I like to read Diane Ravitch's blog but usually have a very difficult time keeping up with all she posts.
This morning I found she has a piece calling for Chancellor Carmen Farina to clean house in the legal department down at the New York City Department of Education. Here is part of her post:
Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected as a progressive candidate. Much of his support came from critics of the Bloomberg-Klein regime and its hostility to teachers and even to public schools. The Bloomberg regime never stopped berating the system that it totally controlled for nearly a dozen years.
De Blasio selected veteran educator Carmen Farina as his chancellor, who promised to bring back “the joy of learning.” Unfortunately, the de Blasio administration has been slow to clean house. The Klein regime still controls large sectors of the education bureaucracy, including the infamous “gotcha” squad that is always on the alert for teacher misbehavior. True, the “gotcha” squad completely missed a high school teacher arrested for having sexual relations with several students at selective Brooklyn Technical High School, who is currently suspended with pay.
But the “gotcha” squad bagged a teacher who helped run a Kickstarter campaign for a student with cerebral palsy. This teacher was suspended without pay for 30 days for “theft of services,” having helped the campaign during school hours.
Ravitch then copies a large part of the Times article (linked above) by Jim Dwyer on the suspended teacher. She then concludes her piece this way:
Chancellor Farina, it is time to fire the “gotcha” squad. It is time to replace Joel Klein’s legal team. It is time to clean house and install officials who share Mayor de Blasio’s vision and values.
We here at the ICE blog are usually careful about calling for masses of people to lose their jobs but we also believe that what goes around should come around. Look at how badly Department of Education lawyers have treated teachers. We certainly question the need for so many lawyers at the DOE and would not be at all upset if there were significant reductions, particularly since the schools are operating on austerity budgets in spite of an influx of state money.
At the very least, the DOE Office of Labor Relations, Office of Special Investigations and Commissioner of Special Investigations, with their anti-teacher biases, all need to be reigned in and the people at the top should go.
Having seen little, if any, change under the Farina-de Blasio regime, I will not hold my breath waiting for the "gotcha" squad to be replaced but it is positive that someone like Diane Ravitch is catching on how the DOE under de Blasio-Farina is not much different than the Bloomberg-Klein, Black, Walcott regime. If only our union's leadership would choose to figure that out.