Monday, October 17, 2011
Chancellor Walcott's Six Month Grade IS A "F"
It has been six months since Dennis Walcoot took over as Chancellor for the incompetent Cathie Black with promises to lower the overheated attacks between the teacher union, parents, and the DOE. He promised to listen to the parents, discuss civilly with the teachers' union on various issues and demand "accountability" from the DOE. Six months into his regime, the Mayor's poodle has failed to change any of the destructive polices of the Bloomberg/Klein Administration. True, he lowered the temperature a bit and listened to parent complaints but when it came to any real change, there was none whatsoever.
Chancellor Walcott's first speech was to support the Mayor's LIFO bill and to make it clear that he was not going to change direction and will follow the destructive deforms started by Joel Klein. While some people might say that six months is not enough time for the Chancellor to make his mark. I beg to differ. Dennis Walcott was Deputy Mayor for Education for the eight years and worked closely with Chancellor Joel Klein during his destructive Administration. Therefore, Chancellor Walcott came in with a working knowledge of the New York City Schools and a learning curve was not necessary. Let's look at why Chancellor Dennis Walcott gets a grade of "F".
Independence from the Mayor:
There is good reason that I call Chancellor Dennis Walcott " the Mayor's poodle". He has not deviated one iota from Mayor Bloomberg's misguided vision of what makes for a good education. The Mayor's legacy as the "Education Mayor" is just a sick joke with the ever widening racial/income achievement gap, low "college and career readiness rates", rising class sizes, reduced school staffs, and a bloated DOE Central Bureaucracy where high priced consultants and wasteful technology rule. Moreover, the Chancellor has supported the Mayor's actions to circumvent the union's "collective bargaining rights" and to support the layoff of 4,666 teachers!
Closing Schools/Charter Schools:
The Chancellor has continued the DOE's assault on the large comprehensive High Schools by closing them and has supported the Charter Schools at the expense of the neighborhood schools. This has resulted in an increase of ATRs to 2,000 and to make matters worse, lifted the hiring freeze for three months exacerbating the ATR crises.
Lack of Accountability:
Time and again the Chancellor claimed that he will make principals accountable for any cheating or bogus "credit recovery programs". However, to date, the Chancellor has been "all talk and no action". Even the New York Post has questioned the graduation rates. Where was Chancellor Walcott and his investigators when the New York Post exposed the phony credits given to students at Washington Irving High School? How come we haven't seen and results of the claims that the Chancellor made about investigating the various principals that teachers emailed him by way of Michael Goodwin? I know the investigations are ongoing ZZZZZZZZZ. Wake me up when those investigations are complete 1n 2014 when the new Chancellor arrives..
Technology Rules While Teachers Drool:
The DOE has imposed a $79 million dollar SESIS program on Special Education teachers that is a fiasco. Despite union pleas, the Chancellor and his subordinates at Tweed has refused to see that the program does not work without teachers spending extra time, either at home or at lunch just to keep up with this terrible program. The union has actually filed a PERB complaint and a grievance to stop the abusing of teachers that are required to work with the SESIS program.
Disconnect With Classroom Teachers:
Dennis Walcott seems not to understand what rising class sizes, lack of resources, and lack of student discipline does to classroom teaching and student academic achievement. He follows in Joel Klein's boots in blaming the student ills on the teachers and like his Mayor only wants the "best teachers". Of course the definition of "best" is young, controllable, and inexpensive.
Blaming Principals When It Was His Policy That Led To The Layoffs of 676 School Aides And Parent Coordinators:
Probably the most outrageous action by the Mayor's poodle was his laying off the lowest paid school staff despite DC37's attempts to come up with reasonable compromises. Rather than agree to furloughing them on school days when children were not present and a reduction in hours, similar to the accepted agreement with the Park's Department, the Chancellor refused to negotiate. To make matters worse he blamed the principals by claiming the principals had set their school budget and selected the people who were laid off. However, according to the principals union President, Ernest Logan, had the principals knew of the compromise, they would have found it preferable to the layoffs. Finally, under Walcott 30% of the Principal's unspent school funds must be returned to Tweed for their use. This year, the principals can only keep $44 per student, assuming they get a passing grade on the DOE's school progress repor, tany unspent funds over that figure will be sent back to Tweed. Good job Walcott as you continue to "rob Peter to pay Paul".
The bottom line is that Chancellor Dennis Walcott deserves a grade of "F".