NOTE: If you arrived here from a link at Gotham Schools, the link was supposed to be here.
My post on Queens Metro Tech yesterday (Growing Scandal at Queens Metro Tech Exposes All the Ills of Bloomberg Ed Deform - Another Leadership Acad Principal Set to Take Fall) where we broke the story that Walcott's daughter was a gym teacher there even though the kids never really got to do gym type stuff (not her fault my spies tell me) touched on the role (often negative) that the 'noying networks play.
In Joel Klein's continuous reorganizations of the NYC school system, the goal of which was to ultimately remove any real accountability and management responsibility for running the system at the top, we went from district (32 form k-8 plus HS and a few others) to regions (10 plus one or 2 others) to some cockamamie system that I can't even name to non-geographically organized networks. Of course, Bloomberg and Walcott were privy and part and parcel of all these changes.
Insiders have been warning me about these networks from their earliest days - that the people they were bringing in to run things and supposedly offer schools important services often didn't have a clue. But networks serve the function of allowing WalBloom to say, "heads will roll" when things go sour (as they have a Queens Metro Tech which I reported on yesterday.
Here is a comment from a recently retired teacher on that post that is worth putting up:
The role of the network organizations MUST be investigated! New Visions, one of the biggest, I believe, of the Children First networks, also runs charter schools in NYC and advertises constantly for new teachers with no credentials in a program that looks just like Teach for America. This is a clear conflict of interest. I taught at a small school in a poor minority neighborhood and even though students were without mandated classes or teachers (don't get me started on how the special ed kids were shafted)nothing was done to correct the situation. The school is still being run by a totally incompetent Leadership Academy principal with little teaching and no administrative experience. He was backed totally by New Visions. We banded together as a staff, grieved everything we could, got OSI to investigate, filed a formal "No Confidence" petition that went all the way up to City Hall, but still nothing was done to help those kids, whose parents were either not aware or unable to do anything. If a middle class (i.e. white) parent body can't get satisfaction, our kids can't either. I am constantly frustrated by the fact that the public is totally unaware of these network organizations, that bleed funds from the system and are actually trying to turn their schools into charters with no regard for union contracts, students' rights, students' needs, etc. The network people that deal directly with teachers are retired administrators who are getting full pensions and then being paid by the networks to circumvent the double dipping rules. My "assistant principal" (really just a consultant with administrative powers) only came into my building one day a week for meetings and had no clue what the students needed or who they are. He only pushed the robotic agenda of the network. All of this pushed me into an early retirement, lest I suffer the same fate as some of my colleagues, being targeted, U'd unfairly, being forced to teach out of license, etc.
There is going to be some interesting stuff coming out, including possibly networks that condoned high level cheating - and would we expect anything less with bonuses to earn in the world of corporate ed deform?
More on Queens Metro Tech tonight.
Check out Phil Kovacs video questioning TFA performance -