Monday, March 30, 2009

Klein threatens teacher cuts

City schools boss threatens to cut 2,000 teachers

(AP) - The chancellor of New York City's public schools says he may have to cut 2,000 teaching jobs if the system doesn't get a big chunk of federal stimulus funding.

City officials are lobbying for as much as $500 million in the federal spending bonanza, but there is talk that its share of the aid would be less — around $360 million.

Chancellor Joel Klein warned City Council members Thursday that the lower funding figure would lead to cost cutting in the system, including the elimination of about 2,000 teaching positions.

The schools are also facing likely layoffs of non-teaching staff.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is the most expensive thing--you pay and pay.

When we are all sipping gruel through our false teeth today's children will be the ones running everything.

Let's try now to make sure that they don't grow up to be morons.

We are already paying a heavy hidden costs because our universities are largely graduating foreign-born engineers rather than native talent. This provides the perfect opportunity for them to decamp, taking valuable skills and industrial knowledge with them.

A weakened industrial base, poor military security and reduced job opportunities are just some of the costs.

Taxpayer said...

Expel all illegal alien students (deport the parents), cut all foreign language accommodations (translators, multi-language material, ...) designed to spend tax dollars on illegal aliens.

That alone will probably save not only bazillions of our tax money, but it will remove nearly all the obstacles that prevent learning.

No worry. The expelled illegal aliens will have a far better education in the country where they are welcome citizens, learning in their own language with fellow citizens.

Now, if the schools in their own country of actual citizenship are less capable of educating the youngsters, the parents can use their power of protest to see that all necessary improvements are made.

If they won't improve the schools they pay for, why should their kids be in the schools we pay for?

italian girl said...

Hey Klein:

Why don't you eliminate yourself?

Anonymous said...

Why don't all these government officals who have wasted billions of dollars take 1/2 pay? All I hear is about the taxpayer having to fill the void for their imcompetence. Do these people realize they work for us the taxpayer not the other way around. I say election time we the people take our country back and vote these bums out. Seems to me all they are interested in is taking a piece of the pie for themselves and then the tab goes to the taxpayer time they start taking some responsibility for their own actions.

Snake Plissskin said...

Everytime we hear about this, along with closed fire houses, hospitals, police layoffs, we should be comforted in the faith of our mayor, a self proclaimed financial expert.

So every time the reporters are present, a town hall is opened, and his concendensing voice asks for your support, ask him about these things.

Not happy with his response? Write a letter to the editor.

Make sure it gets on tape, in the paper and a copy gets sent to Crap.

You, Dear John Q Public, set the tone of his powergrab effort.

Anonymous said...

Also, ask him about why we need bike lanes while firehouses are being closed.

Or better, why they are not closing hospitals in his neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

There are too many bad teachers in the system that should be fired anyway. Maybe the teachers union shouldn't be such pigs and then layoffs wouldn't be needed to pay such lavish benefits.

Anonymous said...

Lavish benefits? LOL, teachers starting out make 42,000 a year, most of them buy their own supplies because the bd of ed doesn't supply them. I know teachers that have to buy their own chalk. Lavish is an overstatement maybe you should know that the hours teachers put in don't end with the school day. What is happening to this country is that we are trying to go back to a time before Norma Ray and we are using all this recession crap to do so. Our leaders are asking us for pay cuts, cuts in benefits, we put into our social security system our leaders DON'T, most of us pay for our healthcare, OUR LEADERS DON'T. Most of us can't keep our weekly salary when we retire OUR LEADERS DO. So as u speak of the lavish benefits for our teachers u might want to try extracting your head from your anal canal and educate yourself.

Anonymous said...

Nix Klein. First let him account for the huge pay increases and salaries for his inner circle.

italian girl said...

"There are too many bad teachers in the system that should be fired anyway. Maybe the teachers union shouldn't be such pigs and then layoffs wouldn't be needed to pay such lavish benefits"


WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??????

Lavish benefits MY ASS. Salaries are pathetic and go up at a snail's pace. The only thing that may be better is our dental. Great! I have better teeth than you.
My first year teaching, I must have spent around $4,000 on supplies because my school sure as hell wasn't giving me any. And I felt so bad for the kids. They had NOTHING at home and I couldn't bare for them to have NOTHING in school as well. I remember my dad was so angry that I had to spend MY own money for what the city should've been providing.
When was the last time YOU had to buy supplies for your job? You're probably one of those dopes that goes around saying how EASY we have it with all of our vacation time. Before you spew some more crap, do some research or better yet teach in a school for a while. Then we'll talk. Bet you wouldn't last a day. It's always people like you that bash teaching. You would never be able to do the job yourself.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time I had to buy supplies for my job? Yesterday.

When was the last time I didn't work an average of 50 hours a week? (about 20 years ago). When will I get retirement pay (probably never)

How many total days off do I get per year? 24, and that's after 10 years (19 before that)

Most teachers I know say "I put in 2 hours/night at home" - fine, that makes your job 8:00 to 5:00, like the rest of us, but you have a 180 day work year, instead of 237 days/year or more (yeah, we have to go in on weekends sometimes). That's 57 extra days of vacation, or more than 11 weeks. In addition, those extra 2 hours you work are put in at home, where you can watch your children, and not have to pay for childcare

Cry me a river - after 20 years on the job, all I have to look forward to is another 20 years till I can retire on what I can save

italian girl said...

"How many total days off do I get per year? 24, and that's after 10 years (19 before that)"

Then that gives a grand total of almost 5 weeks vacation! That's better than what most people get.

"In addition, those extra 2 hours you work are put in at home, where you can watch your children, and not have to pay for childcare"

Yes. Because it's just so easy to do your own work and deal with your own screaming babies and/or school-age kids who need help with homework in addition to fixing dinner, having family time and eventually getting everyone ready for bed. Yes! We are sooooooo lucky.

Teaching is MUCH different than working behind a desk. There is a tremendous burnout factor. We get summers off because we NEED summers off. And until you've been a teacher, you'll never know.

Anonymous said...

well he wants to lay off teachers, hmmm and wants to build schools, hmm at 80 million dollars... i don't know how you feel but just think if they didn't build the schools and we just learn to do with what we have right now, its been working so far, then teachers wouldn't have to be laid off and then we wouldn't have a larger recession.

Anonymous said...

How much do teachers make after 5 years? 8 years? So don't give me that $42000 crap. How much do you think you should make when you have zero experience?

How much do teachers pay toward their health insurance? Toward their retirement plan? How much do they work in the summer?

Save your BS italian girl.

Taxpayer said...

Miss Italian Girl said:
"Teaching is MUCH different than working behind a desk. There is a tremendous burnout factor. We get summers off because we NEED summers off. And until you've been a teacher, you'll never know."

Actually teachers get summers off because, once upon a time, the farmer parents of schoolchildren needed those kids to work on the farm.

Since that's no longer true, why do teachers get summer vacation? Perhaps that industrial union named: UFT.

I taught for many years in private trade schools. For about the first 5 of those best and happiest years of my life, I started at 9AM, and left at 10PM (after finishing night class). Saturday, from 9AM to noon. The only full days off were national holidays and Sundays.

One difference, most students were 18 or older. Evening classes were students up to age 35, 40. I had and exercised, iron rule. No cheating, no failed assignments, no backtalk.

Since I had this power, I rarely had to apply it. I did toss perhaps 3 people from the class. Three out of perhaps 700 to 1000. Not bad. I liked my students; they returned the affection.

EVERY graduate (probably 99% who entered, completed - part of iron discipline) found a job in the trade. Over the years I met many on the job, and all were satisfied with their success.

Also, no union. I would NEVER have accepted that. Too proud. Too capable. I was completely capable of negotiating salary, raises, promotions, perks. That took only an hour or so once or twice a year.

Anonymous said...

Most people get 2 weeks, plus about 9 "Holidays" - aka 19 days. When I say "24 days" I'm saying 3 weeks plus the 9 days - and you get that extra week after 10 years

And most office jobs, we bring home work too, and work around the kids, and the homework, and...

Face it, teachers work part time

italian girl said...

"How much do teachers make after 5 years? 8 years? So don't give me that $42000 crap. How much do you think you should make when you have zero experience?

How much do teachers pay toward their health insurance? Toward their retirement plan? How much do they work in the summer?"


First, it wasn't me who gave that $42,000 crap. Someone else here didn't like what you said either.
You didn't read what I said. Salaries go up at a snail's pace. My starting salary wasn't bad. In just a couple of years, my friends in the private industry made double my salary.

The benefits you think are so great actually apply to the previous generation of teachers(Tier I) who actually had a union that watched their back. Depending on which insurance you pick you do have money taken out of your paycheck. Copayments have gone sky high for visits and meds. The age of retiring with an awesome pension is long gone. Us Tier IV teachers have to contribute to a TDA account like a 401K just like everyone else. And for many teachers, summers are spent WORKING to make ends meet.
Thank you.

Why don't you tell me what you do so I can spew some ignorant crap about that?

italian girl said...

"Face it, teachers work part time"

WTF!!!!!

All right, now I'm starting to think you're just trying to get me riled up.


And Taxpayer, TAXPAYER! Even you?
You're ganging up on me as well?

Anonymous said...

The big salaries that you think teachers make also don't take into consideration the need to pay for master's degrees and postgraduate education.

When you subtract out thousands of dollars for tuition, it's no bowl of cherries.

I was a secretary in the UFT Teacher center for many years. Many of our instructors urged me to consider changing from clerical work to teaching because I am a well-spoken, well-read college graduate. I could never take the hit to my savings and income.

I could actually make much more money as a legal secretary if I were so inclined then I could with a Master's degree and several additional required courses as a teacher.

Hui said...

italian girl,

I'm a teacher (Tier IV) too and I agree with all your points. Thanks for educating the general public about our noble profession.

Also, we don't get paid for doing nothing in the summer. It's deferred payment.

Sarah said...

Let's face it most teachers just want to teach and are good hard working people. It's the bureaucrats that make up allot of the waste. Did you ever try calling the Board of Ed? If you did you know exactly what I mean. And every time a new Mayor tries to break this wall they all fail. And the system just keeps growing like a fungus devouring this years 22 billion dollars in funds and that is not enough. That is the problem it is never enough and never will be.

Taxpayer said...

Miss Italian Girl said:
"And Taxpayer, TAXPAYER! Even you?
You're ganging up on me as well?"

No, no ganging up. I just needed to let you know the background on those summer vacations.

No Brutus here.

The reason I mentioned my teaching experience was to contrast that experience with the politically driven experience a public school teacher has. Pay, benefits, curriculum, decorum, discipline, school rules, are all reactions to parents' complaints to politicians who basically are morons, most of whom hated school, teachers and all that is associated with education.

I never suffered any of that. Never would allow it.

Once, the father of a student phoned and pressured me to tutor his son - money no issue. My solution? I tossed his son from my class after speaking to the director. That conversation was simple: The son or me. One of us would no longer be in the class tomorrow.

Try that with your school.

It isn't you. It definitely is the long-established failing structure for education. Too many in our family have been teachers for me to knock them. They know who I am and where to find me.

Anonymous said...

I still content that teach is part time. Most white collar jobs require you to bring home work, so let's call that a wash

School = 180 days, 7 hrs/day = 1260 hours/year

Typical white collar 241 days * 9hrs (Minimum)/day = 2410 hours/year

I had one job (I was there 9 months before I quit) - I averaged 67.5 hours/week for those 9 months. That included weeks when I had a day off, or took a weeks vacation. Figure 39 weeks, and worked 2632 hours, and was told I was not putting in enough time!

Anonymous said...

Go cry me a river italian girl. Compare what even your Tier IV payments are to people in the private sector. You think working a high-level corporate job is easier than teaching? You probably couldn't hack it in the private sector. The teachers' union was even pushing for 20 year retirements!! For teachers!! PIGS!

italian girl said...

Go cry yourself a river. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. And when you do, get back to me.
Work just one day in a school, like in East New York, Brooklyn. One day. I DARE you.

italian girl said...

"School = 180 days, 7 hrs/day = 1260 hours/year

Typical white collar 241 days * 9hrs (Minimum)/day = 2410 hours/year"

Again, you're comparing apples and oranges. Two totally different types of jobs.
Being responsible for 25 little people for 7 hours a day is EXHAUSTING. But of course, since you've never been a teacher, you wouldn't know. Many days, I've come home with headaches and I sometimes have had to lie down because I'm that tired.
I see many of you guys coming out of your jobs at 5 or 6 and head straight for the gyms or the bars. I have no energy for that and too much to do.
You still haven't told me what it is that you do.....

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's funny. My late B-I-L was a teacher, a guy who couldn't even hack a job at 7-11 (got fired for making incorrect change - constantly, and couldn't show up to work) - but could hack it as a teacher.

My F-I-L was a teacher, now retired

I've taught continuing Ed (Programming languages)

Yeah, the students can be idiots, but you're not going to get outsourced next week if you don't do the job "right". There is no such thing as tenure in private industry. Don't keep up, don't follow the company line, company decides this week the sky is purple, you'd better retrain to deal with purple skies. Your HAPPY if you can stay in one place for 5-6 years (and remember, each time you change, there goes all seniority, pensions (if there is one), accrued vacation time)

Come home with a headache? Poor baby - we all do that.

If teaching is such a bad thing, try doing something else.

I happen to love what I do, and for me, it's a better deal than teaching, because I would do what I do for free - and I still volunteer and do it for free

Let's face it, there are a lot of people willing to do your job for what they get paid, which is why there are plenty of teachers out there

italian girl said...

"Yeah, the students can be idiots, but you're not going to get outsourced next week if you don't do the job "right". There is no such thing as tenure in private industry."

Oh yeah? You wouldn't believe what's been going on in the school buildings lately. We are being subjected to continuous harassment and abuse on a daily basis. Principals and Assistant principals are being told by that turd Klein if they are not giving out "U" ratings, then they are not doing their jobs. Nice, huh? Do you work under conditions like that. Picture this - you have a HUGE classroom that must be decorated with information, kid's work etc. The principal will come in a write you up for having stapled your bulletin border wrong. Letter in your file. You are doing a science lesson on magnets. The kids got really into it and you went over the allotted time. The A.P. walks in expecting a math lesson but sees the kids still working with their magnets. Letter in your file for that. A parent goes and tells the principal you gave an unfair grade to their kid. There is an "investigation" opened on you which call for meetings and endless paperwork. In many cases, that principal makes up charges against you. Letter in your file. The A.P walks in your reading lesson for an informal observation. Writes up that you did not have your objective and vocabulary words visible on the board when you clearly did. A "U" rating for your file.
Get my drift?


"Come home with a headache? Poor baby - we all do that."

Don't be snotty.

"If teaching is such a bad thing, try doing something else."

Well, that's just the thing. I love making a difference in these kid's lives. I knew I would never be rich by teaching and yet I wanted to do it.

"I happen to love what I do, and for me, it's a better deal than teaching, because I would do what I do for free - and I still volunteer and do it for free"

And what you do is........

"Let's face it, there are a lot of people willing to do your job for what they get paid, which is why there are plenty of teachers out there"

That's where you are wrong. Many college kids are wise to what's been going on in the city and are avoiding coming to teach here. They are heading out to Long Island and Westchester. It probably won't be long before I do the same.

Anonymous said...

So teachers now have some standards to meet - poor babies.

italian girl said...

When Joel Klein first met Randi Weingarten he was famously quoted as saying to her "You left LAW for TEACHING?"

I can see you and Klein are made from the same mold.

Asta la vista, baby.
I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention I would like to see some of these people put up with being paid with promissory notes the way teachers were in the late 70's, early 80's.

After that fiasco, so many of the laid off teachers left the system permanently that the Department of Education had to recruit from overseas.

Anonymous said...

Manditory "U"s? BFD. That's common in most companies

They determine (as an example) that your department is a 3 on a scale of 1-5

In this economy, a 3 usually means "No raise unless you are 'underpaid' (as determined my the company)"

So your manager now has to grade each person who answers to him - and the grades have to AVERAGE a 3. A 2 means a warning note in your file. Two "2" ratngs in a row, go find a new job. Get a "1", your out the door with no warning.

So, person A in the dept, who got a company award, and a couple of patents in his name (a Manditory 4) means that someone else is getting a warning.

"PHB" (pointy haired bosses - see Dilbert) are the norm, not the exception. Every notice that the early years of Dilbert were funnier? It's because Scott Adams didn't have to make stuff up, it was a documentory of what it's really like.

Bet you haven't had a day when all 350+ employees of your division were called to a conference center, and when you gor there, your seating chart said "go to room A" or "go to room B". Out of 350+, roughly 20 people went to room B. In both rooms was a video screen, and the VP in charge of the division was up front. We were told "Everyone in room A is being outsourced in 12 weeks. Your package will be 1 weeks pay for each full year of seniority. Your replacements will be here tomorrow, and you must train them to do your job. Getting your package depends on successfully training your replacement. Have a nice day"

I know people who work at companies with "cubicle police" - when you leave for the day, you are allowed to leave 1 legal sized pad, one pencil, one pen, and one framed photo (no larger than 4x5, company can disapprove of photo) of a family member on your desk. Pad must be aligned with left side of desk, within 2 inches, and aligned with the top, (6 inches), and photo must be above pad. Pen and pencil bust be together, on pad. Yes, people got written up for having the pad 4 inches from the side of the desk. And we don't have the UFT to protect us

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot one other little detail about the "average" score coming out to a 3 (or a 2, or a 4, depending on how the company things your department did)

They expect a "normal distribution" of grades from 1-5. So if you are in a 3 rated department, they expect a couple of 5s, a few 4s, mostly 3s, a few 2s (warning letters) and a couple of 1s (you are terminated)

Anonymous said...

I thought of a good example for you how grading happens at almost every company I've worked for

You know that NYC schools are rated A,B,C,D,F?

Now, picture every teacher in a school is rated every year based upon the schools rating, and the rating of their individual class. Obviously, the average rating of the teachers is going to be the same as the schools - but some teachers in a C school might have a B class, and some are going to be a D.

Your "Manager" (Assistant Principal) can shift the grade of any 1 teacher up to 1 grade up, or down (even to F-) to compensate for say, a harder class, or an easier class, or whatever, but the average grade still has to come out to the schools grade

Any teacher who gets an F is immediately fired - no recourse

Any teacher with a D has 1 year to pull up to a C, or they are fired

Any teacher with a C gets a "Your doing as expected, you will get COLA, but no seniority raise/performance raise"

As and Bs will get perfomance based increases

Assistant Principals get the average grade of their grade ( subject to 1 level of adjustment by the Principal) - Their grade has to average to the schools average.

The Principal is graded by the District (average there = average of the district)

Follow the pattern all the way up

This is a COMMON annual review pattern in industry - I know, I've written the software to do it more than once

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a recipe for chaos. Why bother killing yourself over these people if your survival in the company can come down to completely arbitrary factors?

Much like getting a bogus ticket because the cop has to meet his month end quota.

Taxpayer said...

If you wonder why the economy is failing so badly, read the comments from Italian Girl and the private business person (especially the comment about Klien, who exemplifies the very worst of both worlds).

The problem is giantism. Which is NOT capitalism or socialism.

Giantism consists of organizations that are so large that they are beyond control. Giantism leads to failing organizations no longer interested in or capable of performing the core purpose that was the original reason for forming the organization.

Giantism can be spotted by several common characteristics:
People at the top never communicate with those below;
Rules are made that have to do with controlling employees, customers, suppliers, but no longer with accomplishing the mission;
Insane terminology is used - proactive, process, zero-sum, on the margin, etc. Neither speaker, writer, listener or reader of this claptrap ever know or care what the jargon means, so long as they are the ones to spout it.

The original notion of capitalism, the system that affords maximum freedom for all, and where all are tested every day by the harsh realities of the market, never envisioned the likes of GM, Chrysler, Citibank, or the vast, incomprehensible government organizations at every lever.

As we have proved to us now every day, giantism is a failure. It fails but uses it's size to cling to its miserable, useless life anyway.

Want to think big? Think small!

brainfreeze said...

Giantism. That is a very insightful, provocative statement. It is a good hook into the mess. What you say makes sense--size, scope, scale all determine so much. Nature keeps things in their proper relationships, and when things get unbalanced, all goes wrong. On the other hand, there are giant systems in nature. Each system, large or small, has its own integrity--a puddle, a pond, a lake,a river, an ocean. Nature itself, too. But human systems, man-made--yeah, you are right. Anyway, could be a book.Your idea?

Taxpayer said...

Brainfreeze said:
"Each system, large or small, has its own integrity--a puddle, a pond, a lake,a river, an ocean. Nature itself, too. But human systems, man-made--yeah, you are right. Anyway, could be a book.Your idea?"

Good point.

Puddles each have a distinct purpose, as does an ocean. Neither attempts to be more or less than its intended purpose. Yes. They each have integrity.

Gigantic human organizations grow like mold, with each new element never actually being organized with the other elements.

Some very large human organizations remain intact and true to purpose. An example would be McDonald's. Go anywhere in the US, and, but for some local accommodations, they each do the same thing: make and sell hamburgers and sides. The rest of the organization is organized around this simple to understand notion. So, as long as nobody gets ideas, the company will last.

These banks and insurance companies, on the other hand, brought in individuals who seemed to fit the organization, but, in fact, set out to implement their own agenda: get rich quick.

Who can write a 10 or 15 word sentence that accurately spells out the purpose of AIG, or Citibank, or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? Does the entire organization revolve around this simple to describe notion?

Giant organizations are, in fact, perversions of an original, simple idea.

Write a book? Love too.

It may well sell 10 copies. So, I should write in on my PC and publish and autograph each individual copy for those 10 readers. My printer could handle that.