To put this campaign into perspective, read Leonie Haimson's post of a few days ago, where she says that "the DoE to this day continues to deny the damaging effects of their school closure policies."
Added to that, she says, the DoE "is breeding new small schools each year like rabbits, with no thought of quality control, sustainability, or collateral damage on the system as a whole."
If these schools are so bad that they need to be closed, what the heck has Joel Klein been doing for seven years?
As appalled as I always am at this chancellor's policies and directives, to judge him as incompetent is misguided. In order to say he's not good at his job, the man would have had to have had the formal training, skills, and license required of school superintendents by law, not to mention a recognizable calling to educate children.
Klein patently has none of these, and the country's businessmen are rejoicing. He's going full steam ahead on a new kind of public education — sans union, sans tenure, sans transparency, sans everything.
Klein isn't educating our kids, he's just playing with cash and property.
People like him shouldn't be allowed to make decisions about which schools have to be closed and which just need some more help. (Smaller classes would be an excellent start, plus the appointment of more principals who've come up through the ranks instead of being barfed out of the infamous Leadership Academy.)
It's like tossing your car keys over to an inexperienced, unlicensed driver and hoping you'll get get home with all your body parts. You're trusting precisely the wrong person with your health and well-being.
Last night I received an email from a teacher whose school is going down. I thought I'd post it because it's written from the gut, and that's the only way the public gets to hear the misery of what's going on. Forgive me for not including names and places. It's better not to these days.
Honestly this made me want to dance on the head of a pin after the way I've been treated, especially under the "new" principal they brought in (in a BIG hurry to replace the former principal who I went to work for), who's been torturing me and other senior teachers. She had the NERVE to cry in front of us after the DOE big-wigs made their announcement to the faculty today during our "conference day" meeting. The school needs to be closed — it's disgusting. The inmates running the asylum.I really hope we don't have to go that route, but my colleague is right about one thing. Parents of NYC schoolkids cannot depend on a handful of activist teachers and citizens mounting a few protests here and there to rein in a machine like BloomKlein's created with their cronies in government and the edu-business sector.
The UFT peeps came then and started the "rah-rah" routine — do we want to FIGHT for our school, etc... and frankly, I don't if it means working under an illiterate, nasty, thug. Find me an exemplary, teacher-respecting, professional educational leader and then ask me to fight. The kids — and the teachers — are the losers in all this . . .
Maybe the parents once they realize their special needs children WON'T be the recipients of the Mayor's big reform plan might get active, but I wouldn't bet on it. Politicians have no incentive, as their constituents don't even vote most of the time, and the kind of rabid local community activists who dominated the now-defunct school boards went the way of the dodo once there was nothing in it ($$) for them. I know there are parent-activists in the city, but they have little clout — they are neither influential nor a real threat to the stability of the city, like in the mid-late-60's.
So — what will happen in the future? Perhaps public school fees might inspire more public investment in education. Once you have to pay for something, you value it.
At some point they'll have to come out in force if they want to put this train back on track.
Someone just alerted me to a new post at Ed in the Apple that is eerily similar to this one. Here's hoping a million others will jump on board.
Norm Scott's thought on that post: "Does Goodman talk about failed leadership of the enablers/uft at the top? Goodman was on the payroll judging whether schools should be closed down."
The short answer is no. Just like Weingarten was on our payroll all those years making nice to those evil plutocrats instead of going after their jugulars.