Mayor Bloomberg has shown how clueless he is about what goes on in the classroom when, on Tuesday, he gave a speech at MIT that his idea of a good education would be to fire 50% of the teachers and weed out the "ineffective teachers" from the remaining 50%. Furthermore, he sees little problem that teachers would have class sizes of 70 and that a "quality teacher" who is highly compensated and come from the top colleges is all that is needed to improve education. How clueless the Mayor is when it comes to the classroom. His entire speech is on Gotham Schools and can be found Here. He also said that the teachers union is the blame for his failure to change the NYC Schools. The mayor's ill-advised speech on teachers and class size must be looked as a further "nail in his coffin" claiming to be the "Education Mayor" and as UFT President Michael Mulgrew correctly called the Mayor's speech a "Cathie Black moment"
If you follow his speech carefully he never defines what a "quality teacher" is. Except that teachers should be recruited from the top colleges. Sounds like Teach For America to me. However, we do know how the Mayor thinks and in Mayor Bloomberg failed bid to get rid of "last in, first out" LIFO he targeted senior and highly paid teachers who may have been out of favor with principals for termination. Therefore, it is very likely that the Mayor's purpose would be to have a young, replaceable, and untenured teaching staff. Consequently, it is a reasonable assumption that the Mayor idea of a "quality teacher" is a teacher that works hard for the few years they are in the classroom and leave before they are vested for retiree benefits or even long enough to achieve tenure. A tip off of the Mayor's disdain for experienced teachers was this speech he made during the height of the LIFO fight and reported Here.
Previously, I wrote an article about the Mayor's disrespect for teachers Here. Now we have his speech at MIT that knocks teachers and wants to terminate a minimum of 50% of the teaching force. Even his education reformer friends must have cringed when he made this speech. I have noticed not one education reform group has supported the Mayor on what he said at MIT.
Interestingly, I did agree with the Mayor on one part of his speech where he said that technology has not materialized as an important component of better learning. He was quoted as saying the following:
Bloomberg also questioned the impact of technology in the classroom, despite rising spending by the Department of Education on technology and e-learning.
“It may be heresy in this day and age to say so, but there’s not a lot of evidence that when you introduce a lot more technology in the classroom the results are better,” he said, arguing that what really mattered was the quality of teachers.
Mayor Bloomberg is a typical hypocrite as he thinks class sizes of 70 is " a good deal for the students" while he sent his daughters to the private Spence school with class sizes of 16-18. His speech at MIT increasingly shows how clueless the Mayor is about the classroom and his disrespect for New York City Public School teachers.