Friday, February 12, 2010

Charter schools a way to get rid of union?

Bonus footage: Joel Klein getting ripped a new one.

From the Riverdale Press:

To the editor:

The New York City Department of Education has been trying to convince the public that charter schools are the answer to all of the problems in city schools. That is because, in actuality, the goal of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s charter school movement is to destroy the teachers’ union — the UFT — and privatize education.

Parents should be alarmed. The teachers who work with their children every day have long been the champions of the students in bargaining about the issues that affect students directly, including two of the most important: class size and safety. If you take away the power of the teachers to negotiate with the city, you take away the power of the advocates for the students to negotiate on their behalf. Remember: parents are not at the bargaining table.

Furthermore, the policies of the Department of Education are prejudiced against experienced teachers. Experienced teachers cost more than high-turnover Teach for America recruits and Teaching Fellows, and they know their union rights. However, experienced teachers have made teaching New York City’s children their life’s mission. They have devoted decades to professional development. If you eliminate the experienced teachers, you are left with teachers with limited experience, many working under administrators with limited experience, and no one for either group to turn to for advice.

The business-oriented leadership of the current Department of Education seems to be more concerned with money than quality. Did they not learn while they were in the business world that you get what you pay for?

The closing of schools based on questionable criteria and the shuffling of school staff, combined with a financial disincentive for schools to hire higher-paid seasoned teachers, has resulted in an unprecedented pool of talented, experienced teachers without permanent positions in schools — only because they cost more.

Now the Bloomberg administration is demanding a contract that would allow this underutilized pool that he created to be fired rather than be assigned to schools, even the large public schools that most of the city’s children attend, where these policies have created ever-increasing overcrowding and class size.

Placing a charter elementary school where it is not needed harms the underutilized public schools in the same neighborhood. The charter school solution that Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Klein advocate diverts public attention from the Department of Education’s failure to support and provide resources to make all our public schools, both small, and especially, large, successful. They are all under his control, and all his responsibility


The DOE is also now considering performance-based tenure. Which sucks if you are assigned to a sucky school.


Anonymous said...

Didn't this guy vote to keep monserrat in the senate@

NYC Educator said...

Joel Klein's cries about using test scores to determine tenure are nonsense. The fact is any non-tenured teacher can be discontinued for virtually any reason already, up to and including a bad haircut.

I actually agree tenure ought not to be automatic, but doubt Chancellor Klein would know a good teacher if one were beating him over the head.

primadonna said...

Sheila, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

virtually all pub schools will be run by one of three corps by 2014 or 2015. I forget the yr. If 97- or 98% of your kids dont pass that have been set up to fail, sold out.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Kruger's the one who voted to keep Monserrat in the Senate ! He also voted agaisnt the gay marriage bill ! And if you look at Monserrat's last part of his name , they both have something in common : The are both RATS! DUMP KRUGER.. He's a JERK!

Anonymous said...

yes but the UFT have only themselves to blame for endorsing Quinn and for not endorsing in the Mayor race which basically helped Bloomberg who won by less than 51,000 votes. If the UFT endorsed Thompson, I bet Bloomerg would have lost.

primadonna said...

I agree. I thought Mulgrew was making a huge mistake to sit out the race. His endorsement of Thompson could have made a difference. I really hope James Eterno wins the UFT election. Mulgrew has proved he's more of the same.
The UFT should have known the "polls" were full of sh#@. I know I did.

And in the end, Bloomjerk didn't care. Now he's going for the jugular.

Notice you rarely find a good article in a newspaper about a teacher, always making teachers look bad and/or DOE look good.
I feel like it's Nazi Germany 1930's.

Anonymous said...

I have dealt with lots of very experienced teachers and administrators in the NYC public school system over the past twenty years and they have had little to no interest in the students, or making sure that the schools are functioning. There only interest has been securing a better retirement package by just showing up to work another year. I say given younger less experienced teachers a chance. They may bring the energy and ideas to improve the functioning of our schools so our kids actually learn how to think

Anonymous said...

For decades the unions have had it their way. What has changed? Have our schools gotten better? No, the teachers union has only found ways to line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers. I say do away will all of them. It would be a welcome turn of events and we would all be better off.

Experienced teachers are code for lazy cows who don't have to be held accountable for their performance. Not saying all, but when you have a system the fails to reward performance and weed out undesirable you get the NYC public school system.

primadonna said...

What you don't realize is that many of these new teachers are not lasting more than 3 or 4 years here in the city. Some of the reasons are: little or no support from administrators, low pay, difficult work environment, job is seen as stepping stone, inability to handle tough kids, parents etc..

In my experience, it's the senior teachers that knew the kids well. True some may have been burnt out. Burn out factor is high in this profession. From what I saw, new teachers did not have the necessary skills to teach effectively. That always took TIME. Although some of them certainly THOUGHT they had those skills and were more often than not good bullshit artists that were able to put on a good show.

georgetheatheist said...

If you click onto Crapper's link, "considering performance-based tenure", and look at the photograph illustrating "Union Blasts DOE Proposal to Tighten Tenure", you see the students doing some kind of scribbling under a display called "River Valley Civilizations".

Ms Brooks tells us "I feel like it's Nazi Germany 1930's".

It's more like the Middle Ages. You can get all that book larnin' these days on the internet. Go ahead and Google "River Valley Civilizations" and see what you come up with. Now why do these kids have to schlepp from their homes to the school building to get this same info?

The school system is anachronistic. The UFT is a medieval guild.

The times, they are a'changin'.

primadonna said...

Oh George you're making about as much sense as a caveman.

What do you oppose? The school system or the UFT? Or both?

The school system is being run by a bunch of businesspeople and lawyers who think they know best.
The UFT is being run by people who are chickenshit of the businesspeople and lawyers who think they know best.

Let's see, now who do you think will destroy the schools first? DOE or the UFT? Or shall we say it'll be a joint effort.

georgetheatheist said...

Moi? The Caveman?

"Some of the reasons are...low pay..." What do you haul in per year? 40,000 bucks a year? 50G's? 60'G? 70'G's, 80 or 90?

All that dough to "teach" kids what's available on line. "Going to school" is outdated. Who really lives in the cave?

Klein and Bloomie are at least making an effort to forestall the sinking Titanic. The smart passengers will get on the lifeboats and leave the wreck. Gabeesh?

primadonna said...

The only effort Bloomie & Klein are making is to turn every last school into a charter school run by their business buddies.

I should have been in investment bank robber. At least when people thought I was scum, I'd be RICH scum.
Now I'm just poor scum.

Mo Ron said...

What's wrong with a NYC edjookayshun?

Anonymous said...

teachers only punch their time card for 180 days/year.
the rest of the year they lounge and play on the beach in the SOUTH OF FRANCE.

are the teachers paying for parking in their school play grounds?check Sanford ave./at Parsons Bllvd. and P.S.159 at Bayside ,205 st/33rd ave.

Anonymous said...

the union/state employee mafia is out of control in NY.

these guys get 6 figure pensions for christ sake.

and they don't even pay state taxes on that.

and the MTA.... these geniuses put a .4% payroll tax on all businesses and promptly turned around and gave that money to the unions. and the next declared they were losing money again. uh, guess why?

the state is nothing but a tax collecting racket to pay off the unions.

the state deserves bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

I know it's been said before, but I'd like to see just ONE of you morons who criticize teachers try our job for a DAY. Then you will shut your mouths. It's true. Let's put Bloomberg in front of a class of 30 in East New York. See how long he lasts.

Anonymous said...

While it goes without saying that the current public system has problems, charter schools are the biggest racket that is around. Taxpayer dollars going to these private companies - then they only pay for part of the tuition, so they get your taxes from the government, then you have to write the charter school a check for whatever else they want. The charter schools are playing nice for now with their students, once they get a stranglehold, forget about a middle class family in Queens being able to get their kids a decent free education.

Which party is behind this? Well, Bloomturd is screwing public schools while pushing charter schools all the way, but Obama is forcing states to hand everything over to charter schools as well.

Thank God I had the opportunity to go to the IS 25 SP (advanced) program and was accepted into Bronx Science. While there were some incompetents just collecting their checks while I went to school, there were educated, motivated, experienced teachers as well. In the future, there may be no chance for a free, semi-decent education for Queens students.

Of course there are some incompetent, overpaid teachers counting the days for retirement. Any middle class Queens resident who sees the teachers and union as the main problem is a fool though. They are for sure a lesser evil to the Bloomturd/Obama/Giuliani/Hillary/Paterson charter school conspiracy. Both parties are owned by the charter school mafia and the charter school mafia has paid off every other black preacher in the country to not complain about it.

The teachers union is the only organization fighting against this monster, and against all the payoffs and such by the giant charter school mafia, they will obviously fail. Like development, this is a battle we will lose, but at least we can DELAY the charter school takeover if we fight.

I can't understand why people can't see the half-incompetent teachers as a lesser evil to the charter school monstrosity. Believe me, when charter schools take over, which they unstoppably will do sooner or later, forget about anybody getting a decent education without paying a Brearley/Chapin like tuition - even professionals will be tapped out by the high tuitions. And forget about the PTA or any minimal kind of community oversight. All of the Republicans and Democrats have been paid off, the federal government is basically forcing this on New York with Race to the Top.

Our state legislature rejecting millions in federal aid and the teachers union have saved us for a little while. But go ahead and join the charter school racket and say screw the union, screw the teachers, have your fun and say goodbye to one of the few things left your tax dollars actually give something back to you with. Join Paterson, Obama, Giuliani, Hillary, Bloomturd and the rest of the crooks in their campaign for a charter school takeover.

Anonymous said...

I once heard Jon Stewart comment that it would be better to mistakenly fire a good teacher here and there rather than let incompetent teachers slide through. That's sort of like saying "better to let 10 innocent men get the death penalty than to let 1 guilty man go free." Isn't that ass-backwards?

I work in a large high school that was converted to a group of smaller schools in recent years. It's a mess. At least 2 of the principals abuse their staff by intimidation and with contract violations. A recent push to decertify as many special education students as possible has resulted in a large number of small high schools that do not and cannot accommodate special education students, who, by law, are supposed have full access to the same free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to which general education students are entitled.Fewer and fewer schools are offering self-contained special education classes for students who are cognitively normal with average IQs but who have learning disabilities. Regardless of what their IEPs say, students designated for self-contained classes (class size limit 12 middle school and 15 in high scool) are being pushed into integraetd co-teaching classes. ICT classes are supposed to be 40% special education and 60% general education. But then again, middle schools are supposed to have class size limits of 30 and high schools 34. Good luck finding them.

There are many levels of special education, which accommodate the needs of a diverse population. There are millions of dollars being allocated for special education, yet students with different programs specified on their IEPs end up being lumped together in a single classroom. So where is the money going? State mandated related services that are, by law, confidential and private (counseling, speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy) are being given in shared spaces, hallways, cafeterias, and stairwells.

Without the prospect of tenure by estoppel, many bright young college students will not enter the field of education. Veteran teachers will retire as soon as they are eligible, teaching fellows will leave after their two years are over and they have obtained their post-graduate degrees, and turnover will increase. Principals who graduate from the Leadership Academy will follow Bloomberg's economic model and behave like fascists toward their staff.

The DOE will implode and the tenure issue will backfire in Klein's and Bloomberg's faces. If a principal actively denies tenure to a teacher who has taught in his or her school for 3 to 4 years - wouldn't that beg the question of why that teacher wasn't terminated during the probationary period? Principals are already holding the threat of denial of tenure over teachers' heads in order to shuffle the ones they don't like to other schools. It will get worse. Much worse.

And I agree with Bill Maher. Don't fire the teachers. Fire the parents. While we're at it, let's fire some of the administrators. And how about firing Bloomberg and firing Klein?