New Teacher Contract Removes Tutoring Program to Help Struggling Students

TIME // July 10, 2014

The new contract between New York City and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) highlights a key difference between current Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 2005, NYC reached an agreement with the UFT that offers teachers a raise if they tutor students in the bottom-third of their class. In 2014, this arrangement was scrapped with little explanation.

Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the NYC Department of Education under Mayor Bloomberg, helped establish the incentive for tutoring students. In an op-ed for TIME, he bashed the de Blasio administration for claiming this program did not work:

The most damning aspect of de Blasio's giveback is the "didn't work" argument. We are talking about one of the ground-zero principles of a healthy school system: extra help for those who need it. If the program doesn't work, you don't eliminate it. You fix it. The mayor’s spokesman said the extra help would be continued in "flexible" ways. Apparently, "flexibility" is a mayoral euphemism for "I cave." And given the current atmosphere, if it isn’t specified in the contract, it doesn’t exist.