Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Principal Responds to Bloomberg Attack on Teacher Seniority

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says unless teacher seniority rules are changed, the city may have to layoff nearly every teacher hired in the last five years. Speaking at the Christian Cultural Center in Canarsie, Brooklyn on Sunday, the mayor warned that the state budget will probably contain deep cuts, especially to schools. Under state law, the most recently hired teachers must be laid off first, but Bloomberg wants merit taken into account.- NY1 report .

Story in NY Times:

Brian De Vale, Chairman, Council of Supervisors and Administrators, Community School District # 14 

As a practicing Catholic and proud union man I find it despicable that Bloomberg stoops to showing up regularly at Christian churches to speak lies about the Teacher's union. Let him spill that nonsense somewhere other than in the House of God.

With over 20 years experience as both a teacher and principal I have the developed the greatest respect for the teachers who work in my school and District. If teachers do a poor job it is the job of their principals to write them up, get them the proper support and training and if they do not work out: get rid of them through progressive discipline.

It is not half as difficult for a competent principal to get rid of incompetent teachers as the media would have you believe. This entire campaign against teachers, printed in the major media outlets each and every day is part of the anti-union agenda pushed by billionaires like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Bloomberg and others from the billionaire hedge fund sector who want to totally do away with public education in order to eliminate public sector pensions.

They increase Charter schools so public school enrollment declines eliminate tenure so nobody can become a veteran and lobby to keep newly hired, cheaper teachers who usually leave within 5 years. It has nothing to do with children, quality education or anything else. Tenure is necessary and Last in-First Out is the only fair way to protect employees from vindictive, sexist, homophobic and/or racist termination and the very real possibility of political retribution from their employers.

Why do you suppose so few principals venture to speak up? They are afraid! To my young brethren starting out as teachers -We have been where you are, and understand your predicament. The budget situation the City confronts was created by the man managing this City for the past too many years-not your colleagues. I would be sorry to see you lose your jobs, but LIFO is the only fair way to determine layoffs.

[To Educators for Excellence]: Get off your high horses-who said you are "better" teachers anyway? Bill Gates who paid for your organization to get started up? The only way workers will ever overcome the current administration's onslaught against seniority is if ALL Municipal Unions stay united in support of LIFO protections.

Wishing you the Peace of God and the blessing of Unity,

Brian De Vale
Council of Supervisors and Administrators
Community School District # 14
60 Cook Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206


  1. Now, that was nice. Hopefully, it gets other principal and religious leaders to begin speaking out about this corruptively destructive administration.

    And it's true, how dare he use, and be allowed to use, a sacred place to push for firing people and destroying lives.

    The Gall.

  2. I want to work for this man!!!

  3. I worked under a principal like this one. Teachers loved him. The building ran smoothly. We could concentrate on teaching the kids. Best years of my career were with him.

  4. Thank you and Amen to that!
    Finally, an administrator who is willing to think for himself.
    Isn't that what we want our students to do?
    Opps, no, unfortunately, Bloomberg/Gates/Oprah/Obama/Charters just want the answers memorized for the corrupt corporate state tests.

    We need a president and mayor who supports
    public school children, their families, teachers and communities, not private charter schools pirates.

    I also question the shortfall of state funds??? Why? The market is doing well. Is it because Obama is giving
    all the fed money to the private charter school pirates? There seems to be billions of dollars for them. NYS is the recipient of truck loads of Obama cash. And there is a shortfall of ed money to fire tax paying American workers?
    The law was created to protect dedicated professionals. It is weird, Bloomberg changed the law that protected Americans from corrupt politicians such as himself to keep his job. Now, he wants to change the law to take away the jobs of hard working tax paying American citizens. It just does not add up.
    Where is justice in America 2011?

  5. This guy is great-I am retired so I cannot ask to work for him, but....I want to take him and his famikly to dinner!!

  6. Norm- How do I apply to work for this guy?

  7. This is a truly courageous comment.

    Church leaders and their flock should resist the Mayor's efforts to pretend that he carries the banner of civil rights.

    Bloomberg and his ilk do not care about you and your children. His only hope is to create churn in the school system. He wants no one to be comfortable. It serves Bloomberg's interests when you are stressed about your job.

    When you are stressed, you are no longer to question or think

  8. A breath of fresh air. Feels so good to read such things.

  9. God Bless that man. He sounds like a school leader with a good conscience and believes in doing the right thing.

    What gets to me is how that church allowed Bloomberg to preach his speech of lies. What is the minister/pastor going to get out of this by permiting Bloomberg's guile to delude the churchgoers. What's into it for the church? If it's more money from Bloomberg (quietly given), then it's only going to lead to the root of all evil - money and power.

  10. By his words, a good, wise and courageous man.

  11. Wonderful!

    Hope you don't mind- I linked this piece here:!/pages/New-York-City-Teachers-Experience-Matters/114089568615636

  12. A COMPETENT principal can distinguish between effective and ineffective teachers and WANTS to take measures to correct problems BEFORE they can influence student achievement.

  13. This ia a courageous statement. Everyone wants to work for Brian De Vale and no one wants to leave his school either. Keep speaking out. We need the voice of great administrators!

  14. Every pastor allowing this fraudulent lier into their church should read the commentary by Mr. DeVale.King Bloomberg thinks that he can carry the banner of equal education for every child when all he is doing is educating the pick of the litter. Most children will be left behind wandering the school system like nomads. These new schools do not want the truants,homeless,ESL students,and those with any type of discipline problem. With the influx of foreign students that accounts for nearly half the student population in New York City. Mr. Sharpton,I'm very disappointed in you.What are you getting out of the deal?

  15. Brian De Vale for Chancellor!

    Bless you sir.


  16. Norm: Thank you for linking this to NYC Teachers FB page. But also link it to national FB sites too that you belong to like Support Public Schools and Petition to Oprah: Please book Diane Ravitch. These pages get over 2,000 hits a day each and there is now a call to go over to the Times story about Republican governors trying to end tenure and comment. I wish I would see you more often on those pages (not because they are mine) but because you have so much to offer teachers around the country (and some from around the world).


  17. I wish all the principals had this guy's courage and stood up to our wealthy, bully of a mayor. Bravo!
    I hope your staff appreciates what a progressive, intelligent person they work for. And I love how you bashed E4E; they deserved it.

  18. I am the Chapter Leader in Brian's school. He is one of a kind! He is a pro-union principal who does not use his title to bully the staff. He has an open door policy and the staff feels free to openly discuss any issues with him.
    Yes, we do appreciate him!He is also a good family man and understands that teachers have families too! He has a great sense of humor too!

  19. Obviously, NOT a Leadership Academy graduate.

    God bless this man for having the backbone to speak out and defend his teachers.

    Let's hope that his act of courage doesn't bring the Bloomberg axe HIS way....

  20. I hope Brian's staff appreciates him! I worked for a principal who had no regard for seniority. After years of harrassment, I finally retired. A teacher, who is the daugher of a high level UFT person, was in the same school as me and the principal was not happy with her. Suddenly all those issues with his daughter stopped. Yet it was very difficult for me to get a grievance to go to the next step.I can't help but wonder if there was any connection between this UFT member and the principal. It's refreshing to hear from a principal who is not afraid to speak out!

  21. bs'd
    I'm a veteran, tenured teacher who's been under attack for the last two years; by administrators with little or no education experience, people trained by Bloomberg at the "Leadership Academy."
    When I began my career I made 30K a year - I didn't become a teacher for the money. I love my students, enjoy teaching and improving my skills on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this has no effect on the principals, there are three, one principal and two assistants and barely a hundred kids show up on a given day. Why not save money by getting rid of useless administrators, and useless mayors.

    1. Internist NYC
      This is a good site to spent time on .I just stumbled upon your informative blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


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