Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.
In this edition, Mr. Lew Leone comments on teacher evaluations and the UFT, the mayor, and the governor:
Last year New York City's teachers union, the UFT, agreed to implement an effective teacher evaluation system as part of New York's Race to the Top application.
That brought $700 million in much-needed federal funding to our state's education system.
Well, if you thought that the UFT and their leader, Mike Mulgrew, had finally come to their senses, think again.
The UFT stonewalled the process and blocked school officials every step of the way and we still do not have an acceptable teacher evaluation system.
"Unfortunately, for all the changes we've made in our schools, evaluating teachers is one area where nothing has changed," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his State of the City speech.
Now Mayor Bloomberg has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. In order to attract and keep good teachers he has offered a comprehensive plan which includes merit pay and help to pay off student loans of new teachers who excelled in college.
Here is what Mr. Mulgrew had to say: "I think the mayor was living in a fantasy world in terms of his education speech."
Really Mr. Mulgrew?
Good teachers have nothing to fear from the mayor's proposals. Good teachers are embraced and celebrated by students, parents, administrators and their peers and don't fear for their jobs. They are the most important part of our education system.
The mayor's proposal is only bad for poor performing teachers. That is why the union objects. The teachers union exists to protect the adults -- bad teachers. But who is looking out for our kids?
Well the governor has declared himself chief lobbyist for students.
"The only group without lobbyists are the students," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech. "I am taking a second job. I am going to be the governor of the state of New York and I am also going to be the Students' Lobbyist."
Now, Governor Cuomo needs to step up to the plate and help Mayor Bloomberg's plan become reality.
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