[ProgressiveEd] Please Continue to Speak Out-; Attend One of More Upcoming Sessions with Legislators; New York Post Articles

[email protected] [email protected]
Wed, 07 May 2003 16:57:55 +0000

Dear Education Advocate:  
I have attached the text of two articles from today's Post that report on the 
increasingly strained conditions of the schools.  
1.  Klein to Ax 856 School Staffers
2.  Teachers Declare War on Bloomberg.
THERE IS STILL TIME TO SPEAK OUT.  Several legislators will be 
holding local forums, speakouts, town hall meetings, etc. to discuss parent and 
community concerns about the emerging state of the schools under Mayoral 
Congresswoman Maloney and Senator Schneiderman will each be holding such 
meetings. Details about these meetings follow:
  Senator Schneiderman
  Thursday, May 15th, 7 pm
  La Plaza, IS 143, Auditorium
  515 W 182nd Street
Congresswoman Maloney has invited Chancellor Klein to attend a Town Meeting
on Education in her congressional district, which includes sections of CSD
1 and 2 in Manhattan.  It's scheduled for:
  Chancellor Joel Klein & Cong. Carolyn Maloney
  Monday, May 12, 5-6:30 pm
  PS 20, Essex Street and Houston St.
(F train to 2nd Avenue, exit at First Ave. taking the stairway on the
right, cross Allen St. & walk one block east to Houston and Essex)
Please feel free to attend these meetings, even if not in your district. 
Best wishes.  
Carolyn Prager
Advocates for Public
Representation in Public Education
May 7, 2003 -- Schools Chancellor Joel Klein yesterday announced he's axing 856 
supervisors and administrators as part of the overhaul of the school system. 
Nearly half of the people losing jobs are special education supervisors and 
administrators who oversee services for disabled kids in central and district 
"These are tough times in the city. I don't like laying off people," Klein 
But Klein said it's necessary to eliminate the bureaucratic bloat and direct 
more resources into the schools. 
Council of Supervisors and Administrators chief Jill Levy, a former special-ed 
supervisor, admitted that her old job is being eliminated. 
She said she would have had to be demoted to a teaching position to stay 
"I would be in deep trouble," she said. 
Levy charged the consolidation "amounts to the reshuffling of the deck of the 
"These supervisors bring extensive knowledge to our schools, and their 
elimination will result in a huge disruption to the schools and a critical gap 
in the expertise necessary to meet the needs of our most fragile students," she 
The layoffs are due to take effect next month. 
Klein also is eliminating 1,800 school aide positions as part of the 
Teachers union president Randi Weingarten will pull her support of the city's 
educational reforms because she says her members are being bypassed in 
formulating the new system.
- Alan Solomon  
May 7, 2003 -- EXCLUSIVE
Teachers union chief Randi Weingarten is planning to withdraw the union's 
support of Mayor Bloomberg's education reforms - claiming educators have been 
mistreated and kept out of the loop on issues that affect them, The Post has 
"We're declaring war. We're drawing a line in the sand," one United Federation 
of Teachers official said. "There's no consultation on decisions being made 
that affect union members." 
The official familiar with Weingarten's thinking added, "She wants to distance 
herself from a program that may implode in the fall." 
Weingarten is expected to issue a blistering attack on City Hall and Schools 
Chancellor Joel Klein's handling of the massive "Children First" 
reorganization, which includes an overhaul of the school curriculum, during the 
UFT's annual conference on Saturday. 
Weingarten declined comment yesterday, but did not deny the threat. 
Weingarten has openly discussed the possible revolt during union meetings and 
discussions with teachers at schools over the past few weeks. 
And the threat to declare total war against City Hall comes a day after she 
filed a lawsuit charging the Bloomberg administration of racial discrimination 
for moving to lay off nearly 1,000 mostly minority classroom aides while hiring 
hundreds of mostly white administrators. The UFT represents the affected 
"She's discussed the possibility of pulling the union's support of the Children 
First initiative. Teachers will welcome her doing that," the official said. 
Bloomberg's office dismissed the union's threats and criticism as a 
noisy "distraction." "Our focus is on improving instruction and learning for 
all children," said Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. 
"In some areas of the city, 80 to 90 percent of students aren't proficient in 
English and math. That's unacceptable. That cries out for change." 
For his part, Klein said he'll fight to overcome union opposition because more 
than 60 percent of students flunk standardized math and reading exams. "Too 
often people find excuses to protect the status quo," he said. 
Still, the labor warfare is not helpful because teachers are the key players in 
improving instruction for struggling students. 
For example, Weingarten - at Bloomberg's behest - persuaded her members last 
year to amend the union contract to use 100 minutes of additional weekly time 
for classroom instruction instead of teacher training. 
UFT sources said their expertise has been ignored during the reorganization. 
Earlier this year, Weingarten glowingly praised the new uniform curriculum, but 
recently trashed its implementation.