Although Roosevelt has not tracked its transition students, Assistant Principal Willard Uber believes they probably are doing alright. “My impression is that they are doing at least as well as those who came to us from the elementary schools. They are the kind of kids who stuck with it over at the transition center. I’m not saying they are going to be the top of the class, but I think there’s a certain personality trait that got them here.”
All week, another English teacher Sarah Levine has been reviewing the board-assigned literature with her students, going over terms and working on analysis. But she isn’t sure what they will find on the CASE. She’s concerned that her students may not remember details of a text they read last quarter, but she is hopeful that the CASE will test higher-level thinking skills, the skills she feels she is supposed to be teaching. “I’m depending on them to focus on argument skills and writing skills—not just recall,” she says.
The contract gives teachers a voice in repairing under-performing schools through a new process called re-engineering, which is a step between probation and reconstitution. At each school chosen for re-engineering, faculty will elect a peer evaluation group to review teachers’ performance. Teachers will have the opportunity to opt out of peer evaluation, in which case they will be given a year-long interim assignment at a different school before being put in the pool of reassigned teachers. A joint union-board panel will assign assessment teams to review school improvement plans—the contract does not specify team membership—and oversee the entire process.