To the Editor:
Education Week wrongly suggests that New York City made fundamental concessions on a new school funding plan to placate labor and community officials (“Mayor Backs Off Plan for School Funding Method in N.Y.C.,” May 2, 2007).
Provisions to fund the salaries of teachers already at schools, which you attribute to pressure from the teachers’ union, were part of the city’s plan from its inception and had been announced publicly several times. The city also made clear from the start that its focus would be on adding funding for schools that were not receiving their fair share, not cutting funds.
Your story also errs in saying that the city has abandoned plans to include test scores among criteria for awarding teacher tenure. Our commitment is to use evidence of effective teaching—as measured by student performance—as a central factor in tenure decisions. But we are open to developing other ways to assess effective teaching, and, in that spirit, have created a committee to develop tenure criteria that includes union officials.
We believe that we share common ground with the union in the view that teachers should be awarded tenure on the basis of demonstrated effectiveness.
New York City Department of Education
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2007 edition of Education Week as No Concessions to Union, Others in N.Y.C. Aid Plan