UPDATE: Bloomberg and the DOE can still change the names of the schools - they just can't bring in a whole new slew of teachers:
The city’s efforts to close and reopen 24 schools this summer, with new names and revamped staffs, was set back on Friday as an arbitrator ruled that its efforts to remove teachers and administrators violated their union contracts.
The ruling by the arbitrator, Scott E. Buchheit, means the city cannot remove staff members from the 24 schools — at least in the way that it had set out to do.
According to the ruling, members of the United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators must be given the opportunity to stay at their current school, even if it changes names. And those unionized teachers and administrators who have already been hired to replace staff members at those schools must be given the chance to return to their original schools.
The decision was part of an expedited attempt to resolve contractual issues related to the decision to quickly shut down the schools — which have been deemed too troubled to easily fix — and change their cultures before returning students to the newly constituted institution.
John King said he would back the city's plans for "turnaround" - but only if the city won the arbitration.
It will be interesting to see what both the DOE and the NYSED do now.
You know Commissioner King was dying to set the precedent that all the teachers in a school could be fired simply by changing the school name and declaring it a "new school."
Same goes for Bloomberg and the DOE.
Now it seems the "end run" gambit of school reform has been declared illegal.