In a bid to fix its awful school system, New York City has convened a special task force to kick out all the incompetent teachers. So after two years and a budget of $1 million a year, how many of New York’s 55,000 tenured teachers have gotten the boot?
In a word, the union.
It’s so hard to fire a terrible teacher that the city has to “build a case” over months and years and then endure evidentiary hearings so stultifying that they made one arbitrator say he wanted to put a bullet in his head.
Heaping on the insult, teachers who have been pegged as incompetent stop teaching and hang out with other teachers awaiting their incompetence trials…while getting full pay and benefits. These folks cost New York taxpayers $30 million a year.
And we wonder why our educational system is so hard to fix.
The Bloomberg administration has made getting rid of inadequate teachers a linchpin of its efforts to improve city schools. But in the two years since the Education Department began an intensive effort to root out such teachers from the more than 55,000 who have tenure, officials have managed to fire only three for incompetence.
10 others whom the department charged with incompetence settled their cases by resigning or retiring, and nine agreed to pay fines of a few thousand dollars or take classes, or both, so they could keep their jobs. One teacher lost his job before his case was decided, after the department called immigration officials and his visa was revoked. The cases of more than 50 others are awaiting arbitration.
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