Monday, February 28, 2011


I am so touched. I feel so included, so special, I just could've plotzed.

In my email Saturday afternoon I got a special "E4E ACTION ALERT." Knowing it was important, I was able to ascertain this due to the very important name of the alert, I immediately left my family at Five Guys Burgers & Fries and headed home, where I knew action needed to be taken on this special action alert.

Once safely enconsed in my specially built man-action cave I clicked on the link afforded me by those heroes of wonderfullness Princess Sydney Morris and Little Evan Stone. I was taken to a special "Take Action" page in which I was directed to a link that would have me take action. Once on this page, after typing the prerequisite zip code, I was directed to yet another "action" page in which a pre-written form letter was awaiting me to my local New York State senator. The form letter was to remind my local state senator to help pass SB 3501, which is sponsored by Sen. Flanagan, which will, as the form letter states, "which will protect our students by keeping our best teachers in the classroom, regardless of how long they have been teaching." Yes, action needs to be taken.

The form letter is as written, with my comments in red;
As a New York City teacher and member of Educators 4 Excellence, an organization of over 1500 NY educators 1500 educators? This surely can be told by their FB page, and besides still less than 1% of all NYC teachers. Hell, I am a member of E4E about 5 times over, I know first-hand that the current system of "Last In, First Out" seniority-based layoffs will harm my school and my students. I strongly urge you to support SB 3501, which will protect our students by keeping our best teachers in the classroom, regardless of how long they have been teaching. This bill was written with the recommendations of current classroom teachers, current classroom teachers that have been teaching a total of about 4.9 years. and would change layoff decision-making to a set of objective criteria that is fair to teachers, but better for kids. Translation: Cheaper and more malleable. It's not about kids first, it is about what the elite want for themselves.

If we don't change this policy, we will lose great teachers. Says who? Research indicates that when districts make reduction-in-force decisions based on seniority alone, they end up firing some of their most effective educators. That is the price one must pay for a true, fair method. Even under E4E's way the same thing will happen. Furthermore, seniority-based layoffs disproportionately impact our highest-needs schools, where there is a concentration of newer teachers. In fact, some schools would lose more than 50% of their staff. Hey E4E, why not fight for no layoffs at all. Why not fight Bloomberg on his budget. You have the resources, you have the clout, fight with us instead of against us.

New Yorkers overwhelmingly support changing this law. A recent poll showed that 85% of New Yorkers favor doing layoffs by merit, rather than by seniority. How was the poll worded?What other options were given? Please
So what is a teacher to do about this? The crack team here at SBSB came up with a brilliant idea. We checked over at Ednotes and noticed that Norm has form letters that one can use to write their state senator. But wait, it does not stop there.

But the fun doesn't stop there. You can copy and then paste the "cool kids" form letter, and replace the E4E form letter quite easily. This way, it will appear in the mailboxes of the state senators as from E4E but fiendishly contradicting E4E.

Don't forget. Do it many times, with many sock puppets.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Plain View Of A Fat Tub Of Goo

Ever see someone who has had a few drinks in them? Suddenly, they feel so tough, so ready to take on anyone. That is known as beer muscles.

And then we have Internet muscles. Internet muscles work the same way as beer muscles just that there is no beer involved. Behind a router and a computer screen, people suddenly get very tough. Some people feel it is better to type on a computer screen rather than use a pen.

A person with Internet muscles might be a fat tub of goo, that perhaps is retired and has way too much time to spend on his hands. Perhaps he feels inadequate by not only being a fat tub of goo, but really bald as well. Chances are this person has a Freudian shortcoming to go along with being a fat tub of goo and bald as well.

Perhaps this person, since he is a fat tub of goo, bald and has a Freudian shortcoming has a wife that is tappable and feels that someone better than him, perhaps, anyone other than him, will come along and do what he is unable to do.

So this person, instead of hiding in a cove, or a cave, or moving to Watkins Glen needs to post personal information of others. This way he feels that his being a fat tub of goo, bald, with a Freudian shortcoming will feel important.

One other way this fat tub of goo, bald person with a Freudian shortcoming makes himself feel important is to be a rat. A rat against not only his own tribe, but his own profession. Sleeps with the enemy, slithers around talking trash to others and not sticking around to take it.

But karma is the great equalizer. And it will be instant.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Am Quitting My Job For An Easier Life

I didn't watch President Obama's state of the union address this year. For several reasons. One, I think he is a dolt and I regret voting for him. Two, and most importantly, I had something to pick out of my toe that evening. And lastly, I didn't want to.

So that is why it did come as a surprise, just today, something Obama said in that speech. This comment made its way across the Twittersphere and plunked in my lap.

Apparently, fellow blogger and tweeter, The Frustrated Teacher, had a Twitter conversation some White House hack, Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) earlier this month. In this said mentioned conversation, the hack, claimed that Obama sees education as a path out of poverty. OK, I'll take the bait.

Since I am educated, I graduated from one of Westchester County's finer high school, graduated from a fine SUNY, with a cross registration at a finer private college, and have a master's degree to boot, I will prove President Obama's point.

Starting today I will partake in ingesting copious amounts of marijuana and drink my self silly every day. I plan to spew junks at least several times a day, at least once on myself, and by evening will hopefully have the dry heaves.

I have sent in my resignation to the NYC DOE and have instructed my wife to immediately quit her job. In lieu of her not quitting her job, I will verbally and psychologically abuse her to the point of her leaving me. I will be able to partake in the mentioned activities because I will be ripped all day.

Since I am no longer working and will be in an altered state of mind this will give me the opportunity to sit on my couch watching bad talk shows. Not to fret, I will be quite comfortable sitting around in my underwear and bathrobe while scratching my hoozits, getting ripped, and yelling at the TV.

But you may ask, what shall I do for an income? How will I keep my home, provide for my son, transport myself, eat, get money for the mind altering products?

The money will just flow to me. I will be able to keep everything. I shan't want for a thing. Why? Because I have an education and that means that there is no way I can live in poverty. It is that simple.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can A Chimp Write Better Than Whitney Tilson Of Tilson Funds?

My eyes! My freaking eyes! I wasn't supposed to look. But I did. it was inadvertent, just as when Mr Spock looked at the Medusan ambassador Kallos and was driven insane.

What is this horror that I had witnessed? The Huffington Post, the online paper that I love to read, the owner, Arianna Huffington, that I secretly lust after has as a blogger none other than Whitney Tilson.

It started last week with his posting about how wonderful Joel Klein was to NYC schools. That was laughable enough. But just yesterday he decided to take no prisoners. Once again, Whitney decided to take on Diane Ravitch and rebutting her take on Teach For America. I saw the title and thought what joy I would have in taking apart Whitney's convoluted thinking. But something stopped me.

This dribble came in at 2,524 words! Yes, you read that right. After banging my head against the desk I gave up about a quarter of the way through his article. What was I to do? How can I comment or mock what Whitney wrote? His article was not just only so, so long. But convoluted, specious, and spastic.

The crack team here at SBSB came up with a solution. We fed Whitney's column to the XD-3000 computer and it condensed his writing to a single paragraph. Not only was it much more readable, but we were also able to get the true meaning of the point Whitney was trying to get across.
Me, me, me, me. Look at me. It is all about me. I am so wonderful and knowledgeable. Aren't you just enamored with how wonderful I think I am? I am all about me, myself, and I. Me, me, me , me. Mine, mine, mine. I need attention, I need acknowledgment. I am the center of all things known to mankind.
There you have it. Whitney's essence.

But, let's give credit where credit is due. The blogger, rdsathene of the Solidaridad blog put Whitney's writing so eloquently in perspective;
I suppose the best part of watching a predatory hedge fund manager try to rebut the most celebrated education historian in our nation is that we are witness to how the right wing's obsession with Ayn Rand's ideas (competition, rewards, etc.) are pervasive in all their discourse.

I've never seen a less cogent, flailing, amateurish essay. I was trying to count the straw men and non sequiturs, but ran out of patience. It's funny that finance capitalist­s like this talk about top college graduates. If the above screed is indicative of their lack of critical thinking skills, it's no wonder they cleave to standardiz­ed tests so much.

Beautiful. Well said.

As far as me, I find it sad and pathetic that a graduate of Harvard does not know how to write.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It Is Time To Party With Educators4Excellence!

Hey, E4E is having a party! Yes! As reported by Norm over at Ednotes, Educators4Excellence, Uncle Mike's favorite excellent educators are having a party, a get together, a kegger, a hoe down, a coffee klatsch, this Thursday, February 24. But, it is a secret. The location is a state secret.

The crack team here at SBSB find it somewhat curious as to why the locale of a E4E shin-ding is draped with all this secrecy. Surely, to attend one of their propaganda round tables one must not only give their name, but their home address, their phone number, their school, and their blood type as well. We here at SBSB question why such details are needed. Is this to be put on a mailer? Is it to be put into a contest to spend a night with E4E Princess Sydney Morris? Enquiring minds want to know!

But good fortune came to us here at SBSB the other day. A mole deep inside E4E has been in contact with the crack team. After many sessions of debriefing the mole, and promises made to the mole of New Jersey Nets tickets, and just appealing to the mole's values we here at SBSB have found out the location of E4E's Thursday, February 24 @2PM hoe down is going to be.

The E4E Grassroots Training Party will be held at the "The American Conference Center," 177 Prince St. on the 2nd floor. We here at SBSB suggest that you take public transportation due to the fact that parking will be limited, and that the E4E upper echelon's limos will be taking up spaces on the street. The closest subway stop is Spring St on the 8th Ave line.

Now, just a few tips on crashing a party. You can try the Abbott and Costello method of walking in backwards so they think you are leaving. Also, a method that worked for me at a Jets game once. A friend and I walked into a private suite. If anyone asked we were to say that we are meeting Joe here. Everyone knows a Joe, so just say you are looking for Joe. Or, you can just walk in.

But whatever you do, be sure to be on your best behavior, dress appropriately, and partake in any free food and/or beverages. Also, please give the respect the Little Evan and Princess Sydney think that they deserve.

Currently we are awaiting from our embedded mole an estimate of how much this get together will cost. I am sure Bill Gates said no problem to cost, so let's party!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Come Back, Evan Piekara Of IS 162 Bronx, Come Back!!

The crack team here at SBSB has learned from sources at IS 162 that E4E überlegen Lehrer Evan Piekara is not tenured teacher. We here at SBSB hope and pray that Evan Piekara will attain the status of a tenured teacher.

Does Evan Piekara deserve tenure, or at least be able to achieve it through accepted through proper E4E decried methods? Evan Piekara's leader, Little Evan Stone on Fox Business Channel back in September claimed that tenure, "Encourages complacency." E4E wants to make tenure more hard to get and wishes to extend the amount of years teaching to be eligible for tenure. Surely, a complacent Evan Piekara is not good for his students.

So, if the E4E leader, the grand poobah seems to abhor tenure,then what is Evan Piekara to do at the end of this year? Could Evan Piekara have turn tenure down? If Evan Piekara was a true man of values, surely he would. We here at SBSB call upon Evan Piekara to renounce is tenure now! Do not accept it! But the this might be all for moot.

On Evan Piekara's white guilt blog, "The Unbearable Lightness of Teaching," he shares with us the reasons why he chose to be a teacher. We must warn you to grab a box of Kleenex, for this brought many a tear to the hardened, yet soft hearted crack team.
"Halfway through my senior year I began writing my independent study in economics. The subject of my study was the paradox of the American Dream: how wealth and income inequality in the United States create a barrier to upward social and economic mobility. A significant component of my research and study was devoted to the education system."

"As someone who was educated in a respectable public school, and who also attended a boarding school for high school, it was eye-opening to see the enormous discrepancies in our nation’s education system."

"How often can a recent college grad tell an employer that they are responsible day in and day out for the progress of a large group? How many jobs offer a young college graduate the opportunity to speak and lead daily? How many jobs offer you the opportunity to mold minds and be accountable for the destiny of others?"
OK, I have to stop copying and pasting. Click the link, read the rest. My eyes are welling up with liberal tears. Which even makes me more emotional when I read the horror about Evan Piekara that I am about to share.

It appears that Evan Piekara is leaving behind his dreams, his aspirations, his goals, of being the great white liberal for the little boys and girls of color and applying for business school. Where shall he go? Wharton? Tuck? Stanford? Ross? Monroe College in New Rochelle?

Please Evan Piekara, please say it ain't so. Was this all this just a ruse? All this liberal know how, all this wearing upon your sleeve what a great teacher you are and how much you cared, was it all meant to pad your resume to get into an elite business school?

Please, Evan Piekara, please don't go.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

About Aggregator Anna Phillips

We here at SBSB are committed to, well not journalistic integrity, but bloggeristic integrity. What is written here is the opinion of myself and the crack SBSB team. We don't aggregate the news. We look for it.

So it comes to no surprise here that serial aggregator Anna Phillips of Gotham Schools would rather report on news, than do what a true journalist will do, dig under those rocks, roll up those sleeves and actually do some reporting.

Parent advocate and activist Mona Davids of New York Charter Parents and was contacted by Aggregator Anna on February 11 for Mona to find a parent to comment concerning the UFT charter school in which the principal just resigned. Mona, believing that Aggregator Anna was a true journalist, a true reporter, suggested that Aggregator Anna do a story on the charter school, Equality in the Bronx, in which Mona's child attends. The principal of Equality had just been terminated and according to a comment that Mona had left in the aggregated article that GS had written;
Our school has extremely low test scores (majority of kids failed the state tests), high teacher turnover, high student attrition, high board turnover, cronyism, nepotism and mismanagement.
Neat, that sounds like some story. One would rightly assume that Aggregator Anna would do a Lois Lane and run of of the cushy office at Gotham and schlep up to the Bronx to uncover that mess. Alas, it didn't happen.

Aggregator Anna followed the true tilt of not only herself, but of Gotham Schools, and decided to embarrass the UFT. Now mind you, the UFT never should have gotten into the charter school business. But the crack SBSB team must take wonder as to why not only Aggregator Anna lied to Mona, but there has been no comment back from Aggregator Anna or Gotham School for the lack of follow through.

Gotham Schools is going down a long slippery slope. It is becoming like FOX News. Claiming that it is fair and balanced, but in reality is becoming the official publication of the NYC DOE. Gotham has also gotten into this habit of zotting anyone that disagrees with them. Not journalistic integrity, but rather aggregator integrity.

Mona, do not worry that Aggregator Anna did not want to come up to the Bronx. She would have spent that time looking down her nose at the masses of people in Co-op City. You are better off without her help.

What I suggest you do is since Gotham, and its parent, Open Plans are a 501(c)3 I suggest that it is time that a donor list be made available.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The E4E Neo-Liberal Invasion At IS 162 Bronx

It didn't hit me until this morning. I was thinking about last night's blog posting. I was quite proud of the crack team at SBSB in how they came through with the information. But no one, not them, not me, picked up on it.

Not only, and this is not what I had noticed, that the combined total of years, discounting Val Lorie Wilson (and there is a reason), is a grand total of 2.5 years teaching for these teachers. But that is not what I noticed.

Again, except for Val Lorie Wilson, not one person on the "team? that put together E4E's manifesto is a person of color. I consulted with the crack team and found it quite peculiar. This is curious as do to the fact there is quite a diversity of teachers here in NYC. However, we do applaud E4E to have a token no Ivy League, non-TFA person, non-Elite on its manifesto team.

But let's look again behind the curtain. We spoke with our sources at IS 162 in the Bronx where Val Lorie Wilson teaches, as well as compatriot manifesto writer, Evan Piekara teach. While Ms Wilson is described as a dedicated teacher, a great teacher, and a truly caring teacher, she has been labeled as a bit of a flake, and a follower.

For some time Ms Wilson had taught in a CTT class. Suddenly this year she decided that she wanted to teacher a special ed. 12:1 class. No, and we haven't received word yet, we do not know if Ms Wilson exercised her official rights of seniority on the year end preference sheets.

Ms Wilson was just quoted on the official E4E website this past Monday, February 14 as saying;
"The last thing I want to see is teachers losing their jobs, but worse than that is the idea that some of our best teachers will be let go if this policy isn't changed," said Val Lorie Wilson, a middle school teacher with 10 years of experience in the classroom who likely would not be at risk for layoff under the current policy. "There was a time when seniority rules were the only available method for doing layoffs, but now we have better ways to make these decisions so that we keep great teachers of all experience levels in the classroom."
This is brought up because one needs to know now if Ms Wilson received her assignment based on her seniority rights in her school. If this is so, it shows that Ms Wilson is not only easily manipulated into joining a club, but that she is a hypocrite as well.

Which brings us to Evan
Piekara (Evan is a common name at E4E?). Again, heard great things about Evan. Wishes to save the Bronx. A nice liberal, I am the great white savior mindset. But Evan has other aspirations other than being a teacher. Teaching for Evan is just a blip in a career of being a Fullbright Scholar, of owning his own business, and of course being the the great white savior that knows what is best for little boys and girls of color.

While yes he teaches some of the top ELA classes at IS 162, we wonder how effective he would be if he had all lower rung classes. We do know that in the last year of testing, the 6th grade at IS 162 only 17.8% passed the state ELA exam and of the 7th graders, on 18.8% passed. So one must wonder how much Evan Piekara is part of the problem. But if the crack team's research is incorrect we challenge Evan Piekara to refute this information. One thing of note, we found it humorous that Evan lists himself as a co-founder of TFA on his Linkedin page. As well as his school's operations manager. Whatever that is.

But not to fret. Evan was the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching New York City Finalist 2009. We applaud him. Just we would like to know if he nominated himself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Educators4Excellence Writes A Manifesto

Today, Educators4Excellence released their manifesto on how to "reform" seniority in the DOE in case of layoffs. Gotham Schools was at the forefront yet again by not doing reporting, but rather aggregating what was in today's New York Post.

Now if you scroll down to the end of the manifesto you will see the the authors. As we all know, the Post's version of journalism is just above that of the World Weekly News, and the journalism quotient at Gotham Schools is, well it is non-existent. Just pure aggregation

So the crack team here at SBSB has decided to show how one goes about being a blogger/journalist and uncovering the layers of crud that lead to the truth. But where is the truth in this manifesto? What stands out? What can be exposed?

The crack team went through the manifesto with a fine tooth comb. We ordered Chinese. We watched iCarly. We thought, we brainstormed, and finally we had flash bulb over our heads. Little Evan and Princess Sydney have said that E4E is not just new teachers, not just TFA teachers, not just teachers with chicken pox, but over 50% of E4E members have more than five years of teaching. So we decided, let's see who authored the manifesto and see if Little Evan and Princess Sydney speak the truth.

So we pulled the curtain back and found......

Christine Casher....Corps Member at Teach for America. Has been teaching 4 years, six months. Has been teaching for 5 years; two were spent tutoring and teaching one-on-one Learning Disabled and ELLs. The last three years I have been at Mott Hall IV, a small school in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of Brooklyn, serving a population of 105 students including general education students in the 7th and 8th grade, ELLs, and special education students in a 12-1 setting. I teach reading, writing, and small group pull-out.

Esther Chu
...Yale University Class of 2009, TFA member. Been teaching just over a year.

Michelle Costa...2008 graduate of George Washington University. She has to be a TFA. Only been in teaching for over 2 years. Accountable Talk shared his two cents about her. Just a peak, Costa works at a failing school. Is she not part of the problem?

Margie Crousillat....2000 graduate of Fordham and teaching 7 years.

Elizabeth Doctor...currently lead instructor at Harlem Success Academy. Wait, she is not bound by LIFO, or any state education laws. Why is she telling us what it should be? Anyway, I digress. Liz, is a USC grade, Liz, has been teaching less than three years, Liz is just awesome. Liz, is a TFA. She is impressive! Oh and check out Liz's blog. Be sure to visit it early and often.

Jamie Ferrel...Northwestern graduate. TFA. Been teaching 3 years, 7 months. Turn-on are To obtain a challenging position that allows me to combine my background in education, service and public policy research to advance sustainable change through advocacy and action. Turn offs are veteran teachers, LIFO, knowledge, and humility. Jamie also graduated Cum Laude!!

Laura Frazier...Teaching less than 5 years.

Jarell Lee...TFA. Harvard. Uncommon Schools. Hey, again, why is he involved in making decisions? Oh, has been teaching 9 months.

Evan Piekara...TFA, can't determine whether or not he is teaching. But taught less than 3 years. But does currently own a business, Cube Knowledge. His goals are, Fulbright Scholarship, Published author, Attend Business School, Develop Social Entrepreneurial Business or initiatives. So Evan did not see education as a career, but a steppingstone and yet he is making, or at least wants to determine the lives of almost 80,000 teachers? Check out his blog, "A World Without Poverty," and "The Unbearable Lightness of Teaching" Read them early and often!!!

Jane Viau...featured sycophant in the New York Post,
and only one over 40. She must have been the Aunt Bea of the group. Bringing in the chicken salad sandwiches.

Val Lorie Wilson...We are sure she is just like the rest.

So kiddies, what pattern have you noticed? Let's take a Venn Diagram and see what all have the same. Figure it out. I am glad that there are teachers with less time on the job than the socks I am wearing trying to determine my colleagues futures.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

Call in # 917 932 8721

On Tuesday, February 15 @ 9 PM EST, welcome, TeacherReality. TeacherReality is a Reading Teacher in a Title I elementary school in Florida where about 1 out of 7 of the students are designated homeless or "students in transition". At this elementary school, TeacherReality has seen the negative effects of NCLB and narrowed curriculum. Prior to teaching in Florida, she began her teaching career in a Title I middle school in San Diego under Superintendent Alan Bersin's reign. She had made a mid-career change change to become a teacher after working in sales and marketing for high-tech companies and realizing she needed to do more for children in her community. She now has a total of 10 years in the teaching field and sees the current "ed reform" push as a "business first" strategy to do away with unions and privatize education so that profit centers can be set up and money can be made. As an advocate for children and public education she has become active in fighting against the current "ed reform" push by blogging, tweeting, writing letters, protesting, and becoming more involved in political elections. She is a trained community organizer and holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Business Administration (Marketing). You can find TeacherReality on Twitter @TeacherReality or on her blog at

The Comedy Stylings Of Albany Brighter Choice Thomas W Carroll

Has it been over six months since Thomas W Carroll's musing have been ridiculed on this blog? When last we wrote about Tommy, it seemed that someone exposed what Albany Brighter Choice, and for that matter, Tommy are truly about.

So why after six months are we revisiting the all knowing Thomas W Carroll after six months? Well, today Tommy shared his gifts for comedy in a column written in today's New York Post. Entitled, "A Better Recipe To Fix New York Schools," Tommy surely is at his comedic best.

Tommy jokes; "That's because money isn't the answer and because most of the reforms are either too small or have been suffocated by union obstacles (like the 150-page master union contract in New York City)"

Please explain exactly which reforms have been suffocated by the UFT contract. Your lack of specifics shows that you have not only not read the contract, but just parroting and showing any lack of an independent thought process. Using a "straw man" is so beneath your perceived wonderfullness. Yes, money is not the answer, but tell that to Geoffrey Canada who has whored himself out to Goldman Sachs for $21 million dollars.

Tommy gives us this side splitter; "After all this spending, literally hundreds of thousands of students are enrolled in district schools to which no politician would ever send his or her own children or grandchildren."

I am going to throw a truth out here. Most politicians are white. Most politicians will not allow their children to be in a school that is overwhelmingly minority. Or, most politicians are stupid. Most politicians have no idea about education unless it looks like a bandwagon they can jump onto. In fact Tommy, why don't you move your family to North Albany or Arbor Hill? Be a trendsetter.

Tommy then got serious, but it was tongue in cheek; "Finding a way to provide high-quality schooling for these children -- now, not 20 years from now -- is the central educational issue of our day."

Yes! I agree with you here. But, let's do something to rid ourselves of poverty. Let's give schools the resources it needs. I don't mean classroom teachers. But smaller class sizes, libraries, teachers who are minorities, more counselors, a realistic curriculum, competent administrators, reading specialists, ending teaching to the test. The list I have can go on and on.

Tommy stops being so so serious, and really gets knee slapping funny when he says, "First, clear away obstacles to the growth of charter schools. More than 40,000 students remain on charter waiting lists around the state, yet bureaucratic and political obstacles have started to slow charter-school growth"

Ah, charter schools. Yes, the 20% panacea to all of educations ills. Let's translate that first sentence. "More charter schools, so me and my minions can make more moolah and siphon off that Title I money for ourselves." Oh, and can you prove, without a shadow of a doubt, and by an independent organization that there are 40,000 students on the waiting list? But this bureaucratic and political obstacles you mention are just code for, "we don't want to be held to the same standards public schools are held to."

Then there is this that made the crack team here at SBSB ROTFLOFAO. "For example, the process for siting a charter school in New York City is becoming Kafkaesque. Just witness the travails faced by two high-performing charter networks -- Success Charter Network and Public Prep"

Travails for Eva? Are you joking? What Eva wants Eva got. I think the only travail she went through was having to deal with Joel Klein oiling up his bald head and rubbing it all over her body.

A fast-track process -- with set deadlines -- must be instituted for locating charter schools in available public space.

"I need my money now! I have bondholders to pay!" is the translation into English

I almost coughed up a lung laughing so hard at this; "Third, use layoffs as an opportunity to change the mix of teachers standing in front of classrooms, removing deadwood and protecting the best and the brightest"

Unfortunately, the state's "last in, first out" law will mean that many burned-out teachers will keep their positions and some of the most talented and dynamic teachers will hit the street. This makes no sense. Cuomo needs to push through a law giving districts the authority to weed out the worst and retain the best teachers.

Deadwood? Isn't that a show on HBO? Don't you mean, the best the brightest and the cheapest? And do explain these so called burned out teachers. Just how can one identify burned out teachers? Should we identify burned out cops, firefighters, nurses, all other public employees? How are we to determine the worst and the best? Why not suggest this Tommy? Why don't see what we can do to keep teachers from, as you say, "burning out?" Why not make sure teachers get support from administrators, get support from the community, get support from the parents? Let's reduce class sizes to what they should be. Did you know that teachers do more than just teach? Teachers are mothers, fathers, priests, friends, rabbis, confidants, counselors, etc... When teachers go home, we don't leave our jobs at home, nor do we have a string of poloponies to tend to. A teacher's work is never done.

Most schools continue to deliver instruction based on a factory model and on a school calendar from an agrarian era. Students need longer school days and school years, and greater use of virtual learning.

Longer school days? Students need to be kids! Why don't you and your ilk contribute to real recreational activities for these students after work. Build some ballfields, have organzied after school recreation. Guilderland surely has this, so does Rye Brook. Why can't we have this in the inner city? As far as virtual learning, I am glad that you have drank from the same Kool Aid cup as Uncle Joel.

Tommy left me laughing so hard with this, I had an accident; "At the same time, curricula must place greater emphasis on world history, international economics and the teaching of languages such as Mandarin Chinese"

How can this be done? Read my lips. It is all about the tests, how can we do anything other than test prep. You are part of this testing cabal. You can't have it both ways.

Tommy, you are a very funny, funny man. The sad part, or is it pathetic, is that you truly believe what you are saying. I think you should have a career as a comedy writer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Will Arne Duncan Help A Mother Who Is Not A Billionaire?

I do not know much about special education. I like to defer to those who know more than me and at the very least ask questions. But I do know an outrage when I see one.

The following is from a neighbor and a friend, MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick. Mary Ann has given me permission to post the following letter she sent to Arne Duncan. She has a ten year old boy with autism. Right now she is caught in the Kafkaesque world of RTI, special ed, and all the other crud that is going on.

I keep on thinking about The New York Times on Christmas Day has above the masthead, "Remember The Neediest." Are the neediest being served, or for that matter, even a blip on the radar screen? Where is Gates with money to help these most neediest of students? Where is the Walton Family? Money is being cut from budgets and always the targets are these students that need the help the most. These so called philanthropists should truly put their money with these students with no strings attached. But unfortunately it will never happen. These children, these neediest of students do not make for good photo opportunities.

So with further adieu is the letter. If anyone can reach out to her, help her, etc... please do.

10 February 2011

Secretary Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20202

Re: LRE and the City of Mount Vernon New York School District seeking to move out-of-district disabled children into in-district mainstream schools

Dear Secretary Duncan:

It was my decided impression after the IEP meeting I attended for my son this morning (Hawthorne Country Day School, Hawthorne, NY) that the City of Mount Vernon New York School District has decided that children who were found to need special education services must now be “moved back into” the district. I have no doubt that this is due to the financial imperatives of the MVCSD.

My son is ten, autistic, non-verbal, and still in diapers. He suffers from extremely loose bowels. He bites himself (and others). He has no sense of danger and is a “bolter.” However, throughout the course of the meeting, the person moderating (from the City of Mount Vernon School District) said that he would be considered a “fifth grader” while, previously, it was understood that he was considered to be in an “ungraded” class.

When we enquired about the programs they had she was unable to provide us with any information, stating that there was nothing in writing about them that we could examine. She could provide nothing concrete about their programs or the outcomes of the same.

I previously visited their two special education classes for autistic children, a number of years ago, and neither of them was appropriate for a child as profoundly developmentally disabled as our son.

My son functions at a one-year-old level. The limited progress he has be able to make has been because of the setting in which he currently receives instruction, as well as speech and occupational therapy.

At a meeting held in December 2010 at the Board of Education building-- it was stated, over and over--- that there would be a movement towards “LRE” for every child currently in an out-of-district placement. This simply means that, for their financial purposes, they would prefer these children to be “in-district.” As we saw today, it is not necessarily in the best interests of the child.

My husband and I will be sending a letter to the Superintendent of the City of Mount Vernon School District, Dr. W.L. Sawyer, expressing our extreme displeasure with this belligerent woman and her insistence that we consider placing our son in what would be a completely inappropriate setting, one which would be a danger to him and to others.

I would welcome your input on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

South Bronx School Opens A Charter

When you can't beat them, why not join them?

I have decided that it is time for me to open my own charter school. Why am I doing this? First a little background.

I recall a conversation, or at least it was my dad lecturing me doing my best to tune him out, when I was 13 or 14. I had just gotten in trouble for the umpteenth time in school and he had some words of wisdom to me. He said, "You will never be able to work for someone. You need to be your own boss." Dear old dad was right and that is why I am taking this major step. So come September 2012 I will be running my own charter school.

I have chosen a name for my charter school. It will be known as The South Bronx Academy for Implied and Perceived Excellence. The school will start in the Kindergarten and first grade with 100 students, and eventually go up to fifth grade.

There will be only one "teacher" per grade. The reason for this is I want to model a setting in which all the great colleges have. A lecture hall. A study was done in the early 70's at SUNY-Geneseo that students in colleges in which offer classes in which a large amount of students sit in a large lecture hall with one instructor improve their grades .00567834%. It will also allow me to save money on staff and more of the outside funding and Title I money can find a way to my pocket.

Each classroom, or lecture hall will be named after the colleges of the teachers, or as we will say at SBAIPE, "lecturers." This will boost the self esteem of the 5 and 6 year old children and prepare them for college. And I forgot to mention. My students will be not known as students or scholars, but rather as drones. Since I have already hired two staff members, the names of the lecture halls will be Mercy College and Monroe College.

I am planning to co-locate the school and once we find space every conceivable action will be taken to keep the troglodytes of the school we are taking over, ooops, I meant, the school we are sharing, to have any interaction with the wonderful boys and girls of my school. Thanks to a grant from the Walton Foundation I have already hired XE Services, formerly known as Blackwater to head up security.

There will be armed guards at the steel reinforced doors that lead to my charter school. Also, Jersey barriers will be put in place and a secondary system of barbed wire. Not to worry. The guards will be instructed to shoot on site any violators that try to infiltrate SBAIPE.

The typical day will begin at 7 15 AM. At this point the drones will be taken, by force if necessary, from their parents, or rather as what we will call them at SBAIPE, suckers. At this point all drones will stand at attention in the outside common area and await my entrance on the balcony. I will festoon the drones on how wonderful a person I am because while I could have gone elsewhere and made a salary of $855K, I decided to be their leader for $450K. After my speech to the drones in praise of me our venerable headmaster, who will be no older than 25, will be required to give high fives and elbow bumps to each and every child.

At 8 15 in the morning the drones will report to the reeducation center, not a lecture hall, where they will be shown slide shows of how they are expected to act, along with the accompanying subliminal messages, while Wagner is playing loudly on the speakers. During this hour, the lecturers will be preparing and deep in conference with one another ready to drill the students, getting them ready for the day when their state exams come in 3rd grade.

Drone will be taught to walk in line in a cadence or goosestepping. At no time will the students be allowed to walk off the line. In class, drones will be outfitted with blinders on so they can keep their eyes on their lecturer at all times.

There will be no play time, or independent time. All it will be is test prep straight through until the end of the day at 6 PM. Once at home, the drones will turn on the specially installed home monitoring cameras so I can make sure that their test prep homework is being done.

If a child acts out of line, or worse, shows independent thought, a rapid response team from XE Services will repel into the "lecture hall" and remove that child from class and be sent to the behavioral study center in which an obedience chip will be installed insuring ever lasting conformity.

There will be no desks. Desks cost money. There will be no lunch provided. Lunch must be provided by the suckers. Pencils, paper, and other material also must be provided by the suckers. This is a for profit school.

There will be a dean of students to assist me and the headmaster. In all probability, and if he lives until 2012, it will be my 81 year old Uncle Sol. Uncle Sol, will be assisted by a staff of 5, including he wife, Aunt Sylvia.

My mission is to have outsiders think that my school is the best school ever. That I am to be thought of as some type of deity.

So why am I doing this? Why will I be making the ultimate sacrifice? Isn't it obvious? Who else but a white, Jewish, male from the NYC suburbs lead little boys and girls of color? I, just by my pedigree, know what is best and know that I am the example they have all been waiting for.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

We reach across the country again this Tuesday, February 8 @ 9 PM EST to welcome Larry Send of California Teachers Empowerment Network ( Larry a former teacher thinks that teachers unions are too powerful do any good.Larry also believes that one should not be forced to join a union. Larry also has a blog, Citizen Power Campaign ( Larry a former NYC teacher, and also a speaker at Tea Party events will share his views on teacher unions, teachers, and what he thinks should be done. As always the call in # is 917 932 8721

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Amani Public Charter School Needs Darren Stevens

Sorry Charlie. This is not personal, this is business. Sorry for lifting a line from the Godfather.

For those who don't recall, on January 25, I had Charlie Stern, founder of the Amani Public Charter School in Mount Vernon, NY, on as my guest on the radio show. I like Charlie, but adamantly disagree with him on his views of education.

But I came across something today, something that as usual tilts the tide towards charters. Something that traditional public schools are unable to do.

The Amani School has released a "Request For Proposal For Visual Identity, Marketing and Recruitment Plan and Publications." In other words, a request for advertising and marketing.

I assume that Mount Vernon will be hit soon with ads at bus stops, glitzy brochures, perhaps billboards, and an out of this world website. Perhaps a mascot, like the Hamburglar will help drive students to the school.

The question is what is this going to cost and where exactly is this money coming from. Now, if this were a true private school the source of the cash and the money spent does not have to be disclosed. I don't think Thornton-Donovan has to share that information for their billboards.

But Charlie in his interview claimed that Amani is a public school. A public school, receiving public funds. Of course full disclosure is needed. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I did indeed attend Thornton-Donovan in 1981. Asking my incompetent math teacher in front of the entire class if he had naked pictures of his wife kind of sealed my fate. Or it could have been after he replied no, asking him if he would like to by some did me in. But again, I am digressing.

But again, how can a true public school compete against the monies that private, oops, I meant charter, schools have available to them? Why can't Goldman Sachs give my school $21 million? Why can't I march into the Walton Family's pentagram worship and ask them for money for my school?

But why does Amani need to put out a "request for proposal?" This can be done so much cheaper and efficiently. I suggest that one can just contact Iona College or Sarah Lawrence College and find a college intern. Or, if I might be so bold, do it yourself. What you are requesting can all be done on one's home computer. For the printing, might I suggest Kinko's?

But if you feel you must use a advertising agency/marketing company, might I suggest McMann and Tate? It's a small boutique firm now, and they haven't really had a good client since Darren had his face altered.

Here is the marketing request:


Friday, February 4, 2011

The Vietnamization Of Education

I got this emailed to me this afternoon. I asked the author for permission to reprint it and he said go ahead. This is one of the most lucid, well thought out, to the point arguments I have heard against mayoral control, the ed deformers, the billionaires I have ever read. The analogy to Vietnam is not only spot on, but scary.

I remember when I was in third grade, sometime in the fall of 1972, my mother telling me she will send me to Canada if I ever got drafted. For those under 45 I suggest reading more about the Vietnam War.

I retired from Bloomberg's Folly last summer, but I still get heated when I see
and hear people who couldn't survive in a classroom (and never tried)
pontificating on how to fix schools. They use test scores like the Pentagon in
the 1960s used body counts. Our teachers are as dedicated as our fighting men in
Vietnam were, but we are also losing this war and our future because of an
arrogant, uninformed leadership.

I had the unfortunate experience of seeing Michael Bloomberg try to read to a
group of students at a setup ceremony. It was set up for him with a small group
of cooperative kids to make it an easy time. He lost those kids within 30
seconds, and he was the last in the room to know it.

I think it might be a god idea to try to collect reviews of Bloomberg and Black
trying to look like teachers. Videos would be even better, but you can tell the
way DOE photos are staged that they know how bad they are and wouldn't allow any
unofficial photos or videos. I think unmasking these clowns might help a bit to
quiet their boasting about their expertise in education.

Questionable Ethics Of Anna Phillips Of Gotham Schools

I had a brush with greatness in their own mind back in April.

At he David Pakter hearing almost a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting journalist, er I meant, news aggregator, Anna Phillips. The halo of her grandeur shined so bright I needed sunglasses. But I digress.

As I reported on April 7, when I asked why my groundbreaking blog is never quoted on Gotham Schools, she looked down the end of her nose, curled her mouth in disguest and said that my blog is "obscene." She also went on that as a "journalist" I have no credibility, whilst forgetting I am a blogger, and not just a news aggregator.

So one thing led to another and I wrote a blog post about my encounter with perceived greatness. And in a posting about Little Evan Stone and Princess Sydney Morris I added this comment copied and pasted from Gotham Schools;
The truth is out there about Little Evan and Princess Sydney. It seems that a qualified reporter would have done some legwork before accepting whatever form of payment from Little Evan and Princess Sydney's PR firm.
This does have a ring of truth to it. Why didn't Anna Phillips do some legwork and follow the money trail and find out where E4E was getting its money? Oh, wait a minute. That is a job for a journalist, not a news aggregator.

At that time, suddenly, every time I posted to Gotham Schools my comments got "awaiting moderating." Hmmm. What a coincidence. Anyway, to show I am a bigger person I emailed Anna a truce, She accepted, but still my comments were being moderated. So I took her dubiously at her word. I even invited her to be on my radio show. She politely declined.

Anyway sometime before Thanksgiving I received an email from a source. A good source of high honor. My source had emailed Whitney Tilson and this is the conversation; from
to Whitney Tilson
date Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 8:22 PM
subject Re: A Question
hide details 9/13/10
OMG?? He is? How? And he is a teacher??? I wanted to email him and ask him questions about why he writes as he does
- Show quoted text -
from Whitney Tilson
to ""
date Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 8:52 PM
subject Re: A Question
hide details 9/13/10
Trust me -- don't. A friend did and discovered for herself what a lunatic he is.
A friend? The only person that I met or emailed, that also knows Whitney as well is none other than Anna Phillips. But it continues;
to Whitney Tilson
date Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 9:03 PM
subject Re: A Question
hide details 9/13/10
Oh my! What did he do to her?
- Show quoted text -

from Whitney Tilson
to ""
date Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 10:04 PM
subject Re: A Question
hide details 9/13/10
Cursed at her, belittle her...
I cursed at Anna Phillips? I belittled her? Anna called me a lunatic? Anna, I met you once. You are the only person that I have met that knows Whitney and knows me. There were several people in the room that day at Pakter's hearing. I put it to you to prove that I cursed at you and belittled you. How rude of you to make up such a nefarious lie. If anything you belittled me, and from what I can tell you were completely sceeved being in the same room with Pakter supporters.

But there is a bigger question. Your relationship with Whitney Tilson. If you are a journalist as you claim, then how can it be claimed that you are a friend of Whitney Tilson? I do find it odd that Gotham Schools never mentions anything ever purported by Whitney and has deleted any comments made about him.

But one more thing worries me Anna. And again this is assuming that you are a journalist. How do I know what information you have given Whitney regarding me. I have been a source at times to you and others at Gotham. Is it not reasonable to assume that in a tiff you shared with your good friend Whitney pertinent information concerning me. Is this not, and again this is assuming you are a journalist, against the ethical code of journalists, to divulge a source? Is there an organization like the bar association, or the medical association in which one can make a complaint about unethical doings by a so-called journalist?

I am sure that one day you will leave Gotham Schools and actually be a true blue journalist. And I am sure that the New York Times will pass on you. I envision you writing for the Utica Observer-Dispatch and breaking stories from the local 4-H club, or covering the the pie contest at the Oneida County Fair. But until that day comes, please, get some integrity.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The crack team here at SBSB has managed to creatively acquire a short video of Cathie Black's days working in the magazine publishing business. This is an exclusive so therefore all copyright protections are in place. Please enjoy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This Is My Very Last Blog Post

I have come to the conclusion that as a teacher I do not live in the real world. My reality is no longer real.

What has brought this on? The arguments being made of late that in the private sector, or real world if you will, that personnel decisions are based on merit not seniority. I now espouse the teachings of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Little Evan Stone, and Princess Sydney Morris.

As a teacher I have had it to good for too long and wish to be judged, in case of layoffs of meritocracy and not the amount of years I have put into the DOE.

I have decided to stop blogging. I am no longer going to fight the fight. From this moment on I only want to be treated as if I were employed in a true blue American business. As such an employee I can expect:

To take a two hour lunch and pack down a couple of cold Budweisers.

To take the afternoon off to play golf with a client.

To sleep with my superior to advance my career as long as she is Sarah Silverman.

To make personal calls during the work day.

To banter around the water cooler for minutes on end discussing the latest episode of "Sex and the City."

To send chain emails through my office email account.

To use my office computer to shop on Cyber Monday.

To lock myself in my office and avoid people when I am not feeling well or in a bad mood.

To manipulate financial markets for my own personal gain and escape any criminal prosecution.

To decide for myself that there is too much snow and to stay home.

To work from home when needed.

To take a client to Hooters for lunch whenever I need to.

To have an expense account.

To fly first class on a 45 minute business trip to Buffalo.

To cut out early on Friday's.

To stop and chat with fellow co-workers as I saunter past their cubicles.

To not worry about being fired because I know that as long as I provide my boss Giants tickets I am safe.

To have my boss come to my office and we can talk about the Super Bowl for a few hours.

To start a Super Bowl box at work.

To buy those football tickets during football season from the pimply face kid in the mail room.

To play Minesweeper, Solitaire, Tetris and other computer games during work time.

To keep up with my fantasy teams.

To watch You Tube videos.

To book personal travel.

To play pranks on other co-workers.

To go on Facebook and update my status.

To buy tickets for Rush at Madison Square Garden for April 10.

To make long distance phone calls.

To go on Facebook and play Mafia Wars, Farmville, and Yo Ville.

To Google a girl I dated once in 1983.

To contribute to the official Hogan's Heroes messageboard.

To have a 20 minute cigarette break.

To get a personal loan from my boss.

To do my nails, or clip my nose hair at my desk.

Yes, I want to be treated as if I worked in a business. It is about time.