The example of a nationally-certified art teacher, Sunny Neater-DuBow, is chilling. Just before school began in August, she received this creepy voicemail from her first-year principal:
Notice how the reason here is cost–allocating resources for the kids. Then she got a form letter in the mail which used the first person but had no signature. This time, the reason for her firing had nothing fiscal about it. In a method that Neater-DuBow correctly characterized as “Orwellian,” her adminstrators had “redefined” her position into the memory hole:
|The “redefined” and thus unemployed Neater-DuBow|
The Cadre and Reassigned Teacher Pool would have allowed her some form of employment. But her “redefinition” means she gets nothing. And she has a family dependent on her.
The callousness with which Neater-DuBow was ditched is remarkable. But the trend it signals–one in which tenure rules of due process for teachers abrogated to solve budget holes, with no thought for the quality of education resulting for the students–is very troubling. From Chicago’s educational experiments the country has gotten choice vouchers, “turnarounds” for “failing” schools, and privately-run charter schools. Let’s hope this brutal anti-teacher management technique is one that gets no traction outside the “most corrupt city” in America.
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