Thursday, April 12, 2012

Walcott Explains This Week's Turnaround Plan

 Good morning New York. I'm Dennis "Waffles" Walcott, NY City Schools Chancellor.

You know, we here at Tweed take the education of our youngsters very seriously. That's why, two years ago, Mayor Bloomberg decided to utilize the "transformation model" for 33 schools in the city. I fully supported this great innovation, as supporting our schools is something it's important for us to do. Also, using the Danielson Framework was helpful. While some people, including Danielson, felt our rubric was kind of a "gotcha" thing, I thought we did a pretty good job, especially since none of us had actually been trained in how to use the darn thing. I fully supported the way we used it.

Now, once we and the UFT were unable to come to an agreement on evaluation, I fully supported Mayor Bloomberg's decision to keep the federal money via the federal "turnaround" plan, which entails replacing the principal and at least 50% of staff. After all, we need that money to enact valuable reforms. When the UFT and the city came to a preliminary agreement on evaluation, I fully supported Mayor Bloomberg's decision to do the turnaround model anyway. After all, the UFT ought to know that we do what the mayor wants, when he wants, and how he wants, and that I fully support this approach.

Mayor Bloomberg also took the step of removing 7 schools who'd received As or Bs in our progress reports. We looked pretty stupid closing those schools, so when Mayor Bloomberg took them off the list, I fully supported him. 

Of course, there is that nasty contract that the UFT insists we use, just because we negotiated and signed it. While I think it's unreasonable, it turns out that the federal "turnaround" model violates the contract, which says we must allow a minimum of 50% of the most senior teachers to keep their jobs. Mayor Bloomberg wisely decided to follow this model rather than face a losing lawsuit, and I fully supported him.

So now it looks like we won't get the federal money after all. That was the main reason Mayor Bloomberg decided to use the turnaround model. But he has decided to go ahead with it anyway, and I fully support him. After all, it will be a nice change for kids to come to a school that's brand new, with lots of different teachers. Why? Because Mayor Bloomberg says it will, and I fully support him.

Sure there are those nattering nabobs of negativity, who wonder how a school will get off to a good start when it can't actually program for next year, or plan anything whatsoever given it has no idea who will be working there next year, and that the school technically will not exist next year. I say, embrace the challenge! Mayor Bloomberg changes his plans all the time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, and all I can say is I fully support him.
blog comments powered by Disqus