Watching from a distance. NY teacher evaluation blows up. Updated.
New York’s bully-boy Mayor.
Watching from a distance, I responded with a smile when I heard that the negotiations over teacher evaluations between the UFT and New York’s Mayor Bloomberg blew up yesterday.
Governor Cuomo had put a deadline for an agreement to evaluate teachers based on student test scores, a stupid idea to be sure.
We’ve covered that territory before.
Cuomo threatened that without an agreement the city schools would be denied $250 million.
Now some in the NY press are screaming that the teachers (read the Union) cost the schools all that money.
Not that $250 million is chump change. But really it is.
It’s probably not much more than the total value of all of Bloomberg’s homes.
Here’s a question: Why should adequate funding of New York’s public schools be dependent on an evaluation agreement between Bloomberg and the teachers?
NY teachers have been without a contract since 2009, before Bloomberg’s re-election.
Many of my NY friends were justifiably concerned that UFT President Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership would cave to the bully-boy Mayor on this.
You can read UFT leader Leo Casey’s description of the bargaining here.
Maybe we can thank Bloomberg for being too big a jerk for even that to happen.
NY’s Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) which organized a street protest of the deal yesterday, said :
The passing of the January 17 deadline for a new evaluation agreement is not an ending but a beginning. Now the DOE will work overtime to spin doctor the failure to reach an agreement on new teacher evaluations, mandated by New York State’s version of Race to the Top, as the fault of Michael Mulgrew and union leadership. This despite the fact that every indication shows it was Bloomberg who failed to negotiate in good faith.
While we applaud the UFT leadership for standing their ground, the MORE Caucus has no intention of giving up the fight to prevent our teachers and students from being given over to the standardized testing regime. We know there will be efforts in the future to convert our schools into low-level thinking factories and our teachers into low-skilled, low-paid bureaucratic functionaries.