The DOE seems desperate to save money and decided to redo the thousands of school bus routes, eliminating some and according to their press release saving $12 million a year.
On a sub freezing morning the newspaper reports horror story after horror story. No buses, buses refusing to pick up kids … all on a windy morning with temperatures in the twenties.
Once again they are messing with our children!
Klein insists that change must be bold, it cannot be incremental … he wishes to place his stamp on the school system … whether or not the stakeholders: parents and teachers support or oppose his changes. Whether or not his “boldness” results in changes that throw the system into anarchy.
School funding formulas should be based on a clear and transparent philosophy. On the State level funding formulas were driven by crass politics – the pie was divided and the formulas were crafted to meet political decisions made behind closed doors in Albany. The January, 2001 De Grasse decision supported the litigants, sharply rebuking the State and demanded a reordering of funding formulas.
Joel Klein is not Judge Leland De Grasse.
The City funding formulas are complex. Schools that are blocks apart receive different levels of funding. It is perfectly appropriate to take a close look at these formula and devise a system that is transparent and needs driven.
Did Klein bring together parents and teachers and community members and elected officials: of course not! He “announced” his “bold” plan with great fanfare and press releases. Unfortunately for Joel his plans have been met with skepticism. Even the NYTimes: usually reticent to criticize Klein and Bloomberg weighs in with sharp criticism of the latest initiatives based on “consultant’s hunches.”
Klein is using a complex funding system to institute his latest “hunch,” a kooky plan based on the assertion that principals will seek out “difficult” populations (low achieving, special ed and ELL) in order to increase funding for their schools and parents will bus their kids to schools with “richer” programs. “Punish” schools with senior teachers by sharply decreasing funding and reward schools with new, inexperienced staff.
When recruiting staff should a principal base her hiring decision on the skills of the teacher or the salary of the teacher?
With global warming we don’t have ice floes to use to float senior teachers out to sea, or, perhaps Joel just reread Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. Who would have thought that Joel’s “bold” new program was teacher euthanasia.