SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL

Monday, February 20, 2017

Without Jia Lee Stronger Together is Weaker Apart (UPDATED 2/22/17)

UPDATED 2/22/17: The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone. At no time did anyone from MORE or any other union member ask me nor attempt to coerce me into writing this blog post. 

One more thing. The kitten on the left represents ALL teacher union members across New York State.


The beginning of this month we shared on these pages that NYSUT VP Andy Palotta will be running for NYSUT president as the Unity candidate against  Michael Lillis, presidential candidate for the Stronger Together caucus.

Recently, both Arthur Goldstein on his NYC Educator Blog and James Eterno on ICEUFT Blog have both queried why ST does not have any UFT members on their slate.

Arthur writes;
"When I realized that Stronger Together was running four people against five, I saw an instant solution to my problem, which is that they have no UFT representation whatsoever. They could run Jia Lee, who bravely faced an uphill battle against Michael Mulgrew last year. They could run James Eterno, who got the majority of high school votes for High School Vice President, but who isn't VP because UFT Unity rigged elections....
And James;
"I'm not happy that ST didn't agree to support any of us UFT dissidents for NYSUT office, particularly since some of us joined ST when it formed back in 2014. Arthur Goldstein (Chapter Leader Francis Lewis High School in Queens) ran for Executive VP back then against Pallotta."
Now while I have the utmost of respect for both Arthur and James I have to agree with Arthur and truly believe that MORE UFT presidential candidate Jia Lee should have been on the slate for ST. Mind you that the ST slate only has four candidates whilst normally there are five.

Why is Jia not on the slate? 

Jia not only has a great reputation throughout NYC, but across the state and nationwide. Jia has testified before the United States Senate, has close ties with the anti-establishment locals, close relationships with New York State legislators, Badass Teachers, and just as importantly, received 20% of the vote in the 2016 UFT elections. No small feat when going against the entrenched machine of Unity. And let's not forget what Jia has brought to not only the Opt-Out Movement in NYC, but just about everywhere.

Yes, unseating and winning the NYSUT elections is a tall order for anyone not backed by Unity. The 2017 RA is on Unity's home turf at the Hilton in Manhattan and we all know how anyone associated with Unity will vote. But why not give those who are against Unity an outside chance?

There are some indisputable facts in the upcoming election that we must heed. NYC, Yonkers, Albany and Rochester will vote Unity. That's a given. On the other hand Buffalo, Long Island, and the North Country will and should be behind ST and even more so if Jia were a part of the slate. The Southern Tier will probably be split between Unity and ST, as well as the Hudson Valley. With Jia ST will without a doubt give Unity a run for it's money. Without Jia it'll be another Unity triumph for sure.

But let's say that ST does pull it off. Then what? Without NYC representation the doors will be slammed shut in Albany and Washington DC. There will be no clout. Nada. Bupkus.

MORE in the previous election lifted ST. Where is the reciprocity from ST? Arthur however brings up an interesting question in his blog post which bears a ponder;
"Could their (ST) negative relationship with a single MORE member have led them to stereotype us?" (Hmmmm, could this be someone who does not play and work well with others?)
Whatever the reason ST did not choose a UFT member, let alone Jia, not only it is ST's loss but more importantly, and much, much worse, but a major setback for the teachers and students of New York State.

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bible Study and Mocking Students at Success Academy 1 in Harlem

Updated February 11, 2017 10:45 AM EST:
We mistakenly left the name out of SA 1 Principal Danique Loving as one of the three yenta teachers. What is updated is in red.

Earlier this afternoon The Crack Team got some compelling news from an impeccable, above reproach source concerning, how shall we say, irregularities about Success Academy that left The Crack Team just aghast and sickened.

As many of us already know, Success Academies decided yesterday that Eva's ego comes first and that their students were forced to attend school braving blizzard conditions during the children's commute to school. What better way to open a few seats and to ensure that those who do not meet Eva's demonic standards don't return. At Success, if a few struggling students get killed or maimed being in a blizzard the attitude must be "so be it." Talk about Creaming.

So back to the compelling news that came to The Crack Team. The source informed The Crack Team that at Harlem's Success Academy 1 yesterday, some students were involved in what can be called "Bible study."

The source shared that three SA teachers staff members including SA 1 principal Danique Loving  were yapping it up early this morning at about 7:15 AM, sharing what they had done yesterday when one of the teachers shared, whilst smiling and almost bragging, that some students were sitting through the readings of Bible verses during the snowy school day.

Now ordinarily we here at SBSB have no problem how one wants to conduct their religious beliefs as long as said beliefs don't infringe on anyone else's belief or non-beliefs of religion and/or deities. However, children, especially those at the near underworld fortress like Success Academy, are a captive audience and have no recourse other than to be force fed religious beliefs of someone else. Moreover, Success Academy is funded with public monies paid by John and Jane Q. Public and is therefore a public school, though a public school that limits access to the public, and falls under the US Constitution's Establishment Clause. But this is Eva. Rules and laws are meant for someone else. Never her.

But this violation, though egregious, pales in comparison to the what else the three SA yenta's were cackling about.

Apparently these three just principal Danique Loving, while the other two listened and laughed, all African-American, decided that their time at 7:15 AM was better spent mocking and deriding a young boys first name. A young boy who is a native of Africa.

How dare these "teachers" principal Danique Loving mock anyone's name! How dare these "educators" think that they are so above it all that the only way they can make themselves feel bigger and more important is to mock a defenseless child! How dare these "people" for one minute think that they are educators!

Can you imagine the shit storm that would incur if this happened at a REAL NYC public school and Eva found out about this? Oy Gevalt!

We here at SBSB immediately call for a proper investigation into these dreadful and unprofessional allegations by an independent investigator post haste. No stone should be unturned into the lack of professionalism by these three SA teachers and whomever decided to turn a snowy NYC day into Bible study.

We here at SBSB also call for the removal of SA 1 principal Danique Loving for turning a blind eye to what has transpired for mocking a students heritage and ethnic background!

The behavior at Success Academy 1 is appalling and must not be tolerated. Looking the other way is akin to accepting such behavior.
Danique Loving
Danique Loving

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We Have Whitney Tilson to Thank for Betsy DeVos

So it is official. Betsy DeVos is the new Secretary of Education. God help us all.

I'm not shocked. Out with Duncan/King in with DeVos. It's all the same. Except the crazy God stuff that DeVos bring as well as her hatred of the LGBTQ community.

There are so many people to blame. Public education and the teaching profession have been under attack for 15 years now. Too many ignorant rich people and politicians have been doing everything they can to delegitimize us. Tell a lie enough it becomes truth.

One person I am going to put this is on is our old friend Whitney Tilson. Why Whitney? Simple, Whitney is whining about DeVos' nomination as well as Trump (YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!)

Yeah, I know, I know. There are so many others to toss the blame at for DeVos, but Whitney just gets under everyone's skin.

Whitney was born with a silver spoon stuck up his ass and it will continue to be there for the rest of his life.

Whitney like DeVos has never attended a public school. Whitney like DeVos never sent his children to public school. Whitney like DeVos donates money to do what he can to destroy public education.

How dare Whitney complain about DeVos. Read this post from April 2010, (Of all the blog posts I've written about Whitney this stands out the most to me) almost seven years ago, in which I wrote about how Whitney completely disparaged a public school which is co-located with a charter. Whitney without any context, without any other information decided to see what he wanted to see. And lie about it as well. Kind of like our current president.

Whitney has spent years delegitimizing teachers. teachers unions, public schools, and worse, the families and communities of the NYC public schools.


Whitney can just delegitimize without offering any real solutions or worse, getting his hands actually dirty and seeing what is really happening.

Whitney just believes that everyone can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and live in the kind of fantasy life he is safely ensconced in.

But when Whitney is whining and kvetching has he ever experienced what children and families of the South Bronx, in particular District 7, go through daily?

Whitney is Trump. Whitney is DeVos.

Whitney has no right to complain about either.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!! Another Challenger for NYSUT President

Last week Arthur Goldstein shared on his blog how the Stronger Together caucus Michael Lillis to run for NYSUT president whilst at the same time trying to make a deal with Unity.
nominated

Arthur is not please with ST because ST is not only keeping the UFT out but, refusing to include MORE. Arthur writes;
"My best guess right now is that Stronger Together doesn't wish to be mixed up with weirdos like us in MORE, because we are pretty much one of the last bastions of vibrant resistance to top-down unionism. Being mixed up with us would hurt ST's chances of a deal with Mulgrew, who didn't send us Christmas cards this year."
But there are more (no pun intended) machinations happening within NYSUT this year.

The Crack Team has learned from an extremely reliable source NYSUT that Andy Palotta, NYSUT's executive vice-president will be throwing his hat in to be the next NYSUT president.

Now you may ask, what about Karen Magee? The Crack Team's source shared that Unity has never been happy with Karen because she has not been "the puppet" they had wanted.

At press time we here at SBSB do not know if Karen is running for president. Some have said she is, while some sources have shared with The Crack Team she is not.

If she is not running, it is entirely plausible that she is being forced out, told not to run by Unity. Unity holds the cards.

Our source also shared with The Crack Team that along with Unity, the Yonkers Federation of Teachers will vote en masse for Palotta but the key to stop this so-called coronation is votes from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. This can be difficult.

The NYSUT RA this year is being held in Manhattan. Whom does this favor? The UFT and Yonkers. Not too far to travel for either delegation. And basically free. No reason to shell out big bucks for travel and Manhattan hotels.

We here at SBSB are sure this is going to get much more interesting.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Progressive SiriusXM Radio Host Michelangelo Signorile Just Is Too Ignorant About Education

So yesterday the "Bear Whisperer" Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos had her hearing share
her "credentials" on why she should be Secretary of Education. Naturally, there would be a lot of talk radio talk (On both the left and right) concerning this scary, scary woman.

On my way home I turned on SiriusXM channel 127 to listen to Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile on Twitter) . The timing could not have been better. He was talking about the DeVos nomination as well and that Randi Weingarten was to call in about 4:30. The moment was perfect for me to call in.

So about 4:15 PM I called and I got the screener. I told him that as a teacher in NYC I (And I am sure quite a few others!) feel that DeVos is going to be just a continuation of the eight dreadful years of Obama-Duncan-King and that this war on education had been aided, abetted, and enabled by the famed troika we have had to deal with all these many years. Screener said good points and told me to hold on.

At about 4:20 Signorile took my call and I basically said what I told the screener, but I added;
"Obama and Duncan have done much damage to education in this country."
At this point Signorile yelled;
"YOU'RE A FAKE CALLER!"
And he hung up on me. I listened to the rest of his tirade on the radio has he shouted;
"Obama and Duncan have done more for LGBQT students and opening access for all students in the country than any other have."
This is where his ignorance slip is showing.

By the way, I have always voted Democrat. Except in 2012 and 2014. Just couldn't bring myself to vote for Obama or Cuomo. My whole family, immediate and extended, are Democrats. My grandfather was part of the Tweed machine. So there!

Yes, DeVos is an abomination that will make life miserable for both LGBQT students and teachers, and even parents.  Yes, Obama has been wonderful for the LGBQT community. But that is not the point I was making and if any other teacher had called in I don't think that would be the point they would be making either.

Now one thing gets me wondering, Signorile's quote about opening access for all students. Because that sounds like code for "school choice." Which just happens to be something that Herr Trump and DeVos seem to want. And guess who else wanted it Michelangelo? Yeah, Arne and Barack did too!

Signorile needs to understand that thanks to Obama/Duncan that we are inundated with charter schools supported by the 1% so that the 1% can get their tax write-offs and photo ops or that are a cash cow for them and their buddies.

We have testing, testing, that has betrayed families and children across the country of being properly educated.

We have cuts in financial aid to school districts nation wide thanks to Obama/Duncan.

We have over crowded classrooms thanks to Obama/Duncan.

We have sham graduation rates thanks to Obama/Duncan.

We have the Common Core thanks to Obama/Duncan.

We have states being held hostage to federal monies and forced to implement inane, obtuse curricula thanks to Obama/Duncan.

We have a teacher shortage in New York State thanks to Obama/Duncan.

SUNY schools are experiencing a enrollment drop in education programs of up to 40% the last five years because of Obama/Duncan.

Teachers unions across the country are under attack thanks to Obama/Duncan.

Teachers are under attack across the country thanks to Obama/Duncan.

Parents are fighting back finally thanks to Obama/Duncan.

Corporations have profited quite handsomely on the backs of children thanks to Obama/Duncan.

Dang, I can go on and on and on and on. I know I am leaving a lot of things out. But suffice it to say, Obama/Duncan have destroyed public education in this country and they were enabled by DEMOCRATS. Yeah, starting with Ted Kennedy and chumming up to George W. back in 2001.

So maybe it is time that Mr Signorile speak and listen to teachers and find out what is really going on. Go and fight DeVos Mike but 95% of the policies that she will be advocating are basically just regurgitated from Obama/Duncan.

I guess I need to go back to listening to Francessa on the way home. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Brooklyn HS Football Coach Can't Use Potty Words

I am sure we all have read in the New York Post how Progress HS for Professional Careers AP Diana Rendon walked into the locker room of Grand Street Campus' football team back on October 20 whilst some of the team was in the state of semi-dressed (The Crack Team has been given a video of the purported incident. However we cannot confirm the veracity of provenance of said video).

My friend Chaz the Blogger brought up some good points on his blog about this incident  yesterday. Yet again the double standard does exist. Even when an administrator is shone is a bad light in the media two weeks in a row.

But good enough was unable to be left alone.

The Grand Street Campus football team was in the news due to allegations that coach Bruce Eugene had an ineligible player on the team. Coach Eugene was fired as coach even though Grand Street won the city football title in 2015. But just before the game on October 20, Eugene won a court order that lifted the suspension and this is where I am going to focus.

He was set up. All about petty BS.

According to the New York Post Coach Eugene was terminated from his coaching position for...
“allegedly heard making inappropriate comments and using profanities”
Come again?

Coach Eugene is quoted in the Post as having said to the team in a pre-game speech...

 “F–k what I’m going through, f–k what’s going on. Let’s focus on Lincoln,”
How shocking! A football coach cursing?

The Crack Team checked with my 15 year old son and asked him if any of his coaches during the time he has played ball have dropped the F and/or S bombs. Now mind you my son's primary sport is baseball. Yes it is a different game.The emotional level is not as high as it is in football. But nevertheless, The Crack Team wanted to be sure.

My son shared with The Crack Team that while neither his middle school or freshman baseball coaches used filthy language the coaches he has had for his travel team have used the F bomb on more than one occasion.

Examples are...
"Get on the f**king line," "cut the sh*t," "What the f**k are you doing?"
Another coach uses the S word as a noun, verb, and adjective quite a bit! Dang, even his Babe Ruth coach is prone foul language. So was his wrestling coach in middle school. In fact, one of my son's friends shared with The Crack Team that the JV football coach has a potty mouth as well!

And guess what? I, and the other parents, don't care. These are boys. Teenage boys. This past summer his Babe Ruth coach needed someone to be in the dugout and keep the book during a game. I turned red listening to what the boys (including my son) were talking about!

Can't the NYCDOE look past a few potty words and see what Coach Eugene has accomplished and allow him his day in court?

Coach Eugene was keeping these boys of the streets. Instilling purpose and discipline in them that will serve the boys for years upon years to come. In a city where quality high school athletics are lacking why must the fix be always to terminate or severely discipline the person? What is so bad about talking?

Coach Eugene was lauded by the community of Grand Street Campus. In the October 5 edition of the Post it was reported that Coach Eugene...

he still has support among parents who lauded his ability to instill confidence in at-risk kids.

Isn't this what we all want? Why not fix the issue instead of blowing it up? 



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Latest New Evaluation Riddle

So Chapter Leaders and I guess administrators are being trained on the new evaluation system.
Everything being crammed into a short time frame. I guess sooner or later teachers will be trained  as well.

But I've been thinking lately.

Think about this. Say you are a teacher and up until now, January 11, 2017 you have had say 2 observations in which were complete disasters. You have to ineffectives and on your way to end of year rating hell. And let's just say for arugments sake that the new evaluation system kicks in on February 1.

Do you get a mulligan? A do over? Like in Galaxy Quest when you get to use the Omega 13 and rearrange matter and get to go back in time redeem a mistake?  Or do the ineffectives get combined with the new method?

One should be able to get a do over. It is only fair. But we have yet to hear from anyone with knowledge to share this with us.

In fact, what about the four observations? Are the observation pro-rated to two observations are will the four observations be jammed into the last few months of the school year?

And one more thing.

Keeping the beginning date of the new evaluation system as February 1in place shouldn't all teachers observations/evaluations be then based on the old S/U system? Think about it for a moment.

Back in November when I was at the Bronx UFT ATR meeting it was shared with us that if we got a permanent position at that time we will be under the auspices of the, at the time, current APPR system. However, if we got a permanent position in the second semester will fall under the S/U nothing to do with Danielson system. Heck, this is even true for new hires if they started that late in the year that they would be under S/U as well.

Will new teachers that are hired in March or later be part of the newest evaluation system or will they fall under the older old version of evaluations/observations the S/U?

Inquiring minds want to know. Inquiring minds want to hear from someone, anyone.