Friday, January 13, 2006

37 (and a Half) Minutes

There’s an awful lot of confusion about the city’s new tutoring program. How will after-school activities end up, with so many different schedules? How will the city come up with millions of extra transportation dollars? What about the hundreds of thousands of children who receive no benefit whatsoever from this agreement?

As you may have expected, DOE officials say everything is going swimmingly. These are the same folks who eliminated training days, then restarted them, had 50 minute training periods, then cancelled them, then renegotiated them, then did something else—frankly, it’s changed so many times, I don’t recall.

Now the city claims to be mandating these sessions. At the same time, the UFT says we won’t be taking attendance, writing lesson plans, or evaluating these students in any way whatsoever. What I want to know is how on earth they are going to get the least motivated kids in the system to spend extra time in school when there are, evidently, no conceivable consequences for failure to do so.

It’s no big mystery. The mayor pressed hard to get teachers to cover an unprecedented sixth daily class. Clearly, that’s what this is, albeit watered down somewhat for UFT consumption. When the next contract rolls around, there’ll be 10 minutes added daily, and a full sixth class, 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

The same Unity apologists who sold us this bill of goods will be saying “Come on. It’s only 3 more minutes a day.” They’ll follow up with their theme song: “It was the best we could do.”
blog comments powered by Disqus