There's more on the Absent Teacher Reserve and rubber room controversies in New York City. In today's Daily News, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and union head Randi Weingarten blame each other for the impasses, which will lead to budget cuts next year.
"Those are dollars we could give to schools to deal with issues," Klein said, a week before he expects to tell schools how much they'll lose next year.
Asked if the idle teachers were connected to the cuts, Klein said, "Of course, and I would tell [teachers union President] Randi [Weingarten], instead of making this a PR campaign, we get serious about addressing it."
"The chancellor should stop his grandstanding," Weingarten said in a statement. "The chancellor's ideology of simply wanting to fire people at whim--regardless of fairness, reasons for displacement or statutory/contractual obligations--have gotten him into this mess. To pretend the union hasn't tried to offer solutions is just wrong."
First, with regard to the "grandstanding" line, I'm reminded of that scene from The Godfather, Part II, where Michael sagely reminds Senator Geary that they're both part of the same hypocrisy. Weingarten could use a similar reminder.
More absurd, however, are Weingarten's continued attempts to attach the stigma of "ideology" to a proposal that seeks to impose at least the rudiments of an accountability system on New York's schools. Does she really believe that Joel Klein's proposal to shut down the money-sucking rubber rooms is part of...