Updated: Wednesday, 29 Sep 2010, 10:05 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 29 Sep 2010, 10:04 PM EDT
MYFOXNY.COM - Melissa Petro, a public school teacher and confessed former hooker, may not be in the classroom anymore, but she is far from losing her job. She has tenure.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has vowed to reform the teacher-tenure system , said the Department of Education is investigating its legal rights in connection with the situation. Normally, the process to fire a teacher who has tenure is very difficult, long, and expensive.
Fox 5 convened a panel to discuss teacher tenure and this situation in particular. Joining Ernie Anastos in the debate on Fox 5 News were: Arthur Aidala, a criminal defense attorney; Audacia Ray, a writer, activist, and former sex worker; and Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who represents the Bronx district where Melissa Petro's school is located.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg outlined his administration's plans to reform the city's school system, including the granting of tenure.
Bloomberg said the city will implement a four-tier rating system for determining whether a teacher should be awarded the lifetime job protections that come with tenure. Only teachers rated "effective" or "highly effective" will be eligible for tenure, the mayor's office said.
"This will transform the tenure system from one in which tenure is taken for granted, to one in which it must be earned through effective performance in the classroom," the mayor's office said in a press release. "Tenure may be awarded in the third year, or any time thereafter, always contingent on whether a teacher has made a significant impact on student achievement."