Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Chancellor, Little Change

After Mayor Bloomberg’s disastrous appointment of Ms. Black which culminated in a hasty resignation, the newly appointed chancellor offers little hope that he will fight to reverse the destructive efforts of the mayor.

On his first day, former teacher, Dennis Walcott, like the mayor, has already chosen not to advocate for the institution he has been charged with – the New York City public school system. Rather than question the priority of a mayor and governor who have chosen to underfund its public schools and take responsibility for the negative impact of their decision, Mr. Walcott chose to defend budget cuts and shifts blame onto teachers.

When Mr. Walcott described seniority laws as “one of the most crippling policies on the books” he absolves his boss, the mayor and the governor from the supremely negative consequences of their decision to underfund public education, allowing instead, to fund tax breaks for the wealthy.

As reported on abc: In February, UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated

the city already has lost nearly 5,000 teachers to attrition in the last two years and class sizes are “skyrocketing.”

“Given the city’s growing revenues, along with the governor’s clear statement that the state budget should not require local layoffs, the mayor’s insistence on teacher layoffs becomes more and more bizarre,” Mulgrew said Wednesday night in a statement.

He said it was time Bloomberg “joined us in fighting for the children of our city” and stopped focusing on “a bogus strategy to lay teachers off.”

In addition to thwarting ageism that would not be tolerated in any other profession and in many scenarios reprehensible by affirmative action laws, seniority laws were put into place to protect students from losing experienced teachers at the whims of politicians who favor other budget priorities and agendas over adequately funding their public schools.

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