Saturday, October 13, 2018


While promoting the proposed new contract, UFT President Michael Mulgrew in his email to members bragged that he got the minimum number of annual classroom observations down to two for most tenured teachers starting next school year. The minimum number of observations is currently four for most teachers. This change on the surface is positive news and a gain that was pushed by rank and file members including our High School Executive Board members and me.

However, when we read the Memorandum of Agreement (the evaluation part starts on page 16), this contract provides absolutely no relief for the teachers harassed the most by observations. In fact, those rated ineffective the previous year have their number of observations increased to a minimum of five! Probationary teachers (a huge group these days) get no relief either on the number of observations and are as vulnerable as ever. The many abusive supervisors in the school system will have no problem continuing to harass teachers with multiple observations if the new contract is ratified as they can still use the Danielson Framework as a weapon against us. They will continue to be able to do unlimited observations. The new contract should make it easier for them to hone in on teachers they are looking to attack to ruin their careers.  The contract would need to include a maximum number of observations to be a real game changer.

A maximum number of observations is not a pipe dream. A ceiling on the number of observations is legal under current state law and has been negotiated in a large city in New York State: Buffalo.

Limits on observations would take so much of the stress out of teaching. One driveby per year! Teachers could stop worrying about administrators invading their classrooms, not to improve instruction, but to look for fault to blame teachers.

Here is part of the Buffalo Federation of Teachers APPR Agreement:

a. Two (2) observations with one (1) being announced and one (1) being unannounced. However, either the principal or teacher may request one (1) additional announced observation for a maximum total of two (2) announced observations. In the event that a teacher or administrator requests an additional announced observation, the request must be made on or before April 11 . 

Two observations and one has to be announced with a pre-observation conference. The option for a pre-observation conference is gone in the proposed NYC contract for most teachers.  If that announced observation doesn't go well up in Buffalo, the teacher can request another one.

Here is the language on pre and post observation conferences for the announced visit in Buffalo:

For the announced observation, pre and post conferences as specified in the current APPR (“Process and Definitions”, Attachment B, pg. 10) will be utilized as updated during negotiations with the understanding that if a teacher utilizes an accrued day off (sick or personal) it will not negatively impact the evaluator’s ability to meet with the teacher upon his/her return to work regarding the observation. In addition, post conferences will be held within 7 (seven) school days after the announced observation.

On the unannounced observation:

For the unannounced observation, the administrator will select a month in which the unannounced observation will occur and the teacher will be notified of the month. Unannounced observations will not occur during the month of September, the day before or after a holiday , or during the last three weeks of instruction in June. Post conferences will be held for unannounced observations in conformance with section (d) above. The teacher will be allowed one (1) postponement of the unannounced observation prior to the commencement of the observation, which shall be rescheduled no sooner than 5 school days and no later than 30 school days after the postponement. 

Can a teacher appeal an overall adverse rating to somebody neutral in Buffalo or can only 13% of ineffective ratings be appealed to a neutral person like in NYC?

The answer is any teacher in Buffalo who receives an ineffective overall rating can appeal to a neutral hearing officer.

Once again, we go to the Buffalo APPR agreement on page 24:

C. Superintendent Appeal – Within 60 days of the receipt of the APPR, a teacher receiving an “ineffective” rating and teachers who receive a Probationary appointment on or after July 1, 2015 and receive either 1) two developing ratings during the probationary period or 2) A developing rating in the final year of his/her probationary term may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. A hearing on the appeal will be held within thirty calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. The Superintendent or his/her designee will render a decision within thirty calendar days after the close of the hearing. Within thirty calendar days after the receipt of the Superintendent or designee’s decision a teacher may appeal the decision to a neutral hearing officer using the procedure delineated in “D”. 

D. Neutral Hearing Officer Appeal – In the event that a teacher wishes to pursue an appeal after receipt of the decision pursuant to paragraph C above, a teacher may obtain a review by a neutral hearing officer by submitting a written appeal to the Superintendent with a copy to the BTF within sixty (60) calendar days of the receipt of the decision pursuant to paragraph C above. A hearing will be scheduled in a timely and expeditious manner in compliance with Education Law. Said appeal shall set forth the nature of the objection to the APPR. All appeals shall be presented on a form mutually agreed upon by the parties and may be accompanied by supporting documentation. 

This is Buffalo, NY, not teacher friendly Finland.

We'll have more analysis of the new Memorandum of Agreement to show that there are gains but mostly it just adds layers on what we already have. Do we really need more labor-management committees and a clause in the contract where the DOE agrees to do better abiding by the grievance timelines? The MOA looks to me like each of the Department of Education's 300 lawyers had a hand in writing it.

I recommend everyone watch these videos on observations and APPR from Chris Lee that describes how badly NYC teachers are treated compared to other teachers in NYS.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Dates                                                                                     Salary Increases
October 31, 2018 - Feb13, 2019  (3.5 months)                 0% *

Feb 14, 2019 -  Feb 13, 2020                                                    2%

Feb 14, 2020 - May 13, 2020  (3 months)                            0%

May 14, 2020 - May 13, 2021                                                 2.5%

May 14, 2021 - May 13, 2022                                                    3%

May 14, 2022 - Sept 13, 2022   (4 Months)                          0%  
Total:  46.5 Months                                                                   7.5%

7.5% compounded will be a little more. The increases amount to about 1.94% annually.

There are also healthcare givebacks UFT members will vote on where new teachers have to go on HIP for year one and all of us have to go to non hospital settings for certain procedures.

We also still have to wait until 2019 and 2020 to get the final two payments back from the interest free loan we made to the city in the last contract. In addition, we are paying union dues on this money when we already paid union dues on the original checks.

All of this when the city economy has never been stronger. City investments with our money are doing better than expected. Those are our investments and the money should go back to us.The city economy is growing at a rate of 2.7%. The prosperity of the last ten years has passed city workers by.

As for city surpluses, this is from State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli:
The city's most recent four-year financial plan, released in June, projects a surplus of nearly $4.6 billion in FY 2018, the largest in 10 years.

And further down:

To its credit, the city continues to contribute to the Retiree Health Benefits Trust, which now has a balance of nearly $4.4 billion, the highest amount ever.

What I would like to know is why NYC teachers are not worth as much as teachers just north of the Bronx in Yonkers? Check out their actual salaries for 2017.

As for the non-financial parts of the contract, two observation minimums for some teachers is a gain but it isn't nearly as strong as most districts have in the rest of the state where everyone has two observations and it won't start until next year. The other changes look cosmetic (committees on higher class sizes) but I have to see the actual language to be certain.

Will this contract change the anti-teacher culture at the DOE? Who knows? There's nothing in there I can see to reign in the many abusive supervisors that are running rampant in our schools.

UFT member expectations are very low. Remember, we have pattern bargaining in NYC where one municipal union settles on a raise and that sets a pattern for the other unions who receive basically the same increase in that round of collective bargaining. Arbitrators have upheld pattern bargaining many times. DC 37 set a pattern in June that does not keep up with inflation. The UFT is copying that settlement.

Beating DC37 would be impossible without a real fight and the opposition in the UFT is very fragmented so I don't see much of a battle coming. This contract should easily carry. Mulgrew and his Unity Caucus don't want any kind of struggle as settling over four months before the current contract expires shows.

If I were a Delegate, I would abstain without first viewing the entire Memorandum of Agreement. Anybody who votes on something based on Michael Mulgrew's word is making a foolish move.

* Extension 1 of current contract: Oct 31, 2018 - Nov 30, 2028 was to pay lump sum payments for 2009-14 retirees.
  Extension 2 of current contract: Dec 1, 2018- Feb 13, 2019  was to pay for Paid Parental Leave.

NEW UFT CONTRACT DONE (Updated with some details)

The UFT and City-DOE have a tentative contract agreement. The UFT, as usual, will be ramming it through quickly as an Executive Board and Delegate Assembly have been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at Fashion Industries High School. We will update with details as soon as we have them.

Financial details on the 43 month contract from the Daily News:

The tentative 43-month contract follows the same wages negotiated by District Council 37 in June.

If ratified, UFT members will receive wage hikes of 2% in February, 2.50% in May of 2020, and 3% in May of 2021.

Update 2:
Just read from City Hall press conference Mulgrew is supporting continuation of mayoral control of schools as part of this deal and we did get 2 observations per year for many teachers starting next year.

Teacher evaluation observations: Starting in September 2019, we are revising teacher observations in our teacher evaluation system -- more closely tying the number of evaluations teachers receive to their experience and effectiveness. Tenured teachers previously rated Developing and Ineffective will be observed more frequently than teachers rated Effective and Highly Effective; probationary teachers will be observed more frequently than tenured teachers. Observations will be completed in cycles throughout the year to ensure more valuable feedback and development opportunities for teachers.

Update 3: From NYC Educator:
Evaluation—Anyone rated HE gets two. Anyone rated E or higher for two years running gets two. Anyone rated I plus E gets 3 informal. Developing and probationers 3 plus one formal. Ineffective 4 plus one formal.  UFT has asked for joint training in evaluation rather than simply supervisors norming. Feedback will be given in 30 days rather than 45. 

ATRs will be placed day one if there are openings in their license areas. 

From Chancellor Richard Carranza to all of us:

Dear Colleagues,

As I have traveled across our five boroughs I am struck by how so many of our schools continue to defy conventional wisdom, and change lives. These schools believe that all students—regardless of their community or background—can and deserve to learn at the highest level. They refuse to accept the narrative that some problems are simply too big for us to solve.

These schools, through collaboration, strong leadership, deep partnerships, and targeted investments, are able to change the narrative in historically underserved communities by making our schools examples of excellence through equity with classrooms full of joy, challenging curriculum, and outstanding teaching.

It is in that spirit of tireless commitment to our students that I am excited to announce we have reached a preliminary collective bargaining agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) designed to help us advance equity and excellence for all New York City students. The preliminary agreement we have reached today is a demonstration of the commitment we have to our 79,000+ strong educators, alongside our commitment to advance equity for students who need us the most.

At the heart of this groundbreaking contract is The Bronx Plan. The Bronx Plan is a partnership between the DOE and the UFT that allows us to recruit and retain educators through the use of a targeted salary differential in schools that have, in the past, struggled to attract and keep teachers in key subjects. The Plan also creates the Collaborative Schools Model – an idea grounded in the knowledge that our schools perform at their best when teachers, leaders, and staff work together to solve longstanding problems. 

Alongside our clear focus on the Bronx – with the highest concentration of historically underserved schools in our city – we have also built upon our foundation for excellence citywide. We are updating our teacher development requirements to ensure that advanced coursework leading to a salary differential beyond a Master’s degree is aligned to the needs of our students. We are also building upon our nationally recognized teacher leadership pipeline with the addition of two new roles: Teacher Development Facilitator and Teacher Team Leader. Additionally the plan features pilot opportunities for Bronx high school students to participate in courses led remotely by New York City teachers. These opportunities will be on the leading edge of teaching and learning, expanding access to rigorous courses.

The agreement also helps us make better use of our most valuable resource – our people – by creating greater flexibility in our ability to leverage the talents and skills of teachers in the absent teacher reserve.

Ultimately this preliminary agreement is also a sign of the respect and value we place in our teaching force. Our teachers, paraeducators, and thousands of other pedagogues are professionals, and this agreement helps recognize and advance the immense contributions they give to our city every day.

As I have travelled our great city, one thing is crystal clear – we are privileged to have some of the best and most committed educators in the world. I am proud to introduce this preliminary agreement which affirms our commitment to equity and excellence, and I am proud of our partnership with the UFT, and I am proud of the educators across our great city who support and challenge students everyday.

In unity,


Update 3:
Mulgrew's email: My only editorial is Mulgrew won't let Delegates see the MOA and will only put it up online after they vote on it sight unseen and no mention of the healthcare givebacks either.

I am pleased to inform you that we have reached a tentative contract agreement with the Department of Education ahead of schedule. This agreement recognizes your hard work and dedication and empowers us to improve the teaching and learning conditions in our schools so we can provide the best possible education to our students.

We began this process a year ago when we sent online contract surveys to members in all divisions and functional chapters. With your feedback in hand, we convened a 400-member negotiating committee that has met regularly throughout the bargaining process. Through tough, yet respectful negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, we have hammered out a tentative contract that addresses the top priorities of UFT members.

We have called a special Delegate Assembly for Friday afternoon. If UFT delegates vote to recommend the agreement, you will have the opportunity to vote on it.

If ratified by the membership, the contract will provide pay increases of 2 percent, 2.5 percent and 3 percent spread out over 43 months (Feb. 14, 2019-Sept. 13, 2022). Classroom paraprofessionals with more than five years on the job will receive a $1,200 longevity increase in addition to the contractual raises. Paras with under five years will receive a $500 longevity on top of their raises. These pay increases are in addition to the lump-sum payments payable this month and in 2019 and 2020 that were negotiated as part of the 2014 contract.

Teachers told us in their contract survey responses that reducing the number of annual observations was a priority. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, teachers rated Highly Effective and teachers rated Effective for two years in a row will be observed a minimum of two times a year. Teachers rated Effective for the current year, but rated Developing, Ineffective or Unsatisfactory for the prior school year, will be observed a minimum of three times.

The tentative contract will expand the authority of school-based UFT consultation committees, empowering them to raise and address issues of professional development, basic instructional supplies, curriculum, inadequate space and workload. Modeled on our successful paperwork dispute process, these workplace issues will first be addressed at the school, but the chapter leader can escalate these issues to the district and central levels if they cannot be resolved at the school. New anti-retaliation language in the tentative contract will protect you if a supervisor tries to retaliate against or harass you for using your professional voice and raising concerns.

We negotiated major new protections for paraprofessionals as well. A paraprofessional can no longer be suspended without pay indefinitely as investigations drag on for months and years. Under the tentative contract, paras will have due process rights similar to teachers.
School safety was another major concern raised in the contract survey responses. The Central Paperwork and Operations Committee will establish and enforce system-wide standards for school safety and discipline. The contract will also bolster the role and responsibilities of the UFT chapter leader on the School Safety Committee.

The tentative agreement also creates an accelerated process designed to dramatically reduce the time that thousands of students remain in oversize classes every year. All class size overages that can’t be resolved at the school by the 10th day of school will go to the UFT district representative and the superintendent to address. And by day 21, unresolved issues at that level will get escalated to a central labor management committee that will meet three days a week every week to bring the remaining classes within contractual limits. Any oversize classes not reduced by this process will be fast-tracked through arbitration, where an arbitrator will now have the authority to impose a remedy.

This tentative contract expands the array of courses that teachers can take to attain the 30 credits beyond a Master’s degree so teachers can apply more relevant and more affordable professional development toward that differential. Currently, teachers must have 30 traditional college credits. In the new process, the DOE and the UFT will pre-approve a broader range of PD, including some CTLE courses, as valid “A+ credits” toward the differential. College credits, P-credits and CLEP credits can still be in the mix, and we made sure that those teachers who already have the differential will not lose what they’ve already earned. The new requirements will be phased in for those already in the process of attaining their MA+30.

Under the tentative agreement, a Bronx Collaborative Schools Model will be created to help support high-needs schools — but this time with changes driven from the bottom up, not the top down. Up to 120 schools, mostly in the Bronx, will be identified for inclusion in the program based on staff turnover, student achievement and other criteria, but the chapter leader and the principal must both agree to participate. These schools will form joint labor-management committees and be provided with support to make significant changes in school operations. Each school will make its own decisions on how to improve school climate, reduce teacher turnover and increase academic achievement. The changes could include an additional $5,000 to $8,000 per year for teachers in a hard-to-staff license or title. This pilot program will sunset in June 2022, unless the UFT and the DOE agree to extend it.

We have also negotiated a process to reduce the backlog of non-class-size grievances and speed up the grievance process so members get quicker relief.

If the delegates recommend this tentative contract to you, we’ll be sharing the complete Memorandum of Agreement and the salary schedules for every title. It will all be available in a special Contract 2018 section of the UFT website.

I hope you agree that this is a contract that we can all wholeheartedly support.


Michael Mulgrew


The school based members of the 300 person UFT Negotiating Committee have all been released from school today for what is being called a "crucial meeting" at 9:00 A.M. Since the UFT negotiates in secret behind closed doors, we really don't know what is being discussed but we can gather that the Department of Education is not going to release people from their teaching assignments if things weren't really serious. As negotiations heat up for a new UFT contract, we should keep in mind that the City of New York has never been in a better position financially. I received a report in the mail from Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Here is a part of it:
Our office recently found that New York City unemployment dropped to a historically low 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018, and our economy expanded 2.7%, keeping pace with the same rate as the first quarter. 

In another part of his report he noted:
Preserving the strength and stability of pensions for more than 700,000 current and retired New York City employees is one of my top responsibilities as Comptroller. We've got to ensure that our investments generate solid, elable returns, because after years of service to this City you deserve that security and peace of mind.

The Bureau of Asset Management (BAM) in our office has worked hard to make this a reality, producing a portfolio return of 7.43% since we took office on January 1, 2014 -- a rate that exceeds the 7.0% actuarial assumed rate of return, as well as the 6.4% return that would have been earned for a comparable index fund during the same period.

That excess money should be given back to us in the form of larger raises.

The economy is doing well but salary increases from the pattern setting contract DC 37 set in June for municipal unions of 2% annually won't nearly keep up with inflation now running at 2.7%. In addition, we are looking at healthcare givebacks.

I very much doubt the UFT has any chance of beating the DC 37 pattern but I am hopeful that the Union can still make non-monetary gains in the contract. For example, two observations per year with no strings attached. I can think of plenty of others. Also, please remember that any proposal has to be voted on by the membership, not the people who opt out of the union.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


We hear regularly from UFT President Michael Mulgrew that very few people are rated ineffective under the current teacher evaluation system. That may be true but as we documented in February when attempting to get the UFT to sign on to get rid of the evaluation system, many more tenured teachers are being brought up on dismissal charges than in the past and non-tenured teachers with effective ratings are being discontinued and the UFT is doing virtually nothing about it.

A major problem is that under mayoral control of the schools Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg completely changed the culture at the Department of Education to one that totally devalues teachers. If we want more evidence, I was going through some old papers and found my notes for the October 25, 2004 UFT Executive Board meeting.

At that meeting, then Staff Director Michael Mendel reported that in the final pre-Joel Klein year of 2001-2002, only 651 teachers received an unsatisfactory rating. In the first Klein year when he was really doing more observing and planning than anything else, only 603 teachers were U rated. It jumped to 799 in 2003-04 and we know things grew progressively worse afterwards. It is astonishing to note that only 134 tenured teachers were brought up on charges in 2002-2003. We have almost three times as many facing dismissal hearings in the post-Klein era.

We started a petition to repeal the teacher evaluation system that over 1300 have signed (see right side of the page or go here). We can revert  to an S or U rating system and there doesn't have to be a spike in U ratings. What we really need is a cultural change at the Department of Education. Teachers need to be valued again.

The UFT should be doing a giant publicity campaign around such problems as school safety, unhealthy buildings and oversize classes. Instead, the UFT is in happy talk mode saying how it is mostly wonderful in the NYC schools.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018


At last Friday's meeting of the Independent Community of Educators, ICEUFT was joined by members from New Action UFT and Solidarity caucuses. Since some of the people in ICEUFT are still part of MORE (the Movement of Rank and File Educators, all of the opposition groups to Michael Mulgrew and Randi Weingarten's Unity Caucus within the UFT were represented at the ICEUFT meeting.

There was a spirited discussion that focused on the abysmal working conditions that exist for teachers in NYC schools and for other UFT members too. We talked about what we can do to work to stengthen the union, particularly around the 2019 UFT election. To me, the groups seem to have much more in common in wanting a powerful union than what divides us. The leaders of the various opposition groups might not always agree on the general direction for the movement but I learned at the ICEUFT meeting that there is plenty of common ground.

I am hopeful that in the very near future we will be joined in the struggle to make the UFT the powerful force it once was. We may have our final two opportunities with the 2019 contract ratification vote and the 2019 UFT election to actually change the UFT without destroying it.

Monday, October 08, 2018


In a huge win for rank and file insurgents Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a majority of UPS Teamsters in the package division who cast a ballot voted to reject a proposed new contract. This is big labor victory for dissidents in the union. However, in a bigger loss for those dissidents, the union's lead negotiator Denis Taylor said that the contract has been ratified because 2/3 didn't vote against the deal, only 54% said no. Their constitution is even more undemocratic than ours in the UFT. Since only 46% of the membership voted, the majority no vote doesn't count.

It isn't just teachers who are saying no to their undemocratic union leaders.

From Teamsters for a Democratic Union:
If the (Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr.) administration disregards the No Vote and ratifies the contract, it will be giving a gift to union-busters everywhere by telling workers inside and outside our union that Teamster leaders don’t listen to the members.
The General Executive Board should hold an emergency meeting to resolve this crisis.

General President Hoffa has the authority under the Constitution to respect the majority vote of the members, remove Taylor as the union negotiator, return to the bargaining table, and order a contract vote once a new offer has been reached. Any other outcome will betray the members and weaken our union. 

In a separate ballot which turned out to be an old fashion contract rejection vote, the smaller UPS Freight Teamsters voted down their contract with a 62% no vote and over half of them voted so their NO vote stands.

Again, from TDU:
Hoffa Games or a Real Contract Fight?

Now that this weak deal has been rejected, the danger is that the Hoffa administration will delay negotiations, play games, and try to wear down the members. We can’t let that happen.

Our union has leverage to win a good contract. The No Vote increases our leverage even more. UPS is making record profits. The economy is strong and there is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers.

The IBT promised an end to subcontracting. UPS Freight Teamsters will unite behind a contract that protects jobs, wages, and strengthens our union.

We expect wage increases which keep up with inflation, not chump change.

Excuses about UPS Freight paying more than nonunion carriers don’t cut it. We are Teamsters and expect to be paid more than nonunion. UPS is the biggest transportation company in the world. It’s time to make them deliver.

Let’s get organized, get united, and win.

It is hard to see UPS trying to impose a contract on everyone else after this rejection. The problem for the workers, like us, is their union leadership needs to support the rank and file.

New York City teachers and other UFT members have plenty to be angry about when it comes to our working conditions: Raises that don't keep up with inflation, healthcare givebacks, an evaluation system based on student scores on invalid tests and a misused Danielson Framework, large class sizes, endless probation for too many non tenured teachers, abusive administrators in a large number of schools, Absent Teacher Reserves and more.

Teachers and other working people around the country are fighting back, even if they have to battle their union leaders.

When are all of us going to stop complaining and join the struggle?

Sunday, October 07, 2018


Go to the the DOE Payroll Portal to see what your 25% of the money the city owes us from 2009-2011 amounts to for October 15, 2018.

UFT dues, which are normally $60.36 per pay period, more than doubled to $143.67 for one teacher for this pay period.

The generic term for the extra $83.31 the UFT is taking is thievery since we paid union dues on this money when we were paid for these pay periods years ago.

As I say every year when the city repays us back part of the very large interest free loan we made to the city, the UFT before Michael Mulgrew never took union dues from retroactive money that was owed to us because we already paid union dues on the paychecks that this money is based on.

This should be a campaign issue in the upcoming 2019 union election.

Saturday, October 06, 2018


Department of Education Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose, a Joel Klein holdover, has resigned.

This is from the NYPost:

Embattled top Department of Education administrator Elizabeth Rose has resigned, The Post has learned.

The veteran DOE official was reassigned last month amid a student transportation crisis that rocked the start of new chancellor Richard Carranza’s first full year at the helm.

Rose was moved from CEO of school operations to “senior contractors advisor for transportation.”

She will now leave the DOE entirely – and officials stressed Friday that she was not forced out.

“I’ve decided it is time to leave the DOE and to pursue new personal and professional opportunities,” Rose said in a statement.
The department said Rose finalized a new emergency bus contract proposal to be voted on later this month prior to her exit.

Rose had previously managed bus driver misconduct cases and came under fire for reversing firings and trimming suspensions.

The reaction on the Change the Stakes list serve says a great deal. Here are comments from parent activists Leonie Haimson and Lisa Donlan.

Ding Dong!

Cue up Queen:Another one Bites the Dust

My favorite Rose story- among many ridiculous moments of double speak and utter nonsense- was after one Capital Planning session in D1.

After listening to community members testify to the need for smaller glass sizes, gyms, adequate cafeterias, libraries and accessible buildings, Rose read back our list of demands to us.

We were pleased she had listened carefully and duly noted our needs, so we then asked how she and the SCA would begin to plan to address them.

Well, she replied, these are the Chancellor’s buildings and the Chancellor will decide what to do with them.

She was the perfect BloomKlein foot soldier, rising through the ranks of the bureaucracy to her Peter Principle under the current administration.

I like the new Chancellor more every day!

Lisa B. Donlan

From Leonie:

Her letter to DOE colleagues below omits the countless school collocations she pushed through despite huge parent and community opposition, her failure to address school overcrowding honestly with accurate reporting & enrollment projections, or her view that neither class size nor school overcrowding mattered in terms of student learning, all reflecting thesame ideological biases that she carried over from the man who first appointed her —Joel Klein..

Moreover DOE faced multiple lawsuits & EPA decisions that forced them to speed up the removal of PCB lights which she fails to mention below. Not to mention the months of delay in accurately testing school water for lead & the confusing and even dishonest messages she put out about this. - Leonie

Dear Colleagues,

When I first joined the DOE in 2009, I never imagined that I would still be here nine years later. I can honestly say it is because I have loved the work we do, and loved serving our students and this City.

The last 9 years have been the most interesting, fulfilling, and exciting stage in my professional career. I have had the opportunity to see long-term projects from inception to completion: the building of new buildings, the first graduating classes of new schools I helped open, the removal and replacement of all PCB lighting fixtures, identifying gender-neutralbathrooms in all our schools, and expanding universal free lunch to all schools.

Other initiatives will continue, including significant reductions in suspensions and persistently dangerous schools, systematic improvements to accessibility and transparency of information about accessibility, major initiatives to expand and improve physical and health education, to build new gymnasiums, and upgrades to school cafeterias that increased both the number of students eating lunch and their enjoyment of their meal. Over the past three years alone, the PEP approved 174 proposals related to our schools and buildings, and we worked with CECs to approve 18 re-zonings.

None of these would have been possible without the incredible dedication and effort of all the talented people I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with, including those on my teams, those with whom we have collaborated in our shared commitment to improving learning conditions and outcomes for all our students, the parents and advocates I have met, and especially those who have mentored me along the way.

I have served under five Chancellors, and am proud of the work my teams and I have accomplished.

I have decided it is time to leave the DOE, both to spend additional time on some personal needs, and to figure out my next adventure.

New York is a big city, but a small world; I hope we will cross paths again. It has truly been an honor to serve with you.


Two out at Tweed. It's a start. I would like to see others reigned in at least.