View Full Version : All NYC New, Idealistic Teachers Face Layoffs in Bloomberg Budget

05-11-2011, 09:05 AM
From the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/nyregion/new-idealistic-teachers-face-layoffs-in-bloomberg-budget.html) by Fernanda Santos:
Samantha Sherwood had lofty aspirations when she settled on a family-studies major at the University of Connecticut, like redrawing welfare rules or weaving together a sturdier safety net for people in need. She figured that she could change the world in big, broad strokes, and that she might pick up a fancy title and ample salary along the way.

Instead, Ms. Sherwood, 25, joined up with Teach for America, the program that puts top college graduates into the nation’s most poverty-stricken schools, deciding that the best way to make a difference would be, as she put it on Monday, “to be there, where the rubber meets the road.”

The world she is poised to change is a science classroom at a middle school in the South Bronx filled with sixth graders who seem as eager to hear her tell them about the whims of the weather as she is to listen to their tales of teenage crushes and broken hearts.

Now in her third year of teaching, earning about $45,000, Ms. Sherwood has come face to face with another place where rubber and road meet: she is most likely among the 4,100 New York City teachers scheduled to be laid off under the budget Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled on Friday.

Because state law dictates that the last teachers hired must be the first let go — with a few exceptions for those hard-to-find teachers in subjects like special education and English as a second language — many of those who will be laid off if the budget is approved by the City Council are young idealists like Ms. Sherwood, whom the mayor and like-minded reformers had rallied to some of the city’s most challenging classrooms.

“My own kind of ideology, my own commitment to have an impact in the world in some capacity, makes me more inclined to work hard to see my kids do well,” Ms. Sherwood said.

According to a model the city prepared in February, all but a few hundred of those slated for layoff will have taught fewer than five years; about 650 of them are in their first or second year.

If Ms. Sherwood is typical of these teachers, she could also be a symbol for those, including Mr. Bloomberg, who are lobbying to repeal the state law, known as last in, first out. Bright, motivated, capable — 72 percent of her school’s students have scored at the proficient level in state science exams since she was chosen to run its science department in 2009 — she said she had been hoping to get tenure at the end of June and make a career in the city schools, but now is unsure.

Most of all, she wants to be judged on performance, not time on the job.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/nyregion/new-idealistic-teachers-face-layoffs-in-bloomberg-budget.html)