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C'est la Z

Why I'm no longer an effective teacher - part 2

Earlier I wrote about the new teacher evaluation system and why a teacher such as myself might now be considered ineffective and two ineffectives in a row can cost you your job.

Well, the New York City and New York State Departments of Education are the departments that just keep on giving. Here’s the latest.

This coming Wednesday, I won’t be teaching during my usual 8:00 to 10:15 block of three AP classes. Instead I’ll likely be proctoring. Classes will be shorter and start at around 9:35.

What will we be proctoring? A preliminary assessment. I, and in fact all Stuy teachers, will be judged by how our students perform on English and Math Regents exams vs how the DOE thinks they should do. So, the DOE needs to issue a preliminary assessment.

So, this Wednesday, instead of having their normal allocation of class time, they will start a day taking an exam whose only purpose is to evaluate (and some of us believe fire) teachers. So, since I don’t teach English or Math, the closest I come to having some impact on the kids whos grades will determine my effectiveness will be proctoring this exam. Well, that’s a fair measure of my value as a teacher.

So, that’s 40% of my evaluation, 60% comes from observation but there’s a loophole. If the school doesn’t perform at a satisfactory level, even if I ace the 60%, I will be deemed ineffective. Now, I know I don’t have a large readership, but I’m guessing there are enough of my former students out there that can vouch for the fact that I do a pretty decent job.

Now, as to that 60%, that doesn’t seem much better. I’m reluctant to say anything specific since I don’t know whose reading this, but let’s just say, word on the street says that it’s more about filling out lines on forms than actual education and teacher improvement.

Unless things change soon, I expect good, experienced teachers to start leaving in droves.

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