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If the principal thinks you are good, that should count…

October 22, 2013 am31 11:40 am

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.

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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.

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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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane Pearl permalink
    October 22, 2013 pm31 12:02 pm 12:02 pm

    I agree with the resolution you offered up. However, given the “principal” issue in NYC under mayoral control, principals have offered their faculty and staff accolades and protection when they serve as their “henchmen/women”. Perhaps principals’ lack of power on this level will allow teachers etc to have some integrity and align with their colleagues and comrades, rather than being smiling robots for cruel and tyrannical principals.

    • October 23, 2013 am31 12:05 am 12:05 am


      A major missing detail: a principal who wants to do you harm, under they old system they could do it, and under the new system they can do it, just as easily, and with a Danielson checklist to back them up.

  2. October 23, 2013 am31 10:27 am 10:27 am

    Why is the UFT pulling punches. I mean we know and it has to do with being involved at the inception of this horrible evaluation and law.

    May 2010 -Michael Mulgrew endorsing teacher evaluation based on tests and subjective observations:

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