Bloomberg Wants Teacher Hire Authority
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 10-year stewardship of the public school system has been an abject failure. Reading scores are up only because the cut scores were lowered to allow more students to pass. Bloomberg’s insistence that only reading and mathematics count has led to a lack of education in such important subjects as social studies, citizenship, geography, foreign language, technology, science and even physical education. More students are graduating, but only a small percentage – the state says about 20 percent – is ready for either higher education or the world of work. The mayor’s focus on test scores as the be-all and end-all of education has led to the diminution of real learning in our schools. Now, as Bloomberg gets ready to leave office at the end of 2013, he has one more trick up his sleeve. He wants to end the practice of hiring teachers with college degrees in education and allow him and his handpicked acolyte Dennis Walcott to set the criteria for teachers. If you have been following the education scene, you will soon realize that Bloomberg wants to hire teachers with no education credentials or coursework from the business and finance world – people that will be beholden to him rather than to the teacher’s union. He did that with principals when he took over and opened the Tweed Academy, hiring hundreds from other professions with no school experience or credentials. We all know now that most of them were failures, unable to understand either what a school really was or what it took to be an educator. This is just another step in demonizing teachers and the professional teacher community. Let’s hope that our legislators in Albany don’t buy his smoke and mirrors and keep him from this next draconian step.