Former CNN news anchor Campbell Brown started the Parents’ Transparency Project in June to push back against the New York City’s teachers union, which she claims is hiding a epidemic of sexual misconduct while protecting the perpetrators.
Brown cited 128 unsuccessful attempts to fire teachers associated with sexual misconduct. Blaming the teachers’ union for pushing through an ineffectual arbitration process to protect its members, Brown advocates giving the chancellor of the school system increased ability to fire teachers. Crain’s New York Business interviewed her:
Q: The arbitrator is chosen by both the city and the union. Most of them are retired judges. How is it the union’s fault when the arbitrators make the decisions?
A: These retired judges start getting paid $1,400 a day for an arbitration case. They go on a long time, and they’re making a lot of money.
Q: Shouldn’t teachers be allowed to defend themselves against false accusations?
A: I totally understand a kid who gets a bad grade on a test and makes a crazy accusation against a teacher. That stuff happens. But if you look at the process, there are a lot of measures to prevent that from happening. The special investigator comes in and does a pretty thorough investigation. Only when [the investigator] has substantiated those charges will it go in for arbitration. The Department of Education has unsuccessfully attempted to fire teachers 128 times over the last seven years, related to sexual misconduct.
At the end of the day, you have to put the power in the hands of the chancellor. The buck stops with him.