Highlights from the Jan. 31 issue of New York Teacher:
At 11th hour, mayor torpedoes evaluation deal
At 3 a.m. on Jan. 17, the day of the state deadline, the UFT and the Department of Education had reached an agreement in principle on a new evaluation plan that would have given teachers better working conditions, more voice in how they are evaluated and support for continued professional growth throughout their careers. But the mayor stepped in to sabotage the deal, and in the process forfeited at least $240 million in state education aid for city schools.
Parents want experienced school bus drivers
The city’s protracted yellow school bus strike has left both parents and teachers increasingly frustrated with Mayor Bloomberg for his failure to negotiate with the union that represents the approximately 9,000 striking drivers and matrons.
Where would we be without them?
Community volunteers like these are the backbone of many schools across the city.
Cuomo to boost school aid
Gov. Cuomo proposed a 4.4 percent increase in education spending next year, part of an overall state budget increase of 1.9 percent that signals the beginning of cautiously better fiscal times for the state and the city.
State ed commish reads DOE the riot act
State Education Commissioner John King read New York City the riot act a day after the city missed the deadline for concluding a new teacher evaluation system. Laying the blame squarely on the mayor and the Department of Education, King said the city’s failure would result in the immediate loss of $240 million in state education aid and put hundreds of millions of other state and federal dollars at risk.
Noteworthy graduates: Jon Bauer, founder, investment management firm
Jon Bauer, a co-founder, chief executive operating officer and chief investment officer of Contrarian Capital Management, which invests in troubled companies and helps them restructure their finances, was “blown away” when he first learned about economics as a boy.
School of rock
Manhattan teacher’s passion rubs off on his music students
The rock star of PS 34 moves like a dervish among his students, getting them to work through a progression of basic chords. Basic rock chords, that is — a spin on teaching music that has turned blasé students into driven musicians. Students and colleagues at this school in Manhattan’s East Village say it’s all because of music teacher Ulises Soto.
Teacher attrition up after recession-driven lull
Teachers are voting with their feet again. Though the 2008 recession and its aftermath reduced attrition among city teachers, it seems to be on the move now. According to new UFT data, teachers and other pedagogues are leaving the school system in much higher numbers than they were two years ago, even as the city has bumped up hiring.