Monday, March 7, 2011

Are School Closing Choices Being Made on Basis of Costs of Teachers?

It certainly would seem to be obvious without even looking at the data. Think of the strategy. End LIFO, go after the ATRs, create lots more relatively senior ATRs by under resourcing schools selected for closing on the basis of teacher costs, create a phony layoff crisis, lay off these people and then turn around and hire lots of newbies after declaring crisis is over- exactly what Michelle Rhee did in DC, but this will be on a massive scale. For the UFT to declare victory after this onslaught will take superb PR skills, but watch them try.

Gotham reported today: The city said it wants to close two more schools, both transfer schools. (NY1Brooklyn Daily Eagle). Here's a job for an enterprising investigative journalist.

One source emailed me:
With the closure of the two transfer schools, announced yesterday, Pacific and Bronx Academy it is pretty clear that the decision to close a school has more to do with the average cost of teachers at that school than anything else. While they cite progress reports and other criteria Pacific had an average teacher salary of 78,000 and Bronx Academy, 76,000. If a correlation could be made between closing and opening schools using average teacher salaries, cost of administration one could predict which schools will be on the chopping block. The info is all on the DOE web site under Budget Summary for each school. The average teacher cost varies a little by license and there are a number of other additions and subtractions to this amount but this measure does seem predictable.
 Are there schools in the same category with lower ratings and lower average salaries that were not closed?


Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

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