This requirement falls under the Observation and Other Measures of Teacher Effectiveness component of the plan, which represents 60% of a teacher’s overall score. The other 40% are based on student test scores: a state or comparable measure, such as the Common Core state assessments in math and ELA, and a locally-selected measure.
These changes, which are a result of the federal government’s Race to the Top mandates, have largely been made in top-down fashion, without real teacher input.
On this site and on others, however, NYC teachers’ voices will be heard. In fulfilling the first component of the plan, Observation and Other Measures of Teacher Effectiveness, which utilizes the Danielson Framework for Teaching as a rubric, NYC teachers will be writing reflection journals about the impact of Race to the Top (RTTP) polices and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) package on our teaching practice. The reflection journal artifact is aligned to the following Danielson domain and component:
Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities
4a Reflecting on Teaching
We begin with reflections on Pearson’s ReadyGEN, the new NYC DOE Core Curriculum ELA program for grades K-5. -KL
From a third grade Special Education teacher:
I only want to know if Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (for GO Math!) were selling stock options to NYC at a great rate. Why else would anyone, and I mean ANYONE have bought this “snake oil?”
From a fifth grade teacher:
I was ready for this school year, or so I thought. I attended multiple trainings over the summer, spent time reflecting, preparing, and lesson planning. I knew that there would be some big changes with the new NYC DOE Common Core-aligned ELA and math programs adopted by my school. But I had no idea it would be like this.
Over the past week, I have worked through all of my preps and most of my lunches preparing for this new curriculum. I have also spent one to three hours daily at home. The workload is greater, beyond the normal preparation time, for two main reasons:
1.) The new teacher evaluation plan takes into account detailed and thorough lesson plans.
2.) Two new programs need to be tweaked to fit the needs of my class. Although many teachers are worried about the former, I realize that I am spending so much time planning just to get a grasp on what I am actually going to teach. The ReadyGEN ELA program has so many different components and addresses multiple standards within a single lesson, which leaves little time to delve deeply, explain or focus on anything.
There is so much knowledge that is assumed, that kids know what it means to analyze a text, or to explain how the text features contribute to the readers’ understanding. Sure, I can teach them how to do this, but doesn’t teaching mean showing and doing, or rather, having the kids do it? These lessons seem to be more about telling them to analyze and less about showing them what it means and how to do it.