Streams

Teachers Contract

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

During the school break, Anna Phillips, reporter with Gotham Schools, a news site focusing on NYC schools, looks at the city's contract negotiations with the teachers' union.

Guests:

Anna Phillips

Comments [13]

Jackson from Brooklyn

Teaching is a partnership, or team made of teaching professionals and parents. Until parents are held accountable, and schools stop being treated like daycare by them learning will remain static in NYC public schools. There's a culture of ignorance that's pervasive in our culture and when parents have no expectations of they're children, or don't convey them students don't necessarily feel compelled to perform. As a High School teacher, I've recognized a very obvious correlation between student's success and parents who are involved in their child's education. You can lead a horse to water or present usable knowledge but you can't make them drink or absorb it. Tying salaries to students success will create a lot of po' educators in NYC. Eliminate Rubber Rooms, they're internal political tools and a wasteland.

Dec. 30 2009 11:44 AM
Sheila from Manhattan

Sorry, I accidentally posted a comment on the crime rate segment; I meant to post here.

A nutshell recap of what I said: Principals have the power to excess teachers. In my five years teaching in Manhattan, I have seen two different principals do it to teachers they openly disliked.

If you believe in test scores, you have another reason to worry about principals' power. I have seen the same two principals deliberately give specific teachers the most troubled students year after year because they either disliked the teacher, or had other favorites to whom they wanted to give all the high-achieving students. This practice condemns the non-favorite to have lower test scores year after year.

Bloomberg and Klein seem to think Principals are all competent people with integrity. But Principals are just as fallible as the teachers Bloomberg and Klein seem to treat as adversaries.

Dec. 30 2009 11:10 AM
William Rico from Manhattan, NY

Using a similar example to Mayor Bloomberg,
should doctors be evaluated based on the fact that some of their patients die?
The fact is that the NYC school system continues to fail our students abysmally during the Bloomberg reign. There has been no significant improvement over the last 10 years.
Unfortunately, the media just accepts and parrots the blatantly unsupported Bloomberg propaganda asserting that the schools have improved while state scores and nation test scores directly contradicts him and Chancellor Klein. Using Bloomberg's test score criteria based on the real student test scores and overall educational results as measured nationally and by the state, Bloomberg has failed the students and the city. Therefore, he should resign. This is another typical example of blaming the teacher to distract people from the overall failure of his administration.
Retired teacher and administrator.

Dec. 30 2009 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

Maxine Gold
does that really matter to anyone?

Dec. 30 2009 10:50 AM
Mike from NYC

Exams are not reliable as evaluation of teachers in part because any principals silently encourage cheat on the standardized exams. Cheating includes teaching the content the tests because the tests arrive about a week before it is administered. Teachers who are not willing to do this get the most disruptive students in their classes and must file grievences to get their preferred schedule and opportunities to earn extra money such as paid tutoring sessions.

Dec. 30 2009 10:45 AM
Maxine Gold from Manhattan

Ironically, the male retired teacher who called in a few minutes ago is a terrible representative of the profession. He doesn't know the difference between the adjectives "good" and "bad" and the adverbs "well" and "badly." Reminder: he said some teachers do good and some do bad. No wonder many of the kids come out semi-iterate

Dec. 30 2009 10:44 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

I think the new system of education, which is standardized test intensive, acts as a check on really bad teachers, BUT hinders the really good teachers from innovative teaching. Why not make a super tenure so great teachers can have the freedom to teach without worrying about teaching to the test.

Dec. 30 2009 10:44 AM
Mary Goodbody from Fairfield, Connecticut

My daughter tried to get a teaching job in a public school in Boston or environs and even with a masters from Northwestern and two years experience, she was only able to get a job as an aide. She will try again next year, but is also looking at private schools. She is extraordinarily discouraged, although she wants to work in an urban public system. She has been told that very few schools are hiring next year and that "new" teachers won't get hired.

Dec. 30 2009 10:43 AM
Steve Bloch from Richmond Hill

There's a lot to be said for measuring student achievement, and using those data to figure out what's working and what isn't. But...

Students already have an incentive to cheat on standardized tests. Schools and school districts already have an incentive to help students cheat on standardized tests. Using test data to determine teacher pay and teacher tenure gives every individual teacher a strong incentive to help students cheat on standardized tests (or at the very least, "teach to the test" at the expense of the kinds of education that are hard to put on a standardized test).

Is there ANYBODY in the system who stands to gain personally from standardized tests being given fairly and honestly?

Dec. 30 2009 10:43 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Why do we fool ourselves that the teacher's union cares about anything other their own financial self-interest. Duh, they are a union. This belief that they give adequate consideration to the students is alot of hooey.

Bravo, Bloomberg

Dec. 30 2009 10:40 AM
Kathleen from manhattan

Re: school closure - Did your guest actually say "If" the panel for educational policy approves it?

Does she not know they rubber stamp everything?

Dec. 30 2009 10:38 AM
Susan from Chatham NJ

Teachers get RIF'd for many reasons, and can't subsequently find jobs for some of the same reasons. A budget cut in the arts or languages, for instances, can put teachers in the reserve pool, and if the budgets are not restored there will be no jobs for them to take. It is not a question of incompetence.

Dec. 30 2009 10:38 AM
andy from manhattan

if bloomberg wants to institute linkage to test scores, they really must have measures which actually test teaching, not students' abilities to take tests.

and the tests which are given should not be touted so highly when students are taught how to take tests all year long.

let's get back to a focus on learning.

Dec. 30 2009 10:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.