Just got a nice invite from the DOE to participate in a survey about my school. It sounds great. The purpose of the survey is to "..inform recommendations to school and administrative leaders – at NYCDOE and across the country – on how to attract and keep great teachers for schools serving low-income students."
Awesome! Sign me up!
But wait. I had a deja vu moment as I read the email. It said: The surveys will be voluntary and confidential. No individual schools, staff or teachers will be personally identifiable in any future reports or publications, and individual responses will not be shared with anyone from NYCDOE. All data will be reported in the aggregate.
Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yes. That's the same bullshit that they told us when they asked us to participate in Teacher Data Reports. If you recall. none of that data was ever going to be shared. The DOE promised us it would remain confidential. They promised that they would actively resist any attempt to use that data in any way and fight against its release.
Oops. Turns out they were just joshing us. What they really meant to say was that they would try to release that supposedly confidential information at the first possible opportunity. The UFT is still in court trying to make the DOE keep its promise. As of right now, the UFT is losing that battle.
If you look at the survey, there are so many personal questions that it would relatively easy for someone to figure out who took it. They ask you things such as subject, years teaching, years in the district, years in your school, etc. They also ask you how happy you are with your school's leadership by asking a whole host of questions. I bet your principals and APs would love to read that.
Oh, but they can't. Because the surveys are confidential. It's even in bold print! Just because the DOE screwed 80,000 teachers once by reneging on a confidentiality agreement doesn't mean they'll do it again, does it?
I wouldn't bet my career on it.