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Thank you, city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, for using your limited educational experience to destroy whatever hope there was for city public schools.
Thank you for demoralizing educators across the system. Thanks to your policy of giving out indiscriminate “U” ratings, teachers now work under stressful conditions. Does being able to produce conference notes at a moment’s notice really make you a teacher better? This “gotcha” mentality will only further turn schools into revolving doors for educators. Teaching requires years of training. Having a constant flow of new teachers in a school or grade will weaken that school or grade.
Thank you for placing inexperienced and incompetent administrators in schools. Principals and assistant principals with hardly any teaching or administrative experience are at the helm of our schools. Principals have been given a not−so−subtle threat: If they do not have a certain percentage of U’s in their building, they are not doing their job. Some of the more seasoned principals have been able to weather this order better. But some of the newer, inexperienced principals use this to wreak havoc on school staff.
Thank you for treating veteran teachers as enemies. In most other professions, experience is highly regarded, but during your tenure, experienced teachers became irrelevant. Their opinions, talent and expertise were ignored. In many cases, because principals have control over their budgets, they began campaigns of harassment to have those “expensive” teachers retire early or fired.
Thank you for showing zero interest in parents’ concerns. The person a parent can turn to is their child’s principal, should they have any complaints. But that is often the wrong person to turn to now because even the best principals have to follow your policies. And if a parent does not like how a principal runs a school, he or she is out of luck, since there are no district offices and superintendents to turn to. Usually, nothing comes of parents’ complaints.
Thank you for tormenting students with never−ending test preparation. Only since you have taken over has there been incessant test preparation. Endless hours are spent preparing for tests but not on real teaching. The only thing that matters are numbers. Not only is this policy unfair, it encourages cheating.
Thank you for using public school students as guinea pigs for inadequate programs such as Balanced Literacy and Everyday Mathematics in elementary schools. You showed no interest when educators told you these programs were not suitable for students here. You showed no interest when parents told you these programs were not suitable for students.
Once again, thank you.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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