SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Transparency From UFT on Observations and Evaluations Negotiations Is a Must!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Transparency From UFT on Observations and Evaluations Negotiations Is a Must!

So we are almost at the end of the year and it is safe to say that no one has had an official observation or evaluation as of yet. Yes, administrators can pop in on teachers either virtually or in person any time they wish to. I welcome such informal "pop ins." This virtual teaching is new to all of us and I would welcome a second set of eyes and ears. This is what observations
should be about. Helping a teacher grow. 

But of course, using APPR in these times is like trying to fit a round peg into a too small square hole. There is no way to measure student progress. The Regents have been canceled and there is no way, no how that there will be standardized testing this year. So what to do?

Look to our union and its leadership for direction and for having our backs unconditionally. 

WTF did I just say? I think the cleaning solution emanating from the kitchen is affecting my brain. 

At the DA of December 16 Mike Mulgrew was asked what is going on with observations.

His response started off well...

There are no observations, and there is no APPR. State has said will be done through collective bargaining. DOE wants to use S and U system. 

OK, what is wrong with that? The state has shown wisdom and left it up to each district and it's bargaining partner to come to an agreement. That's how it should be. As for the S or U, yes it can be manipulated, but I'll accept it. 

Numbers tell us that's not great. When you use authentic student learning, not standardized testing, teachers are better off. 

Describe actual student learning instead of standardized testing. How then are we better off? What about the rest of the crap teachers who fall under APPR are subject to? That can be easily manipulated. And what numbers are we talking about? Specifics please. 

We get thousands of Us because people had fights with admin

Yeah, and thousands of ineffectives and  developings because people had fights with admins. Best way to end shitty observations and evaluations at the hands of admins? Start making them accountable for lying, cheating, and bullshitting on evaluations. 

We want to figure out a baseline of authentic learning, only for this year. Will only be used this year. None at this point.

So we are, or rather, the UFT along with the DOE will figure out what is authentic learning? Is there a baseline to figure out how to get a baseline of what authentic learning is? Is it not possible that authentic learning will look different in classes which are face to face than remote? Or even devices used in remote learning? For instance, I am sure the students at an elementary school in Riverdale have all the latest laptops with all the bells, whistles, and doo dads. The students in the South Bronx are stuck with shitty, shitty iPads. 

May finish by early January

A deal might be in place by the end of January? Will teachers be allowed to have any input? Will teachers be allowed to vote on such a deal? 

But say if there is a deal. With February coming next what with it being a short month and a vacation to boot, evaluations probably won't commence until March. Is that fair to the hard working teachers to have their careers and livelihoods judged for such a short amount of teaching? It'll be less than eighty instructional days to judge teachers on some makeshift, never before tried evaluation system. Geez, it might be longer than March for the first observations. Administrators will have to be trained, no? 

And what is the rush to have this by the end of January? The DOE wants it? FUCK THEM! How often do we want something and the DOE slow walks it, takes their sweet ass time? Let's turn the tables. Slow walk this. Wait until May to come to an agreement. 

We also need protocols, with people demanding things from online classrooms.

Good answer. We do need protocols. We need guardrails. What are they going to be?

We have silliness of demands they get access as a teacher into my classroom. What that tells me is admin is incompetent. If it's a school program, they have access and don't know how to run their own programs.

And these silly demands can creep into an evaluation agreement. This is what keeps teachers up at night. That incompetent admins that will put into practice a makeshift, never before tried evaluation system. Teachers really don't  trust the UFT not to cave to the DOE's whims. 

Let's do something different. Agree with the DOE and CSA that it is verkakte out there and try something new. No observations or evaluations. Let's think outside the box. Let's have true collaboration for the remainder of the year. Teachers and admins we can get together and sing Kumbaya and work together as a team to do what's right for the students and the communities of our schools. 

Know what the UFT can do? Be transparent. Why can't the UFT share with us along every step of the way the process of it's negotiations with the DOE? Why wait for a once a month meeting in which only by the grace of luck, someone asks Mulgrew a question about observations and evaluations?

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