New York City teachers just voted on the proposed new contract and I voted no.
Why? Because this contract did nothing to address any of the sweeping, systematic mandates that are alienating students and teachers alike. Although the proposed contract may reduce the amount of paperwork involved in the new teacher evaluation system, it does not challenge the more egregious components of the new system, most notably, the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. System wide, test scores correlate to income or lack thereof. Thus tying teachers’ careers to test scores will drive teachers in low-income communities to either wholly abandon meaningful learning in favor of test prep or to leave struggling communities for higher income, aka higher scoring schools. Neither of these outcomes is good for the children we teach, nor for the profession we’ve chosen. If we don’t take a stand, who will?