Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WILL CARRANZA CHANGE THE CULTURE AT DOE?

It has been over a month since Richard Carranza took over as the Chancellor of the New York City schools. When he finally pulled sexual harasser principal Howard Kwait from John Bowne High School, some saw it as a sign that maybe the days of autocratic principal rule are numbered, particularly when it comes to sexual harassment.

Those that are saying that Kwait should be terminated, instead of just reassigned, should understand that the city more than likely settled all of the claims by paying the victims but admitting no wrong. Ergo, how can you charge and terminate him when they defended Kwait all along? They could charge anybody but he would have a reasonable defense. I strongly agree with my colleague Chaz who has repeatedly asserted that any teacher in such a position would have been removed from the classroom and probably fired after the first incident. There is a double standard at the Department of Education for teachers compared to administrators but maybe that is changing.

Further evidence that Carranza may be a different kind of leader comes from the Minutes of UFT Michael Mulgrew's President's Report from the April Delegate Assembly.

This is directly from the Minutes:
Mulgrew has spoken to him (Carranza) every day. Mulgrew  told him if he went to a school every day of the school year he would only have visited 10% of the schools in NYC. All of a sudden everyone wants to convince the new chancellor that they don't believe in anything except respecting and supporting all the people that work in the schools and that they have great relationships with the union. The DOE's tone has changed since the selection of the new chancellor.

Before anyone gets happy, let's recall that Mulgrew made similar kinds of statements after Mayor Michael Bloomberg was gone and Carmen Farina and Mayor Bill de Blasio took over the schools/.

This is from our January 2014 DA Report, the first after Bloomberg left office:
 The President noted a change in the relationship between the UFT and the people at the DOE.  Many of them have been apologizing to us for what they said they had to do during the Bloomberg years.
Unfortunately, nothing of any substance changed under Farina/de Blasio. Most readers here believe working conditions have actually worsened since de Blasio took over.

These are the three questions that Mulgrew should expect answers to:


  • Can Carranza recognize the morally bankrupt system he has inherited in many schools?



  • Can the chancellor change the culture at Tweed and turn it around to make it just a little bit pro-teacher or at least neutral?



  • Can Carranza reign in the principals and superintendents who believe power and control are their main priorities which has led to multiple cases of grade inflation and outright fraud to artificially boost the passing and graduation rates?


Answering that last question in an ethical way might make the mayor look bad so I don't see major change at Tweed but there is nothing wrong with hoping this chancellor has some integrity and wants to do what is right.

A more likely explanation for what happened to Kwait is that since sexual harassment is a topical issue, reassigning John Bowne's principal was necessary for public relations purposes since the chancellor has his own past on this issue and the mayor has been tone deaf on sexual harassment at the DOE as well. They had to do something. Removing Kwait was really low hanging fruit.

The "My administrators right or wrong" culture will probably march on mostly unabated at the DOE and the UFT will not fight it with any vigor. I will be glad to admit I am wrong in that prediction but I'm not holding my breath.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who said Carranza want to?

T.J. L said...

Even if Carranza wants change, there is a Deep State of sorts in Tweed, most if not all of the Bloomberg appointees are still there. These bureaucrats in tandem with the Leadership Academy principals believe all of the anti-teacher nonsense and other crapola like "data-driven instruction" that was foisted upon us by Joel Klein.

Anonymous said...

The DOE has been covering up its incompetence and mismanagement for decades.
How? Scapegoat teachers and blame the UFT contract.

The graduation rates and the test results are are a great hoax.
How? Scholarship report meeting between the AP and teachers; Regents Scoring charts where 32% correct = 65 .

Do the math!

Anonymous said...

From what I can tell DeBlasio isn't going to let Carranza do anything. He was picked at the last minute and Carmen is there to tell him what to do. Each school has its own king or queen, that can do whatever he or she wants unfettered by the mayor, chancellor or UFT. Carranza can sit back and play some Mariachi music.

Anonymous said...

The union needs to go much further and challenge the DOE’s use of field supervisions at PERB or by filing a lawsuit. How unfair is it to observe a teacher in a classroom of strangers, with no ownership of their grades, and no idea how much rigor to put into a lesson since the ATR has no idea of the students’ academic ability? Do ATRs have any knowledge of IEPs? How can you plan and prepare a lesson successfully without any knowledge of the students? Many experienced teachers are being served termination papers without a vote from the PEP, another violation of the due process. But we have been also rated by someone we never met before, and now a roving Field Supervisor can recommend our termination. There is no oversight over Supervisors who are not acting in good faith. Yet our disconnected union leadership ignores the issues and allows the DOE to run roughshod over the helpless ATR. They are giving a blank check to Supervisors that for the most part are not acting in good faith by modifying the 3020A process for ATRs secretely. ATRs should not be harassed and targeted by Supervisors coming with an agenda. The whole observation process is manipulated to push experienced teachers out. Is this the way that we want to treat our experienced teachers? All ATRs should be back in the classroom. Should we file a PERB complaint against the Union for denying ATRs the right to have a Chapter Leader, for a change of the 3020A for ATRs, or for allowing secret deals to get rid of ATRs without voting on it?
On whose side is our Union?

Anonymous said...

Do you mean we will continue with the same failed policies? Why won't she allowed Carranza to really clean the house of corruption?

Anonymous said...

Carranza is just the flavor of the week. He will be gone sooner or later. The corruption of the DOE is deeply entrenched and will be here for decades to come.

Anonymous said...

Why? Well it's a little complicated in a round about way. She admitted there was 400 principals that had no business running the schools and did nothing to get rid of them. Their union is a heck of a lot stronger than the UFT. Also most of them were vetted via the NYC Leadership Academy and are doing exactly what they were taught to do. If they are terminated for that, it opens the flood gates of litigation. Remember children are always last with the DOE, with teachers a close tie. Nothing will change for good or ill until Carmen is back in Florida. Carranza has absolutely no power, he's an ATR chancellor.

Anonymous said...

Many experienced teachers are being pushed out on bogus charges, and the UFT is allowing this even though there is a looming shortage.

Anonymous said...

The only thing they have been doing is closing and opening schools creating chaos. At the same time they are pushing out experienced teachers.

Anonymous said...

Yes and most schools get destroyed because no action was taken.

anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

indoctrination on rj/sj. Somehow some people in power think treating students as oppressed victims of an evil system that keeps them down will make their lives better.

T.J. L said...

Teachers are getting pushed out but there is no shortage. Most open positions get 100 resumes plus. The City has used Fellows, TFA, etc. to artificially inflate the supply of teachers. The City doesn't care, in fact they prefer that most of them treat teaching as a temp job or missionary work instead of as a career. This way, any of us who don't type lesson plans (or make multiple copies), don't make 3 versions of the same lesson, or dare to assign problem sets from textbooks, can be easily replaced by obsequient drones as they graduate from far-flung liberal arts colleges.

Anonymous said...

I agree. There is no teacher shortage in NYC. Fair Student Funding guarantees new teachers won’t make it anywhere near retirement. 12 years, best case scenario accompanied with extreme suffering. Say no to the UFT! If a UFT’s Sales Rep knocks at your door give them a list of things they can do to get you to stay. A discount card is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

There are many Leadership Principals out there who are causing many problems to the city, and they are dragging our schools to the ground.

Anonymous said...

Our schools have deteriorated under FariƱa.

Anonymous said...

By refusing to enforce the contract. By refusing to file grievances that are legally legitimate. By creating the ATR pool. By agreeing to field supervisors that are only there to go after veteran teachers. By not allowing a chapter for ATR's. By making us third class citizens. Which per diem subs are being observed by field assassins? By eliminating seniority. By agreeing to fair student funding. By destroying thousands of teachers careers. By agreeing to rotation in a vocation that is built on relationships. By refusing to respond when we are vilified in the press. By telling us that we are lucky to have a job and benefits. By refusing representation in any situation that they should be helping. By theft and denial of services. I can also mention racketeering. They colluded with the DOE to not only create the ATR pool but to assist in the psychological warfare that they the Human Resources enforcement arm of the DOE.
The UFT had sold us out at every turn. The truth is that because of NYS civil service laws they can't have us fired . So all you can possibly say about the UFT is that they pupport to represent our interests and take our money for it. They just hurt us terribly. There is a special place in hell for these sociopathic parasites. I eagerly wait for JANUS. I'm going to keep my money. They need to be starved.

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