Tuesday, July 21, 2020

We At SBSB Have Come Up With Three Plans to Reopen Schools

After listening to Mike Mulgrew in today's town hall I am more convinced than ever that there will be 100% remote learning come September. The DOE has no idea what it is doing. They are fucking it up for everyone. The way I see it the DOE is putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives at stake through their own ineptitude. A team with a brain damaged chimp can do better.

But never to worry. We here at SBSB are smarter than all the people put together at Tweed (yeah, the bar is low, but we do what we can). We have come up with a plan.

The Crack Team spent had a weekend retreat with several world renowned New York City teachers and Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp to come up with several plans to not only insure the safety of the students and staff, but to ensure that learning, real learning, will happen.

At the retreat we decided on three proposals to share on these pages with the rank and file. These plans are making their world premiere on this blog.

The Borg Plan©

This plan was heavily debated at this past weekend's retreat. We all agreed, and surprisingly so did Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp, that assimilating the students of New York City would not be a good thing. But as usual Zippy found a way.

Zippy suggested that we get Seven of Nine to come to the Bronx wearing her hottest outfit. Zippy's reasoning is that Seven of Nine while human, still has can tie into the Borg through the Borg implants she still has. The rest of us didn't want to ask why she must wear a hot outfit.

Anyhoo, Seven of Nine will use Borg technology to impart all knowledge on all the students of New York City. No cube, no assimilation, no explosions. Just putting knowledge into the students heads however the Borg do it.

The Monsters Inc Plan©

This one is simple and to the point.

Remember those guys that came through the windows when it was thought that there was contamination? They worked for the CDA (Child Contamination Agency).

The plan is to each student, each teacher, administrator, secretary, social worker, etc... get their own individual suit. Of course each suit will be free for everyone.

We all saw how good those suits work against any child contamination. Think how good those suits will do against COVID-19!

The Get Smart Plan©

My favorite plan. The Crack Team's favorite plan. The favorite plan of the world renowned NYC teachers. But not Zippy's favorite plan.

We break into CONTROL's headquarters and steal the famed Cone of Silence. Once it is brought back to the Bronx, Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp reverse engineers the cone and removes the silence mechanism from it and adds a germ killer aspect to it, or at the very least a germ preventer. And instead of each cone being for two people, each cone is for one individual.

Once Zippy does his part, we send the plans out to a local manufacturer where these "Cones of Germ Safety" will be made and distributed for free.

Once in the hands of students and staff schools will reopen with everyone having a "Cone of Germ Safety" around them.

Those are our three proposals. We here at SBSB would like to hear from anyone and everyone with their thoughts and which plan is favored. Please leave your comments.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Yes, Mayor DeBlasio!!! I Want to Go Back to School in September!!!

Yeah, I want to go back. I want my routine back. I really do miss going in to school in the morning. I miss my per session. I miss working with the students. I miss my per session. I am perverse. I like getting out of bed at 5:15 in the morning and leaving early to get a parking spot. I kinda miss working for some of the brain dead principals this past year. There's a lot getting used to being at home.

But guess what Mayor DeBlasio, don't lump me in that dumb ass statement you made in the Daily News....
I have not “met a teacher yet who doesn’t want to go back, because they’re devoted to the kids and they know the kids just can’t get as good an education remotely.”
Bullshit. Bullocks. 

I believe DeBlasio that the teachers he met said the above to him. I truly do. What Deblasio fails to share with the grownups out there is that that statement came with a qualifier.

But. However. Nevertheless. Notwithstanding. Nonetheless. Though. Withal. Be that as it may. 

I can go on and on but I shan't. 

Since our mayor is completely becoming brain dead let's use one of those adverbs so how douchey mayor but learn. In fact, this can be an example of remote learning.

Let's see. Johnny, I would like to use "however" for $200.

Billy Boy, watch and learn.

You said: "blah, blah, blah" (refer to above highlighted quote).

I say: However, I am afraid to go back. I have type 2 diabetes and 56 years old. Though I would like to go back, I will not risk my life for the NYCDOE. I will risk my life for my family, and maybe if I am motivated enough or in a good mood, God and country. THOUGH I think I would risk my life sooner for either Chrissie Hynde and/or Sarah Silverman before God and country.

I do not trust the NYC DOE with my, as well as my colleagues, health and safety nor the health and safety of the students. You and Carranza fucked up. There should have been a plan in place no later than the beginning of June. One plan for reopening and one plan for remote. The summer should have been used on best practices for remote learning. Actual teachers should have been consulted. For instance, Arthur Goldstein, who wrote  a spot on piece in the Post yesterday and in fact came up with a gosh  diddly darn great idea...
Let a limited number of students in to see counselors, nurses, doctors and social workers. Let them socialize safely, which they could not do in class. If technology or home conditions are difficult, let’s give students and teachers safe, quiet space in buildings to work online.
Sounds reasonable. Why wasn't this planned for? You know the old saying, "Plan for the worst, hope for the best."

Arthur is also right. Every teachers should put in for an accommodation. Start smoking I say. Newport's are only $8 in Pennsylvania. I am sure the generics are cheaper.

How do we know the HVAC systems will be fine? How do we know masks will be available? Testing? If one person in a school comes down with COVID, does the school shut down?  Why not just IMPROVE the remote learning over the summer?

The districts in Westchester still haven't got a clue and these are much smaller district? What makes DeBlasio and Carranza think they can pull it off???

I want my son to go back to college. BUT or WITHAL, I am concerned with spending that money and he is forced home in November when he can start and stay the semester at Westchester Community College. NEVERTHELESS, I trust my son's college to be prepared and to do the right thing any day then I do over DeBlasio and Carranza.

Every teacher reading this, your life is not worth your job. I lost a dear, dear friend in 2011 because of the mayhem at IS 162 in the Bronx.

BE THAT AS IT MAY,  I am counting on, and giving the benefit of the doubt thus far,  the UFT to do the stand up thing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Dirty Little Secret: NYC DOE Reopening is a Pipedream

NYC school buildings will not be opening in September. We will be doing remote learning.

There I said it. I don't have any current knowledge nor any clairvoyance. But think about it, it is not happening.

One reason is that I do not trust the DOE to do the right thing. And even if they tried to do the right thing as far as opening the buildings it will be a failure of epic proportions. And, as of now, I am giving the UFT and Mulgrew the benefit of the doubt that they will not agree to any reopening unless ever t is crossed and i is dotted.

Plus, where are the hundreds, if not thousands, of extra teachers going to come from if each school is split into cohorts?

We have massive outbreaks in states down south. Will these manifestations of COVID slowly creep up here?

Will too many teachers suddenly take up smoking and receive an accommodation to teach remotely?

Each point I made is valid, but it doesn't tell the entire reason why there will not be a reopening come September. There is one cohort (pardon the pun) that no one is thinking of which will decide the fate of a reopening.

The parents. I'll tell you why.

When 9/11 happened I was at a school in the Bronx a few blocks from Yankee Stadium. Around 10 AM or so parents started lining up to take their kids home. Originally I assumed that the Stadium and the Bronx Court House which was nearby as well were likely targets and the parents shared that thought. But I soon learned after the attacks in speaking to other teachers, that all schools were emptied out by parents that day. The school I was at was was a ghost town by 11:30 AM.

Now fast forward to 2020. 9/11 was a less direct threat to the well being of the system's students. COVID is much more existential threat to the health and safety of students.

COVID, or CoronaVirus, can be anywhere, unseen, at anytime. One place not cleaned right, not scrubbed, or sanitized can wreak havoc. Are they going to screen for temperatures for those entering schools? How then do you keep those who are asymptomatic out?

Look what happened in Chappaqua this past weekend. There is now a cluster of 19 people infected because one putz went down to Florida and brought it back with him.

Where are results we can see? That the parents can see? Will one be able go to DOE website and find out the cleanliness and safety of their school?

In fact, where is the transparency of the "walkthroughs" that have been ongoing for the last several weeks? Why can't we see them? Are there results?

We're going have a plan in two weeks? That's too fucking funny. Should've had 10 plans in place by the end of May.

The parents and the communities control if the buildings open. The parents and the communities don't want dead children. The school buildings are not opening in September.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


Some years ago, well actually in 2005 whilst doing family research, I asked my dad if his
dad ever voted. Being that my grandfather was a precinct captain in the Bronx for Tammany Hall and my dad regaled with how my grandfather manipulated voting, I was curious.

My dad's answer wasn't yes or no, but rather; "Do you mean how many times did he vote on Election Day?"

Turns out my dear old grandpa voted early and quite often on Election Day. He used different names, different birthdays. All for the guys at Tammany.

So how does this matter to you, the DOE employee? The "Return to Buildings Survey" is out!!!!!!!! (click to enlarge)

So as you read this you think, why is this blogger so excited? The Crack Team's computer guy, Zippy the Brain Damage Chimp found a flaw.

Just like my grandpa, you can fill it out early and often on the survey. Here's the link

Take the survey as many times as you wish. In fact, send the survey to grandma, grandpa, you family all over the world. Does your pet have opposable thumbs? Let Fido or Fluffy take the survey!!

Just remember, fill it out early and often. If doing survey on phone, look for arrow in lower right corner. If on desktop, click next.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Teachers, Smoke if You Got 'Em!

About a month or so ago I wrote a blog post wondering if teachers lives matter in reopening the schools. It seems that we are moving closer to seeing that teachers loves do in fact matter.

At today's delegate assembly, these words were actually spoken by Mulgrew...
Medical accommodations--We're advocating with DOE and CSA--We need to know approved medical conditions for accommodation. If anyone needs to do this they will ask for accommodation due to condition, so as to work from home. These people will do remote instruction. Hope to have it by end of month to send out to all.
Good. It's a start.  Or it could be an end. But in my opinion it is headed in the right direction.

We saw something like this last week in an email from Mulgrew...
The DOE has committed to offering accommodations to staff members with high-risk medical conditions in accordance with CDC guidelines.
So what are those medical conditions that are in accordance with CDC guidelines?Who might be eligible to teach from home next year?

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease
Most are specific. The immune compromised category seems rather broad, and for a good reason. But it is good that the DOE will not come up with their own, make believe, guidelines and follow the actual guidelines of the CDC. But what is one to do if one still does not feel safe about entering a building next school year and you don't fall into any category.

Simple. Smoking (see above). If you have quit, start smoking again. If you are trying to quit, throw away the Chantix, the patches the gum or whatever you're using. And if you are still smoking, smoke more. But remember, get a doctor's note.

Yeah, cigarettes are too expensive. But smokes go for $8 in Pennsylvania or buy a cheap off brand. Or go the loosey route. As an ex smoker I will share with those that ask where to get loosies on the Bronx.

Go out, get a pack, or a carton, of Newports, get a doctor's note, and teach from home in September.

Friday, June 12, 2020

BREAKING NEWS!! ATRs Do Not Get Pass On Evaluations

Just a few days ago on these pages, June 9, we here at SBSB asked the question, "But what about the ATRs?"  This was in reference to that Governor Andrew decreed that teachers that fall under APPR will not be evaluated for the 2019-20 school year. Oh joy. There was dancing in the streets. Celebrations enveloped Coruscant.

I was skeptical. ATRs do not fall under APPR. And neither do others who work in the schools and offices of the DOE. What about these people? At press time on Tuesday, there had yet to be any clarification.

The Crack Team got the clarification.

As of now, ATRs, guidance counselors, school social workers, deans, etc... any one that does not fall under APPR will still be given a year end evaluation.

Of course.

The UFT is awaiting word from the lawyers whether Governor Andrew's gracious offer is extended to The Others. The UFT should be getting an answer soon. This is the best information that The Crack Team got and will pass along more when it is known.

You know what? This is a swift kick to the crotch of ATR and all that do not fall under APPR. None of us were properly observed this year. None of us were properly supervised during the last three months. How can this be?

If the UFT doesn't fix this it yet again amplifies how uneven the playing surface is for ATRs. Yes, The Others are just as affected as well but having an evaluation. But The Others are not on the precipice of losing their careers every year for farting in a non DOE manner, or getting written up for leaving a toilet seat up.

The school year ends on June 26. Two weeks from today. We need an answer. Soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

...But What About the ATRs?

The heavens opened up yesterday and Governor Andy proclaimed, or signed something,
that teachers and principals will have their evaluations waived for this school year. Oh, and teachers will still be able to be tenured if everything is copacetic.

According to Chalkbeat....
State law mandates school and district leaders assess teachers and principals using the so-called Annual Professional Performance Reviews, or APPR. The evaluations, which include classroom observations and student performance data, can influence tenure decisions and trigger firings.
OK. Good. This year has been unlike others. 

So no evaluations is a good thing? Yes. But...

State according to state law evaluations are based on APPR which includes MOTP and MOSL. ATRs are still evaluated under Teaching in the 21st Century using the old S/U system. If we go strictly by the law, it is possible that ATRs are not included in in Governor Andy's proclamation.

Yes, I know, I am overthinking this. But, ATRs are still the overlooked step-children of the DOE. We are the crazy uncle that you keep in the attic when company arrives. There should be some clarification and certainty.

There has been too many stories of ATRs getting ONE letter to file and are given a U rating for the year. Too many ATRs have had the rug pulled out from under them in JUNE with unfavorable observations that lead to a U rating for the year.

I have reached out and have either not gotten an answer or the answer was not clear and concise. I know the UFT can and will come through with further clarification. The DOE is not to be trusted. Just look how they have twisted and turned taking away seven vacation days from us and told us to take it or leave it four additional days added to our CAR. Bupkus. Big whoop.

Remember the Sunday morning TV show on Channel 5, Wonderama? Bob McAllister sang "Kids Are People Too"at the end of every show? ATRs are teachers too, and we're people. We fall through the cracks at time. Forgotten about. Looking at the inside from the outside. Feel like we're shunned. Sometimes it is real, sometimes it's our perception. But perception is reality. We just want communication. And clarity.