NYCDOE – C30: Why bother?
C-30 is the process by which principals and assistant principals are permanently appointed to schools. The process involves parent, teacher, school staff, administrator union, and Department of Education (through Region, District etc) personnel. (Before a principal or assistant principal is permanently appointed, the DoE often appoints an Interim Acting (IA) principal or assistant principal.)
I don’t know how long C-30 has been around (15 years?) or when it changed (3 years ago) but the change was dramatic.
The part of the C-30 that most of us hear about is the Level I Committee. The Level I includes representatives of all the different groups mentioned above, including two UFTers. It interviews the candidates. I have served on 5 (or is it 6) Level I’s. And with the changed regulations, they have become a waste of teachers’ time.
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Under the old C-30 regulation, the level I committee would look through resumes and choose which to interview. Then the committee would interview several candidates, and forward recommendations to the appropriate Superintendant, who had the final decision.
Under the new C-30, the Superintendant chooses the candidates to be interviewed, the Level I Committee interviews, and then it is up to the Superintendant whether or not to pay attention to the results of the interview.
In practical terms, the Level I Committee never could actually choose the principal, but it could eliminate unacceptable candidates. And sometimes, it did. Now the ability to eliminate candidates is gone. The Level I Committee has been reduced to window-dressing. I know of one Level that unanimously, except the superintendant’s designee, recommended one candidate and rejected the Interim Acting. The Superintendant ignored the committee and appointed the IA.
Even when the process was open, the jobs usually just went to the Interim Acting. In all the Level I’s I’ve been on, only one was for a genuinely open position, and even then we knew who the successful candidate would be in advance; the principal’s choice for APO was widely known. In another case, what should have been a hotly contested process turned to a joke when one of the candidates had charges preferred against him, and left the system in a rush. I have always wondered about those circumstances.
So, in the past the C-30 had limited power, sort of a veto. And now it has no power at all. What should we do? I like the idea that teachers have some control over administrative hiring. I would hate to give up on the concept. But now we do not have that control. If anything, by participating in C-30′s we give collaborative window-dressing to an autocratic process.
As individuals, we would be fools to say we won’t play ball. A C-30 comes up in your school tomorrow, you have to put people on there. But as a union should we say, “We want to be involved in the hiring process, but we won’t waste our members’ time unless we have some real input”? or “We don’t think it is a productive use of our members’ time to serve on C-30′s under the current regulations. We would like to ask our members to serve, but the regulation will need to be revised for that to resume”?