Check Jeff Kaufman and James Eterno's extensive report on the ICE blog where they also cover details of the pension agreement. In a future post I will focus on the UFT hypocrisy on high stakes testing and how the task force spent a year meeting, issue a report on the evils of high stakes testing and then strikes a deal which codifies the very opposite. What was the task force all about? PR for the members.
Come to the open ICE meeting Friday, Oct. 19 at 4:30 at Murray Bergtraum HS.
These issues will be discussed in depth with the goal of publishing an analysis.
The Teacher View
by Michal Fiorillo Chapter Leader, Newcomers High School posted to ICE-mail
At this afternoon's Delegate Assembly, Randi once again demonstrated her tactical brilliance in manipulating and jamming the members she purportedly represents, while conducting strategically catastrophic negotiations for those same members. Coupling a 55-25 pension deal - which must be passed by the state legislature to go into effect - with school-wide merit pay will provide for immediate division among members in the schools, while benefiting an ever-diminishing number of teachers who can somehow survive their middle and senior professional years without being U'd, ATR'ed, Rubber Roomed and disposed of.
Couching this agreement with Bloomberg as a firewall that will prevent individual merit pay from coming to NYC, Randi has negotiated a plan that enshrines and institutionalizes high-stakes tests, provides incentives for cheating and gaming the exams, and places schools that refuse to participate in greater danger of being closed or reorganized. It also mandates private funding of the merit-pay process, increasing the de facto privatization, of policy if not management, being facilitated in New York City by the UFT.
Today's DA was a disgraceful episode, in which a fundamental trade union ethic - equal pay for equal work - was pitted against another apple pie union demand, pension improvement. But for someone like me, a ten year teacher who still has memories of a pre-Business Model system, reaching twenty years seems more and more like a mirage. Sure, Randi can claim that she's gotten more money, but ever fewer of us will live to see it. After all, these people think the schools can be staffed with a combination of upscale Peace Corps/Missionary resume polishers and foreign temps.
While I had to bitterly marvel at her mastery of the dark arts, the meeting was yet another demoralizing UFT spectacle. Nevertheless, I plan to go work tomorrow and teach, and begin to educate my colleagues to reject this blood money deal.
The Parent View
Leonie Haimson in a post to the nyceducationnews listserve:
See the new $20 million program of teacher merit pay announced today, based on school “performance” which in this case means test scores.
For why this system of rewards will be unfair – and counterproductive for our neediest students -- see the blog entry from Sept. 4 here:
“For all these reasons and more, the new accountability initiative [and this new system of bonuses] may work to impoverish all of our students and schools – while punishing those who need our help the most.”
Class Size Matters