Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Really Subtle Analysis

It's not fair!!!!! I could use a subsidy for my housing, too! I'm a science teacher! I teach in the public schools! I've been doing this for SIX years!

I will leave the arguments about supply-and-demand, merit pay, etc. to others.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both ICE and NYEducator had this post up for a week. The offer is more than just housing, it's salary too.
The UFT negotiated this deal without any thought to those already teaching math and science.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

I swore I would never live in NYC after growing up in its suburbs, but this will quickly make me rethink that vow.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

They've already been screwing over veteran teachers with the Teaching Fellows anyway. I actually went to school to become a teacher, on purpose--not just for the sake of "trying out a career" or to be a "do-gooder". Where's my subsidized Master's degree? Where's my free bookbag, dammit!?

7:59 AM  
Blogger Ms. H said...

I just read the article and those were my exact thoughts. I don't teach in a shortage area, but I have some awesome colleagues who do who could really use the freakin support. Once again, it's recruitment, not retention. Arrrrgh.

9:24 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

I don't mind the recruitment incentives, much. Even the Fellows subsidized masters is just a really big recruitment incentive.

But they are recruiting. Retention is the problem.

And there is no effort directed to retention. It's as if they are challenging those of us (stupid enough???) who stick it out past 5 years to move on. It's insulting and it's infuriating.

What would we want? Pay us more? Improve our working conditions? 4 classes instead of 5? Supplies? Reduced class size? Curricular control?

All of those cost lots of $, except the last, which Klein won't cede. It's far cheaper to throw (potentially) $15M at recruits, most of whom will never reach 6b, then to make any real efforts to towards retention.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Chaz said...

Ms. Frizzle;

As a fellow science teacher, I feel just like you do. However, let me remind you that you voted for the contract that screwed the classroom teacher for a pittance (salary increase less than the yearly inflation rate). Did you really think the same people who gave us this wonderful contract even considered how we felt?

I'm no trying to insult you but I am convinced that the Unity faction of the UFT doesn't give a damm about us and their sneaky backdoor approval of modifying the contract without our input is just business as usual.

1:31 PM  
Blogger yomister said...

I just looked at the UFT website and there is some language in the agreement that stipulates that some sort of housing program will be made available to all UFT members.

Unfotunately, it's nothing comparable to what the prospective recruits are being offered.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if that's the case, we should ALL receive our housing stipends soon.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...

Dream on. Next Klein will be asking me about changes that need to be done in the classroom. Such a fantasy!

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope everyone takes advantage of this housing stipend. It should be equal to all members, not just new ones. I would like to know how long this housing stipend has been on the books and why are we just hearing about it now?

This still does not excuse the sign-up bonus. That is money that should be used to retain teachers that are now teaching in these schools.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Miss Dennis said...

Hey Ms. Frizzle,

I haven't commented on your blog in a while. What ever happened to the NYC Teacher blogger happy hour?

I'm calling my post on the housing subsidy matter, "New Housing Incentives for Out-of-Town Teachers who are Going to Sell at $20,000 Higher and Get the Hell Out."

As for veteran teachers being envious - well, is the offer really that good? I enjoyed shredding it to pieces. Still, yeah, I'm envious.

And to the comment about Teaching Fellows having it good. Believe me. They don't. I did it. The Master's was a joke, and those of us who teach special ed are having to start a class action suit just to get the special ed degree we were promised - which, by the way, I paid something like $90 per paycheck for for two years. You guys were much better off getting a real education and paying a bit more!


11:03 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

It's the principle. Like other people have said, the focus is on recruitment, not on retention. Trust me, my master's cost a lot more than just "a bit more" than 90 dollars out of each paycheck (if I did my math right, that's $4,320).

The Fellow's program, economically, makes no sense. How much money does the city lose when Fellows fulfill their two years and then jet? They increase the chances of Fellows leaving by sticking them in the worst possible schools, when the first two years are already the most stressful and frustrating, no matter what kind of school you're in. If the DOE was really interested in recruiting for the long-term, the term of service would be longer, or the Master's would be reimbursed after the term of service is completed or something.

I think part of the reason schools are falling apart is because so many teachers leave after two years, that there's no hope of building a sense of community in a school, which is critical to developing a culture that is conducive to achievement and learning.

7:41 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Nani's point is major ...and I think part of the reason our union is not stronger is because so many teachers leave after two years... The DoE and UFT may have quite different issues on recruitment/retention... maybe what we experience as problems with the Fellows program, for example, is an advantage from the DoE's point of view.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Chaz said...


Wake up. Our union has consistantly shown that retention is not an issue for them. First, look at the last two contracts. They made sure that the starting salary was high enough to attract teachers and made sure that the teachers at the top of the pay scale wwere adequately compensated. However, in the middle, no enhancements whatsoever. Just the givebacks!

Now Unity/DOE are giving up to $14,000 of subsidies for new teachers in the system while extending the ETS for teachers (many of them at the top of the pay scale) so they can fatten their pensions. What are we receiving? The back of the hand.

It doesn't surprise me at all. I can't believe it surprises you?

12:38 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

retention is a major issue for US. That we agree on, and that, for now, is what matters. I will continue to raise retention in every appropriate venue. I trust you will do the same.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Miss Dennis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Miss Dennis said...

(woops. just had to correct st so deleted my previous comment)

seriously though. my group of fellows didn't get the master's we were promised. a few of us really have started a class action. i ended up not even petitioning for the Master's degree despite completing all classes with a near perfect gpa b/c the degree they ended up offering us was not relevant to special ed. we were told we'd get special ed Masters and we didn't. luckily, i already had a master's upon entering nyctf so i should still be able to get my permanent license.

i didn't pay much for my first Master's b/c it was at a public school in a state I was a resident of and i got a grant. i actually paid more for the Teaching Fellows Master's that I never got!

others who've been fellows - was it about $90 per paycheck deducted or per month for two years? i can't recall right now. also, btw, NYCTF royally screwed up my transitional B license application! as in they never even sent it to the state like they were supposed to, but they convinced me the license had been issued! but that's another story. and they wonder why we're so disgruntled.

i'm sure whatever new people get these housing incentives will have to deal with broken promises and lost paperwork too. how did education in NYC ever become so sad?

great conversation here as usual.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...


We both agree that retention should be the emphasis in the next contract.

8:40 PM  

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