Teacher Evaluation Battle On The Airwaves
An education reform organization is hitting the airwaves today with a six-figure ad buy that calls on “Albany” to impose a teacher evaluation system on the NYC schools since the Bloomberg administration and UFT have failed to reach a deal to do so.
The ad from Educators 4 Excellence, which appears below, notably doesn’t mention Gov. Andrew Cuomo, even though he reportedly is poised to introduce teacher evaluation legislation sometime this week.
“With no local deal in sight, the time has come for our leaders in Albany to step in and implement a real and meaningful evaluation system that will give teachers the critical feedback and support they need to help their students grow,” said E4E Executive Director Jonathan Schleifer.
“Teachers and students need immediate action, and by hitting the airwaves and collecting thousands of petition signatures across the City, we hope our leaders in Albany will hear the pleas of classroom teachers and deliver for them and the city’s 1.1 million school kids.”
The E4E ad buy is expected to be larger than $250,000, according to the NY Post. And the spot will be running in “heavy rotation” on broadcast and cable TV for at least the next week.
E4E is leaving open the possibility that the ad will stay on the airwaves longer, which is probably a good thing, since state lawmakers are on their winter break and many of them are out of town.
The NYC schools lost $250 million as a result of the failure by union leaders and the mayor to reach a teacher performance evaluation deal by the Sept. 17 deadline set by Cuomo.
(NYC is not the only district in the state in this predicament, but it is the largest).
The loss of cash, which state Education Commissioner John King is threatening will grow still larger, is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Michael Rebell – the attorney who successfully sued the state in the infamous CFE case.
Rebell’s argument in this instance is essentially the same as the one he made while arguing CFE – that depriving districts of cash hurts kids, not officials, and robs them of their constitutional right to a sound, basic education.
In his 2013-14 budget, Cuomo is pushing to keep the link between state aid and the teacher evaluation deadline – a necessary move, supporter say, since most of the plans approved across New York will only be in place for a single year.
But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has suggested that’s going to be a tough sell in his conference, which is dominated by downstate Democrats and is closely allied with the teachers unions.
If Cuomo does act to impose a plan on NYC, it sort of begs the question of why he didn’t get involved in the first place – not to mention proving Rebell’s point that the state should simply mandate an evaluation system if it wants one so badly.
Of course, creating a structure for putting teacher evaluation plans in place was a headache to begin with.
Officials almost blew the federal Race to the Top deadline, putting in jeopardy millions of dollars, with their bickering over the details of who would plan the plans and what data they would be based on.
Thanks to Cuomo’s involvement, state education officials and the teachers unions reached an eleventh hour teacher evaluation deal in 2012 just hours before the deadline the governor had set.
At the time, Cuomo threatened all the interested parties that he would step in and establish a system for them if they weren’t able to come to a deal.
And guess what? They did.
Given the fact that this “you do it, or I will” worked so well for the governor last time around, it’s a little curious why he didn’t try it again this time, instead opting to let NYC blow its deadline – something that clearly was on track to occur, given the acrimony between the UFT and Bloomberg – and lose millions of dollars in the process.
Here’s the script for the E4E ad:
Teacher 1 (Susan): I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and every day I give my students my all.
Teacher 2 (Jemal): A meaningful evaluation system will tell me what’s working and help me do better for my students.
Teacher 3 (Rafael): With feedback and support, I will be a stronger teacher for my students.
But New York City and the teacher’s union can’t agree on a new evaluation system. As a result, our classrooms lost $250 million, and could lose millions more.
We need Albany to pass a real, meaningful evaluation system now.
Teacher 2: We can’t afford any more empty promises, and empty programs.
Teacher 1: Our students deserve better.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on February 19, 2013 at 7:33 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Downstate NY, Education, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|