I don’t want a “D” for Developing or a “D” for Duck – Part I
We, meaning teachers in NYC, used to be rated each year. Satisfactory. Or Unsatisfactory. S or U. Getting a U was bad. Now we get Highly Effective. Effective. Developing. Or Ineffective. H, E, D, or I. The Feds and NY State and our own union leadership conspired to make the change. Hell, Mulgrew boasts he helped write the state law.
In the old days, the principal rated you. If you got a U, that was bad. Two in a row and they could go after your license. But you could challenge the rating. The principal could have been wrong.
Under Bloomberg and Klein (and then Cathy Black – who Mulgrew failed to oppose, does anyone know why not? – and then Walcott) we got flooded with unqualified principals and principals with poor judgment. And Bloomberg and Klein said they would not let us challenge the principal’s judgment – just at the moment when their judgment was most in question. Why didn’t we fight this? Ask Mulgrew. Ask your rep.
We could have fought them over “the principal’s judgment shall not be challenged.” We could have fought them over removing incompetent principals. Instead, Mulgrew wrote a law.
You ever see those plastic ducks at a carnival, floating? You pay for a chance, and pick one up. You see if you win. There’s a number on the bottom, from 0 – 20. And that’s your State Score. Instead of fighting to remove bad principals, or to challenge the judgment of lousy principals, Mulgrew and Unity wrote us a carnival game. Except the stakes are super high.
40% of your rating depends on grabbing a lucky duck. Your principal rates you well – but you get an unlucky duck. Too bad for you. Your principal rates you low, but you grab the right duck? You are golden.
Hey, if I sucked, the duck game might give me a chance. But most of us, having 40% of our rating randomized? Not reassuring, even when we get lucky.
So good principals used to have 100% control of our rating. Now they have 60%, and 40% is random. How is that good?
And incompetent principals should not be principals. They used to have 100% control of our rating. But instead of fighting to get them out, Unity fought to let them keep 60% control. And the ducks get the rest.