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.
NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott appeared on Good Day New York two weeks ago and he explained that there is still no deal with the teacher's union on a performance evaluation plan. Walcott has set a deadline of December 21 for a deal to be completed.
Guess what? It's not happening. Why? For starters, there is still no deal on a teacher's contract, which expired over 3 years ago. The union has no incentive to negotiate a new contract because New York is the only state in the country which continues to pay raises when a contract expires.
There will be no new contract until New York City has a new mayor because the union thinks anyone is better than Michael Bloomberg to negotiate with.
There will also be no deal on teacher evaluations before Chancellor Walcott's deadline and potentially no deal by the governor's deadline of January 15.
With no deal in place the city's public schools will lose $250 million in state aid. Once again there is no incentive for the union to negotiate a deal. The problem is that tough-talking Governor Cuomo, the self-proclaimed chief lobbyist for students, gave the union the upper hand by agreeing that there would be no evaluation plan without union approval.
Imagine walking into your boss's office and telling him that you want to decide what the company's evaluation system should be.
The problem here is that mayoral control of the school system does not extend to things like teacher tenure, last in first out, and teacher evaluations. Those decisions are made by the governor-controlled state Education Department.
It's time for Governor Cuomo to step in and provide some leadership by coaxing his union friends to stop stalling and finalize a deal on teacher evaluations.
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