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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: June 3-7, 2013

In this week's education news: a state-imposed teacher evaluation system for NYC is announced, StudentsFirstNY Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner comments on the idea of the UFT electing NYC’s next mayor, and mayoral candidates weigh-in on education.

StudentsFirstNY Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner Comments on UFT Influence in Mayoral Race
Politicker // June 5, 2013

The president of the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, believes that the union’s endorsement will be so influential in the mayoral race that the group can essentially pick the city’s next mayor.

In a recent New York Observer article StudentsFirstNY Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner expressed concern at the prospect of a UFT-endorsed mayor turning back the clock on education reform for New York students:

[Weiner] said that the UFT would be “a formidable force” during the primary, but warned that it is “a scary proposition to think of them electing the next mayor.” He argued that rolling back Mr. Bloomberg’s policies would set back progress in outcomes such as graduation rates.

StudentsFirstNY Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner Praises New Teacher Evaluation System
New York Post // June 5, 2013

State Education Commissioner John King announced a landmark teacher-evaluation system that holds teachers accountable to the highest standards and removes ineffective ones from the classroom.

In an opinion piece of the New York Post, StudentsFirstNY Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner writes:

Until now, most New York City teachers have been rewarded based on seniority or quantity of graduate education; neither has been shown to improve student achievement. Effective and ineffective teachers leave our schools at the same rate, because we had no means to differentiate one from another.

Now, we do. We can identify 1) the best teachers, who should be rewarded, 2) developing teachers, who should be supported, and 3) failing teachers, who should be removed from the classroom. We have the chance to foster a culture of excellence in our schools so our children have the best chance for educational success.

State Education Commissioner John King Sides with Students over Teachers Union
NY Daily News // June 4, 2013

State Education Commissioner John King has announced a new teacher evaluation plan that put the educational interests of the students ahead of the employment interests of the teachers union. King’s plan will give New York’s next mayor a better chance at evaluating teacher performances, with the goals of helping them improve and removing ineffective teachers from the classroom.

According to the Daily News:

In September, principals will begin rating teachers using yardsticks that include standardized English and math test score gains, demonstrated progress in other subjects, classroom observations and pupil surveys.

Grades will be highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective, with two ineffective ratings in a row presumptive grounds for termination. According to some estimates, several thousand teachers a year could eventually face dismissal.

NYC Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Teacher Evaluation System
GothamSchools // June 4, 2013

Following State Education Commissioner John King's announcement of a new teacher evaluation system mayoral candidates are giving their opinion on the requirements.

According to Gotham Schools, it's clear that some candidates are trying to walk a fine line between appeasing the teacher's union and actually considering the implementation of the plan:

...whether or not they’re angling aggressively for the union’s support, candidates know that whoever becomes mayor will actually have to implement the system that is in place — and, quite possibly, renegotiate it with the teachers union as part of contract talks.

Bloomberg's Education Legacy a Key Issue in Mayoral Race
Associated Press // June 3, 2013

Over his three terms as mayor, Michael Bloomberg's education policies in New York City have become a model for reform around the country. While the city's mayoral candidates are criticizing the policies to score political points, StudentsFirst Founder and CEO Michelle Rhee offered her perspective on the race and the mayor's education legacy to the Associated Press

"I think that people are watching the race pretty carefully," Rhee said. "Mayor Bloomberg was really I think the mayor that put school reform on the map and really was the first mayor who was involved in driving reform in the city."

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