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Autonomy Zone – Phhht!

May 17, 2006 pm31 5:05 pm

Due to another (union-related) engagement, I will not be able to see Eric Nadelstern address this evening's UFT Delegate Assembly. Pity.  I would like to report back in detail how he's spinning the Autonomy Zone.

But this much I already know: Nadelstern and the DoE are putting out a pile of vague information about this beast.  I would far rather read the details than listen to some slick presentation. 

I hope all the delegates are as suspicious as I am.

If you are there, let us know how he spins the thing. 

And here's what I wrote about the Autonomy Zone last weekend.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2006 am31 12:21 am 12:21 am


    I wish I had as much confidence as you do about our union reps, but I don’t.

    Further, I wish I had read your comments before I responded on Edwiz.

  2. May 18, 2006 am31 5:25 am 5:25 am

    I can’t find your comment on edwize. Where was it?

    On the Autonomy Zone, I expect a wide range of reactions. I would predict that the skeptical opinion prevailed, but there is no need to predict. We can speak with people who were there.

  3. May 21, 2006 am31 1:46 am 1:46 am

    So I e-mailed a few people to learn what transpired at the DA. Here are snippets of the responses I got (multiple correspondents):

    "Nadelstern did speak, after a fellow by the name of Leibman, who is the DOA's director of their new accounatability…"

    "Essentially [Nadelstern] was selling the new "Empowerment School" plan in which principals, in consultation with staffs, set multi-year goals for their schools and are evaluated based on whether or not they achieve those goals. … the evaluation criteria would be much more sensitive… a school might be judged based on whether or not it has met its goal of moving a certain percentage of Level 1 students to Level 2. He did not mention… the possibility that principals who fail to meet these goals might be fired, or that schools …could be shut down or reorganized."

    "…he spoke in favor of chapter leaders urging the rank and file to participate in the new autonomy zones… lot's of cliches about teacher "empowerment" and so forth."

    My correspondents did not agree over what happened next:

    "The DA voted not to have a question period on that topic because … it was after 5:30… Randi said people could email questions to her or to Mike Mendel. She said that she had invited the two DOE speakers to our DA because she said they were presenting a version of this program that is different from what many principals are telling chapter leaders. "

    "As for the reception among those present, perhaps it was me, but I felt a sense of deflation and confusion in the body. They certainly did not respond with enthusiasm. Randi then manipulated a close vote over whether to open the floor to questions put directly to them. She clearly did not want that to happen."

    "Randi asked if people wanted to ask questions and they voted "NO" about 60-40. She was surprised and sort of embarrassed and took the vote again and it still came up "NO."

    Other views may yet arrive. I will share them if and when they do.


  1. Nothing became Nadelstern in the DoE as his leaving it « JD2718

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