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Other Districts Follow NYC’s Move To End Teacher Seniority

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBSnewYork/AP) — While New York City has drawn the attention as the prime mover in an effort to end teacher seniority protections, other school districts have taken notice.

The state’s other so-called Big Five school districts — Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Yonkers — are trying to piggyback onto the New York City effort in Albany to eliminate seniority protection for educators.

The Buffalo News reports the issue has come to the forefront as school districts say proposed state school aid cuts would force a new round of layoffs in the coming year.

If the effort is successful, districts would base any layoffs, in part, on the quality of a teacher’s work. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been aggressively campaigning for the change.

Union officials say the move will mean job cuts based on favoritism. But proponents counter that seniority rules don’t help students. Instead, they say the system simply protect the most senior teachers.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • flora arcuri

    This is plain and simple teacher bashing. How about giving all plumbers, electricians, construction workers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. the bashing. Some of them make more than teachers. Let’s get all professions involved in the bashing. Then, teachers wouldn’t feel so victimized. It was an honorable profession, which Christie shot to hell. aND WHAT IS THE POINT IN LOWERING THE HUGE INCOME OF PROPERTY TAXES? IF THERE IS SUCH A DEFICIT, WHY LET GO OF ANY MONIES COMING IN? I SAY LET’S RAISE TAXES FOR EVERYBODY TO FIX THE DEFICIT. THEN ALL PROFESSIONS CAN TAKE PART IN GIVING BACK!

  • Maran

    I’m in complete agreement with you, Jones. I have seen both too. Bloomberg is not an educator, nor does he understand the complexities of schools. If he could be a fly on the wall in our schools he would know where the problems truly lie.

  • Prof T

    First of all lets talk about the administrators of these schools. The lazy can’t touch this crowd that should be going through the steps to fire bad teachers. Now you want them to skip the steps required and fire who they want to. Due process? What dictator Bloomberg does not tell you is thew truth. He wants to fire all the senior teachers because they cost more than new ones. After that who will want to teach? No one who can make more money elsewhere and deal with the same corporate mentality`. For more money—-get it. You will !! And the cycle will resume with super unions larger than ever. Protectionism will be more than ever. Now thats Bloomberism. . Reality Please!!!!!

  • Mike Selinger

    I taught in California. At one school, I was asked by the Principal to falsify
    transcripts. At another school, the Superintendent was busted (eventually) for
    financial malfeasance (theft). He’s now the only school bus driver I know of with a “Dr.” in front of his name!
    Here in NY, some school administrators are being looked at for “adjusting” test scores on State exams.
    Does anyone really believe that they can fairly decide who merits keeping their job?

  • Sick of Bloomberg, et. al.

    Who are these ignorant “proponents”? Republican Right Wing Thugs and Union Busters? In industry an employee is judged by THEIR performance. In teaching we are judged by SOMEONE ELSE’S performance. When a salesman doen’t meet their sales quota, the sales manager doesn’t get fired, the employee does. Whe a student doesn’t make their test score quota, the teacher gets fired??? That is fair??? There is a Bill of Rights in this coountry. Wrongful termination is a prosecutable offense. So please, try and fire me because some lazy student didn’t study. Then You can pay for the settlement in court instead of me earning my salary.

  • Kathleen

    The teacher works from 8 AM until 5 PM, then goes home to correct stacks of homework, quizzes, and essays, and writes lesson plays. PT Work? Because the teacher is on “vacation” from early July until mid-August or Labor Day, taking courses?

    The “good” teacher is evaluated by how many inattentive, lazy, unruly, and even absentee students are given “A” grades they have not earned. The principal, anxious to keep an overpaid non-educational job, alters attendance records, grades, and everything else to forge a successful record. The parents don’t care about anything but high grades without work.

    • opinion

      I am a teacher, and I do bring work home with me . However, it is no different than anyone elses job! It is far from partime…. However, I do know that unions protect teachers who should not be in the school with the children.
      Princpals work extrememly hard to maintain a school which is not only over seaing the teahers but also the chidlren and families. I know several principals and not one of them displayed the behavior discussed above.
      Students are not the issue, I have children that have lengthy absentence and when they come in i t is part of the my job; the job of the teacher to aide that child in returning back into the role of the student.
      I do not agree with the grading system, but I also do not agree with the union policies on firing teachers who are not w orth having in the district.

      • William Sinclair

        A C for spelling and D for thinking. Are you really a teacher?

      • r. nail

        You need to start by eliminating yourself for abominable (look it up) spelling. The self appointed/anointed Mayor’s plan is to eliminate the highest paid teachers, and keep those with entry level salaries. We are on our way to a slave nation. Unions were formed to protect workers from exploitation and abuse. So what’s next on the agenda? WAKE UP AMERICA. Educate yourselves. Look up our history and “sweat shops”.

  • Steve Yakoban

    Why are teachers so superior to other life forms? In every non-union industry, employees are subject to review by their superior and the budget/profit decisions of their employer, politics, personalities, and favoritism included.

    Get with reality teachers – I hope your day of judgment truly comes.

    • William Sinclair

      Education is not comparable to every other non-union industry. Think about that.

    • carefulreader

      Teachers ARE evaluated by their superiors, including tenured teachers. Why don’t you get your facts straight before passing judgement.

    • Jeffrey Teach

      We are in fact evaluated and are not at all superior. I teach in the Bronx, with zero resources and am cursed, threatened and disrespected around every corner. In my world you have to earn your respect with the students because there is no other means of support. Not from homes or administration. Does your boss let the people at your job speak to you like you were garbage? Mr. Yakoban, you talk about union teachers in comparison to non-union jobs. So in your line of work are you forced to work w/ no resources to engage your job and yet judged against others who are provided with all of the necessary tools? I have taught English to 7th and 8th graders for seven years and never even had a single computer in my classroom. Those that I had donated ended up in the classrooms belonging to the principals cronies or relatives. Yet, I am judged against the teachers in more supported classrooms with more resources and smaller class sizes. On the judgment day that you speak of, I hope that someone treats your plight and efforts more fairly than ours.

  • bocaheat

    teaching, full time pay for part time work, teaching our kids to be little socialists, break the union

    • BKKING

      Are you smoking CRACK? If the Mayor of NYC had his way, the children in poverty settings would receive no education at all. There would be forty to a room. These are smart young people who the teachers of this city are desperately trying to push towards success so they can contribute to our society and not be a burden upon it. Socialism???? We want our students to be professionals and not problems. Would you rather we let it go down your way, that would mean more welfare…Socialism???? Next time you look at a criminal or a threat to your belongings or safety, think about all of the people who tried to intervene against the odds that are being laid out by union busting Edu. Officials. Your way is going to be your problem and everyone elses.

  • Question

    I believe the good teachers will always prevail regardless of the pay. I want to get trid of the lazy teachers who do not plan, and skate by regardless if they have been in the district 2months or 20 yrs. I want the teachers to feel that being a senior staff does not mean you are safe from being held to the same stanrdard as when they were hired.. Teachers should keep there job based on performance not being tendured.

    • William Sinclair

      Tenure does not mean a teacher can’t be fired. It means a teacher cannot be fired without a fair hearing–due process. There job is spelled t h e i r job.

  • Pete Doyle

    Yes, the problems are “who decides” and how is “the quality of a teacher’s work” to be determined.
    Schools do not manufacture “products” like factories do. It is also true that a teacher never sees the end result of his or her work in the classroom…..a result that may not mature until the child does. Much of what is most valuable is not “testable”.
    On Facebook, a venue that did not exist until recently, I am fortunate enough to receive comments from people who were my students decades ago. A teacher can never tell what effect their work in a classroom will have.
    Here’s one such note – it gave me the chills:
    “Mr. Doyle:
    Through all of the trials associated with working in a creative and
    tumultuous industry, what never failed to get me through was a sense of character instilled upon me by my teachers. To this day I hear the
    voices of Knowland, Gold, Marcus, Doyle, Ryan, and a host of others.
    They get me through the adversity, their voices undimmed by the decades.”

    That means a piece of my Oscar and Emmy belong to you. Ok, with that?
    Can t test any of that.
    Pete Doyle

    • William Sinclair

      Thanks Pete.

  • dash

    The above comment is right on. Everything sounds good in theory and people applaud what seems fair; however, in reality it will bring in a wave of corruption like no one has ever seen. People have to realize that this is propaganda….get rid of the top earners and bring in the young low earners, until of course they too earn too much, then get rid of them too. Teacher VS. teacher will not be good for schools or kids. There should be ways of getting rid of bad/burnt out teachers, but saying to a veteran teacher “your out’ simply for no reason is wrong. This is what started the American unions in the first place! Why do people expect that things will change now?

  • jones

    Who gets to decide the quality of a teacher’s work, the principal who doesn’t like her or maybe the male principal who only wants young and pretty in his school.

    I’ve seen both happen.

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