Conditions in the schools have not improved much as far as I can tell since Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor and Carmen Farina was appointed Chancellor.
The only real positive change was that only a couple of schools were turned around and had their teachers replaced as compared to many schools closing under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg with thousands of us thrown into the Absent Teacher Reserve pool. We do not know, however, what changes will come to the 90+ schools labeled failing and it is hard to be optimistic that those teachers and support staff will have any protection.
As far as day-to-day life as a teacher, nothing has really changed much that I can see in the last 14 months. In fact, it has gotten worse with the new evaluation system being fully implemented. Keeping this in mind, Farina's recent anti-teacher remarks that Ed Notes reported on are not that surprising.
Here is one of her many comments in Capital NY that I found quite troubling:
... Fariña said asking principals to weed out their weakest teachers has been her “first statement when I get into any school visit. ... I repeat it over and over again."
If that is the first point she makes to principals on school visits, then where have things gotten better for teachers?
Since Farina was a principal, she obviously has experience going after teachers. Former Chancellors Joel Klein and Dennis Walcott did not come from the schools. Their anti-teacher bias was kind of honest at least. Now we have an "educator" in charge but it isn't necessarily a step forward.
Under Bloomberg, UFT leadership did put up some resistance in public. Now, we hear from union leadership about how we have to make NYC public schools a model for the country. When the Chancellor's rhetoric is clearly anti-teacher and our morale is already at an all time low, it does not seem like we are a model for anything but the same dysfunction that we have endured for well over a decade now.
Does anyone see any improvements that I might be missing?