Monday, May 18, 2015

UFT Wants Independent Evaluator To Count For MORE Than Anyone Else In the State

Have you ever wondered from where where the phrase 'The Devil is in the Details" comes? I mean we all know it and most folks have used it at least once, but have you ever stopped to wonder who first used it? I do (does that make me strange?). Read to the end of the post and I'll give you an explanation.

In the meantime, the devil was in Albany today. He was at the NYS Board of Regents meeting. The regents were all discussing how to implement the new teacher evaluation system. Among the several topics they considered? Just exactly how much should the observations from the "Independent Evaluator" be worth?

(Just a brief review. Under this new law, observations will be worth only 50% of our overall score. Of that 50%, the observations from our AP or principal will be worth a  certain portion and the observations from this newly created independent evaluator will be worth another certain portion. How much each of those portions will be has yet to be determined and that's what they talked about today)

The NYS BoR, you see, gets to determine it. They do this by asking the different stakeholders (the major unions, school districts and large organizations) what they think. They board make a decision.

As it so happens, a teacher-parent-advocate from Ulster County, and steering committee member of NYSAPE, was was there watching the proceedings and Bianca Tanis noticed something interesting.  It seems the UFT wants these evaluators to count for as much as 25% of that portion.

That's more than even the NYCDOE wants it to count!

The NYCDOE would like this independent evaluator to count for 20% of the observation (aka 'subjective') portion of the evaluation. The UFT wants it to count for as much as 25%! Compare this with NYSUT who wants it to count for no more than 5% (2.5% of a teacher's overall rating) and you just may realize that my local -the UFT- wants this independent evaluator disaster more than any other group in the state. Below is the picture Ms. Tanis took detailing what each of the largest organizations in the state would like to see.

NYSUT: "1-5" NYCDOE: "5-20" UFT:"1-25"

The UFT stated repeatedly that they were opposed to the governor's new evaluation system plan? Opposed? It looks to me like the UFT got just what it wanted! The UFT wants independent evaluators -those strangers who walk into our classroom to tell us whether or not we're good teachers- to be worth one quarter of or observation score. 

UFT to teachers: Drop Dead.

Anyway, give up on the phrase? Most places I checked credited 19th Century French Writer  Gustave Flaubert. Apparently, he once wrote that 'God' is in the details and that the phrase evolved to 'devil' over time.  

That's a lot like the UFT. It once was a union that fought for protections for teachers in New York City and the union evolved over time --into a reform organization that is fully funded by teachers through their dues.   


  1. Nothing should surprise us anymore in this game of life that politics play with people's lives on a daily basis.

  2. the UFT is a criminal organization
    if teachers can go to jail for RACKETEERING why can't union reps and "officials"?

  3. Get the word out, time for change, not talk.