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Bill de Blasio: Executing evals will require rare mutual cooperation

Here’s a statement that Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is running for mayor, sent over about the city’s new evaluation system:

I commend Commissioner King for putting in place a new evaluation system that will overwhelmingly emphasize in-person classroom evaluation and close collaboration between principals and teachers at the school level to finally provide teachers meaningful feedback to help them grow and develop as professionals. The new system is a tremendous improvement over the past. Going forward, I remain concerned about the extent to which scores on state tests will factor into teacher evaluations and believe we need to watch closely how the pilot use of student surveys to rate teachers plays out in our schools. I plan to closely monitor both aspects of this plan and their impacts on professional development. Making this system work across 1,700 schools is going to be a daunting task and will only be accomplished if it is approached with a spirit of mutual cooperation and respect that City Hall and the Department of Education have over the past twelve years utterly failed to muster in their work with New York City’s teachers. Improving our schools starts with elevating the teaching profession, not demonizing and disrespecting teachers. The unjustified boasting I’ve witnessed from City Hall and the DOE over the past twenty-four hours suggests the people who lead our school system have yet to learn this lesson, and gives me grave concern about this administration’s ability to effectively implement this system by September.