Arbitrator ruled it violated the contract with both the UFT and CSA This is a total victory for the UFT and I congratulate them on their dedication and winning the battle. While I have decided to move on from my terrible "turnaround school" many of my colleagues will be given back their positions. However, how will these teachers feel about working for a Principal that was instrumental in not selecting them for his or her new school? That is for another post on another day, let's get back to the Emperor and his devastating loss.
Why did the Mayor and Chancellor decide on the City version of the "turnaround model" in the first place? The simple answer was that the Emperor was angry at the UFT for fighting him tooth and nail on the teacher evaluation system and when the UFT pressured the Governor to intercede on their behalf to impose a compromise on the appeal process that made the Mayor and Chancellor very unhappy. The compromise was to have 13% of the teachers rated "ineffective" have a three member panel evaluate whether the teacher was truly "ineffective" or was given the rating unfairly by a vindictive Principal. As for the other 87%? See you in your next career. Even if we all believe that the City won a significant weakening of teacher "due process rights" , the Mayor wanted complete victory and decided on his highly risky policy to get rid of as many teachers as he could to get revenge on the union who dared stop him from achieving total victory.
The "turnaround policy" the Mayor and Chancellor tried to impose was the quickest way to get 2,000 teachers out of the classroom and replace them with other teachers, 40% of them "newbies" to the classroom. This model would have allowed the City to obtain the $58 million dollars from the Federal government while using the influx into the ATR pool as a weapon for the Bloomberg/Walcott Administration to whine to the news media of the hundreds of million dollars that the City is wasting on these "failed teachers". Why didn't the Bloomberg Administration simply close the schools if these schools were so bad? The answer is that it would have taken 3 to 4 years to close the schools, and there was no $58 million dollars to obtain. Moreover, where would you send the freshman class of low academic achievers? There are few large schools left to dump these academically struggling students that the Bloomberg small schools refuse to take? In fact, my school is expected to receive an additional 331 students above last year's freshmen class, almost all of them struggling academically and requiring a minimum of CTT class instruction. Finally, by using the "turnaround model" the Bloomberg/Walcott Administration could maximize the removal of over 2,000 teachers from the classroom, many of them senior teachers and hope they retire or resign due to the humiliation and replace them with cheap and untenured teachers who will never last to recieve a pension or retiree health benefits.
The result is the Mayor and Chancellor overreached and lost. Now the question is will they lick their collective wounds and try next year something else or will they come up with another strategy that will eliminate senior teachers and hurt the students. It is not called "children last" for nothing.
Before I forget, the union should be complemented on their win and I always thought they had a winnable case and I told my colleagues that, based on the facts, the union should win their arbitration case, As for the INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR? it is about time that they strike back against the Emperor and his pet poodle the Chancellor who has insulted and belittled the Arbitrators for their own political ends.