Monday, July 4, 2011

Attrition Will Be Worse Than Anticipated/Haimson Speech at PEP on Class Size

I believe the attrition will be worse than indicated. I was speaking to a teacher of over a decade who said she is not going back. She has until August to let them know and will wait for the last minute. Her disgust was so apparent - she said she would only go back if by some miracle her Leadership Acad principal (she used the expression Leadershit Acad princ) was gone. What kind of job will she look for? Anything she said. The teaching job is just not worth the stress. This is a top level 2nd career teacher who would rather take a meager pension than continue to put herself through the pain.

I hear stories of other people- especially those who had their tenure extended by a year for clearly political reasons - the principal or superintendent trying to demonstrate how vigilant they are being while they admit to the teacher their teaching is OK. Stories are that 50% of the teachers did not get tenure or were extended. Sources tell me many of these young teachers are livid and are OUTAHERE!! Some of them are - or were - supporters of of the Gates funded anti-teacher group Educators $ Excellence (no matter what they say), which makes believe there are no politics in the system.

The reality is that this is exactly what the deformers want to happen as it helps push the temp teacher/peace corps concept that they are aiming for where there will be no need for pensions at all and where most teachers will be at extemely low salaries.

The lessons of making a job that was stressful to begin with into a 24/7 stress factory will lead to a lower level teaching staff than the ed deformers started out with. Unfortunately we will have a mostly privatized/deregulated system where proof can be hidden and it will be another half a generation before the counter reformation takes hold,  though there are already signs of it beginning.

The above was my comment after Leonie Haimson posted this:

Though the worst was averted, the city budget deal is still only a very partial victory for our kids.

In essence, the deal came about because the city finally acknowledged what the many have long warned:  Bloomberg's failed policies
and the worsening conditions in our schools have persuaded even more teachers to leave voluntarily than usual, which mitigated the need for layoffs. 

Nearly half of the 6,100 teaching positions that the budget cuts would eliminate will still be lost -- an estimated 2,600 -- through attrition, and these teachers will not be replaced, despite rising enrollment.  This will certainly lead to the fourth year in a row of increased class sizes in our schools and probably even sharper increases than have occurred in more than a decade.

Children in the early grades will experience the worst of it, as Kindergarten enrollment is rising especially fast.  Grades K-3 will suffer the largest class sizes in twelve years--with an even larger class size equity gap between NYC children and those in the rest of the state. 

All this, despite Bloomberg’s original campaign promise to reduce class sizes in grades K-3, a court decision in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case and state law passed in 2007 requiring that the city lower class size in all grades, several audits showing DOE misusing millions of dollars of state class size funds,  and a growing body of research indicating that smaller classes lead to more learning, narrow the achievement gap, and are a significant determinant of success later in life.

Another problem with this deal is it sets the stage for yet another budget battle next year; in which the interests of children will again be pitted against those of millionaires as well as Tweed bureaucrats with flawed priorities. 
As parents, we need to redouble our efforts to pressure our political leaders, including the Governor, the Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council, to adequately fund our schools and provide NYC children with their right to smaller classes and an equitable chance to learn.

Leonie Haimson

Leonie Haimson makes the best and most persistent case for low class size as she did at the June 27 PEP meeting. Here is a video of her speech:


Anonymous said...

Hey, Norm --

A "suddenly unsatisfactory" teacher (satisfactory for 8 years, now with "u"s for the last two years -- his ninth and tenth in the system; do I smell potential bonus $$ for principal if this teacher doesn't complete year 10, when some nicer benefits kick in) -- reported to me the following:

When he went to the borough UFT office to sign up to appeal his U for the year, the place was a mob scene -- SO crowded! And one teacher remarked to him, "Look around at everyone; isn't it wierd, we're all about the same age!" i.e., 55 and up, able to retire ('though, for many, with only partial pension.

What is it, open season on those 55and older????? UFT, why aren't you listening?????? So you really think that many of us are truly all washed up when we reach that age????

Anonymous said...

Well guess what 99 percent of people that appeal their "u" ratings Lose. All the principal has to say is that he used his professional judgement to deem a teacher unsatisfactorily. Did anyone hear about administrators being laid off??? Try do the dirty work in exchange for job protection. Education I s being destroyed the profession is being destroyed. In society's where education is great teachers are treated with respect. This is respect.

Anonymous said...

anyone who received a U rating, please contact me,

I often wonder if many DOE employees band together, if a class action suit can take place? I often wonder about that.