Why I Voted Against the UFT’s New Contract

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?

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2 comments on “Why I Voted Against the UFT’s New Contract

  1. Dana Robbins says:

    Well said, Ms. Rumphius!

  2. mets2006 says:

    Last year only 1% of teachers in NYS (outside of NYC) received “ineffective” scores … the current teacher eval plan is state law – the only thing the contract can do, and it did, was to clarify elements within the 60-20-20 bands – I agree that the current plan is much too complex and not helpful to teachers or principals – the 20% based on student scores is a growth model and teachers are compared with teachers teaching “similar” students – a teacher whose kids move from a 4.0 to a 3.9 will receive a lower score than a teacher whose kids move from 1.5 to 1.6 … in neither instance does the teacher or the principal know why … local contract negotiations will not change the underlying plan … only a change in the law.

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