Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Teacher Evaluation--Not Quite Better than Nothing, but...

That quote and photo are of everyone's favorite evaluation expert, Charlotte Danielson. Evidently, after having taken tons of cash for her system, she disapproves of it. Of course, so do I. While her framework may have been helpful as a guide, it has reduced evaluation to exactly what she claims to be troubled by.

This notwithstanding, it looks like we have an evaluation agreement. I'm of the opinion that we ought not to be evaluated this year, but my powers over space and time are limited. ESSA says we need a federal waiver to avoid this, and that's not happening, especially given Biden's failure to waive testing. We'd also need a waiver from Cuomo, and that doesn't appear forthcoming either.

I've read several accounts saying we ought to approach Cuomo and ask. While that wouldn't hurt, neither would it be productive. First, it fails to consider that we need the federal waiver. Second, even a weakened Cuomo would not sign it. What's in it for him? Are we going to fight to keep him in office? I can't speak for leadership, but I've never voted for Andrew Cuomo. He's the first Democrat I ever declined to support. That's because, on his very first term, he ran on a platform of going after unions. I thought, with Democrats like that, why do we even need Republicans?

As if that's not enough, he enabled the IDC, the Democrats who effectively gave Republicans control of the Senate. He's taken suitcases of cash from charter supporters and whored himself out for Eva Moskowitz. And the allegations against him now make him seem even worse than we knew him to be. Sure, he's stood with us and helped us from time to time, but that was only to contrast himself with Donald Trump. Unlike his dad, who likely lost his job over a principled stand against the death penalty, Andrew seems to have no discernible moral center.

Despite his problems, I don't see how helping us benefits him. It would likely mean we'd have to defend him somehow. I'd vomit in my mouth if I thought we were supporting him at this juncture. And even if we did, I don't think it would make much difference. There'd be a story in the NY Post about how Cuomo was in the pocket of the UFT, and we'd still lack the federal waiver. 

Given all that, I don't see how we slip out of evaluation. So if we have to have it, what should it look like? Right now, it appears that anyone who's had a satisfactory walkthrough is finished for the year. In our school, earlier in the year, I got a lot of email from teachers wondering why supervisors were coming in to see them. There's no evaluation system, so why bother? I kept telling them that that these walkthroughs could not be evaluative, and couldn't be used against them, so there was no reason to worry.

Now it appears that they will count only if they were effective or higher, and all or most of the teachers who complained are done for the year. In my building, that means that evaluation is largely over. I was a little upset with the principal for sending all those supervisors to monitor us, but they do have the right to watch us teach, virtually or otherwise.

Now I'm getting email saying that Ms. Supervisor observed me, said it was fine, gave me a few suggestions, and does that count as an observation. I have to answer probably, since I can't read Ms. Supervisor's mind just yet. It looks like a whole lot of people who complained in the past are relieved in the present.

Given that March 2020 has raged on for 368 days and counting, this is probably the best result we could get. I'm not sure, given the evident impossibility of waivers, what could have been better negotiated. It's not better than nothing, but short of that, it's better than anything I can think of.

blog comments powered by Disqus