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I'm pleased with the arbitrator's decision today, but I have a slight confession to make: I may be happy with the ruling just because it spites Mayor Bloomberg and his plan to turn teachers' and students' lives upside down. However, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in court. It's rare for Mayor Mike not to get his way.
An arbitrator has ruled against Mayor Bloomberg's plan to close 24 struggling public schools, only to re-open them with new names and mostly new teachers in the fall. This afternoon's ruling found the Department of Education violated the terms of its union contracts by asking educators to re-apply for their jobs.
In a statement, the United Federation of Teachers said the decision allows the current staff in these schools "the opportunity to remain there for the next school year." But the future is still unclear because the City is appealing the decision. Mayor Bloomberg called it an "injustice to our children" that "puts the career interests of adults ahead of the educational needs of children." What do you say?
Are you pleased or disappointed in the arbitrator's ruling? What message did the arbitrator send to Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education? Do you think the City will win its appeal?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
I think it's about time someone took a stand with this mayor. But then again we all know who comes out the winner every time.
This mayor cares about no one but himself and his cronies and by no means is he worried about an injustice to the children. From the beginning he has used these children as pawns to do one thing and one thing only and that is to make money off of them.
No one but no one will convince me that this mayor has consideration for the majority of us except for his rich friends.
LOOK AROUND THIS CITY AND HAVE A LOOK SEE FOR YOURSELVES PEOPLE.
The mayor's preferred means of 'reform' - demoralizing school closures and unchecked charter expansion - do not sit well with public school parents like myself. We want the city to invest in the schools it has, not abandon or undermine them. Struggling schools need more resources, teacher development, smaller classes and staff support. While I am thrilled to see the closures halted, I hate to see it happen via a UFT contract-related lawsuit - this just gives the City another way to blame teachers for the struggles that the DOE has wrought on its own.
Mayor Bloomberg wants his way no matter what.He needs to learn that people don't always kowtow to his wishes.
Rosalie from Canarsie
I happen to join the staff of a closing school this past December. Best research based practices were missing. First rate on-going professional development could address that problem. The other thing that was missing was the parent piece. There was very little parent engagement.
Teachers can do but so much. Everyone must do their part!
How sweet it is!
After putting the hard-working teachers at 24 schools through the meat-grinder, for once, the mayor and his puppet chancellor got a taste of their own medicine!!!
The smarmy Bloomberg has egg all over his usually gloating face- and this is a huge day for union power, something he and his privatizing army have done all they can to tear asunder.
I can't wait to go back to John Dewey High School in Coney island, Brooklyn, and do my job! I am proud to say I for one did not bow down, that I never recognized the authority of the
"new world order" the city and its dept of educational deform" forced upon us, nor the legitimacy of the so-called "ISA", the For-Profit consultancy which was gleefully part of the execution of what was a
successful, if, of-late, struggling- experiment in education. My mission as an educator has been re-confirmed, and my dignity remains unwavered, and unassailable.
Congratulations to my wonderful colleaugues at all 24 schools, and to the UFT!!!
I am elated to know that that mayor lost this fight. It's nice to know that there are still people in power who's heads are screwed on properly. The Flushing High School community, as well as the communities of the other schools will still stand, even in the face of a mayor who has no idea what the heck he's doing.
It's an even bigger laugh at his face to know that this fraudulent process used to obtain 40$ million for the city didnt work. Maybe he should try a legal way and quit wasting the money on hiring people from California on six figures who have teaching for 2-3 years to tell my teachers, some of whom have been teaching for 20+ years, how to teach.
-Davon South Jamaica [Flushing High School Student]
Now that he has lost the arbitration and his closing schools plan has been shown to be a sham, Michael Bloomberg should immediately apologize to the students, parents, and educators of NYC for the chaos and demoralization that he has caused over the last few months.
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
What happened in those schools the last couple of weeks was a lesson for anybody still believing that this so called reform has anything to do with education. In our school the principal had knowledge of the staff and for political and economic reasons teachers with the most solid record were removed. Students teachers and parents were in disbelief. I hope it was a wake up call, so we can fight to save what is left of our public schools. I am going back in September to my beloved school that I have served heart and soul for seventeen years. I am proud to be part of the 123 years history of William Cullen Bryant High School.
Georgia from Astoria.
Keep Hope Alive!
kathy from Thoggs Neck da bronx
No one has the kids best interest at heart ...the teachers don't want to loose there jobs and bloomberg just wants to run everything .besides the parents who is going to fight for the children
Despite the tone of the country being anti-union right now, because of course is everything is their fault, there is still the little problem Bloomberg and his ilk have with the fact that a contract is still a legally binding document; until they find a way to eliminate that as well. These school closing and having teachers re-apply for positions seems to miss one small detail, there is no way all of the teaching staff has been terminated with just cause. Saying the school is "failing" and using that to justify 100% firings/layoffs would make it seem like every teacher was incompetent in some way, which seems statistically impossible. Ironically by the Emperor's line of thought, then every student at these schools received a sub-par education, maybe the city and department of education should be sued for that along with all these other lawsuits, another "injustice to our children."
It is nice ploy Bloomberg has used here, they did the same thing where I worked. The people in management create a situation where there is almost no way for the workers to succeed, and then close things down and fire everyone, while the politically connected upper management move on to other things to destroy. The Mayor and his buddies don't seem to mind putting their careers and egos above the needs to the children, adults and anyone else in this city. Maybe there should be a push for politicians to live and work under the same scrutiny and conditions as everyone else. Forget about term limits (Bloomberg did), which is just a contract that allows someone to have a job for a set amount of time even if they don't perform well. Politicians should be subject to being fired at any time or after an annual review of their work. Let them re-apply to just like everyone else, but without all the annoying campaigning and wasting of money that goes along with it. First one that needs to go, Julius Bloomberg.....
I hope this decision foils the evil plan of the Mayor to disrupt the educational setting and lives of teachers and students at these 24 schools in order to spite the UFT.
As a NYC public school teacher I want to thank President Mulgrew and the UFT for this victory against the Mayor, once again, we have won. A friend of mine was talking to me today about how he was worried that his friend a teacher at John Dewey wouldn't be hired back to teach her children because of the 18D process, now her job is secured thanks to the work of the UFT.
This decision is a victory for The Public Schools in NYC and the teachers.The mayor has tried time and again to shut down schools and reopen them as an attempt to get rid of teachers. He has admitted that he will shut down schools to get rid of teachers, and he has done this because he thought he could, well thanks to this arbitration and the UFT, the mayor has realized what we have all been saying, that his actions are a violation to the teachers contract, and he cant do this anymore. This arbitration creates a precedent that renaming a school does not justify letting go of 50% of its staff. Teachers in these schools have the right to stay in these schools and if the Mayor wants to improve them now is the time to do it working with the UFT not against them.
President Mulgrew as a Public School teacher, I thank you
Bayridge Brooklyn NY
I AM THRILLED!! The message the arbitrator sent to the Mayor and the DOE is that schools shouldn't be CLOSED, they need to be FIXED!! Changing the name of a school and putting different staff in it, doesn't improve a school. The children are still the same children. What the DOE does is they open a new school and throw tons of money into it for remedial programs and supplies. Let them do that to the current school, instead of cutting their budget, let them throw the money into them and then the current staff would be able to FIX the schools too.
Additionally, by throwing all these people out of jobs, into the ATR pool, the DOE's payroll increases since these people are still collecting their salaries and benefits in addition to the new staff at the newly named schools - so in effect they would be doubling the payroll.
I hope and pray the City does not win its appeal. The only way they will win is if Bloomberg buys them.
Jessica, Arden Heights, Staten Island
Very pleased. With the ruling. The only inefficient person involved in the schools are the mayor and dennis Walcott. Get rid of those 2 and the students will flourish
I agree with this ruling, great ruling for my colleagues and my students.
I'm extremely pleased with the arbitrators ruling. This whole turnaround proposal was detrimental and full of shams from the start. Our school has undergone the transformation process with a great principal and we deserve to continue on with this model and have our fate decided not by a politically unjust contract, but rather on progress and achievement.
Mayor Bloomberg, THIS IS NOT BURGER KING. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT YOUR WAY!!!!!
Bloomberg's legacy will be trying to destroy schools and communities. And he wants a bridge named after him? I would not name a fire hydrant after him.
This mayor just does whatever he wants, upsetting and unsettling the lives of teachers, parents, and particular students with no consequences. He is in no way the "education mayor" When is he going to help the school, not just close them.
I love how the union constantly puts the interest of teachers ahead of the education of children.
If these teacher were actually "good" at teaching, they wouldn't have anything to worry about.
Equal education is not good enough, better education is what we need.
Eriq from Washington Heights
I attend Lehman Highschool. Today was a great day for NYC schools as justice has prevailed, and as Bloomberg's ineptness in office was depicted. He is just prolonging the inevitable outcome which give us the best teachers back.
Mr James is by far my favorite!!
Litigation, Litigation, Litigation -- that is all the NYC Department of Education knows. How many court rulings, arbitrators' decisions have to be handed down before they get slapped in the face hard enough to realize that their methods and business practices are unethical, improper -- bordering on illegal? From what I know the city lost this battle because the arbitrator's decision came down to key points -- one being that the DOE violated the Union Contract (no real surprise there) . . . the larger issue here was that the DOE's only method of improving NYC public schools is to close struggling schools. How many people have to say this to the DOE in how many different languages that CLOSING STRUGGLING SCHOOLS IS NOT THE ANSWER! The DOE has to stop beating their heads against the wall when their remedies turn out to be failures and losses -- learn and move on. Stop trying to blame and fire teachers for they are not the only ones contributing to this broken down and shattered public school system!
Mayor Bloomberg is not the man that he was when he first became The Mayor of NYC. He is irrational, vindictive and seems to be teetering on the edge of a borderline personality disorder -- there is therapy for that. Everyday I am amazed that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott don't care at all about the DOE's reputation or integrity -- which is the worst that I am aware of. Does Mayor Bloomberg even care about his reputation at this point . . . one is now beginning to wonder.
And of course the DOE will Appeal, Appeal and Appeal. Trying working with the Union instead of being such a hostile adversary -- now there's a novel approach. Or close your doors! This ruling is not an injustice -- The DOE's behavior is an injustice and they need to implement a "turnaround" method for themselves.
Thers is a new goldrush going on and its in the field of EDUCATION.Serious investigative research reporting will reveal the new robber barons of this age .The call should do its research .Who is getting rich off these school closings .?
The mayor does not understand the deep emotional bond forged by stable schools and faculty with their students. Keeping good teachers in place IS in their students' best interest. The mayor will NOT learn a lesson; he will dig in deeper, do something horribly spiteful, and continue to wreak his special kind of havoc until the end of his term, sadly. Many students and teachers have been horribly traumatized by his callous, irresponsible and uninformed decisions and actions.
Shelley, Park Slope
Mayor Bloomberg was the sole perpetrator of this injustice to our children! This process has forced teacher who work with high need students to take their focus off teaching and instead focus on searching for a new teaching position.
I work at one of the 24 schools. For months, teachers were told we were ineffective and that we had to reapply for our jobs. Only to reapply for my job and then be told that I was a highly effective teacher and that I was in fact rehired by the new proposed school -- which now does not exist! This has been a total waste of time. This was union busting and teacher bashing at its best and it is not over and my question is when will it stop?
Everyone is somewhere because of a teacher in their life who made a difference. Terrorizing and degrading teachers is not the way to go. It affect teachers and in the end it affects students. A demoralized teacher at a South Bronx school !!!
I LOVE it when Bloomberg doesn't get his way because: 1) he's always wrong, and 2) it's a sign of hope that democracy may prevail over an autocrat who buys his way and his people!
i was opposed to the proposal when it was introduced and at this point the mayor needs to address the situation and draw up a plan that will fix our schools...this should have been the plan from the start and not some experiment that hasnt been used by the doe over past 10 years....we need a plan that can sustain improvement and gains over the long term...not some quick fix bandaid...
panel for educational policy
I am the parent of a 7th grader who just received the Directory of NYC High Schools........the 2012-13 edition of this toe has all of the "new" schools....new names, etc. Fancy names, designed to lure parents into believing that having a word like academy, leadership or collegiate in the name of one's school means better or more effective.
NOT so, and power to the Arbitrator!
So, will a new book be presented? let's get some stability going for the middle schoolers.
This wasn't about hiring more effective teachers, it was about hiring younger, cheaper teachers. It was about maligning good, older teachers so that Bloomberg could continue dismantling New York City's education system. The effect of this mayor's policies for the past ten years has been significantly less educated, more struggling students. I Hope this is the beginning of the end for him!
What a relief that the system won't be flooded with Fellows and Teach for America beings. These poor folks are horribly underprepared and quite a few can't wait to put in their two years and get out. it is a mistake to believe that these are the saviors of NYC education. Even they recognize how not ready they are. this is the real injustice.....forcing difficult students to struggle further in classrooms with teachers who are learning as they go.
This is a victory for NYC. Bloomberg’s plan was all about union busting, closing schools, placing his hand-picked managers (principals?) in control, firing teachers and hiring back only those without tenure or seniority and who come cheap. this is a corporate, business management plan, not a plan for people, kids, schools. NYC is not a corporation.
meryl from manhattan
I agree with the arbitrator. Since the public schools are mostly minority, I guess Bloomberg feels that he can do what he wants. Well, I guess the arbitrator thought differently. Closing the schools violates the union contract. Mayor Bloomberg could care less about the minorities welfare or education. That is why people who are rich have no idea what it is to struggle. Too bad.
I do believe the ruling that the closing of schools violated the rights of teachers by having them reapply for their own/old jobs is a correct one.
Teachers who have been assigned to a school or to a class or a specified area of instruction do so only after being thoroughly vetted by the Principal and her/his staff. To have them reapply when they have already proved their worth is cruel and unjust.
This is, once again, Mayor Bloomberg trying to break the UFT and its members, trying to cut costs by hiring younger, CHEAPER teachers and ignoring the fact that children NEED experienced teachers who will be there long after the students graduate so they have somebody to come back to and share their success stories.