Thursday, January 17, 2013
Who is to blame for the failed negotiations over teacher evaluation?
If the Governor goes ahead with punishing NYC children for the failure to reach a deal over teacher evaluation by subtracting $250 million from state aid, it will be terribly unfair. Yet there is little doubt that most parents will blame Bloomberg for this latest fiasco, as the just-released Quinnipiac poll shows that NYC voters trust the UFT by 53 to 35 percent over the mayor. And 63 percent of those polled believe that the mayor should share power, compared to only 13 percent who say he should continue to have complete control, without any checks and balances.
In response to bills introduced in the Legislature to undo mayoral control last year, the mayor’s spokesperson said that no one should want to return to “those bad old days of dysfunction and corruption.” These bills have just been re-introduced.
Actually the "bad old days" look pretty good compare with the collapse of negotiations over a new teacher evaluation system, the bus strike, the largest class sizes in 14 years, and million dollar contracts awarded vendors who have been shown to have stolen millions in the past. (The latest beneficiary of the DOE’s largesse is Champion Learning, which was awarded $4.5 million by the Panel for Educational Policy in November, despite having found to have overbilled DOE by many millions and being under federal investigation.)
The legislature should take note, and refrain from punishing NYC students, by insisting that their schools are fully funded and that no future mayor has the unilateral ability to damage our schools and hurt our kids again.