- Who We Are
- Where We Stand
- Our Rights
- Our Benefits
- Our Chapters
- Guidance Counselors
- Hearing Education Services
- Lab Specialists
- Occupational / Physical Therapists
- Retired Teachers
- School Nurses
- School Secretaries
- Social Workers & Psychologists
- Speech Improvement
- Supervisors of Nurses & Therapists
- Teachers Assigned
- Other DOE Chapters
- Charter School Chapters
- Non-DOE Education Chapters
- UFT Providers
- Federation of Nurses
- United Cerebral Palsy
- Get Involved
Governor sets May 29 evaluation deadline
by Dorothy Callaci | February 28, 2013 New York Teacher issue
Gov. Andrew Cuomo set a May 29 deadline for the city and the union to negotiate a new evaluation system before a binding arbitration process determines any elements that the two sides have been unable to hammer out on their own.
The governor’s proposed legislation, supported by leaders of both parties as an amendment in this year’s state budget proposal, will ensure that New York City has a new teacher evaluation system in place for the coming school year.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew has made clear that he would prefer a negotiated settlement, but said he is comfortable with the Cuomo plan that empowers State Education Commissioner John King to act as a binding arbitrator to end the dispute.
“We all know that state law requires that New York City change its evaluation system and we are comfortable with the kinds of plans the state has approved because they are about helping teachers help kids, something that we don’t often hear from the city,” Mulgrew said. “With this plan, I know a deal will get done.”
Under a 2010 law passed in Albany, all local school districts across the state must put in place new teacher evaluation systems, a product of negotiations between each district and its union. All but a handful of districts finalized plans by mid-January.
Under the governor’s proposed legislation, if there is no agreement by May 8, the city and the UFT would submit to King their separate proposals concerning those aspects of the new evaluation system still in dispute. The two sides could continue to negotiate through May 29, when any remaining issues would be the subject of hearings and decided ultimately by King by June 1. In fashioning a new system, the commissioner would not be limited to the proposals presented by the city and the union.
“What the governor proposes,” Mulgrew pointed out, “is a natural next step in collective bargaining when both sides reach an impasse.”
A year ago, the UFT suggested binding arbitration after the Department of Education refused to bargain in good faith on an evaluation system for 33 struggling schools receiving federal School Improvement Grant funding. The DOE refused the union request.
The question of when the new evaluation system would come up for review or “sunset” — which the mayor has made a sticking point — could be among the terms decided by King. More than 90 percent of the nearly 700 evaluation plans across the state that King has approved included provisions to sunset after one year.
King also gave New York City an additional week to submit an evaluation training plan for principals and teachers — the original deadline was Feb. 15 — after he determined that the city’s original training plan was inadequate.
While indicating little enthusiasm for the added responsibility for teacher evaluations, both King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said that they were ready to move forward to meet the parameters the governor laid out.
Related topics: evaluation