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.
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.