Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took the mayor and his administration to task on Sunday afternoon for failing to come to an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers over a proposed teachers evaluation program. In a press conference outside of the city’s Department of Education, de Blasio said:
“Mayor Bloomberg has not set the right tone because of his attacks on teachers in his State of the City speech and because of his threat to cut 50% of the teachers in 33 schools.”
In order to receive nearly $60 million in federal education funding, Bloomberg and the UFT need to agree on a plan to re-evaluate instructors at 33 failing NYC public schools. The two sides have already failed to meet a January 1 deadline, and if they can’t come to an understanding within the next four days, Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to step in and take control of the situation.
As expected, the city was quick to blame the union for the problems. Mayoral spokeswoman Laruen Passalacqua told the NY Daily News:
“For five months, we negotiated with the UFT to finalize a meaningful teacher evaluation system, but they put up roadblocks every step of the way. The city remains ready to set up a rigorous system that allows for classroom improvement, and will not settle for one that protects the status quo at students’ expense.”
If you say so, Bloomberg. Let’s hope NYC parents remember your interpretation of events when their kids’ schools don’t have enough money to buy classroom supplies.