Friday, February 03, 2012
Teacher Morale Is At A New Low As The Bullies, Cuomo, Bloomberg, King, And Walcott Try To Destroy The Teaching Profession.
One of the slogans that go around schools is "stop bullying". Posters, advertisements, and even the WWE superstar wrestlers have commercials that condemn "bullying". However, over the last couple of years Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, SED Commissioner King, and Chancellor Walcott have been trying to "bully" the teacher unions (NYSUT & UFT) in their attempt to break the unions. You can even add President Obama and his education head, Arnie Duncan, to the list of "bullies".
The Governor has threatened to withhold school aid increases if the school districts fail to implement his very flawed and untested "teacher evaluation system". Moreover, the Governor has threatened to implement his own "teacher evaluation system" if the unions and the school districts cannot agree to a process. He even told NYSUT to drop their lawsuit which a State judge upheld when the Governor's ill-advised decision to increase the "teacher evaluation system" to include a 40% testing requirement. His SED Commissioner, King has already withdrawn $58 million from New York City and $69 million from the rest of the State when the school districts and the unions failed to implement an approved "teacher evaluation system" that would destroy teacher tenure.
Mayor Bloomberg has made no secret of his contempt for the New York City teaching profession and how he would just love to destroy the UFT. Furthermore, his ideal teaching force would be half the teachers with class sizes reaching 70 students! Moreover, the Mayor's goal is to have a young and replaceable teaching staff that would never be tenured or vested for a pension. His contempt for teachers has resulted in the City failing to negotiate a contract with the teachers union and a continuing demand to impose a time limit on the ATRs that his hand-picked previous Chancellor, Joel Klein, created in the first place. His present Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, simply is the Mayor's pet poodle and whines about needing "exceptional teachers" but fails to define what "exceptional is. Rather than sit down with the UFT on a use of an independent Arbitration process his representatives walk out of talks and wants Commissioner King to approve the DOE proposal without union input. Just unbelievable but that is what bullies do when they don't get their way.
Now the Mayor wants to take 33 restart/transformation schools to become "turnaround schools" and create nearly 4,000 ATRs list costing the City $300 million annually. The morale in the teaching workforce is terrible and getting worse as teachers believe they are under attack and dread the "gotcha system" that the DOE wants to impose on the teaching workforce. Except for those fifth columnists at E4E and their naive TFA followers (a couple of hundred at best), teachers realize that once you are over 40 and make $75,000 annually, you are a target for the DOE.
The DOE motto really is that "the beatings will continue until morale improves". In their "children last" policy.