SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fixing the Blog and Teaching Summer School

For those that hadn't noticed, nor cared, the blog had been down for a while. On July 31 I logged on and got nothing. I had forgotten to pony up the $10 that was due the day before for a unique domain name and couldn't figure how to pay up.

Then a few days later my wife fell on the stairs, landed face first and not only broker her nose but dislocated her hip. She has been having equilibrium issues for some time and this was the worst outcome of those. She spent almost two weeks in the hospital being probed and tested for the cause of these episodes but she finally came home this past Tuesday, the day I fixed the blog.

So on to other matters.

I had a great summer. I taught summer school, phys. ed. in fact at a District 75 school in Manhattan and I must say it was one of the greatest experiences I ever had as a teacher.

The school was small and made up of autistic students and standardized students. It was kind of like a summer day camp I worked at in the mid-90's up in Dobbs Ferry. In fact, I was the sports director at that camp.

First, and this needs to be on the record. Not only were the teachers at the school some of the friendliest colleagues I have ever encountered, but the level of dedication from the entire staff, from teachers to paras to administration is amazing (mind you this is not taking away from any others teachers in the city). How dare anyone on the outside ever again knock teachers when I saw amazing work, dedication, and love day in and day out. This is what teachers and education is and should be about. Not being judged by some set of made up algorithm.

The students were phenomenal. Yeah, there were some moments. But they were minor and and handled easily.

I was able to be myself for the first time in years and the students saw that. I literally couldn't wait to arrive in the morning and was saddened when the last day came. The students grew on me. They really did.

There was one 3 year old pre-K student who would never take his nap (my coverage for his class always coincided with the teacher's lunch so I was there for nap time) and was wound up as heck and wouldn't sit down. But he pronounced Zucker as "Shujker" and would just say, "Hi Shujker!" when he saw me.

Other students just called me "coach," and that was fine as well. I got a lot of "Are we having you today?" and when I said no, I got a look of disappointment.

I'm going to take the good feelings I got this summer and what I learned about myself and do my darnedest to incorporate it in whatever I do this school year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jennifer Rogers Former PS 29 Principal in Queens Fails Yet Again to Ruin a Teachers Life!!!

Today is an anniversary. Two years ago I shared that Jennifer Rogers, former principal of PS 29 in College Point had high tailed it out of New York after being removed as principal and had set up her own faux education consulting business. We have an update. Not on Jennifer, but on one of the teachers whose live she had attempted to ruin.

According the the EdLawsFaq Blog, a termination of a probationary teacher who had been a target of Rogers had her termination overturned. Über education lawyer Bryan Glass is the teachers attorney.

You can read the judges decision here, or if you wish, here are some of the highlights of the decision. 

At the meeting, petitioner opposed the position taken by the school’s special education coordinator and sided with the student’s mother, who had asked that her son be removed from the “Alternate Assessment” program favored by Principal Jennifer Jones ­Rogers .

Now why would a principal go pressure a parent such as Rogers had?  

The very next day, November 21, 2012, the principal conducted the first formal observation of petitioner for the 2012­-2013 school year. On November 26, 2012, after a post-­observation conference, the principal issued an observation report that found petitioner’s math lesson unsatisfactory because...

The next day she decides to target the teacher?  Rogers doesn't even of the brains to leave herself sme plausible deniability.

Petitioner submitted a written rebuttal in which she stated that she had conducted the lesson in the exact manner that the principal had outlined in their pre-­observation conference and that the post-­observation conference focused more on the principal’s dissatisfaction with the position petitioner had taken...

Again, Rogers using pure emotion, not logic, and too dumb to cover her tracks. 

So what does Rogers do? She sends in her lackey, AP Scott Wolfson, who is now principal of PS 314 in District 12 to hammer her.

On February 21, 2013, Assistant Principal (AP) Scott Wolfson conducted a formal observation of another of petitioner’s math lessons . The post­-observation conference was not held until April 16, 2013, at which time petitioner was given an observation report that rated the lesson unsatisfactory because: (1) “[w]hile the children within your group were able to solve the problems that [she] presented to them, it was evident that their solutions indicated algorithmic solution strategies rather than a deeper conceptual understanding of the problems”

Dang Scott these students are special ed!!!!!!!!! That the teacher was able to bring them to this level should speak wonders!!!!!!

“Mr. Wolfson wanted to concentrate on the fact [that] the students struggled with conceptualizing their understanding of mathematics , which was not the goal for my lesson plan for that day.” Petitioner added that “Mr. Wolfson and I also planned my lesson together two days before and [he] never mentioned that he wanted to observe how the students conceptualize math.”

 Oops, Scotty. You pulled a boner here. 

There's more, but the best part is the judge wrote in the decision;

“Two months before her resignation, parents, teachers, students and a state senator had held a rally to protest Principal Jones-Rogers’ policies, which allegedly included retaliating against teachers who disagreed with her and cramming students into special education classes without parental consent”

And this is the Jennifer Rogers who wants to help the parents of Georgia?????  

Listen up parents of Georgia, have nothing whatsoever to do with Jennifer Rogers and her Parent Education and Advocacy Empowerment Project.That's if it's still around.

Jennifer Rogers aka Jennifer Jones has left a trail of trying to ruin the lives of educators across the City of New York. Disagree with Jennifer Rogers and one should high tail it away from her.

What is worse, and I feel so dirty knowing this is that Jennifer Rogers grew up in the same small town as I did. Thankfully, the town has survived her.

And thankfully this teacher in this decision has survived the wrath of Jennifer Rogers.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

UFT Solidarity Must Cut Bait With Hateful and Intolerant Joe Concannon

Oh Joe Concannon, your true colors just keep showing.

Friday's post, "Why Does UFT Solidarity Work With Anti-Black Lives, Pro-Trump, Tea Bagger and Pro Rudy Joe Concannon?" still leaves open the question as to why any "caucus" such as UFT Solidarity claims it is, or in fact any teacher, would associate with Joe. What The Crack Team has learned in the last 48 hours brings up more questions and more reasons why UFT Solidarity should do the honorable thing and disassociate itself from such a person like Joe Concannnon and why teachers all over NYC should have nothing to do with him.  Just read the comments written by some of Joe's sycophants.

In this video here with super right winger Steve Malzberg on super right wing Newsmax TV Concannon whines that shootings of black are up in Chicago, Baltimore, and New York. While wrong and not acceptable Concannon does not understand the difference is that those being shot in those cities are not being shot because they are black.

How about this Joe, how do you explain a cop putting a choke hold on Eric Garner for selling loosies? There were not better ways to handle this? As an NYPD inspector shared with me once on what makes a good cop, he told me, "A good cop is someone who walks into a bad situation and calms the matter down." Did we see this in the Eric Garner video?

What is also distressing about Joe is the people he associates with. As mentioned on Friday, Joe comes across as a supporter of police and when he was running for city council had several rallies in Queens and Brooklyn. Guess who liked that idea?

Everyone's favorite meshuga New Yorker (No silly, it's not Governor Andy)




Yeah, Uncle Carl Paladino. Carl has said lot's of crazy things. One of his craziest is...
"The Tea-Party backed candidate reportedly sent an e-mail depicting a horse having sex with a woman and another that included a pornographic video and the headline "Miss France 2008 F[***]ing." He also reportedly sent out an e-mail depicting President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as a pimp and prostitute and one showing an airplane landing near black men with the caption "Holy Sh*t. run ni**ers, run!"

Way to go Carl! And kudos to Joe Concannon for being his pal.

Yes Pal. You see, Joe Concannon is 1st Vice-President of the Queens Village Republican Club. Now knowing this, would it not be safe to assume that Joe has some say in whom the QVRC invites to break bread with? Let's have a looksee.


 Guess who?????? He kinda looks like Gomez Addams without the mustache. But Gomez was wayyyyy cooler. And crazy in a cool way.

So with all this information today and on Friday one must ask themselves, why does UFT Solidarity, a "caucus" that purports to fight for teachers so we can better able to educate those who are being most damaged by the education deform movement, those children who are a vast majority immigrants, of color, support someone who believes in and associates with all what we as teachers are fighting for?




We here are calling on UFT Solidarity to cut it's ties with Joe Concannon and repudiate his message of hate and intolerance. It is time to step up to the plate.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why Does UFT Solidarity Work With Anti-Black Lives, Pro-Trump, Tea Bagger and Pro Rudy Joe Concannon?

Black lives matter!

For those who like to claim that BLM is racist, or not caring of other lives, that's bullshit. If we say, "Save the Whales," does this mean that all other sea creatures do not matter? Does promoting breast cancer awareness mean that other cancer do not matter? Of courts not!

Better, where and how does wanting to save black lives, lives that are disproportionately being  snuffed out, be anti-cop? When too many black citizens are being shot and killed for driving while black, for walking while black, or just being black, what should a people do?

I am not anti-cop, anti-law enforcement, etc... There are just some f***** things happening of late. Can one be pro- cop and pro-black. It's simple.

But I won't paint all cops with one broad brush. As teachers we must not. We hate it when we are painted with that broad brush and to do so to any other profession is just morally wrong. The vast, vast majority of cops are good, are hard working, and are there to serve honorably. They don't deserve to be lumped in with the shoot first mentality of those cops that are besmirching the profession.

Say what you will about MORE, but you can know without any shadow of a doubt that MORE is aware that it not only serves it's members but the communities in which we teach in. Both go hand in hand. I differ on some of the tactics, some of the time spent on some of the social issue causes but at not time would I ever doubt anybody at MORE in what they feel in their heart about doing the right thing.

On the other hand we are still stuck with UFT Solidarity "caucus" and it's tone deafness to reality. You see, UFT Solidarity has a new patrón, NYC Council failedf candidate from Queens for the 23rd district, Joe Concannon.

From: Bozo T Clown
Date: July 12, 2016 at 9:12:14 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: [DTOE] Send school corruption issues to Joe Concannon
Joe Concannon, who is running for City Council in Queens, is collecting school corruption stories. You will remain anonymous and he will take the info to try and remedy from the political angle. See message below.

Just who, or what, is Joe Concannon?  Let's find out

Joe Concannon, a failed Republican State Senate candidate and current president of the Tea Party-aligned Queens Village Republican Club, is the main organizer of the burgeoning anti-de Blasio protest effort. The retired NYPD captain and former Giuliani advisor is a close ally of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch. Lynch generated national headlines — and cheers from rank and file cops — when he claimed that de Blasio “has blood on [his] hands” just hours after Ismaaiyl Brinsley murdered Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Joe is a Tea Bagger? While the murders of Ramos and Liu were horrific and reprehensible, let's be clear, Concannon is blowing the dog whistle. 

Ah, another dog whistle from Joe....



Wow Joe, you take hte word of Jeanine Piro, former Westchester County District Attorney that covered up a homicide because here kid was at a party (Full disclosure. I am childhood friends with the aunt of the boy that was killed)?

By the way, Joe is a retired NYPD captain, and who was the Deputy Director for Public Safety under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. One can be certain that not only must Joe agree with Rudy on issues but that one must suck up to Rudy to have such a position ***Cough*** Bernie Kerik ***Cough***.

What does Rudy think of black lives? Joe is this cool with you?

And who else does Joe have a man crush on?




Way to go Joe!

So why then would a "caucus" that supposedly wants to represent a union that has scores and scores of immigrants and people of color get in bed with someone that purportedly sees #blacklivesmatter as racist and divisive? Why would a "caucus" that supposedly wants to change the lives of students of color with make up the vast majority of NYC public school students be in bed with such a person as Joe Concannon? Why would a caucus that was an afterthought shoot itself in the foot time after time with insensitivity to others?

Joe, let's let you in on a little secret....

#blacklivesmatter


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We Have Whitney Tilson (And His Ilk) to Thank for Donald Trump

STOP THE PRESSES!!!! WHITNEY TILSON AND HIS ILK ARE CULPABLE FOR GIVING US DONALD TRUMP BEING THISCLOSE TO THE PRESIDENCY.

Wait, I will make the case.

I have been thinking about this for awhile. I guess I am finally sharing what is on my mind for a few reasons. One, the blog post by Norm Scott about Neo-liberalism, the anti-Semetism of Donald Trump, and Whitney's whining of Trump.

 "I understand you fighting to maintain the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, but are you seriously still supporting Trump – even after what he’s said in the past two weeks?"

 "Trump was deeply associated with, “Cambridge Who’s Who, a vanity publisher promising ‘branding services’…” This led me to take a stab at compiling a list of all of Trump’s failed/scummy/predatory businesses and business practices."

Shall we show look at the failed/scummy/predatory practices of Whitney? But I am digressing.

What has happened since the Ed Deformers had come out of the woodwork in the last 15 years or so is that experience and knowledge mean squat bupkus anymore. Don't we see that from Trump? No experience and certainly no knowledge.

We have seen how Whitney and his ilk support the greatest lack of experience and knowledge with Teach for America. Sure, anyone can teach if they take a course for 5 weeks for a total of 50 hours.

Don't we hear this from the Trump cabal. "He has no experience in politics, it's a good thing!"

That remind me. I had this conversation with Dmitri Melhorn a few years ago in which we were talking about need for experience



I actually like Dmitri. At least he is not a giant p**** like Whitney.

I remember once asking Dmitri since I coached Little League successfully should I then be qualified to coach. Dmitri was like, "Why not?"

Look at what has become of principals and assistant principals. Where once these were leaders of schools with a wealth of background in education those positions have been dumbed down as well. Just cut a check to Touro or somewhere else and PRESTO! You are an administrator. Why have any knowledge in the field you have chosen. Whitney and his ilk believes ANYONE can do it.

Accountability for those in charge? Nope. It's the peons fault. Do we see Donald ever taking responsibility? Who does he blame? The Mexicans, the Muslims, the Jews, the foreigners are the new targets such as the teachers to hide how f***** up those that want to be in control are. Every hear Whitney and his ilk blame a non-teacher?

Want to scam those with promises of grandeur, get smart quick, graduate quick. We see it in Donald with all his scams, etc... as Whitney mentioned above. Whitney and his ilk wrote the playbook for what we are seeing now with Donald.

Whitney Tilson and his ilk have begat us Donald Trump. Whitney and his ilk have begat us ignorance, fraud, scapegoating, and scams.

Donald Trump one way or the other is going to wind up benefiting himself big time. Who has benefited the most from the Ed Deformity of the last 15 years? Whitney Tilson and his ilk.


Whitney Tilson and his ilk believe that they has the "GREAT WHITE PROTECTOR" see themselves as the knowledge of what those of color need to do even though before the Deform movement they did jack for them and will never allow them in the front door.

Donald Trump has never before lifted a finger for those who are supporting him and never would allow himself to be seen with them before and certainly won't ask them over to Mar-A-Largo to shoot the shit. See any difference?

Whitney Tilson and his ilk and Donald Trump believe that complex problems can be solved with simple answers. One in the same.

For both Whitney and his ilk and Donald Trump, knowldge is not power. In fact, it is quite a dangerous thing to possess.




Sunday, July 3, 2016

S is for Surviving The Year

The point of the journey is not to arrive--Peart, Neil 1987

I'm still on, and might be for the rest of my career, on the strange journey as an ATR. This was not only the weirdest school year I had experienced, but thanks to my suspension, the shortest.

But I now can take a deep breath of relief and know that I got through this year. I received an S for the year. It did not come easy. I had to learn to roll with the punches and adapt. Adapt to new schools, new students, new administrators, new districts, new everything. I had some rocky points here and there and it would have been easy to revert, but I persevered.

But there will be no complacency from me. I know starting in September the previous year's slate is wiped clean and I have to do it all over again.

The worse part, and my wife believes this is a double penalty, is that my summer pay has been affected. This I knew was coming and at least the DOE was kind enough to spread my pay evenly through the summer checks.

But I started Summer School on Friday and the loss of the summer pay will be negated by the pay I get for the summer.

What got me through this year was a wonderful support system led by my wife. She will always tell me that God will put you in the right place and see what is right. Those words helped this part time agnostic.

Other people that I believe I owe a multitude of thanks of just being an ear and voice I can go to or to talk me off the precipice are (in no particular order), Norm Scott, Mindy Rosier, Peter Lamphere, Jonathan Halabi, Jia Lee, The MORE Caucus, Chaz, my DL, Amy Arundell, Betsy Combier, Jay the ATR I met at my first assignment, a lot of good teachers I met at the various schools, James Eterno, Mike Schirtzer, Sparkles, Kathy Perez, Laurie Luft, the real ATR Support Group on Facebook, and I am sure there are countless others.

One more thing. There are still too many ATR's who are going through hell. Not only do we as teachers need to support them, but the union does as well. Thankfully, there seems to be some good news on the horizon for everyone.

The point of departure, is not to return--Peart, Neil 1987

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Enabling That Allows Orlando and Hate Must End!

Wow, I have been silent of late, no? I need to get back in gear. Fortunately, spring baseball season is now over and never again does my son play for three teams in the spring again.

A lot has been on my mind of late concerning Trump and his pro-fascisim idiocy. There is a correlation between Trump running for president and the deform movement we have seen in education over the last 10-15 years. But that is a blog post for another time.

What has been bugging me more since Sunday is the massacre that occurred in Orlando. I am sickened by it and sickened at how some of our "so called" leaders in this country have enabled and greased the skids for it to happen. In fact I am sick and tired of all this hatred in this country towards groups that just want to be treated fairly, as humans, and as Americans.

I am proud to be part of MORE and even though I disagree at times with MORE on the extent of involvement in social justice at times as well as how the message is delivered, I know that I share 99% of the sentiments.

Even if you don't agree with MORE at all about the social justice side, think about it. MORE will never ever be the type of caucus that associates itself with a racist former police captain that believes blacks lives mean diddly squat and associates with deranged mentally ill politicians. 

But I have digressed.

So a friend of mine of over 30 years posted something on Facebook tonight written by Elle Barts and a great meme that you see in the upper right hand corner of this blog post. It really touched me and I wanted to share it.

You say, "How could this tragedy happen?" It happened because Omar Mateen's hate was born and bred in America, not overseas. Just 2 weeks ago you were calling the trans community child predators. 1 year ago you were saying that our marriages shouldn't be recognized. 6 years ago you were saying that gay men and women couldn't die for their country. 10 years ago you told us we didn't deserve job protections. 13 years ago it took Lawrence v. Texas to decriminalize our sex lives. 18 years ago you took Matthew Shepard. 23 years ago you took Brandon Teena. 36 years ago the American Government sat silently for 5 years as 10,000 gay men were massacred by the AIDS virus. 43 years ago we were still considered mentally ill. And 47 years ago the riots of Stonewall began. For centuries this country has bred homophobia into our history, into our schools, and into the very fabric of society. Omar Mateen was the product of American hate. America taught him this, and even sold him the gun to do it.

Hate sucks. People who enable hate suck too. People who associate with hate suck as well.