Julian Vasquez Heilig: Why I Speak Out
2 hours ago
...an organization that works to ensure teachers' voices are included in the creation of policies that affect their profession and their students.Of course, this is hardly the case. Any organization that's funded by corporate "reformers" does not represent teacher voices. I'm a teacher voice and they certainly don't represent me.
As it happens, there are people in the city Department of Education working on open-minded, teacher-friendly methods of improving training and evaluation. And, obviously, not all rank-and-file teachers are opposed to structural changes. The problem is that the people who are in charge still believe that school reform is war. And nothing much about New York City education is going to change while that remains the case.
Vice President Joe Biden invites you and your colleagues in education to join him for a conference call on Monday, Sept. 12 to discuss the administration’s commitment to preventing teacher layoffs.
This will be a listen-in-only call for UFT members.
No matter how large? That's a frightening concept, deemed unworthy of comment or follow-up by the Times reporter. What does the most powerful member of the DOE think about morale among teachers?“If I have a great principal there and if I have great teachers there,” he said, “that, to me, benefits the students no matter how large the class size is.”
He dismissed the notion that there might be a morale problem among teachers — “no matter whether you have a three-person work force or a 135,000-person work force, there are people who will be unhappy,” he noted — and said it all boiled down to commitment.I have seen a marked decline in morale since Mayor4Life took over. Does Walcott know that every city employee has gotten a contract and a raise except teachers? Why are we alone unworthy of a salary increase? In fact, the morale issue started well before that. Walcott's willful ignorance defies belief. What does Walcott say to alleviate this?
“You’ve got to perform or we’ll do something to you.”What on earth does that mean? Likely it means that teachers alone will be held responsible for test scores. They're not his problem. And they're certainly not Mayor4Life's problem. What else does Walcott say to boost morale? On tenure:
“I don’t believe in lifetime guarantees.”I don't either, in fact. However, tenure is simply a guarantee of due process, not a lifetime guarantee. Stories like this one perpetuate the myth that tenure is anything otherwise. The fact that Walcott either doesn't know or care what tenure is speaks volumes about him. The fact is Walcott approves of all Mayor Bloomberg's policies and initiatives, and represents a direct continuation of the destructive and ineffectual policies initiated by Joel Klein.
The mayor denied that he had misled the public when he issued a news release Aug. 4 saying that Mr. Goldsmith was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance.”
“I have longed believed that public officials are all too willing to humiliate the people who work for them whenever it’s politically convenient or advantageous,” he said. “It’s an outrage, and I refuse to play that game.”