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Right about now, I bet the Teachers Union regrets cowering on the sidelines during the last mayoral election. The UFT left Bill Thompson twisting in the wind, now finds itself in a similar position. Will it win its fight against Mayor Bloomberg? I hope so. But good ole' Mr. Karma may have something to say about that.
On the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week, lawyers representing the teachers and principals unions went to court fighting for respect. The United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators are suing the Department of Education to stop the closing of 24 schools.
A union lawyer called the closings a "sham," arguing there are few practical differences when a school closes and reopens under a new name. DOE lawyers say the new schools will have different programs and many new teachers. Some 3,000 educators would be forced to re-apply for their jobs if a judge doesn't stop the closures. What would you do?
Should a judge issue a temporary restraining order to keep 24 more schools from closing? For parents and educators in buildings where schools have already closed and reopened, what changes have you noticed? And, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, who is your favorite teacher and why?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
The citizenry of New York City must come to its senses and help put a stop to this madness. Bloomberg has single handedly destroyed the New York City public school system. His policies have made NO significant changes in student achievement. Every time his administration has claimed progress they have been proven wrong. The facts are that teachers, assistant principals, and principals are so busy trying to keep the minions of Bloomberg and Cuomo off their backs and trying to protect students from the destruction being done that teaching and education are suffering. Schools are not failing!! They are being suffocated to death by Bloomberg and his charter school cronies. The secret investors Bloomberg is shilling for are hiding waiting for him to destroy the UFT so they can move in and make schools for-profit businesses. The schools are being manipulated, as are scores, school report cards, and evaluations. Teachers are working harder than ever to help children succeed but heir hands are tied.
Stop The Madness, Stop Bloomberg!!
Closing schools and re-opening them with new personnel is not going to improve education nor correct the failed policies of Bloomberg and the DOE who are lost when it comes to educational matters, and insist on blaming teachers who are doing their outmost despite the challenges they encounter each and every day.
Why not rotate teachers as opposed to closing schools. And oh yes....principals and administrators need to be recycled as well~
I believe a judge should do whatever is in his power to avert these closures. Putting the staff from 24 schools out of work, serves no one any good. These schools reopen but with the same children. Suddenly the DOE has money to throw into the bldgs when they neglected updating any equipment for the existing schools. This is all the Mayor's way to exhibit some excuse of power that he has over the unions. IT DOESN'T HELP ANYONE. Look at other schools that replaced ones they closed, they are not doing any better than the old school. It's the same kids. The teachers are different but the kids are the same. Goes to show that it's not always the teacher to be blamed when the kids in his/her classroom don't do well.
I've been fortunate to have several "favorite" teachers that now, in my 50's, it's hard to pick just one but Mrs. Allen - P.S. 194K; Mr. Alan Winkler, Mr. Sid Alweis, Miss Schloss & Miss Suppa from IS 278K & Mrs. Rochelle Leinwand - Sheepshead Bay HS. Late 60's, early 70's. These teachers took an interest in their students, they were always there to help and listen. Mrs. Allen gave me my love for reading. Miss Suppa my love of math and Mrs. Leinwand my love for writing. Great schools, Great teachers and also - GREAT STUDENTS - We were motivated, came from families where education was important and supported in the home. We didn't carry half the baggage that some of our students today have on their shoulders. We were able to learn for life, not just for a test. We respected our teachers, we knew our punishment at home would be a lot worse than anything we'd get in school for poor behavior, so we behaved.
Arden Heights, Staten Island
I can understand closing a hopelessly failing school. What I don’t get is closing a school and reopening it under another name plus, maybe, new teachers and thinking it will be better. Why not just fix what’s broken?
Probably because that would cast doubt on Bloomberg’s vaunted and false claim to being the Education Mayor.
Port Richmond, SI
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Penelope Abell in 4th grade. She took us to the opera, on ecology walks, multicultural library even her home to make Xmas cookies and this was back in the 60s.
The kids and our parents adored her.
The Judge should issue a stay.
Rosalie from Canarsie
Yes I agree that failing schools should be closed. The Teachers' and Principals Unions must stop putting their pay check before childrens' lives.
This man should have been stopped one way or another from the very beginning. But as we all have come to find out he is a very powerful multimillionaire and therefor pushes his weight around. People have come to fear his arrogance which he applies in every way for every issue. I would not let up not one iota till he leaves and if we can get rid of him before time lets just do it and do it as quickly as possible.
Thank you John,
Welcome to Teacher Appreciation Week where the Mayor and his hooligans are again showing their true faces concerning how they feel about teachers. The Mayor's response to the UFT and CSA in his boilerplate response to their current law suit is expected and disingenuous. When he talks about the failing schools he is attempting to close he does not tell you that he did virtually nothing to help them to succeed. It has always been his agenda to bring in the corporations and privatize the public schools. He is fooling nobody in the know about his disastrous record in our city schools. He is leaving us a terrible legacy.
The Education Mayor indeed! It is the MisEducation Mayor.
Kenn from Bayside
Renaming schools simply to change 50% or more of the staff and change administration is a ploy to blame teachers for the failure of the mayor and chancellor to provide the resources needed to help the school. Why change the personnel? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to put the resources that will go into the newly named school with new staff into the old school with the same staff? If the students remain the same, how does this help the school?
I agree this closings should be stopped. Clearly Mayor Bloomberg is acting out of anger and not thinking things through. I can not begin to describe to you the damage and anguish this announcement has caused the children in my school. They have given up. They feel their school is a failure and they stopped attending classes.
Kudos to Bloomberg for his transparency--nothing could be more obvious than this naked, desperate attempt to get rid of all of the older teachers. By the way, the ATRs now are sent to different schools every single week. What's the point of that, I wonder! The only thing that saves me is that I'm at a school with a powerful alumni association and history; otherwise I would be history, How much more can he destroy in his remaining time?
Shelley from Park Slope
Bloomberg is the worst mayor we ever had in NYC. He ruined the City. He just wants to privatize the schools. He is vindictive and nasty.
MJ from Tribeca
I say KUDOS to the UFT and the CSA for going to Court for a Temporary Restraining order on these school closures. The only reason to open and close these schools and re-open is to eliminate teachers' jobs and once again to blame the teachers for the massive failure of the New York City Public School System so that Mayor Bloomberg does not need to take any responsibility. I believe that some of the Members of the Panel for Educational Policy should also be held accountable. At each and every PEP meeting all the Members – with the exception of maybe two or three(?) – vote to close all the schools. They don't even bother making an effort to hide their agenda -- they text on their cell phones and pay no attention to the speakers -- they just throw it right in the faces of the communities at large. They insult Parents, Teachers, Students, Advocates for Children, Elected Officials and the public.
But does this all really matter -- Mayor Bloomberg gets away with everything that he does. The City Council does not have any type of check and balance system in place for this Mayor. He could destroy -- most say that he has -- the New York City Public School System and the City Council does not even raise an eyebrow! Yet they lobby for other causes. Just not education because of Mayor Bloomberg.
I hope the UFT gets the TRO but it all depends on the Judge that is hearing this argument for he may be connected to Mayor Bloomberg, one of his cronies or DOE Officials.
This whole school closing is just sad and the kids are the ones that suffer. Bloomberg is playing with the numbers. He closes 1 school and then he reopens the same building with 3 different schools and less staff. He says he is closing a failing school but how is he helping the kids by reopening it with less staff.
Jeff from Brooklyn
Hi. My name is Denise from Bay Ridge Brooklyn. I don't understand the plan --- how new school buildings are being built throughout my neighborhood , and how they're closing other schools down. What is that about ? Thank you
I am all for the school closures. I get reviewed based on my performance at work. Tenured Teachers that are not performing where they need to be should be held accountable and if this is the only way to take out he trash, so be it.
Why does everyone pussyfoot around the real issue. That issue is funding. Since the times of Pataki the biggest slice of the pie was awarded to communities who could obviously handle any fund raising needs for their particular communities. This is meant towards districts like Scarsdale and Bronxville. And this has been true since before the supposed benefits of the lottery system. These is a systematic abuse of specific economic areas and has been in the process for years. Shame on the city for allowing business into the process of educating our young.
Swaths of school closings are a terrible idea that does not work. Decisions are not made with sound judgement, as evidenced by the recent need to rescind the closure proposals at places like Wadleigh and Bushwick Community HS (which had tremendous community support and had specific niches that the DOE willfully overlooked for as long as it could). Struggling schools and schools with high needs populations (which are often one in the same) need resources & support not degrading threats and public execution.
As a teacher if I took the Mayor's approach to addressing our education problems , instead of giving more time and working harder with my students that are struggling , I would simply close the book on them and simply give up on them. For this I would labeled a bad teacher, a disgrace and rightfully so. So why is Mayor Bloomberg not considered a disgrace for giving up on our kids? How can closing schools actually be an option. Mr. Mayor I challenge just for one day walk in the shoes of the teachers who daily work and give their all for our kids, and you would think twice before giving up and closing the door on our kids. Closing schools is not an option because just as I teach my students, "Failure is not an option!"
Marquis from Washington Heights
Teacher in Harlem
Who is he is talking about? "our children " this mayor hate children I feel. Bloomberg is the 1% leader our kids is the 99%. I wish he could be impeached. He is selling NY City to his rich cronies. That is why they brought this term for him. He is going to turn some of these schools into HOTELS.
Yes. The judge should also demand that PARENTS assume responsibility for their children AT HOME AND SUPERVISE REVIEW HOMEWORK. Real education begins at home....
20 Years Teaching,
The UFT & their representatives look out for the Union membership's interest..... & not the child's. In the non-union private sector if you perform, your job will probably never be in question. That's how the rest of the world operates. Not having thorough evaluations is getting in the way of the US moving from 25th (worst standing in years) in math & science globally & closer to a higher standard. Go ahead & bust the unions. They have too much power & are in the way.
Charles is right. The system is broken.
The restart program was instituted last year to help schools get back to the issue at hand: giving students a much better education. The mayor promised three years to see if the schools could be successful with this plan. Now because of money, politics and his pride, he has reneged on the deal. What a wonderful lesson to teach the students!! His word is garbage. He is tearing apart students, faculty and staff because once again he has to win. The courts must stop this travesty. Stop playing with all of our lives. Give us the time you promised to help us succeed. Closing down and reopening is chaos.
Janice at Newtown H.S.
Years ago, I was fortunate to attend the HS of Music & Art as a fine arts major. Ironically, Mrs. Milstein, a social studies teacher, was an inspiration because she helped me to think broadly about social issues, not just about art.
Peggy, Washington Hts.
Alfred E SMith HS CTE Automotive Program in the SOUTH Bronx was given a reprieve in 2009. THE DOE changed their mind in January. The Automotive Program @ Smith is second in the Nation. Last week, a Smith student took 1st place in the State for Electrical trades. This school slated for closure is not a failure. THE DOE stated that SMITH would stay open. The DOE lies!!!! The DOE has thrown this school community into chaos. Graduation rates in these 24 schools have been steadily rising for years. The public had been duped by this billionaire mayor. As for the UFT & CSA, why did it take so long to file this suit?
I think the mayor is very worried about all this bad students that the NY schools are pouring into society by graduation date. New Yorkers should be proud to have such a mayor who cares.
I personally believe Bloomberg sounds like a mini dictator. I find it ridiculous to close a school without any explanation, but that school are failing exams, why not implement an infrastructure instead, help the schools pass those exams or change the tests. I believe a lot of things are happening in NY and politicians are getting away with it, because people are too concerned about where there next pay check is coming from in order to pay their bills. I agree with many of those people that are stating this is a sham.
The major isn't thinking what he is taking away from our education, our teachers are like our families, I leave my house and I know I'm going to see my second mom and dad, teachers push us to do good things like getting our credit and going to class and helping us to graduate.
Isn't it obvious? Principals and teachers? People who dedicate their lives to education? Who thinks they care about kids? The only one who cares about the kids is Billionaireberg and all of his for profit charter pals. Hahahahahahahaha.....How can anyone buy this?
The DOE is not serious about improving schools or student performance. They have not put forth a serious restructuring plan for any of these schools. It takes commitment and serious planning to help a school improve. The current DOE is not interested in students or in teaching and learning. The mayor is only interested in power.
Athena from Beechhurst, NY
Mr. Bloomberg is all about low wages. Closing schools rids him of senior teachers. He reopens schools and gets new teachers at bottom wages. His philosophy the global economic philosophy that thrives on slave wages and will ultimately fail because capitalism needs consumers.
BLOOMBERG IS FULL OF BALONEY. IF ANYONE IS HURTING THE CHILDREN IS HIM AND WHY DON'T PARENTS GET TOGETHER AND SUE THE DOE FOR INCOMPETENTS
Enough with these unions. Especially the UFT. They bleed the city of $$$ & in return the taxpayer gets low level performance. In this case, the children get the short end of the stick. They need to have accountability & perform like the private sector.
The UFT is out of touch & playing politics..... As usual. NYC would be a better place without the UFT.
How do you scrutinize a mayor that is trying to bring accountability to a system that doesn't want to be held accountable. Most teachers put their heart into they work. But, many don't & the UFT just gets in the way.
Its a shell game find the student who graduates.
This is nothing but a sham. They close down an existing school, chop it up into 3 or 4 "smaller schools", get rid of all of the pro union veteran teachers and replace them with new, cheaper recruits. Same students. Sa,e communities. Same results. So a school that had one principal is now 4 schools with 4 new principals. How is adding more and more upper management positions going to help what's happening in the classroom?
I work in one of the closing schools. I can tell you that this process has been detrimental. At this point we do not know what to feel and what to do. It is almost the middle of May and we are still very unclear as to what we have to do next. We are trying to concentrate on teaching but it has been very demoralizing and disruptive and I doubt that the schools will be ready by September. I hope that the courts put an end to this madness. At this point somebody has to be the adult in the room. As a bottom line, this is not done to improve the schools. This is to enable people the likes of Klein to invest in education on behalf of their millionaire bosses.
Georgia from Astoria
Yes the court should stop the closing of schools. It is a shame that instead of providing resources to improve the schools they prefer to close them and leave the students with nothing.
I bet everyone who sat on the sidelines and let Bloomberg slide into his third illegal term are sorry right now, not just the teachers union. This court case might not do any good since Bloomberg does what he wants anyway, and nobody does anything to stop him. The school system, along with the lives of the middle class in this city have been systematically destroyed by Bloomberg and his cronies, and all the court cases in the world won't help at this point. The damage has already been done to the students who have already been through this joke of school system. They are not ready to do college level work and any decent labor jobs that did exist have been eradicated by the Mayor and his pro big business stance.
I hope everyone who thinks this Mayor has done such a good job creating a fair and decent society are ready for more uneducated people, with no hope for the future to be let loose on the streets. Every report of a shooting, I-Phone robbery, and drug deal gone bad are a result of Bloomberg's racially and class motivated war against some of the citizens in this city. His catering to tourists and outsiders just lives up to the old saying, "A nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live here."
Schools should not be closed, but rather, be provided with the necessary resources to prosper. I am a product of one of the "failing schools". Last year, I had the opportunity to move into one of the smaller schools in the same building as my old school. I went only because I saw no other choice. The teachers that "failing school" I came from went above and beyond to ensure that their students got what they needed - sometimes this meant staying after school until after six in the evening just to work with the students. In my new school, I'm lucky if one of the teachers asks how my other classes are. The Mayor claims that these smaller schools will give students individualized attention. I've been in this new school for about a year already and I've seen nothing of the sort. The school I came from didn't have enough money to purchase lab supplies. How are students supposed to succeed when their basic needs aren't met? At the time, there were three other schools on the campus. They had everything they needed, and more, while we had less than we could survive on. How are schools supposed to produce stellar students when they are being starved? It's totally illogical.
Queens. District #28
Bloomberg is to blame for damaging these schools with his bad decisions. First, by loading them with the neediest students and then, by not supporting them enough. He wants to close them to avoid his responsibility. His has been in control of Education and all he has done is create more chaos. They should also sue to take school control away from him. He is not concerned about the poor children, He is on a power trip.
Bloomberg is a politician. This is his last term which some people believe he purchased. He can try to do as he wishes because he does not have to worry about getting re-elected. I think Bloomberg was foolish to believe that the teachers union would not come to the teachers help.
If the teachers get fired as a group are there other things where Bloomberg can make more money? On one of your shows I heard that when opening charter schools the schools payed much more rent for the new school. I think one should think of every angle why Bloomberg is taking this action. Most politicians always think about their pocket.
Good luck teachers..
If Mayor Bloomberg really wants to reform education, he should consider the following:
1. Stopping the political rhetoric and subsequent demonizing of teachers; 2. Procure the assistance of educational think tanks such as the Annenberg Foundation and Ford Foundation to assist him to understanding the educational soundness of the teaching methods being mandated for the smaller learning communities; 3. Lower class sizes to accommodate teaching for college and job readiness; 4. Integrate technology in the classrooms of the 21st century; 5. Streamline the DOE NYC bureaucracy; 6. Increase the manpower and funding resources aimed at supporting student growth and academic success (e.g., the social ill plaguing their lives) 7. Adequate and commensurate compensation for additional teaching and preparation hours necessary to make SLC's successful; 8. Focus on all levels of learning (Special Education, ELL Learners, Etc.) 9. Provide modern teaching resources necessary for adapting and modifying lessons for all levels of learners. We need to stop overcompensating with our educational philosophies where we allow the pendulum to swing too far in either direction.
*These recommendations have been around for years, yet they continue to go unnoticed. Our schools are not irreparable broken, simply in need of a lifestyle lift. The demands of the global workplace have changed and therefore, the educational system must change to meet that demand. Our city's children deserve a chance to be both happy and prosperous.
Thank you for your kind consideration of my recommendations.
William Cullen Bryant High School