United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew called out Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday, claiming his proposal for evaluation of teachers was beyond the law and an overreach of his authority as the city's chief executive.
At a press conference, the UFT president announced that he fully supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest plan for establishing an evaluation system for educators, but made it clear that he would not concede to Mayor Bloomberg's plan.
The mayor's plan, which was announced in his State of the City speech, would weed out nearly half of the teachers at 33 of the city's lowest performing schools and reward top-notch teachers with a raise of $20,000.
Mulgrew dubbed the proposed plan a gotcha system that would not help to make education in New York any better.
They have this idea that they can go after teachers rather than helping teachers, that's the major difference, Mulgrew said. But If we come up with a system that truly helps teachers become better throughout their entire careers, could you imagine what the benefit would be to the students of this city? It would be an amazing paradigm shift.
The conference was held shortly after the governor's budget announcement, at which Cuomo announced that state aid for schools would not be awarded to districts that do not have an evaluation system in place.
Cuomo also ordered teachers to settle the lawsuit between the UFT and the New York State United Teachers Federation against the State Department of Education within 30 days. If those conditions are not met, he will write in his own rating system into the budget and withhold a four percent increase in state aid.
Mulgrew stated that he hopes city leaders would come back to the table in order to negotiate the lawsuit, saying that he would do everything in his power to resolve the issues.
I am hoping that this pressure [by the governor] being put upon the mayor and his people will bring them back to the negotiation table, so that we can get the tough work of getting an evaluation system for New York City done, he said.