Farina Addresses Teachers

Chancellor Fariña Addresses Teachers

Her goal: Restore dignity and Respect to teaching

farina addresses teachersChancellor Fariña addresses teachers, at a town hall meeting with UFT members. 

  • Her first priority — and the accomplishment by which she most wants to be judged — is restoring dignity and respect to the teaching profession.
  •  “No one works well if beaten down,” she said at the first in a series of five town halls with educators from each borough.

She called teachers “experts on the ground,” and “our best kept secret.” 
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In a Q&A led by UFT head Michael Mulgrew, she answered a question about school cooperation:

  • Fariña explained that she has been emphasizing collaboration and sharing in her meetings with principals, superintendents and network leaders. She also pointed to eight schools, all with high numbers of high-need students, which will serve as demonstration sites featuring best practices. She said she hopes to increase the number to 45 by September.

She also spoke about high-stakes testing, saying it was a problem, and that she was working on it.

UPDATE! Today the Chancellor announced a new promotion policy, which deals with this very question. Test scores are no longer the only measure of student promotion. 

Test Taking TipsTo develop the new policy, the Department consulted with and gathered feedback from families, teachers, principals, and education advocates. Many identified that, under the current policy, a student’s body of work over the course of the entire year was overlooked in favor of a single, standardized exam. To remedy those concerns and incorporate multiple measures in accordance with State law, the DOE plans to implement several important changes:
    • Empowering Educators – Based on a review of student work from the year, teachers and principals will identify the students they believe may be at risk of not being able to succeed in the next grade, even with support. State test results for the lowest-performing students will continue to be shared with schools in June. Schools may use this information as one of multiple pieces of evidence to assess student readiness for the next grade level, but they may not use it as the primary or major factor in those decisions. 
    • Authentic Student Work – Teachers will complete promotion portfolios for students identified for possible retention. The guidance provided to schools about this process will be revised so that student promotion portfolios align to the Common Core, represent real classroom learning, and incorporate student work already completed throughout the school year. 
    • Consistent, Rigorous Standards – The reviews of student portfolios in schools across the city will be judged against clear, consistent, criteria aligned to the Common Core. Superintendents will oversee this process for their schools. 
And here is the actual list of Chancellor’s Regulation A-501 changes.

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Tweet: http://ctt.ec/324SH+ Fariña addresses teachers @uft, and @upknyc online registration info via @ctrteachered


Two notable changes (in the UFT address) from the previous administration: the gifted and talented programs will again have someone in chard after a several-year vacancy, and the DOE will set up interviews for vacant teaching positions with ATR (Absent Teacher Reserve) pool teachers.

She also promised to answer every question teachers had, encouraging them to write their question on an index card. 

*** If you handed an index card in, please let us know what your question was, and what the Chancellor said in return! This seems to be a common theme when Chancellor Farina addresses teachers, where she asks for input in a way that feels very familiar to those of us who have been at Education Professional Development sessions. She seems to be practicing some educator best-practices even as she addresses teachers. We’d love to hear about the follow-through on these!

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Tweet: http://ctt.ec/324SH+ Fariña addresses teachers @uft, and @upknyc online registration info via @ctrteachered