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Teacher observation and evaluation system training

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 Charles DiBenedetto, the chapter leader at Richmond Hill HS in Queens, works wiErica Berger Charles DiBenedetto, the chapter leader at Richmond Hill HS in Queens, works with other teachers to classify their notes about the current observation system.  The UFT negotiated a provision in the new DOE-UFT contract that provides for joint training for administrators and chapter leaders on the teacher observation and evaluation system beginning in September 2019. A group of 40 teachers gathered at UFT headquarters on April 11 for the first in a series of meetings designed to give UFT members a voice in what that training should look like. “Teacher evaluation is supposed to be a constructive process where two professionals have a dialogue about how to improve their practice,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Mandating student test scores as a factor in teacher ratings was eliminated in the recent state budget. “This is our moment to reset a system that has never been done well,” Mulgrew said. The teachers involved represent all grade levels and subject areas. They also include teachers who work with students with special needs, English language learners and students in transfer or alternative high schools. “Observation doesn’t have to be punitive. It can be developmental,” said Vance Gillenwater, the chapter leader at the HS for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica, Queens. “I want to be part of that change.”

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