Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Education Heroes And Those Nasty Villains

I was recently asked a question by a colleague who do I think are the heroes and the villains in educating the public school children of New York City. I have thought about it and have come up with my list. Excluding the real heroes, the teachers and paras in the classroom!

Heroes: The education bloggers who write about the flawed education policy by Kleinberg , called "children last". Special praise are given to nyc educator, ednotes online, and nyc public school parents as they keep us constantly updated on a daily basis.

My chapter leader who time and again took on the principals in my school and usually won because he knew the contract inside out and was able to intimidate these principals. He made sure we knew our rights and fought tooth and nail to ensure our rights were not violated. Without this chapter leader, life would be much more difficult for the staff in my school. A good chapter leader is a necessity for a school staff to work well in a school. However, there are some chapter leaders that are much too friendly with the principal and are kiss-ups. These chapter leaders need to be replaced for the school staff's own good.

Betsy Combier, an advocate who has taken up the cause of parents with children with disabilities and teachers unjustly accussed of misconduct or incompetence. Yes, she works part-time for Randi Weingarten at the UFT and she has her detractors, but this hasn't stopped her from representing teachers as they face 3020-a charges. She even attends their 3020-a hearings to assist the teacher's NYSUT or private attorney. She goes out of her way to help teachers in trouble.

Villains: Joel Klein and his cronies at Tweed. Never has there been a more anti-teacher group of non-educators that have caused such collateral damage to the classroom and the teaching profession with their "children last" program. Just look at the ATR crises and the overcrowded "rubber rooms" resulting from Tweed's misguided policies.

The investigative process, whether done by the Principal, OSI, or SCI, is biased and unfair. Their motto should be "Don't let the facts interfere with our version of the story".

The media, especially the New York Daily News and the New York Post. The newspapers rarely take an even-handed approach and blindly follows the DOE line.

The small schools that replace the closing of big schools that are a major cause of the ATR crisis.

Bully principals whom have been given a free hand by Tweed to wreck havoc on their teaching staff. This is especially true of the "Leadership Academy Principal" who has little or no classroom experience.

UFT's Unity caucus leaders that has lost touch with what is important to the average classroom teacher. Time and again Randi Weingarten and her insiders negotiate with the DOE and the results are usually bad for the teacher.

I would like comments on what your education heroes and villains are.

Thanks to Eduwonkette for the use of her clip art.


Pissedoffteacher said...

The teachers that go in every day, in good weather and in bad and in sickness and health to insure the education of the children entrusted to them. Also, the teachers that go on no matter how many obstacles are put in the way of their completing their job. The school aides, the paras, the cafeteria workers and the security guards who are underpaid, under respected and overworked.These are the heroes.

NYC Educator said...

Thanks for the kind words Chaz. I'm gonna agree with POd also.

Under Assault said...

I do, too.
And it's worth mentioning again that the infamous merit pay scheme Weingarten signed up for doesn't include bonuses to any of those support people listed in PO's last sentence.

I know it can't technically, they're not in our union, nor am I advocating for that scheme. But I can still grumble when tangible thank-you's go around to some people and most definitely not to others.

17 (really 15) more years said...

The heroes: Administrators who are smart enough to know when a teacher is effective and leaves them alone to teach; the brave voices not afraid to speak out against Randi et al; the teachers who have the guts to hang tough in the face of increasing adversity.

The villians: Cowardly administrators who want young, malleable teachers with no minds of their own; weak and ineffective CL's who consistently, and repeatedly, kiss administrations collective ass.

PO'd said it best- I can't top that!

Pissedoffteacher said...

Thanks 17--I try. Chaz's post is the best!

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the heroes that have been listed so far, and would like to add the Assistant Principal who hired, trained, mentored and encouraged me. He was a truly remarkable individual who was forced into retirement when Bloomberg began his path of destruction.

Under villains, I would add some of the so-called ed reformers who are relentlessly pushing public education down a frightening path.

ed notes online said...

I wanted to add a hero though I don't know her name. She was an assistant principal at one of the George Washington HS campuses where Fred Arcoleo is the chapter leader - one of the good guys and very skepticalof administrators.

She won him over with a caring, supportive attitude towards the teachers. She is leaving to run her own school in Brooklyn. Now we might see her change once she is in charge, but we should track supervisors with the right stuff and recommend them to people looking for jobs.

Chaz said...

I agree that some administrators go out of their way to help and protect the teacher and they are heroes. I also agree that the "educational reformers" should be added to the villains list.

sexy said...