On November 17th, more than one hundred parents and students stood on the steps of City Hall to urge the teachers’ union and the Department of Education to agree on a new teacher evaluation system.
With $300 million at risk, and the January deadline for reaching an agreement quickly approaching, fired up parents demanded that their voices be heard. One father of twins in the public school system commented on the differences he sees between the two teachers his children have, noting:
“One teacher sends home books… the other one doesn’t send home books. I can see, just from my two children, their reading levels are different… We need great teachers. If the teachers are great, our students are going to be great.”
Students also shared stories of great teachers who helped them succeed and who needed to be retained and rewarded, as well as ineffective teachers who have been failing students for years. Discussing one of her favorite teachers, one student said:
“Ms. Russ is a very effective teacher, and if we put in place a better teacher evaluation system, teachers like Ms. Russ would be labeled very effective and benefit from the new system.”