Monday, January 09, 2017

UFT Executive Board January 9, 2017

Secretary Howard Schoor—welcomes us,

Approval of minutes—accepted.

President’s Report—Mulgrew is in Albany.

Schoor—Mark Twain said "No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legistlature is in session."

Staff director’s reportLeRoy Barr—Mayor’s committee met, will meet again this week, will come back with reservation. Will be video series on Black History Month at 52. Will show movie 13, discussion about A. Phillip Randolph and something on Shirley Chisolm.

Says Cuomo spoke positively on education. Speaks of Randi Weingarten’s speech, against DeVos. Next EB the 23rd. DA January 18th.


Jonathan HalabiNew Action—We have an issue with a principal, Sean Mengar, came in as Teaching Fellow at Truman, became principal in NE Bronx. Among worst turnover, 50%, much untenured staff, Sent all staff home one day except new teachers, discontinued large portion of staff.

I was horrified to see this principal’s picture on subway wall as model, place by DOE and Teaching Fellows. Can we stop this?

—We didn’t have approval, of course. I’m concerned about what’s going on at the school. Please inform me so we can investigate. We are focusing on a group of schools to bring to attention of DOE

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—I recall coming here to vote on an evaluation system, and Bloomberg scuttling it. I don’t recall being asked to vote on any subsequent agreement. I would like to know how many rank and file directly affected by this agreement had a voice in crafting it. I know high school reps on this body weren’t surveyed or asked anything whatsoever.

This notwithstanding, it’s likely there would be a broad consensus among membership for fewer observations than we currently require. It might make sense, and certainly would in a large school like mine, for administrators to adhere to the state minimum of two, and reserve further observations for members in need of support. I grant this will be unlikely to help in cases with supervisors who are insane lunatics, but that is another discussion.

Are MOTP revisions coming, and if so will we be consulted, and how?

—will be report later, you may ask questions.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—  What about immigrant liaison and paid parental leave?

Schoor—nothing on liaisons, no union has negotiated paid parental leave as of yet. They cannot impose system on us as they did for non-union employees. First union to agree with set a pattern. Right now they are saving money when we go on leave. We would prefer to set our own pattern.

Gupta—Are we advocation for paid family leave or parental leave?

Schoor—We will get, likely, what they’ve offered others.

Amy Arundell—This is parental leave.

Mike Schirtzer
MORE—I asked about ICT classes out of compliance. Do you have any data and is there anything we can do?

Carmen Alvarez—DOE doesn’t exactly track it. We may do surveys of our own. We’re trying to figure it out and work with DOE.

Schirtzer—How many complaints have been filed?

—We can do general numbers, but complaints confidential.

Amy Arundell—Update on evaluation.

UFT has prepared an evaluation guide, emailed link to members. Guide covers evaluation system for next 6 months. We will prepare a more comprehensive guide for next school year. We have offered CL meetings to update them. Began last week. 80 CLs came to 52. Have trainings in other boroughs this week. We have 450-500 CLs getting info. Also providing training in districts, for CLs who can’t attend otherwise.

Feedback generally positive. Questions about matrix and MOSL.

We cover changes to MOTP for 2017-18 school year. We’ve tweaked options three and four. Rank and file wants to know why option 4 unavailable to them. 3 for HE and 4 for E. 4 now available to HE and E.

We’re not interested in reducing number of for stakes observations. Principals are. Does everyone remember drive bys with S and U? We wanted to overrule people giving judgments based on little data. We want to hold admin accountable. States that answers my question.

Jackie Bennett

Will be guidance on MOTP. Many things will stay the same. Guidance is coming and selections will be easier because there will be only one measure. Our final scoring is better because now we have the matrix, and benefit of doubt that will push people higher.

There is a question about an asterisk. Law gave us two options and we opted for lower stakes. If you use a certain option it will be more rigorous. This is only if you choose optional learning measure—simpler and lower stakes. E and H combinations gave you E. They will now give you H.

State tried to correct for that. In NY, 3.25 or up was H. State law tried to counterbalance that by raising 3.25 to 3.5 or up. That was, like other things, an attempt to reduce the number of HE teachers. We don’t think it will have much of an effect. State would have allowed for difference between E and D to move to 2.75 but we kept it at 2.5. That was crucial to us.

There is less than 1% ineffective in NYC. We don’t expect that to go up. We expect that teachers will now get benefit of doubt.

Schoor—Peer validator has been successful

Mike Shirtzer--MORE—You said people got one or two drive bys in past. We know most locals got two. Was there any consultation? For those teaching 20 years, why 4, why not two?

Arundell—I’m not sure it’s a waste of time. We now require observable evidence. We get many arbitrary and capricious reports overturned. We’ve raised bar. With very few rules it was worse, now you can’t make it up. More teachers are engaging and pushing back. Level of discussion around teaching in my estimation is that we’re shifting how we thing, people empowered. Research shows people observed more bet better ratings.

Schoor—This is negotiated. Not UFT’s plan. We don’t get everything we want. CSA also wanted fewer observations.

Ellen Driesen—D28 rep—I want to support Amy. ESL teacher used what she learned in DOE training. Admin marked her lower for it. Went back in with training info and rating was changed. Win for her.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE--I didn’t simply ask for fewer observations. I asked for fewer when well-rated people didn’t need more. Also, I’ve seen evidence of supervisors making things up. Wouldn’t be actionable until I rating. In fact they can make it up.

Jonathan Halabi—New Action--What percentage are getting D?

—About 7%

—Many D will go to E. Expects decrease, but doesn’t want to predict.

Schoor—Used to represent people with U ratings. Principal would go first, say they stand on the record, though there was nothing in teacher’s file. I’d say nothing was in the file, there was no documentation. That used to happen. They can’t do that anymore. 
Reports from districts

George Altomare
—On Saturday February 11th social studies conference. We have an excellent honoree, pres of  central labor council.  Would like good showing. If you can’t make it, please get some really good social studies teachers.

Glad to hear there was bargaining. In 1962 when we had just won first election, we were ready to negotiate. Didn’t have collective bargaining. On January 10, 1962, no one had ever been to 10th floor Livingston St. We went in and there was this long oak table. When we walked in that room, we sat on one side and faced others with equal power, not because they gave it to us, but because we earned it.

Think of that anniversary. It’s something you can’t buy or get any other way than fighting for it.

Legislative Report

Paul Egan

Cuomo looking more friendly. Special election in Bronx.

LeRoy Barr—requests we vote on NYSUT resolutions as block.

Zika virus, ELLs, Consent education, opposing constitutional convention, new teacher induction. We’ve done them before.

Schoor—favor of voting as six—no opposition.

Barr—Speaks to them. 500 cases of Zika in NYC, 50 in pregnant women. Appropriate instruction for ELLs. Support consent ed.—1 in 5 women, 1 in 59 men reported rape. Constitutional convention—urge no vote—Respect for All—communities have suffered hate, locals will show support—Meaningful new teacher induction.

—asks vote.Passes.

Janella Hinds—Resolution on scoring of Regents. Should be in school, not outside of school. Exams have been lost. Inconvenient to students. Time and money wasted. There is another way. We are pushing DOE to change policy.

Mike SchirtzerMORE--I am sent out regularly. Depends on leadership structure in building. Some places have been good, others disasters. We know we can grade one another’s Regents. All US History exams last year were graded per session. We would like to add a resolved, that CLs stay in schools and represent visiting scorers until this is fixed.

Hinds—Important that we have union representation in all sites. Informally, we visit sites, and ID CLs in site. Would be dangerous to support this because we are not responsible for assigning members to sites. We do not have authority to do that, though it is important we have representation. We, the UFT, do not assign people. We may negotiate it but cannot mandate it.

Stuart Kaplan—Agrees with Janella.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action--Resolution important. There are state standards but not state curriculum. Geometry taught differently school to school. Have seen kids marked wrong for doing things not accepted in their schools. This is a big deal, teachers and students hurt by this.

We should endorse home school CL supporting everyone in building. Have run into difficulties with crazy APs imposing stupid regulations. We need representation in buildings.

We should support this and perhaps modify it. Reps are great, but there for short time

Eliu Lara—All DRs go around and cover every single site. Strange for people to say there is no representation. We have borough offices. We have nothing to do locally on Regents days. Opposes change.

Vote on Schirtzer amendments—fails on party lines

Resolution passes.

We are adjourned.
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