Now we're facing an evaluation system substantially based on junk science. Though the crisis of teacher evaluation is wholly manufactured by reformy types like our esteemed mayor, Unity/ New Action bought into it and decided we needed to participate in Bill Gates' MET program, designed to mold Bill's vision of junk science into reality. We were promised that junk science ratings would be completely confidential so that we could ignore them in the privacy of our own homes. Instead, Bloomberg broke yet another promise to the union and successfully urged papers to sue to make them public. As a result, Murdoch's Post blared headlines about the worst teachers in the city, based on ratings with 50-80% margins of error.
Now, Unity/ New Action boasts that we have less junk science than other municipalities. This, supposedly is an accomplishment to be proud of. Their reps tell us that maybe we'll earn a good junk science grade and that it will therefore be tougher for a principal to fire us for no reason. This is akin to advising us to smoke because we may not get cancer.
If you don't see VAM as enough of a cancer to worry you, there's more. A column in today's Gotham Schools quotes people suggesting the end of step pay may be inevitable. What does this suggest? It suggests, of course, that the reformy wet dream of merit pay may be coming to NYC. Now it's not surprising to hear reformy types making such suggestions, so that in itself is not altogether worrisome.
What is disturbing is when Peter Goodman, the only significant Unity/ New Action voice on the blogosphere, agrees:
The days of automatic step and seniority increase may morph into other negotiated metrics.Surviving will require nimble union leadership.