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Mayor and Union Talk on Radio About Evaluations (Separately)

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 03:10 PM

A day after education officials and teachers' unions reached a compromise on a teacher evaluation agreement, the two sides took to the airwaves for their respective postmortems. Thursday's agreement was for a statewide framework, leaving local districts to sort out the details of their own individual evaluation systems and how to carry them out. And some of New York City's details required patient explanations.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the city's union, the United Federation of Teachers, spoke on WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show" to discuss how the union and city education officials finally overcame a hurdle blocking a deal: the appeals process for teachers rated as ineffective.

Mr. Mulgrew said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo stepped in to help the two sides negotiate.

"What we were able to do with the governor's office and his staff over the last week or so is come to an appeals process that really is fair," he said. "The chancellor does not have the final authority in many cases now."

Under the agreement, 13 percent of those teachers who want to challenge a bad rating can rely on a third party to make the final decision. And all teachers with poor ratings can turn to an independent party the following year to help them improve.

Mr. Mulgrew laid out in detail how the appeals process, for teachers rated as ineffective, would work in New York City.

WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show

Mr. Mulgrew spoke earlier in the morning on "The John Gambling Show" on WOR Radio. He spoke in a separate hour from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who makes a weekly radio appearance on that show.

The mayor and the schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, spent part of the show discussing the teacher evaluation agreement and how appeals would be handled differently from how they are currently. You can hear it all here.

WOR's The John Gambling Show

The mayor started out by calling Mr. Walcott "a great human being" and congratulating him on the agreement.

"You had an enormous amount to do with this, and that will be part of your legacy," the mayor told the chancellor.

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