Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2011 Flashback: Untenured Teachers Defend Seniority, Counter E4E Line and Lies

We, the undersigned teachers who have been teaching in New York State for five years or less, stand in solidarity with our more experienced colleagues and strongly support maintaining the seniority rule. ... We reject political tactics that raise the specter of massive teacher layoffs in efforts to divide the workforce and pit parents against teachers. In the interest of our students, we stand with senior teachers in supporting the seniority rule. ... 
Check out this impressive letter sent by these teachers, many untenured, almost 4 years ago. It countered the anti-tenure propaganda put out by ed deformers using E4E as their vehicle, trying to show that younger teachers were opposed to seniority.  Funny how E4E claims now it wants to support teachers. Some of the signers have left the system but most probably have their tenure and are pretty darn happy they do.

I recognize a bunch of names from MORE. Funny how some people claim MORE members don't defend teachers.

Someone sent me this because I met a signer at the MORE meeting on Saturday who will probably be a candidate in the UFT elections running with MORE for a fairly important position (other signees are also running with MORE). I had not heard her name until about 2 weeks ago but heard she has attended MORE meetings and has been active in NYCORE which is very focused on social justice issues. I raise this point because the letter below has such strong elements of trade union seniority protections along with a strong social justice component.


An Open Letter from Newer Teachers of New York State
February 27, 2011
Dear parents, students, colleagues, school administrators, elected officials, and members of the public, 

Currently, New York State's seniority rule protects experienced teachers from layoffs, a policy sometimes known as "last in, first out." In recent budget negotiations, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Black have pressured Governor Cuomo to overturn this rule. We, the undersigned teachers who have been teaching in New York State for five years or less, stand in solidarity with our more experienced colleagues and strongly support maintaining the seniority rule. 

As newer teachers, we rely on our more senior colleagues for guidance and support. Senior teachers offer us their advice, their formal mentorship, and their connections with communities. Without more senior teachers, we would lose our bridge to lessons learned through years of dedicated work in the school system. 

In addition, the rates of black and Latino new teacher hires in New York City have steadily declined since 2002, while the vast majority of New York City public school students are black and Latino. Opening up more senior teachers to layoffs would risk further decreasing the already sparse ranks of teachers of color. These teachers provide guidance for younger teachers of all backgrounds, and play an important role in the lives of our students. 

We also believe that Bloomberg and Black’s so-­‐called “merit-­‐based” system for retaining teachers will foster competitive, fearful school cultures that are detrimental both to teachers' professional development and to student learning. In addition, Bloomberg and Black seek to measure teacher performance by student test scores, an imperfect measure at best, and one that encourages narrowly test-­‐focused curricula. 

Finally, Bloomberg and Black's arguments against the seniority rule are based on the fact that newer teachers work for lower salaries than our more experienced peers; allowing experienced teachers to be laid off would therefore reduce the total number of necessary layoffs. This argument, however, fails to account for the true cost of professional development and adequate support for newer teachers. It also ignores the fact that teacher experience is one of the most reliable predictors of student learning. If student achievement is the priority, then experienced teachers are more than worth their cost. 

Ultimately, the debate over who to lay off is a distraction from the root causes of inequity that continue to affect our profession and the lives of our students; budget cuts should not include any teacher layoffs. Education is an investment in our future, and cuts to education are ultimately short-­‐sighted. We reject political tactics that raise the specter of massive teacher layoffs in efforts to divide the workforce and pit parents against teachers. In the interest of our students, we stand with senior teachers in supporting the seniority rule. 

Newer Teachers of New York State—
1
Stephane Barile, Facing History School, Manhattan
Kayty Himmelstein, West Brooklyn Community High School
Liza Campbell, Academy for Environmental Leadership
Ashraya Gupta, Victory Collegiate High School
Sarah Hoffman, International Community High School
Hilary A. Lustick, The Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School
Sarah Solomon, Martin Lurther King High School for Law
Nathan Larsen, Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
Margrit Pittman-­‐Polletta, P.S. 24, Brooklyn
Jamie Wilber, High School of Arts and Technology
Patrice Fenton, Fort Green Preparatory Academy
Joy Blakeslee, New Day Academy
Marcus Artigliere, P.S. 220
Daniel Hildreth, P.S./M.S. 34
Mark Speiser, Murrow High School
Eric Newville, Academy for Environmental Leadership
Amanda Cook, Mineral Springs Middle School
Eileen Marks, I.S. 421
Monica Simone, M.S. 8
Elizabeth Marouk-­‐Coe, Parsons Elementary School
Mike Nappi, P.S. 347
Chris Abram, Bronx Community Charter School
Bob van Pelt, International High School at Prospect Heights
Kena J. Hazelwood, Victory Collegiate High School 18K576
Ariela Rothstein, East Brooklyn Community High School
Camila Leiva, Pan American International High School
Alba Lamar, M.S. 286
Natalie Acosta, C. 92
Stanley C. Armour, FDA III
Lena Hayes, P.S./I.S. 323
Kimberly Kern, P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente School
Mark Friedman, Rochester City School District
Danielle Lamb, K. 336
Gina Angelillo, The Bay Academy I.S. 98

Rosemarie Frascella, The International High School at Prospect Heights
Margaret Fequiere, JVL Wildcat Academy Esther Eng, P.S 244Q
2
ElyseWilson EastBrooklynCommunity High School
Mackenzie, McDowell, The School for Global Leaders
Samantha Hurley, I.S. 96 Patricia Rivera, P.S. 315
Ryan Daniels, High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology
Terence D. Adams, Women's Academy of Excellence
Steve Cuttler, Academy for Environmental Leadership
Christopher Nielsen, M.S. 80
Leah Siepel, Flushing International High School
Lauren Fardig, Banana Kelly High School
William Linville, I.S. 217
Danielle Rovello, I.S. 220
Stephina Fisher, Arturo A. Schomburg Satellite Academy Bronx
Leia Petty, Academy for Environmental Leadership
Wazina Zondon, Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women
Natalia Ortiz, West Brooklyn Community High School
Danielle Merker, P.S. 111 Grace O'Keeffe, Hudson HSLT
CandiceChiavola,ManhattanCenterfor Science and Mathematics
Lily Ho, P.S. 133Q
Gabriella Alvarez, Abraham Lincoln
Bridget Eldridge, P.S. 3
Lisa Elkaabi, Gramercy Arts High School
Jessica Chan, P.S. 130M
Nina Uy, P.S. 49
Judy Chao, West Brooklyn Community High School
Kyungeun Lee, P186x at P.S. 140
Princess Calder, P.S. 274K
Lydia Li, Fort Hamilton High School
Daniel Kerman, West Brooklyn Community High School
Lorena Santos, Susan Miller Dorsey High School
Nkomo Morris, Brooklyn Community Arts and Media
Maria Ponciano, P.S. 64X
Gina, Sartori, Academy of Environmental Leadership
Diane Rees, P.S. 11K Dana Levy, P.S. 261
Magdalena Guillen, Brooklyn Democracy Academy
Damiana Degioia, 528 K17
3
Gisell Quinones, P.S. 194
Michael Hills, Institute for Collaborative Education
Naomi Sharlin, High School for Violin and Dance
Timothy Wong, P. 754X
Maria Mendez, Christopher Columbus High School
Monica Ioffe, Murray Hill Academy Andrew Issermoyer, K. 529
Patricia Tusay, Gateway Academy
Eric Shieh, Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School
Devin Sprague, Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School
Emily Munzer, P.S. 34 Lorna Barnett, J.H. S220 Roscoe Holcomb, P.S. 203
School affiliation for identification purposes only

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).