It's teacher hunting season!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The LIFO myth / Walcott couldn't get hired at new schools

Bravo, Cathie "ohhhhhhhhhh" Black is gone!!!

Alas, former deputy mayor Dennis Walcott will need a waiver (yet again!) from NYS Education Commissioner David Steiner or his successor, because Walcott lacks any education supervisor training.

(Last In Only In, the real issue, blocked out by attention to Last In First Out)
Yet, equally disturbing is the fact that Dennis Walcott would face 1,000 to 1 (or so) odds against getting hired at the new schools that will replace the closed-down schools.
The hard, cold truth is that the hiring at the new schools is that THE LAST IN ARE THE ONLY IN. Just remember that at school after school, the hiring freeze is a myth. ATRs are passed over for new teachers, who often lack experience as full-time, permanently assigned teachers or for teachers with inadequate licensing.
Cathie Black's appointment was a slap in the face of teachers that had to earn master's degrees or pass numerous exams.
The hiring of inexperienced teachers is a slap in the face of unassigned (tenured and experienced, I may remind you) ATRs in a period in which the public (and gullible teachers) are led to believe that there is a hiring freeze, with hiring limited to ATRs.

If you have ever set foot in one of these schools or have gone to parent-teacher nights, you will notice that:
(1) 50 to 90 percent of the teaching staff are 33 or under and have less then 6 years in the system. (These numbers are at the less stark range when a high school has been split into four: fifty percent get to stay on; the youngsters take all the other slots. But take note of the new schools in new locations or new schools imposed in odd places (like elementary or middle schools): these are more in the 90-95 percent newbie/young teacher range.)
(2) in the traditional schools (established schools as opposed to the new ones) ethnic diversity is to be found in the teaching staff. Yet in the new schools the minority percentage is teeny: about 10 to 15 percent.
So, Norm of Ed Notes, YES, the attack on LIFO is without question a form of racism.

Take a look at the great piece in "Ed in the Apple", "Is the Assault on Seniority an Assault on Teachers of Color? Will School Closings Lead to College or Incarceration?."
The Bloomberg-Klein-Black mindset is totally blind to the issues of race and class. Lisa Delpit, in Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom points to the questions of race and power,

Delpit has identified a “culture of power” that operates in schools and supports dominant U.S. society. In classrooms where White and middle-class teachers regard minority and low-income students as “other people’s children,” Delpit argues that these teachers repeatedly fail to reveal the rules of the culture of power to students since they are “frequently least aware of — or least willing to acknowledge” the cultural power they hold.

Bree Picower, in her research, “The Unexamined Whiteness of Teaching: How White Teachers Maintain and Enact Dominant Racial Ideologies,” explores the pre-conceptions of white teachers and how they approach children of color.

One has got to ask, how are children of color viewing race, intellectualism, professions and the world when they see nearly every one of their teachers being white?
What kind of message are we sending to the youth of the city by erasing the teachers of color (or teachers of age, for that matter) from classrooms?

Another excellent piece, by Sam E. Anderson, from 2006, that systematically addresses the myriad thematic and hiring biases under Bloomberg/Klein, in "Black Educator,"
"A Black Education State of Emergency
Engulfs New York City."

And read, from 2008, at "Education for Liberation," "Vanishing Black Educators: Fewer Blacks, More Whites Are Hired as City Teachers" and further down the page, "Stop and Reverse the Disappearing of Black and Latino Teachers/vanisingblackteachers.htm"

Aside from Dennis Walcott's bad Kapo politics of blind loyalty to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of upholding the closings and ridiculous bundling three or four schools in one building (to share a gym and cafeteria), we cannot ignore that given his age and race, he would face very, very slim chances of being hired in the very schools that he is aligned with creating.


  1. Couldn't the same have been said of Joel Klein, as well as Cathie Black- would either of these Chancellors have made it as teachers in the Brave New World that they wished to create for NYC schools?

    Not to mention Mayor Bloomberg himself- not exactly a spring chicken at his age of 68.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best: "The rich are different from you and I". One set of rules for us, another for the hoi polloi that they see us as...

  2. Yes, this is the essential truth, "F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best: "The rich are different from you and I". One set of rules for us, another for the hoi polloi."

  3. ATRs are definitely being passed over -- my school hired new ELA and history teachers, and, strangely enough, we also have one ELA ATR and one history ATR assigned to us. How'd that happen? Shouldn't the ATRs have been hired before the new teachers in non-need areas? In fact, there is no hiring freeze.