Tuesday, November 27

UFT says 'nay' to TPU; PEP votes yea on G&T

Urban Academy Principal Ann Cook collects signatures to a Time Out From Testing petition opposing the progress reports during the UFT's candlelight vigil against the Teacher Performance Unit. (Philissa Cramer/Insideschools)

Hundreds of teachers lined Chambers Street in front of Tweed earlier tonight to protest the creation of a "Teacher Performance Unit" to root out and fire incompetent teachers. Speakers included City Council members Robert Jackson and John Liu, UFT President Randi Weingarten, and a UFT chapter leader who has experienced reprisals for speaking out for teachers and students in her school.

UFT supporters sing "Solidarity Forever" at the vigil. (Philissa Cramer/Insideschools)

Unfortunately for critics of the union, no one defended truly terrible teachers or said they should be retained even if remediation fails; instead, the speakers repeatedly decried the culture of fear and potential for abuse the TPU creates.

Inside Tweed, the Panel for Educational Policy voted 8-1 to approve a slightly modified Gifted & Talented proposal. The revised policy builds in a sibling preference policy, eliminates on-site assessments for the three citywide programs, and adds summer testing dates for children whose families are new to the city. Patrick Sullivan, the Manhattan representative to the PEP, voted against the proposal to honor the wishes of District 3's CEC, which passed a motion expressing concern about the potential closure of successful G&T programs on the Upper West Side.

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