SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE - APPR/TEACHER EVALUATION
AUGUST 30, 2017NYSUT: Return teacher evals to local control
Author: By Sylvia Saunders
Source: NYSUT UnitedNo more tinkering or fixing.
It's time to scrap the state's Annual Professional Performance Review law entirely — and return control to local school districts and teachers unions to develop their own evaluation plans.
"Using student test scores derived from a broken testing system to measure teachers is not only grossly unfair, it's inaccurate," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. "This must change now."
As the new school year begins and we enter the third year of a four-year moratorium on the use of state grades 3–8 tests in teacher evaluation, NYSUT wants policymakers to develop a new state system that allows school districts and local unions to decide how to evaluate teachers.
The new system should:
The resolutions note the current APPR law has created significant anxiety and controversy at the local level, over-emphasizing state standardized tests and sparking the largest opt-out movement in the nation. They also point out that the current data-driven law has been invalidated by both the courts and national researchers.
"NYSUT's legal team has already won court and arbitration battles exposing the fatal flaws of APPR and confirming the need to change this obnoxious evaluation system," one resolution states. "No other profession is subject to such a demeaning process of evaluation."
NYSUT's campaign will first get the word out to the Regents and the State Education Department, which are working this fall to devise recommendations for a new system. The federal government no longer requires the use of state standardized tests in teacher evaluations, so this gives states considerably more leeway to devise their own systems.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has promised to take a slow and deliberative approach on APPR, with a workgroup including teams of teachers and administrators.
She likened the process to diffusing a bomb: "This is going to be very careful work. Like in the movies when you see a bomb is there and somebody has a clipper and they're trying to decide whether to go red or green," she said.
NYSUT urges the Regents to develop a legislative proposal for the 2018 session to get rid of the current APPR and bring back a locally negotiated teacher evaluation system that focuses on strengthening professional practice.
NYSUT wants the Regents and Legislature to allow districts to develop an evaluation system that meets their needs.
"We're not against evaluations," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango, the union's liaison with the Regents and SED. "But the time has come to reduce test anxiety for students and create a meaningful evaluation process that actually supports teachers and students."
Join the fight to get rid of the current APPR
Go to NYSUT's Member Action Center, mac.nysut.org, and sign a petition pledging to join educators and parents in the fight to end the current APPR.
Dear Certified Staff Members,
The BOCES Teachers Association Benefits Trust is committed to providing the best benefits possible to our members. We continuously review all the factors which affect our union members and the Trust's financial status. Unfortunately, the significant increase in member premiums, as well as no change in BOCES contribution since 2011, has greatly impacted our ability to continue all benefits at the present rate. Without a new contract, there can be no increase in contribution to the fund. In order to safeguard the trusts ability to continue, we have made changes to the following benefits:
Due to the ever increasing dental expenses, as of July 1, 2017, the Delta Dental Plan yearly maximum of $1,800 has been decreased to the old rate of $1,500 per family member per year. We must stress the importance of using a (PPO) dentist as they have contracted rates with Delta Dental. Also, there will be an increase in the co-pay to $50 (Single) and $100 (Family) per year. Please see the attached brochure for specific details or visit our website bocesta.net. Details can be found under the benefits tab.
Additionally, we must terminate the Davis Vision Plan. The benefit has been extremely underutilized (20% usage). Given our financial situation, it is imperative that we preserve those benefits that best assist our members and their families. If you have not yet taken advantage of this benefit, or are eligible to again, we urge you to do so BEFORE the plans termination date of September 30, 2017. For specific details visit our website bocesta.net. Details can be found under the benefits tab.
If you have any questions regarding the Delta Dental or Davis Vision Plans, please visit bocesta.net or call 914-923-3450.
Benefits Trust Chairperson
Gerry Murphy's address to the BOCES Board on June 7th.
For the past 36 years I have been the face of BOCES /your hospitality. The students form Culinary have prepared food for every event the Board has celebrated. My time with BOCES has been a thrill and honor.
I am here tonight for two reasons.
One of the reasons I am here tonight is to say thank you for your service to education.
The second reason is Compensation.
In years past your leadership team was local; they knew the issues and they knew the concerns of parents, students and staff of our region.
They and you where fair and SW BOCES grew.
I never thought it necessary in the past to speak to you about compensation issues. This is my first time, in my 36 years, to speak on a compensation issue.
I am retiring this year. At a reception celebrating my retirement I was reminded, by my programs first guidance counselor, that the ratio of students with IEP’s was about 5% I also spoke to another guidance counselor about IEP issues in secondary day programs and he said the ratio was about 5%. Today at the career center we have about 70% students with IEP’s in the shops.
What does that say about BOCES?
It says you have a tremendous teaching staff that has adapted to the needs of the community.
It says the educational community of Westchester knows that SW BOCES can and does get the job done.
Remember the students we have today in the past were often in institutions.
Districts could not educate these students. Districts said, “So let’s send them to BOCES and let’s see what can happen.”
Happily, in most cases, a miracle happened. Your teaching staff enjoys the confidence of the Westchester educational community.
I truly think your leadership team at this time is out of touch with Westchester and your staff.
The teaching staff has been told the districts say no to this or that. That they don’t do certain things for their own staff and therefore the BOCES staff cannot enjoy any extras.
But I wonder why the same rule is not applied to leadership? I am OK if No is No top to bottom.
Sadly that is not the case; leadership rewards itself annually.
I do not know if it is a good idea to listen to what the districts say or request. I have always thought of BOCES as the leader on all issues pertaining to education.
I know of one issue when the districts/superintendent’s all sent a signed letter to the newspaper saying not to hire a new COO. …you chose not to listen ...
Again thank you for your service to education and for giving me the opportunity to serve.
Long time advocate and union activist, Gerry Murphy, and President, Melissa Barreto, spoke out for the just treatment of members and called for the settlement of a fair contract at the June 7th BOCES Board Meeting. The meeting was attended by more than 30 additional members who came out, on short notice, for a show of solidarity.
President Barreto's statements:
I want to thank the board for providing me the opportunity to make a statement on behalf of the BTA. We are here today to let you know that we have been without a contract since 2014.
As divisions around us receive raises and base salaries increase, we have not received raises since 2012. We are asking for a fair and equitable contract. The memorandum of agreement was voted down 175-15. This clearly speaks to my members frustrations; and they have made their voices heard, past and present.
I want to thank the retirees who are here for their support. We have worked collaboratively with administration to create the APPR plan, the professional development plan and the summer school side letter all in good faith with the same passion to move BOCES ahead.
We applaud and appreciate the financial means put forth in consultants and contracts to invest in this organization to make it an educational leader. What we ask is that you invest in us, your employees who make that difference in the lives of children each and everyday!
Melissa Barreto, President BTA
On Saturday, May 13—for the 25th year in a row!—the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive will once again spread out across America to help provide assistance to Americans who are struggling with hunger.
Just leave a bag (or bags) of non-perishable food by your mailbox before your regular mail pick-up on Saturday May 13, and your letter carrier will do the rest. All food collected goes directly to food banks and pantries in your local community.
The Food Drive effort is the nation's largest single-day drive. In 2016, 80 million pounds of food was collected, which brought the grand total of donations to more than 1.5 billion pounds of food collected since the first national food drive in 1993.
It has come to our attention that a number of members are interested in continuing their Long Term Care Insurance Policy, but did not realize that they needed to come to our last two scheduled dates so that Melissa could sign the employer section of the Election to Continue Long Term Care Insurance Coverage form.
Melissa will be available Tuesday (4/25/17) and Thursday (4/27/2017) from 3:00-3:30 to sign any remaining forms.
RLC Building 2 staff lounge.
This will be the last opportunity, all future forms will have to be mailed to:
BTA benefits Trust
PO BOX 276
Rye, NY 10580
If you previously mailed it to the BTA mailbox, forms will be available for pick on these days. Please note the deadline on the letter mailed to your home address and listed on our website!
Members are responsible for sending all completed forms directly to UNUM.
We hope these days will further assist you in continuing your coverage.
If you have any additional questions please check our website at bocesta.org for information or you may call the Benefits Trust # 923-3450.