By Jordan Marks
NEW YORK – In 2010 Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a public vow to make it harder for underperforming union members to attain lifelong teaching positions. Bloomberg described it as “ending tenure as we know it.”
This week he made good on that pledge. Dozens of New York City public school teachers who have been recommended for tenure are receiving notices from the city rescinding the offer.
Included in Bloomberg’s new policy is an updated teacher evaluation model wherein teachers are scored on a four-category scale – “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing,” or “ineffective” based on in-class observations and student test scores.
Instead of automatically granting tenure, the city is extending the probationary period for 40 percent of low-scoring teachers waiting for tenure, up from 8 percent in 2010, Gothanschools.org reported.
“The difference is before, tenure was automatic. Now you have to deserve it,” Bloomberg said during a press conference last year.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said he began getting calls from principals last Friday, telling him that superintendents said the decision [to rescind tenure offers] was being made above their heads.
“When tenure decisions start getting made for the political needs of the mayor versus actual job evaluations of the people involved, then the school system is becoming a joke,” Mulgrew said.
When will the UFT start taking responsibility for its member’s shortcomings? Many of the disgruntled teachers who had their tenure offers rescinded come from schools that will not even exist next year due to poor performance.
Three of the city’s public high schools, Automotive High School, John Dewey High School, and Herbert Lehman High School, are set to undergo the overhaul process known as “turnaround” where schools reopen under a different name and with new staff.
That’s happeneing because those schools and their current staffs aren’t getting the job done.
Teachers who are able to maintain a teaching job for the first three years should not be excused from their responsibility to instruct with skill and passion for the following twenty-seven.
Tenure offer rescinded for many New York City teachers
By Jordan Marks