Monday, March 24, 2014

As The Polar Vortex Finally Leaves Will A New Spring Finally Dawn On The DOE?

The end of a brutal and snowy winter is finally in sight and by week's end spring will appear and stay with us for the rest of the school year as the "polar vortex" finally retreats back to the Arctic,  At the same time the De Blasio administration is in the process of negotiating a contract, complete with "retroactive raises", a fairer teacher evaluation system, and a less hostile supervision. Yes, it appears a thawing in relations between the City and the union appears upon us. A real change from the frozen contract negotiations under the Bloomberg administration.

Unlike the "polar vortex" which lasted only three months, the icy reception that the Bloomberg administration has directed at teachers lasted 12 years!  During the Bloomberg/Klein/Walcott years we saw teacher disrespect increasing year after year while teacher rights were always under attack. Hopefully, Chancellor Carmen Farina will start her "spring cleaning" and send the DOE architects of the chilly Bloomberg years packing with the "polar vortex" .

Chancellor Carmen Farina has said that she intends to change the tone at the DOE, work on teacher retention, and collaborate with school staff for a better environment for student learning. However, it doesn't look like change is coming anytime soon since the new Chancellor has made few substantive changes of the Bloomberg DOE by keeping most of them in their positions and power base.

While the brutal cold of the "polar vortex" will be gone by next week, the chilly winds of the DOE's gotcha mentality"looks to remain in place for the remainder of the school year and maybe beyond.  While the new Chancellor talks a good game her actions have been disappointing to date.

A final note. While the new Chancellor met with parents, principals, and students.  She has made no effort to meet with teachers in the trenches.  Curious and disturbing that our new Chancellor has made no effort to meet with the very people she needs to get on her side of issues that are important to the school system.  I guess time will tell if Carmen Farina lives up to our expectations.  So far she has been disappointing.


TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

Chaz, there are many places that still eagerly practice the "Bloomberg Goon Squad" policies. I am at one of them. So far the new mayor and chancellor have not only not changed the tone, they have backed off what they ran on. They maybe working on a new CBA, but they really do not have much of a choice with that. We all should be keeping an eye on Tweed and let them know, we are tired of words, we want to see actions. Of course, that goes for the UFT as well, but.

Anonymous said...

She's over her head. She needs to resign. Then it will be a beautiful day!

Anonymous said...

Carmen Farina will be holding a "town meeting" with Michael Mulgrew at the Queens UFT next week. She will also be a speaker at the UFT's Spring Education Conference next month. I say give her some time. She didn't create this mess and she can't be expected to fix it overnight.

Chaz said...

anon 10:00

How does one get invited? I would like an invite but I am sure Its only for loyal Unity members.

Anonymous said...

I can see teachers finally getting a decent raise as well as some positive tweaks to the evaluation system but there will still be abuse by vindictive principals as well as the DOE Gotcha Squads. The UFT will just tell everybody to shut up since they "got a raise and changed the evaluation system". Then it will be business as usual.

Tamar Flower said...

I agree with Anony at 10:06PM

Carmen did not create this mess; in fact she inherited it and its a huge mess. These are not overnight and systematic changes. I think so many of us are used to the old way of running things that we forgot what it is like for how long apporpriate and close to normal realistic changes can take.

And yes, Carmen Farina will be the speaker at the UFT Spring Conference. I am attending and all you have to do is regsiter. I did not know about the Queens town hall meeting though..

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