Thursday, June 08, 2017
Mayor Bill De Basio, Its Time To Make Changes At The Dysfunctional DOE.
It seems increasingly clear that Bill de Blasio will be reelected as Mayor of New York City. That means we can expect the Mayor to make significant personnel and policy changes as the second term starts in 2018. Hopefully, many of these potential changes will be at the dysfunctional DOE and here is a list of some of the changes I hope comes to pass.
First, Replace the disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina, and let her retire for good to Florida. The new Chancellor should have a reputation of collaborating with school staff and is highly respected by real educators. Not target veteran teachers like Farina has done throughout her career.
Second, immediately replace the 80% of Bloomberg holdovers that Carmen Farina kept in policy making positions and bring in more educators into these important positions. Her real failure was that she never "cleaned house" at Tweed.
Third, eliminate Fair Student Funding and bring back the unit based staffing out of DOE Central that does not take into salary. Presently, the DOE policy penalizes principals who hire veteran teachers and forces principals to hire the cheapest and not the best teachers for their school.
Fourth, ensure that all schools get 100% of their funds, based upon the student population numbers and cohorts, no winners or losers as they do now. P fair funding. presently, most schools receive between 89% to 92% of their fair funding.
Fifth, Eliminate the ATR pool by bringing back the excessing rules before the imfamous 2005 contract. This would require schools to hire the ATRs for their summer vacancies before they could hire outside or "newbie" teachers.
Sixth, Reduce class sizes to the State average or the goals set forth in the CFE winning lawsuit that the DOE and New York State refuses to implement.
Seventh, dramatically reduce the administrative bloat at the DOE, especially the legal and accountability divisions. Moreover, cut contracts by implementing a needs test to see if the contract is necessary.
Eighth, no school should be given permission to have an uncertified teacher instructing students in Core or Regents subjects. All teachers should be licensed in their content specialty that they are teaching in, especially at the high school level.
Ninth, Drastically reduce screened high schools and promote academic integration by having all high schools become zoned schools. This will allow the schools to recruit academically proficient students back to their neighborhood schools.
Tenth, let school staff evaluate school administrators, especially principals and the ones that are given failing grade two consecutive years should be immediately removed and replaced. Moreover, all new administrative appointees must be approved by school staff and not the Superintendent before the DOE removes the intern acting title.
Is my list wishful thinking? It certainly is but even if a few of my suggestions become policy, it will make for an improved school system and better prepared students when it comes to academic achievement.