Thursday, January 29, 2015
By Beth Fertig
Monday, July 14, 2014
By Gwynne Hogan
A Supreme Court ruling could have devastating implications for the children of New York City public school teachers recruited from abroad.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Late last week Mayor de Blasio announced several new municipal workers contracts, including a big new deal with the United Federation of Teachers. Richard Steier, editor and columnist for the Chief-Leader and author of Enough Blame to Go Around: The Labor Pains of New York City's Public Employee Unions, discusses the politics and policy of the contract -- and what it means for other unions.
Monday, May 05, 2014
Nancy Biberman, president and founder of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, discusses the de Blasio affordable housing plan, being rolled out today.
Friday, May 02, 2014
Bill de Blasio says that the new teacher contract will "deepen the relationship between parents and teachers." On the Brian Lehrer Show, the mayor said he was convinced the deal would be ratified, but remained "broad on purpose" when pressed for details about how municipal worker health care plans would change.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
By Stephen Nessen : Reporter, WNYC News
Over-crowding in New York City public school classrooms for first, second and third graders is at a 14-year high according to The United Federation of Teachers. The union also claims 6,313 classrooms are over capacity for all grades city-wide, which is 200 more than last year.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By Anna Sale
For the candidates, union backing can be an important seal of approval on their policies, and for the unions with the mobilization muscle, an important turnout machine.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
By Beth Fertig
The city's largest labor union is slated to make an endorsement in the mayoral race on Wednesday, after members of the United Federation of Teachers meet to consider the Democratic candidates who have been seeking the UFT stamp of approval.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Beth Fertig
City teachers are considering the candidates before their union makes an endorsement in the mayoral race next month. At a delegates meeting, several said they hope the union backs someone who strongly supports labor, and gives teachers more respect than they feel they get from the current administration.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Many New York City school bus routes were shuttered today as drivers went on strike. Schoolbook reporters Beth Fertig and Yasmeen Khan update the latest. Then, Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, discusses how the city should approach negotiations with the union and the bus companies.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
According to the annual survey of class size conducted by the teachers' union, there were 670 schools with overcrowded general education classes in the city in the first weeks of school, up from 660 last year. The number of overcrowded special education classes more than doubled.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
By Yasmeen Khan
Education officials say they will not make personnel decisions at 24 schools scheduled to be closed and reopened this summer, until a court hearing next week. Unions representing the city's teachers and principals claim that the city's plan to replace staff members at the schools violates their contracts, and they are seeking a restraining order so an arbitrator can have time to rule on their complaints.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
An education advocate writes: Teacher quality is like baseball and apple pie. All of us who care about education reform can embrace it -- in principle. But how we measure and strengthen it is where consensus quickly falls apart. One idea that rarely comes up in the discussion: Why not include parents in the evaluation process?
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
In the long-simmering debate over how to judge the quality of New York State school employees, there is one thing all sides agree on: a system should be in place. The sticking point has been agreeing about how to do it.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
By WNYC's Brain Zumhagen
Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to defend his plan to deny school districts additional state funding unless they put in place a method for evaluating teachers.
Speaking to reporters in Yonkers, the governor pointed out that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has already threatened to withhold $1 billion in combined Race to the Top and other federal dollars from New York unless the evaluations are established. Cuomo said he can understand that teachers' unions have concerns about the evaluation system.
"I also understand that the students deserve it," the governor added. "The state said they were going to do it two years ago. The unions said they were going to do it two years ago. They haven't done it."
"The state can't afford to lose $1 billion in federal funds," Cuomo said.
The governor was in Yonkers Wednesday to present his budget plan to an audience of city officials and local high school students.
Meanwhile in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that he remains optimistic that his administration can reach a deal on evaluations with the United Federation of Teachers.
A spokesman for the UTF said the union's president, Michael Mulgrew, hopes the governor's comments will spur Mayor Bloomberg to return to the bargaining table.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg’s office released another salvo in its teacher performance battle yesterday, when it announced more than a third of eligible teachers this year had not receive tenure thanks to its stricter policy. The tougher standards were announced by the mayor back in 2010, as a move away from the near-universal tenure approval teachers have received in the past, according to the mayor’s office. During the 2006-7 school year 95 percent of teachers eligible for tenure received. This year the number of teachers receiving tenure was down to 58 percent.
“Our schools really embraced the idea that lifetime tenure should be an honor reserved for our most effective teachers, not granted by default,” schools chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement. “I am confident this system will benefit both our teachers, through regular feedback and opportunities to improve, and our kids, who all deserve a high-quality teacher in the classroom.”
The Manhattan Institute’s education expert Marcus Winters called the announcement a “very large step forward” for education reform in New York City. “Tenure’s been given as a rubber stamp,” he said. “This shows a real movement in the right direction.”
Teachers are eligible for tenure after three years on the job. A large number of those eligible this year—39 percent—had the decision on tenure tabled. Winters saw this as an encouraging sign. “Just because a teacher hasn’t shown themselves worthy in the first three years doesn’t mean they’re not going to eventually. Drawing out that process over a long period of time makes a lot of sense.”
David Bloomfield, an education professor with CUNY, insisted the announcement was little more than smoke and mirrors. He pointed to the fact that only a fraction of teacher’s were actually flat-out denied tenure, which to him indicated the overall action to be an essentially low-stakes political maneuver.
“All that is not to say that denials or extensions are a bad thing, it's just that the Mayor's announcement is more sizzle than steak,” Bloomfield said in an email. He said the tenure argument doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is retaining high-quality teachers. He pointed to the teachers passed up for tenure and noted that no reason is given as to why they were passed up.
The United Federation of Teachers secretary Michael Mendel referenced the letter from UFT to DOE below, calling into question the methodology of applied by the Department of Education. "We have serious questions about how the DOE reached these conclusions and concerns that they failed to base these decisions on pedagogy or job performance,” Mendel said in a statement.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
By Beth Fertig
A state judge has given the city the green light to close 22 failing schools, and let 15 charter schools share space with regular schools when he declined to grant an injunction requested by the teachers union and the NAACP.
Friday, June 03, 2011
By Beth Fertig
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said as many as 70,000 students could be in limbo about what schools they'll attend this fall because of a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and the teachers union.