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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jeff Kaufman on The New Evaluation Plan, the Scam


This is Jeff:
Direct Vimeo link:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Danielson: What We Lost – The Lesson Plan


While the ink is drying on John King’s decision and our Union touts how great Danielson is as an evaluative tool it is becoming clearer just how much our current contract was changed without a single vote from one of our members. Of course there is much that will be decided and practice may be implemented in different ways in different schools but there are some changes which could cause major problems to future employment.

Under 8E of our contract a lesson plan is for the use of the teacher. Who knows what we gave up to get this provision in our contract but it was important enough to stop principals from routinely collecting lesson plans or forcing teachers to spend punishment time creating documents. An extraordinary example of the abuse was when a bilingual Chinese teacher who wrote her lesson plans in Chinese was given a letter to her file because the principal could not read the plan and would not allow her to translate it.
Similarly a more experienced teacher who has good command of her pedagogy need not write down every aspect of a lesson to demonstrate good planning where a newer teacher might need some prompts. It’s like going to a good friend’s house who has just moved upstate. The first visit you put his address in MapQuest and follow the detailed turns. By the fifth visit you’ve figured out shortcuts and don’t need a map.

Lesson planning is essential to effective teaching. Danielson recognizes this in Domain 1. But evidence of good lesson planning is how the lesson is preformed, not in a piece of paper a supervisor must rate you on.

Under Danielson 2 out of our 22 rated components specifically deal with the lesson plan, component 1e and 1f. Under component 1e, the lesson plan is mentioned as part of a teacher’s design for coherent instruction. Here a highly effective teacher will have a lesson plan that “clearly indicates the concepts taught in the last few lessons” and that “the teacher plans for his students to link the current lesson outcomes to those they previously learned." An effective teacher “reviews lesson plans with her principal; they are well structured, with pacing times and activities clearly indicated.” An ineffective “teacher’s lesson plans are written on sticky notes in his grade book.” Source: Danielson 2013 Rubric-Adapted to New York Department of Education Framework for Teaching Components.

Similarly, component 1f, designing student assessments, appears to evaluate a lesson plan based on how well it “indicates correspondence between assessments and instructional outcomes.”

To be clear, both before King and Danielson and after King and Danielson you need a plan. It’s just now the plan is not for the teacher and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve driven to your friend’s house; you better have a copy of the turn by turn directions or you may be rated ineffective.

Posted by Jeff Kaufman at 6/16/2013 08:08:00 AM

1 comment:

NYC Educator said...
I get your point, and agree completely. I'm told there is a union-initiated grievance against this nonsense, for whatever it's worth.
    From Betsy Combier: Did UFT President Mike Mulgrew bargain away the rights of UFT members in order to hide his own alleged misconduct? Jeff called for accountability:
    ‘Sex coverup’ with counselor should force UFT President Mulgrew out: foes By REUVEN FENTON, ANTONIO ANTENUCCI and YOAV GONEN, NY POST
    Posted: 1:02 AM, May 21, 2012
      He needs to be taught a lesson!
      An outraged UFT chapter leader yesterday called on union boss Michael Mulgrew to step down if he traded away his members’ rights to school officials who hushed up his alleged classroom affair with a guidance counselor.
      The startling accusations came in a federal lawsuit filed in Suffolk County that names Mulgrew, the United Federation of Teachers, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
      Jeff Kaufman, a union chapter leader at Aspirations Diploma HS in Brooklyn, said he and other teachers “would expect him to resign’’ if he’s guilty.
      WOE! Then-guidance counselor Emelina Camacho-Mendez allegedly had sex with UFT chief Michael Mulgrew (above) at Grady HS in 2005.
      Daniel Shapiro
      WOE! Then-guidance counselor Emelina Camacho-Mendez allegedly had sex with UFT chief Michael Mulgrew (above) at Grady HS in 2005.
      Michael Hicks
      Michael Hicks
      Grady HS
      Grady HS
      Kaufman, an outspoken member of a faction that opposes Mulgrew, said, “We have an election next year, when a group of us will be mounting a battle to unseat him, and if we find there’s anything suggesting any proof to the allegations — that he gave up something to suppress the story — we’ll be all over him for it.
      “The question is whether stories like that were suppressed and something was given for it.’’
      The suit by Manhattan math teacher and union member Andrew Ostrowsky claims Mulgrew had sex with colleague Emelina Camacho-Mendez in the woodshop at William Grady HS in Brooklyn in 2005 when they both were working there.
      It charges he and his predecessor, Randi Weingarten, who was grooming him for the top job, gave away their members’ hard-won protections in contract talks with the city to keep the tryst quiet.
      “All of a sudden Mulgrew was sitting at the table . . . Most people didn’t even know who he was,” said Kaufman. “He just slipped in as VP, and then it was just a matter of time before he absorbed the presidency.”
      Mulgrew became UFT president in 2009 when Weingarten took over as head of the American Federation of Teachers. Anti-Mulgrew activists say the married Camacho-Mendez was also rewarded.
      They pointed to a series of cushy union gigs that Camacho-Mendez landed — despite having no background or training in labor relations.
      When Mulgrew became a district rep, she was given a part-time union job in addition to her guidance gig. As her mentor moved up in union ranks, she followed him.
      She eventually became a full-time union employe and was named liaison for special education.
      Mulgrew’s opponents said her “patronage’’ jobs are proof the union cares more about sustaining itself than about fighting to protect its members.
      Even a former UFT staffer was outraged.
      “I’m hoping this story eats away at the belief or the reliance on Michael Mulgrew that he is indeed putting members first,’’ said parent advocate Betsy Combier. “I think it certainly lends itself to people thinking maybe he’s not — so that has to hurt him at the next election.”
      Mulgrew dismissed the lawsuit in an e-mail to union members, noting it was filed Joy Hochstadt, “an attorney who has previously been sanctioned and fined for bringing frivolous legal action.”
      “It is unworthy of serious consideration, and our attorneys will be making that point to the court.’’
      In 2010, Hochstadt was fined $21,000 for filing a suit with “numerous causes of action without any basis in law [or] fact.’’
      Weingarten said, “We live in a country where people are allowed to file crazy lawsuits. I’ve read through the allegations, and while they could be part of some fictional novel, they are utterly baseless in fact.”
      Even Hochstadt admits she doesn’t have hard proof that Mulgrew and the counselor were caught in the act — or that an investigation was thwarted by union horse-trading with the city.
      “Everyone has only hearsay knowledge, but almost everyone in the school talked about it,” the suit reads.
      But it insists, “Mulgrew was embroiled in a meretricious scandal for which anyone else would have been fired, ending his career as an educator,” the suit claims.
      Additional reporting by Julia Marsh and Dan MacLeod