charter Sch||MS||67%||55%||11%|
|10||X||In-Tech Acad (MS / HS 368)||MS/HS||67%||55%||11%|
|28||Q||PS 082 Hammond||ES||60%||49%||11%|
|22||K||PS 361 East Flatbush Early Chldhd Sch||ECC||50%||37%||11%|
|8||X||Antonia Pantoja Prep Acad: A Coll Bd Sch||MS/HS||40%||29%||11%|
|9||X||PS 073 Bx||ES||70%||61%||10%|
|16||K||PS 005 Dr. Ronald Mcnair||ES||70%||60%||10%|
|31||R||PS 022 Graniteville||ES||68%||58%||10%|
|5||M||PS 200- The James Mccune Smith Sch||ES||59%||49%||10%|
|9||X||PS 199X The Shakespeare Sch||ES||58%||49%||10%|
|8||X||Women’s Acad of Excellence||HS||58%||47%||10%|
|11||X||PS 111 Seton Falls||ES||59%||47%||10%|
|31||R||PS 016 John J. Driscoll||ES||48%||37%||10%|
|8||X||JHS 123 James M. Kieran||MS||45%||36%||10%|
|75||M||PS M079 Horan Sch||D75||47%||36%||10%|
200 schools in New York City report that their principal is not “an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly.”
At the bottom of the pile: Hamilton Heights School, an elementary school in District 6, uptown; Foundations Academy, a high school in District 14, Brooklyn; and Bushwick Ascend Charter School. In these three schools, not a single teacher reported that their principal was competent.
This number includes charters, and is out of approximately 1800 public schools and charter schools in NYC. They are based on the Learning Environment Surveys – which are worth very little, but in this case, with teachers nervous about school closings, and nervous about whether the surveys are fully anonymous (I think they are), seem credible. The flip, all positive answers from a school, is iffier – as the principal could have watched teachers fill the surverys out. But the norm is mostly positive responses. So such a large number negative on any one question raises questions.
It’s worth noting, Bushwick Ascend has two sister schools, Brownsville Ascend and Brooklyn Ascend, both lower middle of the pack. There would seem to be a story with Bushwick Ascend. Foundations Academy brought in a new principal three years ago, and while teachers thought the old guy was competent (and trusted him), the new guy got the benefit of the doubt, with half trusting him his first year. And none trusted him last year.
Bushwick Ascend and Foundations are also at the top of the “Principal does not communicate with us” list.
It is worth pointing out that as iffy as the flip might be – it is there. Most teachers in most schools reported that their principal is competent. In almost 1100 schools there is nothing in the competence part of the survey that would raise an eyebrow. In 238 schools every single teacher agreed or strongly agreed that their principal is an effective manager. And in fourteen schools every single teacher strongly agreed.
The school’s whose principals got perfect ratings from their teachers are:
|2||M||Union Sq Acad for Health Sciences||HS|
|5||M||Teachers College Community School||ECC|
|30||Q||Academy for New Americans||MS|
|8||X||Bronx Academy High School||HST|
|84||M||Harbor Sci & Arts Charter School||ES/MS|
|18||K||Kurt Hahn Expdtnry Learning School||HS|
|2||M||PS 527 East Side Sch / Social Action||ECC|
|9||X||Young Women’s Leadership Sch Bx||MS|
|18||K||South Shore Ed Complex Yabc||YABC|
|21||K||Abraham Lincoln Yabc||YABC|
|31||R||P.S. 026 The Carteret School||ES|
|4||M||Global Technology Preparatory||MS|
|84||M||Dem Prep Endurance Charter School||MS|
The other 200 schools where the teachers reported their principals are incompetent are scattered across the city – all levels, almost all districts. Only District 16 in Brooklyn and District 26 in Queens have none.
That list follows. (I will post the ENTIRE list, including all the schools where the principal was rated well, in a separate post, to be linked here).
(Note, I created a “score” by weighting the responses A, B, C, D and converting to a number. I’ve used 0 – 100.)
|D||B||School Name||1g. The principal at my school is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly.|
|Type||Percent Negative||Score (100 best, 0 worst)|
|6||M||Hamilton Hts Sch||ES||100%||5|
|84||K||Bushwick Ascend Charter Sch||ECC||100%||17|
|15||K||Sec Sch for Journalism||MS/HS||95%||10|
|3||M||Urb Assembly School for Green Careers||HS||94%||8|
|21||K||Bklyn Studio Sec Sch||MS/HS||89%||21|
|12||X||P.S. 044 David C. Farragut||ES||88%||25|
|28||Q||Young Women’s Leadership Sch, Qns||MS/HS||87%||20|
|3||M||STEM Inst of Manhattan||ES||86%||24|
|13||K||The Urban Assembly Unison Sch||MS||84%||34|
|12||X||P.S. 102 Joseph O. Loretan||ES||84%||34|
|7||X||Young Leaders ES||ES||82%||29|
|9||X||P.S. 132 Garret A. Morgan||ES||80%||23|
|30||Q||P.S. 151 Mary D. Carter||ES||79%||20|
|4||M||River East Elementary||ES||79%||34|
|1||M||Marta Valle HS||HS||78%||23|
|10||X||P.S. 091 Bx||ES||78%||26|
|23||K||P.S. 150 Christopher||ES||78%||30|
|30||Q||P.S. 127 Aerospace Sci Magne||ES/MS||77%||25|
|13||K||Freedom Acad HS||HS||77%||29|
|7||X||Mott Haven Village Prep HS||HS||77%||33|
|25||Q||P.S. 165 Edith K. Bergtraum||ES||76%||27|
|4||M||Central Park East I||ES||76%||28|
|15||K||Bklyn Sch for Global Studies||MS/HS||76%||29|
|19||K||World Acad for Total Cmmty Health HS||HS||76%||30|
|2||M||Manhattan Village Acad||HS||76%||32|
|3||M||M.S. 256 Academic & Athletic Excellence||MS||75%||29|
|84||M||Broome Street Acad Charter Sch||HS||74%||36|
|4||M||J.H.S. 013 Jackie Robinson||MS||74%||37|
|29||Q||Math, Sci Research and Tech Magnet HS||HS||73%||30|
|17||K||P.S. 181 Bklyn||ES/MS||73%||31|
|25||Q||PS 242 Leonard P. Stavisky Early Chldhd Sch||ECC||72%||29|
|1||M||New Explorations into Sci, Tech and Math HS||ES/MS/HS||72%||32|
|2||M||P.S. 001 Alfred E. Smith||ES||72%||33|
|29||Q||P.S. 038 Rosedale||ES||72%||33|
|6||M||P.S. 192 Jacob H. Schiff||ES||72%||34|
|8||X||Antonia Pantoja Prep Acad: A College Bd Sch||MS/HS||71%||26|
|2||M||HS of Graphic Communication Arts||HS||71%||31|
|25||Q||P.S. 029 Qns||ES||71%||34|
|2||M||Urban Assembly Acad of Govt and Law, The||HS||71%||35|
|5||M||Acad for Social Action: A College Bd Sch||MS/HS||70%||33|
|3||M||P.S. 087 William Sherman||ES||70%||33|
|84||M||Harlem Village Acad HS||HS||70%||34|
|19||K||P.S. 213 New Lots||ES||69%||31|
|31||R||P.S. 030 Westerleigh||ES||69%||37|
|10||X||P.S. 095 Sheila Mencher||ES/MS||68%||31|
|9||X||P.S. 163 Arthur A. Schomburg||ES||68%||31|
|32||K||P.S. 145 Andrew Jackson||ES||68%||38|
|10||X||P.S. / I.S. 54||ES||68%||39|
|2||M||P.S. 198 Isador E. Ida Straus||ES||68%||39|
|17||K||Paul Robeson HS||HS||67%||28|
|84||K||Urban Dove Charter Sch||HST||67%||33|
|18||K||P.S. 279 Herman Schreiber||ES||67%||35|
|19||K||P.S. 149 Danny Kaye||ES||67%||35|
|27||Q||Frederick Douglass Acad VI HS||HS||67%||36|
|32||K||Evergreen MS for Urban Exploration||MS||66%||33|
|32||K||Bushwick Community HS||HST||65%||36|
|2||M||THE HS FOR Lang AND DIPLOMACY||HS||65%||38|
|15||K||Sch for Intl Studies||MS/HS||65%||38|
|5||M||P.S. 175 Henry H Garnet||ES||65%||38|
|11||X||MS 142 John Philip Sousa||MS||65%||40|
|31||R||P.S. 036 J. C. Drumgoole||ES||64%||34|
|8||X||J.H.S. 123 James M. Kieran||MS||64%||35|
|3||M||PS 166 Richard Rodgers Sch The Arts & Tech||ES||64%||36|
|10||X||P.S. 024 Spuyten Duyvil||ES||64%||43|
|27||Q||P.S. 215 Lucretia Mott||ES||63%||36|
|75||M||P.S. M079 – Horan Sch||D75||63%||37|
|8||X||Archimedes Acad for Math, Sci and Tech Apps||MS/HS||63%||39|
|29||Q||Qns Prep Acad||HS||63%||39|
|13||K||Sci Skills Ctr HS for Sci, Tech & Creative Arts||HS||63%||43|
|31||R||P.S. 016 John J. Driscoll||ES||62%||37|
|22||K||P.S. 361 East Flatbush Early Childhood Sch||ECC||62%||37|
|19||K||P.S. 328 Phyllis Wheatley||ES/MS||62%||38|
|13||K||P.S. 282 Park Slope||ES/MS||62%||41|
|10||X||Thomas C. Giordano MS 45||MS||62%||42|
|13||K||MS 596 Peace Acad||MS||62%||47|
|7||X||P.S. / I.S. 224||MS||62%||50|
|22||K||P.S. 052 Sheepshead Bay||ES||61%||36|
|32||K||P.S. 151 Lyndon B. Johnson||ES||61%||43|
|22||K||P.S. 139 Alexine A. Fenty||ES||60%||43|
|9||X||SHERIDAN Acad FOR YOUNG LEADERS||ES||60%||45|
|9||X||THE FAMILY Sch||ES||60%||46|
|84||X||Academic Leadership Charter Sch||ES||60%||47|
|84||Q||Acad of the City Charter Sch||ECC||60%||51|
|28||Q||J.H.S. 008 Richard S. Grossley||MS||59%||43|
|75||X||P.S. X012 Lewis and Clark Sch||D75||59%||46|
|7||X||Samuel Gompers CTE HS||HS||59%||46|
|10||X||John F. Kennedy HS||HS||58%||41|
|30||Q||William Cullen Bryant HS||HS||58%||43|
|29||Q||P.S. 035 Nathaniel Woodhull||ES||58%||43|
|3||M||P.S. 165 Robert E. Simon||ES/MS||58%||44|
|2||M||The 47 Amer Sign Lang & English Lower Sch||ES/MS||58%||45|
|10||X||HS for Teaching and the Professions||HS||58%||45|
|18||K||Urban Action Acad||HS||57%||36|
|84||K||Imagine Me Leadership Charter Sch||ECC||57%||38|
|24||Q||P.S. 071 Forest||ES||57%||39|
|2||M||N.Y.C. Museum Sch||HS||57%||41|
|1||M||P.S. 134 Henrietta Szold||ES||57%||42|
|14||K||Frances Perkins Acad||HS||57%||43|
|10||X||J.H.S. 080 The Mosholu Parkway||MS||57%||44|
|8||X||Gateway Sch for Envmentl Research & Tech||HS||57%||48|
|11||X||P.S. 068 Bx||ES||56%||42|
|4||M||P.S. 007 Samuel Stern||ES/MS||56%||44|
|10||X||P.S. 9 Ryer Avenue ES||ES||56%||45|
|84||K||Fahari Acad Charter Sch||MS||55%||40|
|2||M||Art and Design HS||HS||55%||41|
|6||M||M.S. 326 – Writers Today & Leaders Tomorrow||MS||55%||43|
|27||Q||P.S. 045 Clarence Witherspoon||ES||55%||46|
|27||Q||P.S. 197 The Ocean Sch||ES||54%||40|
|4||M||P.S. 146 Ann M. Short||ES||54%||41|
|10||X||Grace Dodge CTE HS||HS||54%||43|
|2||M||Quest to Learn||MS/HS||54%||44|
|20||K||P.S. 205 Clarion||ES||54%||45|
|2||M||Murry Bergtraum HS for Business Careers||HS||54%||46|
|3||M||P.S. 242 – The Young Diplomats Magnet Acad||ES||54%||46|
|1||M||P.S. 137 John L. Bernstein||ES||54%||56|
|25||Q||PS/MS 200 – The Pomonok Sch & STAR Acad||ES/MS||53%||42|
|11||X||The Bxwood Prep Acad||HS||53%||43|
|27||Q||M.S. 053 Brian Piccolo||MS||53%||45|
|21||K||I.S. 281 Joseph B Cavallaro||MS||53%||46|
|28||Q||P.S. 139 Rego Park||ES||53%||47|
|10||X||Fordham HS for the Arts||HS||53%||47|
|6||M||I.S. 218 Salome Urena||MS||53%||48|
|31||R||P.S. 74 FUTURE LEADERS ES||ECC||53%||49|
|84||K||Invictus Prep Charter Sch||MS||53%||50|
|11||X||P.S. 111 Seton Falls||ES||52%||41|
|22||K||P.S. 236 Mill Basin||ES||52%||44|
|3||M||P.S. 333 Manhattan Sch for Children||ES/MS||52%||45|
|25||Q||P.S. 201 Discovery Sch for Inquiry & Resrch||ES||52%||46|
|8||X||Women’s Acad of Excellence||HS||52%||47|
|24||Q||P.S. 088 Seneca||ES||52%||47|
|24||Q||I.S. 73 – The Frank Sansivieri IS||MS||52%||48|
|6||M||The Mott Hall Sch||MS||52%||49|
|84||X||Hyde Leadership Charter Sch||ES/MS/HS||52%||50|
|13||K||UA Inst of Math & Sci for Young Women||MS/HS||51%||38|
|84||K||New Dawn Charter HS||HS||51%||46|
|27||Q||J.H.S. 226 Virgil I. Grissom||MS||51%||47|
|28||Q||P.S. 082 Hammond||ES||51%||48|
|9||X||P.S. 199X – The Shakespeare Sch||ES||51%||49|
|5||M||P.S. 200- The James Mccune Smith Sch||ES||51%||51|
|10||X||Marie Curie Sch for Med, Nrsng and Hlth Profs||HS||51%||54|
|31||R||P.S. 6 Corporal Allan F. Kivlehan Sch||ES||51%||54|
|28||Q||P.S. 080 Thurgood Marshall Magnet||ES||50%||43|
|11||X||P.S. 108 Philip J. Abinanti||ES||50%||44|
|18||K||HS for Innovation in Advertising and Media||HS||50%||45|
|14||K||Sch for Legal Studies||HS||50%||46|
|1||M||P.S. 184m Shuang Wen||ES/MS||50%||47|
|29||Q||Bus, Computer Apps & Entrepreneurship HS||HS||50%||48|
|32||K||Bushwick Leaders HS for Academic Excellence||HS||50%||48|
|5||M||Choir Acad of Harlem||MS/HS||50%||51|
|16||K||P.S. 028 The Warren Prep Acad||ES||50%||52|
|8||X||Sch for Tourism and Hospitality||HS||50%||55|
|9||X||HS for Violin and Dance||HS||50%||56|
|2||M||Liberty HS Acad for Newcomers||HST||50%||58|
|3||M||P.S. 191 Amsterdam||ES/MS||49%||46|
|19||K||P.S. 306 Ethan Allen||ES/MS||49%||47|
|21||K||I.S. 303 Herbert S. Eisenberg||MS||49%||48|
|24||Q||P.S. 58 – Sch of Heroes||ES||49%||48|
|10||X||P.S. 085 Great Expectations||ES||49%||50|
|24||Q||Pan American Intl HS||HS||48%||41|
|4||M||P.S. 38 Roberto Clemente||ES||48%||44|
|25||Q||P.S. 120 Qns||ES||48%||45|
|24||Q||P.S. 007 Louis F. Simeone||ECC||48%||47|
|4||M||P.S. 050 Vito Marcantonio||ES/MS||48%||48|
|14||K||P.S. 250 George H. Lindsay||ES||48%||50|
|2||M||Business of Sports Sch||HS||48%||50|
|17||K||MS for the Arts||MS||47%||46|
|29||Q||Community Voices MS||MS||47%||46|
|9||X||P.S. 064 Pura Belpre||ES||47%||47|
|2||M||P.S. 111 Adolph S. Ochs||ES/MS||47%||48|
|17||K||Intl HS at Prospect Hts||HS||47%||48|
|1||M||Collab Acad of Sci, Tech, & Lang-Arts Educn||MS||47%||49|
|13||K||P.S. 067 Charles A. Dorsey||ES||47%||49|
|31||R||P.S. 041 New Dorp||ES||46%||49|
|1||M||Sch for Global Leaders||MS||46%||49|
|14||K||P.S. 017 Henry D. Woodworth||ES||45%||50|
|84||K||Excellence Boys Charter Sch||ES/MS||45%||50|
|10||X||In-Tech Acad (M.S. / HS 368)||MS/HS||44%||49|
|15||K||P.S. 124 Silas B. Dutcher||ES||43%||45|
|15||K||P.S. 038 The Pacific||ES||43%||49|
|12||X||Performance Conservatory HS||HS||42%||45|
|9||X||P.S. 126 Dr Marjorie H Dunbar||ES||42%||49|
|13||K||P.S. 270 Johann DeKalb||ES||42%||50|
|1||M||The STAR Acad – P.S.63||ES||41%||49|
|28||Q||Qns Gateway to Health Scis Sec Sch||MS/HS||40%||49|
|2||M||P.S./I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island||ES/MS||40%||49|
|6||M||P.S. 152 Dyckman Valley||ES||40%||50|
|5||M||I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente||MS||40%||50|
|1||M||P.S. 110 Florence Nightingale||ES||39%||50|
|2||M||Baruch College Campus HS||HS||38%||50|
What exactly does that mean?
Well, the UFT passed a resolution at Wednesday’s Delegate Assembly (10/9), calling for such a moratorium. And that’s it. It’s a call.
It doesn’t commit UFT resources. It doesn’t call ON anyone in particular, to DO anything in particular. It simply puts the UFT on record, opposing one piece of the awful process that has been going on (testing, Danielson, Common Core, Progress Reports), and continues to get worse.
The consequence of this moratorium is that the UFT has hiccuped. There is a pause in our support for this evaluation system, however partial that pause is. And that change, from gung ho, matters. It is a beginning, an opening.
When the resolution was first presented at the Monday Executive Board (October 7), I rose to oppose much of the basis of the resolution. “We have and will continue to have major disagreement over this evaluation system.” But I supported the resolution – the “resolved” won’t be enacted by the city or the state, but if it were, it would delay for a full year any teacher being fired by this system, it would delay by one year a new set of “progress reports” used to torture schools, it would halt for one year holding students back based on test scores. It would have nothing but positive effect.
In New Action’s leaflet at the DA, we took the same position:
New Action sharply disagrees with the UFT leadership regarding the Common Core, the new Teacher Evaluation system (or even the need for one), and the potential abuse by administrators in issuing “ineffectives” to teachers. But we wholeheartedly agree with the call to put a moratorium on consequences for high stakes standardized tests.
And I attempted to get the floor at the Delegate Assembly to make the same points.
Two speakers opposed did get the floor. Vince Wojsnis of MORE spoke well against the Common Core, and against the entire evaluation system. But instead of supporting the resolution and pushing to go further, MORE opposed it. Now, they had not seen it until they arrived (or Monday evening at the earliest, if their people who observed the UFT Exec Board told them about it). And on short notice it is hard to carefully consider a complicated resolution. But the short time is only part of the story. There is also the “primary reaction.” And MORE’s primary reaction is knee-jerk opposition. I wonder if critical support even occurred to them. The Union moved, a little, Wednesday, and MORE left themselves opposed.
They may have also been in poor humor for a related reason. They called for a demonstration on the street in front of the Delegate Assembly, and had quite a poor turnout.
Their bad humor about the turn of events (demonstration, and painting themselves into a corner at the DA) may also explain a spate of attacks on New Action on MORE/GEM/ICE supporters blogs in the two days since the DA. I count five, including on MORE’s official website. They know New Action opposes the evaluation system and tying evaluation to test scores, they know New Action opposes the Common Core, they know the resolution was introduced by Unity, not New Action, and they know that New Action is an independent caucus, but when MORE gets worked up, they lose it, and write or say things they know to be untrue.
In any case, the union moved a tiny bit forward on Wednesday. That in and of itself is significant. We must push much further. The immediate effects, the abuse, all the day to day stuff tied to the evaluation system, it all needs to be resisted. (The UI grievance on lesson planning is a good, positive example). And we must keep up pressure to address the system as a whole: to renegotiate as much of it as possible, and to actually undo the state law that put APPR into place in the first place.
As the new evaluation system rolls forward in New York City’s public schools, the volume of complaint, not yet resistance, but complaint, is growing.
Our task force on testing was right six years ago – when it said teachers should not be evaluated on tests.
Mulgrew was right in January 2010 – when he said Weingarten’s proposals to evaluate teachers based partially on test scores would not fly in New York (at least under Bloomberg). By the way, NYSUT has removed Weingarten’s speech from its website.
But Mulgrew was wrong in May 2010 when he swung and supported the Race to the Top proposal for New York State. He lined up NYSUT and the UFT in favor of the new state law… paving the way for NYS’ RttT application…
For three years Mulgrew has been saying that teachers want a new evaluation system. I don’t think think I’ve met those teachers. I don’t think they are working in in New York City. I don’t think more than a few of them exist. One teacher (out of 30) in my small school thought we needed a new evaluation system. She realizes now that she was wrong.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
Multiple measures. Weingarten has been saying that tests are one thing that should be looked at. UFT leadership says the same thing. But the state law says that if a teacher’s scores on the test portions (40%) are low, that teacher is rated ineffective – halfway to a firing. This is not multiple measures. This is 1) teacher is rated on test scores, 2) if those are ok, then and only then are other measures (really just principal’s evaluation) taken into account.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
Despite the state law, the UFT and NYC DoE did not negotiate an evaluation system. The January 2010 Mulgrew was wise to distrust the DoE’s negotiations – the May 2010 Mulgrew was foolish.
State Commissioner King imposed a system on NYC this June. The DoE and UFT made proposals, and King raggedly split some of the difference. (Portelos published the proposals here). There is important stuff for teachers in the differences, but there are huge problems in the similarities. In June the UFT claimed that we “won.” That seemed inaccurate. Today Mulgrew implies that teacher complaints are due to the UFT proposals not being adopted. That seems highly unlikely.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
Measures of Student Learning (the 20% and 20%) were reviewed at the schools this Summer. And in many cases schools chose to blend scores, to assign a generic score to many teachers. And I think, in many cases, this was the way to put as few teachers as possible, given the awful system, in harm’s way. And privately, some in the union leadership agreed.
However, when teachers arrived in September, and learned they would be evaluated on the scores of kids not in their classes, maybe not based on their subject! Wow! There were furious complaints. And from a teacher’s point of view, this made absolutely no sense. (What’s missing, is that the entire system made no sense, and that if each teacher’s rating rested on a larger number of scores, that it would be less susceptible to the erratic bounces in student test scores on high stakes tests, including the sometimes erratic scores on NYS tests)
In the schools, principals were not sure how to handle the new system, and all kinds of interesting things have emerged. Principals mandating lesson formats, principals not holding mandated goal setting conferences, principals rating the wrong items, etc, etc.
With each abuse or mistake, the number of teacher complaints grows.
- – — — —– ——– ————- ——– —– — — – -
At the September 9 Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting, Mulgrew spoke about the City failing to supply curriculum to most schools. He talked about problems with implementation. But he asserted the need for a new evaluation system, asserted that teachers wanted it (who?) and made caustic remarks about teachers who don’t get observed, and don’t want to be observed.
At the September 16 special Delegate Assembly, Mulgrew again spoke about the evaluation. This time he emphasized that King had sided with the DoE on important aspects. And he talked about teachers being evaluated on kids who were not theirs (without mentioning that in the crazy system King imposed, based on the law May 2010 Mulgrew supported, this may have been the best way to insulate teachers from crazy test score fluctuations, which occur with amazing regularity in New York State). He did not remark on teachers who do not like being observed, but again asserted that teachers wanted a new evaluation system. He was shifting, slightly, in the face of the growing backlash.
At the September 23 UFT Executive Board, New Action submitted a resolution affirming our contractual rights vis a vis lesson plans. The leadership, having already launched a Union Initiated Grievance on this very subject, collaborated on revising the resolution, which passed with bipartisan support. (It goes to tomorrow’s Delegate Assembly).
At the October 7 UFT Executive Board, several officers submitted a resolution calling for a moratorium on consequences – to kids, teachers or schools – from high stakes testing. LeRoy Barr strongly motivated (Mulgrew was absent) affirming both the leadership’s ongoing belief in a new evaluation system (and the Common Core), and the need for a moratorium on consequences.
(I rose to remind the body that there are strong disagreements, philosophical disagreements about evaluation, and that they needed to be hashed out, but not today, as the call for moratorium deserved unanimous support. Someone asked me later why I got up to say nothing… I don’t think that was nothing)
So at tomorrow’s Delegate Assembly there will be a split message.
The leadership will speak in favor of a “good” new evaluation system, will assert that the State Law is fine (and if pressed, remind members that is the law, but not remind members that the UFT and NYSUT helped craft it), might baldly assert that teachers wanted this.
The leadership will also push resolutions reasserting our contractual and historic rights regarding lesson plans, and calling for a moratorium on consequences for high stakes testing.
The former is a problem. The evaluation system for NYC should be renegotiated, and the State Law should be massively revised, or simply repealed. We must continue to challenge the need for this evaluation system, the fairness of rating teachers on student test scores, the weakening of tenure rights.
The latter represents progress. It is important that while this system is in place, that we as a union fight the individual problems that the system causes, either by design, by DoE incompetence, or by DoE malice. It is good that the leadership hears the members’ complaints. The leadership is responding, partially, but responding, to members’ complaints, to the evaluation backlash.