MORE Petition for Moratorium on NYC Teacher Evaluation System

September 2, 2013 — 26 Comments
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26 responses to MORE Petition for Moratorium on NYC Teacher Evaluation System


    Well expressed; let’s roll !


    Done. n/t

    Paul V. Hogan


    After reading this Post I have many questions. As a NYC teacher under the old evaluation system, how is the old system any better then the Evaluation system we are looking at? I teach at a school where many of my colleagues teach without ever being observed, yet our Principal gave half of the staff a U, after only observing some of them once. One teacher got a U because they didnt post the HW on the Board. It seems to me with the new Evaluation System Principals will have to be held more accountable, if not please explain to me how they wouldn’t be more accountable under this new system. As for the State exams, isn’t it based on the growth of Student Learning not the grade? I know many teachers who teach elementary school who suffered greatly when their students did not pass state exams. If the Evaluation is based on growth aren’t teachers then evaluated on the skills their students are learning not the actual grade the student receives? I would think as a teacher all students grow through the year. Doesn’t that mean instead of basing acheivement on a grade, the achievement is based on the amount those students learned? I have no issue being evaluated but I want to be evaluated fairly. I actually feel better about this because my Principal has to visit my classroom. From what I have been told they are required to give me feedback and support, and the rubric they observe me under is open ended, this is what I was told. If I’m wrong please explain how the old system was better then this one.


      Dave, you are living in a dream world if you think this new system will offer support and objectivity to teachers. And no one is saying the old system was better. You are correct on that point: the old system was anti-teacher as well, and many teachers suffered under it. We are saying the new system is WORSE: much more work and much more punitive. It gives administrators and the DOE much more power to attack teachers. Every teacher worth their salt wants their students to grow. But to base our JOBS on some anti-scientific model of growth is the worst kind of pedagogy imaginable. It’s worse than “1984.” You are posing some devil’s advocate questions to protect someone’s position. If we knew your last name, might you belong to UNITY caucus? I ask because it was the UNITY caucus of the UFT who helped negotiate that deal, and who are now working overtime to try to convince teachers this new evaluation system will help teachers. Watch to see how it hurts us, our profession, and most of all, our students, who do want to grow. But this new system, instead of providing teachers more help to do a better job (such as hiring more teachers), will require more draconian measures that actually take way from our students’ learning, restricting learning to what the DOE and their puppet mastes want to measure on myopically designed tests.


      In the new system, the principal just needs to do four fifteen minute drive by observations and can rate anyone 1 on all of the areas in the Danielson framework and there is your ineffective rating. Feedback can be oral such as a meeting in the hall where the principal says he/she didn’t like any of what you did on any of the domains from Danielson.

      If people were being rated U based on one observation or less under the old system, they should have grieved the observation if it did not follow procedures (a pre and a post observation conference) and then asked for help. If the assistance was not forthcoming, then the person had no business getting a U and they certainly would not have had to worry about being fired if they were tenured.

      As for the test scores being fair, the margins for error are so huge that the system has been termed junk science.

      From James Eterno


    Diane Ravitch also has called this junk science. From a 2012 blog entry,

    The eminent mathematician John Ewing, who is the president of Math for America, wrote a concise and slashing attack on the misuse of mathematics in value-added methodology. He writes about how teachers in Los Angeles were bullied by journalists who ranked them and then confronted them with their low scores. The journalists warned that value-added should not rely on a single measure, but they themselves relied on a single measure to create their rankings.

    Ewing says that the public is being subjected to “mathematical intimidation” by policymakers and education “experts,” and that mathematicians have a duty to speak out and tell them to stop misusing their field for political ends.


    In my fourteenth year of teaching, I was not expecting to be treated quite this way. This new evaluation system, simply put, fosters a climate of fear for all teachers in all NYC public schools, and its negative effect on morale will only serve to ruin the education system as we know it. I find the entire action to be disrespectful, deplorable, and cannot begin to imagine the the detrimental effect it will have on my life, the lives of my colleagues, and the futures of the children we see every day throughout the school year. Action must be taken immediately if we are to survive these bullying tactics at all.


    Has anyone gotten the mayoral candidates on the record about the moratorium in advance of Tuesday’s primary?


    Don’t worry all my brother mike Schirtzer will run things and make the system right.Moore baby there’s where it at


    I went to a 7 hour training on the Danielson Framework, which will be used to evaluate teachers Citywide across all grades. This is a very detailed, specific way of grading a teacher. There are four main components and then an additional 6 or 7 subcomponents. The people who ran the training were not in anyway knowledgeable about the NYC Public School system, our teachers or our kids.

    If you think I’m any wiser after the training, I’m not. In fact, it is so convoluted, it makes one have to read it over and over and over again, just to go back and do the same. The number of points for each subcategory was never broken down for us.

    The majority of our time was spent on looking at an examples of the four components.

    I left thinking, OMG, there are going to be thousands of heads rolling. We, the teachers in NYC, who are dedicated and work so hard each and everyday, love our kids, love what we do will not be mills churning out robots. These high stakes tests will kill the creativity, the spontaneity, the giggles and guffaws, the questions, the analysis, the ideas, the spark that takes place in our classrooms everyday.

    I’m afraid that we will suffocate our children with testing, testing and more testing.

    My son has just entered 3rd grade and I fear that he will be overburdened with testing. His love of learning, the sparkle in his eyes when he wakes up, puts on his uniform and heads to school with the appetite for be excited by his new teacher, his ability to speak publicly and honestly about his ideas and opinions, will all be lost forever. I don’t want his teacher to be so overburdened that she loses the desire to teach her students.

    On the other side of the equation is me. I’m a teacher. I’m an ATR. This is my third school year. The idea of entering a classroom, lacking the professional development that I should have received over the last three years, versus the actual PD I received, two technology workshops, and a Danielson Framework workshop, I feel petrified by the idea of getting back into the saddle. There is so much to know. I have attempted to try and teach myself as much as I can. Traveling from one school to another, week-to-week, each year takes a toll on your sanity, health, and ability to be ready for the high stakes testing preparation.

    I’m currently at my first school, where the ATRs float for a month. The school is pretty organized, the principal is a nice person, outwardly anyway. I don’t know anything about him other than my first impressions. I was at the first day’s meeting, which spoke to the Danielson Framework. I was stupefied by how little was said about it. Afterall, I did receive a 7 hour workshop to try to get to know it better. However, at this traveling school, the local measure that they use for each license area varied. If you are a gym teacher at the school, your local measure, 20 points of your overall score will be based on the Science Regents Scores. If you are a language teacher, your local score is based on the English Regents. And so on an so forth…OMG! Not one person made a comment or complained. Not one! Yikes!

    The teachers were handed the Danielson Framework and were encouraged to read it. Who has time to read it, let alone apply it. Really? I know that the administrators of this school and all of the schools around the City and around the State will also find it hard to score each teacher with certainty. You also have to factor in the “I like the teacher” or “I don’t like the teacher” component. As well as the “I want to get rid of my superior, more senior, tenured teachers, and replace them with the newbies straight out of the Academy, because I can and because my budget dictates who I can afford.”

    Oh, an so everyone is clear, the teachers who are being observed this year will not know their “grade” until next school year. Yes, that’s right, your rating will come in September of 2014, right before your kids come back to school. CRAZY! Right?

    As an ATR, while I will not be observed under this new Evaluation System, I will have to do a CCSS lesson in order to receive an “S” rating. Last school year, I had help in creating a lesson based on the CCSS. The lesson was used with a group of kids that I had only met for two days. Thank god the kids loved me. Thank god we had a short but strong rapport. If it hadn’t have been that way, I would have received a “U” for the year.

    When you travel from school to school, and you are asked to teach a lesson to kids you have no real relationship with, it is taxing to say the least. It is troubling to most of us travelers because the kids usually treat you like their enemy and will do anything to make you crazy. When I say anything, I mean anything. Kids will curse you out, threaten you with bodily harm, assault you outright, run around the room, take out their electronics, intruders will sit in your room the whole period because you don’t know that they don’t belong in your classroom. In most cases, the teachers do not leave behind emergency lesson plans. In most cases, you will not be prepared for the class. Your job is to keep order and to keep yourself safe.

    There are some good schools out there, but the kids know that you are an outsider and that what you do or say means nothing!

    So, how are ATRs then folded into the CCSS and Danielson? Your guess is as good as mine.

    So, to sum up, I’m against high stakes testing, and will probably boycott it, the Danielson Framework only works in an ideal world not anywhere near where we teach, and being an ATR, traveling from school to school is hard enough, add to that an observation for the year, and it’s mighty scary.


      >>>I left thinking, OMG, there are going to be thousands of heads rolling. We, the teachers in NYC, who are dedicated and work so hard each and everyday, love our kids, love what we do will not be mills churning out robots. .>>>>

      Danielson… at least as implemented by DOE…. is pedagogical nonsense. As bad as it sounds it’s actually worse in practice. My school was in a UFT-approved Danielson pilot in 2011-12. What you fear most — great teachers being micromanaged and stressed to the point of breaking, being rated ineffective for political and economic reasons by non-teachers wielding a gimmicky pseudo-scientific rubric — is exactly what’s going to happen.

      I lobbied the UFT to do something about the blatant contract violations that Danielson entailed ( and there are many) but was ignored and/or bullshitted to death. The union’s studied inaction on Danielson remains unexplained and inexplicable. Very, very strange.
      Very, very curious.


    It’s about time! Was losing faith in the union!


    The knowledge іs really helpful.


    My call to action: NO TEACHER LEFT BEHIND!!!


    Above all….NO TEACHER LEFT BEHIND!!!!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Petition-Moratorium on New Evaluations « Movement of Rank and File Educators - September 4, 2013

    […] please email [email protected] Petition is available to be signed online at Please share  this link on your social media. Please sign only once (either hard copy or […]

  2. “Advance” – The Movie « Movement of Rank and File Educators - September 7, 2013

    […] Please sign MORE’s petition calling for a moratorium of the new teacher evaluation system Online here Print and circulate at your school […]

  3. Signt MORE’s Petition Against NYC Teacher Evals | The official website of the PJSTA - September 12, 2013

    […] Our friends at the MORE Caucus have begun to circulate a petition calling for a moratorium on the new teacher evaluation system in New York City.  The PJSTA stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from MORE and opposes any teacher evaluation system based upon standardized test scores.  Please take a moment to sign their petition. […]

  4. General Meeting and Brunch « Movement of Rank and File Educators - September 16, 2013

    […] of the UFT, is building a movement, and we need your support.  This fall, we’re focused on petitioning for a moratorium to end the hastily created, inaccurate NYC teacher evaluation plan, based on faulty data from […]

  5. How New York City Can Rid Themselves of the Race to the Top Evaluations | Assailed Teacher - October 1, 2013

    […] the things about this system that can be changed at the local level. We can start by signing the petition being passed around by […]

  6. My Evening at the UFT Delegate Assembly | Assailed Teacher - October 10, 2013

    […] is not any doubt that the UFT designed this call for moratorium in response to MORE, whose online petition has collected thousands of signatures in less than a month. This is a victory of sorts for MORE, […]

  7. Take a Chapter Vote to Endorse the Moratorium! « Movement of Rank and File Educators - November 13, 2013

    […] way to support MORE’s work is by asking your school’s UFT chapter to vote on endorsing our petition for a moratorium on the new “Advance” teacher evaluation […]

  8. Why I think the UFT should REALLY fight “Advance” (Part 2): Speaking Up at the Delegate Assembly « Movement of Rank and File Educators - December 4, 2013

    […] education deform movement.” Continue this conversation with your colleagues, sign our petition, come to a meeting, contact us, or come celebrate with us at our holiday party this […]

  9. THIS Is Our Moment! « Movement of Rank and File Educators - February 24, 2014

    […] parents, and supporters of quality public education to introduce a resolution calling for a moratorium on using High Stakes Testing to evaluate teachers. UNITY staffers attempted to blend in with MORE […]

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