Sunday, November 8, 2009

Did Mulgrew Abandon ALL UFT Resistance to Judging Teachers On Student Data?

This Gotham Schools report on the Tisch/Moskowitz/Mulgrew/Williams panel last week had a few tidbits:

Tisch calls on charters to take on city’s worst high schools

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch yesterday called on city charter school operators to move away from elementary education and take on the problems of fixing large failing high schools.

Speaking at Hunter College, Tisch said that charter schools have benefited from being the political “darlings” of the city and state, blessed with the most qualified teachers and some of the highest-achieving students. Instead, Tisch said, charter schools need to branch out to serve more struggling high school students, English language learners and special education students.

Tisch also said that she was confident that the ban on linking student achievement data to teacher tenure decisions, a state law observers speculate may disqualify the state from the competition, would not be renewed after it sunsets in June. “I do not believe there is an appetite legislatively to extend or prolong that law,” Tisch said.

Mulgrew, the president of the teachers union which originally fought for the insertion of the law into the state budget, did not contradict Tisch’s projection.

We have always maintained that the law was a farce in the first place because an nontenured teacher can be let go for a bad haircut. The law gave no real protection but was all about PR from the union to the members. So Mulgrew's abandonment of the law means nothing. What needs to be questioned was the strategy in the first place, a strategy that wasted political capital and became a national issue used by the ed deformers to attack the power of teacher unions. If you are going to get slammed anyway, then try to get a law that really provides protection.

Then there is the other contradictions on the part of the UFT when it comes to narrow data being used to measure teachers and schools. Support for merit pay, even if not for individual teachers - yet! The UFT cooperation in the Gates project to come up with ways to measure teachers (they say beyond standardized testing) will lead to that anyway.


  1. At least Weingarten had an excuse for not having any balls.

  2. We want to know:
    what concessions will UFT President Mulgrew make on student test performance and teacher pay and tenure during contract negotiations?
    Will he speak up and say that teachers are not the exclusive determinant of student performance (other factors including variations of challenges of students' home environments and students' own effort)?


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