The Mayor and his Tea Party ideologues at the department are steadfastly driving a policy that is destructive to the very students they claim to represent.
What began as differences between parents, teachers and their union and the so-called education reformers has morphed into a battle in which children are the trampled grass.
A judge denies a temporary restraining order, agrees that the law suit may have
merit, and allows charter school co-locations and school closings to go
The Tweedies have a party!
The percent of probationary teachers denied tenure decreases from 3.3% to 2.7% and the percent of teachers with probation extended increases from 9% to 38%.
Two sets of possible headlines.
“Fewer Probationary Teachers Fired.”
The Mayor announced today that fewer probationary teachers were
discharged in 2011 than in 20010. “The principals and teacher mentors have
done an outstanding job in building a superior teaching force. We are confident
that the teachers whose probation was extended will work hard and achieve
tenure next year.
Instead the Mayor decided to follow a conformational course,
“Sharp Increases in Teachers Denied Tenure.”
“Tenure ought to be reserved for only the best teachers, and unfortunately, as we all know, for far too long it has been awarded primarily on the basis on longevity, not performance,” Bloomberg said today.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said today that he expects the number of tenure denials to rise next year.
Not surprisingly, reports Gotham Schools,
UFT President Mulgrew replies angrily and aggressively,
Far from living up to its promise, the city’s tenure reform in fact amounts to a quota system for teacher evaluations, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said today.
Mulgrew was responding to comments made by Mayor Bloomberg and Schools
Chancellor Dennis Walcott during Bloomberg’s weekly radio address this morning. They said they expect the number of tenure denials to rise next year.
“If it’s more about setting up a set of numbers for political reasons … then what
they’re doing is wrong,” Mulgrew said. “If they’re already predetermining
they’re setting this up with quotas, that’s absurd.”
The number of teachers who receive poor ratings could change when an evaluation system mandated under state law goes into effect. That is supposed to happen in September, but first the union and the city must agree on the system’s terms.
Mulgrew said they are nowhere near an agreement, even after reaching a deal for 33 low-performing schools two weeks ago. In fact, he said, he still has not had any discussions with city officials about a systemwide evaluation
And he said Bloomberg’s and Walcott’s comments today make him less amenable to entering negotiations.
“I’m not going to work with them if they’re doing it as a gotcha system,” he said.
Bloomberg continues his unrelenting attack on tenure, ignoring that states without tenure laws not only do not outperform states with tenure, the most unionized state, Massachusetts, is the highest achieving state.
On “the education side of Tweed,” the educators keep a low profile, after all they have to run the school system. The two major initiatives are creeping in under the radar, so far under the radar that the message has not reached teachers and hasn’t impacted most principals.
An April 28th letter from deputy chancellor Suransky laid out the plans for the 11-12 school year. The major “new things” are moving toward implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Charlotte Danielson Frameworks for Teaching teacher evaluation tool.
The 1650 school principals in the current management structure are quasi independent, as long as their Progress Report grades are an “A” or a “B”
teachers can “stand on their head and spit wooden nickels”. Since the
state assessments do not reflect the CCSS principals are wary – will
encouraging implementation of the new standards impact positively or negatively on student test scores?
The Danielson frameworks are only one of a number of teacher evaluation systems approved by the state. In fact, one of the approved models was crafted by NYSUT, the state teachers union. The final plan has to be negotiated with the union and the Danielson frameworks may not end up as the tool selected by the department and the union.
Walcott, Klein with a smiling face, drives the discredited Bloomberg side of Tweed, his troops hailing “victories” with parties, nasty press releases and
snide attacks on Mulgrew and the union while on the education side the deputy
chancellor tries to move the million student system in another direction. a
direction that reflects the philosophy of the national union, the American
Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT supports CCSS and a multiple measure
teacher evaluation system. One might expect the mayor, the chancellor and the
union president to work together to move the leviathan forward. Instead the
mayor has chosen become a Tea Party mayor, obstructing and tying himself to
policies that make no sense and are inimical to moving the system forward.
Mayor Bloomberg meet Michelle Bachman and Eric Cantor.