Monday, April 02, 2012

Bloomberg Feigns Generosity

A story in Gotham Schools points out that Mayor4Life Bloomberg, in his infinite wisdom, has decreed that "Turnaround Schools" will not, in fact, have to replace at least 50% of staff. In fact, the federal model on which this is supposedly based states schools would "rehire no more than 50% of existing staff."

However, article 18D of the UFT Teacher Contract, to which the city is a signatory, states that "at least fifty percent of the School's pedagogical positions shall be selected from among the appropriately licensed most senior applicants from the impacted School(s) who meet the School's qualifications."

And therein lies the conundrum. Should the Emperor set 50% as a maximum, to fulfill federal regulations and qualify for SIG money, or should he abide by the terms of the Contract to which he's agreed? Given an almost certain lawsuit if he defies the Contract (and likely a losing one), Bloomberg has opted for the latter. After all, even Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch has determined Bloomberg's turnaround plan has nothing to do with helping children.

The fact is, Bloomberg is simply doing this in a fit of pique over his awful evaluation system. I want what I want, and if I can't have it, I'm taking my ball, going home, and closing 33 schools. When you're a billionaire mayor, you can do things like that.

Tonight, in accordance with city agreements, there will be a closing hearing at Grover Cleveland High School in Queens. The school will present its arguments, a panel will pretend to listen, and the panel will recommend closure. On April 26th, the PEP will pretend to listen to arguments and then vote to do whatever Michael Bloomberg has told told them to, because that's what mayoral control means--that no one in the entire city except Michael Bloomberg has a voice.

Panels all over the city will convene to determine which teachers get to stay at their schools and which become ATRs. In schools with hundreds of teachers, this will be incredibly time-consuming. There will be chaos, and it will be appropriately blamed on Bloomberg's juvenile decision to move ahead with this nonsense. Because he's avoided a time-consuming losing lawsuit, there will be somewhat less chaos.

But let's not applaud the mayor for making a boneheaded move marginally less idiotic. I don't expect to see "marginally less idiotic" as a campaign slogan anytime soon.
blog comments powered by Disqus