This is a guest post from Lashaya Johnson, a Crown Heights public school parent. It was originally posted in Medium.
Earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio made a terrible decision that affects families across the city: He will force place unwanted teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve pool into classrooms. That means any of my three children could get a subpar teacher who their principal is forced to accept. Parents want the best teachers for our children, not the leftovers who nobody wants to hire.
For months, parents like me have demanded details from Mayor de Blasio on his Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) plans. Unable to get answers from the Mayor from where he works, I joined parents on Wednesday where he works out. We protested outside the Mayor’s gym, demanding he reverse his decision to force place ATR teachers. While the Mayor didn’t speak to us, we did see how fast he could run as he rushed into his car, avoiding parents desperate for answers and leadership.
Sadly, the schools most at risk for these unwanted teachers are in communities that need the most help. Mayor de Blasio promised to tackle inequality in New York City, but when it comes to teacher quality, our schools are already unequal. Forcing ineffective educators onto schools might protect the jobs of adults, but it puts the futures of my children in jeopardy.