Friday, May 30, 2008

Why urban public schools don't work, continued.

Reason # ... oh, count 'em yourself:
It took more than four years and $253,000 for the city's Department of Education to get rid of just one tenured teacher in 2007, according to data obtained by The Post.

Former PS 197 teacher David Salkin, 56, had taught for only five years in Queens before administrators accumulated enough documentation asserting he couldn't control his classroom -- and in 2005, bumped him to the department's "rubber room," where educators get paid to do nothing while under investigation, records show. It then took another 2 1/2 years for the school system to cut him loose -- while Salkin, who had earned tenure after his third year teaching, collected a total of $169,000 in salary.

Salkin's case is just one example of what officials call the needlessly long and arduous process for removing inadequate teachers...

"The process that leads to getting folks out of the system is completely ineffective," Deputy Chancellor Chris Cerf said.

UFT President Randi Weingarten said the department doesn't "help [teachers], and then ... once they made a decision that they think someone's not competent, they then go after them in a real inhuman and dehumanizing way."
By paying them $169,000 to do nothing. Fire me inhumanely! Please!

Update: The Department of Education just obtained an appeals court decision allowing it to dismiss another teacher...
Douglas Lackow told one of his biology students to take a good look at the model of female reproductive organs he was holding because he "would never see one, so enjoy it." When a female student as Susan Wagner HS in Manor Heights yelled "Lackow sucks," he responded, "No, you suck. Well that's what it says in the boys' bathroom," court papers say. He also allegedly talked to his class about masturbation, ejaculation, bestiality and necrophilia, despite warnings.

Lackow contended those were "isolated" incidents...
After the entire administrative dismissal process, it takes arbitration, then a full court trial, and then a full appeals court trial and decision, to get rid of a teacher like this. Think if that money had been spent on "education".

Update: Another teacher still being paid after not teaching since 2005, when she approached a 15-year old student romantically by e-mail and blogged about him erotically. The case goes through administrative processes, to arbitration, to court, back to arbitration ...

It brings to mind what a NYC public schools teacher wrote a little while back about the school system.