So here we are, the morning of January 17, 2013, and still there has been no announcement about the evaluation negotiations.
The Daily News, in an editorial filled with the usual anti-teacher clap trap, says the talks are "dead in the water."
It's an editorial that blames UFT President Michael Mulgrew and the UFT for all the conflicts in the negotiations.
It's a fairly mild preview of what will come from them if the deadline passes without an agreement.
Mulgrew's a big boy, I know he can handle the vitriol and hostility that will come his way from the media if he holds his ground and refuses to agree to the damaging evaluation system Mayor Bloomberg wants in order to fire thousands of teachers.
What I am not sure Mulgrew can handle is if he agrees to that damaging system, the city gets to "I-Rate" and fire thousands of teachers and Mulgrew suddenly discovers that the sheep he has been leading in the UFT turn on him like wolves.
It would take a lot for that to happen, of course, but given just how badly rigged APPR is against teachers, it surely seems that if anything could turn the membership against the UFT leadership, it would be APPR.
Now I am sure that Mulgrew figures all will get better after Bloomberg goes, that no matter what system he helps put into place, it won't be too bad if the psychos currently working for Bloomberg are replaced by people with less hostility toward teachers and schools.
But he is wrong about that.
Helping to institutionalize a damaging evaluation system that is rigged against teachers, that enshrines "junk science" in the form of the VAM with the 52% median margin of error and the 87% maximum margin of error based upon test scores, that uses the 57 page Danielson rubric that is impossible to score "effective" on, that has been developed not to help teachers with their jobs but to smear many as "failures," will bring about the ruin of the public school system no matter who is running Tweed or sitting in City Hall.
Mulgrew and his leadership need to say NO to this evaluation agreement, they need to take to the airwaves and point out to the public in a coherent and coordinated ad campaign just why this APPR evaluation system was a poison pill that could not be swallowed and they need to begin the process of getting this law changed instead of attacking critics of the law like Carol Burris and Diane Ravitch.
I hope the Daily News is right about talks being "dead in the water."
But I am not so sure about that.
I expect a sell-out yet, because in my 12 years as a member, the UFT leadership has never shown the willingness to stand up for what is right and then effectively fight back against the deform movement.
Sure, they've won lawsuits against school closures - but then those schools have been closed anyway in subsequent years.
Sure they've won lawsuits against the Regents and the NYSED for changing the test component measures in APPR - but then they've dropped that victory when pressured by the governor to do so.
Sure they got an agreement from the NYCDOE that the Teacher Data Reports would never see the light of day in the media - but the TDR's indeed did see the light of day when the DOE reneged on its word and there was nothing the UFT could do about it but delay for a while.
I will be happy to be wrong about this.
Nothing would make me happier than to be able to write tomorrow that the UFT stuck by teachers and did not agree to a damaging APPR system that is going to be used to bludgeon thousands of teachers THIS YEAR when it is implemented.
But there is still a lot of time between now and deadline for us to get the sell-out.