Thursday, May 03, 2012

Can DOE Higher-Ups Read, Or Is It That They Just Don't?

This is the second news article I've read in the last month that suggests to me that the bigwigs at the DOE either can't read or just don't.  The first was the hubbub about "transforming" Bushwick Community High School, one of the city's most successful and beloved transfer schools, because not enough of its students graduate high school in four years--completely overlooking the fact that the entire stated purpose of transfer schools is to serve severely undercredited students, many of whom are dropouts seeking a second chance at a high school diploma.  The second is this piece in today's Post, not-so-subtly suggesting that teachers are "shirking" work to which the city taxpayers are entitled.

Michael Mulgrew wakes up long enough to mention that the audit does not consider comp time positions like serving as a dean, which is an excellent point.  Teachers serving as deans, department chairs, and other positions are valuable to schools.  But, more to the point, teachers are not responsible for designing their own schedules.  Teacher programs are overseen by principals and in some cases delegated to programming teachers, but in any case, principals have the responsibility for assigning and signing off on all teacher programs.  If indeed some teachers are underutilized, that is the fault of principals, not of teachers.

So they can't/don't read their own guidelines and definitions for different types of schools, the teacher contracts, or principals' job descriptions.  What else is collecting dust on the collective DOE Kindle?
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