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On the AFT President’s proposed use of test scores for tenure

January 17, 2010 am31 11:05 am

On Tuesday of this past week, the president of the American Federation of Teachers gave a lousy pro-“corporate-style school reform” speech in Washington.

And the UFT response is below the fold. It’s surprising that I can’t find any mention of it on the web – Edwize, Gotham Schools, all the ICE supporters – either didn’t notice, didn’t care, or preferred not to comment. Shame. It’s a pretty good response.

Dear Colleagues,

AFT President Randi Weingarten gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. today. Her proposals would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here.

Among her ideas, she discussed a teacher evaluation system based on multiple measures including classroom observations, portfolio reviews and appraisal of lesson plans, students’ written work and student test scores. Those test scores, she said, would need to be based on reliable assessments that show students’ real growth. In her speech, she also said districts need to deal with ineffective teachers in a fair and expedient manner that recognizes their due process rights.

The UFT supports fair and objective standards for teacher evaluation, but as any educator knows, test scores alone can’t begin to capture the complexities of effective teaching. That’s why we’ve endorsed an independent study funded by the Gates Foundation that promises to look at the real work of real teachers in real classrooms. Even the New York State Commissioner of Education has said that current state tests are NOT reliable.

We also have no interest in teachers languishing in rubber rooms for years on end waiting for their cases to be heard, but the DOE has repeatedly ignored the UFT’s substantive suggestions to speed up the discipline process.

Our focus will always be how to move the profession forward, and we take seriously our role of protecting the children we teach.

Click here to go to the AFT Web site to read the entire speech.

Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew
UFT President

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 pm31 2:40 pm 2:40 pm

    Don’t read into our silence. We will be covering the letter. Especially interesting to see you endorsing the UFT position.

    • January 20, 2010 pm31 10:42 pm 10:42 pm

      It’s over a week after the letter came out. Doesn’t usually take you 10 days… usually takes you a few hours. Looks from here like you’ve taken a pass on the story. Am I right?

  2. January 17, 2010 pm31 7:55 pm 7:55 pm

    I called the letter “a pretty good response.” My words.

    And I noted your (GS’, not your personal) silence. Did I give the impression I knew the reason for it? I don’t.

    I can’t explain it. Would you like to?

  3. fred permalink
    January 20, 2010 pm31 8:03 pm 8:03 pm

    this is the same old bs…blame the teachers…..not the parents, not the environment, not the culture, not large classrooms, disengaging curriculae…on and on..


  1. Weingarten on test scores, etc « JD2718
  2. Burying a story – UFT on AFT on tenure « JD2718

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