Wednesday, October 12, 2011
How Much Does Mayor Bloomberg Hate Teachers? This Much!
To many teachers, Mayor Bloomberg has blamed the various ills of students on them. Not the dysfunctional parents, not the poverty or community, and certainly not the waste of money by the bloated Tweed Bureaucracy on high priced consultants and useless technology. His blaming the teachers was apparent when he tried to not only layoff 4,666 teachers but even tried to get the State to pass a bill that would make the layoffs permanent and those laid off could not get their jobs back even if the economy recovers. His hatred for teachers made him use all his influence to circumvent the teacher union's "collective bargaining rights" which failed of course. He even embarrassed himself by claiming experience does not count in teaching! Finally, he refused to follow the "City pattern" by unilaterally freezing teacher raises while giving the very same raises to all other unions.
All knowledgeable people know that the City's Finances are much better than the State's. However, Bloomberg's budget called for 6.3% of the teachers being laid off while the average Statewide School District only had a 3% layoff rate. Some people may claim that the New York City Schools have too many teachers. However, the reality is that New York City Schools have the largest class sizes in the State, yes the largest! Ranging from a low of 22.3 in Kindergarten to a high of 25.5 in fifth grade. The Middle School averaged 27.8 students per classroom and the High Schools averaged 27.5 students, based upon the 2010-2011 school year. With an additional 2,500 teachers leaving the classroom and not replaced, it is expected that the average class sizes will go up between 1.5 students (DOE estimate) to 3 students (UFT estimate). It will be very interesting what the "average class size" will really be for the 2011-12 school year.
Will the union negotiate with this Mayor? I certainly hope not since his only goal is to destroy the teacher union's power and make teaching in the New York City classroom as miserable as possible.