I came equipped with research. Carol Burris (LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL ON THE NEW EVALUATION SYSTEM & CONTRACT) and Gary Rubinstein (VAM gets Slammed: Teacher Evaluation Not A Game of Chance). A principal and a teacher who point out the junk science of VAM and the entire ed eval process. It is interesting that when you bring up the deficiencies of VAM you get doubletalk (from Randi/AFT/Mulgrew/UFT) or blank states (E4E).
Well, I'm happy to report that all I got as I spoke to the UFT Exec Bd were E4E-like blank stares. Here is an audio of what I said.
Also uploaded at: http://youtu.be/jMXcMK3Ve20
I suspect the UFT will cave, despite my attempt to buck up their spines.
I heard one report about a visit from some UFT officials who were using the Walcott/Bloomberg threat of layoffs as a wedge to weasel out of standing firm. I mean why should WalBloom have to do the heavy lifting when they have the UFT leadership to do it for them? Look for them to be in your school soon selling the same old song. RBE at Perdido St. School has a good take on these threats (Walcott's Threats To Fire Guidance Counselors And Social Workers, Cut Programs "Unconscionable") where he concludes:
I am of the opinion that the UFT leadership, having already caved to the governor last February on this crap, will cave to Chancellor Walcott come late December.RBE's prediction is coming sooner than even he thought. Expect a visit soon to your school to soften the blow. Of course the UFT leadership has to do all this as the UFT election season is about to open, which gives me a sneaky suspicion they may use Sandy as an excuse to push the election timetable back a few months to give things time to settle while they send their Unity troops into the schools to "splain" things. I mean, do they really want ballots going out a week or 2 after the disappearance of the Feb. break?
What they ought to be doing is framing the issue exactly the way NYC Educator framed the issue here - the UFT wants a fair, rigorous evaluation of teachers, not a system that is rigged, inaccurate and baseless.
Unfortunately they've been letting Walcott and the corporate reform-friendly editorialists frame the issue for them.
So I suspect they will come to the membership in a couple of weeks and say "Gee, we wanted to hold out for a better system, but we were getting killed in the papers and we just couldn't allow Walcott and Bloomberg to put through these cuts, so welcome to APPRville."
I rarely even bother going to UFT Exec Bd meetings because talking to Unity clones is such a waste of time. But they have this time at the beginning of the meeting where any member can call in advance and get time to speak, a practice initiated by an email exchange I had about 8 years ago with Randi Weingarten where I suggested a bigger role for members at these meetings but which she turned into a basically useless exercise for people to vent at an EBrd that is not interested in listening. I was the first to use this venting time and did so repeatedly until I finally gave it up – for religious reasons - I was worried I would violate the "Shou not kill" commandment. Or I had to stay home to do my hair. At the very least, I used to get a good meal out of going to these meetings. Actually, in some sense of irony, they held their meetings on the same days that the PEP met and I actually had more fun razzing Uncle Joel than Randi, so I shifted my activities to the PEP even though you couldn't get a cookie -- and at that time was the only one from the UFT there other than a few other stray teachers.
Well, after I spoke this past Monday to zero reaction, I made sure to eat, which after all was my original purpose in going. Well, I have been suffering from some heart burn recently but the mashed potatoes and pasta went down OK, though that giant, slathered with greasy sauce rib was a bit much -- and a bit much on my shirt too (if I ever eat without getting stuff on my clothes I'm throwing a party.) I went to get dessert and the meeting ended before I came back. Did Mendel want to get home to see the giant game? Well so did I. The long trip on the train to my car in Brooklyn and the rest of the way home was fine. The Giant game was fine until it wasn't. And at the moment things began to go downhill for Eli, my stomach began to go downhill too. And then the headache came. And the chills and cold sweat and a full night of barfing -- every time I thought of that giant saucy rib I had to run off to toss. Finally I got some real sleep early in the morning and spent most of Tuesday achy and sleepy. I went to sleep at 4PM and went through the night, waking up Weds. at 8AM, real late for me. Hell, I need to be up early as I still have sheet rock to blast.
My wife is convinced something was put in my food while I was speaking and the blank stares were really smirks at knowing what I was in for. She thinks I should take a food taster if I ever go back to an Exec Bd meeting. Hmmm, I hope she isn't getting any ideas.
Back to reality: Check out
Arthur Goldstein on Schoolbook:
No Value in Value Added
Critics beat the drums against any kind of value-added metric in a final deal on teacher evaluations despite an assumption by both department officials and union leaders that some percentage of a teacher's performance review will be based on student test scores and other measurements. Read More »
From the invaluable Bruce Baker of Rutgers. See esp. letter from NYSED below, approving a district teacher evaluation plan but then threatening to impose a “corrective action” plan if any component of its evaluation system, either its 20% based on local “assessments or the 60% based on observation etc does not does not “correlate” highly with a teacher’s growth scores, based on the state exams. These growth scores have already found by the consulting company that devised them to be biased against educators who teach kids with low prior scores.In order, test scores do trump all. With this pronouncement, no rational teacher or principal should want to work in a school with a high-poverty population, or teach low-scoring kids, and/or students with disabilities. A bigger disincentive could not be devised to work in high-needs schools – exactly the opposite of the ostensible goals of the so-called “reform” movement.schoolfinance101 posted: "This post is a follow up on two recent previous posts in which I first criticized consultants to the State of New York for finding substantial patterns of bias in their estimates of principal (correction: School Aggregate) and teacher (correction: Classro"
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New post on School Finance 101
It’s time to just say NO! More thoughts on the NY State Tchr Eval System
This post is a follow up on two recent previous posts in which I first criticized consultants to the State of New York for finding substantial patterns of bias in their estimates of principal (correction: School Aggregate) and teacher (correction: Classroom aggregate) median growth percentile scores but still declaring those scores to be fair and accurate, and next criticized the Chancellor of the Board of Regents for her editorial attempting to strong-arm NYC to move forward on an evaluation system adopting those flawed metrics - and declaring the metrics to be "objective" (implying both fair and accurate).
Despite the model conditioning on prior year test scores, schools and teachers with students who had higher prior year test scores, on average, had higher MGPs. Teachers of classes with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students had lower MGPs. (p. 1)
The model selected to estimate growth scores for New York State provides a fair and accurate method for estimating individual teacher and principal effectiveness based on specific regulatory requirements for a “growth model” in the 2011-2012 school year. p. 40
The student-growth scores provided by the state for teacher evaluations are adjusted for factors such as students who are English Language Learners, students with disabilities and students living in poverty. When used right, growth data from student assessments provide an objective measurement of student achievement and, by extension, teacher performance.