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Chancellor Walcott Says School Programs Will Be Cut If New Teacher Evaluations Aren't OK'd

Walcott says that more than $250 million in state aid is on the line.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says that if the teacher’s union can’t agree to a new teacher evaluation system, then cuts will have to be made to staff, as well as music, art and sports programs, according to the New York Post.

Walcott has even moved the deadline for the new city guidelines to be in place forward to Dec. 21, almost a full month before Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said they should be instituted.

If an agreement can’t be reach, city schools would lose out on 4 percent of state aid, or more than $250 million, says the Post.

“The current system makes it impossible to distinguish great teaching from good, good from fair, and fair from poor,” Walcott said on Wednesday, according to the paper.

Currently, 40 percent of a teacher’s grade comes from student test scores, and 60 percent from principal observations.

United Federation of Teachers head Michael Mulgrew says that Walcott and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are “playing politics with our schools” with threatening the loss of state aid.

SAM December 07, 2012 at 12:09 PM
So me being a first grade teacher with no standardized testing for my students, how do they plan to evaluate me? Based off what criteria? This is a witch hunt and we all know it. How can people who have NO experience in the classroom make these guidelines for professionals? I'm lucky I have a great administration who I believe will fairly rate me however I've worked in schools where administrators don't like teachers who speak up and truly have the best interest of their students in mind. There has to be a better way to do this.
Marc December 07, 2012 at 02:30 PM
It is disappointing that the Patch will repeat a NY Post story without examining the bias in the reporting. The Post wants to help the Mayor break the Teachers union. The Post wants to make this a simple black and white argument. Test scores good, unions bad for resisting them, when this is really a much more complicated argument. I and others have written about this on the blog, Ed in the Apple and I would recommend those who are interested in the real discussion to go there and read (http://mets2006.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/teacher-evaluation-a-view-from-the-field/) What's really at issue here is whether teaching, a very complex activity, can be reduced and measured by a simplistic formula which relies heavily on flawed test scores. The answer is to look at the school progress reports where schools go from A to F within a year and then bounce back. Bloomberg and his minions wanted to close 24 schools last year because they were abysmal failures and could not be rescued. This year 17 of them got As with no change in leadership, staff or any new support from the DOE. This is an example of why we can't make significant decisions about schools (or teachers) based on test scores. The Bloomberg administration doesn't talk about this and can't explain it. The question is not about State Aid tomorrow. The question that anyone interested in schools should be asking is whether we want this Mayor to use his flawed systems to impact schooling for the next two decades?
Ekayani Chamberlin December 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Penalize the children..and teachers AGAIN?? WTF? And i thought The Wire was just a TV show. My God shame on Chancellor Wolcott to even bring this up as a threat!
Lynette December 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Bed-Stuy Teacher AGREES!!!!!!!
John Yanno December 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM
What a scam Walcott is pulling. The DOE long-ago decided to put the money that could be used to save cash-starved programs into useless programs no one wanted (ARIS, TDRs, Group Merit Pay programs, etc.). Walcott is using the media to scare parents into supporting an evaluation system that will put more and more emphasis on teaching to the test (meaning schools will cut the programs he is talking about in favor of test-prep). Don't believe his hype!

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