Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Bureaucrats, Less Teachers

More quality education decisions from the education mayor - fire teachers, hire central office staff:

The head count at the Education Department's central office has ballooned nearly 70% since 2003, agency data show.

As the city moves to cut school budgets and shed teachers, the number of employees rose to 2,268 in 2010 from 1,332 in 2003, when the mayor took over the school system, the department's financial status reviews from those years show.

Salaries for central staffers have also jumped by 79% in the same period, to almost $189 million last year from $105.6 million, documents show.

"They say they're cutting central, but they're just putting more and more money into testing and managing data," said Lisa Donlan, president of lower Manhattan's parents council. "It's not instructional."

The Office of Accountability, which oversees testing, saw the largest spike, from just eight staffers in 2003 to 79 this year.

In the same time period, the Division of Human Resources increased by 80% to 367 staffers; the Division of Instructional and Information Technology grew by 47% to 308 employees, and the Office of Legal Services and Labor Relations ballooned 129% to 110 staffers.

The increase would seem to support some complaints about schools under mayoral control: that testing and data - centerpieces of Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's education philosophy - get more attention than critical thinking, and that parents have less access to isolated decision-makers.

While this data isn't unexpected if you have been paying attention to the "reforms" this mayor and this chancellor have been bringing to the New York City public school system, let me also point out that President Obama's Race to the Top competition encourages the exact same kind of thing.

If New York State wins some RttT money, they cannot use it to keep teachers employed. They can only use it to add data tracking systems, create standardized tests, fund professional development and "turnaround failing schools" by firing the teachers and reopening the schools as charters.

And of course the New York State Education Department, run by two corporate sycophants, and the politicians in Albany, flush from hedge fund campaign cash, are all on board with the program.

So at the city, state and federal levels, the message is clear: hire bureaucrats, add standardized tests, track data, use that data to blame teachers, close schools, and fire staff.

And the result is - chaos.

Which is just what the corporate managers and sycophants want.

Chaos begets more chaos in the school system and they can continue to scapegoat teachers for the problems.

Eventually they will get what they want - a completely privatized school system, access to $380 billion school dollars, and a de-unionized/de-professionalized teacher force that allows them to hire and fire their McTeachers at will.

This is the "change" Obama brings.

This is the "reform" Bloomklein have wrought.

This is the "innovation" that Bill Gates pushes through his foundation.

And this is the agenda that Newsweek and other corporate media (many owned by test prep companies) hail as the future of public education.

1 comment:

  1. In Chicago the union is fighting to get a forensic audit on the fiscal books of Chicago Public Schools. We have the problem of having one publish online with errors and incomplete and then there is the real books which no know in th union has seen.

    In Chicago the problem is that we have a CEO of schools and the Mayor appoints a mediocre city manager ( I am being kind) that knows NOTHING about education. Because he does not know anything about real school reform of building and supporting the professional capacity of each school organization, he is hiring folks at $100,000+ dollar salaries. This new layer, which is growing, are pure bean counters with no knowledge of education. Even one his business professors was quoted in the Catalyst Chicago, as saying his rational for going that route was dubious and not suited for education!!!