Rank-And-File Concerns?

I can't imagine the rank and file voting against ratification of the contract that CTU and CPS have come to agreement on, but there are at least a few teachers who apparently aren't super excited about it.  One of them, an anonymous commenter over at Catalyst, writes about voting against the contract and a provision I've never heard of that would allow principals to ding teachers despite them having received satisfactory ratings. "I'm voting no on contract. I love karen lewis but when two satisfactories equals an unsatisfactory in our contract, I'm voting no. If a principal is honest yes. But this is a way for a principal to get rid of you with a clean conscious [sic]. And on top of it getting a developing blacklists you out of cps pretty much. A rubric is a rubric not an exact science..it can be toyed with for good or bad. All that part about bullying principal will mean nothing when you check the application prompt that asks you are non renewed. I think many teachers will lose their livelyhoods[sic]. Tbd"

First off, is this true about the new contract -- that teachers with satisfactory ratings can be deemed unsatisfactory some other way?  Second, is there any real surge of concern among teachers about the contract, which CTU and most observers seem to have deemed to be pretty damn good.

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  • Dear Alexander, in the Tentative Agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 under 39-2. Evaluation Plan and Procedures: 39-2.1. Evaluation Plan. Each teacher shall be evaluated annually or biennially as "excellent," "proficient" "developing" (state law equivalent is "need improvement") or "unsatisfactory" by a qualified evaluator in accordance with this Article and the Evaluation Plan. OPEN- A teacher who receives two consecutive summative "Developing" ratings shall be rated Unsatisfactory IF, in the second year, both his/her teacher practice rating or his/her overall rating declines.

  • The problem here is that the new teacher efficiency ratings created under the PERA law do not translate directly into the four categories currently in use. The third rating under the current system is "satisfactory" which has no negative consequences for the teacher. A "needs improvement" (to be referred to in Chicago as "developing") is not the same thing, even though it looks like it should be. It's definitely problematic that two consecutive needs improvement ratings can lead to an unsatisfactory, but I don't think that voting against the contract will solve the problem.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    There are two protections built in that will "not" result in an unsatisfactory from two consecutive Developing ratings: !. If the teacher practice portion of the evaluation improves. 2. If the overall rating points increase. These are protections embedded into the new evaluation system to prevent and even stop principal abuse and manipulation. First, teacher practice is based on evidence, not just principal opinion. Teachers may submit evidence that the principal may not directly observed. Any teacher who feels at risk of receiving an unsatisfactory should submit evidence to the contrary Second, a teacher rated unsatifactory may appeal that rating to an independent/neutral third party for review. This means that a principal no longer has sole discretion over whether or not an unsatisfactory rating is legitimate. An arbitrator will have the power to overturn an illegitimate unsatisfactory rating. Remember, you can read the entire Agreement on the CTU website..

  • Who pays for the arbitrator--CPS! gotcha...

  • In reply to district299reader:

    39-9. Appeals Process: For school years 2012-13, 2012-14 and 2014-15, a teacher appeals process shall be established to contest certain unsatifactory summative ratings given by a qualified evaluator. It shall be comprised of a committee of four active or retired educators, two of whom shall be selected by the UNION president and the BOARD CEO, one of whom shall be selected by the UNION and one of whom shall be selected by the BOARD. All members of the committee shall be qualified evaluators. P.S.- For full additional information on the appeal process, please go to the CTU website.. Thanking you in advance.

  • Any CPS stakeholder who has any questions about the tentative CTU contract should go to the CTU website, contact your union delegate, field representative or CTU representative. Thanking you in advance.

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