Tuesday, August 08, 2006

DOE Erodes Teacher Authority With It's Revised Student Disciplinary Code

The New York City Department of Education has decided to further erode the classroom teacher's authorty by proposing to revise the student disciplinary code in allowing a parent to appeal the removal of their child from the classroom. Presently, the classroom teacher has the right to remove a disruptive student for three days from his/her classroom. Most administrators don't like this regulation and try to pressure the teacher from enforcing the regulation. The reason they don't like this regulation is that the disruptive student is usually assigned to the assistant principal's office and the AP must oversee the student.

In my school, the administration tried to set up a procedure to limit the removal of the disruptive student, First, you had to talk to the child at least twice about his/her behavior. Second, you contacted the parent (trying to contact the parent was not good enough) and let the parent know about their child's behavior. Third, if the first two fail you send the student to the AP for a lecture and is sent back to class. Finally, only after the three procedures failed to change the student's behavior can the teacher issue a 3-day "do not admit" order for the student. The result was a teacher outcry and the Administrators backed down. However, they still try to discourage teachers from removing the disruptive student.

The proposed DOE regulation allows the parent to appeal to the Regional administrators, who don't care about the classroom, and will, in many cases, allow these disruptive students to return to the classroom so they can cause more damage.

This propsed revision is another attack on the classroom teacher's authority. First, it was micromanagement, then it was the one-size-fits-all curriculum, and now limiting the rght of a teacher to have a peaceful classroom. What's next?

To the union's credit the president Randi Weingarten has objected to this change. However, objecting is one thing doing something about it is another. The union must be pro-active on this issue and take whatever action that is necessary to ensure the revised student disciplinary code is not implemented. Talk is cheap, we classroom teaches expect action from our union representatives.

12 comments:

Dr. Homeslice said...

I agree, you deserve action from your union reps. At the same time, the union reps need your support. I can't tell you how hard it is, how frustrating it has been for me to actually go out and fight for a teacher in my building (and I would say 96% of my job is listening and the other 4% is doing) only to have them be wishy-washy or less than resolute about something when the rubber needs to hit the road and they need to support ME.

In solidarity,

Dr. Homeslice

Dr. Homeslice said...

By the way, your post has been linked in the Union Bouquet.

Ben McFerren said...

hi there,

We started a free site called teachade for teachers and I was wondering if you'd take a look to see what you think. Basically we're looking to build a community of teachers to support each other through professional development and resource exchange. We're looking for your input and suggestions on how to improve the site. Hope to see you join us and participate.

www.teachade.com

-Ben

bmcferren@teachade.com

Chaz said...

dr. homeslice:

I agree that teachers need to be motivated and being a union rep (chapter leader) is hard work. Teachers need to remember that they need to support each other and not assume that the chapter leader will make things right.

no_slappz said...

chaz,

You continue to fight the unwinnable battle. The NYC school systen is not the set for Man of La Mancha.

It's unfortunate that unionists like you have no interest in building a school system that fills the bill for employees and students.

Instead, unionists insist on a lifetime of fighting skirmishes that never deliver the goods. High-minded tough talk is always followed by embarrassingly meager results.

Note that GM is coming to its day of reckoning as a result of the decades of battle between GM management and the various unions employed by the company.

The unions will lose the most in the next couple of years because finance and laws of solvency will over-ride any union actions that further strain a company that is selling fewer vehicles every month.

Not surprisingly, unionists seem universally blind. Despite the accelerating success of Toyota, GM union workers have continued to act as though their collective strength is more powerful than consumer demands.

Public school teachers are in the same boat, thinking if they band together they can force satisfactory changes upon a huge bureaucratic monopoly.

IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

It's amazing that hope for a revolution in the school system remains. There's no historical precedent supplying hope for this belief.

However, if teachers were financed to create new schools, hope might spring forth. But the money isn't coming from the state or city because teachers and administrators, for all their talk, are too fearful to act with the boldness to bring real change.

The union provides a cloak behind which teachers hide. It allows them to talk big and take no real action.

Chaz said...

no slappz:

It may be an unwinnable fight but to surrender is worse. While I may not be happy with the Unity educrats, a union is most important in protecting worker rights (boy I sound like a leftist ugh!) and there is strength in numbers.

Unlike GM, NYC has a 5 billion dollar surplus! and some of that surplus should be used to improve the public school system, lower class sizes, and improve teacher salaries to attract quality teachers. Until that is done the city will continue to have intergalatic job fairs, alternate certification programs, and administrators that have little experience in the classroom (leadership academy).

The result will be that the city will fall further behind the suburbs
who do whats right for their public schools.

NYC Educator said...

You're absolutely right that this action is preposterous. I've never had a kid removed from my class, actually.

Still, any teacher who goes through the trouble of doing this, only to have the kid returned, is going to look like a fool.

I'm not quite as concerned as you are about the DoE not backing up teachers, as I gave up expecting support from them many years ago. But for them to enable this sort of slap in the face helps no one at all.

no_slappz said...

chaz, you wrote:

"It may be an unwinnable fight but to surrender is worse."

You don't seem to understand how the machinery operates. As long as everyone on the NYC DOE payroll appears for work more-or-less on time every day, the system is receiving all the support it needs. You might rant and rave, write compelling screeds against the state of the educational monopoly and demand change. But as long as the crew shows up for work, no change will ever happen.

As you've often heard, "action speaks louder than words."

Showing up for work is the action the proves no real change is necessary. As you noted, the city reaches out to teachers around the globe in its search for more willing supporters of the status quo. Hence, no change -- now or ever. Or, more accurately, only declining educational results because teachers, by showing up for work, accept their lot and cannot overcome student recalcitrance and apathy.

You wrote:

"While I may not be happy with the Unity educrats, a union is most important in protecting worker rights (boy I sound like a leftist ugh!) and there is strength in numbers."

Here you make it clear your paycheck matters most. Not student results. However, your claim about "strength in numbers" is misguided. In setting of the school system, there is far more strength in an absence of numbers (teachers).

What if HALF the teachers in NYC quit or retired in the same year? How would the DOE replace them? What would it take. The system would experience a revolution.

You wrote:

"Unlike GM, NYC has a 5 billion dollar surplus!"

This is relative nonsense. First, the figure is a projection. The city does not have $5 billion sitting in a bank account. Second, much of the improving trend is based on the big year underway on Wall Street. That can stop at any time.

But you want to mandate higher spending based on a temporary surge in tax collections. Would then agree to equal spending cut in education when tax revenues drop? I'm sure you wouldn't.

Anyway, if the current tax scheme is producing a surplus, demand for tax cuts will arise shortly.

You wrote:
"...and some of that surplus should be used to improve the public school system, lower class sizes, and improve teacher salaries to attract quality teachers."

Improve the public school system?

Improve it for whose benefit? Students or teachers?

Lower class sizes = hiring more teachers.

Improve teacher salaries? Not that I'm opposed, but I really want to know why you think students will learn more if teachers are paid more.

You wrote:
"Until that is done the city will continue to have intergalatic job fairs, alternate certification programs, and administrators that have little experience in the classroom (leadership academy)."

All true. And there's no force on Earth to change this except mass retirements and resignations.

You wrote:

"The result will be that the city will fall further behind the suburbs who do whats right for their public schools."

Here's where you are truly wrong. If you replaced ALL the suburban kids with city kids, results at the suburban schools would match city results.

Try it another way. If you brought all the suburban teachers to the city, they'd all fail.

Of course if kids from Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Hunter High and the other competitive city schools were bused to the suburbs all would succeed. But those kids and the kids in the city's gifted programs aren't the problem.

It's all the other kids who are weighed down with far too much baggage for the school system to set them straight.

You continue to dodge my question. Why not teach at a private school?

I'm beginning to think you won't answer because you're far along the path to accepting a job at a private school but you aren't ready to admit it.

Lastly, your pal nyc-educator is another appartchik who can't stand comments from anyone who isn't a sycophant. Thus, he has blocked me from posting on his blog. After the administrator for the Edwise site, nyc_educator is the most closed-minded person in these parts.

Chaz said...

no slappz:

I did answer your question why I don't go to a private school. Please read more carefully.

Further, quality teachers do make a difference, especially in poorer communities. Study after study shows that. Yhe only way to get quality teachers is to have competitive salaries, low class sizes, and an enforceable student disciplinary code. The very things New York City refuses to do.

As for the budget that is not a projection. The phoney deficits in 2008 & 2009 are projections. As for wall street the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are down for the year. How do you account that on a down year Wall Street is having a banner year?
1 - 1 = 5???

no_slappz said...

chaz, you wrote:

"I did answer your question why I don't go to a private school. Please read more carefully."

I saw it after I responded to you.

You wrote:

"Further, quality teachers do make a difference, especially in poorer communities. Study after study shows that."

If it is true that "quality" teachers make a measurable difference in poorer communities, it must also be true that they make less difference in richer communities.

I don't think the suburban school systems would agree with you and I know, based on your own comments, that you don't believe it either.

You wrote:

"The only way to get quality teachers is to have competitive salaries, low class sizes, and an enforceable student disciplinary code. The very things New York City refuses to do."

If high pay, small classes and tough discipline are required for "quality" teachers, and the NYC school system lacks these characteristics, are you stating that NO "quality" teachers work in the NYC school system?

You wrote:

"As for the budget that is not a projection."

The budget is just a blueprint. Meanwhile, revenue is something else and any tax revenue that has not been collected is nothing more than an estimate. The estimate may be very accurate.

Meanwhile, I'm not suggesting NYC won't generate a $5 billion surplus this year. But if it does, the voters will scream for a $5 billion tax cut next year.

As I mentioned, you want to mandate permanent spending increases due to a temporary surge in tax revenue. That's poor fiscal planning.

You wrote:

"The phoney deficits in 2008 & 2009 are projections."

Your lack of accounting sense shows here. The future deficits are projections, but they are not phony. The numbers may prove accurate or way way off. But they are not phony.

You wrote:

"As for wall street the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are down for the year. How do you account that on a down year Wall Street is having a banner year?

Compensation on Wall Street, and hence, tax revenue from Wall Street and Wall Streeters, is not directly linked to the level of the Dow or S&P Indexes.

Business on Wall Street is booming this year. Mergers and acquisitions, stock and bond trading, stock and bond issuance, money management. Everything on Wall Street is in high gear at the moment.

Next year? Who knows. It's a boom-and-bust industry, but things seem to go along pretty well year after year.

no_slappz said...

chaz,

You should read the report available at the following link:

http://theteachingcommission.org/press/FINAL_Report.pdf

no_slappz said...

chaz, since you're always working to convince people the school system needs huge infusions of cash before it can produce reasonably educated students, I though you would appreciate the following tidbits.

The average expenditure per student at Stuyvesant High School is $8,323 according to the schools report card on the DOE site.

$8,323 per student at Stuy.

Meanwhile, at "similar schools" the figure is $9,678 per student.

But the City Average is $11,282 per student.

Based on the number of students and the number of teachers at Stuy, the student/teacher ratio is under 22.

Meanwhile, the school operates at 108.4% of capacity.

Similar schools operate at 93% of capacity.

But the City Average is 106.4% of capacity. Thus, Stuy is more crowded than the average city school.

I realize the most overcrowded schools are truly jammed.

The point here is pretty clear. More money isn't going to turn around the school system. It will take much more than that.