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The Call Blog: Governor Cuomo Outlines $132 Billion Budget Plan

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Last week, Mayor Bloomberg expressed his desire to revamp the teacher evaluation system during his annual State of the City address. Today, Governor Cuomo expressed his desire to revamp the teacher evaluation system during his annual budget address. Less than three weeks into the new year, and it's already shaping up to be a contentious one between elected officials and the UFT. My question is, will union leaders run and hide like they did when Bill Thompson went looking for an endorsement?



Governor Cuomo unveiled details of his proposed $132 billion budget today, calling it an "honest" and "disciplined" plan with no "hidden surprises." The Governor's proposal closes the $2 billion deficit with no new taxes or fees, $1 billion in cuts, and a slight spending increase of about $89 million.

The budget, which now will be negotiated by the State Senate and Assembly, includes $1.9 billion in revenue from the "millionaire's tax" approved in December. It also calls for pension reform and spending nearly $4.5 billion on infrastructure improvements.

Governor Cuomo also announced the State Education Department and teacher unions will have 30 days to agree on an evaluation system. If they don't, Cuomo says he will impose his own evaluations and force the Legislature to vote on it as part of the budget. What do you say?

Do you agree with Cuomo's proposals to balance the budget with no new taxes or fees? Do you support pension reform and taxing the rich more to generate revenue? What is the fairest way to evaluate teachers? Should Governor Cuomo create his own merit system and bypass school districts and unions?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



It is clear that Governor Cuomo is anti-labor as he seeks to impose an evaluation system on NYC teachers that will favor the principals, take away defined pension plans that allowed city and State workers to remain in the middle class and raise the retirement age to 65. He is blinded by the rhetoric that somehow teachers are to blame for our poor educational system and pensions are unsustainable.The legislature and Unions should oppose his strong arm tactics of using the budget to legislate.

James C.
Middle Village



Im a teacher on Staten Island for the past 8 years and new teacher evaluations , sure they would be great but what are they based on? How can we be sure that the new teacher evaluations are not about removing more seasoned, higher paid teachers in order to replace them with 3 fresh out of college teachers just to make the budget? How can you possibly base teachers performance on student test scores when they don't go home and study for the test. We do our jobs ....we go above and beyond, supplying students with the supplies that they need to be successful, supplies like books, pens, pencils and paper, which the city had no money for this year cutting the $150.00 "teachers choice money at we previously had to buy very few supplies with before. And homework,a thing of the past...Just getting them to stay in their seats is fete let alone getting students or their parents to play any part in their education.

Signed
Disrespected and unappreciated



I agree with Gov. Cuomo's ideas.

LuLu



Someone needs to remind Mr. Cuomo that he is EXTREMELY expendable, unlike New York's teachers. He also needs to have a civics lesson and be reminded that he is not Saddam Hussein. He does not MAKE law, he FOLLOWS it. That being said, if it's a war he wants with teachers, then so be it. I am sick and tired of being abused by politicians and the press on a daily basis for trying to educate children. He also forgot to mention that the money he is threatening to withhold will NOT be used for classrooms but rather to create MORE TESTS!! The FACT is that teachers have a much better track record than any mayor or governor of New York at accomplishing their assigned tasks. The city and state are in a shambles due to the incompetency of Bloomberg and Cuomo and no good end is in sight. Teaching is a respected profession everywhere in the world EXCEPT America. Here we glorify athletes, actors and bankers. Anyone see anything wrong with that picture? Bring it on Cuomo, let's see who blinks first.

DISGUSTED IN QUEENS



Anti workers' policies such as reverting gains negotiated by unions since their implementation is giving new precedent to the government of the rich or a plutocracy. I really fear for teachers, nurses, and others whose working conditions had been collectively regulated by negotiations between unions and employers. A merit system is simply WRONG and a subjective way of assessment that could easily enable nepotism, ageism, seniority rights ,and other archaic policies. People should ponder upon the right to a pension, work security, and the fact that everybody sooner or later could be subject to the abuses of administrations ruled by Cityhall or the State.

Rafael
Bushwick



To accomplish his goal of a new teacher evaluation system, perhaps Governor Cuomo should remind Mayor Bloomberg that negotiations are successful when both sides listen to each other...not when one side postures and barks threats at the other.

Geof S.
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn



I WOULD ASK THE GOOD GOVERNOR TO CONCENTRATE ON A FREE SUBWAY AND BUS FARE HERE IN THE FIVE BOROUGHS. TAX MONEY BEING GENERATED IN THE FIVE BOROUGHS IS ENJOYED BY THE OTHER 57 COUNTIES, SO, BY THIS ONE GESTURE, IT WOULD PUT A LITTLE BACK INTO THE COMMUTERS POCKETS AND BE SPENT ON THE LIKES OF THEATRE, DINING OUT ETC. MY SUGGESTION IS TRULY AN HONEST AND DISCIPLINED ECONOMIC BOOST NEEDED BY THOSE IN THE DOWNSTATE AREA TO INSURE THE STABILITY OF OUR FELLOW NEW YORK STATE RESIDENTS UPSTATE.

JOE, BAY TERRACE



John,

I’d like to see taxes cut 10% a year until they are eliminated and government is reduced to its Constitutional powers.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



A teacher evaluation plan is necessary, however it has to be fair to all types of teachers. There are classroom teachers and then there are phys ed teachers, art & music teachers, industrial arts teachers, etc, etc. How are those teachers going to be evaluated, if all they look at are ELA & Math scores to judge the other teachers? What about in an Intermediate & Senior high school - how about the History & Science teachers, the Business program teachers? What plan is going to be fair to each and every teacher out there. There are Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers whose children do not take State Assessments. How are they being judged? I'm in favor of an evaluation system for teachers but a fair one. Should the teacher of a Special Education class, be held to the same criteria as the teacher of the Scholar's class? What system is going to be in place so that all teachers - K - 12 - academic and non-academic, in classroom and out of classroom (IEP teacher, Data teacher) are all judged fairly? These are the questions I'd like answered by the Governor and Mayor.

Jessica, Arden Heights, Staten Island, NY



Hi John,

The damage has already been done by the strong arm tactics of Bloomberg and Cuomo. Both are dictators. We don't have a say. All of their decisions are made behind closed doors. We have no representation at all.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



To gain employment in the city as a teacher, the candidate must complete a Master’s Degree which involves being continuously evaluated by several professors and completing a supervised internship by the University which will ultimately recommend the candidate for a teaching license. If successful, the teacher must be hired by a principal. This involves a rigorous interview process by the Principal and the subject area Assistant Principal. The teacher will usually have to complete a demo-lesson in which the candidate basically must audition for a position. Ultimately, the Principal has the power to accept or reject the candidate.

If hired, a teacher has to complete a 3 year probationary period which involves 18 formal observations by NYC DOE administrators. If the teacher receives tenure, he must be observed 2 times annually for the remainder of his career. Finally, at the end of the year, Principals have the opportunity to rate a teacher satisfactory or unsatisfactory and at the end of a probationary period, a principal has the power to deny or grant tenure. The UFT does not have the power to grant tenure or rate teachers annually. Only Principals, and Assistant Principals, have this power to grant tenure and evaluate a teacher. With all these methods of evaluation, why does this anti-teacher movement insist on blaming teachers for their performance? This is clearly an issue of mismanagement. Supervisors, not teachers, are the problem.

How much more evaluation is necessary?

The solution: Extended the probation period to five years for new hires with additional reviews after ten years and a final review after 15 years. Allow teachers to retire with a reduced pension with twenty years service. This ends the life long tenure argument and allows teachers to still have work place protections in place.

Alison



Mayoral control has devastated our schools. This evaluation issue is just another example of if he can't control it he will destroy it. The quality of education for the children of this city is of no consequence to this mayor. Just look at his results. The governor understands this about Bloomberg. He is forced to get involved in this.

Susan
Queens



Finger pointing is not going to get us anywhere. Using money and politics to divide and alienate us from each other will only make things worse. Ask yourself, "Do educators get into this profession for prestige, high salary, excellent working conditions?:" Certainly not. We do it out of dedication to our children, a love of learning, and in contribution to the future. We accept a ceiling on the salary we earn in exchange for a reasonable pension. Stop scapegoating us. We have always been evaluated. There are many evaluative hoops to jump through before ending up teaching children in a classroom. If the results of teacher evaluation systems are displeasing or ineffective let us work together in a respectful and cooperative manner and make realistic changes. Name calling, financial threats, and finger pointing will get us nowhere.

Gloria, upper east side



Governor Cuomo is looking only one side, "Teachers", but what about parents? He should penalize those parents who do not support their children education, who do not check homework, parents that ignore teacher's notes o calls. All these, affects students academic skills its no only the teachers' responsibility. Teachers need support from parents to fulfill students' academic goals.

Lina



As a parent, I would not want my child to be judged on just the few hours it took to take a state test. My child's success should be judged on the work for the year, not a few hours. The same is true for teachers. How can you possible judge a teacher on their student's success when state tests only give a snap shot of what a child has accomplished!

Losing Patience in Howard Beach



Until we have a rigorous teacher evaluation system, our schools will remain rife with incompetent and mediocre teachers. Whose children deserve to be taught by poorly performing teachers?

Eric
Former DOE Deputy Chancellor



I have been a NYC teacher for over 20 years and I resent the fact that Cuomo is blaming the teacher's union for holding up funds that should have gone out to our schools already. I would blame our Mayor and his refusal to negotiate in good faith! How dare our governor try to bully his policies bypassing due process!

Mildred
Staten Island



As a NYC teacher of 12 years I have to say how tired I am of hearing that teachers are the only ones to blame for the scores of the children in the state exams. There is only so much a teacher can do. Ultimately, the result is determined by student performance on the exams. In order for the children to pass they must practice the skills taught in class. If students do not do homework to practice the skills taught in school they can not and will not succeed. Yet where is the accountability for them and their parents, for those who consistently do not do homework?

What most people do not understand is that there is a 2 out of 3 promotional criteria that must be met by NYC students in order to be promoted. The three things include attendance, test scores, & class grades. A student must just meet any 2 of the 3 promotional criteria to be promoted. If a student has at least 90% attendance, gets at least a 2 on the exam(which is approaching the standards not meeting them), but fails ALL their classes, then the students would be promoted regardless of teacher recommendations that a student should be held back. How can I possibly play catch up with a student who does not have the foundation needed to do the work in the next grade? Teachers are not miracle workers.

Evaluations are acceptable however parents and students should also be evaluated. Look at the records of the students in test scores, as well as, the grades achieved for major subjects from previous years. Undoubtedly, everyone will see a terrible pattern that will continue so long as the current promotional criteria is in effect.

Lillian



i have two children in the public school system in downtown manhattan. many of the children in our school have parents who don't help their children get their homework done, they take their kids out of school to go on ski trios, and they show up late to school. is it the teacher's fault that these kids perform poorly in school? i think parents should be evaluated!

Sally



I completely agree with Mr. Cuomo. I attended public school as a kid and I feel that teachers should be evaluated because some of these teachers honestly don't care about the students educational growth. I have actually witnessed teachers tell a class of students "I get paid whether you learn or not, so I don't care"...no one with an attitude like that should be allowed to teach.

Thank you,
Cathy .A.
From the bronx



Before creating a reliable teacher evaluation system the DOE really needs to create circumstances in which teachers CAN be effective. Some teachers are inundated with work overload, not given the supplies they need, given little to no support from administration, and mandated to follow ineffective instructional models, while other teachers work under much better circumstances. If teacher A has her own classroom, teaches the same level all day, and is given all the supply she needs while teacher B teaches five classes in three different rooms, has no place in the building to keep materials, teaches 3 or 4 different levels, is given no books or supplies and gets slammed with all the most challenging classes, who do you think will look like a "better" teacher?

Thank You,
Holly, Bay Ridge



If a teacher evaluation system is to be implemented and used it must be fair to all teachers. Students are only evaluated based on math and ELA test scores. How about teachers that teach other subjects? How will those teachers be evaluated? There must be a fair system that can evaluate ALL teachers fairly!!!

Angela



The teachers union is in favor of a new evaluation system. An effective evaluation system that will benefit schools, teachers and above all the students. I am fed up with this teacher bashing. I feel the mayor is so focused in breaking the union that he is forgetting who the real focus should be on- our students. We went into this profession to make a difference in the life of a child, and make a positive difference. The city needs to come back to the table and get this job done in the right way.

Michele
Dyker Heights



It’s easier to get fired at an inconsequential job like McDonalds than it is lose your job as a teacher in NYC where the impact on our future is far greater. That’s INSANE!

First and foremost, the system has to be clearly tied to the performance of the students. The best, but far from perfect way to do this is from state tests. We also need to eliminate the Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory system and replace it with a system that accounts for varying level of proficiency. Students in New York get scored on levels 1 thru 4 on state tests so its logical that the teachers should be rated that way as well.

Finally, the system should rate the principals the same way too since they direct, manage and oversee the teachers.

John from Brooklyn



The New York City Department of Education is failing it's students and sending thousands upon thousands of teachers to abandon the profession every year. Thousands of NYC Public School Teachers leave the profession due to a lack of resources and a lack of support from the Department of Education. The current evaluation system does need to be changed, and no one should be afraid of a new Teacher Evaluation System, so long as it is carried out in a fair and equitable manner. The Danielson model that is being used in some schools is an objective method. The Dept of Education has walked away from the table.

The Bloomberg administration constantly uses a hammer to bash teachers. Our schools have turned into test prep factories.Learning is so much more than Test prep. We want and need a decent curriculum for all our students.

Thank You,
Martin from Woodside



Most teachers agree that we need a new evaluation system. I think the real sticking point is the appeals process. The Department of Education must come back to the negotiating table to make the appeals process fair. We need an outside arbitrator to hear cases of teachers rated ineffective. Having the hearing decisions made by the Chancellor is unfair.

Diane from Howard Beach



how can you have a fair evaluation system when the teachers aren't allowed to teach. all they do is train our kids for test. there is no curriculum as we had when we were kids.The whole school experience for our kids is based on test scores.Let them teach then evaluate.

G.



Teachers must have a masters degree, take a series of state exams and pass, we need to take 175 hours of professional development to maintain our certification. We come in early, we stay late, we grade, and plan. When will parents be held accountable. Just how much more can I do. I am a teacher mother father coach counselor and staples office supply. I need parental involvement, smaller class and a curriculum appropriate to my students needs.

Accountable Teacher
J. LopeZ



Teachers are already evaluated rather frequently, at the very least several times a semester for nontenured teachers and at least once a semester for tenured ones. That is that they're observed by supervisors, who can in fact observe them as many times as they wish (unlike college tenured professors who are not observed after tenure). The question is the quality of these observations and the scientific rigor (or lack of) other types of evaluations, such as using student test scores, etc. To make a truly scientific evaluation process would seem to be close to impossible, given the large number of variables that one would have to take into account--student economic and cultural environment, school support and culture, parental attitudes, cultural attitudes and subcultural attitudes, etc., etc. And there are also many successful teaching methods, so evaluating teachers by a single method, as is often done by administrators, is also faulty. For such reasons and others, the public debate on such issues is extremely uninformed. People who have never taught are now the public experts, when in fact they have no knowledge of what the issues involved really are in a classroom. The real problem is suggested by this: the anti-intlectualism of the American public, who look down on teachers and on intellectuals, and then are surprised when their children don't learn as much as possible: in other words a main reason is that education and the intellect are not valued very much at all by the culture and the public, so students are not motivated to do well in school.

Philip



NO NO I don't agree on evaluation.

Ruthann
Queens



NYC teachers want a new evaluation system. We are a union of professionals who believe that there is always room for improvement. The better we teach, the better education our children will earn. The UFT has been working on this new system tirelessly. It's the DOE that will not sit at the table and get this done. Parents need to make their voices heard and put pressure on the mayor and the DOE to get it done right.

Thanks!
Still Hoping for the Best



I believe the current evaluation of teachers are unfair toward the teacher. In this new system, the people want to evaluate the teacher by the numbers we produce. As an instructor, we should focus on spending more time molding these students rather than worry about a number of products.

My name is Navindra.
I am a student completing my student teaching course.



Who evaluates the evaluators of the teachers ? Are they objective ?

Andrew
Sunnyside Gardens
Queens N Y



John,

This is not really an issue with us teachers..........
It is all about MAYORAL CONTROL!
Look at how the MAYOR has given almost full control to principals.
I am not saying we should overhaul the system of evaluating educators.
We need to OVERHAUL ALL ASPECTS of the DOE.....It is a system ready to crack.
The children are suffering in class sizes that mimic the 70's due to budget cuts.
Teachers are drowning in redundant paperwork. There is little teaching going on............
I feel bad for this generation of NYC Public School students.

FANILOW in FLUSHING



I have been teaching for 25 years and I am so tired of being attacked and blamed for all of the failed policies of this incompetent mayor. We deserve to be paid for the work we do. Teachers are professionals who are highly educated and hold at least two masters. Yet we are treated with disrespect and disdain. This dispute is about union bashing, closing schools in order to get rid of teachers and privatizing education. I also resent Governor Cuomo's my way or the highway bullying attitude he has taken.

Awilda from Park Slope



You asked what would be a fair way to evaluate teachers. Well, just like some doctors treat really sick patients and often don't have good outcomes, some teachers face kids who are unmotivated, or years behind in their skills, or have learning difficulties, don't speak English etc. Just compare apples to apples.

Renee from Briarwood



As an educator, a future administrator, a community activist, and a recipient of a public school education I am saddened. Evaluations are being created by those who are not educators within the NYC DOE. There cannot be a "cookie cutter evaluation" amendments need to be considered based on location and student population. Next educators and other pedagogues spend a lot of personal time and personal money that is not evaluated. Teaching is the only profession on which one with no prior educational experience can come in and make policies that eventually will have a grave effect on our future economy. Lastly, of I as a teacher get evaluated, can parents get evaluated too?

Marilyn from Staten Island



The current evaluation systems are based on NCLB mandates which rely on standardized tests in reading and math and, in some states, a very dubious value added system. Evaluating teachers on seriously flawed instruments is worse than what is currently in place. As for pension reform, teachers should be given even more generous pensions in view of what is expected from them now more than ever.

Kenn from Bayside



The idea of a $20,000 bonus to teachers who receive the top ranking for two consecutive years is nothing but a carrot on a stick situation. What motivation would any principal have to give any teacher this rating, knowing it will only add to their already butchered budgets? The personal politics and favoritism that will ensue are disastrous. Pitting teacher against teacher is a recipe for failure. I know that if I am directly competing for my position with my colleagues, I will not be sharing practices or collaborating with them at all. New teachers, who generally are helped and guided by their more experienced coworkers will be left to fend for themselves.

Gary
College Point



Governor Cuomo's highly biased comments about "teaching is about employment for adults" is insulting . After teaching for over 24 years in the NYC school system I know teachers are not the problem. The Mayor of NYC and the Governor who in my opinion is spouting rhetoric in order to provide education on the cheap. Firing teachers early in their careers, hence reducing pensions. Also getting rid of teachers who are earning the higher salaries. All NYC teachers are asking for is a fair system which we have agreed on with the DOE! We will not however agree to a system with no checks or balances as to a principals evaluation.

Jeffrey from Riverdale



My wife is a teacher for 9 years and is very effective. She is constantly looking for ways to improve how she can reach the kids. This new evaluation system has nothing to do with education, it has more to do with the mayor and the governor trying to cover up what they should have corrected years ago. The principals needs to be held responsible for not catching the failing schools earlier and correcting bad teachers and even starting support systems to assist teachers that need more help and getting parents more involved to help reinforce what teachers have implemented in the class room.

Joshua



I think Bloomberg is missing the point. To reward teachers that are doing well and punish others that are not is ridiculous. The reason some teachers and their schools are failing in the first place is the over crowding of students in classes due to Bloombergs teacher layoffs. The teachers and schools that are doing well are most likely the schools and teachers that were not affected by over crowding. Instead of rewarding these teachers with $20,000.00 bonuses, rehire teachers again and give them all the chance to do better without the extenuating circumstances. For Bloomberg to say students are doing better and crime is down is narcissistic, he should not be taking credit for peoples character,

Anthony C



Mr Cuomo is looking for a higher glory...and office Students should be evaluated by their results and the teachers by the results of their students. Stop so much evaluation...and so many politicians jumping into the bandwagon of education 'problems'.

Andrew
Sunnyside Gardens
(formerly at Battery Park City)



As a teacher and a proud union member, I am absolutely in favor of a revamped evaluation process for teachers. However, the methods of this evaluation should not be determined by pundits and politicians, many of whom have never seen the inside of a New York City public school. The idea that test scores are indicative of teacher performance are ridiculous. The focus on test scores is counterproductive, and has led to many schools being turned into nothing but test prep factories, places where kids are not provided with a truly well rounded education. Listen to TEACHERS, not politicians. In my opinion, the fairest way to evaluate a teacher would be by coming up with some type of evaluation Committee that consists of a combination of teachers and administrators. Giving a principal the power to alley decide who is effective or not is a recipe for disaster, and a clear pathway to even more cronyism and personal politics.

Gary
College Point



While Governor Cuomo opposed Mayor Bloomberg on teacher layoffs during his early honeymoon period he is now entertaining a teacher evaluation plan which as I suspected indicates he is giving into the mayor. Randi Weingarten gave away so much of what teachers fought long and hard for allowing a rich bully mayor to take advantage of them.

The Governor is now saying this is supposed to be about the student, that it is not a work program for adults, indications that he is planning on easing over to Bloomberg's side.

We are soon going to see what the Governor is truly made of. No teachers go to work in the mornings not ready to work and help the progress of the students.

Carlo,
Brooklyn, Ny



Teachers want an evaluation system that will improve teaching so that our children will benefit. Teachers are life-long learners who look forward to a fair and unbias system of evaluation that will focus on improving teaching in the 21st Century. If there is money in the budget for merit pay, why isn't that money put into the schools to support our children with lower class size, enrichment subjects like music and art, up to date technology, and services that children need like free eyeglasses and free dental visits.

Thanks!
Pat
Howard Beach, NY



Good evening John:

I applaud Governor Cuomo for his efforts in fixing our State's budget. After the mess that Spitzer and his buddy Paterson got us into, it's great to have a Governor who takes the bull by the horns. I agree with the teacher evaluations as well. My work is evaluated bi-annually, why shouldn't a teacher's?

Thanks,
Thomas
Alphabet City



I don't support Cuomo's call for a new teacher evaluation system. Teachers have to complete 3 year probationary period and submit to a formal evaluation by their principal every year to keep their jobs.. If a principal can't figure out if a teacher is satisfactory or unsatisfactory after 3 years of observations, it is the principals, the DOE and the Mayor that are the problems, not the teachers. an evaluation system is already in place, administration just need to use it correctly. pure propaganda and scapegoating!

anuk
jackson heights



Teachers support Governor Cuomo. President Mulgrew has helped the parents and the children of this city tremendously. Teachers have worked hard to give their students the best education possible despite criticism about teacher performance. Teachers have due process. This means they must go through a process to be removed. Administrators need to follow through when needed. Teachers want fairness. Teaching is a science. Through practice, the right skills and techniques are obtained. We support Cuomo in what he is seeking. All we seek is fairness in being evaluated. Fairness must be defined to mean the same for all administrators. This is all that educators of this city want.

Marie - Bensonhurst



Yes I definitely approve of Gov Cuomo's decision, Teacher evaluation is a necessity, In any other non union job if you don't perform your fired, why should teachers be any different Unions are a big problem in this City and if they would give a little less people would be out of work.

Jordan
Whitestone, NY



I think most of Governor Cuomo's budge is going to right direction. However, here is the question from my teen (when she was in 5th grade): When economy is not doing well, government doesn't have enough money for education, etc., they said they had to cut the funding for CUNY & higher education; so when the economy's doing well, will they give more money to them? I only see the tuitions going up and up, but never go down!
Governor Cuomo can you answer her question?

Chen from Upper East Side



Hi John,

It may be annoying to be constantly evaluated, but at the same time, children deserve a quality education. Teachers do not spend enough time teaching their kids quality material, and even those that are tenured should be evaluated and re-evaluated.

Education is ever changing and teachers need to adapt to give the children the best possible education they can offer. If that's through constant evaluations, so be it.

However, I don't like the ability of the government to withhold the money from the school if they don't abide by the rules because that just gives them more power when it comes to controlling education. Teachers should be given that power, if proven to be highly qualified educators.

Anna
Albright College Student
Elementary Education & French



First we have to find out in Governor Cuomo is a member of ALEC (such as former Gov. Pataki) If this is the case, then, he is simply a “cog in a wheel” to privatize everything from public schools to our prisons to law enforcement to medicare and social security (the list simply never ends) The other inevitable goal of ALEC would be to transform American workers to a never complaining group who make up the return of the “working poor” – workers who basically work from high school graduation until death. However, if this isn’t the case, and ALEC isn’t part of the equation, then, we must assume Cuomo will make a run for the presidency in 2016 by playing both sides of the labor fence while having at the moment with a 73% approval rating.

Teachers in Germany (where the government embraces unions and always works WITH unionized professionals) get paid approximately twice what American teachers get paid. Inner city school teachers here multi-task more than any other profession while on the job – with the exception of surgeons. A veteran teacher has about the same level of education as a podiatrist. How many podiatrists do you know earn under $100K per year here in New York? If a teacher got paid $1 per teaching period for merely watching a child, in an over crowded school, that teacher would earn over $300,000 per year – NOT including lessons taught and all the other “roles” that they play to which there are too many to list here. Thus, a pension could be viewed as the difference between what teachers should make and what they DO make.

The way I see it, a teacher, who is often revered in most other cultures, more than most professions out there, deserves a good pension so they can live a dignified retirement to match their dignified often thankless profession. You want to have all teachers work until they’re 65 or older? You will see teachers literally dying in front of their students in the classroom. Then again, they would deserve that fate if you go by what ALEC has designed for all of us.

PS – Should a doctor be rated according to how well his or her patients follow their after care instructions? Should a traffic cop be judged by how drivers follow hand signals? Should a dog walker be judged by the number of dogs that illegally poop on a sidewalk? Teaching is an ART, NOT a “science”. Rating teachers “scientifically” is only part of the inevitable goal of the privatization of - everything.

- Robert, Bayside



First I would like to mention that I have been teaching for twelve years & I have been evaluated every single year. I would also like to ask that people that are not teachers not comment on any of this. Unless you have taught in a New York City public school classroom, you have no idea what it is like. Teaching is an extremely difficult job. It is a huge insult to hear how little respect the mayor, governor, & other New Yorkers have for teachers. Finally, I would like to say that teachers deserve to be treated like professionals. Let's remember that teachers did not ruin the U.S. economy, the 1% (like Bloomberg) did.

Insulted Teacher



many other factors go into being a "good" teacher. The results of students test scores is not an accurate measurement, unless all of the variables for each student are the exact same. we should be stressing unity of the school as a whole. Not component parts! This would teach an "old fashioned" value of responsibility, of, for and to each other as in a "family".

LD The VIllage



First of all, unless I can't read or am considered a "sheeple", how can you say Gov. Cuomo is not raising taxes when clearly he is raising taxes by using the "millionaire's tax"? Please explain how anyone can see this and say he is not raising taxes?????

Sandra



A new evaluation system is best for everyone, as long as its fair. It's very hard to come up with an evaluation system thats fair for ALL teachers equally. If you base it on state test scores then you are only grading English and Math teachers. Additionally, if you have very low functioning students, how is using test scores fair at all? The UFT is willing to negotiate, it is Bloomberg that walked away from the table and is throwing a tantrum like a 2 year old. So no matter how difficult the task the UFT is ready and willing to work with the city to get this done. So what is Bloomberg waiting for?

Meredith
teacher on SI

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