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I don’t want a “D” for Developing. Or a “D” for Duck. Part II

April 5, 2016 am30 4:56 am

If you think a “Developing” is “nothing” “just a TIP,” then

  • you  don’t get that being told that you are in the next to bottom category as a teacher is devastating,
  • you haven’t tried transferring with a D (possible, but much harder),
  • you didn’t get a harshly imposed Teacher Improvement Plan (most are not harsh, but enough are that we should be concerned), and
  • you’ve been out of school for too long.

At a Chapter Leaders meeting last week, a union full-timer picked up a single comment about the evaluation system, even though that was not on the agenda, and lectured us about the number of Ineffective ratings being lower than the number of Unsatisfactory ratings used to be.

See, he was trying to explain to us that Ineffective = Unsatisfactory.

Not all chapter leaders were grateful to be lectured by someone who works in an office. Especially when he was wrong.

Ineffectives are worse than U’s. Ineffectives cannot be challenged on the basis that the principal’s pedagogical judgment was wrong. Two Ineffectives can lead to a hearing to remove your license, with the presumption that the license needs to be removed.

And leaving Developing out of the picture is, um, wrong. Ds hurt. They hurt our pride. They lead to a “Teacher Improvement Plan” which is insulting for good teachers, and pretty much useless for everyone else. In most schools the TIPs are sort of a low-level, low-impact harassment. But in others they are a royal pain in the ass.

And it is so easy for a principal to “tip” a teacher from E to D, that the Mulgrew evaluation system has led not to a surge in “teacher improvement” but to a clear rise in “sucking up” to avoid that tip.

Also, if you try to transfer the new principal sees your rating, before you are interviewed, and most treat the adverse rating as evidence of something wrong with your teaching.

And all this based on an idiosyncratic and partially random evaluation system.

Frankly, if we can’t ditch the whole thing, we should at least roll {Highly Effective, Effective, Developing} into one category, perhaps {Satisfactory}? I mean, if Unity really believes a D is no big deal, then why not just ditch it?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2016 am30 2:56 am 2:56 am

    “D” stands for “devastating” for any teacher of integrity. Yet sadly, such folk should know that “D” also stands for “division by zero”– after which anything that follows is meaningless. Such divisions have been occurring for so long in the school system here, that those of us who are not able to find some sort of shelter in it (be that by hook, or, as is more often likely, by some variety of crook) can either stay and stew or leave and starve.


  1. Is “Developing” an adverse rating? | JD2718

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