Sunday, November 24, 2019

DOE Coaches Principals on Instructional Leadership Teams

Good morning principals. It's great you all came here for our Instructional Leadership Team training! You'll be happy to know that we're going to reach out to all constituencies and make sure they get rigorous instruction! We want equity and excellence for all. I see a hand.

Do we have to include UFT in this? My chapter leader is a pain in the ass.

No, of course not. When we talk about reaching out to all constituencies, we don't mean actual UFT chapters. What the hell are they good for? And by the way, we absolutely support teachers. We just have issues with the unions.

Aren't the unions made up of teachers?

Back in the good old days, when Mike Bloomberg was mayor, we knew how to handle them. We offered them a 16-page contract that eviscerated all their rights and they just whined and moaned about it. You know, they want this, and they want that, and they have rights. Blah, blah, blah. Now Bloomberg's running for President, and once he buys that election, he'll show those teacher unions what's what.

No, you can put anyone you want on your team. It's your school, and honestly, how the hell are we going to reach out to all constituencies if we have to include teachers? This is the problem with this new chancellor, being seen in public with the union president, going to their events, even marching with them in parades. In fact, I've even heard him say he wants to end his career as a teacher. What the hell is up with that?

Back when Bloomberg hired us, he told us principals could do any damn thing they wanted. Those were the days. We closed hundreds of schools and filled them full of newbies who knew nothing about union. Fact--this chancellor will be gone in two years but we'll be here forever.

Wouldn't it be a good idea for us to get buy in?

Why? Did we need buy in when we imposed the workshop model? Did we need buy in the year we made everyone do portfolios? Did we need buy in the next year when we discontinued them? Did we get buy in when we created SESIS? Did we get it when we created ARIS? Did we get it when we had Alvarez and Marsall run buses that left children stranded outside for hours on the coldest day of the year? We've been here long enough to know that these things come and go. This one's pretty ambitious, and looks to get us to familiarize ourselves with the students. But don't worry, that's never gonna happen.

Why not?

For one thing, we have the highest class sizes in the state. Some guy from UFT was bitching and moaning about that in those contract negotiations, but we told him we didn't care about it at all. That pretty much ended the conversation. If we don't involve UFT we don't even have to talk about that stuff at all. Look, there are two kinds of schools--there are the ones with empty spaces for charter schools, and there are the ones so absolutely packed to the gills that it takes superhuman effort to walk down the halls. Honestly, we're not gonna devote valuable real estate to money-sucking schools when we could sell it to developers for top dollar.

Anyway, the new contract we had to negotiate means fewer oversized classes. That means there will be more classes and less space. We don't plan to address that issue, ever. So remember, pick anyone you want for these teams, do whatever you feel like, and for God's sake, don't use the twenty or thirty thousand bucks we give you to get any actual work done. Nothing is gonna change anyway.

What can we use it for?

You really have to ask? If people are bored on your committee, give them a big fat bunch of per-session hours to keep them off your back. Go to a fact-finding mission to Tahiti. Take a ride on a yacht to get a new perspective. Go to a gala luncheon with your favorite team member. For goodness sake, you're a leader! Use your imagination.

Isn't it short-sighted to exclude most of the staff in instructional priorities? 

Listen, those grasping bastards won't be satisfied if you give them this. Next, they'll want something else. Maybe they'll start saying you can't place letters in their files based on false information, or irrelevant trivialities. And think of the message this sends the children. Do you want them to come up thinking they have a voice, or that their opinion matters? Grow up, for goodness sake. Let's nip this in the bud.

OK, enough talk. The bar is now open.
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