Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yet Another ATR Assassination Attempt

More from the files of "You Can't Make This Shit Up!"

An ATR that I know is meeting in a discipline conference with his field supervisor when we
get back on February 26.

This ATR is a damn fine teacher. He is very smart, comes prepared, keeps to himself, the kids love him, the teachers dig him. Doesn't rock the boat, keeps to himself, crosses at the green and not in between, posts no bills.

The previous two school years he has received a Satisfactory rating.

Until this year.

This ATR's field supervisor this past November gave him a U rating on an informal observation. Along with this came the usual improvement garbage.

Dear field supervisor sauntered into the school this past Thursday, February 15 to meet with him.

The usual blabbering spewed forth from the field supervisor until the ATR was blindsided.

He received notice to meet with field supervisor and UFT rep on the Monday we come back.

Why? Because the ATR never submitted his lesson plans to the school principal.

The ATR claims that the principal NEVER ASKED once to see his lesson plans. I believe him.

I also know of this principal, this principal is a damn fine principal and treats all staff with respect and does not have "gotcha" bone in their body. Same with the school's AP's.

Something smells here.

First, giving this ATR such short notice for a meeting is not cool. Especially, when he decided to partake of the district rep in attending the meeting with him (time was of the essence Thursday to contact the DR!)

Second, is the field supervisor assuming that the principal asked for the lesson plans? Has the field supervisor communicated with principal?

This is the first meeting in nearly three months with the ATR. At their last meeting she asked him to keep a set of lesson plans for each grade. At what point since November has the field supervisor followed up on her request? 

The ATR feels confidant. The ATR has the DR going in with him. The DR is a good person. That the ATR is not using the chapter leader is not an indictment against the CL. In my opinion, every ATR should use the District Rep when called to a discipline meeting. It's logical.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Calling on E4E and Michael Loeb to Renounce and Retract ATR Death Warrant

So Unity/UFT has a new pal in E4E's Michael Loeb. That's nice. It's always nice to have a pal. But a pal is not one who had knives out to destroy your profession and the teachers one claims to represent.

I will give Unity/UFT a kudo. They have yet to throw ATRUnitys completely under the bus. That day may come. They have come close. Unity/UFT have enabled the crap, either by design or neglect, ATR's are suffering through. But however small, ATR's, still have some voice. Maybe I am being kind?

But why pal around with E4E's Michael Loeb and allow him to play a prominent role in a DA or any type of UFT activities? Why would Unity/UFT be pals with someone that wants to destroy the careers up to 2,000 members who have done the pal no harm?

Unity/UFT has a short memory. Let's go over something. Michael Loeb no matter how you slice it is a card carrying member of Educators 4 Excellence. E4E's existence is predicated on destroying the teaching profession from within, whilst funded and supported by, Bill Gates, The Walton Family, Whitney Tilson and all the corporatist edtards and ediots out there.

Sure, let let the E4E wolf into the UFT hen house. Of course, nothing can go wrong.

The Crack Team came across what we here at SBSB consider nothing more than a death warrant for ATRs written as a policy paper back in May 2014. In essence E4E supports (Read it here on page 7)....

"Two hiring cycles strikes a balance between providing a fair opportunity for teachers to find a new teaching position and at the same time provides schools and the system the autonomy they need," said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director.

Yes, I know, that was written four years ago. Doesn't matter if it was four years or four hundred. This was, and still is, E4E's official policy. Yet, not only is E4E invited to the dance it gets to dance with, and probably go home with, Unity/UFT.

Yet, the "Loyal Opposition," MORE/New Action, continues to get shot down and shat upon at every Exec Board meeting and DA. MORE/New Action have have time and time again put their money where their mouth is. Whether or not you agree with their tactics they have been there time and time again for the teachers and communities of New York City.

If MORE/New Action are the "Loyal Opposition," what then is Michael Loeb and E4E? The "Disloyal Pal"?

E4E has shifted gears and basically put on some lipstick and tried to make itself look pretty. But lipstick on the E4E pig still makes it an E4E pig.

It is time that E4E lay down it's cards and show it's colors. It is time to renounce and retract it's statement of May 2014 concerning ATRs. It is time for Michael Loeb at the next DA to publicly announce his support for ATRs and denounce Unity/UFT for the way ATRs are being mishandled across the city.

No one will be holding their breath. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

E4E's Michael Loeb: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

 On February 6, Norm Scott over at his blog Ednotes posited some possible type of cooperation Educators 4 Excellence and Unity/UFT due to, well let's read Norm's words...
The resolution described below never came up at the meeting as there was a 6PM adjournment. No one from E4E handed out the reso but a stack was left on the UFT lit table, which we are always told is a no-no - they say they only want official UFT lit and if we try to leave Ed Notes or MORE lit there we get a hassle or even an attempt to throw the lit away.
This goes back to a DA in which an E4E hack, Michael Loeb, science teacher and chapter leader at the The Urban Institute Of Mathematics, put forth a resolution about restorative justice before the assembly and was received in a favorable light by the Priests presiding over the DA.

I have written about Michael Loeb in the past (here and here). But it appears that Michael is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. What or who is Michael Loeb?

Michael is a big macha (He's the treasurer!) in the E4E hierarchy as we can see here in the financials for 2016 of E4E. Does Unity/UFT know about this? Do his colleagues at UIM know about this?

Michael also seems to have passed muster with Unity/UFT in that New York Teacher felt Michael was a go to guy for a quote. Maybe the UFT knows of Michael's loyalties? Maybe it doesn't.

I am sure Campbell Brown and her crew at The 74 are well aware of Michael's loyalties. Michael was featured prominently in an article on Campbell Brown's teacher hating website.

One can question Michael's loyalties when a colleague of his at UIM that served our country admirably in the Marine Corps was besmirched. Funny how Michael wasn't quoted in this fray. (At press time The Crack Team is not sure if Michael was the CL at UIM at the time).

Heck, Michael make one wonder about the truth behind E4E's financials when he posted this plea for monies needed for E4E (Yes that is Michael doing his best Les Nessman imitation).

Michael claims (boldface mine)....

....E4E, with our over 10,000 New York and 16,000 national teachers, we take action to improve public education by meeting with elected officials, running for union leadership positions, and advocating for our education policy proposals to improve local schools. 

But what is worse, is Michael has no problem posting photos of his students at UIM and personal information such as names on his personal Twitter account (Find it yourself. I will not give Twitter handle nor link to it). For shame Michael. Putting identifying information of a student on your personal Twitter account as well as students faces.

Maybe Michael, because of who he is and who he knows will skirt by on this. I know of a dear friend who accidentally put a students name on his blog and was grounded. But I am sure Michael will be able to look in the mirror if God forbid something should happen to one of this students. 

But inquiring minds want to know about this meeting of the minds of Unity/UFT and E4E. What gives? Why is this happening now? Can we expect E4E to run with Unity in 2018? Why would Unity/UFT sleep with the enemy? I guess it's official. Of the three caucuses running in 2016 (I am counting New Action w/ MORE) only MORE has yet to reach out to E4E.

What is one tho think? Michael Loeb, it is your serve.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

ATR's Beware The Clown!

The False Prophet, The Purveyor of Bullshit, The Cult Leader, The Narcissistic Fabulist,
Fuckface von Clownstick, The Clown, Francesco Portelos, is at it again.

What false hope is he selling to the disaffected mass of ATR's who are so (understandably)  desperate for a something, anything? That one person and one alone, yes, Fuckface von Clownstick will lead you to the promised land of ATR redemption and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is age discrimination to be found. It's that easy. But sadly, it's not.

Personally, I believe that the DOE does not want teachers above the age of 40. Kinda like Logan's Run where one outlives their usefulness. Do I think there is some kind of smoking gun out there that shows the plotting of the DOE specifically conspiring against older teachers? Somewhere, buried and never seen again. Will it be found if it exists? Nope.

Why am I so vehemently against this? Let me explain.

First off, this is not an indictment against Bryan Glass. I believe Bryan is above reproach both ethically and morally as an attorney and as a person. I, and my family, are indebted to Bryan's representation of me and how tirelessly he worked for me. I believe Bryan is an excellent lawyer and if Mr von Clownstick were not involved Bryan would prevail.

But that's the problem. Mr von Clownstick is involved. Everything Mr von Clownstick gets involved with dies. Mr von Clownstick has lost at every turn with every and any court or court like case he has been involved in since his 3020-a. He might win one, but fortunately the person who is suing him has a worse track record than he.

Mr von Clownstick is a schlomozel. You remember, from Laverne and Shirley? A schlemeil is the guy who spills the soup. The schlomozel is the putz that the soup is spilled on.

There is no smoking gun ti be found. Smoking guns come around once in a lifetime. I came across my own smoking gun and it helped, but not as much as one would think.

What really bothers me the most is that Mr von Clownstick is up to his old tricks of turning teacher against teacher.That's just the way Mr von Clownstick. Just ask Mr Candida.

According to Mr von Clownstick this guide gives you the 1-2-3 of how to jack up another teacher while making it so easy to win your "age discrimination" case. How?

1. FOIL who received your position that you applied for. 2. Once you get the information in from the DOE's FOIL unit in 6 months, go to 3) NYS Ed Dept. Teacher Certification Search, 4) Type in the teacher's name from your super secret stash of FOILed teacher's names and 5) See if that teacher has less years than you do and therefore....6) With that information you get the Magic Ticket and win your case ipso facto or 7) Do as Mr von Clownstick and just harass and stalk that teacher forever or go after their families. Or both.

But. But what it you do the above? You find the teacher that "stole" your job? You see on the NYS Ed. site that that teacher has only 4 years total in the NYCDOE whilst you have 21. Guess what? It does not give the teacher's age. That 4 year teacher can very well be over 40. Can very well be over 45. Can very well be over 50. Then what? Mr von Clownstick got bupkus and he is left holding is schmeckel in his hand.

I am tired of seeing teachers suffer. Worse, I am tired of seeing other teacher (singular on purpose) cause and enable teachers to suffer, especially for their own aggrandizement. Ultimately in my opinion, this is nothing but a ploy to fill the blanks in a email list.

We must not take advantage of teachers who are swallowing bleach, who are are depressed, who are on the precipice of life. We must do everything we can to support and nurture what is best for that teacher. Sometimes just a shoulder to cry on is needed or sometimes fighting back full throttle. But the wisdom to choose between the two is based on maturity and the empathy. Not narcissism or hatred.

The easiest thing to do for any ATR or even a teacher in or has been in trouble is to carry a chip on their shoulder. That is not helpful. Always consider the source. Always consider whether or not someone is projecting their foibles, their shortcomings on you.

Be careful. Remember, you when you are on the phone discussing this, there is a very good chance you are being recorded.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Fix The ATR Issue in One Easy Step

I have been thinking about this Fair Student Funding for some time and how it affects ATR's.

On Monday, Chaz wrote a blog piece on how FSF "shortchanges students" and the DOE does diddly. As does the UFT. He used a recent Chalkbeat article that more or less explained how FSF came into being and how it works. Of course I take anything Chalkbeat blabbers about with a grain of salt but I have to admit, it was enlightening.

First, I am not buying the age discrimination angle some False Prophet dressed as a clown claims. Yeah, there might be some, but after reading the Chalkbeat article, in my opinion, proving age discrimination short of smoking gun, will be extremely, extremely difficult to prove. But alas, there are many followers that enjoy the Kool-Aid and will follow blindly until...well maybe there is no "until."

But here is a simple way to get ATR's hired that myself and The Crack Team put together.

Now as we know, an ATR making max salary (I forget what it is top of my head, but I am just going to use $100k for this post) is doing a damn fine job, likes the school and both the ATR and principal are in synch, and the principal really wants this ATR on board.

The ATR's salary will come out of the school budget. Now getting hired in the middle of the year is tough enough, what with the budget having already been spent. The following year, who knows? Will the school receive less monies? Maybe more but not enough monies?

The ATR at $100k is kind screwed. As well as the students and community of that school.

So the ATR is rotating to and fro not being able to do what they do best but rather be a glorified substitute. Just being wasted away.

But of course Tweed, in all it's glorified, illogical, infinite wisdom continues to pay this ATR $100k per year.

But the ATR can't be hired because the school lacks the funds to hire said ATR. Bear with me, I'm getting to the point.

The school gets it's monies from, care to guess? Yep, you are right. The school gets it's monies from Tweed. The same dolts that are paying the ATR $100k a year to do lunch duty, file papers, teach Latin when that ATR has a common branch license, etc... You get my point right?

Here is how we fix it. Kinda Charter School Style© (Just in case the UFT decides to use this idea.  I, and The Crack Team, can get royalty checks).

The money follows the teacher. Tweed gives the money for that ATR's salary to the specific school. Case closed. Problem solved. Everyone is happy. Tweed reduces it's self-created embarrassment of ATR's, a principal gets a darn good teacher, the students get a darn good teacher, the ATR is happy, and there will be less teachers are anti-anxiety medications.

It makes sense. Both the school's budget and the money Tweed spends on ATR's comes from well. It's like when my wife tries to bet me money. She thinks I am wrong about something, she says, "I'll bet you $100." I say, "No, that's illogical. that $100 comes from our money. You or I have access to that $100 no matter what. Bet me breakfast in bed for a month or something like that."  Can't tell you how many times I have had breakfast in bed. ;)

The Crack Team believes that this method is the best, and most adult, method to solve the inanity of this ATR issue.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This ATR Shit Needs to be Fixed!

The "Children First" slogan espoused by the NYCDOE and all it's sycophantical toadies is such a load of bullshit. Well, yeah, that's not a major revelation, now is it?

I have just spent this rotation, since December 4, co-teaching with another ATR, A 5th grade class. Including myself and the ATR this class was on it's 3rd teacher this year. The teacher they had at the beginning of the year suddenly quit. That teacher was replaced by an ATR who was rotated out and then us. On Monday, teacher(s) #4 take over.

So one wonders why this is a rough class? I had to spend time not only building trust but building and maintaining my expectations along with catching the students up with the rest of the students in their grade.These students are 5th graders in the Bronx. The are brought into this world to be skeptical, to know the difference between shit and shinola.

Then there was Danny Noonan. Danny is ADHD and smart as a whip. He, alone among his classmates, would call out the utter bullshit that they have not had consistency in their classroom's teaching position the entire school year. He was right.

Danny was a challenge. He challenged and tested me right up until the end. The first week with him was tough. But I was me did what I had to do and his outbursts and temper was soon few and far between. I saw some of my when I was in 5th grade and I wasn't going to let Danny down.

I think things came to a head with him earlier this week. After weeks of being firm, yet compassionate during his disruptions with Danny I had to try a different tact. The day before the AP suggested that I call mom. With this outburst I told Danny I had no choice but to call mom. As I was walking out the door he pushed the door shut almost catching my fingers my thismuch.

Mom came in and we talked. She told me that too many teachers had given up on him. I told her that I will not give up on him (even knowing in the back of my head this was my last week). I think I finally got through to Danny. He finally felt safe.

Thursday night I got the email telling me to report to a new school this Monday. I told the class first thing yesterday morning. Danny wasn't there. He was late as usual. At about 8:40 I saw him walking down the hall and I told him outside the class one to one that I was not coming back.

He was stoic. Maybe too stoic. I saw the look in his eyes. Then with about 20 minutes left in the day there was a major meltdown.

I'm not blaming the principal at all. The principal of this school is a damn good principal. It's Tweed. It's the system. Its the fair student funding bullshit. Not all principals want the newbs.

This blaming the teachers and laying waste to ATR's needs to stop and stop now. The Susan Edelmans, the Eva Moskowitzs, the New York Posts of the world and all like those need to open their fucking eyes and look at how the people who are in charge are laying waste to education.Not to mention the con artists from within, like the UFT, and Mulgrew and Fuckface von Clownstick who is nothing more than Professor Harold Hill in manipulating ATR's and offering false hope and empty promises and now has decided to turn teacher against teacher. 

The Danny Noonans of the NYCDOE are being adversely affected. Don't they deserve a system that everyone works together for them?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Crap! This Sucks!

I received a phone call from my friend that is going through a 3020-a about 7 PM this evening. Funny, about the timing vis a vis last night's post.

After a grueling third day of testimony he has decided to retire, effective April 30, from the DOE.

I understand the pain and anguish. But, the only thing I can do and will do is support him in his decision.

There has got to be a better way.

At least he did not take advice from the Crazy Ones. 

Let's not forget thanks to the UFT. If he wasn't for the wonderful negotiating prowess he keeps his retro. Who knows? If the UFT did what it was supposed to do he might not have had whether or not he got his retro hanging over his head.