January 18, 2013

UPDATE: Failure to reach #NYCeval agreement is a "tremendous loss"

As teacher evaluation talks continue between New York City's district and union, check below for updates and links to recent articles. For the latest information and to take action, visit our Twitter feed or E4E.org/NYCeval.

January 18, 2013 1:25 p.m.

Failure to reach evaluation agreement is a "tremendous loss", says E4E-NY Executive Director Jonathan Schleifer

NEW YORK - Yesterday, New York's district and union failed to reach an agreement on teacher evaluations by the January 17 deadline. Successful talks would have led to the district keeping $250 million in funds for New York City teachers and students.

Jonathan shows that yesterday's failure to reach a deal is a "tremendous loss" for the city's schools:

Statement from Jonathan Schleifer, Executive Director of Educators 4 Excellence-New York, on failure to co... by

January 18, 2013 11:40 a.m.

E4E-New York member Zeynep Memecan: 'Both sides' want the same thing

Failed evaluation talks widely denounced

Original article in WNYC/The New York Times' SchoolBook by Patricia Willens.

As the details and opposing versions of the failed negotiations emerge, it seems there is enough blame to go around. Education officials, teachers, editorial writers and others lambasted both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, for failing to agree on a teacher evaluation plan by the governor’s deadline of midnight Thursday.

In the end, teachers are the ones still left in the middle on the issue.

Zeynep Memecan, a special education teacher at P.S. 28 Wright Brothers in Washington Heights and a member of the teacher group Educators 4 Excellence, said she wants a more meaningful evaluation than the two-tier rating system of either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” That, she noted, was something both the teachers’ union and Department of Education agreed was inadequate.

“I think both sides are really pushing for the same goal at the end of the day,” she said. “It’s just a matter of figuring out the details and I’m really disappointed that that did not occur.”

To read the complete article, visit WNYC/The New York Times' SchoolBook.

January 18, 2013 7:00 a.m.

No deal on teacher evaluations; city risks losing $450 million

Original article in The New York Times by By Al Baker and Marc Santora.

The Bloomberg administration and New York City’s teachers’ union said Thursday that they had failed to reach a deal on a new system for evaluating 75,000 public school teachers, putting the city into immediate danger of losing out on up to $450 million in state and federal money and raising the possibility of cuts to staff and programs.

The deadline for state education officials to approve any teacher evaluation plan submitted by the city was midnight Thursday; missing it would cost the city approximately $250 million in education aid from Albany that it budgeted for in June and would make it ineligible for roughly $200 million in state and federal grants.

On Thursday afternoon, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, held separate news conferences to say the talks had disintegrated during a middle-of-the-night negotiating session in Manhattan. No further talks were expected before the deadline.

To read the complete article, visit The New York Times.


January 17, 2013 10:30 p.m.

Teacher evaluation deal falls apart

Original article in The Wall Street Journal by Lisa Fleisher.

Evan Stone, a former teacher and founder of a teachers advocacy group called Educators4Excellence, said he was disappointed in what he saw as a lack of leadership on both sides. "It was much like students making excuses for not getting work done that they said they would do," he said. "This is terrible for teachers, and it's terrible for students."

To read the complete article, visit The Wall Street Journal.

January 17, 2013 3:36 p.m.

UFT and city fail to reach eval deal

Original article on SchoolBook.

The public end came at 1:49 p.m. in the form of an email from the teachers’ union with the subject line “UFT President: Bloomberg torpedoes teacher evaluation deal.” What ensued was a flurry of recriminations as both sides blamed the other for the failure to agree on how to fairly evaluate a teacher’s performance.

Bloomberg said the actual end of talks came earlier, when union negotiators “unilaterally walked away from our negotiations” at around 3 a.m. Thursday. He complained that they kept adding demands to a deal that was essentially done. One sticking point, he said, was that the union wanted the proposed evaluation system to last only two years.

“The UFT wanted the entire agreement to sunset in June of 2015. That condition would essentially render the entire agreement meaningless,” the mayor said because the process of removing an ineffective teacher takes two years.

To read the complete article, visit SchoolBook.

January 17, 2013 2:36 p.m.

No deal on teacher evals: UFT blames Bloomberg, not DOE

Original article in GothamSchools by Philissa Cramer.

In a statement that the union president said was “painful to make,” Mulgrew said UFT and Department of Education negotiators had reached a deal overnight on how to structure and execute new teacher evaluations. But when they presented their agreement to Mayor Bloomberg this morning, Mulgrew said, the mayor rejected it.

...Just hours ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed again to withhold state aid from districts that did not adopt new evaluations today. For the city, $250 million was on the line.

Bloomberg is holding a press conference in just a few minutes to tell his side of the story. But he has said repeatedly — as recently as yesterday — that he would not sign off on a deal that “really evaluates,” or shows that some teachers are low-performing. And last year, he turned down an opportunity to finalize a teacher evaluation plan in favor of a different strategy aimed at removing teachers faster than evaluations would allow.

To read the complete article, visit GothamSchools.


January 17, 2013 11:36 a.m.

On evals due date, Cuomo breaks silence to repeat ultimatum

Original article on GothamSchools by Philissa Cramer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stayed mostly quiet during the lead-up to the deadline he set for districts to adopt new teacher evaluations or lose funding. But now that the due date has arrived, he has released a stern statement repeating the ultimatum he laid out a year ago today:

Today is the final deadline for the handful of school districts, including New York City, that have failed to get their teacher evaluation systems in place. Please hear me — there will be no extensions or exceptions. Since we established one of the strongest teacher evaluation models in the nation last year, 98% of school districts have successfully implemented them.

To read the complete article, visit GothamSchools.

January 17, 2013 9:00 a.m.

VIDEO: E4E-NY teacher Susan Keyock discusses eval deadline on Good Day New York

Original video on MyFox5

On Good Day New York, E4E-New York special education teacher and union delegate Susan Keyock discussed the teacher evaluation deadline with Wall Street Journal education reporter Lisa Fleisher. Susan said that the feels "hopeful that there will be a deal" because teachers have shown that "they do want a fair and meaningful evaluation system." 

Watch the video:

New York News | NYC Breaking News

January 17, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Deadline Imminent For City Teacher Evaluation System

Original article on NY1.

Today is the deadline for the city to figure out how to rate its school teachers, but as of last night there is still no deal in place between the city Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers.

Each of the state's 700 school districts was told to submit a teacher evaluation plan by Thursday, and New York City is one of a handful that has not turned one in, putting $250 million in state aid on the line.

To read the complete article, visit NY1.

January 16, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Evaluations progress seen behind the scenes, despite public spat

Original article in GothamSchools by Geoff Decker.

Department officials were back in the room again today, despite frustration over a union request filed on Monday for a third-party mediator to assist the negotiations through the last remaining issues on the table. (City and union officials both declined to specify what is still up for discussion, but sticking points in the past have been the city’s implementation plan and whether principals would be required to discuss teachers’ ratings with them in person.)

To read the complete article, visit GothamSchools.

January 15, 2013, 6:03

City, union hit minor road block during negotiations

Original article in The New York Times/WNYC's SchoolBook by Beth Fertig.

Talks between the teachers union and the city went nowhere Tuesday, just two days ahead of the state’s deadline to get an agreement on new teacher evaluations.

Union president Michael Mulgrew said he asked a mediator from the state’s Public Employment Relations Board to attend Tuesday’s negotiating session because of what he called “issues both sides have dug in on.” But he claimed the city refused to participate. He declined to say which issues were left to resolve.

To read the complete article, visit The New York Times/WNYC's SchoolBook.

January 14, 2013 7:26 PM

State officials are ready to fast-track New York City's eval plan

Original article in GothamSchools by Geoff Decker.

State education officials cleared their schedule in anticipation of a busy week as dozens of school districts, including New York City, scramble to meet a Thursday teacher evaluation deadline.

After exchanging barbs for much of the last month, the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers returned to the negotiating table last week. This week, several state officials said they assumed that the city and union had struck a deal. In New York City today, the union recruited teachers to hand out flyers in more than a dozen locations asking people to call 311, the city’s public information phone line, to “tell the mayor to commit to an evaluation system that supports quality teaching.”

Implementation of a new evaluation plan, once approved, remains a looming concern. State law requires that districts have their plans “fully implemented” this year in order to qualify for the funding. But that would be a tall order for New York City, where teachers and principals have been introduced only to some of the likely components of new evaluations.

To read the complete article, visit GothamSchools.

January 11, 2013 05:49 PM

Teacher evaluation talks to continue over the weekend

Original article in The New York Times/WNYC's SchoolBook by Beth Fertig.

With less than a week to go before the state’s Jan. 17 deadline, there are signs that the Bloomberg administration and the teachers union are getting closer to a deal on teacher evaluations.

Mulgrew also told Schoolbook that the two sides have made “some progress” in recent days, specifically about having conversations between teachers and principals before any classroom observations.

Mulgrew scheduled a delegates assembly Thursday, for an up or down vote in case there is an agreement. He said this would give the state’s education department a few hours, before the midnight deadline, to approve a deal.

To read the complete article, visit The New York Times/WNYC's SchoolBook.

January 11, 2013 3:07 p.m.

Union leaders meet as teacher-evaluation deadline nears

Original article in The Wall Street Journal by Lisa Fleisher.

The New York City teachers union has scheduled a meeting with its top delegates for Thursday, a sign top officials think negotiations over a new teacher-evaluation system could come down to the wire.

Thursday is the deadline for the city and the United Federation of Teachers to reach a deal on a system that for the first time would use student test scores as part of a teacher’s annual grade. If no deal is reached, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he would follow through on a provision in state law to yank $250 million in state aid from the city.

To read complete article, visit The Wall Street Journal.