Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Principal Responds to Bloomberg Attack on Teacher Seniority

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says unless teacher seniority rules are changed, the city may have to layoff nearly every teacher hired in the last five years. Speaking at the Christian Cultural Center in Canarsie, Brooklyn on Sunday, the mayor warned that the state budget will probably contain deep cuts, especially to schools. Under state law, the most recently hired teachers must be laid off first, but Bloomberg wants merit taken into account.- NY1 report .

Story in NY Times:

Brian De Vale, Chairman, Council of Supervisors and Administrators, Community School District # 14 

As a practicing Catholic and proud union man I find it despicable that Bloomberg stoops to showing up regularly at Christian churches to speak lies about the Teacher's union. Let him spill that nonsense somewhere other than in the House of God.

With over 20 years experience as both a teacher and principal I have the developed the greatest respect for the teachers who work in my school and District. If teachers do a poor job it is the job of their principals to write them up, get them the proper support and training and if they do not work out: get rid of them through progressive discipline.

It is not half as difficult for a competent principal to get rid of incompetent teachers as the media would have you believe. This entire campaign against teachers, printed in the major media outlets each and every day is part of the anti-union agenda pushed by billionaires like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Bloomberg and others from the billionaire hedge fund sector who want to totally do away with public education in order to eliminate public sector pensions.

They increase Charter schools so public school enrollment declines eliminate tenure so nobody can become a veteran and lobby to keep newly hired, cheaper teachers who usually leave within 5 years. It has nothing to do with children, quality education or anything else. Tenure is necessary and Last in-First Out is the only fair way to protect employees from vindictive, sexist, homophobic and/or racist termination and the very real possibility of political retribution from their employers.

Why do you suppose so few principals venture to speak up? They are afraid! To my young brethren starting out as teachers -We have been where you are, and understand your predicament. The budget situation the City confronts was created by the man managing this City for the past too many years-not your colleagues. I would be sorry to see you lose your jobs, but LIFO is the only fair way to determine layoffs.

[To Educators for Excellence]: Get off your high horses-who said you are "better" teachers anyway? Bill Gates who paid for your organization to get started up? The only way workers will ever overcome the current administration's onslaught against seniority is if ALL Municipal Unions stay united in support of LIFO protections.

Wishing you the Peace of God and the blessing of Unity,

Brian De Vale
Council of Supervisors and Administrators
Community School District # 14
60 Cook Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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