Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Did Chancellor Joel Klein Really Resign? I Believe It Resulted From Differences With Mayor Michael Bloomberg Because Of The Recession.



We all know that Joel Klein quit as Chancellor for the New York City Public Schools but the real question is why did he quit? The answer he gave was that after eight years it was time to move on as he accomplished his education reforms. However, I believe that the real reason that Joel Klein is leaving was his recent differences with Mayor Michael Bloomberg when it came to running the New York City Schools during a time of recession and budget cuts. A contributing factor was the evaporation of academic gains associated with the 2010 New York State tests and Klein’s failure to narrow the racial/income academic achievement gap during his tenure.

Joel Klein was the architect of the overcrowding of the “rubber rooms” (over 800 at one point) and the ATR crises (2,400) as he was willing to spend upwards of $240 million dollars (not including benefits) to pull and leave teachers outside the classroom. His plan was to force senior and highly-paid teachers out of the school system by closing schools and filing charges based upon frivolous actions. Furthermore, by using a one-size-fits-all teaching method (the Workshop Model) and the Peer Intervention Program Plus (PIP+) charges of teacher incompetence rose dramatically and is now resulting in many teachers being forced to resign or be fired in their 3020-a hearings. Moreover, under Joel Klein’s Administration, ageism and salary was a major consideration in filling 3020-a charges and the majority of “rubber room” iinmates were over 50 years old and making at least $70,000 yearly. This was a major part of Joel Klein’s “education on the cheap” policy with the aim of having an inexperienced and replaceable teaching staff that would not cost the City pensions and retiree health benefits. Therefore, Joel Klein’s attack on the experienced teaching force was consistent with Mayor Bloomberg’s long-term goals to reduce retiree costs and if it meant some inefficiency in the short-term , so be it.

Unfortunately, for Joel Klein the recession came along in 2008 and the City saw that their budget had to be reduced to account for the reduction in State & Federal aid as well as a shrinking tax base. The result was reductions in the Department of Education budget and the City started to question the DOE on not only the allocation of funds at Tweed but the necessity of wasting over 200 million dollars yearly on teachers not in the classroom. The increasingly divergent views between the City and Tweed showed up in the hiring freeze the City imposed on the Department of Education that made it nearly impossible to hire “newbie teachers” unless it was a shortage area. This freeze put pressure on Tweed and they eventually told principals to hire the ATRs and not wait for the freeze to end. This was a reversal of Tweed’s previous policy to encourage principals to hire “newbie teachers” and to ensure that approach, Joel Klein imposed the “fair student funding formula” that discouraged principals from hiring senior teachers in the schools. This upset Joel Klein’s plans to impose an ATR time limit in the next contract and further rid the system of senior teachers which was gaining traction in the media. However, the City, needing to save money,negotiated with the union to eliminate the “rubber rooms” and forced Joel Klein to support the agreement. The result is that principals could no longer remove a teacher from their school and the teacher stays in the school and on the Principal’s budget. The “rubber room agreement“ forced the DOE to settle many cases and the influx of freed teachers from the “rubber rooms” made it unnecessary to hire the “newbie teachers” Joel Klein wants. Mayor Bloomberg could no longer support Joel Klein’s use of hundreds of millions of dollars to warehousing teachers and non-teaching ATRs and forced Tweed to find a cost-effective way to utilize the teachers. In Mayor Bloomberg’s mind the short-term need vastly outweigh the long-term goals during a time of fiscal crises. To top it off, the Mayor now proposes to layoff up to 6,000 teachers already in the system and under the "last in first out" seniority system it will eliminate the pride and joy of Joel Klein to bring in more inexpensive teachers.

Finally, the lack of real student academic achievement has embarrassed the Mayor and the blame has to be placed on one person. Chancellor Joel Klein who said time and again we are narrowing the income/racial achievement gap and raising test scores. All that vanished with the results of the 2010 New York State tests which showed no real improvement since Joel Klein’s tenure began in 2002..

It should be very interesting if the real story of Joel Klein’s departure comes out but I do expect that when it does it will due to the changed policy differences between the Mayor and Chancellor because of the recession.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect the rubber room fiasco was an embarrassment to the mayor. I looked to the public like Klein was throwing gobs of money away while unsuccessfully pursuing charges against teachers. Spending gobs of money might be acceptable to Bloomberg but spending tons of money during an economic downturn while looking foolish is unacceptable to folks like Bloomberg. The last best hope for Klein was the UFT rubber room agreement lifeline but even that couldn't undue the public spectacle. Too little too late. Goodby Klein.

Anonymous said...

You don't know what your talking about. You do not have a good thing to say about the UFT or the DOE. Your lucky to have a job and I can't wait for you to tell us about your 3020-a and why you keep quite about it. You and your followers should join us in Unity. Many of your members may not even know what unity stands for. Please read about it. http://www.unitycaucus.org/
WHAT IS UNITY CAUCUS?

Unity was established in 1962. In every election since that time it has been successful in electing most or all of the UFT leadership. Most of the policies adopted by the Caucus have been approved by the legislative bodies of the UFT and have become Union policy.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF UNITY CAUCUS?

From its inception, Unity Caucus, as its name implies, is committed to achieving a unification among all educational employees. To this end it has supported the inclusion in the Union of Secretaries, Counselors, Paraprofessionals, Librarians, Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists and other non-supervisory groups. We see the role of the Union as broadly meeting the needs of the membership and viewing issues from that perspective.

UNITY STANDS FOR:

Competitive professional salaries.
Excellent health and welfare benefits for members and their families.
A dignified retirement with ample pension, health and welfare benefits.
A safe, civil and respectful work environment.
Improving and upgrading the physical plant.
Appropriate Safety and Discipline measures
A professional workload with adequate planning and preparation time.
A clean, well supplied professional environment.
Small class size.
Workplace democracy/faculty inclusion in shared decision making and school based management.
Strong faculty voice in supervisory selection.
A strong, democratic Union

Chaz said...

General:

I have many good things to say about our union. I appreciate the benefits that the union has negotiated for us and the lawsuits they filed for class size and school closings. However, when the union does not do the right thing, it is my right to criticize them.

You represent the problem by being an unelected "Unity Hack" who cannot ever see anything wrong when it comes to their decisions.

Unity Hack said...

Yeah! Unity is the best. What a great job Weingarten and Mulgrew have done to us. Thanks for the loss of seniority, thanks for the extra time I have to teach, thanks for giving all control in the school to the principal, thanks for creating a new Tier V pension plan, thanks for losing our grievance procedure, thanks for losing our right to grieve letters in the file and other matters...wow we have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks for allowing us to have Thanksgiving off. Thanks for allowing me to teach under some of the most oppressive conditions (class size, harassment, District Reps that are not elected and know nothing and give the wrong advise. Please make me stop. I'm getting my keyboard wet. Thanks for getting 300,000 plus salaries and double dipping pensions and health plans. Thanks for not permitting me to speak at DA or executive board meetings or increasing my dues without my consent. You're the best, Unity. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Unity Hack:

I have been an avid reader of Chaz's School Daze for years and he has supported the union when they have done right by the members. However, when the union does not protect the members he has every right to critize them.

Now you threaten Chaz by hinting at some personal issues he may be going through. That is as low as a person can go. You should be ashamed of yourself and the sleazeballs who put you up to this.

If the union cannot stand critisism then there something very wrong with the union.

Anonymous said...

General Unity,

Lets really examine the wonderful things that Unity has been doing for us hosts that you are clearly parasitizing.

Lets begin with what you supposedly stand for:

1. Competitive Salaries

I hardly consider the stipend that I get for what I do to be "competitive". Take a look at what teachers are getting outside the city. It is laughable to consider the crumbs that we get to be in league with what the other districts get.

2. Excellent Healthcare Benefits.

Compared to other plans ours is o.k. however, the coverage is continually shrinking and the co-pays are going up. The healthcare is something that we pay into instead of getting paid enough to be able to afford our own private plan.

City employees are a large pool so it is easier to get a discount for the city. I think that this will be moot once Obamacare and the 40% excise tax is imposed on us.


3. Dignified Retirement with ample pension and benefits.

Considering that we pay into the plan it is hardly reasonable to claim victory when our pensions are not as good as others in the public sector. Nor is it fair that we have to wait 25 years. The amount is not enough for the labor we contribute. Now our pensions are about to be attacked and whittled down by that thug Cuomo who you morons supported. Also, when on the topic of pensions remember that you pigs get two pensions for misrepresenting our interests and lying to us. You are the parasite class living off our sweat.

4. A safe, civil, respectful work environment.

Nothing could be further from the truth than this horseshit. It was never good but, now its unrecognizable since the reign of terror brought in by the little dictator. It is neither safe nor respectful. It certainly is not civil. You have actively aided and abbetted every aspect of the worsening of our working environment. I don't appreciate this lie because unlike the union suits who are not rank and file, I am. All union parasites should be teaching full programs and earn their extra money working for the union seperate hours. Earn your fucking keep!

5. Improving and Upgrading the Physical Plant. Sure at your ritzy headquarters but not in the sewers we slave in. You should work in trailers and bathrooms just like us. You need to share in the dehumanizing privations so that you can understand and relate to what we go through.

Anonymous said...

General Unity,

Lets really examine the wonderful things that Unity has been doing for us hosts that you are clearly parasitizing.

Lets begin with what you supposedly stand for:

1. Competitive Salaries

I hardly consider the stipend that I get for what I do to be "competitive". Take a look at what teachers are getting outside the city. It is laughable to consider the crumbs that we get to be in league with what the other districts get.

2. Excellent Healthcare Benefits.

Compared to other plans ours is o.k. however, the coverage is continually shrinking and the co-pays are going up. The healthcare is something that we pay into instead of getting paid enough to be able to afford our own private plan.

City employees are a large pool so it is easier to get a discount for the city. I think that this will be moot once Obamacare and the 40% excise tax is imposed on us.


3. Dignified Retirement with ample pension and benefits.

Considering that we pay into the plan it is hardly reasonable to claim victory when our pensions are not as good as others in the public sector. Nor is it fair that we have to wait 25 years. The amount is not enough for the labor we contribute. Now our pensions are about to be attacked and whittled down by that thug Cuomo who you morons supported. Also, when on the topic of pensions remember that you pigs get two pensions for misrepresenting our interests and lying to us. You are the parasite class living off our sweat.

4. A safe, civil, respectful work environment.

Nothing could be further from the truth than this horseshit. It was never good but, now its unrecognizable since the reign of terror brought in by the little dictator. It is neither safe nor respectful. It certainly is not civil. You have actively aided and abbetted every aspect of the worsening of our working environment. I don't appreciate this lie because unlike the union suits who are not rank and file, I am. All union parasites should be teaching full programs and earn their extra money working for the union seperate hours. Earn your fucking keep!

5. Improving and Upgrading the Physical Plant. Sure at your ritzy headquarters but not in the sewers we slave in. You should work in trailers and bathrooms just like us. You need to share in the dehumanizing privations so that you can understand and relate to what we go through.

moriah said...

Klein and Bloomberg did not have a difference of opinion. Klein served as Bloomberg's skin which has now been sloughed off. Bloomberg has chosen Chattie Cathy as his new skin to hide under. He is the one in control.

Anonymous said...

Unity is not perfect, but to blame your issues on the union is just plain dumb. If you really think this place is a sewer, then LEAVE. Your here because know one else will take you. Now, whose fault is that? Yeah, I know Klein and Bloomberg are conspiring to bring you up on false charges. Give me a break! Look at yourself in the mirror. You sound like Betsy (whom you all love and who is now attacking our Governor and Chief Judge (in addition to Klein and Bloomberg). Give us all a break and get out.

Anonymous said...

Unity hack says:
"Your here because know one else will take you"

You are a teacher aren't you? Your defense of Unity is as pathetic as your ability to use the English language. Thank goodness for the children you work for the union and not in a classroom.

Unity Stooge said...

Stop criticizing unity. The teachers are to be blamed. They are the ones who elect these bozos time and time again. I did leave this sewer. All that I do is collect my paycheck. It's easy money.

Anonymous said...

You are completely right when you called the UFT union a bunch of "PARASITES". They are! They should go and see the dirty school conditions we work in. These UNITY people sit in nice, clean offices all day drinking coffee.

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaz said...

Unity Hack:

It is very obvious that you are not in a classroom and not subject to a vindictive Administrator or one, yes I said one student who does not like you and makes up a story against you.
If you were in the classroom you would know it as true. However, you are a "Unity hack" who sees no wrong with the UFT or DOE when they secretly negotiate damaging agreements without the members input or consent.

Unlike you I don't pucker up and kiss butt. I tell it like it is.

Anonymous said...

When Ms Black assumes the Chancellors position one of her first decisions will be to undue Kleins position on ATR's. She will mandate the Department to place excessed staff into exisiting vacancies. Many vacancies now are being filled by substitutes at per diem rates rather than hiring new personnel that cost significantly higher. Ms Black will force principals to take reserve personnel and open her tenure with an olive branch to the union in an effort to try to reach some compromise on pension and health benefits the real goal of the administration. Watch as this unfolds after the new year.

Chaz said...

Anon 3:04:

I hope you are right.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chaz-Just read the title to your post-Isn't it weird that folks are not asking this same question- The papers should be all over this!!!

Chaz said...

I always wonder why the media ignores some of these obvious storylines. I did ask a New York daily News reporter who emailed me on an issue and asked her that question. Her response was that many times the reporter wants to do the story but the editor veto's t usually because they may see a political connection that is not in the paper's interest to publish.

You don't want a free press do you?

Anonymous said...

There are 80,000 plus teachers and only a handful of us get brought up on 3020-a charges. To blame that on Klein or Bloomberg is just not rational.
Unity protects us all and if your not happy with the job they are doing, you can 1. leave 2. run for office yourself and change it or 3. hire a private lawyer.
Hey,for those of you who hate Unity, why have we won every single, yes every single, election since 1962. Next you will claim the election process is not fair. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:34

I don't know if you are ignorant of how teachers are targeted or are you just plain stupid? You falsely assume that the principles are all fair and honest people who think of the children first. How far from reality that is. Of course principals can only target a handful of teachers without suspicion being brought on them. Therefore, they file 3020-a charges on the most vocal, encourage the less vocal to find other schools and intimidate the rest. If you were actually teaching in a school you would understand that.

As for the union? Just because the opposition cannot generate a real challenge to "Unity" does not make their actions right. It is too bad that you are blind by your own ignorance of what really goes on in the schools.

Anonymous said...

The real 3020-a stats are that most teachers are guilty-though many not be terminated. Go ahead and ask. Incomp stats are 100% termination. A guilty finding guarantees no promotion and costs us lot more than just the fine or suspension. There is loss of per session pay and loss of respect.
So, if those stats are true, (no I am only a teacher so I don't have a copy of them) there is something wrong with the teachers-not with Unity or the UFT.
Sure some principals are not good. But to think you are all innocent pups is just laughable. So, go ahead and blame someone else-just pray your not part of the 50% or so that are fired or the 100% of incomp teachers who are fired.

proofoflife said...

hey you, on top of me , you are an example of a complete ass. You say 100 percent of teachers charged in 3020A are incompentant? Use your brain. Who the hell do you think is sitting as the judge , jury , and hangmen? EX principals. The cards are stacked in "their" favor from the word GO. Great post Chaz.

Anonymous said...

proofoflife:
Read what was written. 100% of teachers brought up on incomp charges are fired. That is simply a fact. The Arbitrators are appointed and paid by the State Education Department. So I guess you think they are all in bed with the DOE. I know, it's Unitys fault. Your innocent and the charges are all made up. Give me a break.

Chaz said...

Anon:

You are fortunate that you don't have a Principal targeting you. Yes there are teachers who should not be teaching but the vast majority of teachers subject to 3020-a charges are there because they have Principals who targeted them.

Concerning the incompetence issue. Yes, you are correct it seems that all teachers who failed PIP+ are being terminated and about 20% not 50% of the teachers who are charged with misconduct who went through their hearings are also being terminated.

However, you are wrong when you claim that these teachers deserve it. That is simply arrogance and a lack of understanding how the process works when teachers are targeted. You claim you are a teacher, maybe you are but it is obvious you have not been in a classroom in awhile.

Finally, as for the Arbitrators, they are paid by the State and if the union was more aggressive, as the DOE is, in removing arbitrators who give teachers stiff penalties for minor issues, the process would be much fairer.