Interview with Rhody McCoy
QUESTION 13
LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK. How were the teachers transformed? How were they interacting with the parents? Were they difficult? What was the feeling? Were they happy? What was going on there?

RHODY McCOY:

If, if memory serves me correct--ah, ah, let me talk about that in two or three different ways. Ah, I think at first the teachers were sort of let's watch and see, kind of suspicious, because now you know that with appointment of these principals and new teachers it put their potential promotions in jeopardy, or it put the system that they had previously adhered to in jeopardy. 'Cause if you suddenly now can use the state system rather than this New York City system of appointing teachers, do that examination and appointing principals through the state system, they had to work to show that they were good performers, that they were competent--

LOUIS MASSIAH:

Could you just say that again and rather than staying "state" could you explain what that system was opposed to the New York City.

RHODY McCOY:

The, the New York State--

LOUIS MASSIAH:

The teachers were wary.

RHODY McCOY:

The teachers were concerned about--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Start again.

RHODY McCOY:

The teachers were concerned about the promotional system and the appointment process because in the district, we had appointed teachers from the, using the New York State criteria which was simply a degree, so many hours in certain subject matters, and approval by the local entity who was in charge. And in this instance it would be the governing board. So a, a teacher seeing a, a person move from teacher to principal would want to do and perform well because this is the best opportunity in the world for them to get promoted because if you did this civil service, which is New York City, they have a list, and that list had ten years to run. So you saw quick chances of 1) promotion. OK. 2) It, it scared them a little bit because here were parents evaluating teachers and professionals for the first time. They had never been in that situation. They were always judged by another professional. In this instance they were judged by parents. Ah, and again, the two systems were now put in jeopardy. So if you look at, ah, both the promotion of the teachers and their opportunities, they suddenly now saying, "I'm caught between wanting to stay with this program for personal and professional reasons as against having to adhere to the union criteria." And it was on that basis that when the union said, "We will pull you out of the schools," that they went out.