As the mayor of NYC and governor of NYS try to come up with a better way to support teachers, by evaluating them, the public asks….”Why only evaluate and support teachers?”
“The public is absolutely right. Don’t other civil servants need support as well? Let’s change the evaluation system for everyone!” replied the mayor, during a press conference yesterday.
Starting next month, every FDNY employee will undergo a strict new evaluation. 20% of the evaluation will be based on something called Value Retained Model or VRM. The way VRM works is that an accountability expert will make sure to arrive to the scene of a fire first. They will take pictures and videos of the building from the point they arrive to the time the firefighters have finished. The status of the building at arrival will be labeled B1. This is similar to the standardized test score of a child entering a teacher’s class in September. B2 will respectively be the status of the building upon departure of the last firefighter. . B2 is similar to the standardized test score of a child at the end of the school year. The difference between B2 and B1 (also known as Delta B) will be entered into a simple formula, as depicted in Figure 1 below.
Critics of VRM state that this model does not take into account certain factors such as building material, weather, or even distance from the firehouse to the building. The group hired to work on this model, Fearson, received a no bid $20 Million contract to formulate this support evaluation system. Fearson states that they are “working out some kinks“, “We believe we are on to something great that will benefit not only the firefighters, but building owners and citizens“.
Where is the other 80% of the evaluation coming from?
The mayor and other fire safety reformers believe that 60% should fall on observations. In order to get adequate observations and not put the accountability expert, from Fearson at risk, they will be using wireless helicopter cameras to get the best shot of how the firefighter is executing the plan. The camera will record all possible actions and then be reviewed during a post fire observation meeting.
The FDNY and the UFA (Uniformed Firefighters Association) still need to meet and negotiate details of the remaining 20% of local measures as well as an appeals process. Other details are being negotiated, but neither side is sharing any of those details with the firefighters or building owners. See Petition.
“In the end, we feel firefighters will benefit the most from the support they get and I condemn any rumors that supervisors will be walking around with canisters of kerosene to create ‘gotcha’ observations.” stated the CEO of Buildings First.
Just a little analogy I thought of as I sat in exile for blowing the whistle on corruption. Ridiculous? Exactly!
I have nothing but the utmost respect for NY’s Bravest.
Parent, Educator UFT Chapter Leader
Candidate for UFT Middle School Executive Board Seat