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Bloomberg making proposed teacher discipline reform

May 29, 2012 4:23:07 PM PDT
On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg called his proposed reform an urgent next step to protect the children in New York City's schools. This comes after a rash of incidents involving teachers and alleged inappropriate sexual conduct. The mayor now wants to change the state law to give Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott the final say in whether or not an accused teacher gets fired.

"This is just another example - when it happens, you will be out," said Wallcott.

Under the current system for disciplining city teachers, an independent arbiter decides what type of action is taken. However, the mayor complains that all too often these arbiters make bad decisions. Since March, Dennis Walcott has re-evaluated many cases where discipline never occurred - 24 of particular concern, and in 16 of them, the arbiter decided not to fire the teacher. 8 other teachers and staffers are now fired, or about to be fired.

As for the teacher's union, they are not happy. Their president released a statement saying: "This proposed legislation would allow the chancellor to unilaterally find an employee guilty of sexual misconduct even though an independent hearing officer who has weighed all the evidence - has determined otherwise."

As for parents, some have more faith in the chancellor than others.

"I'm seeing what's going on now...the chancellor's not doing what he's supposed to do," said Bronx parent Victoria Wailes.

Latrice Miller has a different opinion. When asked whether he had faith that the chancellor would make the right decisions, he agreed.

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