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Monday, January 12, 2015
Goodbye And Good Riddance To The Children First Networks.
It now seems clear that the useless and money sucking Children First Networks (CFN) will be just a bad memory come the end of the school year as Chancellor Carmen Farina gives the Superintendents their authority back where it belonged. These CFNs were the Frankenstein creation of ex-Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern who also was responsible for the hiring of the "Leadership Academy Principals", the explosion of small schools, and who told parents at a meeting that up to two thirds of New York City teachers were not good enough to teach their children. Thankfully, Eric Nadelstern resigned in 2012 when Mayor Bloomberg passed him over and selected the equally unqualified Cathie Black as Chancellor. However, the damage he did is still affecting the New York City Public Schools.
The CFNs were created to take away authority from the Superintendents and to give Principals power over their hiring and school policy. To. make sure the CFN did not create a geographic power base, all CFNs must include schools outside their borough. This meant that some schools in Staten Island had to travel to Eastern Queens and Brooklyn schools trek to the Bronx to talk to their CFN. Worse, few teachers or parents even knew what CFN controlled their school's policies and parents felt abandoned as their school based complaints fell on deaf ears outside their community and borough.
The CFNs had a virtual veto power over many of the Principal hires and they were the driving force to hire the cheapest teachers for the schools that contracted with them..Moreover, schools were forced to select and pay for the selected CFN with many small schools paying $50,000 for basic services and more if they dare ask for additional support. Finally, the CFNs were a "dumping ground" for failed principals and other unwanted administrators. It was common knowledge that the CFNs were thin on talent and in many cases plain useless.
The creation of the CFNs were part of ex-Chancellor Joel Klein's master plan to fund his and all the Bloomberg infinitives at the expense of the schools. his Deputy Chancellor bragged that Tweed was able to reduce School Support funding by 32% since 2006 while the schools themselves suffered from an average 14% cut in their own budget. Privatization and Charter Schools were the hallmark of the Bloomberg/Klein years. However, it was the constant reorganizations and the lack of accountability at Tweed that marked those years The useless and money sucking CFNs were the final product of these unnecessary and harmful reorganizations.
Hopefully, the Superintendents will provide real support and encourage the schools in their community to hire the best teachers for the students in their District while keeping the door open for parent involvement. That might be wishful thinking on my part but at least Eric Nadelstern's monstrous creation, the CFNs, just like Frankenstein is destined to die. It's good goobye and good riddance to the CFNs.
As a side note: How many teachers who work at the CFNs will be out of a position come July? If they expect to be placed in schools, guess again. Nobody is going to pick them up because of their salary. To those CFN teachers, you reap what you sow.