It's teacher hunting season!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Will Chancellor Black reverse Klein's scourge on NYC education?

Joel Klein is getting replaced at the helm of the Dept of Ed.?
We could hope that the new chancellor will make great departures from the tenure of Mr. Klein, a tenure which wrecked terrible havoc upon NYC education.
Will she end the current emergency of multiple oversized classes, over the legal limit of registered students?
Will she end the destruction of the comprehensive high schools with diverse course offerings and clubs?
Will she end the closing of the large, traditional schools, and the overcrowding of weaker students from outside a district into selected schools, driving down their performance, all in the effort to close them down and reopen charter schools?
(For similar games that the Dept. of Education plays with pitting schools against each other, see this post at the Grassroots Education Movement, "Jane Addams Teacher Chronicles How NYCDOE Destroyed School With Poison Pill.")
Will she continue to trumpet her school system's accomplishments as utter genius, even while students score lower in the NAEP tests and among graduates from one-third of the New York City's high schools' graduates 70 percent of students entering CUNY programs needed courses in remedial English and Math?
Will she end the bias in resources and staffing levels of charter schools over public schools?
Will she end the overall scapegoating of teachers?
Will she end the scapegoating of teachers in episodes of misbehaving students?
Will she end the unprecedented (at least since the mid 1960s) aggressive posture of administrators toward teachers?
Will she end the seemingly deliberate replacement of teachers of color with students from elite schools?
Will she end the seemingly deliberate replacement of middle-aged teachers with “energetic, open minded,” read younger, less experienced (and easier to intimidate) teachers?
Will she end the mania of testing over teaching? ( --or Testing ueber alles?)
Will she end the mania of endless streams of consultants whose suggestions of “best practices” are outrageously naïve about conditions in NYC public schools?
Will she end the Orwellian/Kafkaesque labyrinth of the administrator allegations/student allegations/3020a hearings under Klein?
Will she end the closing out of parents from any policy voice on education matters?

I'm not holding my breath. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's absurdist selection of Cynthia Black, a media CEO (at Hearst magazines) suggests that we're in for more of the same. Truth cannot get ludicrous than fiction. Klein took an offer to become an Executive Vice President at the News Corporation. The News Corporation, in case you have not noticed, owns the loudest, most aggressively anti-teacher (and civil servants in general) newspaper in New York City, "The New York Post." (We can always be out happy that Bloomberg didn't choose the Washington Terror in the form of Michelle Rhee.)
As some posters to news articles are writing, but the "Times" seems to be forgetting,
this appointment will need a waiver authorization from State Education Commissioner David Steiner. People are going to have to wake up and stop believing the fudged data and the blind eye over Regents test scrubbing that Bloomberg relied upon in order to tout his false claim of advances in the last eight years; people that care about quality education for the city's students should insist upon some with an educator's background.
Will the "Times," WNYC and other media outlets fall in line with Bloomberg's emperor's new clothes nonsense and wax about the "savvy" with this "imaginative" choice of a chancellor?

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