2011-02-03 / Other News

Mayor Rips Teacher Seniority In Speech To Local Parishioners

By Neil S. Friedman


Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Canarsie last Sunday to join Christian Cultural Center parishioners for Sunday morning services before addressing them about his dislike of seniority rules for the city’s public school teachers. 
Spencer C. Tucker Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Canarsie last Sunday to join Christian Cultural Center parishioners for Sunday morning services before addressing them about his dislike of seniority rules for the city’s public school teachers. Spencer C. Tucker While he attended services last Sunday morning, Mayor Bloomberg told a packed house at the Christian Cultural Center, on Flatlands Avenue, that unless the rules changed to firing teachers based on performance and not seniority, the city may have to lay off almost every teacher hired within the past five years.

Since Albany has yet to finalize a budget that will impact the mayor’s plans, it didn’t stop Bloomberg from maintaining his support to end “Tenure for Life.”

Bloomberg said, “Albany rules say when it comes to teaching, talent doesn’t matter, results don’t matter. I say enough with Albany rules!”

The mayor continued, “If the governor’s budget contains education cuts, it must also contain changes to the law so that we can take merit into account when making these difficult decisions.”


Mayor (center) and Schools Chancellor Cathie Black (to his right) join parishioners in prayer. 
Photos by Spencer T. Tucker Mayor (center) and Schools Chancellor Cathie Black (to his right) join parishioners in prayer. Photos by Spencer T. Tucker The New York Post recently reported there might be a secret plan to eliminate up to 4,000 “non-teaching” positions, like those formerly kept in “rubber rooms,” without having to deal with the “last in, first out” policy.

On Monday, Bloomberg reversed his position about reducing the public school teacher population that caused concern when it echoed through the city’s public schools after he announced it last week.

Bloomberg realized that cutting 21,000 teachers would deeply affect minority community schools where new staffers tend to be assigned.

Despite the mayor’s change of mind, teacher’s union President Michael Mulgrew said he thinks the goal should be to avoid layoffs altogether. In response to Bloomberg’s backtracking on layoffs, he called it “political posturing,” and added, “The mayor’s propaganda campaign isn’t fooling anyone. Everyone knows that laying off teachers sends class sizes skyrocketing and hurts kids.”



Christian Cultural Cenrer Pastor Rev. A.R. Bernard greets the mayor at services last Sunday. Christian Cultural Cenrer Pastor Rev. A.R. Bernard greets the mayor at services last Sunday.

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