This Daily News editorial pretty much gives the flavor of where things are today on the teacher debate in Gotham. But, rumors are flying about some sort of UFT data doomsday weapon that will undo the TNTP analysis. Readers anxiously await!
Incidentally, why does this issue matter? Because given the trajectory of contract/policy reform this will become an issue in other places, too, albeit on a smaller scale of course.
Also, Eduwonkette, who is quite close to all this so pay attention, raises two issues here that bear mentioning. First, she points out that many of the teachers in the excess pool have never had an unsatisfactory evaluation and puts the data in raw numbers rather than ratios and percents. That’s true but not an especially powerful point because most teachers don’t, even in the lowest-performing school. This TNTP report on Chicago (pdf) offers one look at that and by all accounts NYC is not materially different. Second, she raises the age-discrimination issue. At the top level it’s a real one but there are relatively straightforward mechanisms, even in a weighted-student-funding system, to guard against that. My prediction is that the UFT suit on that will be unsuccessful and instead that a deal can be struck there anyway. Interestingly, however, despite these few qualms Eduwonkette fails to rise to the defense of the UFT on this one…the doomsday weapon could be the last hope!
She also mentions (or says that “we might expect”) that young principals prefer to supervise young teachers. I’d be very interested in seeing some actual data or evidence on that. Generally, when you talk to them, what good principals say they want is, not surprisingly, good teachers. Because of hiring rules in a lot of places you often see a trend where a principal prefers to take their chances on a new hire rather than someone from the excess pool just as a matter of probability, and while that might look like an age bias in the data it’s not the same thing. Some evidence that disentangled those things to see if there truly is an age preference would be very interesting.