Adam, what were you thinking when you signed this?
Historically, observations were supposed to help support the teacher. Teaching in the 21st Century outlined the process to be used, with Component A and Component B, pre- and post observation feedback and reports, and never anything put into your personnel file that was unsigned.
See ARTICLE TWENTY-ONE: DUE PROCESS AND REVIEW PROCEDURES in the
UFT Contract (see p. 110):
I think it is astonishing that Adam Ross, the Attorney for the UFT , would sign away a right that is clearly given to all members in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
By the way, no one wanted me to see this letter, above. I was the paralegal at a 3020-a, and I and the private Attorney I was working with submitted a Motion To Dismiss Any Unsigned Documents from the hearing. The DOE Attorney, Nicole Andrade, argued that this could not happen, because the UFT agreed to the submission of unsigned documents. I really did not believe this. We asked to see this agreement, and the Arbitrator ordered that we get a copy. That's how the letter got into my possession.
Article 21 of the CBA A(1) requires the removal of any and all documents submitted to 3020-a Arbitration and/or a personnel file which do not have the signature, or protest, written by the Respondent teacher on the document. Without any signature or protest by the Respondent, the Arbitrator at a 3020-a must assume that the Respondent never received the document under review. If the Respondent did not see the document requested by the Department to be placed into evidence, the document must not be allowed into evidence, as placing such a document into evidence would be a violation of not only the CBA, but also Respondent's right to due process.
Arbitration supports the mandate of the CBA and State Law which requires Arbitrators to determine whether the requirements of due process and just cause were met before, and after, the employee was disciplined or charged.
Arbitration has informal rules of evidence which are designed to allow both parties wide latitude in bringing forth facts to present their side of the story, however the CBA contains language which prohibits the arbitrator from looking beyond the contract. The most important point made here is, that due process requires that Respondent be informed of the charges made against him/her and his/her pedagogy, and then be provided with reasonable access to material that could be used in his/her defense.
Do you have a peer validator coming to see you? Be ready. They do what their name suggests, they validate the "whatever" your administrator has said/written about you.
And then there is this:
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 5:28 PM
Subject: Peer Validator Program
Based on current records of your 2013-14 overall Annual Professional Performance Review rating, you will be assigned a Peer Validator during school year 2014-15.
The Peer Validator program is a joint initiative of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) that exists as part of Advance, our teacher evaluation and development system. This program, which is new this school year, provides all teachers who received an overall Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) rating of “Ineffective” (Safety Net Result, if applicable) for the 2013-14 school year with a Peer Validator in the 2014-15 school year. The Peer Validator’s job is to independently evaluate a teacher’s classroom performance.
Peer Validators are trained New York City teachers who are assigned to the Division of Teaching and Learning. Each Peer Validator applied to work in the program and met qualifications consistent with the terms set forth in the DOE’s collective bargaining agreement with UFT. They were selected for the position by a hiring committee comprised of DOE and UFT representatives. Each teacher who is assigned a Peer Validator will receive three unannounced, full-period classroom observations. The Peer Validator will assess teacher practice based on components 2a, 2d, 3b, 3c and 3d of the Danielson Framework for Teaching. The Peer Validator will not communicate with you or your school’s administration about the APPR process. His/her role is to observe you in your classroom, in order to provide an independent assessment of the Measures of Teacher Practice component of the APPR. The Peer Validator cannot disclose his/her ratings for any observation until the annual rating period is over, at which point both you and your lead evaluator will be provided with copies of the three completed Peer Validator observation reports.
The following answers to frequently asked questions will help you to understand more about this program and how it supports you:
1. Why was the Peer Validator program created?
New York State Education Law 3012-c requires that Independent Validators be assigned to teachers who received an overall APPR rating of “Ineffective” in a school year who were not rated “Ineffective” the year prior. As part of the DOE-UFT contract agreement this summer, the Independent Validators were replaced with Peer Validators, in recognition of the skills and abilities of teachers who work within our schools.
2. What do Peer Validators do?
Peer Validators perform their work entirely independent of the school-based evaluation process. They confer with neither teachers nor their supervisors during the program year. Visits are unannounced for both the school and the teacher. Peer Validators do not have access to any historical information regarding the teachers who they are observing. Finally, they do not disclose their ratings for any observation until the annual rating period is over, at which point both lead evaluator and teachers are provided with copies of the three completed observation reports.
Peer Validators provide teachers being served by the program with three independent and unannounced observation visits to their classrooms. The observations must occur at least 20 school days apart. During those visits, the Peer Validator takes notes of what she/he sees and hears, and develops observation ratings for components 2a, 2d, 3b, 3c and 3d using the same process and tools that school-based evaluators do.
3. What should I expect during a Peer Validator visit?
Each Peer Validator observation will be unannounced and last a full period. When the Peer Validator comes to your classroom, she/he will greet you and give you a copy of this letter. She/he will then observe and take detailed notes. As is also true for school-based evaluators, she/he may circulate around the classroom, examine student work, confer with students and take photographs unobtrusively. When the observation is concluded, the Peer Validator will leave. Other than the initial greeting, there is no communication between the teacher and Peer Validator.
If you have additional questions about the Peer Validator program, please contact the Advance Support Team at AdvanceSupport@schools.nyc.gov<mailto:AdvanceSupport@schools.nyc.gov>.
- The Advance Support Team
6. TEACHER EVALUATION/PEER VALIDATOR
Teacher Practice Rubric
Videotaping and Photographing
Courses That Are Not Annualized
Rules Regarding Measures of Student Learning
Growth Model Conversion Charts
Measures of Student Learning Options
Friday, February 17, 2012
Carol Burris, principal, on the new NY State teacher evaluation plan announced yesterday
Carol is the courageous Long Island principal who co-authored the letter, signed onto by one third of all NY State principals, protesting the NYS teacher evaluation system. Her follow-up article for the Washington Post Answer Sheet was called, “Forging ahead with a nutty teacher evaluation plan.”