It has come to the attention of this blog that there will be major changes at both the DOE and the UFT today.
First, Chancellor Carmen Farina has retired for good, effective today. In her farewell speech today she will admit that she was a vast disappointment to educators and failed to clean house needed to make the necessary corrections to improve the school system. She apologized to students, staff, and parents for her incompetence. The Mayor, wasting no time, appointed Education Committee chairman Danny Dromm as the new Chancellor. Mr. Dromm, once a middle school teacher, has already started to clean house at Tweed. He already sent a letter to all Superintendents asking for their immediate resignation. Moreover, Mr. Dromm, has stated that the Bloomberg policymakers retained by Ms, Farina will be fired by the end of the school year. Finally, the new Chancellor has already outlined major changes in running the New York City Public Schools. They are as follows:
- Eliminate school based fair student funding and replace it by reverting school salaries back to the unit system., funded by DOE Central.
- No hiring of teachers outside the District until all excessed teachers are placed. ATRs will be given a list of up to 5 vacancies in the District to choose from and once all ATRs are placed, in their content specialty, then schools can hire outside the District. No hidden vacancies will be tolerated and schools will be penalized for hiding vacancies.
- No uncertified teachers will be allowed to instruct students in the core subjects of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
- All principals will be subject to a rigorous review of their ability to lead their school. Principals found to be incompetent, vindictive, or fails to collaborate with parents and/or staff will be removed. New principals must meet with the approval of parents and school staff before he or she is appointed as the new Principal.
- Reduce by 50% or more the Bureaucratic bloat at DOE Central and increase school budgets to 100% to fairly account for the school student population, not the current 89%. Further, there will be a major reduction in the grossly bloated legal and accountability departments.
- Allow for teacher autonomy back into the classroom and no micromanaging by administrators. True collaboration goes hand in hand with improved student academic achievement. The "gotcha" system is a thing of the past.
- Eliminate high school choice and severely limit the student screening process. In addition, reduce the amount of screened high schools that are available. Finally, bring back zoned high schools to improve student diversity and ability at the Renewal Schools in particular
- Prohibited cellphones in school and properly punish misbehaving students.
- Punish school administrators who practice academic fraud by suspension, termination, or monetary penalties.
The UFT leadership has also responded to the changes at the DOE with changes of their own starting with President Michael Mulgrew who promised the following:
- He will show up on time for all Executive Board meetings for now on.
- He will call on James Eterno at the Delegate Assembly and answer all emails sent to him.by the members.He will learn to use Facebook and Twitter and be accessible to the members and react to their concerns.
- The Leadership will allow all District Representatives to be elected by Chapter Leaders and all decisions that affects the members will be voted on by those affected. For example high school issues will only be voted on by high school teachers. No at large positions.
Both Chancellor Dromm and UFT President Mulgrew agreed to negotiate a fair contract with upfront raises and improved benefits like a ROTH TDA and give all UFT members their 8.25% interest back. Finally, the DOE and UFT will work closely in developing a fair and clear teacher evaluation system that does not rely on test scores and the punitive Charlotte Danielson rubric.