Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Mayor Mike & Chancellor Joel Want To Eliminate Teacher Seniority. They Are Trying To Destroy The Teachers' Union

Now that the "rubber room" problem has been resolved (maybe). Mayor Mike & Chancellor Joel have now focused on eliminating seniority for teachers. The two of them whine that they would have to lay off "good teachers" while keeping "bad teachers" due to seniority procedures of "last in, first out", a staple of the Civil Service System. They have recruited two, soon to be defeated, politicians to sponsor the "KEEP Act" that would allow the Principal to decide who to keep and who to terminate. Furthermore, they have allies in some naive "newbie teachers" who have developed a website supporting the "KEEP Act". This "divide and conquer" policy is destined for failure as both leaders of the State Legislature have claimed it "dead on arrival". However, look for the propaganda rags of the New York Post and New York Daily News plead with the politicians to save the "good teachers".

The problem is how does a person determine who is a "good teacher"? Not Mayor Mike or Chancellor Joel? Neither one has any clue what a "good teacher" is. Furthermore, most teachers have little respect or confidence in their "Leadership Academy Principals" who would have the responsibility to determine a "good teacher". In their world a "good teacher" would be determined by their age, salary, loyalty to the Principal, and who they can bully. What about the students? Wouldn't they know who is a "good teacher"? Of course they would but many of these teachers the students like are hated by the insecure and vindictive Principal because of their interactions with the students and their questioning of Principal directives that are not in the best interest of the school.

It takes an average of 8 years (6-10 years) to reach their peak as a teacher. Once a teacher reaches their peak, unlike an athlete, they maintain that level for decades to come. Teachers are not athletics that see their skills deteriorate over the years. On the other hand 50% of the "newbie teachers" fail to last five years in the system and some of them who start off trying to conquer the world become hardened and skeptical in the next few years as they leave the system before even being vested! Therefore, how can a "newbie teacher" be a "good teacher" when compared to an experienced teacher? They can't but don't confuse Mayor Mike & Chancellor Klein with these facts.

How come Mayor Mike doesn't propose to eliminate seniority for police, fire, and sanitation? Wouldn't the athletic component actually apply in these jobs? Of course they do but the real reason is simple, he does not like teachers and would just love to break the powerful teachers' union. Give it up Bloomie, just offer "buyouts" and the bogus seniority issue disappears.


Anonymous said...

You are painting with a pretty wide brush here. Not all teachers become excellent after 6-8 years and maintain that excellence...come on!

The burn-out rate kicks in and some become zombies waiting for 17 more years to pass until they can retire.

Chaz said...


There are always some exceptions. However, it is a false argument to claim that a "newbie teacher" is better than n experienced teacher. How come the same rules don't apply to police, fire, sanitation, doctors, etc?