NYC Mayor Sidesteps Teachers Union

Bloomberg: ‘Students Deserve Effective Teachers’

ChoiceMedia.TV | January 13, 2012

In his eleventh “State of the City” address, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled a series of bold reforms that, he said, do not require the assent of Gotham’s teachers union. “Our 1.1 million school children can’t afford to wait. There is too much at stake,” Bloomberg declared.

The speech placed a heavy emphasis on teacher effectiveness, which the mayor called “the single most important factor in a student’s progress.” To attract “great new teachers,” the city will offer up to $25,000 in student loan repayment for those who finished in the “top tier” of their graduating class. Educators who rate “highly effective” for two consecutive years would then qualify for a $20,000 raise in pay.

If Gotham’s United Federation of Teachers (UFT) balks at his proposed incentives, Bloomberg vowed that he would find “private sector” ways to implement merit pay. He said, “One way or another, we will attract those talented teachers.”

Bloomberg has already found a way to work around the union when it comes to a new teacher evaluation system in 33 of the city’s lowest-achieving schools. “Under a school turnaround program already authorized by federal and state law and consistent with a provision of the existing union contract, the city can form school-based committees to evaluate teachers on merit and replace up to 50 percent of the faculty,” the mayor said.

He added, “Under this process, the best teachers stay; the least effective go. And now, that is exactly what will happen.”

© 2012 ChoiceMedia.TV 

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