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Buffalo teachers welcome fair evaluation procedure

Buffalo teachers and the district did not, as a News editorial stated, “attempt to weaken the evaluation system.” We, like many districts, realized that using an untested, standardized test-based evaluation was wrong. See www.romesentinel.com/news?newsid=20130321-142131 and www.btfny.org/mail/images/dandc_greece.pdf .

Large numbers of teachers, whom everyone considered excellent, were rated “ineffective.” In one Buffalo school, 11 teachers were rated as “effective” on all 22 “indicators” on their classroom evaluation; however, their overall “composite score” was “ineffective.” One teacher was rated “effective” on 20 of the 22 indicators and “highly effective” on the two remaining indicators, but received an “ineffective” rating. These evaluations could lead to termination!

The commissioner stated that student scores will drop significantly as a result of students being tested on the Common Core Standards. Yet teachers will be evaluated based on these scores.

Parents are seeing children come home with stomach aches, crying and not wanting to come to school because of the pressure of standardized tests, the results of which are not known for six to eight months. Kindergarten students are filling in “bubble answer sheets” for tests! Hundreds of hours of teaching time are being wasted preparing for and testing our students.

Teachers welcome a fair evaluation, not a procedure that has been shown to be a disaster and that harms students.

The News continually attacks us, never printing the positive. This year, the Buffalo Teachers Federation distributed 35,000 new age-appropriate books to all of our students – a first, nationwide. No coverage. The BTF for the last 14 years fed hundreds of families during Thanksgiving. No coverage. The BTF for the last 10 years provided thousands of certificates to encourage reading. No coverage. The BTF provides 50,000 certificates to send home as rewards during the year. No coverage. So much for fairness.

Philip Rumore

President

Buffalo Teachers Federation