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Saturday, October 18, 2008

List of cuts to Tweed proposed by education advocates, UFT and Speaker Quinn

Elizabeth Green of Gotham Schools reports that the UFT has signed onto a letter, drafted by Time out from Testing and the Center for Immigrant Families, calling for a hiring freeze at Tweed, and cuts to the Leadership Academy and the Accountability office to save about $60 million a year -- before any of the millions in proposed mid-year cuts to school budgets should be contemplated.

This letter was also signed onto by Class Size Matters, the Working Families Party and others. As she notes,

On the chopping board would be the annual letter-grade progress reports for schools; the quality reviews that
supplement the test-driven progress reports with observed details; all standardized tests for children between kindergarten and second grade; the Leadership Academy, the nonprofit organization that trains principals; the periodic assessments that are supposed to help teachers prepare students for state tests; and ARIS, the data warehousing program contracted to IBM that has so far been a flop.

That’s not the entire Joel Klein agenda. But it’s a lot.

In a speech to the Citizens Budget Commission, City Council Speaker Quinn proposed yet another list of non-classroom savings of $150 million, including $13 million from cutting the Data Inquiry Teams in every school:

"Thus far, we’ve identified at least $150 million in specific, non-classroom cuts to the Department of Education budget. These include a range of cuts from slowing the pace of school restructuring, to scaling back employee recruitment contracts.

There are scores of pilots, new initiatives, and program expansions in the Department that may be well intentioned -- but -- that in this climate, are luxuries that we just can’t afford.

Just one example is the $13 million “Data Inquiry Teams.” Let me read you the DOE’s official description of this program: “The Inquiry Team process is geared to assist schools in data-driven decision-making by integrating the components of the Accountability Initiative into the life of the school.” DOE gives every school eight to ten thousand dollars a year for this.

We think that this is asking principals and their teams to review and analyze student progress and class-work, isn’t that what a school and its staff is supposed to do anyway.

That’s $13 million annually that we could cut -- to keep $13 million in the classroom.

Add your suggestions for cuts in the comments section!


Pogue said...

But, if we cut the Data Inquiry Teams, Aris, and Acuity wouldn't McGraw-Hill get very, very angry?

Eric said...

'm very disappointed that you did not bring up the wasted 74 million dollars on ATRs or the 45 million dollars on reassigned teachers who should be teaching.

Pogue said...

I agree. Wasn't that incredibly stupid of the "business" mayor and "lawyer" Klein to hire so many new teachers when they had a plethora of experienced teachers already on the payrolls, ready for duty.

Anonymous said...

Seems that schools should be looking for alternative solutions to hatchet programs and use a scalpel to shape what's needed and useful. There are a number of cool free programs many schools can benefit from such as the MySchoolAlerts from that would trim $$$$ to any school budget so funds can be redistributed. With any school can save time and $$$.

Unitymustgo! said...

I'm disappointed you waste your time worrying about such trivial things as budget cuts and millions of wasted education tax dollars. Have you read the great article on Edwize about one teachers plight with her wardrobe. The poor girl doesn't even know what Prada shoes are! Really people stay focused on the real issues like the UFT does.


Anonymous said...

Another cut that needs to be made are the Coaches. These are regular teachers who are not required to actually teach children, yet they draw a salary and are favored by Administration.

Anonymous said...

The DOE spends TONS every year on a contract with Teacher's College that trains teachers in a methodolgy that doesn't work. Our children deserve real reading instruction. Get rid of this non-method and save the City a bundle!