A Passing Grade

Teachers Evaluate the NYC Contract

May 2014

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In 2014, New York City and the United Federation of Teachers proposed a new teachers’ contract. We evaluated the new contract based on the the following principles: A strong and meaningful contract should (1) Be student-centered to ensure a positive impact on students’ learning and development; (2) Recognize teachers as professionals in recruitment, retention, compensation, and career development; (3) Allow teachers and schools the flexibility to be innovative and creative in the use of time, resources and instruction to ensure that they can be highly effective; and (4) Be written in a clear, concise manner so that all stakeholders can use it as a resource.

Overall, this contract receives a passing grade, and we think it takes small, yet important, steps in the right direction. However, the final contract missed many opportunities to significantly elevate the teaching profession and improve outcomes for students in New York City.

Contract gradebook

We created a set of research-informed principles for a new contract, then graded the new contract based on those principles.

About the Teacher Action Team

Our team of 15 teachers met for eight weeks to review research on different facets of the New York City teachers’ contract. We considered evidence from different perspectives, looked at other contracts, held small and large group discussions, and spoke to experts in the field. We created our own set of principles that we believe a new contract should embody, as well as recommendations that address specific policy issues. From there, we compared the proposed contract to our vision, and graded the new contract based on our principles.

Lena Cosentino High School Science Teacher at College of Staten Island High School for International Studies

Jamie D’Amico Math Teacher at Bronx Collegiate Academy

Chris Fazio 9th-grade English Teacher at Queens Metropolitan High School

Leona Fowler Special Education Teacher at P.S. 233Q District 75

Julia E. Gonzalez 2nd-grade ICT Teacher at P.S. 138

Elise Herbruger 4th-grade Teacher at NEST+m School

Jim Knox ESL Teacher at I.S. 217 School of Performing Arts

Nick Lawrence Social Studies Teacher at East Bronx Academy for the Future

Darby Masland 9th-grade Global History Teacher at The Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women

Alesia Mathew English and Social Studies Teacher at Bedford Academy High School

David McKinney 6th-grade Math and Science Teacher at Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science

Tamera Musiowsky-Boreman 3rd-grade ICT Teacher at P.S. 208

April Rose 3rd-grade Teacher at P.S. 132

Keith Scalia English Teacher at John Adams High School and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, CUNY LaGuardia

Kadyn Velez Special Education Teacher at P.S. 369