NYC Teachers, UFT Frustrated With Ruling, DOE Orders

NEW YORK (CBS  New — Following a controversial ruling Monday which allowed performance ratings for 12,000 New York City school teachers to be released, the United Federation of Teachers sent a memo to members Thursday expressing disagreement and frustration with the decision.

The memo states that the performance ratings, which are based on statistical analysis of student test scores, are “fundamentally flawed” and the Department of Education will “do nothing” to fix the reports.

Instead, the DOE is asking teachers who have taught English or math in grades 4 through 8 at any time since 2005 to check their class lists and make changes online during a few assigned days in January.

“[We] have been inundated with calls from teachers and principals concerned about the access, accuracy and availability of records that go back six years,” the Union said.

“For the vast majority of teachers, this will be the first time they have been invited to review five years of student lists, and that makes the process daunting.”

The full text of the letter sent to their members by the UFT on Thursday, January 13, 2010 follows :


UFT Header

Dear colleagues,

Three years into its value-added project, the DOE is finally asking teachers to review their class lists in an attempt to make at least one part of the Teacher Data Reports accurate.

Meanwhile, however, a Manhattan judge has ruled that the 2008-2009 reports can be released to the press because “there is no requirement that data be reliable for it to be disclosed.” The UFT does not agree, and it is appealing that decision. In the meantime, our lawsuit had already exposed how fundamentally flawed the reports are: many teachers are being judged based on students, subjects or grades they never taught.

Let’s be clear: The DOE’s verification process will do nothing to fix the reports that the DOE is threatening to release to the press. It is designed for future reports only and it is a thoroughly inadequate response to its own data debacle. Essentially, the DOE is asking all teachers who have taught English or math in grades 4 through 8 at any time since 2005 to check their class lists and make changes online during a few assigned days in January. The UFT has been inundated with calls from teachers and principals concerned about the access, accuracy, and availability of records that go back six years. Ernie Logan, the head of the principals’ union, has expressed the frustration shared by teachers and principals in every borough — the timeline is not realistic, the old class lists are difficult to access, and the whole process is likely to take time away from “instructional and non-instructional activities.”

For the vast majority of teachers, this will be the first time they have been invited to review five years of student lists, and that makes the process daunting. At the same time, the DOE is planning to use the lists in new TDRs whether teachers participate in the verification process or not. And the UFT is very concerned that mistakes you uncover now may have been part of the 2008-09 reports, which the DOE will not fix, but will release if it prevails in court.

Information from the DOE about the process for making corrections can be found here. However, if you have problems with the process or the data, be sure to let us know as well. Email us at or call us at 212-598-6860. In particular, we urge you to tell us about any errors you find in class lists. That way, we can continue to support you as the DOE presses to release results based on flawed data to the press.

Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew


One Comment

  1. WOODY says:

    it is hard for and difficult for the city school teachers to teach these kids especially when they do not have the backing of caring parents. i do not like the teachers union i believe they should weed out those who have a long history of those not producing just like those who work in the privite sector BUT THE BIG BLAME ALSO FALLS ON MOM AND DAD SHOULDERS IN THIS MATTER

  2. Lyndz says:

    Teachers are charged with ALL of the responsibility and NONE of the POWER or AUTHORITY to affect change! Ridiculous!

  3. Joy Alexander says:

    The demographics in NYC have changed, No longer are there intact families who care about the future of their children. One of my students has 7 siblings with 4 different fathers. She can stay out to all hours of the night and never does her homework and basically reads on a fourth grade level in high school. Her mother never comes up to school when called. What can we do with a kid like this and many others like her. Until the community comes together and takes responsibility for the education of their youth I’m afraid we are doomed.

    1. Jack says:

      Your very right and backed up, unfortunately by a minority.. The NYS teachers union should strike, not for their pay but for parent stupidity… Hold parents accountable for unwanted babies. Then hold the government, media,RELIGIONS and the rich fu-cks responsible for this mess. The human being… The collective accountability! America is not wrong, we’re just a collective of all that is wrong…. No different than Russia, China and ROME… Remember, China invented gunpowder, wow such fun and display in the sky, many years later the white man discovered how to blow a projectile through an iron hole with gun powder…. oops, thus providing the world with nuclear tech from the JEWS… Sciience is great, it’s how you use it that is even greater….. If I had the technology to curb you dogs, I WOULD!… Sterilization! Wonder how to put it in all water undetected…… Oh, like a nuclear BOMB! Have at it small stupids, your child is fodder……. Like always unless your sorta lucky and they (or you) get rich enough to take care of your as-ess… Only to put you in a home (where no one cares much) where you belong…Courtesy of the rich and government and yourselves. Hey, gotta go to work! What work, kewl beans! Think I will write a book called, DUMMIES FOR STUPID FUC-KERS!

  4. Jay Lay says:

    WAAA WAAA WAAA!!! Ive always (and still do) think teachers are underpaid and under appriciated but they need to shut up and suck it up. Were talking about children here,and yes I think it is ok to show your ratings. Insteading of complaing how about A-concentrate of your jobs and B-come up with a better system if you dont agree with the current one.

  5. C Gerdjunis says:

    First of all, let me say, that I have a child with Anxiety NOS that affects his educational experience and responce with Learning disablity. he is in general ed. Test scores are no indication of what he can do or what he knows. He has had some fantastic teachers, and one lousy teacher, his test scores are no indication of what they taught or how well they taught it. I base my “grade” of a teacher on how well she implements an IEP, BIP, who well she trouble shoots to help my child be successful and learn what he needs to learn. Is she willing to take a few minutes each week to help him learn the skills of being organized, how to study so he won’t sink when he gets thrown in the deep end of middle school? I base my opinion of a teacher on how accessible she/he is to me and how willing she is to work with me and my child for his grater good. I know my son is work, let me help. Listen to me, I know my son, I know his disablity and how it affects him in the class and out of the class, brainstorm with me. Lazy teachers produce poor students, maybe some slide by but some will slip through the cracks.

    1. PonteVecchio says:

      C Gerdjunis – You sound like an amazing parent! Some of the parents of the students I work with are wonderful, just like you. However, we would be so much more successful with stronger parents who are willing to help us help their children! I don’t mind being graded at all, but I agree that test scores are not the only way of showing what our students know and understand. We, as teachers, work hard to teach students in the ways they learn best. It’s too bad that students can not be evaluated by using those same means.

  6. TJJACKSON says:

    There needs to be some standards and accountability for our failed education system. We put more than enough money in and it ends up in teachers perks Tenure should be abolished. At the end of each school year, each teacher can be rehired, the good teachers will be offered positions, the bad ones can start looking for a new job. No one should have ownership of a public job. Unions were allowed to protect workers against evil capitalist, company towns, and other abusive practices, but there should be no unions for public sector jobs.

    1. Ki$$ my A$$ Bloomberg says:

      So in your informed opinion, a teacher with 20 years experience should have their job future decided by some 27 year old butt kisser who hasn’t taught one day in a classroom. “Standards and accountability”, that’s a laugh. Any punk can impregnate any willing sperm receptacle crack head , and teachers then have to be “accountable” for what thta demon seed does in school. Nice call. When I can switch of all the video games, cell phones, and computers in a kids house, banana heads like you can hold me “accountable”. Idiots.

  7. billybob says:

    The reason there are so many dumb kids is that there are a lot of dumb parents.

  8. Dr. Philip B. Jones says:

    As a veteran teacher of 37 years I can tell you thatwith good students an average teacher can shine but with poor students even the best teacher can make little differance. The biggest problems in schools in order are administrators, politicians, and bad parents. Students evauating teachers is absurd. They do not know enough to evaluate. …

  9. BassmanX says:

    As the new chancellor says, how about some birth control?
    It’s the smartest thing any bd of ed official has ever said.
    How about teaching anal and oral sex and dropping condoms by helicopter all over Brooklyn. This way there wouldn’t be so many dropped loads overcrowding the schools.

    1. Jack says:

      Well said to the BASS BEAT…

  10. Joe Sr says:

    I’m really not sure what NYC is doing. I can tell you this. My wife is a retired HS Chem and Bio teacher. During her time as a teacher she acheived a 90 to 97% Regents pass rate; so did many of her associates. Today the pass rate is 10%. What happened? It seems the children no longer have to perform at the levels they did then.. The curriculum has been “Dumbned down” so as not to embarass the underacheivers. English is being challenged as the prime language, and I’m not referring to Spanish; the district is multi-culti. Discipline, dress code, the use of slang words, you know what I mean, are not what they once were. The economy is bad so children are left to their own devices until a parent gets home, if there is one. In short, lower standards, lower home life, lower economy, lower expectations equal lower performance !

    1. The Truth says:

      Good for your wife. She did a great job. I am very anti union but when they do their jobs I applaud them. I understand what you mean by dumbing down the scores.

      This was done during the 70’s and into the early 90s. The proof is evident by the workforce out there.

  11. drcst says:

    So, again NYC is encouraging teachers to “teach to the test” to improve their “performance ratings”.

Comments are closed.

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