Friday, August 11, 2006

I and I Give U a U

Things are great in NYC, if you ask Chancellor Klein. He's now actually got more than one applicant for many teaching jobs. So he no longer needs to grovel in Albany for the right to hire and retain sub-standard teachers in order to fill those ancient wooden chairs without paying a competitive salary. Yup, President Bush's ongoing war against the middle class is pretty much an answer to his prayers.

So Klein's let the principals know it's time to start rating teachers unsatisfactory, in order to give the impression he actually cares about teacher quality. The NY Post reports "U" ratings have increased by 70% over the last four years.

Apparently the Jack Welch-trained principal academy graduates are better at finding fault than their counterparts. Also, it seems easier to rate teachers unsatisfactory now that the bold, visionary leadership of the UFT has given up the right to grieve letters in teachers' files.

According to UFT propagandist Leo Casey, the right to appeal was relatively meaningless, since the UFT was so inept at resolving them. Why he felt that was worth boasting about is beyond me, but I somehow doubt teachers who received "U" ratings are singing his praises right about now.

Naturally, our fearless leader spoke out:

That spike troubled the president of the United Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who suggested a correlation between the jump and a growing number of rookie principals, particularly those trained at the city-run Leadership Academy.

"The anecdotes we hear from the field are that principals from [the academy] do not respect experience," Weingarten said. "The moment a teacher says, 'I know how to teach,' principals from the institute will actually threaten them with a u-rating."

Ya know, comments like this make me wonder why none of this occurred to Randi before she supported giving Bloomberg total control. They make me wonder what on earth she was thinking when she gave up the right to grive letters in files, along with a grab-bag of goodies for this mayor for a contract that didn't even meet cost-of-living.

Education Department spokesman Keith Kalb acknowledged that the increase in u-ratings has coincided with the implementation of Mayor Bloomberg school reforms, but added that the reforms "always focused on accountability at all levels."

Meaning, of course, accountablity by teachers alone. I honestly doubt they're actually targeting bad teachers, of whom there are plenty, thanks to 30 years of the lowest standards the law would allow.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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