Monday, March 18, 2019

It's Time the UFT Helps Displaced and Indigent Former and Retired Teachers

It never ever stops. That innate ability to teach. That special talent to reach young mind and souls through your own kind of magic. You never ever stop being a teacher. You never ever stop wanting to share your gifts. There are only two things that can stop you.

Dropping dead and the NYCDOE.

Back in 2017 we here at SBSB reported on a teacher that went through hell at his school PS XX with trumped charges that we see time and time again are systemic and the pain and suffering he went through facing the demons of the 3020-a. In March 2019 he is still hurting.

I was at the Meadowlands Fan Duel sports book this past Saturday evening (I bet $10 on the Phoenix Suns -2.5 over New Orleans. Suns won buy 2.) from Aaron Goldstein. He told me that yet again his old lady booted him out of the house as they were arguing over money and his lack of steady work. He was heading into the city to find a subway car to sleep in.

If I had been home or not out with friends I would have picked him up and he could've crashed at my place. But it also got me thinking. He should have some support. Support from his union.

Aaron is nearly destitute. He shouldn't be. If the UFT were smart, it would set up some type of job retraining, job something for teachers that have been discontinued or terminated. Something in which they can learn to transfer their teaching skills into the "real world." You could also add resume and interview skills and even a job bank in which other teaching positions in the charter, parochial, and private schools of NY/NJ/CT are listed. Heck, even give that newly out of work teacher a "career coach." I would donate to such a thing. Better spent for this instead of for COPE.

And what about teachers that are truly destitute? At least Aaron has a roof over his head and he's not eating cat food for dinner. I am sure there are former teachers that have it a lot worse than Aaron.

What a great story I read in yesterday's Daily News how EMS workers are helping keep alive the memory and the spirit of Yadira Arroyo...
...the Daily News launched a fund to help Arroyo’s five sons. EMS members were so inspired by the gesture that they decided to keep the good will going with their own campaign, according to Vincent Variale, president of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union, Local 3621. So two years ago, Arroyo’s colleagues launched the EMS FDNY Help Fund to assist needy families of EMS workers.
Better my money goes to something like this than to COPE.

Even Major League Baseball has the Baseball Assistance Team in which indigent former ballplayers are helped with a slew of arrangements that benefit them.

This can be funded very easily. Automatic donations from paychecks in lieu of donations to COPE. Instead of paying for 1,000 people or whatever at the Rye Hilton twice a year how about those monies go to help retired teachers? Maybe a couple of gold tournaments at Winged Foot (or Westchester Country Club?)or some silent auctions? Mulgrew could auction off his US Open seats.

But it's time. We here at SBSB call on the UFT to initiate this plan post haste. It's needed. Hurting teachers need it.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

UPDATE!!! The Lunch Teacher Chronicles

This is an exclusive SBSB news update! News so exclusive that we here at SBSB felt the need to copyright our this blog post.

The Lunch Teacher's (here and here) date with the Rubber Room came and went. When she walked into
school on February 26, she fully expected to sent to Michelle Nacht's welcome and dispersal unit on Gold St to find out which Rubber Room in the Bronx (Fordham Plaza or Zerega Ave) she would reside at. The Crack Team had it's fingers crossed for Zerega.

She had studied Star Trek trivia and other useless trivia to better able to segue into the insane conversations one gets into at the Rubber Room. Also, a stack of Eric Carle books was with her for her reading pleasure.

But she was thrown a curveball. She was not sent to Michelle Nacht. She was not reassigned. She is still teaching her class. This is great news for the parents and students who depend so much on her.

She is still facing these bullshit charges and was just assigned a damn fine NYSUT attorney.

My guess, as well as The Crack Team's, is that these are charges to drive her out of the school and into the ATR pool. And of course, a small fine of at least $2k just to drive home the point.

Luckily, The Crack Team has a contact over at 100 Gold St and has found out some interesting information on this case. The NYCDOE is about to introduce a pilot program, a new shock punishment regimen, on naughty and wayward teachers. The word is that the Lunch Teacher will be the first one this will be tried out on.

There are two punishment options being discussed.

Punishment #1 entails, in conjunction with new NYCDOE consultant Satan, "The Prince of Darkness," having the Lunch Teacher travel back with Satan to Hades in she will do lunch duty in the staff cafeteria in which she will be subject to one of Satan's "ironic punishments": she will be forced to do lunch duty for what will seem forever (In actuality it will be only a week).

Punishment #2 The Lunch Teacher will be forced to watch hour upon hour of watching this lunchroom etiquette (click here) film from 1960. The goal here is for the Lunch Teacher to show that she understands the proper social ramifications of lunch.

As of press time we are waiting with bated breath on the UFT to share if any of the above punishments violate the contract.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Forest Hills High School Up in Smoke

 Disclaimer: I promised someone no snarkiness nor silliness on this subject but it's late. Serious blog post about FHHS tomorrow.

It appears, according to the New York Post, that stoner principal Ben Sherman now has a baby sitter with him at Forest Hills High School.

So The Crack Team has been hard at work trying to find out what has been happening behind the scenes now with Sherman and his baby sitter. Today they struck gold.

We here at SBSB were blessed enough to hear audio between Sherman and his baby sitter as they discussed the marijuana scandal. Sadly the file format could not be saved as a link and we here at SBSB were forced to transcribe the conversation. 

Babysitter: Man, what is in this shit, man?
Principal Sherman: Mostly Maui Waui man, but it's got some Labrador in it.
Babysitter: What's Labrador?
Principal Sherman: It's dog shit.
Babysitter : What?
Principal Sherman: Yeah, my dog ate my stash, man.
Babysitter: Yeah?
Principal Sherman: I had it on the table and the little m**********r ate it, man. Then I had to follow him around with a little baggie for three days, man, before I got it back. Really blew the dog's mind, ya know?
Babysitter : You mean we're smokin' dog shit, man?
Principal Sherman: Gets ya high, don't it?

Principal Sherman: Uhhh, I wonder what Great Dane tastes like, man.
Babysitter : I think it's even better than before, you know?

What a weird and far out school. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Cheech and Chong Come to Forest Hills High School

Principal Ben Sherman, who joined Forest Hills in 2017, shrugs off the pot-puffing — saying “it’s going to be legal” anyway, teachers complain. So this says in the New York Post this past Sunday. 

Yet, Principal Sherman remains on the job.

Let's play make believe. Regular guy teacher at Forest Hills High Aaron Rabinowitz is quoted in the Post saying the same exact words with the same flippant attitude.

Yep, you are right. Aaron would be exiled to the Rubber Room posthaste, have 20 stipulations in his 3020-a and risk his 23 year career go down the drain.

Or let's pretend this didn't happen at Forest Hills High. Instead in our pretend, make believe world, this quote was uttered by the principal of Scarsdale High School to the Journal News. Anyone care to guess what would happen?

The parents would be up in arms. The school board would convene an emergency session. The auditorium at the HS during the emergency meeting would be packed with irate parents. Some will have large signs demanding the principal be removed and terminated while others would be hanging the principal in effigy.

So why is Ben Sherman still principal and the teacher and Scarsdale principal are screwed? Several reasons.

Remember, everything is always the teacher's fault. Even though we just serve the crap that is given to us by administration. But in the bigger deal is why a principal in NYC can get away with this and not in Scarsdale.

In NYC there are low expectations from on high all the way up to the chancellor. These are urban kids they say. Some will say (and mind you this is from admins through the schmucks at Tweed and Court St), "These kids are going nowhere," or "These are kids of color who cares if they are stone all day. At least they are calm."

I was amazed when my son was in 2nd grade and I saw the math work he was doing and the math work in my school. My son's work was challenging. Not so in the Bronx. Low expectations.

In Scarsdale there are parents that are involved, that knows their rights and knows how they can influence educational policy. Where have the parents of Forest Hills High been on this?

For the most part the parents in NYC are either afraid to speak out, don't know they can speak out, or intimidated into not speaking out. This is why all the ed deform and testing starts in urban schools and not the suburbs.

One more thing. The principal in Scarsdale would be fired. Ben Sherman is looking at a nice cushy desk job at Tweed.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

UPDATE!!! Lunch Teacher to be Exiled!!!

This update has just come into the SBSB newsroom courtesy of The Crack Team.

The Lunch Teacher is officially suspended with pay effective at the end of business February 25, 2019. All this for ensuring that one of her students eats a hot lunch as mandated by federal law.

Where will the Lunch Teacher wind up? Will she stay in the building, confined to a closet having nothing to do but to stare at the walls all day?

Will it be another school within the district in which the Lunch Teacher will maybe be allowed to see sunlight and human beings and do clerical work?

Or will it be the famed Rubber Room where she can join in the debate on which Star Trek series is the best? Or which Star Trek first officer is the worst? Personally, I choose Chakotay. He kind of sucked.

Yet, this is now February. March will be here in five days. These accusations go back to last April, almost a year. Why if these charges are so perilous was she, not REMOVED LAST APRIL? If she is considered a danger to students, here we go again, was she, not REMOVED LAST APRIL?

But let's not forget who is most damaged by this. Yep, the Lunch Teacher's students. They have a test, a big one, coming up in about six weeks. Who is going to pick up the slack? Just shove a random teacher in there? One that doesn't know the students or the routines? Maybe even one that doesn't know the curricula. But as usual with the DOE the students are ancillary victims in all of this. Where are the rights of the students?

The Lunch Teacher has already been disciplined for this. She received a letter to the file. Why must there be this vindictiveness?

This is why tenure is so important. Why tenure is more than due process. If not for tenure the student would not have been able to eat lunch. And if that was a non-tenured teacher denying a student the federally mandated lunch then that teacher would have been summarily terminated. Or if that non-tenured teacher took the student to lunch the teacher would face the same fate.

This is such a waste of taxpayer money and DOE resources. This shows again how blind those in charge are to what the true needs and wants of the community are.

Tell me this can't be settled in a ten minute meeting among all aggrieved parties.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mike Mulgrew Show Us Some Love

As much I as I think that Pat Lynch, President of the NYPD's Police Benevolent Association, can be a dickhead at times there is something consistent about him. There perception, if not the reality, that he is in every cops corner is always there.

A cop is falsely accused of something? There is Lynch in front of cameras and microphones backing the cop quite vociferously.

Higher ups aren't following the contract? Again, Lynch is there.

Putting his money where one's mouth is? Talking the talk and walking the walk? There, as always, is Lynch's loud mouth.

Now let's compare to the UFT.

ATR being intimidated by students? Nary a word from Uncle Mike Mulgrew.

Teacher losing his job--due to some unwritten mystery regulation-- for playing 20 minutes of Fortnite? Crickets from 52 Broadway.

A teacher brought up on 3020-a charges for taking students to lunch? Probably the most frivolous charges I have seen since this, what do we see? Averting eyes.

Abusive principals? Corrupt principals? The phalanx of lawyers ensconced at 100 Gold St? Silence and more silence.

Yeah, I see a bit of a change emanating from 52 Broadway. Yes, there are new "safeguards" in the new contract. But the paper it is written on is cheap. The follow through, or should I say the consistent follow through, is priceless.

Why do teachers have to go through their careers wondering if Uncle Mike loves them? Just let us know you love us. Let us know you care. Let us know you have our backs. Give us some sugar.

Think of it this way. If Mulgrew gives is what we need think of all the money the welfare fund can save on doling out less and less psycho-pharmaceuticals to members.

Monday, February 18, 2019

BREAKING NEWS!! Teacher Facing Termination For Taking Student to Federally Mandated Lunch

If I was a NYC student, I could do without passes off for food in the cafeterias. However, I myself, have always had two favorite NYCDOE lunches. One, those fish cakes with the cheese under the breading (which I have not seen for a long time) and the pizza. But what do I know? I think the $1.40 pizza at 7-11 and the $1.25 at Kennedy Fried Chicken are good. Oh and I just remembered. Those onion rings are darn good.

I certainly would not like to be tested up the ying yang if I was a NYC student. With my attention span I couldn't deal with it.

But what is a teacher to do when testing comes into conflict with lunch?

The Crack Team has learned that a teacher (tenured with 20 years in the system) in the Bronx had to make a command decision and now she might pay for it with her job.

Yes, I know. You are shaking your had are facepalming right now. I agree. This shit can't be made up.

Before I go on, remember, all tests (ELA and Math) are untimed.

Day 1 of the test. The entire class except one student is finished as lunch time approaches. The students must be brought down to have their federally mandated lunch. Mind you; these are students that this might be their only meal of the day, at the very least their only hot meal of the day.

It is time to go to lunch. Sadly, one student is not finished. Worse, this student is probably feeling the pressure to cram as much as one could into very little time left to complete the exam. Chances are the student knows that there will be time after lunch to finish up. But in the mind of a student under this much pressure they are unable to think clearly.

The teacher tells the student it is time to go to the federally mandated lunch. The student does not stop nor is the test turned over to the teacher. The teacher then gently takes the test off the student's desk and secures the tests with the others.

To make a long story short the teacher is now facing three 3020-a charges. Conduct unbecoming, conduct prejudicial to the good order, and being unfit. Better yet, when we return on February 25 at the end of business the teacher will be suspended with pay. How will this effect the teacher's current students getting ready for the upcoming state exams? No one at the DOE truly gives a fuck.

The teacher already has a letter to the file for this. Got it last month. The OSI investigation began in April 2018 only to be concluded in January 2019.

Here is the damned if you do damned if you don't scenario: what if the teacher let the student finish and miss lunch? What do you think would have happened? Yeah, you are right.

What were the protocols for dealing with lunch during the test? What were the protocols for students that were not done before lunch? Were students that were not finished to have lunch alone, with other students that had not yet finished or did it matter that nothing would be done? Why at the very least could this not be dealt with a simple counseling memo. Shit, even the letter to the file would suffice which in turn could have saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

I really wish this story could be made up. It's not a dream. It's not a nightmare. It's real fucking life day in and day out at the NYCDOE.