Christ: So obviously, so much of the first two-and-a-half months, the conversation in the city has been about pre-K and after school, and there's many years after pre-K and many hours before after school in the day. When are we going to start hearing more about these concrete proposals and policy changes related to the rest of the system?
Fariña: I think most of the policy changes, you're going to be hearing probably within the next month to six weeks. We have made a very strong statement that in order to become principal or an assistant principal in the city of New York, you need at least seven years of pedagogical experience, and that's a big shift from the last few years. Leaders need to have experience in the classroom. They need to know what the job is before we tell other people how to do their job.
Most of the interview was spent on charter schools and the pushback from the charter lobby.
Just as charter schools only educate a small percentage of students in the city, charter school policy is only a small percentage of the overall education policy that Farina is setting.
But the charter school agenda has hijacked the education narrative these past few weeks and seems to be crowding out almost every other story.
I, like many of my colleagues, await to hear the policy changes Farina and de Blasio plan to bring.
Will they re-negotiate the insanity that is the Commissioner King-imposed teacher evaluation system? Will they reduce the performance assessments and other test-centric policies we are educating students with now? Will there be any change to the messages that come from Tweed to administrators on how to work with teachers?
So far, I see little-to-no change in my day-to-day work.
The policies we labor under remain FEAR-based, we continue to be told there is one way to teach, one way to lesson plan, one way to assess and anybody who isn't doing it this way during a drive-by Danielson observation will be punished with an "ineffective" or "developing" ding.
Chancellor Farina said she wanted to restore joy to the school system, to make learning fun again.
As I give yet another monthly performance assessment in preparation for the second Measures Of Student Learning (MOSL) assessment in May that will be used to grade all the teachers in the building as part of the APPR teacher evaluation system, as I continue to spend hours a day on compliance paperwork in order to play CYA in case there is a drive-by Danielson observation, as I walk the building and see the demoralization of my fellow teachers and hear of yet another one who has quit mid-year because he/she is sick and tired of being sick and tired, I do hope that whatever policy changes Farina announces in the next six months, they will alleviate some of the FEAR that inflicts students and adults in the NYC school system.
It would be nice to see joy back in the school system again.