Bill de Blasio

Mayor de Blasio's Plan to Fix the Schools: Humiliate All the Teachers. Fire None of Them.

A union-led plan to help struggling schools treats teachers like cattle.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio |||Photographer/Mayoral Photography Office
Photographer/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has an inspired plan to turnaround New York City's failing schools: First, humiliate all the teachers by making them publicly plead for their jobs before a union-run committee. Then keep them all on the payroll even if the committee decides they should be fired.

This plan is being tried at Boys and Girls High and Automotive High, two of the lowest-performing schools in New York City. All 130 professional staffers at these schools were required to reapply for their jobs at the end of the school year, no matter their track records. I'm sure the hardest-working and most talented staffers—and yes, even the worst schools have great teachers—appreciated being treated just the same as their underperforming colleagues.

If it were up to the principals to decide who goes or stays, they conceivably could have managed such a demoralizing dictate by firing the worst teachers with dignity and giving their talented staffers a perfunctory vote of approval. Not under the mayor's plan. That's because it's designed to give maximum control to the teachers' union. Every single teacher and administrator at Boys and Girls and Automotive High schools had to go through the humiliation of begging for their jobs before a 12-person board that included two parents and no less than six representatives from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

"The more collaborative the efforts to improve these schools, the more likely it is that they will be successful," the UFT's general counsel, Adam Ross, told Capital New York, demonstrating how little he knows about what's likely to a make a school successful.

Of the 106 professionals at the two schools who submitted to appearing before the committee, 39 were allowed to keep their jobs.

So what will happen to the remaining 67? Since most of them have tenure, the city will first encourage them to apply for jobs at other New York City public schools. If they can't find principals that will take them, they'll enter what's called the Absent Teacher Reserve pool, meaning next year they'll sit at home doing nothing while still drawing a salary and benefits.

Here's an alternative approach that would actually improve schools while treating even lousy teachers with dignity: Put talented principals in charge of schools, give them a lot of leeway to run things, and then hold them accountable for what happens.

For an example of how this idea works, watch a recent Reason TV video I wrote and produced, "How to End Poverty in the South Bronx:"

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  1. Tony Soprano approves.

  2. I wonder what the 39 had to do for the union mobsters in order to keep their jobs?

    1. Attend struggle sessions ratting out the other 67.

    2. They had to show up, nod at the union rep who was their cousin, significant other, secret lover, or who they had something on, and get their blessing.

      I doubt anyone was surprised at the approved list, given that the fix was in.

      1. And the rest go to the rubber rooms. Good ok’d democrats.

  3. And the ones that didn’t make the cut can apply at other schools. What, is this the Catholic church?

    1. I believe this is a record.

      Not oly is Almighty 1st. he is also 2nd and 3rd.

      Even the squirrels can’t top that.

      1. First of all, weekend threads don’t count, nor do non-links threads. Secondly, Fist has had like the first 7 comments on a PM Links thread before.

  4. A have to ask, what criteria did the AFT representatives use to decide which teachers were good?

    Would a non-union panel have made the same decisions?

    1. I mean, I can kind of see how the Mayor is trying to get union collaboration in fixing the schools – kind of hair of the dog, asking the group which helped create the bad situation to find a way out of it.

      So maybe the AFT is on its best behavior and actually weeds out the bad apples.

      I’d feel more confident if they simply applied criteria like student progress at the hands of the teacher, measured by what at least in NY would pass for an objective test.

      1. Except they just replant the weeds somewhere else instead of composting them.

      2. Helping to ‘weed out’ bad teacher would violate the union’s obligation to it’s members.

  5. Typical New York politician; make a lot of noise, churn a lot of action, and accomplish bupkis.

    Bets on this idiot running for President in a cycle or so? He’d fit right in.

    1. I’d say it’s a certainty.

      1. Bernie Sanders appears to have, or once have had, SOME decent ideas. Like ownership of guns.

        THIS jerk? Haven’t heard anything yet….

        1. In the last couple of months Bernie said that anyone who claims that he was anything other than an ardent gun grabber is flat out lying about him.

  6. This plan is being tried at Boys and Girls High and Automotive High

    , but *not* at More Science High or Communist Martyrs High?!

  7. I ahve fired a few people,some fofr not doing their job and a couple for theft.Dignity was never in my mind.I didn’t yell or scream,but,made it clear they were not welcome in my business. Slackers on the government payroll have no dignity.,they are tax thieves.Pack your crap and get out is all that needs to be said.

  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0waOz8RYxFE

    Shitty quality, but Waiting for Superman had a great segment on this very problem.

    1. According to them, the teacher rubber rooms where they wait while getting paid cost the state of New York $100,000,000 a year.

  9. “they’ll sit at home doing nothing while still drawing a salary and benefits.”

    Will the salary and benefits be on par with that which they are currently drawing for full employment? If so, that seems a touch counter-intuitive in regards to having an incentive to improve their job performance.

    1. Improve their job performance? That was sarcasm, right?

  10. “”The more collaborative the efforts to improve these schools, the more likely it is that they will be successful,””

    Yeah, it’s like the old adage says – nothing bad ever came out of a committee.

    1. I can’t recall who said it, but: “I can think of no greater insult than ‘He’s a good committee man’.”

      1. I’ve been called a good committee man, but that’s because I make the meetings rare and short.

        1. I keep the meetings non existent. Send an email.

  11. The simplest first step is to summarily fire the worst 10 percent. I used to teach AP Physics and I guarantee you, everybody knows who they are. I am not talking about the marginal or eh teachers. If you have a survey to all teachers and graduating seniors to say who were the worst 5-10 percent, they would all write the same names.

    1. Searching for valid opinions on students’ teacher evaluations is like panning for gold in your toilet.

      Especially in HS, the best scores always go to the teachers who let the kids get easy A’s and don’t make them actually, you know, learn anything.

      1. “Especially in HS, the best scores always go to the teachers who let the kids get easy A’s and don’t make them actually, you know, learn anything.”

        Pretty sure you just told us more about *you* than HS students.

        1. Tulpa (LAOL-OH)

          This tells us everything we need to know about him.

        2. No. The most respected teachers were the ones who actually didn’t waste your time. No one likes having their time wasted by some hack.

      2. Just tell the story. What did you teach, and what happened?

        1. I think we now know why he didn’t get tenure…poor student evaluations.

  12. “Automotive High…. [one of the] lowest-performing schools in New York City”

    No shit? I used to live right near there. Its right in Wburg, @ McCarren Park between Northside and Greenpoint.

    It was odd. I almost never saw any kids there. (to be fair, most of the time i was working) And the ones i saw didn’t look like they lived in the neighborhood. Mostly black and hispanic kids, and the area is mostly polish and italian (*and hipster)

    I guess it was a vocational school that kids got sent to from other areas? that would make more sense.

    They certainly had an awesome campus location = right next to the largest park in North Brooklyn. More recreational space than almost anyone in the city.

    If they shut the place down and sold it to some private school? Yeah, property values, already sky-high? would just be booster-rocketed into the pluto.

    1. I went to South Shore. Boys and Girls was notorious.

      I never heard of Automotive High – it sounds like a joke name..
      For the heck of it I just googled Brooklyn high schools, and there’s actually a school now called High School for Civil Rights near where I used to live. Also saw one called It Takes a Village Academy, and another called Multicultural High School. And OMG Rachel Carson High School. Jesus.

      1. It Takes a Village Academy

        Wait…what?!

      2. If the problem of underperforming schools isn’t utterly obvious at this point, we’re doomed.

        1. I know idiot progs who actually believe that the problem is schools being heavily underfunded.

    2. Automotive High’s website has comments!

      Pauly Talbot ?

      The sad truth is that lafatgola is allowed to stay because the DOE has its own plan for this school building…. It’s something they would never speak of publicly, but their true intentions are not to turn the school around but to compile a paper trail of consistent failure wrought with their feeble attempts to correct the situation….. This in turn will allow them to shutter the school with plenty of evidence to support their decision…. The school has become a valuable piece of property in a now fully gentrified neighborhood….. The schools demographics are as follows:
      98% minority
      90% male
      The newly settled citizens of Williamsburg have made it known that they don’t want the minority students of automotive hs walking the streets of “their” neighborhood…. They have convinced the politicians that automotive hs should be theirs to do with what they want…. Perhaps a new school for the children of the hipsters…. What’s the point?

      1. cont…

        The point is this…. The mayor and the dolts that attempt to run the DOE, do not care about the children that are currently attending automotive….. There may be bigoted but they are not entirely brainless…. Why would they hire a better principal when the one they installed is doing exactly what they want…. Why would they risk replacing her with someone who may improve the situation?
        It would set them back and they are oh so close to their goal….. The school will soon be available to the children of Williamsburg and lafatgola will probably be promoted…. That’s how it’s done within the countries worst school system

        1. Neighborhood schools are racist.

          1. Progressive hipsters are.

      2. Well Pauly Talbot probably isn’t a rocket scientist but like most people in brooklyn, he knows wht side the bread is buttered on.

        Like i said above = its fucking obvious that place is a fucking GOLDMINE.

        The building is sitting in the middle of the fastest growing area of NYC, and property values have been exponential since i moved in. You could have bought a pre-war building in 2000 for $200,000, and sell it in 2008 for $2-3m. Just so they could knock it down and build a $50m condo.

        You tell me if you think its a complete coincidence that the “worst performing school” in NYC happens to be in this boom-town

        I lived there for 13 years. I can assure you, the plot to get this school “labeled a problem” and eventually shuttered & flipped to a Charter probably started around 2003. And it will be done, i promise you. Because there’s too much money to be made.

        1. Nah, De Blasio is doing this for the children.

        2. Heaven knows I can’t afford to live anywhere in that area. Or anywhere north of about Sunset Park, for that matter.

  13. If they can’t find principals that will take them, they’ll enter what’s called the Absent Teacher Reserve pool, meaning next year they’ll sit at home doing nothing while still drawing a salary and benefits.

    So there is an incentive to be incompetent and everyone knowing about it.

  14. Step 1) Break the teacher unions (and begin prosecutions for the leaders)

    Step 2) Fire all the teachers

    Step 3) Eliminate tenure

    Step 4) Make vouchers freely available

    Step 5) For those public schools that reopen, force them to compete financially and academically with private schools for their continued existence

  15. Alt text: “My dick is soooooooo hard right now. You should have seen how they groveled!”

  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV8UZk-Yvy4

    The proper ways to wear a hijab for the degraded harlot on the go. Don’t mock – if women don’t wear the hijab, according to the man in the video, they’ll probably be raped.

    I also don’t think his history of the hijab (where it came into being because women needed to stop themselves from being raped when they went to the toilet) is entirely accurate.

    This is why there is no longer any rape in the Middle East and everything is great for women.

    1. He’s just trying to help! Considering Islam sanctions rape of infidels, he just doesn’t want any Muslim women to be mistaken as Western devils.

  17. This process is perfectly designed to hammer down the protruding nails. Not get rid of the bad teachers, but either intimidate or get rid of the teachers who don’t go along to get along.

    And that’s no accident.

  18. “…If they can’t find principals that will take them, they’ll enter what’s called the Absent Teacher Reserve pool, meaning next year they’ll sit at home doing nothing while still drawing a salary and benefits….”

    As a society, we certainly wish to encourage productive behavior, no?

  19. Obesity-Plagued City Gives Residents Free Bus Passes If They Do 10 Squats

    FAT SHAMING!!!!. The funny thing is takepart.com is normally very sensitive to this type of thing. Not this time though:

    The machines are needed. A staggering 70 percent of adults and 30 percent of kids in Mexico are overweight or obese, making it one of the fattest nations on the planet. If the country doesn’t get on a healthy path, it’s estimated that only about 12 percent of men and 9 percent of women in Mexico will be a normal weight in 2050.

    If some city tried to implement this in the US, my understanding, based on equality arguments used for same-sex marriage, is that this would a violation of the 14th amendment.

    1. Great, not only are we importing rapists and murderers but now we’re getting fatasses too. Hooray for open boarders!

      1. Isn’t it the other way around? Mexico’s got massive obesity rates because only the fitter residents can actually pull off the cross-border trip.

        Also, thank you for your endorsement of Trump. I was wondering what kind of republican would actually support him, and I now have an answer.

        1. I seem to have missed the part of my comment where I either endorsed Trump or insinuated that everyone crossing the border is a violent criminal as he did.

          Mexico’s got massive obesity rates because only the fitter residents can actually pull off the cross-border trip.

          3500 calories a pound, friend. That’s a lot more likely to help get you across the border than hinder it.

    2. Welcome to Wartyville.

      Of course the real Wartyville would require 100 squats, 100 deadlifts, and a quarter-ton bench press just to get inside the city limits. There it would be every anus for itself.

    3. transit riders just have to step onto the machine’s platform and then squat 10 times. The contraption is equipped with a motion sensor so it knows when people hop on and whether they performed the exercises. Once they’ve finished, the device gives squatters a receipt that can be exchanged for transportation fare or a package of prophylactics.

      And if they *don’t* finish, the device calls an Emergency Response Team.

      1. I don’t think the average person realizes how many calories there are in a single tortilla. When you have several with every meal, and all your beverage options have very high sugar content, it’s easy to see how the obesity can be commonplace. Carbs, carbs, carbs….

        It’s not like some of the usual ‘experts’ have suggested, that there are now McDonalds in Mexico……

        1. Yup. I gained a lot of weight when I lived in Denver and discovered sweet sweet Mexican food.

          1. Ayn Random Variation knows of what he speaks.

      2. “..a receipt that can be exchanged for transportation fare or a package of prophylactics.”

        Wait, what?? 10 squats for free rubbers? The War on Womenz crew in America would bust a tit over this.

        1. I wonder if they advance you the rubbers so you can use them during your squats?

        2. ..a receipt that can be exchanged for … a package of prophylactics.

          Wait, what? They’re encouraging their healthy people to limit procreation? Is there a national Darwin Award?

  20. Centralized decision-making? Check.

    Treat everyone like cattle? Check.

    Massively expensive and inefficient? Check.

    Poor results? Check.

    Ladies and gentlemen and others, I give you modern progressivism.

    1. Papaya,
      Did you read Nevius’ ‘solution’ for the homeless?
      Simple: In effect, give ’em each a condo for free! What a thinker!

      1. San Francisco spends about $200 million a year on the homeless. We keep feeding them and then wonder why they won’t go away.

      2. Condos are cheap in SF, right?

        1. I would think that if all b.s. environmental and ancient building codes were stripped away, it would be easy to build plain no frills condos in S.F. But the progs would never allow such so easier to feed the pigeons and lament that more and more keep roosting there.

          1. Maybe they should build something like Japanese tube hotels for the homeless.

            1. “Maybe they should build something like Japanese tube hotels for the homeless.”

              Nevius seemed to be saying there was no lack of beds available, but the bums didn’t find them to their liking.
              So he proposes private areas where they can take their pets and spouses/partners; if that’s not suggesting condos, I don’t know what else it might be.

              1. San Francisco: Where beggars can be choosers.

              2. From what I’ve read, most of the homeless you see on the street choose to live that way.

                1. Yes, and I work in an ER in the Bay Area, and we see such types every day, despite some trying to say it’s a ‘myth’. The reason is, no matter where you might get an ‘indoor’ place to stay, there will be rules attached, and these individuals don’t want the rules — like ‘you can’t shoot heroin, no liquor onsite, doors close at midnight, you have to make your bed every morning, etc, etc, etc.’

                  Much easier to hang out in informal ‘camps’ where the bottles get passed around and nobody ever bothers you, you come and go as you please, and there is no responsibility.

                  1. I tried to explain this to a fellow Berkeleyite 20 years ago, but he wouldn’t buy it. He was convinced all of Berkeley’s homeless were victims of economics.

                    1. Oh, by the way Papaya, congrats on getting “honorable mention” on the H&R weekly wordplay contest. I thought yours was quite good.

  21. Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Fix the Schools: Humiliate All the Teachers. Fire None of Them.

    Er, the ones who didn’t have tenure and weren’t allowed to keep their jobs at the underperforming school were presumably fired.

    1. Yes, indeed, the handful of new teachers who don’t have tenure may or may not have been fired, if nobody else took them as a transfer. So, this entire exercise in enforcing submission and conformity might have led to one or two newbies who don’t know to play the game losing their jobs.

      And your point?

      1. My point is that the headline is wrong. And it is.

        1. We don’t know that, until we know whether any non-tenured teachers were picked up by another school.

          1. Unless ALL of them were picked up by other schools, the headline is incorrect.

            I know it may seem like an insignificant difference in words but it ain’t.

        2. The author of the article was very clear that they (most of them) didn’t get fired: “So what will happen to the remaining 67? Since most of them have tenure, the city will first encourage them to apply for jobs at other New York City public schools. If they can’t find principals that will take them, they’ll enter what’s called the Absent Teacher Reserve pool, meaning next year they’ll sit at home doing nothing while still drawing a salary and benefits.”

          So, most of them didn’t get fired and they’re sitting home collecting their pay and benefits. They are in the “Absent Teacher Reserve Pool.”

          1. So tulpa is full of shit one more time? Amazing!

          2. “most of them didn’t get fired” means that some of them got fired, and the headline is incorrect. Keep trying.

  22. OT: Kind of similar but I have a friend who is part of the leadership in the SEIU and he’s losing his fucking mind over Rauner. It’s pretty fun to watch. Anyway, I think Governor Rauner is a piece of shit but one of the most pleasantly surprising things about Rauner is his ability to not give a fuck. The budget for Illinois is waaaaay over due but Rauner refuses to sign off on anything until his stuff is accepted like taking away collective bargaining for the public sector union and other reforms. The Democatic dominated Illinois legislature are losing their minds because for years they have gotten what they wanted and the public sector unions are gnashing their teeth because since the 70’s they have been used to Governors giving them blowjobs.

    Now my friend goes between posting stuff about Bernie Sanders figthing for the middle class and moving out of the state because evil ol’Rauner is there to fuck him and his ilk over. I personally don’t think Rauner can get any of his stuff passed but it’s still great that for once someone is telling the SEIU to go and fuck themselves.

    1. Can the legislature override his vetoes?

      1. Yes, but then they can’t blame the Guv when we end up with a bond rating just about the same as Haiti’s.

    2. Bernie Sanders figthing for the middle class

      I’ve seen plenty of lefties saying this now. What does this entail? Tax the rich and more free shit?

      1. What does this entail? Tax the rich and more free shit?

        If I’m not mistaken, this is basically the tax plan that Hillary just announced as part of her presidential campaign.

      2. According to progressives there are three classes, undocumented, welfare recipients, and taxpayers. So Saunders is for the middle of those classes.

  23. You’d think they’d dispose of deadwood with…

    [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

    a woodchipper.

    1. Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!

  24. Well, residents of NYC, you elected this avowed socialist.

    Here’s how socialism works:

    1. Elect me and I’ll give you free stuff, lots of it! The free stuff will never end and no one has to pay for it!

    2. Thanks for electing me, I’m going to increase taxes on the evil rich so I can give you more free stuff. Sounds great, right? Oh shut up, middle class, you need to pay your fair share too.

    3. We’re out of money, sorry peasants, time for some austerity! For you that is, not for me, I’m doing great, never better!

    1. Less than 20% of the residents of NYC voted for the guy.

      1. For pete’s sake, do you think this adds anything to the discussion other than the confirmation that tulpa is is fucking asshole who should be ignored?
        Go pester students who properly hate you; fuck off.

        1. It’s intended to corral the commentariat into intellectual honesty.

          There are some assumptions behind that intent that may not be satisfied around here, I’ll admit.

        2. i.e. when your reaction to being corrected for a material error in your comments is to attack the person correcting, you really need to question your own intellectual honesty.

  25. So when will deBlasio advocate that the city change its name? Being named after a slave-trading Imperialist one-percenter is so Un-PC.

  26. OT: National Review interviews a former Planned Parenthood employee

    “Getting rid of a baby conceived at the wrong time, killing it, doesn’t bring freedom to anyone. But there is money to be made from doing so, and that’s Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. Many still within the industry truly believe they are helping women. They are living with scales on their eyes, like I did. Things like this recent scandal may be what will help remove some of the scales, and make both workers and potential or past clients question the true motives….

    “There are atheists who believe abortion is wrong. One does not have to be a believer in God to understand human dignity, and to realize that a beating heart indicates life, and life is to be honored. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” in that order.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..ce=twitter

  27. That simple video was so inspirational. I wish I could go there and volunteer every day. Did you see that guy telling the little boy to go get an apple?

  28. it’s estimated that only about 12 percent of men and 9 percent of women in Mexico will be a normal weight in 2050.

    Methinks someone doesn’t know the meaning of “normal”.

  29. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  30. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  31. This is both sad and a little humorous. Nobody gets fired. They just get to sit home and get paid. Can’t help thinking that deBasio and the city deserve whatever they get.

  32. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

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