Monday, May 25, 2009
What Mayor Mike & Chancellor Joel Really Want For The New York City Public Schools
The New York Post, the media's propaganda mouthpiece of Bloomberg and Klein have coined a slogan "City Schools City Rules" to justify the continuation of mayoral control. However, what does Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel really want for the NYC Public Schools? To me the two have mapped out policies to destroy public education as we know it. They have gained power and have set up a Trojan Horse program that will shatter the public schools from the inside and out. The losers are the parents, students, and teachers of the NYC Public Schools.. Let's look how Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel are trying to achieve their goal.
First, they are hiring unqualified Principals, with little or no classroom experience, and gave them total control and backing to run their schools as they please. These "Leadership Academy Principals" either don't know how or don't want to work collaboratively with the school staff. The result is that the schools are in chaos and the students suffer the consequences as quality teachers flee the school.
Second, the terrible twosome have developed a policy of breaking up the large comprehensive schools and replace them with small or Charter Schools that encourage separation due to race, religion, cultural identity, gender, and sexual orientation. These very same schools exclude the most needy of students including Special Education, English Language Learners, and behavioral problems . Only in the NYC Schools does Brown vs. The Board of Education needs to be revisited 55 years later.l
Third, Tweed has made an effort to hire "inexpensive newbie teachers" at the expense of senior and more expensive teachers. Despite Tweed's propaganda that every child should have a quality teacher, the reality is very different. Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel's overriding concern is to provide "education on the cheap". That is to hire inexperienced and inexpensive teachers, abuse them until they burnout and hope they leave the system before they are vested. The result of their misguided strategy is to have 1400 ATRs and 800 "rubber room" teachers, most over the age of 50 being forced out of the classroom. Further, to make it easier for the Principals to remove teachers without a financial penalty, the teacher was off the Principal's payroll after 60 days. Before it was a year or more. Consequently, the students experience rapid teacher turnover and teachers who have their own learning curve while trying to teach the students.
Fourth, despite receiving extra funds to reduce class size from the State, the classroom remains as overcrowded as ever with classrooms averaging 28 students and in the large overcrowded high schools 34 students. Compare this to to the small/Charter Schools who average 21 students in a classroom. Where did the extra State money go? Certainly not to the classroom.
Fifth, the DOE has an out of whack discipline code that fails to properly punish students but goes out of their way to charge teachers with verbal abuse/corporal punishment. In fact in the Chancellor's regulation A-421 this statement says it all.
"Nothing in this regulation, however, prevents a supervisor from counseling or disciplining an employee for inappropriate speech or conduct that is not otherwise in violation of this regulation".
In other words any action by a teacher can be result in a disciplinary charge simply by the Principal saying so!
Finally, the increase in paperwork and data collection allows for little free time for the teacher to properly evaluate and give more help to the students. It is laughable that Joel Klein told the New York Times that he could envision a 30% drop in teachers as technology would allow students to do their work at home or the library. Didn't I read in the Daily News that a high school teacher from Francis Lewis teaches in a crumbling trailer with no heat? In fact Arthur Goldstien's quote was:
" My high school was built to hold 1,800 but enrolls 4,450 students. My kids sit in a crumbling trailer, with no technology and often no heat in the winter. So much for efficiency".
Crumbling trailers, lack of heat, no technology. What drug is Joel Klein using when he is talking about distance learning? Maybe he is talking about the bizarro world that Treed seems to inhabit that would explain his distance learning comment.
I could bring up the gimmicks the DOE does like their "No Bid Contracts", Non-Educators in charge of education, and the increased headcount at Tweed while the field offices and schools are starved for funds and laying off workers. However, I believe I made my point. The Trojan Horse policies of Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel is destroying the NYC Public Schools as "Children Last" continues.