Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teachers union costs NY schools $700 million. 

How UFT torpedoed NY's shot at $700m

The city teachers union did its best to scuttle the state's application for $700 million in federal school aid by refusing to embrace reform measures required to compete for the funds, education authorities told The Post.

State officials confirmed that the United Federation of Teachers refused to sign a memo supporting the state's Race to the Top application because it would have allowed student test-score data to be used in the evaluation of the union's members.

The UFT also refused to agree to paying the best teachers extra to work in high-poverty schools, arguing that such a move smacked of merit pay.

And it sought to add obstacles for bouncing the lowest-performing teachers from the system, city officials said.

"What the union was proposing on issues of teacher evaluation and teacher compensation not only was not in accordance with the mandates of Race to the Top but would have damaged the state and the city's ability to win the $700 million award," Deputy Schools Chancellor John White said.

"Any statement that the teachers union was trying to satisfy the requirements of Race to the Top through an agreement with the state and the [city] Department of Education is a lie."
Well, that's plain enough. And here it comes:
UFT President Michael Mulgrew countered that the union had been looking to negotiate a memo with the city for weeks...

A copy of the UFT-signed memo contains language that runs counter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's push to have teachers evaluated based on how well their students perform.

It says twice that "test-score data cannot be used for teacher evaluation or individual compensation."... [NY Post]