May 10, 2010
There is so much negative banter about teacher performance, teacher evaluation, grading the teachers, good teachers, bad teachers, firing teachers, teachers wasting taxpayers money, teachers in general, blah, blah, blah. Is there anyone who isn't teacher bashing these days? Suddenly, everyone who has an opinion and anyone who has money is an 'education expert'. (Thanks SBST!) Is there anyone in this teacher bashing bunch that has ever taught in a classroom?
Since most senior teachers of the pre'BloomKlein' era earned their education degrees the conventional, time honored way, one can safely believe that their credentials have been met, but is it safe to make the same assumptions of our new, overly empowered Principals?
How many of of our new Principals have earned their counterfeit credentials through the quick and condensed 'Evelyn Wood' Speedy Leadership Academy?' Do you think that they have spent at least 3-5 years in the classroom- excluding their own experience as a student in the NYC DOE? How many have shown an initiative to stand in front of a classroom and model a lesson in the caliber that they expect from their staff? Would it be unreasonable to ask that principals also be held responsible and accountable to the same professional standards as teachers?
("Pissed Off" has the right idea.)How about the teachers observing the Principals and Assistant Principals for a change? Why not rate the Principals on how well they can be in two places at once, juggle lunch duty or how well they can discipline one child while praising another all in one breath? We are not talking about balancing budgets here. We are talking about 8:00-3:00, don't be late, get your hands dirty, hold your bladder, full fledged teaching.
Take a look at the results of the biased 3020a hearings and you will find that in most hearings a Principal is unable to prove the incompetence, neglect or corporal punishment that they have charged a teacher with. The fact that so few teachers are actually fired as a result of the 3020a process is proof that most teachers have been reassigned on dubious or cooked up charges. There is no evidence that the 3020a process is a reliable method of ridding the system of 'bad' teachers. What is does prove however, is that most principals are good liars and poor judges of what a bad teacher looks like.
For every teacher sent to the RR, there is a principal who put them there. Perhaps these ignorant, unethical and self serving administrators should spend more time in the classroom and less time witch hunting. Once the 3020a hearing is complete and an arbitrator rules in the favor of the teacher, shouldn't a mandatory investigation of the Principal follow? How many times it is the Principal's ego, ignorance, lack of communication and paranoia that condemns an innocent teacher? Shouldn't it be the Principal who is held accountable for wasting the tax payer's money?
Instead, NYC DOE principals get a free ride on the tails of Bloom-Klein's "Some are more equal than others policy." 'It's Okay", they say to a principal's disregard for regulations. "It's okay", they say to the harassment of senior teachers. It's okay to rate teachers unfairly, just as long as the principal gets good grades on school surveys from the teachers and parents. "It's okay" to make a mistake, just as long as some unsuspecting senior teacher takes the blame.
Is this teacher abuse "okay" with the UFT? Sure it is. Just as long as the abused are paying their membership dues and remaining passively quiet. As long as the UFT stands idly by and accepts the "It's okay" policy for administrators, the corruption will continue...