Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chancellor Dennis Walcott rightly vows to give back $60 million if union won’t agree on teacher evaluations

Kudos to Dennis Walcott for standing strong on a NYC teacher evaluation system:

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has committed to surrender $60 million in federal school improvement grants unless he and the teachers union have agreed by the end of the year on a pilot system for evaluating teacher performance. Good call.

In supporting Walcott's decision, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and state Education Commissioner John King are mounting a welcome, unified push to compel the United Federation of Teachers to implement smart new assessments for its members.

…These 33 turnaround schools are supposed to be the leading edge of a citywide program of holding teachers accountable for how well the students in their charge actually learn.

But union President Michael Mulgrew — who agreed in writing to negotiate an evaluation system — is balking.

As a result of the union's refusal to make basic compromises with the city, principals tasked with revamping their schools' culture and curriculum — who should have been able to devote several weeks before the academic year began to orient teachers — had just one day.

School support organizations that should have been on the job months ago have only just begun to provide badly needed assistance. And there's no new teacher evaluation system to speak of.

The bottom line is that the kids at those 33 schools — who have enough obstacles in their paths already — are not getting the help they need. And they won't get it until the UFT fulfills its much-trumpeted commitment to help develop a truly professional teacher evaluation system.

Shameful. Just shameful.

Here's Michael Myers' comment on this article:


Why need the teachers' union prez "agree" to negotiate a teacher evaulation system? Either management has teacher assessment as a matter of management's rights or the teachers union is obliged to negotiate the terms and conditions of its members' employment. Either way, management--the Mayor and Schools boss--is overdue for getting tough. Do not sign a contract without it! By 2011, we should be far beyond a mere "pilot" program for evaluating teachers, in part, on their pupils' academic performance or lack thereof. Whatever the size of a public school--big or small--it is past time the era of "professional development" gave way to fairly evaluating (and rewarding great teachers)--and firing ineffective teachers.


Michael Meyers, New York Civil Rights Coalition 


Chancellor Dennis Walcott rightly vows to give back $60 million if union won't agree on teacher evaluations 

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew balks, and kids at 33 turnaround schools could pay the price


Originally Published: Sunday, November 13 2011, 4:00 AM

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott set a hard deadline for beginning data-driven teacher evaluations in the city.

 Subscribe in a reader