Saturday, June 6, 2009
In this city, telling the future of teachers is more like reading the writing on the wall. But still, in the spirit of being able to say I told you so when this all happens, here are some predictions for the near future:
Tier 5 is coming to NY teachers before you know what hits you. After negotiating the 25/55 that was really a 25/57, and not getting it done until years after they said they would, the city and UFT will eliminate it and jump on the tier 5 bandwagon that the state has embraced. Good luck, young teachers! You'll now get to pay 3% of your salary in perpetuity for the honor of retiring 7 years later than me. The city will blackmail the UFT into accepting this with the threat of layoffs, and Randi will trumpet the new tier as a major victory.
The new charter school that pays teachers $125,000 a year, and which currently has only 8 teachers chosen from a pool of 600, will become a "model" of how to do things in the city, despite the fact that there aren't 600 candidates for every 8 jobs in the city and that the city will never agree to pay teachers anywhere near $125,000. Mayor Bloomberg will use this school as a way to "prove" that only teacher quality matters, and not class size. He will, accordingly, raise class size but fail to do anything to attract teachers to NYC. Teachers will be roundly criticized when this experiment fails. Tenure will be severely eroded or eliminated in an attempt to emulate that one tiny charter school. Randi will hail this as a major victory.
The currently unfunded Teacher's Choice program, which gave teachers neither enough money nor enough choice, will be replaced by a new initiative called the Supplies Aplenty Program. Under the SAP. teachers will be required to buy all their own supplies for their entire careers, but the total will be pensionable for the new Tier 5 program. Due to the elimination of tenure, however, no teacher will ever receive their pension. Randi will be pictured on the front page of New York Teacher, a Mussolini like tilt to her head and a fistful of rubber bands thrust in the air, with the headline declaring "VICTORY!"
Mayor Bloomberg will win his third term along with mostly unchanged mayoral control of schools. He will fire Joel Klein as schools chancellor and hire Caroline Kennedy, who will be essentially the same with a much more attractive exterior. Bloomy will groom Caroline to be the next mayor of New York following his third, or possibly fourth, term (even I can't predict that one) on the theory that only the filthy rich deserve to be mayor. Regardless of whether it's Caroline in 2013 or 2017, Randi will hail her election as a major victory for teachers.
Pissed Off Teacher will rock the house in her prom dress. Randi will not hail this as a major victory for teachers, but will begin showing up in red everywhere she goes. Teachers will hail this as a major turn-off.
At least one administrator at your school will continue to be a dick. (OK, that was easy).
UPDATE: POed really did rock the house, so I am 1 for 5 so far. The other predictions are just a matter of time.