As an NYC schools former education employee and student, and parent of NYC public school graduates, I havea few comments concerning Linda Rosenbury’s guest column in Friday’s Daily News.
1. The workplace (including schools) is not a participatory democracy. Everyone has a hierarchy above them! There are foremen (supervisors in the case of schools, such as assistant principals or department chairmen), middle management... and at the top level presidents and the CEO (the principal in the case of schools).
Their job is to see that the “underlings” are doing their job adequately, and beyond adequately. If not, it is their responsibility to help and guide neophyte teachers to improve in a limited time frame (3 years) or realize teaching as a career is not for them!
In the NYC school system, assistant principals are teachers’ immediate supervisors. It is and has been their main function to observe and evaluate the classroom teachers under their supervision and report to the principal teacher, the principal, who is the big cheese in every school.
So can we conclude, that for certain reasons, it is the supervisors, and not necessarily the teachers who have not lived up to their responsibilities in letting “noneffective teachers” slip by and remain in the school system beyond their 3-year trial period!? Are they the ones who have dropped the ball!? We must ask ourselves what circumstances exist that would lead to this!? Can it be that in too many NYC school buildings the youngsters exemplifying today’s youth are not motivated to learn, but only want to have fun because they are overwhelmed and brainwashed by the popular culture presented to them by movies, TV, even print newspapers that celebrity is “what it’s all about”!?
2.Comparing charter schools with their selective student bodies (motivated parents and motivated students) to public schools’ populations, is like comparing a dedicated and motivated hardworking athlete to someone who once in a while throws a ball at the hoop and casually hopes it goes in!?