Stop the Public Shaming and Unjust Firing of Teachers
  • Petitioned Richard Iannuzzi

This petition was delivered to:

NYSUT President
Richard Iannuzzi
AFT President
Randi Weingarten
UFT President
Michael Mulgrew

Stop the Public Shaming and Unjust Firing of Teachers

    1. Alex Messer
    2. Petition by

      Alex Messer

      Brooklyn, NY

Teachers need to be evaluated, but not publicly shamed and unjustly fired.

The Teacher’s Union is about to agree to a provision that will allow data derived from the value-added modeling (VAM) of test scores to account essentially for 100% of a teacher’s evaluation. They are also about to agree to a provision that will allow this extremely dubious data to be used in the public shaming and humiliation of teachers.

Here’s what you need to know— 

VAM data that will be used to evaluate teachers are so unstable that the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences has warned that they cannot be considered fair or reliable enough to make operational decisions about teachers.

The Union says the VAM data will account for 20%-40% of a teacher’s evaluation, but it can actually account for 100%. Although the evaluations will comprise 40% local and state test data (student performance) and 60% classroom observation and community feedback, there is a provision of the agreement that is cause for the utmost alarm— “Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall.” This means that no matter how excellent a teacher has performed on their observations – or how highly they have been rated by parents and students – if they have not raised test scores they will be rated ineffective overall.

What it really means is that the 40% of evaluations will count for 100% of evaluations, and after two years of ineffective ratings, a teacher will be fired.

And as long as VAM data exist, they will be used as a tool for the public shaming and humiliation of teachers in New York State. Just this past week, the New York Post, New York Times and countless other organizations published highly flawed Teacher Data Reports derived from value-added modeling. The precedent has now been set. Under the Freedom of Information Act and current New York State law, as long as teachers’ VAM data exist, they may be published nationally, in newspapers and other media.

Teachers must be evaluated, but this is not the way. If you agree that teachers should not be subject to dismissal at the hands of highly flawed data, and that they should not be subject to further shaming and public humiliation – take action now and sign our letter! We will be sending it to the heads of the UFT, NYSUT, and AFT to let them know we demand better, and they must demand better for us!


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Featured on Gothamschools as well!

      Alex Messer
      Petition Organizer

      It's starting to work - we've received over 1,300 signatures in less then a week, and are starting to gain media attention! We've just been featured on Gothamschools and Insideschools, and people are starting to pay attention. Keep helping us spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, via email and any other way you can - and send the powerful message that it's not okay to publicly shame and unjustly fire teachers!

    3. We were featured on!

      Alex Messer
      Petition Organizer

      People are starting to notice - help us keep spreading the word!

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Brian Gupta NEW YORK, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      Fairness.. Teachers in districts/schools with less engaged parents, will be punished unduly.

    • Wanye Thomas ATLANTA, GA
      • about 2 years ago

      Gerard Latimore

    • Clinton Campbell WINTER HAVEN, FL
      • about 2 years ago

      I agree that students deserve to have a teacher that effective and teacher evaluations are needed to measure their performance. However, I do not agree on publicly humiliating a teacher base on test scores is not the answer. Not only will it cause teacher attrition, but it will discourage talented people from entering the profession.

    • rachel soyk WEST HARRISON, NY
      • about 2 years ago

      Some students choose to do nothing. If parents cannot control their children what makes one think that a teacher can.

    • Lauren Cohen BROOKLYN, NY
      • about 2 years ago

      Value-added measures have been shown to be inaccurate (by up to 50 percentage points) and capricious (teachers scores varying widely year-to-year or even class-to-class within the same year). This witch-hunt for "bad teachers" will undoubtedly result in the unjust termination of excellent teachers who are subject to the whims of these statistics.


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