Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Breaking News: Is Ruben Leaving Us?

In case you don't read the comments on this blog, there was an interesting one this morning on my post about Ruben's Waterloo. The comment reads as follows: "Newsflash! Ruben is Harvard bound in 2 weeks so tenure is NOT a thought. Let the loathing commence…"

I have no idea whether this comment is true or not, but it sure sounds as it it were written by the man himself, especially the "Let the loathing commence" part. The comment was posted by someone with an IP from New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Is Ruben now studying podiatry? Perhaps he wishes to learn how to remove the foot that is perpetually lodged in his mouth.

True or not, I have to say that this comment got me started thinking about something that has troubled me about the tenure debacle. Bloomberg is claiming all kinds of credit for making it harder to get tenure, but the truth is that a lot of folks were denied for no other reason than they had about 24 hours to put a portfolio together for their superintendent. I honestly don't know if I could have put something together on such short notice that would have made me tenure-worthy.

What's troubling me is all these extensions. If you've been extended, you simply have to start evaluating your other career options. I'm sure that a lot of new teachers who were extended are looking for jobs elsewhere or throwing in the towel. If you've been extended twice, like Ruben, you simply must have an exit strategy, as it seems to me that principals will think really hard before they grant tenure to someone who has twice failed to receive it.

By making tenure so arbitrary and basing it largely on TDR scores that have little validity, the mayor has guaranteed that many promising young teachers will flee the system.

All of this is bad news. We have senior teachers under attack by astroturf groups like Asshats4Education, and newbie teachers under attack by a mayor who wishes to burnish his education legacy before he slinks out of office.

Whether Ruben stays or goes is of little consequence. What does matter is that NYC is making a concerted effort to make teaching a temporary career, by hook or by crook. This can only harm the profession, and in the end, the children who pass through our doors.


ed notes online said...

There is also an economic aspect to holding tenure in that the raises for steps get frozen from what I hear at the 4th year. So imagine extensions year after year - sort of like the old permanent sub category that was created in the depression where the majority of teachers were subs and paid lower salaries. Maybe the new way to end tenure in essence.

bookworm said...

My husband and I were discussing a similar scenario as we drove home from the SOS march. We were discussing how Bloomberg and his thugs could virtually end tenure by simply giving extensions every year. No one will want to do the portfolio dance every June indefinitely, so as you say, no one will stay more than 5yrs anyway.

We also wondered what happens IF this economy ever turns around. When given other options, who would WANT to choose teaching, given what the job has become? IF the turnaround comes, watch all those who are staying because there is nothing else right now leave skid marks on their way out. We'll see teacher shortages that make the '80s look like a surplus. Especially when the TFA types can go directly to work for the hedge funds without having to "slum it' for 2yrs by teaching the "less fortunate".

ASTRAKA said...

You hit the nail on the head with this:
"We were discussing how Bloomberg and his thugs could virtually end tenure by simply giving extensions every year"

In fact there is a precedent for that policy. Cuny is saving money by using adjunct lecturers for most of their courses. The main goal of the "Ed-deformers" is to privatize public education. If the will not succeed,They will be more than happy to use "adjunct teachers".

Miss RIm said...

I was lucky enough to get in under the wire and gain tenure under the old system. For all the critiques I have of my current school's administration - they didn't play around with that, the 1 person I knew was up for tenure got it.
That may have something to do with the fact that at D75 schools, there's not as many people willing to teach those populations. Or is it that the political crap usually is delayed a year in D75 schools- the proverbial redheaded stepchild of the DOE?
Still, I wonder what may have happened with me if I hadn't changed schools. And I also wonder, how do they do TDRs with Alternate Assessment?
You're all correct - this smacks of political maneuvering.
This makes me more determined to stick around, though.

zulma said...

I am truly annoyed and bothered by these TFA M.O. of using our public school children for their own hidden agenda. They have no intention of staying and teaching our children. They have no intention of reaching tenure because their focus is to become the next principal, or deputy chancellor, or belong to a stink tank of education policy deformers. If Ruben and all his TFA goonies want to become the next education experts, then let them go to charter or private schools and see if those administrators will allow them to scam the system by pretending to "care" for the children and their "future". I'm so disgusted by Ruben's action and his pathelogical lies that I feel like throwing a dirty, dusty eraser at him.

BTW, he should become a proctologist since he'll probably be up someone's ass and kissing it once he finishes at Harvard. Hopefully, someone there will get tired of his nonsense and kick him out.