Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. Third St.
New York, New York
$10 at the door, proceeds to benefit MORE
Archives For DOE
MORE Member Harry Lirtzman, former high school special education math teacher and former deputy state comptroller, speaks out about the bloated and wasteful DOE budget on Schoolbook.org, in a followup to his piece for MORE on the UFT contract negotiations.
There they go again.
The newspapers are filling their pages with stories about “bad teachers”. The mayor is on the airwaves complaining about the UFT and City Hall is suing the Union.
It’s all part of this mayoral administration’s continued push to transform the profession of teaching into an ‘at-will’ job, so that it can fire as many of us as it would like.
They would all like everyone to believe (including our new soon-to be mayor) that this system is just filled-to-the-brim with bad teachers who are harming kids and holding back our students from achieving true success.
As their hope goes, if they can just convince New Yorkers that this is actually true -if they could somehow get the voting public to focus and concentrate only on the 1.9% of city teachers who have faced termination hearings- then maybe, just maybe, they would be able to institute sweeping reforms that would affect all city teachers -including the other 98.1% who have not faced hearings- and end an important right for city teachers. That is the right to be fired through the impartial ruling of an independent hearing officer, rather than by the whims of an education department whose headquarters has been bereft of actual educators for well over a decade.
It’s the same tired old song playing all over again. They drag a few of our colleagues out on the pages of the newspapers and offer no facts (other than the facts which the administration wishes the newspapers to print) about their actual “infractions”. They hold these people up as an example of our “terrible” job protections and hope that the public begins disliking their teachers as much as they dislike their politicians.
If some semblance of public concern grows over this issue, they’ll march themselves up to Albany and ask the legislature to change the law that has, for many decades now, dictated how teachers are fired. The NYS Senate may well vote yes (because the Mayor has donated millions to the campaigns coffers of the Republicans who control that house) and they will all complain when the Assembly votes no.
We at MORE have heard this song before and we are aware that it’s just a little too “out of tune” to be truthful – we know just where the sour notes are coming from. We’d like you to consider a few facts as you read the salacious newspaper articles over the next few weeks and do what you can do to make sure that concerned people in your building are aware of them too: