Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Teacher Absences Increased Significantly Due To City And State Polices That Adds Stress To The Already Hostile Classroom Environment.
It was no surprise that the DOE reported a !2.3% increase of teachers that took excessive absences, meaning 11 or more days off in the 2013-14 school year over the year before. That comes out to be an astounding 13.2% of the entire teaching force of 74,000 or almost 10,000 teachers who called in sick that used over the ten sick days allocated for the school year. The New York Post article can be found. Here.
Interestingly, the DOE claims this 12.3% increase in excessive teacher absences isn't significant, really? In addition, our union leadership claimed it was that maternity leave accounted for the increase. However, a union member blamed it on the Common Core. The real reason that there was a 12.3% increase in excessive teacher absences can be associated with the State's Teacher Evaluation System, the Danielson framework, and the failure of many school administrators to properly support their teachers when it comes to misbehaving and disrespectful student behaviors.
To me, the increased excessive absences is proof positive that the classroom environment has become even more hostile and stressful, when the State and City policies and paperwork are rammed down the teacher's throat. Waiting for the new Mayor and his disappointing Chancellor to make the classroom environment less stressful and more peaceful is simply a pipe dream that our disconnected union leadership tries to sell. However, the reality is very different and the significant upsurge of excessive teacher absences demonstrates this reality.as many of these teachers are fleeing the hostile classroom for as many days as possible to keep their sanity.
I also believe if one broke down the statistics and look at the individual schools, I bet one would find that the low academically achieving schools and those schools with terrible administrations suffer the greatest teacher absences and yearly turnover.
Finally, when one combines the increased teacher absences with the DOE's recruitment over retention policy, the result is a failure by the DOE to implement workable strategies to improve student academic achievement and to narrow the unacceptably wide income/racial achievement gap in the New York City Schools.