Monday, February 20, 2012

New Evaluation System and Public Perception

Just got off the phone with a retired teacher, a person who has been out of the system quite a while and only knows what she reads in the papers.  She was under the impression that the new evaluation system was not so bad as only 20% of the evaluation would be based on scores.  We talked about several of the really bad teachers we knew in the past and she thought this would be a way to get them out of the schools. Of course she forgot about the few administrators who actually did their jobs correctly and got the bad ones out.  Most were just too lazy to do the work required.  A system was always in place to remove ineffective teachers.

It took less than two minutes to set her straight.  She didn't know that 20% was really two grades of 20% or 40% and she didn't know about he Principal's 60% that could override everything.  And, when I told her the 60% meant nothing if the teacher didn't make the 40%, a light went off.  You see, she retired from the math department at Packemin and remembers all the things Mr. AP did to her.  (This teacher currently teaches at the same college I teach at and is loved by the students and the administration.)  Her comment, "Oh my G-d, he will have a field day getting rid of people."  As for the 40% scores, she said, "Watch how the classes will now be stacked.  He did it before when it meant nothing."

The public has been fed a bunch of false and misleading information, scapegoating teachers for all the ills in society.  The general public has bought into it.  Right now, it is a terrible time to be a teacher and, if I hadn't retired last year, I would be handing in my papers now, instead of writing this.  I discourage young people from entering the profession as it is no longer a career to grow old in and to perfect and it is no longer one that is respected.  Giving 200% of yourself means nothing anymore in the entire scheme of things.  If an individual who has been through the system didn't see through this new evaluation system, how will others not so close get informed correctly?

Times will change and the economy will improve.  As in the past, bright young people will no longer go in for teaching. The city will have to go back to foreign countries to recruit teachers again.  But, no one cares.  A body in front of the room is all the politicians want.  Our kids aren't worthy of quality teachers.  If they were, this system used to determine effectiveness would not be in place.


Anonymous said...

So true. The public knows so little of what is happening. I post links to my facebook to the truth and make it clear that this affects anyone who has a child or someone they dearly care for in any public school in the state. Hardly anyone reads or leaves a comment. It is maddening and very depressing. I realize everyone has their own problems but this truly affects so many of us. I am at a loss of what to do besides continue to try to attempt to spread the truth to family, friends and colleagues who know so little. Be well!

Anonymous said...

I love the picture to this post..ironic since hopes and dreams are gone or will soon be gone..

The way this country has been going after not just the teachers but public sector workers in this country makes me sick to my stomach. Nothing seems to be improving in the US or NYS. New York Legislature can not agree on anything. The bully Cuomo wants to take over the legislative branch and have complete control of Albany. This is too depressing beyond words..nothing seems to be improving for the people who are hurting the most in this country.

**The people who are benefiting the most in this country, are the wealthy. Since New York is a place where the rich get only richer and everyone else gets lost in the shuffle.

reality-based educator said...

The NYSUT and the UFT are to blame for this.

You expect Cuomo and Bloomberg and the hedge fund managers/education reformers and the NYSED and the Regents and even the corporate media to lie about the true weight of test scores in the new evaluation system.

But not only have the NYSUT and the UFT agreed to this garbage, they refuse to tell the truth about the true weight of test scores in the system.

Test scores will be THE determining factor in the new evals.

Come up "ineffective" on that measure and the other stuff - the classroom observations and all the other things Iannuzzi and Mulgrew are crowing about - won't matter much.

Most of the teachers in my building were not aware of the particulars of the deal.

Even after I made them aware, there were still some who didn't believe it, since Mulgrew had said nothing about it in his Friday morning email.

Well, they'll get the real deal when the system is in place.

The reform side and the union will not be able to hide it then.

Cara Boutkids said...

Under the picture of "Hopes & Dreams," your subtitle should read "Hoops & Drones."

Because that's what U.S. teachers have to jump through, & that is what they are expected to become.