On April 27th the newspaper USA Today had an op ed article jointly written by AFT President Randi Weingarten and Michael Bloomberg on how teachers are poorly paid and not treated as professionals. While I agree with the op ed, I also think the two authors are hypocrites. Both Randi Weingarten as UFT President and Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of New York City collaborated to create the teacher narrative in the first place and made a more hostile classroom environment for the New York City teachers.
It wasn't long ago that Michael Bloomberg went after teachers with a vengeance. Remember what he did as Mayor of New York City?
- Refused to give teachers the citywide negotiated 4% raises for 2008 and 2009.
- Tried to pass legislation on "last in, first out: to eliminate teachers without due process.
- Wanted to reduce teachers by 50% by raising class sizes to 70.
- Closed 162 schools and most veteran teachers were dumped into the ATR pool.
- Imposed "Fair Student Funding" that incentivizes principals to hire cheaper "newbie teachers".
- Removed the seniority transfer system.
- Created the ATR pool that reached over 2,500 excessed teachers.
- Saw a sharp rise in 3020-a charges and hired more lawyers to prosecute teachers.
- Hired non-educator managers that made the DOE the enemy of teachers.
- Supported and encourage the rise in charter schools while closing public schools.
- Refused to reduce class sizes, despite calls to do so.
- Parents were ignored and left out when they objected to school closings.
- Supported-the Bill Gates inspired small schools which even Bill Gates found not to improve student academic achievement.
- Required a longer school day for raises the barely exceeded the inflation rate.
- Punitive teacher evaluation system.
- Allowed the elimination of the seniority transfer system and the rise of the ATR pool, mostly consisted of veteran teachers.
- Allowed the DOE to implement the "Fair Student Funding" policy.
- Agreed to the terrible 2005 contract that was "giveback" laden and made teaching more difficult.
- Approved the reduction of the TDA's fixed income fund interest rate from 8.25% to 7.00%.
- Agreed to remove teachers accused but not convicted of felonies or sexual misconduct to be suspended without pay or benefits.
Both AFT President, Randi Weingarten and ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg are hypocrites. Read the NYC Educator blog for his take on the "op ed" article.
Here are some of my posts that show what they did while in power in New York City.
Here, Here, Here, and Here.