Recently, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to revamp 24 of the city’s worst performing schools.  Under President Obama’s Race to the Top program, these schools would close down and then reopen with new missions, curricula, faculty and administrators.  Three thousand six hundred teachers, administrators and principals were pinkslipped at the end of the school year.  Those that were laid off were told to reapply and that they would compete based on, OMG!, merit against 26,000 new applicants.

Well, if you haven’t figured it out, the unions threatened to sue and the city submitted to voluntary arbitration.  Well, no surprise here, the sole arbitrator, Scott Buchheit, sided with the unions because “a wish to avoid undesirable teachers was the primary, if not exclusive, reason for the plan.”  He argued the city wasn’t technically closing the old schools, because they’d mostly retain the same student bodies, buildings and the like.

The unions contract says the city has the right open new schools that “did not previously exist.”  The arbitrator ruled that a school cannot be “new” if it replaces an old institution.

Bottom line.  The teachers’ union continues to defend the worst teachers and most undesirable schools.