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.
With seven months left in his term, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun sounding the alarm. He is afraid that the next mayor will destroy all of the progress the city has made in public school education reform. In response to pandering by mayoral candidates at a United Federation of Teacher's forum, Bloomberg had this to say: "If the next mayor wants to take this city back to where it was 11 years ago, when the teacher's union ran the school system, when books couldn't be delivered, when teachers weren't paid when they were hired, when minority kids were hopelessly behind white and Asian kids, where there was no accountability, where crime was rampant in the schools, God help us."
The Teacher's Union, AKA "The Keeper of the Status Quo," does not like education reform because their members enjoy outdated and unnecessary job protections like tenure, which has basically meant a job for life, and last in/first out, which means that if layoffs are necessary they are done by seniority and have nothing to do with job performance.
The union says they endorse accountability but they have fought every effort to agree to a real teacher evaluation process. Charter schools, which are loved by parents and students, are also shunned by the union because they employ mostly nonunion teachers.
Unfortunately most parents of school-age children don't know what the school system was like before mayoral control. And the Teacher's Union is very well organized, powerful and will potentially get its own handpicked candidate as the next mayor. The only way to stop the union from turning back the education hands of time is for parents to start paying attention to the mayor's race now, beware of the union's Trojan horse candidate, and make the right choice for the kids.
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