Monday, March 19, 2012
In A Winter Of Abnormal Warmth, A Cold Wind Blows On The New York City Teaching Profession. Thanks To The Governor & Mayor.
This winter has been one of the warmest winters on record, with New York City reporting only 3.5 inches of snow. However, for the teaching profession in New York City it has been a very cold winter indeed.
First, in December Mayor Bloomberg made a speech that if he could have his way, there would be half the teachers employed in the NYC schools and they would have class sizes of 70 students, Here.
Second, at the end of December the DOE and the union failed to agree on a teacher evaluation system due to teacher "due process rights". In reaction, Mayor Bloomberg decided to close an additional 33 transformation schools by using the federal "turnaround model". The result could be the removal of at least 50% of the teachers and a possibility of 3,000+ ATRs in the system next school year.
Third, in January, the DOE published the very flawed, out-of-date, and useless Teacher Data Reports" despite promising not to release them to the public. The newspapers had a field day identifying the "bad teachers" without understanding the errors the TDRs had. The result was a shaming and scapegoating teachers.
Fourth, in February, it now seems the NYS teacher evaluation system will require truant students to be part of a teacher's grade. This will result in low teacher grades and discriminates against schools in high poverty urban areas.
Finally, in March the State Regents Chancellor, Meryl Tisch, called the Mayor's "turnaround proposal" as politically motivated and not educationally sound.
While this winter was one of the warmest since records began in 1869, the cold winds of bogus education reform from the State and City just keep on blowing and freezing out the classroom teacher.