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NYCDOE – C30: Why bother?

January 14, 2007 pm31 10:34 pm

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.

(more below the fold) —->

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”?

17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2007 am31 12:12 am 12:12 am

    I only served on a C-30 once, but it was more than enough. I spent hours reading resumes and a full night interviewing candidates. Many of the candidates did not even show up because we were reading resumes that had been submitted for an AP job that had been available a year earlier and those called were no longer interested. The principal really worked the crowd. She had the parents at the meeting eating out of her hand. There was no way any of them would ever have voted against her choice, which she made loud and clear. I asked her during a break to explain how the final pick was actually made. When she explained it I looked at her and said “then what we are doing here is absolutely useless and a waste of time.” I then walked out. She sent one of her “friends” to follow me out and admonish me for my comment.

    Teachers have had no power at C-30’s for years.

  2. January 15, 2007 am31 1:01 am 1:01 am

    I’ve personally wasted several long evenings on these. (The Level I Committees used to meet more than one night).

    I would be willing to support keeping them if they had the potential to occasionally have some power – that’s asking for very little.

    But as they stand they have none whatsoever, and only serve to waste teachers’ time and to give the illusion of teacher participation in selecting principals.

  3. January 15, 2007 am31 2:13 am 2:13 am

    Sitting on this commitee was the beginning of my becoming a POd teacher.

  4. January 15, 2007 am31 3:23 am 3:23 am

    I hit your first issue, huh?

    I was always pro-union, but this stands out: I am elected to the Consultative Committee in my previous, very large high school. I am delighted to be there, though I quickly get frustrated by some of the discussions.

    A couple months in during a particularly contentious discussion, I start counting. Something like 6 out of 12 on the committee held comp time positions. Only 3 had full teaching loads. At least 3 had relationships with the principal outside of school (neighbors, kids went to school together, same schul, not Region 4 – style).

    I remember that I stopped discussing and just looked around the table and counted and counted and counted, and I knew that there was a big, big problem.


  5. Anonymous permalink
    March 8, 2007 am31 3:57 am 3:57 am

    humm….. Then imagine how the candidates feel

  6. March 8, 2007 am31 4:27 am 4:27 am

    Probably awful. But I am a UFT Chapter leader. It is my job to watch out for my members’ rights. As an activist, I am concerned about the rights of teachers beyond my school. Promising that teachers will sit on what are essentially meaningless committees is abusive of those teachers.

    And AP candidates? I feel a bit sorry, but not too much. I can think of very few good reasons nowadays for someone to pursue one of these.

    • Boomba permalink
      April 26, 2012 am30 7:00 am 7:00 am

      If there is an interim ap does that mean that the position in already occupied even before the interviews? If so what is the point

  7. joy lipkin permalink
    April 16, 2007 am30 12:28 am 12:28 am

    Can anyone inform me of what my rights are as far as taking, rather in my case,choosing not to take my class on a trip? It’s to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and I hav e as 12:1:1 early childhood class. I feel that it’s too open,and there’s a very large potential for danger. What can I do? Help! Thanks,bulldog

  8. JBL permalink
    April 16, 2007 pm30 7:29 pm 7:29 pm

    I don’t know what “12:1:1 early childhood class” means, but I do have a fair amount of experience with the BBG — the only plausible danger there is to someone who jumps into one of the ponds. It’s not terribly large and there are not many access points.

    Anyhow, best of luck either way.

  9. April 17, 2007 pm30 3:39 pm 3:39 pm

    12:1:1 is students:teacher:aide, and Joy is concerned. For stuff like that, start with your chapter leader.

  10. December 16, 2012 am31 9:04 am 9:04 am

    While I empathize with many of your concerns about teachers having little real power to choose a principal, I feel that selecting an AP is quite a different thing. The relationship between a principal and her/his AP has to be extremely solid and mutually respectful. It is very damaging to the school when these two people send mixed messages, don’t communicate well, vie for power, or even worse, flat-out do not get along. Sorry to say, but in what other profession do employees tell the boss who to pick for their own right-hand person? If your principal is pushing for a potential AP who is unpopular, then the principal probably is, too, and you should consider finding a school to work at that better matches your philosophy.

    • December 16, 2012 am31 9:26 am 9:26 am

      You’ve misunderstood. In the past the hiring committee, the C-30, had limited power. It essentially could do nothing more than veto an entirely unacceptable candidate. But that limited power has been taken away. Under these circumstances, and this was my point, I don’t know that we should be serving on those committees.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    June 2, 2015 am30 11:28 am 11:28 am

    The C-30 process should be done away it. it is a total SHAM. The entire selection process of an AP/Principals needs to be revamped, especially using the INTERIM ACTING tag. It seems like 99.99% of of APs acquire their positions via the IA route. In layman’s term, their friends hook them up with the position and have them wait out the C30 process, where there is virtually a 0% chance that a candidate from that process will be chosen. Principals conduct a couple c30s to satisfy DOE’s regulations, then they’ll eventually take the IA tag off their buddies. Total sham that needs to be publicized.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    May 13, 2016 pm31 12:40 pm 12:40 pm

    I agree that the C30 process is a total Sham.. I have been applying for over 2 years for an AP job and was told by someone that basically if I am not appointed an INTERIM ACTING I can just forget about getting a job.

  13. Anonymous permalink
    December 9, 2016 pm31 12:53 pm 12:53 pm

    you cannot be forced to go on a trip, unless the entire school is leaving the building and there are no children left behind in the school. However the opposite is true. You may want to go on a trip but your supervisor have you say.


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