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We are five months into the school year with the same old tactics being used to further break the spirit of your average classroom teacher. City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have broken the school system even more than it was already broken. I do not think it can be fixed if the current administration stays in place.
Klein, with limited educational experience, has transformed our public schools essentially into a business. Students are nothing more than numbers. Principals constantly want to know how many 3’s, 4’s, etc., are in a teacher’s class. That is the bottom line. Nothing else about your child matters. That is why there is incessant test preparation under Klein’s tenure.
In addition, principals now have control over their budgets, which means they want nothing more than to eliminate the highest paid — and most experienced — teachers in their buildings. Some principals devise tactics to make those teachers miserable. Principals also do this regularly to teachers in general, creating a stressful situation and low morale in the school building.
Is this how we want those in charge of a school building spending their day? This is not good for our children, who spend a big part of their day with their teachers. They are feeling stressed, believe it or not. Teachers are leaving the city school system in droves. What Klein and Bloomberg have created is a school system with an extremely high turnover rate for our teachers. This is tragic for city students. You may have people coming and going in any other job, but you cannot have that in a school building.
Different teachers from year to year create a stressful atmosphere for students, parents and school administration. Unfortunately, that is what this administration wants: low−paid new teachers who work in the city for a year or two and move on, usually for Long Island. And anyone who knows anything about teaching is that it takes years for a teacher to become really good.
Parents: Speak up, but not to the principals, assistant principals and teachers. Your complaints will go nowhere. Their hands are tied. In Bloomberg and Klein’s effort to purge city schools of bad teachers, they are eliminating the good ones. We need to take back our schools from people who had no business in running them in the first place.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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