How do you know novice teachers are the 'best teachers'? Because billionaires like Michael Bloomberg say so

In case anyone believes that the fight over teacher seniority and tenure is limited to Chicago and Illinois, a recent article in the New York Daily News reminds us that the billionaires who are aiming to break unions and teacher tenure are taking the fight to every city and state. Recently, billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City launched a "Shock Doctrine" deficit attack on New York's public schools, while repeating the talking points that claim that the newest novice teachers are the "best" teachers and that seniority is a very very very bad thing.

Here is one of the stories that recently appeared in the New York press:

Bloomberg warns that 21,000 new teachers could face layoffs under possible $1 billion budget cut, BY Jonathan Lemire and Rachel Monahan, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS, Saturday, January 29th 2011, 4:00 AM

Under a possible $1 billion state budget cut to city schools, Mayor Bloomberg warned Friday of possible layoffs for teachers hired in the last five years.

Because state law requires cutting the most recently hired teachers in certain subject areas first, Bloomberg complained that schools will lose great new teachers in slimming their ranks by about 21,000.

"We'd have to part company with some of the best teachers," he said on WOR radio.

"It's a state law, 'Last in, first out,'" he added, referring to the rules requiring teachers hired last to go first. "There are great and terrible teachers at every level of experience and age. ... In the private sector, nobody would do 'Last in, first out.' You'd do it on the 'Who is the most productive.'"

Teachers who work in areas with shortages — such as special education, speech and English as a second language — could face few or no layoffs, officials said.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew argued the mayor should be fighting harder for more money, blasting in particular his support for ending the millionaires' tax. Continuing it, he argued, would bring in $5 million.

"I would hope the mayor would fight for the children," he said. "He has chosen that his millionaire and billionaire friends are much more important than the children in the schools of New York City."

Education Department officials released data showing they are preparing for three scenarios of cuts — $500 million, $750 million and $1 billion.

Under the worst-case scenario, the city would lose roughly 20% of teachers, excluding those in special education, English as a second language and speech.

Four districts — three of which are in the Bronx — would lose more than a quarter of their teachers across all grade levels because they have the most recent hires.

District 9, which includes the Highbridge section of the Bronx, would lose 27%.

Schools in District 1, which includes Manhattan's lower East Side, would lose 26% of their teachers, as would schools in District 10 and District 12, which include Riverdale and Tremont.



January 31, 2011 at 12:33 AM

By: Sarah Loftus


I'm in NY right now and the news is filled with Bloomberg's rants, over and over again. the media has, unlike Chicago, also given the union, parents and even students coverage, They are also closing schools and making charters. Parents and some legislators are protesting.

What other country in the would would deliberately target experienced teachers as villains and vigorously work to purge them?

a few come to mind...any suggestions?

Hasn't the USA criticized other countries for doing this?

February 1, 2011 at 1:09 AM

By: kugler

All Out War

Our brothers and sisters in New York say it plain and simple: This is all out war. They do not ask for volunteers they give assignments to their members for mobilization, direct action, public hearings and even counter intelligence. They meet force with force.

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