Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tenure Extensions Lead to Growing Disaffection of Young Teachers - What Say You E4E, TFA?

And now it's some of the high-quality, newer recruits - the same ones the administration was trying to save from layoffs - that are being pushed to other careers or jobs elsewhere because of the crackdown. Department of Education officials haven't released numbers but acknowledge that they expect an increase in extended probation periods after setting out new standards last November. --- Rachel Monahan, Daily News
E4E ought to come out with a public statement decrying the process, if their members feel it is invalid. --- Leonie Haimson
Isn't this process what E4E was advocating? They just didn't think it would affect them. - ---Diane Ravitch
Yeah, funny how folks' criteria become much more thoughtful and sophisticated when it is their job on the block.  --- jmb
We have been predicting for months that the numbers of teachers leaving the system will be much higher than predicted based on sources in the schools who told us teachers who were told how good they and ended up having tenure extended were outraged enough to walk away from a system more dysfunctional than anything experienced under the old status quo.

Numbers we are hearing are that 50% of 3rd year teachers did not get tenure or were extended. I hear FDR HS in Brooklyn only gave tenure to 4 out of 16 (or was it 20?) teachers.

Don't underestimate the importance of the Daily News stories by Rachel Monahan, who has been on this case for a month or more - we've been waiting for these reports but Rachel probably had to wait until the official results are in. Philissa Cramer of Gotham Schools also has been on the case.

We have no such qualms about waiting for facts and have been hearing for the last two months on the growing denial/extension to a 4th year of tenure. This will turn into bad news for both the DOE and their allies in Educators 4 Excellence and Teach for America.
 "The irony is that a lot of these teachers were teachers that the city paid millions of dollars ... to recruit," he [Mulgrew] noted, referring to Teaching Fellows and Teach for America.
Mulgrew must have had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Do you think the UFT is rushing out to help these teachers out?

Wasn't it just a short time ago we heard from Wallslug and Bloomcrud and yes E4E about how important it was to end tenure and seniority protections to keep these excellent (because they are TFA and young) teachers?

There are some interesting nuggets. Rachel went to Aspirations HS in Brooklyn a few weeks ago to talk to Chapter Leader Jeff Kaufman and some of the teachers. Jeff has been keeping us informed  about some of the goings on at the school, where a young principal (other sources beyond Jeff who knew him at Columbus HS and other venues describe him an asshole) recruited lots of TFA teachers, who basically helped run the school. The principal pushed Educators 4 Excellence with the staff and many supported E4E - initially. He hired almost all young women and used to call them Matt's Harem. Nice. What does E4E, which organized a mixer for Matt's Harem think of that? (Read Jeff's account: Up Close and Personal With An Opposition and his follow-up analysis of the E4E lies and misdirections: “White Paper” on a Roll: How Ed Deformers Distort ...  Also his piece  on how some of the E4E and TFA people began to show their union consciousness: UFT Chapter at Aspirations HS Stops Charter School...

Some people think Jeff has been off-line but he has been doing the scut work of basic chapter organizing.

Rachel writes:
At Aspirations High School in Brooklyn, three of the school's founding teachers, all recruited through Teach for America or Teaching Fellows, were told they need to serve another year before being considered for tenure. They say none had been observed in the three years since they arrived at the school, even though it's a requirement for tenure. At a meeting with a superintendent, they said they were told that because the school received an F on the high-stakes report cards, they should not expect tenure. The teachers say the decision is galling because they helped build the new small school over the last three years, filling in the gaps for a principal who was new to the job - and who has decided to leave after this year. He didn't respond to requests for comment.
Jeff has told me so many goodies about the whole scene there. The role the UFT played through slimeball Distict Rep Charlie Turner and HS VP Leo Casey in their attempt to undermine Jeff is a classic story - I have the emails somewhere but I may do a video interview with Jeff to flesh out the whole story.

Philissa wrote:  but there's more to this story than it reveals
At Aspirations High School in East New York, many teachers did not have any formal observations from their principal, teachers said. None of the eight Aspirations teachers up for tenure this year received it; instead, their probationary periods were extended.
One of them, Samantha Love, said she had finished her third year at the transfer high school with increasing confidence in her abilities. Following the city’s new guidelines, she put together a portfolio that included detailed statistics about her students’ Regents exam passing rates; evidence that she had improved her instruction; and proof that she helped run the school, even earning thousands of dollars in grants to buy supplies and pay for a class trip to Washington, D.C.
But she learned that she did not receive tenure the same day she turned in the portfolio, before the school’s superintendent could have reviewed it. Jeff Kaufman, the teachers union chapter leader at Aspirations, said the extensions came as a surprise because the principal never told the teachers their tenure was in jeopardy.
Love and Kaufman say Aspirations teachers were told that they were not eligible for tenure because their school received an F on its most recent progress report — one of just nine high schools to do so.
In fact, the city does not have a policy of prohibiting tenure for teachers in F-rated schools, Mittenthal said.
Along with some of her colleagues, Love and other teachers at Aspirations are members of Educators 4 Excellence, the group of young teachers that advocates for tougher evaluations and changes to layoff rules. “I do believe we should be examining our personal effectiveness, and I don’t think [tenure] should just be a given,” she said. “But the way the process is being carried out is not an objective assessment.”
Duh, Samnatha! Not an objective assessment? Your group admits there are no value-added models that are fair but still advocates for using them. What about the unfair U-ratings given to so many people in just as an unfair manner? The leaders of E4E admits there might be unfair U-ratings but so what if some innocent people get chopped.

Come on Samantha, when do you stop showing your love of E4E, which has been caught with its pants down. Is it possible that even E4E's Ruben Brosbe, who blogs at Gotham, was either denied or extended tenure, as SBS is reporting -  Is Th-Th-Th-That All Ruben? Go tell E4E to issue a statement on where they stand on tenure denials. E4E has invited people to
Spend your summer break with E4E! We will be hosting events throughout July and August. Join us on Wednesday, July 13 for the first in a series of roundtable policy discussions on different issues.
  • What: Roundtable Discussion on Teacher and Principal Evaluations (Dinner will be provided)
  • Where: E4E's offices at 333 W. 39th Street, Suite 703
  • When: Wednesday, July 13 from 6:30 - 8:00pm
  • RSVP: Join us for the summer's first roundtable discussion!

 Hey, free food on E4E. All you have to do is sign the pledge in blood.

No wonder TFA wants go get their people out of the schools in two years before objective reality hits so they can go off spouting how much they know about fixing education. They become tenure bashers before having to go through the process themselves. I haven't talked to one teacher whether TFA or not who doesn't want tenure and the protections it offers them.

The bottom line is the principal who pushed E4E to his staff and recruited all these teachers lied to them about why he had to deny them tenure and screwed them in the end. I'll do another post on the Aspirations story after I speak to Jeff. Here are some more comments on the tenure situation:

Leonie Haimson:
Definitely the case that fewer teachers are getting tenure and many are being delayed with third years…Superintendents are often the ones deciding tenure (belying principal autonomy) and they have been told by Tweed only to allow a certain number in schools each year. Lots of good teachers are very disaffected and say they will go elsewhere -  they are sick of being abused by a system that does not accord them the respect they are due.
NYC Educator had some comments: Tenuous Tenure in NYC

Retired UFT Bronx District Rep Lynne Winderbaum said:
I have yet to see any sign that the Department of Education gives a darn if they retain teachers or not. They do not believe this is a skilled profession and, regardless of what they say, promote the sense that anyone can teach and teachers are totally replaceable. They are indifferent to the loss of talent be it veterans or idealistic new teachers. I swear they think they can maintain the same standard of instruction no matter how much they abuse and disrespect their teaching staff and how many leave.
They are wrong. But it no longer matters in this system.
Read Daily News article:

And Gotham piece:

Instead of giving or denying tenure, city is deferring decisions (click headline for original article)

Look for an upcoming post about a great venture from a new group of young teachers:
New Teacher Underground
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.


Anonymous said...

So Bloomberg could not stand to layoff these newbie wonderkids yet they keep them in pergatory for a few more years? You are right the system is dysfunctional from top to top.

Anonymous said...

Well it seems as if payback is a bitch. As the old adage, "Do unto others as others do onto you". (This quote is directed towards any e4e member).