At last night's Board meeting, the District functionaries and Board members present seemed somewhat disconcerted to find that overthrowing seniority did not win an admiring chorus of approval from the San Francisco labor council. What? said the faces of various administrators and officials, especially those interested in pursuing other elected positions. But we're all about social justice!
Leaving aside the purported commitment to social justice, I'm still not clear on why so many people seemed surprised the skip proposal wasn't popular. I mean, being the first district to attempt to overthrow the Ed Code's seniority provisions has "high paid speeches for soon-to-be retired Superintendent" written all over it, along with demands for first class airfare and luxury hotels just like Michelle Rhee gets for her speaking engagements.
I'm not opposed to setting up a system that would somehow retain teachers at high-needs schools: the actual on-the-ground implications of strict seniority can be really nasty for equal access to education. But the thing is that SFUSD can't even be bothered to provide my five year olds with heat, let alone veteran educators and equitable funding. If they really wanted veterans on the southeast side, there are simple job condition issues that would make a big difference in teacher retention.
(Not to mention those retention bonuses - you know, the one I didn't get this year because financial conditions mean I need a bigger paycut than the Superintendent.)
(Speaking of which, what did happen with the equity plan for furlough days - the one where you take more of your salary is higher, so that classified employees have the fewest and the Superintendent the most? I guess it got circular filed with the annual Equity Report.)
But few things are as delightful as watching one's former Resident teacher totally school the Board (see what I did there?) about showing simple respect for the educators and allies who came out on a rainy night to speak before the Board. If only this would have an impact on our Superintendent, who really needs to bring his laptop like his Deputy. See, the mobile phone texting is just too obvious, whereas one can peruse the DFER website in peace on the computer while managing to pretend to care what these people have to say.