There were small glimmers Wednesday of an eventual return to the negotiating table, as the schools chancellor and teachers union president moved their rhetoric past the blame game over last week’s failure to agree on a teacher evaluation plan.
The teachers’ union and the city walked away from a deal they both say was essentially hammered out. As a result, city schools face more budget cuts.
Progress stalled in talks between the teachers’ union and the city on a teacher evaluation system, with both sides pointing fingers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s deadline for a teacher evaluation deal in two weeks is a “hard deadline,” squashing any hopes for a state extension if the city and the teachers union can’t reach an agreement.
With $300 million in state funds on the line, the January deadline for reaching a teacher evaluation agreement in New York City looms large. The United Federation of Teachers and education officials agreed to a framework long ago. Now it’s down to the excruciating details of how to make it work.
As schools in Chicago remain closed Monday, and the teacher’s strike stretches into a second week, the brutal landscape of education politics is laid bare for all to see. Add to the mix a Hollywood movie that seems to blame the teachers’ union for failing schools, and it’s easy to understand why teachers may feel defensive.
Thousands of teachers at 24 “turnaround” schools are learning whether they have been selected to come back in the fall, but hiring decisions are still subject to an arbitrator’s decision later this week.
In all the sound and fury over Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott’s demand for more power to fire teachers for sexual misconduct, there is little likelihood that Albany will be addressing the matter any time soon — or that the matter will be resolved without legislative intervention, given the heated tension between the city and the union, according to people familiar with the issue.
Charter schools are under increasing pressure to admit and provide more services for children with special needs. This spring, they have been asking the Legislature for the authority to form coalitions, so they can pool resources that will help them fulfill their mandate. The bill seemed to be cruising along, but now the state teachers’ union has thrown up a roadblock.
How difficult is it to integrate a city school? Pretty tough, according to the latest article in The New York Times’s “A System Divided” series, which has been examining the issue of segregation in the New York City public school system. Also in the news this Monday morning: a principal under fire, sexual misconduct, teacher evaluations and Pearson.
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