Friday, June 3, 2016

NYC DOE Continues the Target the Teacher Madness, Carrying Over from Bloomberg/Walcott Days

The New York City Department of Education's prime credo is to harass and intimidate teachers. This way, teachers will not assert themselves.  This has worsened in recent years, as the old style administrators have left the city school system, and Leadership Academy administrators have taken the positions. We see with the case of Todd Friedman of Brooklyn.
The New York Chief, a teacher-friendly newspaper, a rarity in this city, reported last week on his troubles with the DOE. He was following a tradition in his school, a tradition that had been followed for decades with no problems. Then, a Leadership Academy administrator with the philosophy of hatcheting the teachers makes a federal case out of it, putting the teacher's career in jeopardy.
In Midwood High School the tradition was that Advanced Placement (AP) English students were encouraged to buy their books for class. This way, they could mark them up, in preparation for college, when students often mark up books. And there was no problem if the student could not afford the book the teachers would provide the book, free of charge. The prices were very modest. The charge in question was only for $2 per book, a very low price. In fact, even with the students paying this price the teacher took a loss in his buying the books from the publisher.
What happened was a student remarked about this practice to the relatively new administrator. And this administrator is pursuing this all the way to the 3020-a hearing.

Friedman's status? He has had mixed help from the union. And his fate looks dire. The city is taking this case to the highest punishment. It is pursuing the hearing to take his license away. This is rather rash. If the new administrator wanted to be a stickler for the city regulations ishe could have written a counseling memo or she could have just had a warning conference with him. But this is the vindictive DOE. Punish quickly, with no discussion. In Friedman's case we see that there has been no post-Bloomberg/Walcott housecleaning. The most nasty positions of the DOE have been continued. Farina may have sought more years of actual teaching from principals, but she is allowing principals to continue the harsh Bloomberg era rules.
Friedman suggested that the ulterior motive in all this was to punish him for dissenting from a particular curriculum. If this was the case, this would show that the city is attacking academic freedom and freedom of speech. (For more details on the curriculum and other particulars of the case, get yourself a hard copy of "The Chief." The newspaper is probably the fairest to workers, of all the different newspapers of the city. Make sure to support the newspaper with your dollars.)