Sunday, April 12, 2015
Teacher Discontinuances Increase Under Mayor De Blasio And Chancellor Farina. So Much For A New Tone At The DOE.
Thanks to Francesco Portelos's FOIL request, we now find out that an astonishing 186 untenured teachers were discontinued in just a four month period between July 1 to October 31 of 2014. This figure does not include teachers who decided to resign rather than continue teaching in the NYC Public Schools. While there are no comparable numbers available under the Bloomberg administration, it's hard to believe that the magnitude of the discontinuance numbers in the four month period under De Blasio and Farina are greater than under the Bloomberg administration but it appears that's the case.
At the beginning of the De Blasio administration, teachers hoped for a new philosophy that would support teachers, treat them as the professionals they are, and with the respect that they deserved. Moreover, there was real hope that the destructive Bloomberg policies that hurt students and starved the schools of necessary resources would end. In fact, UFT President Michael Mulgrew hugged the new Chancellor, Carmen Farina, and claimed that there is a new tone at the DOE. Instead, not only did we see the continuation of the destructive Bloomberg policies of "fair student funding" and the ATR crisis but the inadequate school budgets were frozen at Bloomberg levels and class sizes were not reduced as was promised by the Mayor.
Chancellor Carmen Farina has proven to be inept and is as much anti-teacher as her hated predecessors under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, she has retained many of the Bloomberg appointed administrators at the DOE in vital policy making positions and this is reflected in the obscene amount of paperwork and data mining that is required of the classroom teachers. Moreover, there has been no letup of tenured teachers facing 3020-a disciplinary charges as the overstaffed Office of Legal Services needs fresh meat to prosecute to keep them busy. Finally, her disdain for veteran teachers showed when she was Principal of her school, where 80% were forced out of the school during her tenure and her statements to "newbie teachers"to beware of the teachers cafeteria and the gripping veteran teachers.
The new tone claimed by UFT President Michael Mulgrew is simply an illusion when it comes to the classroom teacher.