“The clock is ticking. When the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the money drops off the table, and it will be difficult to get it back,” said state Education Commissioner John King.
|John King master of ed deform|
And that should be the UFT's message – in more polite terms. Or maybe not more polite terms. But the UFT leadership wants its seat at the table.
Around NY State, principals are rebelling: Principals' Rebellion Against Evaluations Grows ... - New York Times and the UFT should make that point every hour if necessary instead of caving in. Apparently most principals in NY State (but only 50 of the NYC principals had the guts to sign in a sea of lilly-livered careerists).
As Michael Fiorillo pointed out on WBAI's "Wake-Up Call" this morning (I'll add a link when the archive is up), that money is not exactly going to the classroom with a third to consultants - ed deformers with a mission to push out teachers - the backdoor method to end Last In First Out by creating a fool-proof teacher evaluation system to allow the removal of any teacher through manipulation.
NYC Educator pointed out in a comment/critique of Gotham School's story:
"The money, known as school improvement grants, is supposed to help the schools lift their results through a series of changes, like replacing principals and at least half the staff members; giving teachers extra time for training and preparation; and extending the school day. In New York City, it offers, in essence, an alternative to the most common approach to dealing with failing schools, which has been to close them."So, really, who gives a shit about money going to administrative bullshit which has little impact? And I don't need no stinkin' research to tell me that.
This is what the funds may be used for. Articles simply stating we may lose money, without pointing out that this money is earmarked for specific practices tend to mislead readers. Have any of these practices been proven to benefit students (or even improve test scores, something Bloomberg's "reforms" have failed to do after a decade)?
Amen to VOTE NO's comment:
They should give the money back! The 33 PLA schools in NYC have turned into complete disasters! There is nothing more upsetting to the public than the government wasting money. The pilot program for the new teacher evaluation is the greatest part of the problem. It was implemented with haste, and has led to a toxic atmosphere among the staffs. Teachers are retiring mid-year. Some are quitting mid-year. Many more are looking to leave. The state should listen to the over 1000 principals that have signed a petition stating this evaluation is deeply problematic, and should be phased in over time. The Master teacher positions in the PLA schools have not been helpful for the vast majority of teachers, and much of the rest of the money has gone to out of state consultant firms. These firms have done very little but further demoralize the staffs in the buildings. The money is NOT going to the classrooms! It would be better for the schools to "lose the money" to restore order in the schools.
We had an ICE meeting yesterday and the horror stories from the 33 turnaround schools using the Danielson Frameworks being shoved down everyone's throats - by the union too - is profound. The teachers (and often the admins) in these schools are in an uproar - and many of them are blaming the union. When this crap hits all schools next year the shit will really hit the fan.
So what will the UFT leadership do? Join in the attack on the plan or cave?
We get this from the Daily News article:
City and union officials downplayed the state’s warning, saying they have been working together to meet the deadline. State teachers union officials took issue with the threat to revoke funding for New York City as well as seven other school districts around the state. They noted the State Education Department had applied for an extension in meeting several Race to the Top deadlines the agency faced but not for an extension on the districts’ deadlines.
Do I smell a sellout coming? Or a smellout.
How does the UFT leadership/Unity Caucus respond to the coming storm? They are proposing constitutional amendments that will increase the influence of retirees and weaken the working teacher influence in the union to buffer themselves from the coming storm. (Oh, how will New Action waffle its way through this one and still hold onto its gift Exec Bd seats from Unity?) I have a copy of the proposal and will try to type it up for a later post.
Check out stories:
Gotham: State says districts without evaluation deals to lose funds Jan. 1
Daily News: City schools stand to lose $60M in funding, state Education Commissioner John King says
I'll leave you with one more comment from Michael Fiorillo at the Gotham post in response to some KIPP Klone (apparently) named Josh Kilroy who disparaged class size as a solution with the usual suspect: "research shows" but doesn't cite the research (send him to a year of reading Leonie's posts).
"Research" - buzz, whirr, click - "better teachers, better ways of evaluating them" - buzz, whirr, click - "privileges of adults served by the status quo" - buzz, whirr, click.
Really, can't you folks come up with one original thought on your own? Is the indoctrination so complete that you can't even develop your own take on these arguments, or at least give your talking points some personal character or expression? Or do you just assume that people are so stupid that they will forever be taken in by the same scripted responses, the same ideology and self interest masked as "research?" Perhaps you haven't noticed, Josh, but the political and economic interests that fund the production of your cliches, are the status quo in education.Before you finish having your cup of coffee in a classroom - if indeed you even are a teacher - consider one simple fact: King, Tisch, Bloomberg, Duncan, Kopp, Rhee, et. al. along with the "Let's-feel-good-about-ourselves-before-we-go-work-for-Goldman-by-lifting-up-the-worthy-poor-and-creating-Skinner Boxes-for-their-training" folks ARE the status quo, having set the terms of debate for many years now.Absolute mayoral control of the schools has been in place for almost ten years in NYC, and over fifteen in Chicago. The ideology and practice of corporate dominance and monetization of the schools has controlled the discourse on education for the better part of two decades, at least. Yet the ed deform cohort, literally engorged with billions from Gates, Broad, the Waltons and administrations both Democratic and Republican, continues to cast itself as the bold, courageous outsiders willing to take on the big, bad teacher's unions. That they cast themselves as underdogs clearly demonstrates the deception, self-deception and bad faith at work. The "research" you refer to is in fact little more than pseudo-scientific, content production-for-hire, with an academic gloss. It's yet one more facet of the Big Lie of corporate education reform. You obviously expect others to believe it, but do you? If so, I wish you great success selling mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps in the near future. Then again, maybe you'll be one of those "education leaders" that Wendy Kopp and her husband groom to parachute into an urban district and dismantle the public schools, for which you'll be amply rewarded. Yes, Josh, in the Brave New World you are a mouthpiece for, there really is money to be made in education.
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on the right for important bits.