I am not a big fan of Michael Mulgrew, the president of the New York City teachers’ union. Although I think most teachers and, by extension, their union, want to do the best they can for their profession and for their students, the union often takes positions that are contrary to those goals, albeit in the interests of at least some of their members, and cynically couches it in terms of what’s good for “our kids.” How perpetuating a hyper due-process tenure system that protects incompetent teachers or worse. and how negotiating a contract that cuts classroom instruction time are good for kids is beyond me. Yet here is Mulgrew, in a piece in the New York Daily News, making a lot of sense and taking a moderate, thoughtful stand on the testing issue. Of course, what he doesn’t address is what happens when, under the evaluation system he proposes, a teacher still does not produce results. But this column is a step in the right direction.
Further on the testing debate