Saturday, October 04, 2008

Draft Resolution on the Disappearing Black and Latino/a Educator

Whereas the UFT supports the goal of increased hiring of Black, Latino and Asian educators as role models, as sound pedagogy, to advance labor solidarity and as a step to a democratic society, and


Whereas NYC employs a relatively low percentage of teachers of color city wide when compared with the community served and in this respect lags behind other large metropolitan areas, and


Whereas statistics offered below indicate a significant decline in the numbers of new Black and Latino educators hired since 2002, and


Whereas over three thousand uncertified UFT members, disproportionately Black and Latino educators, many with advanced degrees and years of dedicated service in hard to staff schools, were laid off in 2003 based on NYS certification exams that have no empirical data supporting their connection to student achievement, and


Whereas school closings have contributed to a disproportionate percentage of senior Black and Latina/o educators being consigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve, and


Whereas a disproportionate number of Black and Latino teachers have been sent to the ‘rubber rooms, and


Whereas the data obtained thus far indicates that the new teacher and administrator cohorts formed by the DOE under the direct control of Mayor Bloomberg are in effect, reversing progress towards a racially inclusive pedagogical staff in the NYC public schools, therefore,


Be It Resolved


That the UFT shall, as directed by President Weingarten, convene a public inquiry with a month to; 1) draw out the matters of fact as may be obtained, noting any obstacles, and 2) identify corrective measures, initiatives and changes in policy from top to bottom that may be enacted to increase the percentage of teachers of color in NYC public schools inclusive of suggestions for recruitment, hiring, certification, training and retention of well qualified educators, and


Be It Further Resolved


That the President shall report back such findings and proposals to the membership through the NY Teacher, to the Delegate Assembly, NYSUT, The Municipal Labor Committee, the NYC Central Labor Council, city wide parent organizations, civil rights organizations, the City Council, the Deputy Mayor for Education and the NYS Education Department before


January 2009 and on this basis shall engage the membership and parents in a dialogue, seeking consensus for affirmative action on these proposals in all appropriate venues.


NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL YEAR TEACHER ETHNICITY

Years

Indian

Asian

Black

Hispanic

White

Unknown

1990-91

0.3%

3.2%

16.%

11.9%

49.5%

19.1%

1991-92

0.1%

3.2%

16.0%

15.3%

58.4%

6.9%

1992-93

0.3%

2.9%

17.9%

15.1%

59.6%

4.2%

1993-94

0.4%

3.1%

18.4%

13.9%

59.6%

4.5%

1994-95

0.3%

3.2%

23.4%

18.4%

53.9%

0.8%

1995-96

0.3%

3.1%

22.9%

18.4%

54.1%

1.3%

1996-97

0.3%

3.4%

19.0%

14.4%

60.3%

2.6%

1997-98

0.4%

3.8%

20.1%

15.3%

56.7%

3.7%

1998-99

0.2%

3.8%

22.1%

15.2%

57.5%

1.1%

1999-00

0.2%

4.4%

24.8%

16.4%

53.8%

0.5%

2000-01

0.2%

4.2%

25.5%

16.3%

53.3%

0.4%

2001-02

0.2%

4.9%

27.2%

14.3%

53.3%

0.2%

2002-03

0.2%

5.6%

20.1%

12.7%

61.1%

0.3%

2003-04

0.2%

7.2%

16.7%

10.6%

65.0%

0.3%

2004-05

0.2%

8.3%

16.0%

11.1%

63.3%

1.2%

2005-06

0.3%

7.2%

14.5%

11.7%

65.0%

1.3%

2006-07*

0.3%

6.1%

14.1%

11.7%

65.5%

2.3%

**New Hires includes teachers who were hired between 8/25 through 10/31 of each year. ** Data on the 2006-07 New Hires is current as of 8.22.2006



Statistics from Samuel Anderson's Blog at:
http://blackeducator.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2006-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2007-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=18

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article. I am an ATR teacher of color and I've been trying to find a job for 3 years. However it seems impossible. The first problem: The salary and age discrimination, and then my ETHNICITY. Nowadays you need to fit BloomKlein's profile. White, skinny and young.
I know that Randy knows about this problem because during the ATR meeting at the UFT headqurters, she saw that most of the ATRS were black, hispanic, and Asian. I would like to have a public report from Randy about the ethnicity of the ATRS and the Rubber Room teachers.

Anonymous said...

I thought we were a color blind society and that all certified teachers must pass the teaching test?

The fact that we have had a decrease of teachers of color may be a result of their failure to get high college grades and pass the teacher test, not racism.

I agree that Klein is practicing ageism, and hiring inexperienced teachers at the expense of the experienced teacher. However, to accuss the DOE of racism is unfair. I'm sure if the could get people of color with 3.0 college averages and can pass the teacher test, they would hire them in a New York minute.

I thought we had advanced beyond the poisonous program of "affirmative action". Sadly I guess not

Anonymous said...

"Affirmative Action" maybe just a statement. People of color are not dumb. I have 2 master degrees and passed the teachers test without a problem. As my case there are so many other people of color that are very intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Let's knock it off with the "racism being the reason for teachers being in the rubber room" nonsense. I, not a person of color, was in the rubber room for two months because of a false accusation, it was investigated and I was sent back to my classroom. When I was there EVERYONE in the room was white. So, was that reverse discrimination? Second, I am a teacher with 16 years under my belt. When I learned my school was closing I went on open market and applied for a new position, which I got. Yes, I'm not a person of color, but my new principal is. I guess he either (1) took the best candidate or (2) only wanted white teachers in his school (actually, the school has many teachers of all races). So, to the first "annoymous," maybe your salary has something to do with you having a hard time finding a job, but I don't think it's because of your race. I swear, once a problem occurs people have to call out the "It's because I'm ....." card. Qualifications and passing the teacher tests are what make up the hiring process. It's not "oh, (s)he's white! Knock off that nonsense now. It's time for affirmative action to be put to bed and hire people based on qualifications and nothing else. So, if you can't cut it, try again or take extra course work. Just don't blame it on skin color, that'sold news.

Anonymous said...

ANON:

Many of the teachers of color were fired because they failed the teachers' test and couldn't get certification. Further TFA and the "teaching Fellows" require a 3.0 grade point average. This is the reason for the reduction of teachers of color in the city schools. To ignore these facts and claim racism is disgusting and wrong.

Joel Klein is scum and he is slowly destroying the school system but he is not a racist. If there were enough people of color who wanted to become a teacher and had high college grades and can pass the teachers test for certification, he would hire them.

Anonymous said...

How did you get out from the RR. in two months? Did RW. help you? I have been in the RR. for two years.

Anonymous said...

Please note, many members are being reassigned from the rubber room and will be placed in schools this Monday. Their status is not yet known (ATR?) yet, many will be placed. The UFT will claim victory, which it clearly is not.
Question???? Will administrators who brought false charges be held accountable??

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:19

"Qualifications and passing the teacher tests are what make up the hiring process".

Most RR. and ATR teachers are senior teachers that have been in the system for more than 10 years. Do you mean that they did not the pass the teacher's tests? That could be impossible, because teachers have term limits to get permanent certifications. They have to pass the LAST, and other tests. Which means -- that all these teachers mentioned above have the qualificaions and passed the teacher's tests. To be a TFA teacher with a 3.0 average is OK. 3.0=B. They are not MAVERICK!

Sean Ahern said...

The NYS teacher certification exams have no documented connection to student achievement or teacher "quality" however you may try to quantify either.

Fact is there is no study, no "data" to justify the kowtowing and hosannas to this rather arbitrary imposition of bogus criteria for entry to the teaching profession in NYS.

According to the NYCDOE as quoted in Elizabeth Green's article in the Sun, the NYS certification exams are largely responsible for the declining number of Black and Latino/a teachers in NYC.

This may be true or it may just be finger pointing by the DOE. In either case, it hardly serves the interest of educators to defend an arbitrary system of certification as some sort of badge of merit, particularly if the main effect of the NYS certification exams have been to exclude educators of color.

There has never been a higher percentage of certified teachers in NYC schools than there is today, yet there have never been more "certified" teachers in ATR status or in rubber rooms.

There is much to draw out into public view here and the UFT is in the position to provide a forum and be a whistle blower. We cannot lament the outcome but fail to inquire into its causes and remedies. The causes for the Disappearing of the Black and Latina/o educator in NYC need to be identified and affirmative measures taken. This is a basic test of solidarity for teacher unionists. Failure to do so only deepens the historic divide within our own union and between the leadership of the UFT and the communities of color whose children are served and mis served by the public schools.

Beyond the core value of labor solidarity are the issues of recruitment, training, hiring, certification, tenure and retention of general concern to supporters of public education. A system which is 'whitening' the teaching staff in a system serving a population 85% Black, Latino and Asian sends a message of exclusion not inclusion. There is no putting children first if you put the parents and educators of color last.

The purpose of the resolution is to identify and change institutional processes that are promoting inequality through a defacto policy of affirmative action for "whites" only.

The aim is to come together not to pin labels on individuals. Consider before you post that the one you sneer at today may be a much needed ally tommorrow.

Anonymous said...

sean:

Are you saying there should be no teacher certification test? What would you use as criteria? I would like to know.

Maybe we should eliminate doctor and engineer certification too. Better yet lets bring back a quota system based upon student population. Good luck, I think the Supreme Court has already ruled on that.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ahern:
Number one, people (or work forces) are not cups of coffee, so please don't use terms like "whitening". If a white teacher said the work force was "darkening" or "blackening" how would you respond to that person? Also, to insinuate that African American and Latino kids can learn best from people of their ethnicity is an insult to these children. Do you think that they are limited in some way that they are unable to learn from a White person? You give children "of color" too little credit. Two, if you can't maintain a 3.0 average in college or pass a ridiculously basic certification exam you should not be in front of a classroom. I certainly would not want that person teaching my kids. Lower standards have resulted in the decline of professionalism in our ranks. People are not only improperly trained in the craft of teaching but lack the deep body of knowledge necessary to provide enrichment. There is one teacher in our Social Studies Department out of approximately twenty that actually has an MA in history. The vast majority have a BA or MA in education from a diploma mill where they check to see if you have a pulse and take your money. Or they are Teaching Fellows who get exposed to the classroom for a few weeks over the summer instead of student teaching. The DOE gladly takes them instead of experienced ATRs because they are compliant, naive, or are already on a career path that does not include the classroom (AP wannabee, moving to the 'burbs, etc.) Grading the Regents is ridiculous, some of my colleagues have asked basic questions aloud about Gandhi or the Constitution that a middle school student should be able to answer, and are not astute enough to understand that they should be embarrassed that they don't know the answer. Students who have no business getting recommended for AP classes are placed by these people who have never taken a challenging course in HS or college. Then they fail the class or drop out. Hiring someone "of color" over someone who is white but more qualified is unethical, immoral, and unconsitutional as well. Hiring someone because of their color is racist. Why should the kids get stuck with an unqualified teacher to endorse your ideology? Is that fair? How will teachers ever be viewed in a positive manner by society if they are not highly qualified professionals? Also, since when is hiring, training, and recruitment the job of the UFT - isn't that why there is a DOE?

Sean Ahern said...

Anonymous says:
"Mr. Ahern:
Number one, people (or work forces) are not cups of coffee, so please don't use terms like "whitening"."

Yes I agree that "whitening" is an ugly term. Even more disturbing is the actual "whitening" that is occurring with regards to new teacher hiring in the NYCDOE. Sam Anderson refers to the decline of Black and Latina teachers as the "Disappearing". How would you describe a 40% decline in the new teachers of color hired since 2002?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ahern:
Perhaps you have not seen any of the thousands of recruitment posters that have been placed on billboards, city buses, at bus stops, etc., showing either an African American male with dreadlocks in a 3 piece suit, a pretty Asian woman, and other minority groups, saying "Be a real teacher". None of these posters showed a middle aged balding white man. Why? Because they don't want them in the workforce, and the rubber room is full of them. Nearly all the teachers sent to the rubber room from my school were white males. Do you think there is a Klansman at Tweed stamping job applications "Minority - Discard"? Stop playing the race card and seeing racism everywhere. Interesting that you did not attempt to counter my points on your perceptions that minority teachers can only teach minority children. Are you calling for segregation based on race in the schools, only applying it to the teaching staff?
Whitening is a racist term you used, it is offensive and you should have the decency to apologize. Your hiring standards seem to be based on race. If you are a minority, you should be hired, whether or not you can pass a test any decent high school graduate could pass. You don't even attempt to address the points that several posters have brought up about the higher standards of the Fellows and TFA programs. Is it so inconceivable that the numbers of minorities have dropped because DOE is overwhelming hiring TFA and Fellows, which require higher GPA etc.? What is wrong with a meritocracy? You know, hiring the best person for the job? Would you want your kid being taught by a white A student from a competitive college, who had passed the certification exams, a lengthy and supervised teaching practicum, or a C student from an academically weak institution, who failed the certification exams, but got in on an affirmative action hiring plan enacted by DOE because of skin color? Is that what you really want? If it is, fine, you have the right to your opinion, no matter how irrational I feel it is. But do not use ugly racist terms towards anyone. I am surprised that this site would allow such blatant bigotry.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that a college GPA of 2.5 or 3 or 3.5 or 4 is much of an indicator of how effective an individual will be in a classroom setting regardless of their race, and that goes for their first year of teaching as well as their tenth. If you know of any study that suggests otherwise please let me know.

Is there any evidence that the GPA of teachers hired since 2002 through the teaching fellows program or teach for america is higher than that of the "middle aged balding white man" you refer to who were pushed out of your school into the rubber room?

Even if the newcomer's GPAs are higher, there is no indication in your post that you think the newbies make better teachers than the veterans.

I've already said what I thought about the certification exams. It bears a similarity to other high stakes exams; hoops to jump through that empower the test giver and reward the privileged more than they measure ability or the potential of the test taker.

The NYS certification exams are not supporting high or low professional standards. They don't ensure quality, and a passing grade sure hasn't offered any protection to the ATRs facing a pushout should Bloomberg win a third term. ATRs will be holding their "certification" on the unemployment line right alongside the uncertified.

According to the DOE, however, the certification exams are responsible for the declining number of new Black and Latina educators. I wonder if this will prove to be the most clearly discernible effect of these exams?

I don't see how "merit" is being served in the hiring or firing policy in the DOE. It is the actual effects of policy that should merit our attention more than expressed intentions.

We are witnessing negative effects in the current hiring and firing polices of the DOE which may well be influenced by mandates from the State and National levels.

Calling attention to a systemic injustice unfolding before us, for the purpose of righting a wrong, brings us closer to eliminating the racial divide. Affirmative action for whites only is perpetuating inequality even if it is not openly advocated for. I think it is harmful to students, school communities and is promoting division within the UFT and between schools and communities. It is not racist to call attention to this.

There certainly is a range of views among administrators,educators, parents and students as to the understandings, skills, temperment and training that makes for a "qualified" or good teacher.

An article in the latest issue of the AFT magazine suggests that teachers at least should have a say in determining the standards of the profession particularly in light of the push for test score based merit pay.

Democracy is still born however when the would be collaborators are at odds. We face a situation in which those who stand to gain the most from collaborating, view the same phenomenon from different vantage points. Name calling here certainly doesn't help.

One sees institutionalized white supremacy and another sees a "merit system". This is the gap that the proposed resolution seeks to address by establishing the facts, considering causes and effects, and searching for consensus based affirmative responses.

I think the "middle aged balding white man" assigned to the ATR or the rubber room has more in common with the disappeared Black and Latino educator than he does with the middle aged balding white men who run the DOE. But then, as one who holds a MA in History, you've probably encountered this paradox of American History before. Yes the common interests seem to be there but there are far too few balding white men willing to say so publically for fear of being ostracized. It's not easy to stop acting white but if Huck Finn could do it when he helped Jim escape from slavery surely some NYC educators with all their learning and wisdom can muster up the courage to say why the Disappearing or whitening is wrong.

s e anderson said...

Dear Anonymous of Thursday, October 09, 2008 10:21:00 PM

Rather than continue to go off and spew misconceptions about racism and language, tell us that: (1) if there is a problem of a diminishing number of Black/Latino educators in NYC public schools what really is the reason?

And... (2), if there is a problem, what do you suggest is the way to resolve this shrinking Black/Latino educators human resource within the NYC public school system?

Anonymous said...

To the previous anonymous poster who may or may not be Sean Ahearn and SE Anderson:
You speak about "acting white". What exactly is that? You seem to imply, using your examples of Huck Finn helping Jim, that "acting white" is enslaving, dominating, and otherwise controlling Blacks and Latinos. Could you imagine if someone posted here saying that someone was "acting black". You would be apoplectic, and rightly so. But it is ok to say things about white people, and lump all white people together. You spew racial stereotypes. Terms were used such as acting white, whitening, You would hire people people not based on their achievements but the color of their skin. True,there is no way to tell if someone who does well in school will be great in their chosen field. They may be intelligent but boring, or unable to relate to kids. What doing well in school and meeting requirements by passing standardized tests show is intelligence, responsiblity, and the ability to follow through and meet goals. I believe that any employer would find these as laudable skills. If you have a C average and get lower scores on simple exams, or fail them multiple times, it shows that that employee candidate is not as well prepared to enter the workforce as the other candidate. During interviews and through resumes, the "C" student would be able to explain how varied life experiences, hardships that were overcome, past job history, or other special skills make him/her a better candidate than the A student. Furthermore, candidates going to a weaker school might not have had to publish in a scholarly journal, write a lenghty research thesis, vs. just passing tests. Student teaching supervision also greatly varies among schools. Teachers that start without student teaching are at a significant deficit compared with those who come in via alternative certification. As to use of language your use of it is wrong and offensive. I did not write anything offensive at all. But I guess I am just acting white, whatever that means. Or maybe I am whitening. Perhaps I am just planning the weekly cross burning or lynching. What misconceptions about race and language are you talking about, SE Anderson? You take a test, you pass a test. No one knows your ethnicity. No one cares. They want someone that will produce - the Bloomberg corporate model. As far as the reasons why their are fewer Hispanics and African Americans teaching in NYC, I am not a sociologist, I don't know. Neither do you, but you jump to the conclusion that because Klein etc. are white that they are therefore racist. These are very serious charges to levy against anyone, and you should have some proof before you spew your nonsense. The DOE said it was a result of minorities failing tests. Do you have proof otherwise? Maybe the minority groups you mentioned are seeking employment in other fields? Given the environment of micromanagement fostered by Kleinberg that seems totally reasonable. Maybe fewer minorities applied than in past years, and more whites applied? Do you have figures on that, or are you skewing statistics to meet your agenda? Maybe minorities have been finding it easier to get better paying jobs where they are not treated like garbage, as NYC teachers are. The DOE holds minority hiring fairs where white people are not welcomed, and their advertising is skewed to appeal to minorities, as those are the people pictured in their posters and ads. They recruit from all over the world, we have teachers in my school who were recruited from Spain, the Philippines, the Carribean, and South America. You see "insitutionalized white racism" everywhere. The ironic thing in all of this is that American society is more open and colorblind than at any previous point. We are poised to elect an African American President, minorities of all types have served as Governors, Senators, Reps, Union leaders, Cabinet members, Ambassadors, there are many wealthy minority businessmen, doctors, scientists, lawyers, and yet you still insist that there is institutionalized white racism keeping minorities down. There is unfortunately a lot of racism in our society, as any black man who tries to get a cab late at night would attest to. There are also folks like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Quanel X etc. that regularly disgorge their radical anti-American, anti-Semetic, and anti-White sentiments.
Is that Institutionalized Black Racism? After all, the aforementioned lead large organizations that are blatantly racist. As for your assumptions about testing and NYS being hurdles to pass, they are easy. The level of skill required to pass one is very elementary. You attend the workshops you have to, you take the right coursework, you pay your money, and you get certified. I did. Are you saying that minorities can't do the same?
That truly is racist, the assumption that we have to lower standards to let more minorities in. With any job, there are things people are required to do. Would you want a doctor to operate on you with two years from a community college? You are entitled to your beliefs, which I strongly feel are biased, based on the racist language you have used and the assumptions you make about white Americans. The main points of your arguments seem to be the following:
1) Hire Minorities over white people whether or not they are certified or have better credentials
2) DOE is racist.
3) Anyone who disagrees with you is racist (and white, but of course that means you are racist).
4) Institutionalized white racism is preventing minorities from being hired, and white people who believe this are too chicken to stand up for their beliefs (Another stereotype - white people are cowards, the rest are stupid bigots)
5) Little to no proof is required to substantiate your beliefs, as you are of course right and anyone else is racist
I wonder if anyone at ICEBLOG realizes that stereotyping whites and using the derogatory terminology (acting white, whitening etc.) is morally repugnant to most people. I humbly suggest that they employ someone to moderate the blog, as their silence can be interpreted as consent in promulgating racist language and thought. Allowing the expression of stereotypical hate speech towards whites will do nothing to grow your membership and make changes at the UFT. It will bolster those Unity hacks who attack you for being extremist nut
jobs.

Anonymous said...

Just checked out the link to Samuel Anderson's blog. All of you should follow the link provided by Jeff Kaufman. It shows what Sam Anderson and his ilk are all about: racism, hatred towards white people, black supremacy, anti-semitism, hatred towards Israel, a celebration radical left wing revolutionary politics as practiced by brutal, murderous dictators like Fidel Castro, and over all a philosophy based on hatred and ignorance of history. His vision of the world is not through an "African Lens", but a lens of hatred, resentment, as well as a simmering irrational anger. Great job, Jeff. This really shows what you guys are all about.

Anonymous said...

ICE does not necessarily endorse everything on the ICE blog. It's in the bylaws. ICE supports a free exchange of ideas.