On the same day that the city’s scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed no progress between 2003 and 2007 in three of four categories, the city revealed that it has hired a team of lawyers and former principals to help principals build cases against tenured teachers who they believe are incompetent. It is unfortunate that at the first sign of bad news, the preemptive response by this administration was to blame the teachers.
There comes a point in time that recycling old arguments no longer works. School reform is tough. It takes a lot of different initiatives working in tandem to get results. It takes qualified teachers; it takes working conditions that foster real progress; it takes an accountability system that’s fair and accurate; it takes engaged parents; and above all it takes collaboration between teachers and principals.
The blame game should stop and people should be rolling up their sleeves and working together to help this city’s kids. The mayor should apologize to the teachers and use the $1 million this unit will cost on something else.
It’s time to shift the responsibility back to the school system. This union is not against accountability. We are against “gotcha” and scapegoating and shifting blame to teachers who are working as hard as they can.
Please join us on the evening of Monday, Nov. 26, for a candlelight vigil at the Tweed headquarters to protest the establishment of this unit and call for respect for city teachers.