Monday, Jul 28, 2014 12:13 am est

Teacher evaluation stalemate continues despite rising stakes

Posted on February 6, 2013 | by Lesley Greenberg

Since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg failed to reach an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers regarding teacher evaluations by the Jan. 17 deadline, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has threatened to step in and take over.

By missing this deadline, New York City schools lost $250 million in state education aid, and they stand to lose another $200 million in federal aid if an agreement is not made by September.

The federal aid is part of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program designed to create teacher evaluations that are more meaningful, making it easier to rid schools of ineffective teachers. The New York State legislature approved broad outlines for the new evaluation system, with 20 percent of a teacher’s rating based on students’ growth on state tests, 20 percent on local measures and the remaining 60 percent on classroom observations.

Professor Mark Alter, who teaches educational psychology at NYU, agrees with the state’s outlines.

“I understand the need for acc-ountability in teaching, but I truly believe evaluating teachers by standardized tests will not eliminate the bad teachers but ironica-lly punish the ones who often work the hardest,” he said.

NYU educational psychology professor Jay Gottlieb has a similar view.

“Teachers should be evaluated by having multiple knowledgeable observers conduct multiple observations of a set of lessons,” he said. “There should be some a priori agreement on what type of pedagogy and classroom management practices the observers would like to see or what they expect.”

Unfortunately, the city and the UFT have yet to come to an agreement. In mid-January, after the Department of Education declined to help mediate the talks, UFT President Michael Mulgrew responded with a public statement.

“The city’s blind rejection of outside help in resolving these remaining issues is unexplainable and poses a serious threat to our ability to reach an agreement before Thursday’s deadline,” he said.

After failing to meet that deadline, Mayor Bloomberg blamed the UFT.

“Instead of working with us to tie up loose ends of this agreement, [the UFT has] continued to insert unrelated, extraneous issues in these negotiations. The effect was to set the talks back, time and time again,” he said in a Jan. 17 press release.

According to the press release, the deal fell apart because the UFT demanded a sunset clause for June 2015, allowing for renegotiation after that date. The clause was not granted.

Although the New York City school system has until September to come up with its own agreement, the UFT is not against state involvement.

“I welcome Governor Cuomo’s involvement, and while we would prefer a negotiated settlement, it’s good to know that should the talks fail again, people who actually understand education will be part of the decision-making process,” Mulgrew said in a statement.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 6 print edition. Lesley Greenberg is a staff writer. Email her at cstate@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next