Friday, June 29, 2012

Bloomberg Reversal of Fortune: Union Wins on Closing Schools Suit

Implications will be deep. Back later as blogs reverberate.

DOE “closures” of 24 schools violate union contracts, says arbitrator

The Department of Education has tried to “close” 24 schools and immediately re-open them under new names. An independent arbitrator has found that, for purposes of our contracts, the “new” schools that the DOE claims it is creating this way are in reality not new schools.
As such, the DOE’s attempts to remove half the personnel in these schools are a violation of the school district’s contracts with the unions.
Based on this decision, the current staff in these schools has the opportunity to remain there for the next school year, though those who have found new positions elsewhere are free to go to those new jobs if they choose.
This decision is focused on the narrow issue of whether or not the mayor’s “new” schools are really new. The larger issue, however, is that the centerpiece of the DOE’s school improvement strategy — closing struggling schools — does not work. Parents, students and teachers need the DOE to come up with strategies to fix struggling schools rather than giving up on them.

Also see:


  1. wow Bloomie is gonna be mighty pissed off...LOL

  2. This is a tremendous win for all of the public school communities in New York City. Not only did Bloomberg's lackeys at the DOE spend an enormous amount of time and energy trying to move this ridiculous plan forward, they traumatized and demoralized thousands of students, parents, school aides, paras, secretaries, guidance counselors, supervisors, parent coordinators, and teachers in the process. Working in the so called "failing schools" has been very difficult. Trying to be an effective teacher while dodging educational "deform" missiles launched at our schools from Tweed has been distracting to say the least.
    This all began because Bloomberg did not want teachers to have due process rights when challenging unsatisfactory ratings given by vindictive principals. We will not let the likes of Bloomberg, Walcott, Marc Sternberg and all of the other education saboteurs at the NYCDOE undermine our schools again. After enduring six months of hell, we are no longer afraid. FIX OUR SCHOOLS!!! DON"T CLOSE OUR SCHOOLS!!!

  3. Great news. Too bad the UFT didn't decide to fight for D79 teachers when Cami know nothing Anderson came in and did exactly what the DOE attempted to do this time to 24 schools; she shut down a bunch of schools (programs) and put 700 teachers in excess overnight. Just like that!

  4. Predictions:
    The press will pound the union with outrageously articles and editorials about how we are the anti-christ.
    Bloomberg will do the same and then the press will pound us again.
    Every ed-deformers and pro charter supporters will do the same, followed by more bad press.
    The DOE will send out letters to all the families of the students attending these schools letting them know not to get their hopes up. They will state something like the schools still suck and we will close them down eventually so you should move on and go else where.
    With funds directly correlated to the # of students the schools will have little chance of providing the courses and activities they should be providing thus further leading them to their own demise.
    The DOE will starve them of every resource they possible can.
    They will use the low enrollment as an opportunity to move Charter's into the buildings.
    Do I need to go on? A win? Maybe in some ways, but it will most likely be hollow and fuel for the fire against us.

  5. When Bloomberg is not thinking up ways to kill off the union in his air conditioned office, he will come up with ideas in his specially air conditioned SUV.

    Like the NY Post said---"Who's full of hot air?"
    Don't usually agree with the Post, but in this case, they are so right.

  6. Mark A. Torres, People Power Movement, harlem120@msn.comSaturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:38:00 AM EDT

    This is another case of Bloomberg violating the laws he paid to get on the books. We have been down this road before. The legal system/arbitration appendages will not stop school closings only a militant and organized grassroots movement can do that. Unfortunately, many UFT members will buy into this new fake victory. They will believe that the UFT administration is really fighting for them when we are not even close to doing the real organizing that will provide an adequate fight-back. Our tenure has been torn to shreds, and our schools are in a mess and yet people claim this was a victory? It was a reprieve so that the system can seem fair and merciful. What do we do now? Do we go back, claim victory and drop the organizing? Like we did the first time a court said that Bloomberg didn't follow the right procedure to close schools? Remember that? Or do we get back to organizing and prepare for upcoming battles?
    Lastly, any real opposition to the current UFT administration must be able to clearly show UFT members what is really going on here, what to expect in the Fall and what it plans to do. Peace.


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