Thursday, June 16, 2016
Mayor de Blasio rails against “inequality” — yet he’s doing everything in his power to keep city schools unequal.
That’s what brought hundreds of parents to rally at City Hall Tuesday, demanding to know if the mayor is sending weak teachers to schools in poor, minority areas.
After all, the city refuses to say.
Backed by StudentsFirstNY, parents filed a Freedom of Information request last November, asking where teachers go when they leave the Absent Teacher Reserve system.
What’s the ATR pool? Well, when a school gets downsized or closed, its teachers must try to get another school to hire them. Good ones get snapped up — but, thanks to its labor contract, the city still has to pay the teachers no principal will take.
So it sends them to the ATR, where a few serve as substitute teachers while the rest twiddle their thumbs all day — at a cost to taxpayers of $100 million a year.
Now the city’s bragging that it’s “significantly” trimming ATR teachers, sending some back to classrooms. So parents wonder: Which teachers are leaving? Are they qualified? Which schools are they going to?
The city won’t answer. Tuesday, de Blasio walked right past the rally without even turning to address the parents.
Meanwhile, this week’s Families for Excellent Schools report points to another sign de Blasio’s cheating poor, minority kids. It notes that more than a third of city students — 80 percent of them black or Hispanic — failed math and English tests last year.
Indeed, minorities are far more likely to attend schools “in total free fall”: At 287 schools “located primarily in communities of color,” more than half the kids bombed.
It’s a trap: Some 70 percent of those who flunk in third grade (the first year they take the test) keep on flunking in later grades.
Is de Blasio fixing things? Ha! At 60 percent of the 287 worst schools, the failure rate actually went up from the year before.
He can’t blame kids or their families: Many charter schools with students of similar backgrounds show far better results.
But then, if de Blasio let more poor kids attend charters and they did well, there’d be far less “inequality” for him to rail against.