Tuesday, October 31, 2017

When It Comes To Veteran Teachers And ATRs The DOE Only Has Tricks And No Treats.

The DOE has, over the years, implemented policies and practices that discriminate against veteran teachers and ATRs, who for the most part are veteran teachers.  These DOE policies and practices that discriminate against veteran teachers are thinly camouflaged with names like "fair funding", "mutual consent" and "open market".  Below is a list of these DOE policies that discriminate against veteran teachers and are simply "tricks" to fool the public.

The DOE's Fair Student Funding formula hurts schools that hire or want to hire veteran teachers by imposing a financial penalty on the school. With already tight budgets that funds the schools at 90% of its fair funding.  The Fair Student Funding formula is unfair and discriminates against veteran teachers.

The DOE encourages principals to hire "the cheapest and not the best " teachers for their school while claiming that they only want the best teachers for the students. The DOE just keeps tricking the parents and the students with their lies.

The DOE's Open Market System is only useful by relatively new and untenured teachers.  Veteran teachers need not apply since the DOE policies and procedures make it difficult for schools to hire them..

The DOE's "Mutual Consent" is not mutual since ATRs are being "forced placed" at these schools without their consent.

The DOE encourages newspapers to write articles claiming ATRs are "bad teachers" rather than admit the truth that its about salary, seniority, institutional memory, and DOE policies that make the ATRs unwanted.

The DOE's tight school budget incentivizes principals to reduce teacher numbers and have class sizes at contractual limits which means that veteran teachers become attractive targets for removal.

The DOE needs to stop with the tricks and treat school staff with the respect and resources they truly deserve.

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Job As A Father, Mission Completed.

I was at a wedding last night and talking with other men we compared stories about our now adult children growing up in the house.  Almost all of us experienced similar emotions and stories about our children. This post is about my children growing up and me as a father.

Pre School:
Coming home from a long day at work I was usually greeted by an excited child at the door who wanted to hug me and be picked up and loved since they missed you.  I was their best friend and play date.  Roughhousing was an everyday activity and my children learned sports and physical skills by their interaction with their father.  

Elementary School:
I became a real male role model.  My children learned right from wrong, experiencing the trials and tribulations of growing up in the world,  interaction between husband and wife which help develop the child's social skills when working with others, especially the opposite sex.  At this age, the child would usually greet me with a hello and an occasional complaint about mom that only dad can smooth over.

Middle School:
While I was still a role model, my children no longer greeted me at the door or even say hello but still looked up to me for guidance, problem solving, and to act as an occasional counter weight against problems with mom.  This is the time when dad becomes important for what he can do, like driving the middle school child to a friend's house, the mall, or to be dropped off or picked up at the movies or concerts. Free chauffeur service, that's dad..

High School:
I come home from work and only the dog greets me at the door.  What I usually hear are the bedroom doors slamming shut and I'm lucky to see them at the dinner table.  Of course, once they learn to drive, they will ask nicely about using the car and nag you until you get them a car for themselves.  Moreover, as they approach college age they soon realize how important the father is since I will be paying for most of the college  by taking out a parent loan and driving to various colleges with my child to check out the school.

College Age:
I'm practically irrelevant, except when the child needs the car or some spending money.  Yet I have done my job as a male role model and father.  I was always there to protect, support, and .guide my children from pre school to college and they knew that.  Was I perfect?  Far from it but I was always there to help my children with the many issues that affected their lives..

Now as a grandfather, I can only smile because I have seen my three grown children become successful adults with good jobs and in the case of the two older children , a family of their own.  I have done my job as a father and look forward to spoil my grandchildren as I watch my own children become even better parents then I and my wife was to them.  By the way.  If not for my wife who mothered our children and made them the nurturing compassionate adults they are today, I could not have come close to being the father that I am today.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

ATRs Will Be Changing Schools On November 6th.

In keeping with their secrecy and lack of transparency, the DOE will be moving the ATRs to different schools without any ATR input.  Some of the ATRs will be "forced placed" in schools with vacancies or long-term assignments, while others will simply be rotated.

As we all know, the DOE has a "pecking order" for ATRs.  The ATRs that will be "forced placed" in vacancies and long-term assignments come from the excess list that resulted in closing schools or programs,  Once that group is exhausted, then the second group will be placed.  These ATRs came from discipline or were rated "unsatisfactory" but did not have either an OSI or SCI investigation.  The final list are ATRs that had a substantiated OSI or SCI investigation but were found innocent of those charges in their 3020-a hearing.  However, the DOE assumes they were guilty anyway.. These ATRs have the "scarlet letter" and are only placed if no other ATR is available in the subject area.

According to my sources, the ATR assignment office decides which ATR goes where, without any say from the Principal or the ATR.  In my case, I have had two principals and one assistant Principal inquire about my availability to cover an Earth Science program (none of them appear on the Open Market Transfer System) and when they allegedly contacted ATR assignment were told that they are working on it.  To my knowledge my next assignment does not include any of the three schools who inquired about my availability.  According to SESIS, I will be assigned to a different school, starting on November 6th.  Go figure!

The only good thing is that as an ATR, I cannot be assigned to those terrible Renewal High Schools thanks to the Chancellor's statement that ATRs will not be assigned to them.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why I Don't Contribute To COPE.

I stopped contributing to the union's voluntary COPE program because of their lack of transparency on where the COPE funds go to and to the highly questionable causes our union leadership contributes to.  Lately, Chapter Leaders have been instructed to push COPE to the members for the "vote no" campaign to the State's Constitutional Convention, also known as ConCon and if I thought for a moment that all the COPE funding would go to that noble cause, I would contribute to it.

Unfortunately, the union leadership does not consult their members about how and for what causes COPE money is used.  In fact, the union leadership refuses to breakdown the amount of funding the union contributes to various organizations, without any input by the members.

For example, remember the Quail and booze party the UFT had in Albany, using COPE money?  Or their contribution to Al Sharpton's anti-police protest? How about the various fringe organizations that the union leadership supports with financial assistance?  That comes from our COPE money, whether the members support the organization or not.

Until the union leadership provides a detailed breakdown of the financial contributions that is funded by our COPE money, I will not provide one red cent to COPE and nor should the rest of the membership.

To discontinue your COPE contributions read my post on how to do just that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The City Is Playing Hardball In Negotiating The Next Contract.

The City has started contract negotiations with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and in the first negotiating session the City has offered the PBA a 4.2% raise for 42 months.  That comes out to an annual raise of 1.2%, when inflation in the New York City Metropolitan area of 2.4% is factored in,  It's half the inflation rate.

Worse, the City expects the PBA to "self fund" the raises by requiring 100% "givebacks" for providing the money to pay for it.  According to the what I heard and read the 'givebacks" are as follows:
  • Discontinue the police annuity fund.
  • Install 10 hour tours to reduce overtime.
  • Drop all "grievances" and unfair labor practice complaints.
Sure, this was only the first negotiating session and each side submits it's  maximum positions.  The PBA wants a 29% pay raise for 24 months for example.  However, the uniformed employees always gets a little more than everybody else.  Therefore, its safe to assume when our crack negotiating team (sarcastic) meets with Bob Linn of the City, expect the next contract to be, once again, short on raises, backloaded, and maybe a "giveback" or two.

I suspect that we will get a three or four year contract with most of the raises in the final two years and if we average the inflation rate of 2.4% I will be pleasantly surprised.  However, our union leadership, when negotiating with the City's Bob Linn its like "boys negotiating with men" and the members will come out with inferior raises. below the inflation rate and more "givebacks" as our disconnected union leadership declares victory once again as their members continue to lose more of their due process rights and ability to run the classroom that's best for the students.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Behind The Drop In 3020-a Terminations. The 2014 Teacher's Contract.

In today's New York Post, Susan Edeleman  published data that showed that under Bill de Blasio teacher terminations dropped, when compared to the final year of the Michael Bloomberg administration.  If one looked simply at the numbers, Ms. Edelman is correct.  However, if one looked deeper into the numbers they would find that many senior teachers, eligible for retirement, took a deal to retire rather than fight the 3020-a charges and risk losing up to $50,000 of retro money owed to them, thanks to the 2014 teacher's contract.

According to the article last year there was 127 educators who went through their 3020-a hearings and only 34 resulted in termination, or 27%    Compare that to the 2012-13 school year when 55 of 122 were terminated, or 45%.  I suspect the numbers are accurate but it does not tell the entire story.  In fact, 3020-a charges remain high during the Bill de Blasio Mayoralty.

The total amount of educators who went through their 3020-a hearings were basically the same for the two years, 127 under De Blasio and 122 under Bloomberg.  Only the amount of terminations were different, 27 under De Blasio compared to 45 under Bloomberg. . Critics claim the difference is due to sloppy prosecutions, weak cases, and Bill de Blasio's closeness to the teacher's union.  However, the real reason is the 2014 teacher's contract.

The 2014 teacher's contract had some very unique features in it.  For example, all the retroactive raises and lump sum payments were paid out in drips and drabs and members will not be made whole until 2020.  Moreover, educators who resigned, died, or were terminated would no longer get their money owed to them.  Consequently, many senior teachers were unwilling to go through their 3020-a hearings if they thought termination was a possibility,

The simple fact that senior teachers, eligible to retire, decided to settle their cases by irrevocably retiring, rather then lose up to $50,000 in retro and lump sum payments and since the DOE saves up to $100,000 or more by settling cases, its a win for the DOE.  They get rid of the educator for good and don't need to pay the financial costs of a full blown 3020--a hearing.  Of the 184 educators who took a settlement, I suspect that many, if not most of them, irrevocably retired due to the fear of being terminated and losing a significant sum of money and that's why there were less terminations under Bill de Blasio than Michael Bloomberg, thanks to the 2014 teacher's contract.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Coming To A High School In Your Neighbohood, More ATRs For The Bronx And Queens.

The Chancellor, Carmen Farina, has informed  226 teachers and other staff members that two Renewal high schools, DeWitt Clinton in the Bronx ( 96 staff) and Flushing high school (128 staff) in Queens, will have to reapply for their positions and add significantly to next year's ATR pool.  The two schools continue to struggle academically and were targeted by the DOE for poor performance.  Chalkbeat also has an article.

To be fair, both Renewal high schools have become a dumping ground for the Borough's students who have failed to land placements in other schools. Moreover, both Renewal Schools have high percentages of English Language Learners and Special Education students who usually have academic issues,  Finally, both schools have unstable administrations with the Principal of DeWitt Clinton, Santiago Taveras, accused of grade fixing and removed last November, while the Flushing High School Principal,  Tyee Chin, also accused of grade fixing removed this week.  Below are the latest statistics for the two schools.

School.....................ELL........Sp Ed....College Ready

DeWitt Clinton.........22%........18%...........19%

Just as important both schools  have high rates of chronically absent students, with DeWitt Clinton having 45% and Flushing 39%, which is down from the previous year's 46%.  The City average is 30%. and you can find the information in the latest snapshot for 2016-17 school year. 

You can read the stories on the two recently removed principals Here and  Here.

My understanding of the rules is that teachers not selected by the two schools for next school year will join the ATR pool but will be assigned to one school fore the school year and will only switch schools if the Principal requested his or her removal.  Expect most teachers who have 5 years or more experience in the two Renewal Schools to be excessed under the bogus 18D process.

The bottom line is that up to 150 teachers will be new additions to the ATR pool for the 2018-19 school year.  I guess DOE's draining the pool  is simply a pipe dream.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Maximum TDA Contribution Is Expected To Increase By $500 Next Year.

There's some good news on the financial front as the Federal Government has raised next year's maximum contribution to 401(k) plans to $18,500.  That is a $500 dollar increase from this year.  If you are 50 years of age or over, the federal government allows for "catch up" contributions of $6,000 dollars for a total maximum contribution of $24,500 dollars.

Our TDA is a cost efficient 403(b) plan and the same rules apply as for the 401(k) plans when it comes to the maximum contribution and "catch up"  funds.  Therefore, expect the TDA to raise the maximum contribution limit by the same $500 dollars.

Depending on your age, the maximum contribution limits are as follows:

Age.......................Maximum Contribution

under 50...........................$18.500
50 or older........................$24,500

Just a reminder.  We will be getting a raise (3%) in May and another 2% in June.  A good rule of thumb is for every raise, you should increase your TDA contribution by 1%.  Moreover, the TDA is tax differed and until age 70.5 it continues to appreciate tax free, until the Required Minimum Distribution kicks in.

For more information go to TRS online and my article on the TDA.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our Union's Complicity In The ATR Crisis.

It's been over a decade since our union negotiated the terrible and "giveback" laden  2005 contract.  The union leadership has claimed that they're not responsible for the ATR crisis and blames it entirely on the DOE.  However, a UFT sponsored report " Case Study In Partisanship" shows the union's complicity in the creation of the ATR pool.

On page five of the above referenced UFT sponsored report the union was well aware of the potential damage the contract will cause excessed teacher and the potential discrimination of all veteran teachers..

"The UFT negotiating team warned the DOE before the 2005 contract was signed that the new Open Market Transfer System would result in a growing number of unassigned teachers (ATRs) but the DOE said it was prepared to pay the price for the changes it wanted.  The UFT raised concerns about the waste of money and talent but the DOE did not seem to be worried at the time".

Interestingly, the report states that the UFT leadership was getting more concerned about the potential effects on the ATRs and all veteran teachers with the DOE's school based "Fair Student Funding" budgeting process and on April 7, 2008 filed an age discrimination lawsuit, only to quietly drop it in negotiating the 2009 ATR Agreement a year later

The union leadership was well aware that the combination of the "givebacks" iin the 2005 contract and the Fair Student Funding budgeting process made the ATR pool top heavy with older veteran teachers.  In fact, according to the report, 81% of the teachers in the ATR pool were 40 years of age or older while for the UFT educators as a whole. it was only 57%. Fast forward to 2017 and the age of the ATR pool is still about the same while the average age of teachers is decreasing.

In 2006, 44% of the newly excessed teachers had between 0-3 years experience while 22% had 13 years or more.  The next year, only 25% of the teachers with 0-3 experience were still in the ATR pool while 42% of those with 13 years of experence were still in excess.  A complete reversal from the year before and proves that principals were discriminating against veteran teachers.

So when the union leadership tells you that they never expected the DOE to demonize the ATR pool, don't believe them.  They knew what the DOE was planning to do before the 2005 contract was signed and still they agreed to the DOE's demands that made the ATR pool what it is today.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

10% Of New York City's Students Are Homeless.

Despite the City having an economic Renaissance and a $6 billion dollar budget surplus,  the student homeless population continues to increase.  Of the 1.1 million students, approximately 140,000 are homeless or 10% of the student population.  In fact, there has been a 28% increase in student homelessness since Bill de Blasio became Mayor of New York City.  In the last 20 year period, between 1994 and 2014, there has been a 115% increase in sthe student homeless population and that has only increased in the last few years as it rose 22% in the 2015-2016 school year and another 6% in the 2015-2017 school year.

Obviously, the reason for the increased homeless population is due to an affordable housing shortage and the City still a attractive location for recent immigrants, many of then with limited English language skills,  In fact, Mayor Bill de Blasio has told Puerto Ricans that while their students are welcome to the New York City schools, their family better be able to have friends or relatives take in since the City has no housing to provide them with and the shelters are overcrowded as is..

Educationally, its a well known fact that homeless students experience higher dropout rates, lower graduation rates, and chronic absenteeism.  The ICPH study shows how homelessness affects student academic achievement.  Until the student homeless problem is solved, expecting real academic improvement is simply "smoke and mirrors".

In Queens schools the amount of homeless students vary by school district.  They are as follows:

District 24.............................4,186
District 25.............................2,020
District 26...............................945 
District 27............................3,164
District 28............................2,638
District 29............................2,782
District 30............................3,058


Friday, October 13, 2017

Chancellor Carmen Farina Hates ATRs.

Yesterday, Chancellor Carmen Farina told Chalkbeat that ATRs will not be placed in Renewal Schools and that ATRs who were subject to discipline would not be placed in any schools.  The interview with the Chancellor clearly shows that she hates ATRs and believes they are inferior teachers.  Moreover, it also shows how she believes that all ATRs who faced discipline, were guilty, even when an arbitrator, faced with the evidence, found that the teacher was not guilty of the charges.Finally, the Chancellor continues to vilify ATRs.

To me. its not surprising that the Chancellor feels the way she does since she was a Deputy Chancellor under Joel Klein and retained 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers when she was appointed Chancellor under Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Moreover, as Principal of PS 6 in Manhattan she pushed out 80% of the teachers in her school and as Chancellor she went to various schools to seek out poorly performing teachers and advised principals how to start a paper trail to terminate them.

As for the ATRs?  Chancellor Carmen Farina has made it clear that she shares the Bloomberg/Klein ideology that ATRs are "bad teachers"  and that the ATR pool must be drained by any means possible.  While few ATRs would want to work in a Renewal School and we ATRs can celebrate that we will not be dumped into these low performing schools.  I feel sorry for the students in those Renewal Schools who will continue to academically struggle as they experience high teacher turnover and a steady stream of "newbie" teachers that have a steep learning curve themselves. . In other words the Renewal Schools will continue to be separate and unequal when it comes to student and teacher quality.

The Chancellor did gave herself some wiggle room by saying that ATR hiring will be on a case by case basis and that principals will be able to accept or reject the ATR placement.  This seems to contradict what the DOE said about vacancies after October 15 in which principals would have no say in who the DOE sends the school from the ATR pool.

It seems to me that the Chancellor has made it clear she hates the ATRs and our union leadership continues to remain silent in rebutting the erroneous assumptions that ATRs are "inferior" or "bad" teachers.  Then again, the UFT leadership has never stood up for the ATRs so why would  I expect the unaccountable union leadership to do the right thing and stand up for their must vulnerable of members?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SUNY Charter Board Approves The Use Of Inferior Instructors For Their Children.

Yesterday, SUNY's Charter Institute has approved a vastly inferior teacher certification process because their charter schools are having serious trouble hiring and retaining teachers.  Therefore, to rectify the teacher shortage issue, they have approved the use of non-certified instructors in their schools.  The SUNY certification process was criticized by the State Education Department's Commissioner and the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, also the UFT promised to file a lawsuit to stop the new regulations.  Read the entire New York Times article Here.  A slightly different take of the SUNY certification process can be found in Chalkbeat.

For people who are hired under the new SUNY charter school regulations, they are only allowed to teach in the SUNY charter schools and still must be State certified to teach elsewhere in New York State.  Therefore, these SUNY approved charter school teachers will be stuck working for these charter schools until they become State certified, if ever.

The new SUNY teacher certification regulations will allow their charter schools to hire cheap, unqualified, and inferior instructors to teach their charter school students and that's not what's best for their students but is apparently best for the SUNY charter school operators who want an endless supply of cheap and replaceable instructors.

Please read my article about this Here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Not All UFT Educators Who Worked In The 2009-10 School Years Get The Lump Sum Payments.

This Sunday UFT members will get their second 12.5% lump sum payment in their regular paycheck if they were on active service in the 2009 and 2010 school years.  The lump sum payments are money owed to us when then Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided not to abide by the City's collective bargaining pattern he negotiated with 75% of the other municipal unions that consisted of two 4% raises.  UFT President, Michael Mulgrew, negotiated a sweetheart deal for the City that resulted in the UFT members receiving a measly 1.4% raise annually for the seven year contract and delaying payment of the two 4% raises for years, with the last lump sum being paid out in 2020!

However, not all UFT members will be getting their lump sum payments.  Who will not be getting their lump sum payments?  Let me count the groups who will be screwed.

Tier VI Educators:
 Those Tier VI educators didn't join the UFT until after March 31st 2012 and along with those Tier IV educators who were hired after the 2009 and 2010 school years will not receive any lump sum payments.

Educators on Unpaid Leave:
Educators who were on maturity leave or other unpaid leaves in October of 2015 will not get their 2017 lump sum payments. Instead they will receive their 2015 lump sum payment instead and it will not include the two year interest accumulated for the delayed payment.  Educators who were under unpaid suspension and those that took time off for personal reasons fall into this category.

Educators Who Resigned or were Terminated:
Any UFT educator who resigned or were terminated will not get any lump sum payments, despite working those two years.  However, if the educator retires. (must be 55 years of age or older and vested), the lump sum patments will be paid out with other retires.  Obviously, if an educator is currently on unpaid leave, they will  not recieve this year's lump sum payment this year.

Educators who transferred to other City Jobs:
If an educator transfers to a non-UFT title, except if they joined the CSA, they will in effect has resigned and receive no lump sum payments.

Educators who have Died before October 1, 2017: 
If the educator died, their family or beneficiaries does not get the lump sum payments.

It would be interesting to find out how many UFT educators will not receive their well deserved lump sum payments because our union leadership decided to sacrifice them to make Mayor Bill de Blasio look good.


Sunday, October 08, 2017

Why Giving Principals Unlimited Authority Hurts Student Academic Achievement

In 2005 the UFT leadership under Randi Weingarten, irreversibly changed the dynamics of a school by agreeing to a contract that gave principals unlimited authority to run the schools as they saw fit.   This post is not about how terrible the "giveback" laden contract was but about how principals used and abused their newly won power to do as they pleased and how it hurt student academic achievement.

Principals were given unfettered authority to hire and fire as they pleased.  The result was that far too many schools hired newly minted teachers with little or no actual classroom experience and student academic achievement suffered as these "newbie" teachers had a steep learning curve themselves when it came to curriculum knowledge and classroom management issues.  Some schools like Maspeth High School in Queens has an entire staff of untenured teachers.  Moreover, many of the Bloomberg small schools have a majority of untenured teachers on staff.

The DOE policies encouraged principals to hire inexperienced teachers with their "fair student funding" that incentivized principals to "hire the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools.  Moreover, approximately 25% o0f all principals came from the infamous "Leadership Academy" many of them with limited classroom experience and were trained to be the CEO and not the instructional leader of their school.  Interestingly, where you find both Leadership Academy principals and an inexperienced teaching staff, student academic achievement suffers.

I once wrote the weakest link in the school system is the Superintendent.  In New York City this is especially true as the superintendents seem to get their position based upon who they know ands not what they know.  Just take a look at all the bad principals associated with Superintendent Juan Mendez, who has been indited by the feds for racial discrimination.   Many of the "bad principals" in Queens high schools wee either appointed by or protected by Mr. Mendez.  Again, student academic performance suffers as these "bad principals" experience high teacher turnover, an unstable school environment, and lack of collaboration.

The bottom line giving principals unlimited power only hurts student academic achievement.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Why Are Teachers Absent More Than Other Workers? Its The Stress Stupid.

A clearly biased study published last month by the Charter friendly Thomas Fordham Institute found that public school teachers took off an average of 8 sick and or personal days each school year, compared to the average worker taking off 3.5 days a year.  The report failed to point out that stress in the classroom is a major factor in teacher absenteeism and teachers are usually surrounded by sick students/  In addition,  many a classroom teacher needs an occasional mental health day after dealing with up to 150 student personalities daily.

The report, while ignoring stress as a cause, blamed the high teacher absenteeism on their union's collective bargaining contract that gives the teacher an average of thirteen sick and personal days that a public school teacher gets every school year.

The author of the report, David Griffin, wrote a summary in the flypaper and called it the "Public Schools Billion-Hour Teacher Absenteeism Problem"and came up with a list of proposals to correct the teacher absenteeism issue.  They are as follows:

  • Reduce the amount of paid sick and personal days to between 8 and 10 from the average of thirteen days,
  • Eliminate "carrying over" sick and personal days.  In other words, use it or lose it at the end of the school year.
  • Have a qualified substitute teacher available.
  • Include chronic teacher absenteeism as a factor in the school's quality review report.
  • Eliminate union restrictions on all charter schools
Interestingly, the report shows that 28.3% of all public school teachers took eleven or more sick and personal days in a school year and were listed as "chronic absenteeism".  Moreover, the Fordham report showed that charter school teachers were less likely to be "chronically absent".  Maybe that's because many of these charter school teachers are quite young., and quit or were fired during the school year.  Finally, the report states that chronic student and teacher absenteeism are correlated and he believes that teacher absenteeism should be included in evaluating schools.  

Besides ignoring the stress factor, the report did not address the high teacher turnover in charter schools or the fact that many charter school teachers are not certified in the subject they are teaching in.  The bottom line, the report fails to account for stress and ignores the high teacher turnover and lack of certification issues associated with charter schools.and that makes me question the validity of the Fordham report.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Why Do Schools Realy Have High Teacher Turnover Rates?

The UFT and DOE set up a consultation committeee to identify and solve the issue of high teacher turnover.  For the Queens High Schools, on one side was the UFT who brought out that the primary issue was bad principals and identified a few.  While on the other side was the Superintendents who claimed it was because teachers left for the greener pastures of the suburbs, as if they don't see their principals as a problem.    The obvious disconnect between the two sides meant that nothing was accomplished.

The problem that neither the union or the DOE are willing to address is the low morale among teachers throughout the public school system.  Both the union and the DOE turn a blind eye to the serious morale issue among teachers and to address the low morale the following steps must be implemented.
  1. Stop blaming teachers for student failures beyond their control.
  2. Stop passing students who don't deserving to pass.
  3. Stop administrative harassment of teachers.
  4. All salaries will be centrally funded and by units, not actual salary.
  5. Eliminate school based Fair Student Funding.
  6. Let teachers teach the way they see as best for their students.
  7. Eliminate Charlotte Dainelson as a rubric.
  8. Stop targeting veteran teachers.
  9. Stop the ever increasing paperwork and data mining.
  10. Remove principals that have low teacher trust factors.
While bad principals and the suburbs will always affect teacher turnover, by implementing the above steps you can allieviate the high teacher turnover that plague far too many of our schools.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Weapon Seizures At Schools Increasing Under Mayor Bill De Blasio.

 Since Bill de Blasio became Mayor and weakened the student discipline code while allowing students to have cellphones in the schools, which has resulted in schools becoming more unsafe. The result is that more students are carrying weapons to school.  The New York Post reported that weapon seizures have increased by 3.3% since last year and 27% since Bill de Blasio became Mayor of Ne York City and weakened the student discipline code.

  According to the article there were 2,120 weapon seizures at New York City schools in the 2016-17 school year and compares to the 2,053 in the 2015-16 school year and 1,673 in the 2014-15 school year.  According to  Gregory Floyd, president of the school safety agents union, Teamsters Local 237, blamed a lax disciplinary system that discourages arrests and suspensions.
“They don’t arrest kids for these offenses, which means children are bringing weapons to protect themselves,” Floyd said.

Under Bill de Blasio as schools become increasingly unsafe and metal detectors are frowned upon by the Mayor (only 88 schools have them) students will continue to bring weapons to school and the stabbing at the Bronx school may no be an isolated incident going forward.