Sunday, January 01, 2017
My 2017 Predictions
Here are my predictions for 2017.
Look for the UFT leadership to continue to make nice with the DOE at the expense of the members as they refuse to go after vindictive principals, allow the DOE to pursue their "gotcha agenda" on going after veteran teachers. and to continue the oppressive Danielson rubric while allowing four or more observations when most school districts are requiring only two. Moreover, our disconnected union leadership not only does not support the "opt out" movement but falsely claims that it could cost the schools federal funding. Finally, the UFT leadership allows the ATR situation to continue and refuses to oppose school-based "fair student funding" that forces principals to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools.
Instead, look for our union leadership to campaign for increased COPE payments by claiming to fight the upcoming constitutional convention and the incoming Republican administration when the COPE money will probably be used for other issues that are not supported by the members. Remember this?
I expect little change in the DOE as much of Mayor Bloomberg's managers still retain their policy-making positions at Tweed. Until the disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina finally retires or is replaced, the DOE will remain the enemy of the classroom teacher.. Collaboration is discouraged and top down management is the mantra when it comes to the bloated DOE as they push their pet programs while ignoring academic fraud, support vindictive principals, and are tone deaf to parent complaints.
Look for this to be a total failure unless the City can bring back community high schools and integrate the neighborhoods. Maybe in isolated elementary schools some limited integration can be achieved but at the high school level with complete choice, integration is a pipe dream.
I predict that most of these struggling schools will continue to flounder unless the schools can attract a better educated student body (unlikely) and an experienced teaching staff (highly unlikely). Most of the Renewal schools have "newbie" staff and are struggling to meet even the modest goals
assigned to them.
The teacher shortage that has hit the Bronx schools will become more prevalent and spread to the other boroughs, except for Staten Island. Yet the DOE, for ideological reasons, will continue to keep ATRs who won their 3020-a hearings in limbo by refusing schools who would like to hire them. The DOE will probably allow schools to hire uncertified teachers rather than do what's right for the students.
Few minor changes, like another failed incentive and maybe a little more flexibility for high school ATRs so that they are rotated Region wide and not Borough wide (probably wishful thinking). Otherwise, I see little real change. Hopefully, the opposition caucuses of MORE and New Action will continue to put pressure on the UFT Leadership on the executive board to advocate for ATR since the Unity caucus does not..
Bill de Blasio:
Look for the UFT leadership to endorse Mayor Bill de Blasio by the Spring, without asking for member input. Will it lead to a new contract down the road? Maybe, maybe not but the union leadership will endorse the Mayor anyway while ignoring the hostile classroom environment and punitive evaluations that make teaching a stressful occupation where the majority will never be vested for a pension..
While outside issues such as the Supreme Court, the new Secretary oi Education, and the new President (Donald Trump is his name UFT leadership) will affect the education landscape, the issues directly affecting New York City public schools will remain largely unchanged with large class sizes, tight school budgets, and poor quality administrators will continue, As the members continually see their autonomy erode our disconnected union leadership will claim victory when negotiating with the City and the DOE.