I left a bunch of comments on Gotham. Julie's great comment on the nycednews listserve is worth adding. I'm away from a computer but want to share. Julie hopes the UFT leadership won't fold. I don't have as much hope. She's young and hasn't faced 45 years of folding.
ATR Philip Nobile follows with a comment posted at Gotham on the DA where Mulgrew waxed poetic about Merryl Tisch --- since then she has put a knife in the back of the UFT.
I don't know why I am even responding to this because these two Gates-funded, leave-the-classroom-before-5-yrs-work part-time-fake teachers are irrelevant...
This part really bugged me-
"The biggest sticking point in negotiations was the UFT's insistence on an unnecessarily arduous appeals process."
An appeals process that is fair, transparent, and independent is absolutely necessary. Without it, educators will be beholden to serving administration first rather than children and families.
Google Peter Lamphere to understand how important this is. He recently won the first of two lawsuits to overturn politically-charged and completely unwarranted U ratings. He is one of the finest teachers and people I know, and his career was almost ended because of a rouge principal. What was the DOE's response when he won this lawsuit? They were "disappointed" bc the DOE believes that independent fact finding and a judge, who both cleared Peter, are irrelevant compared to the "judgment" of the principal. There are countless Peter Lampheres out there, who, because they advocated for their students, families, and/or colleague(s) they were given U ratings, with some eventually terminated or discontinued.
Before Evan and Sydney decide to buy their next editorial, perhaps they should go back and actually teach, understand the ramifications of what they are talking about, and ask themselves this important question: is the role of teacher evaluations to subordinate teachers or is it make sure we have the best teachers we possibly can working with our children. Obviously, it is the latter. An appeals process is a key part of teacher evaluations, without it, teachers cannot stand up to unfair, immoral or illegal practices that negatively affect the people they serve.
Those who know me know, I can be critical of the UFT (leadership). In this case, I applaud them tremendously for taking a stand on this and I hope they do not fold in this new round of negotiations. Teacher protections protect children, our interests are aligned. The overwhelming majority of teachers are working tremendously hard for our kids. For those that need support, we can make them better. For those that should choose another career (and let's remember in reality this is a very, very small number of folks, not the majority as the rhetoric out there makes it seem), we can fire them. What we cannot do is sacrifice a protection for a teacher to act in the best interest of a child or colleague over the objections or threats of a politically motivated principal or Department of Education.
Philip Nobile with a comment at Gotham Schools:
I was at the DA in 2009 when Mulgrew explained his sellout on the 20%. The UFT had always been opposed to linking test scores with teacher ratings. Leo Casey took a very hardline. I remember a seminar at 52 Broadway during which he tied a tin can on the idea. Nevertheless, without consulting the rank-in-file on this momentous labor policy shift, Mulgrew signed a “peace in our time” pact with SED. He told the DA that the 20% solution was necessary to secure Race to Top money and that things could have been worse. He took a bow for resisting SED’s preference for a floor of 40% , now resurrected by Cuomo and King. You don’t have to be Tom Paine to wish that Mulgrew had taken a stand before the slope got slippery.