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20 NYC schools to close – and?

December 17, 2007 am31 9:18 am

New York City’s United Federation of Teachers (UFT) passed a strong resolution at the November 2007 Delegate Assembly, calling on the NYC Department of Education not to use the lousy, poorly designed “Progress Reports” for closing schools (among other things)

“We never like to see a school closed,” Casey said, “and it’s a sad occasion when that happens…

So the Department of Education uses the Progress Reports to close 20 schools. What do you think the UFT did?

Nothing.

No protest. No petition. No complaint. No appeal. Here’s a statement. Some excerpts follow (below the fold):

The UFT called it “a major upheaval for all involved” and said the city needed to see “every effort is made to ensure that everyone affected is treated with care, dignity and respect.”

…Randi Weingarten and Vice President for Academic High Schools Leo Casey said that “care, dignity and respect” required that “students in the affected schools should be assured of a full education as the schools are phased out, and they should have every opportunity to successfully complete their education. It also means that staff members who choose to stay on during the phase-out years should have opportunities to work in other schools.”

“We never like to see a school closed,” Casey said, “and it’s a sad occasion when that happens. The union engaged the DOE in an intensive effort to persuade them that there was real potential for many schools, and we got them to agree that a number of other schools they had wanted to close could turn themselves around because they had good leadership and the support of their staff and parents.”

Staff in the schools to be closed have been meeting with union officials and are being apprised of their rights under the school contract’s Article 18D, which guarantees a minimum of half of all positions in the new schools will go to current staff. The union is also working to see that those staff looking to transfer to other schools through the “open market” job-search system are helped to do so.

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