Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Is Mayor Bloomberg's Vision Of The New York City Public School System?

Last week when filling out my form to rate my school one question hit me.  The question was something to the effect "How do you rate the job the Chancellor is doing"?  Of  course like most everybody else I put down "VERY UNSATISFIED" and thought about why I felt that way about the Mayor's poodle. While the Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, may be a nice person, he really is the "sock puppet" of the Mayor and obediently follows the every whim of the Mayor.  A prime example is the $240 million dollars that the DOE lost when an agreement failed to be finalized for a teacher evaluation when the Mayor objected to Walcott's agreement to a two year sunset clause.  However, this post is not about the inept Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, but the educational vision of Mayor Bloomberg.

The Mayor's vision for the New York City Public Schools is to make teaching a temporary position with most teachers not lasting the ten years to be vested for a pension and the fifteen years necessary to get retiree health benefits.   He would eliminate tenure and require merit-based pay rather than step and longevity increases. He also would eliminate the 7% DOE contribution by the City to the TDA. Moreover, there would be no class size restrictions and in his vision a teacher would have up to 70 students and heaven help those hapless teachers who cannot show significant "student growth" based on "junk science".  As for teacher experience? The Mayor has already stated that teacher experience does not matter. The two year wonders from Teach for America and other alternate programs are just fine with him. Further, the Mayor wants the ability to fire teachers who are accused of "misconduct" despite an independent arbitrator who after carefully weighing the evidence found the accusation not credible. Finally, the Mayor's vision for the New York City public schools is to blame all the ills of the schools on their teachers and not the social-economic factors that is 80% of what affects a student's academic outcome. Accountability is for teachers and not his badly flawed education policies.

For Mayor Bloomberg, it's all about his educational legacy and to blame teachers for his educational  failures like the wide academic achievement gap and the low "career and college readiness rates".  When it com to the children of the New York City Public Schools it's about what's best for the  Mayor and not what is best for the children:.' For the billionaire Mayor it is his educational legacy first and the New York City Public School children last",

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