Saturday, January 31, 2009

NY Times Article

Schoolgal wrote this on a comment but it needs a post of its own. This is dedicated to Mr/Ms Directness and all the other people who think like they do.

I will reprint the NYTimes article here. Note, not once did Randi protest Klein's use of the word "undesirable" or call this new measure unfair and discriminatory. It took her 3 years to wake up only because some ATRs took this to court.

Klein Halts Plan to Make Schools Take Unassigned Teachers
Published: September 2, 2006

On the eve of the new academic year, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein abruptly scrapped plans to impose a hiring freeze that would have forced principals to fill any last vacancies with unassigned teachers already in the system.

Mr. Klein said yesterday that it was more important for principals to choose their own staff than it was for the city to place potentially undesirable veteran teachers who must stay on the payroll even if no school offers them a position.

The decision to lift the freeze, just hours before it was to begin, was aimed at bolstering Mr. Klein’s position in a labor dispute over 44 unassigned assistant principals. To circumvent provisions in their contract that would force the assistant principals on principals who do not want them, Mr. Klein said he would created unneeded jobs for them, wasting as much as $5.2 million.

His stance on teachers once again allowed Mr. Klein to portray himself as a champion of autonomy and authority for principals.

City education officials said they believed most of the unassigned teachers would find jobs in the system. But Mr. Klein’s move raised at least a possibility that the city could be forced to pay the salaries of as many as 1,500 unassigned teachers, at a cost of nearly $100 million.

Officials said that 1,001 veteran teachers had yet to find positions and that about 500 newly hired teachers were also awaiting assignments.

Mr. Klein said unassigned teachers would be used as substitutes. “We will assign them to permanent substitute basis,” he said. “That may have some cost implications, but it’s costlier, I believe, to force individuals on a school.”

The number of teaching vacancies fluctuates, but has ranged from about 400 to 800 recently, ahead of the opening of school on Tuesday, said Elizabeth Arons, the system’s chief executive for human resources. Last year, the system carried 200 to 250 teachers without regular assignments on its payroll.

The city and the principals’ union — which represents both principals and assistant principals — are locked in a bitter contract dispute, and Mr. Klein has said that the seniority provisions are a major impediment. The provisions allow veteran assistant principals without assignments to bump junior colleagues who are not permanently appointed, potentially upending efforts by principals to build cohesive teams.

The union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, said management failures by the chancellor’s office, rather than the contract, were the reason the 44 assistant principals did not have jobs.

Last year, the teachers’ union agreed to relinquish similar bumping rights in exchange for a transfer system that allows teachers to apply for openings citywide. Mr. Klein said yesterday that those changes were among the most important of his tenure because principals for the first time “have the authority to hire people who are aligned with their vision, their mission.”

Jill S. Levy, the president of the supervisors’ union, said she was willing to negotiate changes but has accused Mr. Klein of blaming the contract for his own failures. The union said 37 of the 44 vacancies were caused by the administration’s closing or downsizing schools.



Anonymous said...

Please Queens teachers and parents
Try to be there. Stop Mayoral Control. email your friends.

Public Hearing: Governance of the New York City School District
Feb. 5
Place: Queens Borough Hall, Meeting Room 213,
120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, New York
Time: 5:30 - 8:30 P.M.
Contact: Monica L. Pringle (718) 322-2537 Media Contact: Selvena Brooks (212) 298-5616

See site for other boroughs


ChiTown Girl said...

Wow, these past few posts have really made me feel 1. horrible for you guys and 2. a little better about working at the Hell-Hole. Hang in there, and keep on fighting.