New York City teachers will now have additional protections and opportunities to play a larger role in the development of the measures used to rate them. Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s desire for a “gotcha” system, as Commissioner King noted today, New York City “is not going to fire its way to academic success.”The precise measures of student learning established by this ruling will be in effect unless and until they are altered in collective bargaining with the new Mayor who takes office in seven months.As the UFT requested, there will now be additional arbitration slots that will allow teachers to challenge any violations by supervisors of the new evaluation process before they reach the stage of actual ratings.The state has also ruled that teachers will be evaluated on all aspects of the Danielson framework, as the UFT had proposed, in opposition to the DOE’s insistence that fewer measures be used.In individual schools, teachers will have an equal say with administrators on the committee that will recommend the instruments that each school will use.Despite the Mayor’s claims to the contrary, the major components of the new statewide system – such as the four categories of Highly Effective, Effective, Developing and Ineffective – are part of the statute or are regulations; as such, have never been subject to “sunset;” they can be changed by the Legislature or the Commissioner.
After a full day of arbitration yesterday, CSA and DOE reached an agreement on an APPR Plan for Principals. This deal was reached late last night with the strong intervention of Commissioner King, and finalizes the agreement we were on the verge of signing in January. We are pleased to report that our agreement is consistent and reliable as it preserves many of the same tools our Principals are accustomed to while at the same time substantially improving our due process protections and safeguards. For the first time, we’ve negotiated a true yearlong improvement plan for any Principal rated “developing” or “ineffective” with regular cycles of feedback from superintendents. Additionally, we negotiated a strong appeals process, including the step of an independent hearing officer. Our rating scales will continue to yield the differentiated results that our Principal Performance Review has had in the past. We look forward to the implementation of this agreement and will have more details this week.