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Let's not kid ourselves. This is not about retaining the best teachers. This is about dollars. Once that is admitted and acknowledged by the Department of Education (Mayor Bloomberg) and the United Federation of Teachers, the two sides can then engage in a conversation on the best way to save money and retain quality. Until then, this is nothing but a lot of talk and a badge...
Anticipating major cuts in State aid, Mayor Bloomberg is pressuring lawmakers in Albany to change the rules on teacher seniority. Currently, newer teachers are first on the chopping block, and Bloomberg says some 15,000 could be fired if Governor Cuomo announces deep cuts in tomorrow's budget address.
Those who support ending the "last in, first out" policy say it's more effective to retain teachers based on merit, not longevity. Opponents argue experience counts in the classroom and this effort is simply a cost-cutting move. What do you say?
Should teachers be fired based on longevity or how effective they are? Do you view this as a smart cost-cutting measure? Should Albany lawmakers grant Mayor Bloomberg his request since the City runs the public school system?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Here he goes again mouthing off what he thinks is best for NYC students.
In my 23 years I would have to save I have touched in many ways over 645 students.
I know that my career can not be placed on a chopping block in vain.
My first few years, over 23 years ago were challenging to say the least, but you make it through with the support of colleagues and administration.
I have put in countless hours into my career and it has been something that I wouldn't change for the world!
Now he just wants to save money, since he overspent during his administration and the 1.1 million kids have to suffer because of his illustrious spending.
I along with my union, will not go down without a fight against is stupidity.
Hope we can chat later.
FANILOW IN FLUSHING
This is what happens when CEO's On Wall St. are paid high bonuses and not taxed! You can't make blood out of stone. Seniority is important. The Mayor needs to stop playing games with peoples pensions.
Whether a teacher stays or goes should be determined by qualification.
The problem is, especially in NYC, how do you determine who’s qualified and who’s not? By what standard?
And just who would be making the determination? The principals? Some of the will have to go.
Cathie Black? Outside of the close knit crony infested Bloomberg administration, she is universally considered unqualified herself.
If you ever want to see a quality education system, get the government out of it. The government is an idiot, inept at everything it does. And far more costly.
Port Richmond, SI
IF I BELIEVE THE 15,000 TEACHER LAYOFF FIGURE, WHICH I DO NOT, WHERE ARE THOSE KIDS GOING TO THAT ARE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THOSE TEACHERS? LET'S SAY THAT ONE TEACHER HAS 30 PUPILS FOR EACH PERIOD, AND I'LL BE CONSERVATIVE AND ALLOW FOR 5 CLASS PERIODS THAT THEY TEACH TO, THAT MEANS 15,000 TEACHERS TIMES 150 PUPILS EQUALS 2,250,000 PUPILS WILL NEED TO BE PLACED INTO OTHER CLASSROOMS. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. IF BLOOMY IS GOING TO LIE, LIE WITH CORRECT FIGURES.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
I think is fair that the new teacher get their opportunities too, as they old one have had theirs. So how a good teacher would have a chance to prove that is doing a good job if the department of education does not give them the opportunity to prove it? I think education in NYC has been decreased a lot due to bad teachers that refused to do a good job and due to seniority, no one can do anything to fire them. Is time to change it and does not count the seniority, count the ability to teach and do a good job all for the students, not just because seniority. Is time to change those rules.
Alberto from Hamilton Heights.
Mayor Bloomberg should announce a retirement incentive and by doing so save everyone's job. If merit is used - how are the teachers being judged? Right now the only teachers who have data reports are those teaching Literacy or Math in grades 4 - 8. What basis will the others be chosen - whether a principal likes or dislikes you? Retirement incentive will save jobs, save money too. Those who retire are those at top pay. Remaining staff is at lower pay, therefore costing less money.
A third term mayor wants to get rid of seniority rules. Kind of ironic. The same irony that found klein collecting his $45,000 per year pension, after railing against them for teachers. No one is buying Bloomberg's ridiculous assault on teachers, and his hypocrisy is quite clear. Teachers like all workers, should have job protections, seniority rights is one such protection.
Ending LIFO would have disastrous consequences on my profession. What teacher would join and advocate with parents for their child or children if there is no protection in place from arbitrary firing. The mayor talks about keeping teachers with merit; what does that mean? Teachers who have good test scores? Teachers who silently accept his destructive policies?
Getting rid of LIFO is nothing more than an attempt to silence teachers and provide principals with a cost containment tool; the ability to fire the most expensive. Bloomberg changed school-based budgeting so that principals would have an incentive for firing senior teachers, because now they cost more in school based budgets than inexperienced teachers do. All the research shows experience matters, but all that matters to Bloomberg is dollars. He treats our schools as a business and then has the audacity to use the PR line: children first? More like customers and profit margins first?
Julie, sp ed teacher
I disagree with Mayor Bloomberg's method.
1) If you have a bad teacher, then fire that teacher.
2) What is the current way to measure merit? Are we showing teachers their merit ratings (if they are available) throughout their entire career?
3) If a teacher is working with troubled children (crack babies, ADD, etc.)or less privileged children (bad living environment, low income, inability to access assistance) how could you compare that teachers "merit" with another teacher who is teaching the exact opposite, gifted children (high learners and achievers) and or privileged children (good living environment, higher income, ability to access assistance).
I wonder when this insidious attack on labor will stop.
I support the last in -first out ending. True we need experience teachers in the classroom but not all experienced teachers are GOOD TEACHERS. I don;t believe any teacher who isn;t up to par-should maintain their position because of seniority???
Seriously Bloomberg. Enough with our teachers. Leave us alone and let us educate our future. Leave our union alone. I'm a 5th grade teacher in Flushing who has been teaching slightly over 10 years. Do I want to be there when I'm 60? Not really. But there are those who have to and want to. Leave them alone. He has a problem with our union and bottom line wants to get rid of it. That's not happening, not in this life time. Education is not a business. We need someone who is very familiar with our education system. Its not about business, or politics. Bloomberg has no business in most of the things he decides. With him, its all about money. And he sure has more than enough of it. He paid someone so he could run a third term just as he paid off to get Kathy Black. Leave our seniors alone. Its because of them and their knowledge, young teachers become influenced. Instead of worrying about the damn Yankees and Jets, worry about our children who will run this country one day.
Bella from Bayside
There should be "ZERO" teachers fired, Bloomberg needs to stay out of Bermuda conducting his personal business through the internet "allegedly" making billions of dollars while destroying Union jobs watching city tax payers make choices between food or rent money"""""
How come you never ask you never ask Cathie Black and other NYC or state people the question: Why would new teachers want to work in NYC as teachers if they knew that after they were in the system for years they would be considered too expensive and should be let go? I wouldn’t want to be in that system. Maybe if I wanted to work a couple of years, but those people aren’t really interested in being good teachers. They also see the disrespect NYC powers that be have for teachers. Why would they trust Principals to make good decisions when the press is starting to notice that many are dirty and useless? How come no one mentions all the administrators they have in the system? Most schools have too many administrators in the schools. Many are non-teaching and ones with little experience cost the same as three new teachers. Wouldn’t it be smarter to get rid of those people? Klein increased the size of the Department of Education and these people don’t teach and make a lot more money than teachers. I would go elsewhere if I was a new teacher. Also, this mayor changed the rules so he could have a third term. He said he had the experience and that means he was better. Would’t logic hold that experienced teachers would be better, too? If you were in my class, you would fail. And, I’m a great teacher. Your jobs are to ask the smart questions, not the easy ones. You are flunking New York City schools and children.
Rather than despatch the bubble room's useless idiots into various districts throughout the City, eliminate them once and for all. Next, eliminate tenure. De-license the teacher's union. Make teacher's accountable every day that they teach and get rid of lousy teachers.
The latest from Mayor Bloomberg is that he will have to lay off an additional 15,000 teachers if there is no additional help from Albany.This is totally incomprehensible! The NY City public schools are overcrowded, Teachers work under very difficult to nearly impossible conditions,and now the threat of massive teacher layoffs is a real possibility. There has to be a better way to save money then battering our schools and teachers. Education should be one area that is not affected by cutbacks. If this threat to layoff all of these teachers comes to fruition, then the NYC public school system will implode-there is no viable way that it can survive the total layoff of nearly 21,000 teachers, in addition to all of those teachers who are eligible to retire and will retire.. A better way needs to be found-do not lay off teachers!
Fresh Meadows, NY
What do you know, for once I agree with Mayor Bloomberg. Saw it back in the 70's when many good new teachers were let go and those that were a waste got to stay. [Yes John, even in PS23]. Unfortunately it will not happen.
get rid of the dead wood the true rule should be doing the best job
First of all this mayor should start with his own house. I am sure that he has a lot of dead wood hanging around. He should also stay out of the business of the state of Arizona. When you start to clean house mr. mayor you should be the one leading the band out the door. How come we still have garbage and snow in my neighborhood.
The first problem I see with the so called "merit" is that gets all based in friendship, not real merit. It will be "my friend and the friend of my friend stays, the others out." The other point is that is easy to keep new teachers, because their salary is not on top, so they are cheaper for the budget. Seniority may not be the best scale, but is the only one with no favoritism.
I think Mayor Bloomberg is right and if a teacher is to be layed off, it should be based on merit and not how long they have been teaching. Our New York teachers have a duty to the children they teach. It is not how long one is teaching but how well they perform and how they get the student to be the best they can be. We should not lay off those teachers who are truly concerned with a students progress and not just getting a paycheck.
Glen Oaks Village
The state should wrest control of NYC schools away from the Mayoral sideshow that NYC schools have become, and then every student in the state will be or should be on level ground. THEN, someone OTHER than the Mayor and his gang should decide what is best for the students and teachers of New York State.
I am all for merit teacher retention over longevity, as long as everyone is dealt a fair and honest deal.
I don't think that it's fair to lay off the most recently hired teachers. Some of them perform much better than the teachers that have been working in public school for years. It should be based on performance which teachers should be let go. It's not fair to the children to lay off the good teachers and keep the ones that are under performing. The children DO NOT gain anything from such teachers.
Beth in Brooklyn
I understand the concept, but I don't agree with it. It's not fare that for example a 4-5 year of experience teacher is there and is comfortable with her position, but doesn't do as much as he/she's expected too, where a new teacher comes in and give 100% or more and doesn't get a chance to show that she is a great asset to the school.
Hope this rule changes for union and non-union staff.
Black and Bloom want to make New Yorkers think they are fighting for new teachers because they are somehow more effective than experienced ones. If that is the case, why are they touting this idea while discussing budget cuts? It's simple. New teachers cost less.
New teachers have never been proven more effective and, according to recent statistics, 30% leave before their third year (after taxpayers have paid for their Master's Degrees) and 50% leave by their fifth year.
Imagine pilot Sully being axed because the airline could hire two pilots for the same price it cost to keep him.
If you don't go by seniority, you put a target on the back of every experienced teacher in the system. Proven effective educators with decades of experience will be removed from the classroom in favor of newly hired, less effective teachers, many of whom, as statistics show, will be leaving teaching soon anyway, strictly because they earn more money. If you believe that principals have the ability and the integrity to keep only the best teachers instead of the teachers that allow them more budget room, you are gravely mistaken. Many administrators, especially those form the Leadership Academy, have little or no classroom experience, and are trained only to go after high salary, pro-UFT teachers. Any teacher who stands up to an administrator for ignoring a child's IEP or for violating his or her contractual rights will face being excessed, despite their talent level. What they really want to do is to end teaching as a career choice. Why have someone work for 30 years and earn a pension when they can staff the schools with temp workers who will put in a year or two and leave and cost the city nothing once they're gone? That is why they love these "Teach for America" types: people who will either flee the profession once the realities of dealing with teaching in a NYC public school set in or the types who only want to teach for a year or two to pad their resumes with some self-back-patting nonsense like "Taught reading to inner city kids". If they really cared about the kids (or the people in general) they would want to hold on to these proven veteran educators instead of trying to axe them to save a few bucks.
Gary ( a teacher)
NO TEACHERS SHOULD BE LAYED OFF!!! Classes are bursting at the seams as it is. This is only a ploy to create division amongst the ranks. Don't fall for it. New teachers: understand that eventually you will be the "old" and "burnt-out" ones they are demonizing right now. The union must be united! Without the union, you wouldn't even get a lunch break, and if you did, you'd spend it doing the principal's laundry!
Dallas ( College Point)
I do not understand why the Mayor accepts that any teachers should be laid off. There is no decrease in the numbers of children that need an education.
Brooklyn, New York
I think the City should fire all the teachers and let Bloomberg teach all the kids himself.
That's obviously what he wants.
I am a District 75 (Citywide Special Ed. Paraprofessional). I do not support laying off teachers last in first out. I have not heard anything about the new 1st ,2nd and 3rd year Special Ed teachers. How are the Mayor and Chancellor Black going to maintain the IEP ratios 6:1, 8:1 and 12:1 if any of these teachers are fairly new? Regular Ed teachers are not trained in ABA for children w/ Autism. There would have to be money spent on workshops training them. Regular Ed students and students with special needs are different as day and night.
Fresh Meadows NY
I think merit is a fine idea - only it lets the parents of lousy students off the hook. Teachers can only do so much in the school system. Without proper enforcement merit only goes so far. Someone needs to educate the parents. While I believe that seniority doesn't entitle one to a job - Bloomberg is looking for an easy solution - so once again the teachers, pardon my french, get it up the wazoo.
UNFAIR AND DISHONEST
Moxie in Midtown
At First I bought into the hype the Mayor was selling to the public that tenure is bad, but then I realized that If Teaching became a job with no benefits or incentive why would the teachers that he adds to the system care more than the ones with the tenure? I fear the childrens education will suffer in the long term. Especially minority children.
Ryan From Ft. Greene
As a product of the NYC public schools I saw first hand the devastating impact of the 1970s budget cuts where some of my best teachers were let go. I support teachers but unions should understand that its in the best interest of the kids to keep the best teachers regardless of seniority.
#1 the doe should be run by educators not a union- hating billionaire mayor and a clueless buisness woman..#2 the last in first out is a smoke screen..he wants to be able to fire teachers that earn more to save money..it has nothing to do with children..test scores do not define great teachers..and what about physical education teachers and art teachers..there is no state tests for these subjects...
From Dee in Brooklyn...
Wow! And he calls himself the 'Education Mayor'?
What a joke! After 8 years of him and Joel Klien and this is as far as the our education has come?
He can't seriously consider running for President!
Mr. Mulgrow of the Teachers Union was right: IF YOU WANT TO CLOSE THE BUGET DEFICIET, START BY TAXING YOUR MILLIONAIRE FRIENDS.
Mike from Brooklyn
The Mayor need to chill out. He works for New York City. No one outside NY cares what he think about guns. He needs to focus on his job. Which is the New York city budget. He needs to find away to make the rich pay their fair share. The Rich have to learn to pay a little more and bank a little less.
John can you please tell me one good think the Mayor has done for the middle class people over the last 4 years? This guy will go down as the worst mayor ever in any city.
I teach in ocean hill/brownsville Brooklyn. Not the easiest place to teach. I have seen new teachers come in and leave within 1 year, and others within 6 months. The 90% of the teachers who are willing to stay and stick it out in the most challenging areas to teach are veteran teachers. The mayor wants to bust the union, make it harder for teachers to receive tenure and fire higher paid teachers. I believe the best teachers should stay. However, how do you determine which teacher is better?. When funding and supplies aren't equitable amongst the schools. Bloomberg is unfair, he's a bully and he does not care about the students of NYC.
Crown Heights Brooklyn
the mayor and the governor hire administrators and 'right hand 'people get paid a lot more than teachers get paid a year/question becomes, low performing students need education as well... measuring based on test scores.. ridiculous! kaplan,college board, and all the organizations milking the DOE as contractors/ service providers and scamming families.... teachers have not received a raise in two-years... true teachers work all the time... teachers should be experienced and effective teaching should be the objective... putting teachers on atr and firing them over how much money they earn is not a fair tactic I work with adult ed and special ed students exclusively... they do not make the cut... should all special ed teachers be fired?
Mr. Mayor don't want to give up the money and the kids have to suffer! He's a billionar along with his friends so he saying that tenior thing and that's a lie so why is he bring that up when its the money!
I think the Mayor's proposal is valid and long overdue. Anyone who's been a student can discern a good teacher from a bad one. The notion that this proposal is about saving money is an absolute canard.
I am an educator:
1. Definitely get rid of last in first out.
2. Have a clear system to protect people politically. This is not about getting rid of the folks someone doesn't like
3. Have a system that can eliminate the poor performers and nurture the promising ones.
4. It is a clear, important strategy leading to re-certification.
5. Re-certification is the beginning of the desperately needed revolution in education.
Gil, Hell's Kitchen
I find it "interesting" that the mayor is trying to play up the race angle in regards to the "last in, first out" rule for teacher layoffs by claiming that it will disproportionately harm Black and Hispanic students since schools in those communities tend to have a higher number of newer teachers. Does Mr. Bloomberg realize that the reason there are so many inexperienced teachers in these schools is because such a high percentage of teachers, especially those in low-income areas, leave the profession after just a few years? We shouldn't be laying off any teachers from any schools. Classes are oversized as it is. But if these threatened layoffs become a reality, "last in, first out" rules may actually help the very students Mayor Bloomberg is claiming it will harm. If less experienced teachers are cut from these schools due to layoffs, they will more than likely be replaced with more seasoned teachers who will have been cut from their schools and reshuffled around the system. So a school in Bed-Stuy or Soundview may receive a top notch veteran teacher, whose five or ten years experience may have made him the "low man on the totem-pole" in another district to replace a first year teacher who may very well have been planning on leaving the profession anyway.
Gary (a teacher)
Senior people in the Department of Education have been going through this for a very long time. Well, great for them...there are many more "Best Senior experienced Teachers" then younger "best" teachers We have so many A.T.R.'s because Mr. Bloomberg has been closing all the large high school's and these people have no where to go! They are experienced teachers. Not many have been rated a U. He has stated that no one wants them...not true...they don't want them because they cost too much money. Most of the "Newbies" are from a fellowship program where they get their masters paid for and have to give back 3 years to the dept. of Ed. and then...they can move on...You will never have a 30 year teacher any more.
Educators of Excellence - a group organized by the Bill Gates Foundation with a $150,000. grant to help fight this Last in first out
If he does this to the Dept. of Ed....then all other municipal jobs have to do the same thing....Fire Dept, police dept, sanitation dept.
I don't think it matters which teachers will be gone. It's a shame that the children will pay for it. No teachers means overcrowded classes, less learning. But in all honestly, it's hard for anyone now a days to lose their jobs. I feel bad for them. I Hope there's a better solution !!
Millie from the Bronx
Hi John –
It is noteworthy that teachers seem to be the only class of city employees whom the Mayor advocates laying off based on under-achievement rather than low seniority. The economic crunch the city faces is universal. I don’t recall Mayor Bloomberg suggesting that job performance be the basis of layoffs in the NYPD, NYFD, Social Services or any other agency. Why single out teachers?
There needs to be a balance. I am all for eliminating the "new teachers leave first" movement, if it can be guaranteed that an honest effort will go towards eliminating the ineffective teachers rather than the teachers who are effective and extremely high paid. What about the rubber rooms? Those teachers cannot get eliminated because they have seniority and all they do all day long is sit in a room, do nothing, and get paid for it. Quality does not require quantity. Keep effective teachers with more experience but don't restrict the needed firing of the ineffective ones.
Sarah, Union Square
Its impossible to argue against the firing of ineffective teachers. I will acknowledge that how effectiveness is measured is not the easiest question to answer, but we need to keep looking at it. It shouldn't just be based on standardized test scores, but bad teachers should be let go. How will they feed their families? What about the rest of us?
This idea smacks of age discrimination. In addition, recently principals began to be charged in their budgets based upon actual teacher salaries in their schools. In the past, a school's budget was charged based upon an average teacher salary. This change encourages principals to let go the more senior teachers.
Principals have always had the right to remove and incompetent teacher. All principals need to do is their job.
Antoinette from Bellerose
It must be taken into consideration that Mayor Bloomberg is a big time Business owner and of cause, he hates Unions and everything they stand for..He would like nothing better than to start doing away with Unions.
I'm a second year teacher and I have noticed tremendous improvement in my own teaching. So, I don't see a difference between seniority and effectiveness. Usually, those should be one and the same. The longer you teach, the better you should be. So, no need for the older teachers to worry. But, of course, If they are not effective, then get rid of them.
Why is the debate so black and white? The research says that teachers begin to become truly effective in year four. Look at the data on teacher turn over rate. Look at effective leadership of principals who should already be getting the right people in the right job?
Lori from washinton heights
#1 the does should be run by educators not a union- hating, city worker- loathing billionaire mayor and completely clueless business woman.
#2 why aren't parents being held accountable for their child's education. Teachers can't do their job when parents aren't doing there's..effective parents are nit in question here..why not?
#3 the last in first out is just a smokescreen to break unions and save money. He does not care about students.
Denise in brooklyn
The mayor is looking to cut over 20,000 teachers, about a quarter of the workforce, yet he hasn't even suggested the idea of cutting any of upper administrators. There are scores and scores of upper level administrators: network leaders, superintendents, deputy chancellors, and other fat cats with pretentious job titles who have no interaction with students, no influence on what's happening in the classroom and some of then don't even directly work in schools. They command six figure salaries, yet their jobs are safe? Our classes are bursting at the seams, but they want to increase class size!
FIRE ALL THE TEACHERS REPLACE THEM WITH COMPUTERS
Lets use just 100 expert teachers to teach ALL the kids.
Why are we not looking to a technology fix
Upper west side
The problem with longetivity vs. merit..is how does one truly measure merit??? Unions and there time tested policies are there to protect employees from politics. As a city worker I have been the victim of "political" attacks but thanks to the union and its policies I managed to save my job and my career. If the Mayor has his way favoritism will run rampant through out the school system and good teachers will be victimized by supervisors that don't like them.
Let's work on defining what merit is and creating a new system that truly recognizes good teachers with nothing based on test scores and the like.
This situation is being viewed all wrong. Longevity vs Merit, what about just firing the excess teachers....Oh I thought so! there are no excess teachers. At every turn the educational budget is cut, and cut, and then cut again. What about increasing the educational budget, what about providing our educators with the resources that they need.
Where do they have their heads? Schools are overcrowded....Kids are not going anywhere.....test scores are not where we want them to be and now they want to get rid of teachers.....!
Or....is this a way to get rid of ineffective teachers by not fighting the long battle with UFT?
What happened to kids first?
They need to stop
With education having been as politicalized as it has become, currently there appears to be no really objective way to determine who the best teachers are. Honest teachers who refuse to lie to make their supervisors look good are the ones who will be out first. That's no way to help our kids. Therefore, at present, seniority is the most objective way.
Ben in Astoria
I have worked for forty years as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and college faculty member. Whatever the motivation behind it, the workings of the Mayor's proposal will simply result in age-discrimination. What principal would hire a senior, high-salaried teacher when he could get to "cheap" teachers for the price? Sad as it may be, that will be the outcome.
1. The notion that Bloomberg is union busting and splitting young versus old teachers is pure spin, a narrative created out of teacher's fears of being laid off, evaluated, and putatively devalued -- It is a very sensitive issue. 2. The issue is not merit versus seniority. No one believes seniority alone should dictate who gets laid off and who stays. The issue is how to measure merit. What should be measured? Student performance (taking into account socio-economic and psycho-social issues)? Teacher ratings by students? Teacher ratings by administration, other teachers? Standardized test scores alone would be the single most economically, culturally, racially, and ethnically biased measure of both student ability and teacher "effectiveness." We need some clear definitions of effectiveness in the context of the vast inequality in the public school system e.g., public school in the bronx versus a public school on the upper west side.
Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology
Of course, the difficulty is in finding an effective and objective way to evaluate veteran teachers. Administrators, whether objective or not themselves (and they need never prove their objectivity), have three years to fire any new teacher they want, whether that teacher is effective or not. As is well known, no reason needs be given.
How can the veteran teacher be absolutely sure that he or she will be fired justifiably? I don't believe such a thing is possible among humans on this earth, let alone in a school system such as New York City's, which has always veered towards the dysfunctional.
Seniority is strong protection against the possible subjectivity, prejudice, and animosity on the part of administrators.
Yes, there are a few bad teachers among the veterans. And there are just as many bad administrators who will sit in judgement.
I agree with the gentlemen who said that he is a much better teacher now than he was after 2 or 3 years. I am too. Who will have the final say about WHO is teaching with "merit," the Leadership Academy product principal, that is just doing the mayor's deed? This is simply union busting. If they put children first, they'd focus their attention on getting rid of the FAILED Leadership Academy, instead of getting rid of teachers. Get real. Corporate leadership in education is a failed practice. Give your manipulated DATA a rest.
How do we evaluate a good teacher? If a teacher has a classroom full of students who come to him or her with a level 2 on the previous year's tests, and those students earn a level 2 on this year's test, have not those students "improved" because each year the tests should be harder to meet a new level standard.
Should teacher's even be evaluated based upon test scores? Just last week, Mayor Bloomberg tried to downplay the importance of tests, saying the students who missed the regents due to the snow day could take them in June, and implied they could pass the test without studying, or having preparation time in school. So, if its just a test, then perhaps we should not be placing so much importance upon them. After all, a test is just a snapshot of a moment in time. It does not give an complete picture of all a student has learned or how well a student can apply a certain subject matter.
In this age of accountability, when are students going to be forced to take responsibility for their own learning. We hear so often about the teachers and even the parents, but a student, especially at high school, must take the brunt of responsibility for learning.
We have also closed doors to too many of our children. We have closed many of the trade programs, and with the proliferation of new small schools we have lost many of the elective courses that students enjoy -- such as cooking and shop -- regardless of their career aspirations. Without these classes, students end up with very few "breaks" in their day. Many of the students do not wish to go to college, or have other real-world problems which affect their overall learning. While they must be accountable for their own learning, it is often the "fun" courses which can be used as a motivation for the academic type classes. When a student who is not academically inclinced is told to maintain a certain gpa or else lose a shop or other class, they are more likely to push themselves.
I would like to see the mayor, and his lackey (Cathy Black) spend some serious time within the schools -- preferably so-called low preforming students in neighbourhoods such as Bed-Stuy, Queens, or in the Bronx where students have a variety of real world concerns many of us can barely imagine -- gang activity, poverty, single-parent households where parents work 12 or more hours a day, taking care of younger siblings, etc. -- and see the truth of what many school personell deal with on a daily basis. It is hard for a child to focus on his or her learning when he or she does not know where he or she will be sleeping that night. So, is the effective teacher one who raises test scores, or one who helps the social-emotional well-being of the child while keeping that child at an approaching standards level year after year.
Good evening John. I am a teacher in my fifth year and, while I have been highly regarded by my peers, superiors and parents alike, I could be on the chopping block because of my amout of time served OR a poor Teacher Data Report (despite the reports being invalidated a countless number of times).
This is yet another smokescreen being put up by a mayor who has the billionaire's agenda. He is part of a movement on the part of the rich to break the unions and privatize education. Those of you that have been convinced teachers are the problem, think about it -- your mayor is more willing to layoff teachers, crowd classrooms, close firehouses and limit all city services before even thinking about extending the so-called millionaires' tax.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If people really grasped how people in power are handling education, there'd be riots in the streets.
I am a 30 yr old single mother of 2 children within the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, NY which is considered a "ghetto". I firmly believe the expression a "product of your environment" is 100% true if you let it be true & so I teach my children to think globally & we do not feed into this. Our schools within our area are considered failing schools according to involved parents including myself as we have compared our children's education to those of areas that are "better off" as well as charter schooling. Teachers along with the administrative board within these failing schools should be accountable for the status of our failing schools. Yes, it does start at home but it continues at school where a child will spend between 7 to 8hrs or more out of their day with adults we hope have their best interest at heart. That IS NOT always the case. This is a statesmeant posted on the UFT site "U.S. Census data, they aren’t getting better. Information from the 2009 census, the American Community Survey released in September, found that applications for food stamps are at an all-time high, and the gap between rich and poor is at its widest ever." Really? Please explain how we are to change this if we continue to pay teachers that don't perform at their best day in and day out within our schools. Teachers that don't know how to relate to our children within certain areas of our city. Many layers that are ignored and masked. The worn out bandage must be removed. A radical approach is needed to solve this issue and I support the mayors decision to employment the new education policy but I have concerns. What will happen to our children without schools within our low income areas once the low performing teachers are fired? How quick will they be replaced? Where will the children go in the mean time while teachers are being replaced with dedicated teachers with a passion and love for children? Where are the resources to support our great teachers going forward? What will happen to our special needs children-(this is a sensitive issue)? Having been on both sides of the Public and Charter, Private schools debate I understand the struggle from a dedicated parents point of view... at the end of the day our kids come first. There are amazing teachers within our city and I commend them for their hard work and endless hours of dedication. The unions will have to take a seat back this time around. Our future generations should be given a clean slate to work off of. The UFT doesn't protect our children when and where its needed most. They protect teachers including the bad ones by giving them an administrative job within the school or a library position. I have experienced that one as well.
As an educator and parent of NYC Public Schools students I believe this is ultimately a ploy to get rid of experienced, senior teachers: whether bad, good or great, they cost too much. There are a number of issues at hand.
Bloomberg, Klein and now Ms. Black continue to use senior teachers, ATRs and incompetence interchangeably.
First of all, those ATRs continue to sit doing nothing because for whatever the reason, their cases have not been heard or resolved. This is still America, innocent until proven guilty. Why should a teacher lose his/her job merely because of an unfounded accusation by a student or a disgruntled parent. There is a huge legal machine at the DOE, what are those lawyers doing in these cases?
I’m still trying to understand how a school, (School A) of 1000 students, teachers and staff with 5 administrators can be closed with little plans of reorganization. Some of teachers are rehired, some find positions elsewhere, others become ATRs, and some give up on teaching altogether. Four new schools replace School A, with 250 students, staff, and each still has 4-5 administrators. Those ATRs are now deemed incompetent, bad for our students, all because the DOE decided to give 3 more Leadership Academy graduates a school and carte blanche to hire themselves assistants to help them do their jobs.
Why should staff lose their jobs when the DOE, for whatever reason, chooses to close a school while opening another school with a brand new staff? Why weren’t these people placed in other schools? This is also what helps to create friction between charter schools and regular public schools. Schools are closed but charter schools replace them.
There are a lot of principals complaining about their budgets, ready to get rid of one senior teacher in order to hire two ‘freshmen’. It does not matter whether that senior teacher is great, he/she cost too much.
Why isn’t anyone commenting on the system-wide excessive hiring of administrators? The usual, past, formula for allocating assistant principals has been one administrator per 500 students. There are schools with populations of less than 1000 students having 4 assistant principals in addition to the principal. That’s $100k+ per administrator!
And this DOE administration wants to get rid of teachers?
Would the president continue to hire generals while getting rid of the soldiers?
Another question is, why isn’t the press commenting on the expensive, overpriced projects the DOE pays for like Aquity and the Quality Review, to name two.
As an educator and parent, I am afraid for my child and the children of parents that don’t know enough about this system. With the unveiling and adoption of the Common Core curriculum many of these administrators concerned with their ‘bottom-line’, and potential bonuses, do not want content taught, merely covered through the lens of the common core for reading and writing, but that’s another discussion.
The teachers are in the trenches, and many more are needed….if the administrators would let them teach!
Last in, First out. In a time of such budget cuts and many failing schools, which teachers are the most valuable to retain in schools? Many keep hollering, "Evaluation!" But what does that mean?
Very controversial. Fraught with problems. A tremendous quantity of questions arise.
How does one genuinely evaluate a teacher?
Test scores? That leaves a great deal out including issues the student might experience, such as constantly moving in and out of homeless shelters or becoming pregnant. What is or is not the teachers' responsibility when it comes to low test scores? What are the parents' and students' responsibilities and how will they be held accountable?
Lack of good teacher training? Do we lose people who could be an excellent teacher with continued help? Will there be backing to help them or will they be summarily dumped?
By their bulletin boards? How much should a principal who does not get along with something, say the teaching style of a pedagogue, have to say with about retaining and/or rating the teacher?
The budget? What of a school who can afford two new teachers for the price of one more experienced one? What of someone who has loyally worked for the Board/Department of Education for 30+ years? Have we "priced" them out of being worthwhile due to continued budget cuts and hard choices the schools have to make?
Truly, no one in a school wants a lazy or poor teacher. It makes it more difficult on the teachers, students, administration. The one predicament that frightens me most is the budgetary issues schools face. I knew an excellent teacher who taught middle school children for 36 years. The principal, though she was good friends with that teacher, outright told her when she retired that she was happy to be able to have the money from her salary since she could now hire several teachers and an aide for the price of all that experience and education. How does one offer security for such years of genuinely good service when, for a school, it becomes a matter of budgeting (and don't think that there are tons of administrators are so altruistic toward student and teacher that they ignore their budgets, especially when their administrative careers often depend on being able to lessen class size to up test scores, by hiring more inexperienced teachers versus fewer experienced teachers)?
We need to stop thinking that the issue of sorting out "good" teachers in the nation's largest public school system, is a problem, which suggests a simple solution, and begin to understand that it is a dilemma, laden with controversy.
i think they should leave the teachers alone or let the kids vote to change not the mayor.
I am a student and I believe that the mayor should fire educators based on efficiency not on seniority
This mayor needs to be gotten rid of asap. He thinks he's above the law he even got himself a second term in office going against term limits and I think they're all good for nothing. He then appoints someone to lead our school system who has no educational experience whatsoever being a business woman and a schools chancellor are like apples and oranges. I'm sick and tired of him trying to run this city like he runs his business and all of these politicans are full of it no teachers should be laid off and they're senority should be protected. Stop trying to balance the budget at the expense our children and their access to a quality education. These cuts always hurt the lower income neighborhoods there are plenty of wastefui spending that can put to a halt like your ridiculous city time project that cost milions all of the contracting out instead of using city workers you're a disgrace and you try to hide your incompetence by making others pay for it. Its time to start unmasking these incompetents and getting them out of office. These are the reasons why I want to leave the city I love but mainly b/c the public education system is terrible and need of revamping to remove all of the corruption and bureaucracy in it
I think that it is a lose/lose situation. How can people change the rules in mid stream? If they want to inform the new hires as part of the hiring process that they will be evaluated at the end of the first year and that if the evaluation is unsatisfactory then they will be let go. Let the new hires read the policy, ask questions, and sign that they understand it before being hired.
As for the teachers that worked up to the standard for years or for those that have exceeded the standards and have seniority I think that it is not fair to change the rules on them in middle of the process. It sounds like the "two term mayoral rules and then extended to a third term bait and switch."
If anybody had one brain cell regarding teaching why couldn't they pair experienced teachers in good standing with new hires with fresh new ideas in the same classroom and get the best of both worlds. If the new hires made it make it through the first 3 years in good standing they could have a classroom of their own.
I tried to get through by phone last night and lost out. (smile) Thanks for letting me speak my mind.
Kathy from Thoggs Neck da bronx