Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hunger Strike This Wednesday, January 2, 2013!!

I've thought long and hard about it. On the night of January 1, 2013 I will eat my last meal for a while. As soon as the clock strikes midnight I will officially be on a hunger strike to keep PS 154x from closing and to keep it out of the hands of the Empire. Also, to keep the bogus evaluation system to take place. I'll add other causes. But that is all for now. I'll be drinking plenty of water.

A movement needs to happen.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Michelle Rhee Never Misses an Opportunity To Exploit a Tragedy

The news trickled throughout my school yesterday at the horrors that had befallen the students, the teachers, the parents, and the community in Newtown CT. As a father I cannot imagine what the parents of the children who perished are going through.

When I got home I immediately went online to scour the news sites to catch myself up on information that had been lagging. Then the cynical side of me took over.

I wondered to myself which educational deformer would find the need to insert themselves into this tragedy. In my opinion, I find no need to broadcast how I feel, either through Twitter, Facebook, here, on my Star Trek forums, etc... Wait, I mean I do share how I feel. But, to me, I have always find those "My prayers, my thoughts, etc..." stuff like that to be a bit contrived, along with my latest ongoing cynicism with religion, to be meaningless. I think statements like that if they are to be made should be made personally to those effected by the tragedy (by the way, I better never ever hear again from sportscaster that a team having lost is a tragedy!).

So I have digressed. But not really, I needed to explain myself for I am afraid I might take some heat for this blog post. But, that is par for the course with me and and comes with the territory.

So I decided to check out MichelleRheeFirst Facebook page and came across this little ditty;
Following today's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the entire StudentsFirst family is mourning with the victims, their families, and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut. We have offered our colleagues in the state any assistance they may need.

There are no adequate words to express the horror and senseless nature of violence in our schools. It happens far too often in our country.  As a mother myself, I understand the hesitation every parent will feel in the coming days when they kiss their children and send them off to school -- to a place of learning and growth that ought to be a safe haven from violence.

Our children are our most valuable assets, and we lost too many of them today. Today's event forces us to ask ourselves: how are we expected to foster an environment in which students can learn, grow, thrive, and set off on positive life-paths when we cannot guarantee basic needs such as their safety?
 But events like these also strengthen our resolve to do exactly that -- improve schools for children and thereby improve entire communities. The entire StudentsFirst organization -- including the members of our team in Connecticut -- recommit ourselves to that mission today, as we pause to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected in Newtown.
 So I read that and then found out about this teacher. I will not name the teacher or link to it. The name is not important and need not be mentioned here;
When the shooting began, XXXX said she quickly got up and closed her classroom door and ushered the children, all aged 6 and 7, into the class bathroom. She helped some climb onto the toilet so they could all fit. XXXX said she then pushed a wheeled storage unit in front of the door.
And this as well;
When she became aware there was a gunman in the school, she hid her first-graders in closets and cabinets, then told the shooter they were in the gym. He turned the gun on XXXX, killing her, but none of her students were harmed.

Bot these teachers are heroes in their own way. Both these teachers did something extraordinary that cannot be measured with a test, with a piece of paper, with an observation. They did something that none of us put in their situation have no idea what we would do.

If their acts (and I am not omitting any other acts of bravery yesterday, just only know of these two thus far), are the ultimate acts, the very definition of effective teachers, what then would have become of them if they were subject to VAM as whether or not they are effective.

 Now, I do not know what the new evaluation system in Connecticut consists of. I can only speak for what is coming or might come in NYC. But what these teachers showed is what happens in schools all over the country in one way or another every day. Intangibles that are so subjective there is no way to measure.

For Rhee and her sycophants to call these teachers in Newtown colleagues is not only laughable, but it is worse. It is vulgar. One of the worst vulgarities I have ever seen. These teachers are career teachers, who went into teaching to have a career, a lifetime of educating children. Rhee and her ilk stand for everything that is opposite of these two teachers belief systems.

But it can't stop there with MichelleRheeFirst. Rhee needs to throw in how improving schools will therefore improve communities. First, Newtown does not need to be improved. Secondly, a severely mentally ill man-child perpetuated this insidious act. Lastly, that statement needs to be reversed. Improve the communities, and the schools will fall into place.

Nice how it was thrown in the MichelleRheeFirst is in Connecticut, that it is ready to lead, ready to show those great unwashed that only MichelleRheeFirst cares.

MichelleRheeFirst is a true sociopath, a true charlatan, a con artist, a grifter, a self-promoter. She is a manipulator and worse, she is a predator. She needs to be stopped.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Michelle Rhee Stooge Writes in the Daily News

Oh it is always nice to read the Daily News op-ed page and see some shill for Uncle Mike, or Michelle Rhee, thinking they can speak for education, schools, teachers, their children with a artificial guise of independent thought.

Today we had another on of those type people write an opinionated op-ed in today's Daily News. Keoni Wright penned some gibberish about teacher quality and his twin daughters in the same school, PS 158 in Brooklyn, yet with disparate teachers.

Mr Wright at first glance is a manager (whatever that means) for the NYC Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene. He is also a card carrying member of MichelleRheeFirst. 

While we here at SBSB applaud Mr Wright for taking an interest in his twin daughter's education, we hold our heads in indignation at the words that Mr Wright wrote of his own free mind and will. Words, that were his own. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 

Mr Wright wrote, I have a unique perspective on this, because I’ve got twin daughters in kindergarten. They go to the same neighborhood elementary school and sit in classrooms right next to each other. It’s clear to me, however, that this year, they are not getting the same high-quality education.

OK. So if the classrooms were further apart they both would be getting the same quality education?

One has a teacher who always seems to go the extra mile. She works hard to understand my daughter as a person and pushes her to learn and grow. My other daughter has a teacher who appears to do the bare minimum.

What exactly is the "extra mile?" Describe please, I mean without cliches. The other teacher, what is the bare minimum? Please describe.

Yet under the system we have for evaluating teachers, the two get treated the same. They’re paid the same, based only on the number of years they’ve worked and the number of advanced degrees they have. The quality of the work they do every day is irrelevant.

Yep, that is how it is. Same with cops, firefighters, paramedics, park employees, DPW workers, sanitation workers, and even MANAGERS AT THE NYC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH!!!! Please Mr Wright, share with us how you are evaluated. 

The difference between my daughters’ teachers became even more obvious to me after superstorm Sandy, when the school was closed for a week . During that time, one teacher assigned daily homework to make sure her students continued to exercise their minds and keep up with the lesson plan. The other teacher never reached out at all. This didn’t make sense to my kids — and it certainly doesn’t make sense to me.

That is great that one daughter's teacher called daily. But, do you know for sure what the other teacher did not call? Perhaps she was more concerned with her damaged house. Perhaps she was concerned with a injured loved one. Perhaps she was injured. Perhaps she was tending to her parents. Perhaps she had no phone service. Perhaps she did not leave work that Friday with the class phone numbers and/or emails. There are countless perhaps to go through that for Mr Wright to make a blanket statement as he did above in arbitrary and capricious. 
Funny, during the week my son was out of school, not one of his teachers called at all. Nada. Bupkus.  But why didn't Mr Wright contact that teacher? 

I do my best to work with both of my girls to make sure they are learning, but one has a clear advantage based on what she’s getting in the classroom.

Do you know what the dynamics are of each classroom?Perhaps the classroom of the daughter with the teacher you don't think is any good has more students that have come into Kindergarten without any skills. Perhaps that class has more students. Perhaps that class has more students that disrupt the educational process that the teacher spends an inordinate amount of time giving attention to. Perhaps the daughter with the teacher that you think is great there is a para or aide in that classroom. Again, too many perhaps to list. Perhaps Mr Wright should rethink what he "wrote."

When I send my child to school, her teacher should at least be doing what I can do at home.

Again, where is the clear, concise evidence?

That’s why I am part of a group of concerned parents
Concerned parents? Why not just say MichelleRheeFirst? 
A new evaluation system will, I hope, help my one daughter’s outstanding teacher start to get the credit she deserves for her hard work. Maybe she can share her successful techniques with others so they can improve. It will also help my other daughter’s teacher understand that just getting by is not enough.

No. It won't. It'll just make your daughters a statistic for test makers. Besides, teachers share, and you have yet to show any evidence about the teacher you claim is "just getting by."

We also need a deal on teacher evaluations so that the city’s schools will get about $250 million in state funding.

Yet you don't complain about the millions and millions of dollars that Uncle Mike has cut from classrooms and schools over the last 4 years. 

Mr Wright did say something funny back in November at some rally at City Hall;  “I can see just from those two children that the reading level is totally different,” said Wright, whose daughters attend P.S. 158.

We need to know if the daughters are maternal or fraternal twins. I am sure Mr Wright realizes that Monozygotic twins can develop differently, due to different genes being activated. Just because they are identical, does not been they learn the same. And if they are maternal, well Mr Wright, they are two different people. 

When my son was in Kindergarten, his teacher told us that we really won't notice anything, especially his reading until January. January is not yet here Mr Wright, and these words you first said were spoken in November, which basically gave you September and October to make this uninformed opinion of your daughter's teachers. Shame on you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rush Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!!!!

This is how close I was sitting in October
In 2002 I was at my cousin's wedding in Cleveland. I had an afternoon to spend to myself while my wife tended to my nearly, at the time, 1 year old son. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was just a few blocks from the hotel and decided to check it out. There really isn't much to do in Cleveland and I went there holding my nose.

Why? Because since 1998 when Rush had been eligible to induction in the RRHOF they had yet to be nominated. Rumor always had it that Jann Wenner who controls the RRHOF hated Rush with a passion as this was evident in the years and years of his rag Rolling Stone ignoring the band as well.

But all that changed today! Finally, in the first year that Rush has been nominated, they are now members of the 2013 class into the RRHOF. They, along with Public Enemy, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Albert King and Heart will be inducted this coming April in Los Angeles with the boradcast of the show to be on HBO in May.

Why this took so long, I have no idea. I first saw Rush in 1981, my senior year in high school during the Exit...Stage Left tour in December at the Meadowlands. After a rest of the 80's hiatus I have seen them on ever tour since 1990's Presto tour through to this past October during the most recent Clockwork Angels tour. Twenty shows in all. Now, I know that is not very impressive since I know several people that see them 30 times during a tour, but considering that Billy Joel and Neil Young are the next most frequent concerts I have seen (2x each) well, for me it is impressive.

This is a band that has gotten better with age (not that they ever sucked!). As the author of this article wrote today;
"’s that Rush has gotten better over the years. Unlike most rockers, who peak in their first decade and spend the rest of their career either treading water or slowly sinking, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have continued to grow over the decades. They play better now than they did then, they take more chances musically, and they write more interesting material. Frankly, I can’t think of many other bands I could say that about."
Think of every band we grew up with (those who are over 40) they all suck now. They all haven't grown. They are all living in the past. Rush isn't. They are going in new directions. Making relevant music. Still, at the ages of 60, growing as musicians and songwriters.

One thing that what Rush does for me, or I think any Rush fan, is that no matter how much I am down, how much I am pessimistic, all I need to do is listen to some Rush, listen to the words that Neil Peart has written, the magic in Geddy Lee's voice, the sensitivity of Alex Lifeson's guitar and I know that life will be OK. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School Part V: The Playroom Edition

Oh, there is fun to be had every day at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School, but only if you seek it.

The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School has turned into nothing more than a playroom. A place where students, those students that disrupt their classes, throw chairs, run through the halls, punch and kick teachers are punished by being able to finger paint play with dolls, and have ice cream parties.

Nothing is taken seriously. It is all about making the students feel good. So what if Ezra in 5th grade tells a female teacher to "suck his dick," so what if Schlomo in 5th grade tells a teacher he will "put a cap in you after school," who cares if Menachem never shows up to class. These students know that in The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School there will be zero consequences, for the good time that is awaiting them is worth getting to all the trouble they can and avoiding all the education they want.

Now, yes, we all want our students, to feel good. We all know that most of our students come from severely fractured homes. We as teachers wish we can save each and everyone of these students, to make them better people, to make them better students, to see them grow and succeed. But they cannot be coddled. They don't want to, nor do they respect being coddled.

 Most of the students who are involved in inappropriate actions at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School are boys. These boys, not all of them, but a goodly amount come from matriarchal homes, homes that have been matriarchal for generations. These boys have never had a positive male role model on their lives. They are crying out for that male role model, not only for what they are missing from having a second parent at home, but more importantly, a person who will be in their lives that offers guidance, boundaries, and knowledge of what they are going through as young men.

The students of The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School can smell bullshit from a mile away, are smart enough to know when they are being patronized and condescended to, and don't have a modicum of respect for those that treat them in such a manner. These are kids of the Projects, of the Streets, they have seen too much, been fooled too much, to allow someone to pander to them.

The students of The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School know how to manipulate the emotions of those that pander to them. Those panderers might think they are getting through, but rather they are being played like a cheap accordion bought in a long lost tag sale.

The students respect toughness along with boundaries and the ability to say what you mean and do what you say. There have been too many students over the years that have said, some as young as 2nd grade, that they respect someone because they "don't allow me to get away with anything."

So as long as The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School attitude is still in place, we will lose these students whose behavior is so atrocious but just as bad we will lose the students whose behavior and positive attitude for education is above reproach for they are in an atmosphere where learning and safety are lost because the wrong approach to discipline has been implemented.

Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy Shares His Opinion of Education in NYC

'Nough said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bob the Builder Speaks For Educators4Excellence

Told ya they'll be more. Not too long after listening to nothing as explained by E4E's Eric Cartman, The Crack Team came across this figuratively emasculated gentleman who showed up in support of his wife who happens to be a teacher in the South Bronx. He cracked us up in the first video with such myths as;

That there needs to be evaluations

He's a construction worker

He is not in a union, however is employed by a union shop. C'mon, really?
He works with many union guys. Wait a minute, the same union guys that have a giant inflatable rat in front of non-union construction sites? The same union guys that shit things bigger than this guy in the video?
It's not his call on how to evaluate cops, firefighters, etc... but has no problem on how to evaluate teachers.
Says he is not an educator, but still can speak for educators.
And has worked for the Board of Ed. 

In the next video with this person, he decries a teachers rights to due process.

Love this line of this, "I'm for due process, but if you get fired, you fired, you get fired."

Didn't believe that there has been a teacher sent to Rubber Room for carrying a Coke in their hand.

What a dingus. What a dearth of independent thought.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

E4E's Eric Cartman Goes Silent on The Crack Team

The Crack Team at SBSB would like to thank the gracious hosts of Educators4Excellence for the comedy and the coffee and Dunkin' Munchkins that were generously given at today's youth rally at City Hall park in support of the new evaluation system that is being advocated.

As we know, 40% of a teacher's evaluation will be based on tests. Twenty percent on normal standardized tests and the other 20% on God knows what.

Sadly, that first 20% will be using the convoluted algorithm of Value Added Measurement.

The Crack Team wished to ask some of the E4E followers if they can explain what exactly VAM is and how what exactly is the algorithm formula. Fortunately we came across someone that is shy and did not wish to give his name. For the purpose of professional bloggerism that is so rampant here at SBSB we have decided to call this person, Eric Cartman.

As one can see, he is rather confused by the question. Or, it could be that might be an Ellen Jamesian and acts as if his tongue has been surgically removed. The Crack Team though has ascertained that his independent thought process has been surgically removed and we are sure that it can be had back one day if he asks nicely.

But a good time was had by all the subversives today. There is more to come on today's rally.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hunger Strike for Education

How have we gotten to this point? How have we gotten to be on the precipice of the death of education in the United States of America? There is plenty of blame to go around. But, we need to look inward. There are two things that are hurting us as educators that need to be fixed before we can reverse the course education has taken. The culture of teaching and apathy. But there is a solution.

I'm not going to get too much into the culture and the apathy. I really don't want to paint with a broad brush for I know there are plenty of people out there that are fighting the good fight. But there are too many out there that just are too ignorant or too apathetic to do anything.

Why aren't cops, firefighters, paramedics, sanitation workers being attacked? Simple. These are male dominated fields. I am not trying to be misogynistic here, I am sure I have stated this before, but if teachers were mostly male, education would not be dying today.

A while back I watched Serpico on my iPhone. I was thinking to myself, where is the Frank Serpico we need so bad today? Where is that person that will put everything on the line and out the mendacity of the NYC DOE? I see no one coming forward.

Where is the Daniel Ellsberg from the ranks of administrators or Tweedies that will lay a Pentagon Papers of education on the desk of an ace reporter from the Times? I see no one coming forward.

It's been discussed on these pages in the past on what can be done. Perhaps it is time for the money to be where the mouth is.

Civil disobedience is where it's at man. Wearing a red shirt, or red underwear, or a red ribbon ain't gonna cut it.

I've been thinking of not shaving until education is fixed, not showering, not changing my clothes. But none of those will have an impact.

What can, and must be done and it is time is a full fledged hunger strike. I am seriously contemplating it and need to explore more, but I believe this is the only way to go.

If need be, I would go it alone, but as the those Irish republican prisoners realized in 1981, there is strength in numbers.

I see each and every day the destruction that Mayor Bloomberg and all his cronies have surreptitiously imposed on the unsuspecting people of the South Bronx, NYC, and the United States.

I see every day how my son is nothing but a test score and a dollar sign to Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Prentice. 

It is time for this to end. It is time for the parents and students to be heard and to truly for once come first.

It is time all those with true stakes in education to be heard.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parents and Students of District 7 in the Bronx Are About to be Screwed, Again

Oh the fun does not stop in District 7 in the Bronx. The New York Post reported today that District 7, as the behest of Community Education Council (one wonders whose behest they are working for), that 17 elementary schools in District 7 sill no longer be zoned schools, but rather open to all students within the district.

Said Nedya Franco, the D7 CEC president;
“We feel that it can’t get any worse, because we’re failing. So we have to do something that’s going to change the whole spectrum of our district, now [principals] have to prove what you have in the building and you have to bring students in. We feel there’s more accountability.”
Yes, that word, accountability, and a good dose of competition. Right? WRONG!!!!

This is what it boils down to. The schools that perform well, or at least appear to perform well, will cream the best students District 7 has to offer. The rest of the schools, will get the students from homes in which education is not taken seriously, students that are behavior problems, students that are struggling, and students that are way behind.

Think of this. Entry into Kindergarten will be akin to what parents on the Upper East Side, The Village, and the Upper West Side go through. There will be interviews of these families and their children, perhaps even tests. The schools will make damn sure that they are only selecting the best and that the best will select them. The resources will follow these students to a few select schools.

What happens to the rest? The rest of the schools will be deemed problem schools, with blame put on  problem teachers. There will be no resources, no curriculum, no nothing. Your child will not get an education at all. Nothing. Nada. Bupkus.

Soon, these "problem schools" will be forced to continuously shut down, with new teachers every few years, and with charter schools forcing themselves into these buildings to yet again take more and more resources away. Less space for the students that are not getting into the charters or the elite of District 7 will mean less building space for an ever growing amount of students that are not welcomed in neither. Who loses at the end? The students and the families.

This is the solution they choose for District 7. Tracy Woodall , the second VP of D7 CEC said that parents;
"were struggling to get their kids out of schools in their area that were failing, and there was nothing they could do.” 
Maybe not, but there is nothing the city is doing. It has been Mayor Bloomberg, and he alone, that has deprived the schools of needed funds and resources. It has been Mayor Bloomberg's lackies at Tweed that have deprived the schools in District 7 of a true curriculum. It has been Mayor Bloomberg and his lackies at Tweed that have deprived the schools of District 7 of any real curriculum.

Parents of District 7, who are being played. Do not believe that City Hall, Tweed, and those at 501 Courtlandt Ave have your best intentions in their hearts. They don't, and never will. Until your voices are heard, things will continue this way.

Think of the book by George Orwell, Animal Farm. "Some schools are more equal than others."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Quality of Review at PS 154

We're having a big day this week at PS 154. Company is coming, the quality review type of company. Like your rarely seen great-aunt coming over to visit, everyone at PS 154 will be on our best behavior this coming Tuesday and Wednesday and impress District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres and her QR minions as they poke, prod, probe, and have us turn our heads and cough as they determine not only whether or not we are proficient enough, but also if we stay open as a school.

We here at SBSB applaud that 154 is subject to a QR and wish to extend an invitation to the reviewers to be sure and speak to a wide array of teachers. Hear many opinions, and listen to many viewpoints. We are sure a reviewer will benefit greatly from such a meeting.

I still think the school is going to be shut down even if we are labeled proficient.I think the powers that be not only wish to excoriate most of the staff there, but The Crack Team has a sneaky suspicion that since Bronx Success is no longer co-located in PS 30 just a few blocks away, that Eva is looking for a new home to co-locate in and PS 154 would be perfect for her.

Why? One is the Robin Hood Foundation funded library that we have. Secondly, enrollment has been plummeting for several years and with about half a dozen empty or extremely under utilized classrooms, all one needs to do is some simple math.

But there is something more sinister happening. The neighborhood, the little section of Mott Haven from 138th St south to Bruckner Blvd and from about the 3rd Ave Bridge east to Willis Ave is becoming gentrified.

Very foretelling is the new apartment building that has been constructed on Bruckner Blvd right next to the Willis Ave Bridge. This is a 350 unit building with a gym, swimming pool, concierge, and many more amenities. More so, to live in the new apartments, one must qualify for residence with a minimum salary, as well as a maximum salary depending on the unit and the family size. 

But where does this leave the families and children who live in the Mitchel Houses and who make up just about 95% of the students at 154? Someone will lose out and it just might be the parents, the families, the children who live in Mitchell.

Apparently, no one cares about those who have invested years into PS 154. We have parents who attended 154, and grandparents who attended 154. But it does not matter to those in power.

The children, the families, and the community of PS 154 are just dupes to those at City Hall and Tweed. What they're selling is some sham miracle elixir being sold to them from a trunk of a car.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Is Mulgrew About To Sell Us Out?

I got an email, as I am sure others have, from El presidente de por vida de UFT Mike Mulgrew thanking all for the Sandy clean up effort and stuff like that. Nice.

However, towards the end of his email he reminded us that we still have to make up days that the students were out of school. OK, we know. The rumor floating around is that the days will be made up during the February vacation.

What really got The Crack Team's knickers in a tizzy was these lines;
We will have to make that time up. We have had to do this before on several occasions. Most recently, in the early 1990s, members had to give up vacation days to make up days when schools were closed because of the asbestos crisis.
Yes Mike, we know we need to make these days up, or at least some resolution needs to come about. But that is not what we, the dues paying members of the UFT wished to hear. Certainly not this as well;
We are talking to the state Education Department and the city Department of Education about what needs to be done to be in compliance with the law.
Wrong answer as well. We need to be talking with the leaders of the State Assembly and State Senate so they, and only they, can pass a waiver freeing not only the city from making up those days, but the rest of the districts that closed for the week due to Sandy.

In fact last year, the legislature passed a bill waiving the 180 day minimum for districts affected by Hurricane Irene;
On Friday, Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan introduced legislation in Albany that would grant the state education commissioner authority to waive the 180-day requirement for up to 10 days for schools dealing with extreme circumstances like the storm.
The bill is nearly identical to one passed after Hurricane Irene, the Daily News reports, and can be voted on when the legislature reconvenes in January. 
But Mike, why not wait and see how this plays out before there is any negotiating. Or making statements like this which are unnecessary at this point (not that we here at SBSB love to bust Uncle Mike's balls);
 Given this mayor’s track record, we expect to have to face off against him again in the months ahead.
Or even more botarded statements such as;
We’ll be ready.
Yeah, right. You and Unity will be ready to sell us out.

This bill will and should be passed. Why? Because the parents who live in Roslyn, Scarsdale, Great Neck, Chappaqua want it passed. They all have monies invested in their vacations and don't wish to lose out. Another reason it will be passed is that if school time is made up during a vacation break the student absenteeism in the districts will be so high that no one will want to lose out on funds.

If Mike really wants to be useful, he should stay quiet, let the suburban districts take the lead, and things should work out fine.

But The Crack Team is offering you a freebie here Mike. Call for the state cancelled this year. That will give us six full days of instruction and that is not to mention the months of test prep that won't be needed freeing up more instructional time.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Failure of Those in Charge Permeates District 7

Juan Gonzalez wrote a great piece in yesterday's Daily News on how the Young Leaders Elementary School, a school opened up by Uncle Mike in 2008, is now on the list of possible closures. 

Funny thing is, Young Leaders Elementary School replaced another closed school, PS 220 back in 2008. PS 220 was run by one of the classiest principals ever to work for the DOE, Michelle Kahn. I know Michelle is up above having the last laugh. She should.

Again, students and their families education is going to again be uprooted and thrown into disarray. Will another school be a community school, or will be a magnet school attracting students from all over the neighborhood. Teachers that have built up some modicum of trust within the community will be thrown away like bathwater. Then again, since this school opened up in 2008, I am sure there are plenty of new, malleable teachers to keep around.

But why is this happening, and what does it portend for PS 154, which is on the closure list as well? In the Young Leaders Elementary School most recent (2011-2012) quality review, this stood out;
Due to the high number of inexperienced teachers, school leaders are cognizant of the importance of ensuring that the decisions around professional development support the individual needs of teachers
Yes, a high number of inexperienced teachers. Inexperienced teachers, which if 154 closes, will be tasked with righting the ship. But yet, when the most recent accountability and review report was released (2010-2011) the turnover rate of teachers with less than 5 years experience was 39%. In fact the school started out with 64% of teachers with less than 3 years experience. Heck, just look at the rate of ELL's in this school.

But this is Uncle Mike's way. Instead of improving, let's destroy. As Mr Spock said in Wrath of Khan when Dr McCoy question what would happen if Genesis was let loose on an inhabited planet;
"It is easier to destroy, than to create."
But why must the students, the families, the community and the staff of the Young Leaders Elementary School, PS 154, and MS 203, another school in District 7 that is on the closure list and led by a class act in Bill Hewitt, suffer?

Who should be held responsible for this mess? We should begin with Yolanda Torres, Superintendent of District 7. If the Yankees don't perform, Joe Girardi is the one responsible, as is Brian Cashman. Right now The Crack Team is researching other schools in District 7 that have closed and/or failing under the watch of Yolanda Torres. We here at SBSB call for the immediate removal of Yolanda Torres as District 7 superintendent.

Also, the network leaders of these schools. Yes, we have pilloried Varleton McDonald, but what about Dan Feigelson, network leader of CFN 203 for the Young Leaders Elementary School and his undying devotion to Teacher's College? And let's not forget Robert Cohen, network leader of MS 203 CFN 104. What would the folks think at NYU for his abject failure?

No one cares. Everyone, except the teachers, are out for themselves. I brought up a very good point to a person of power in my district last week;

"Why wait for them to close us down? We all know that whatever side of the bed Uncle Mike wakes up on that's what the decision is based on. We need to not be reactive, but proactive. We need to fight back. We need to muster the parents, the community, and more importantly, the politicians together and fight, fight, fight for this school, the students, and the community."

My plan was met with derision.
"They don't want us to do that or anything. Just sit back and wait."
Those 14 words sum up so clearly at what is coming down the pike. In my opinion, the decision has been made. Time to pack up and start saying your goodbyes.

But it does not have to be that way. The parents of these schools need to rise up, need to speak as one voice, to go to Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo's office, to go to Councilwoman Arroyo's office and get them involved. Get the other parents involved. NOW!

This is not just about your child's education, but your respect as a community. Do not think for one minute that those white males in the blue suits at City Hall and Tweed give one iota about you or your children. It is all about power, all about taking care of their own, and all about paying monies to their friends for incompetent and failing curriculum.

There needs to be a true grass roots advocacy coming from the the bottom up, the parents and the communities. You are the most important people there are to affect change within the NYC DOE.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Going Down The Quality Review Tubes at PS 154x

In 1974, or maybe 1973, Senator Howard Baker then the ranking minority member of the then Senate Watergate Committee asked this famous question during the Watergate hearings;
"What did the President know and when did he know it?"
Well we here at SBSB are asking the same question of Yolanda Torres, Superintendent of District 7 in regard to PS 154 being put on the closure list,
"What did Yolanda Torres know and when did she know it?"
What has Yolanda Torres known of the downhill spiral of PS 154 and when did she know this? Obviously, she knew about it in late April when the principal was removed, but when did she know of the downward spiral? Or was she complicit in the downward spiral?

Something is amiss here. While up to 50% of the staff, maybe more, are in danger of losing their positions at PS 154 if the school is indeed closed, where are the ramifications for those at the top, such as Yolanda Torres, Maverick, or whichever cluster (God it is so confusing!)? If memory serves, Uncle Mike talked about ACCOUNTABILITY in 2002!

So, not to change subjects, but it will be changed. In May of this year, PS 154 had a state quality review performed for two days. For the first time publicly, the results of the quality review are being published.

Decipher and analyze for yourself. We are sure there are bigger and brighter minds out there. One comment really stood out from the QR that The Crack Team wishes to share;
The school has changed ELA programs several times over the last five years without evaluation of the effectiveness of each program.
Again, who is accountable for this mess? The parents and community of PS 154 have a right to know and a right to have answers.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Is Maverick Education Partnership (CFN 407) Complicit in PS 154's Failing??

Is it funny, the ironic kind of funny, how Uncle Mike and his henchmen want to publicly out teachers TDR's and shame teachers? Yet, where is the voracious callings to show what those who are running the schools actually do, where they are, and what their assessments are?

In the "olden days" schools were part of a district and received support services from these districts. Parents who had issues with their schools, or with the district, knew where to go. These offices were located in the same community as their school and at worse was probably a bus ride away.

Now school pay these networks to supervise and support them. Not only that, the schools are as disparate geographically as they educationally.

But try to find one of the offices of these so called networks, or "children first networks." Like trying to fin the office of Universal Exports, these office locations, and roles, are a closely guarded state secret.

But are all these networks the same? Are they equal? Or some more equal than others, or some are good and some suck? The Crack Team wondered this as sources handed us here at SBSB the the 2010-2011 secret rankings of the networks.

The Crack Team felt this was not only important information to share with the loyal readers of SBSB, but important to the community of PS 154. As readers of this blog are well aware, PS 154 is on the closure list and well, it is nice to know who mucked it up.

PS 154 is part of the CFN 407 or otherwise known by its nom de plume; Maverick Education Partnership (check out this You Tube commercial) which until this year had been led by former Jefferson High School principal Valerton McDonald. The Crack team is hard at work ascertaining why Mr McDonald is no longer the network leader, but we do know he is assigned to Tweed as "special projects manager."

So, what is the ranking, the satisfaction with the job Maverick Education Network has done? According to what was handed to us here at SBSB, Maverick is not good (click download to get full spreadsheet), in fact it is fourth from the bottom.

Now, yes, all that stuff on the spread sheet, what does it mean?  It is not straight forward and more convoluted than any VAM algorithm they use to persecute teachers, but we do know by this link that explains the scoring  that CFN 407 is in the bottom quartile.

So why don't the parents of PS 154 made aware of this at the early engagement process meetings? Why aren't the parents of PS 154 privy to this information at all? It is more and more of the DOE ruling from above and knowing what is bet for what they consider the lowly serfs, the parents, of NYC.

PS 154 is in danger of being shut down, not because of the teachers, but because of the horrendous leaders and decisions made by these leaders. These leaders should be held accountable and responsible and not be bumped upstairs when they fail.

Think about it. If the food in a restaurant is not good who is fired, the chef or the waiters?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Is a Spiteful Little Man

The Crack Team got the phone call today at around 3 PM. We had been monitoring Uncle Mike's news conference yet briefly called away when the Chinese food had arrived. On the other end of the phone was one of SBSB's news stringers. He called to share that the mayor had made a proclamation in concern to the remainder of the week about the schools.

The mayor, our stringer reported, had declared that not only were students not to report to school on Thursday and Friday of this week, but that all staff were to report to their schools at their regular times this Friday, November 2. This, despite the fact that 200 of the 1,400 buildings operated by the NYC DOE have significant damage to be termed, "not operational."

According to Uncle Mike's sock puppet, Dennis Walcott who had sent out a mass email today at the behest of his lord and superior, the reason we are to report to schools this Friday is that;
Staff will be expected to report on Friday to prepare for school opening on Monday. 
If this is not convoluted logic, I don't know what is. Prepare for what? We are never asked to report the last day of a vacation to get the school ready. We are not required to report a week early in August to set up classrooms for the upcoming year. Heck, even the teachers at the damaged schools are reporting to other sites. But why? Don't these teachers have to prepare for the schools opening on Monday?

But it is crystal clear. Staff are in school for one reason only. To prepare for Monday. This means, and it should be adhered to, that no professional development will be in place on Friday, and in the opinion of The Crack Team, if any administrators contradict Sock Puppet Dennis Walcott's edict, they should be brought up on insubordination.

This is just clearly a power grab by a mayor that is an angry little man that desperately needs to show he has the power. He does this only because he can, and he does time after time.

It does not matter that if a teacher is unable to get to work due to the mess that the subways are. Just look at the updated subway map of what lines are and not running. Nothing below 34th St in Manhattan, nothing in NW Brooklyn or SW Queens. As of tomorrow, Metro-North is running a weekend schedule only on the Harlem and New Haven lines. The Hudson line is still closed. Only the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma lines are running on the LIRR as of now.

I know of a teacher on Long Island that has had her house flooded, her car filled with raw sewage and no means to get to work.

But let's say you can drive in. The 4 East River crossings will be limited to cars with 3 or more occupants. What happens if you don't carpool? If you drive alone. According to Uncle Mike;
"hopes motorists will pick up strangers standing near bridges."
Yeah, we can see female teachers doing this.

I know of other countless teachers that have had basements flooded, have no electricity, trees down, and also rely on public transportation.

What about those who are expecting their basements to be be pumped on Friday? Those teachers that expect the trees on top of their houses to be cut apart? Those teachers awaiting the insurance adjuster?

Not only that, but these teachers also have children in schools that are closed this week and must be supervised. Do they have enough time to make arrangements?

But not to fret teachers of NYC. Sock Puppet Walcott has decreed;
If mass transit services have not yet been restored in your neighborhood, and you have no other safe and feasible way to travel to work, then you should use your judgment and delay your arrival. There will be no penalties for transit-related lateness.
OK, not bad. Does transit delays mean traffic delays as well? But it gets weirder from the sock puppet.
 If you cannot come to work, you should use annual leave, personal leave/CAR time or compensatory time to stay home....For those who have no applicable leave balance, leave may be advanced for this purpose.
Wow, what a guy. Tell me there won't be a principal that will hold a teacher taking Friday off against them.

Why aren't other school districts that have closed for the week having teachers come in on Friday? According to the Journal News;
All eight of Rockland County’s districts and Eastchester, Byram Hills, Blind Brook, Valhalla, Chappaqua, Ossining, Pelham, Mahopac, New Rochelle and Scarsdale became among the first districts Wednesday to concede that schools will be closed for at least this week
Why? Because these school districts are not run by little spiteful men, or women, like our mayor. These districts celebrate their educators, take pride in their educators, and do not see educators as interchangeable parts.

We have 14 months left with this little Napoleon of a man that is mean spirited, and worst of all, angry. He needs to get his way, only his way, all of the time. No one in this country has done more to destroy the professionalism and respect of educators than this little man.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Attention Whoring With Educators4Excellence

With the last two days off because of Hurricane Sandy, so many thoughts raced through my mind. One of them was how after watching the Tigers get swept by the Giants how did the Yankees get swept by the same team. Another thought took me back to the last hurricane to hit here, Irene and how Educators4Excellence made the death and destruction all about them. 

L-R Little Evan Stone, Hand Puppet Jonathan Schleifer
I wondered if this time would E4E show some humility and somehow not take to attention whoring themselves into the death and destruction of Hurricane Sandy that has permeated the area the last 48 hours. That hopefully, there would be silence on their parts and be mature and smart enough to be silent.

Checking my email this morning, sadly my best hopes went down the drain. Though, I do give them credit. In their sneaky way they left the statement off their Facebook page and their website. But nonetheless, they felt the need to ingratiate themselves into a tragedy.

The E4E team fared pretty well, but like many of you, some continue to deal with flooding and power outages. 

Praise the Lord!!!! I now can sleep. The E4E team fared pretty well. In fact I am sure Little Evan Stone and Princess Sydney fared better than the families in North Salem NY in northern Westchester that lost their sons, ages 11 and 13 when a tree came crashing down on the house. Perhaps Little Evan and Princess Sydney fared better than the Pearl River NY man watching TV with his family in which he was killed by a falling tree, and his wife and daughter are in critical condition at Nyack Hospital. Bet they did better than the man who was killed driving into a fallen tree on the Sprain Parkway in Greenburgh. And let's not forget all those who lost their homes in Breezy Point and all the others that had lost their lives. All that matter is the Little Evan and Princess Sydney are OK. 

Can you believe this? Two families lost their sons. They are dead at the ages of 11 and 13. As a father I shudder to think what these families are going through. I can't imagine what the all the other families are going through. But not once in the email did Little Evan or Princess Sydney give any word, or even a sense, of condolence or sympathy. It is all about them, themselves, and not others. Whatever they can do to leach onto others and make Little Evan and Princess Sydney look good is all that matters. 

In the days that passed and the days to come we’ve seen how our first responders, city and utility workers, and public leaders work together to do incredible things.

Guess what? Those first responders, city and utility workers are UNION WORKERS! They are subject to a pay scale, due process, pensions, and seniority rights. Why not tell these union workers what you really think about unions and workers rights? I dare you. But neither Little Evan or Princess Sydney will. As far as the shout out to the public leaders, please, remove your lips from the butts.

And we’ve seen neighbors lending a hand and caring for one another. We are proud to be a part of such remarkable communities.

Oh, please. Give examples of where you have seen neighbors lending a hand. I doubt if these "communities" knew of your agenda, your subterfuge, your back stabbing, would wish you to be amongst them. 

Thank you to those of you who have gone to help in the shelters, to those of you who are taking care of loved ones, and to those who are risking their lives to care for others.

Oh, you are welcome. Without the official approval of E4E, all what has been done and will be done will all be for naught. 

This is so typical of E4E, Little Evan Stone, Princess Sydney Morris, and their newest, clueless lackey, new executive director, Hand Puppet Jonathan Schleifer. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, it all comes down to them. To furthering themselves, to furthering their brand, to furthering their ignorance.

E4E is a toothless paper tiger in constant search of relevance and attention. They have done nothing for education as teachers and continue to do nothing for education as whatever it is they are now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Uncle Mike and the DOE Celebrate Failure

We all read about it this week in the Daily News. Ninety percent of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods are not college or career ready when they live the wonderful world of the NYCDOE that Uncle Mike has created for them. But, in "swanky Tribeca," 79% of high school students are college and career ready.

We all know the reasons for this disparity, no reason to go into it here on these pages. Only a dead person or an insane person would not understand such disparate numbers. Wait, did I mention "insane person?"

The NYC DOE in defending poster boy for insanity Uncle Mike's insane handling of city schools had this to say in the article about the lack of students that are college and career ready;
"noting that the citywide college readiness rate — currently 13% for black students and 15% for Latinos — is better than when Bloomberg took office. 'Since our administration’s reforms, college readiness rates have nearly doubled for black and Latino students — but there is still more work to do,' spokeswoman Erin Hughes said."

So if we take the 13% for black students and the 15% for Latinos and average it out, it comes to a whopping 14% of blacks and Latinos are ready for college and careers once they leave Uncle Mike's fantasy world. 

Funny how the DOE, and of course Uncle Mike are proud of such numbers. What about the 86% that are not college and career ready? But, let's look at those numbers in the real world. Since the DOE and Uncle Mike are so proud of only that 14%, how will one fare when one is successful  14% of the time in real life? 

If Uncle Mike only received 14% of the vote in any of the 3 elections he ran for mayor, he would not be mayor. 

If a NBA player on made 14% of his free throws, he would not be an NBA player. Of course Shaquille O'Neal is the exception. 
If Alex Rodriguez batted .140 in the 2012 post-season he would have been benched, and he was.

If Eli Manning completed 14% of his passes, the Giants would try to get Tim Tebow.

If a teacher's evaluation under the new evaluation system totaled 14 out of 100 that teacher would be terminated. Hint, hint, Uncle Mike. 

If a district attorney only won 14% of his cases he would be sacked.

If a teacher was late 14% of the time, she would be terminated.

If a school only had 14% of its students at grade level in literacy or math, it would be closed.

If President Obama had a 14% approval rating, he would no longer be president.

If Princess Cruises had only 14% capacity on it's ships, Captain Stubing would be out of a job.

If Lawrence Tynes made only 14% of his FG attempts, he would be beat up by Tom Coughlin and looking for work.

If Martin Brodeur stopped only 14% of all shots, guess what? Yep, he would be an Islander.

If the subways ran only 14% on time, the people of NYC and media would be calling for Uncle Mike's head.

If only 14% of the city's streets were plowed after a major snowstorm, the people of NYC and media called for Uncle Mike's head.

If the city's crime rate rose by 14%, the people of NYC and media would be calling for Uncle Mike's head.

If during a summer, 14% of all swimmers drowned in city pools and beaches, the people of NYC and media would be calling for Uncle Mike's head.

If 14% of all pedestrians crossing Queens Blvd were ran over and killed, Uncle Mike would do something.

If 14% of all those who live on the Upper East Side could not get to the Hamptons Jitney on time, Uncle Mike would intercede.

If 14% of those that live in the Mitchel Houses have to live with rats, mold, and crime, well Uncle Mike thinks they are shit out of luck.

And we are all out of luck in the NYC DOE. The students, the families, the communities, and the teachers. Only Uncle Mike and his minions at the DOE can make failure look like success. But it is easy. No one, not the media, and worse, the communities of those most affected by his education decisions say anything. We have fourteen months left with this train wreck of a mayor and the path of destruction he has laid out through the education landscape. It will be at least a decade to undo the damage he has wrought.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More of The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School

I have written extensively about The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School several times. A place where reality stops, and fantasy rules. Sadly, it seems that reality is slowly creeping back in.

At The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School, where every student no matter their circumstances is special and knows that they will always get the upper hand over a teacher, mayhem and madness is the rule and not the exception.

Professionals at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School have shared with The Crack Team that despite all efforts to make every student a winner at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School, mayhem rules in a certain grade and the efforts to ensure that every student wins, every student is rewarded, and that every student is special as instead not empowered the students to be the best that they can be. Instead, the students know that they can manipulate their way into getting what they want, expect what they want immediately, and the bad behavior of years past have not, nor or likely to change.

These same professionals, according to The Crack Team, afraid to attempt any disciplinary routines upon these students for fear that they might be shat upon for not only not following proper The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School official disciplinary protocol, but fear being shat upon for upsetting the students sensitive natures that might momentarily impart a second or two of low self-esteem in such students.

And though this is The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School the same students, still roam the school each and every day without consequences. These students are having a happy good time.

But the teachers are not. It is not a The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School for a vast majority of teachers. When teachers at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School are visceral hobbled from doing their jobs, when they know that whatever happens is their fault, when they get no support at The Happy Good Time Emotion Response Place and School, they then are not happy, not having a good time, and their responses will be quite emotional.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Goodbye to PS 154 in The Bronx?

Wow, I have been gone for some time now.  According to SBSB records the last blog post was October 2. Unfortunately, I have been quite busy of late and have had a bad case of writer's block. But not to fear, as when the blog started back in 2008, I have recently been blessed with a whole slew of fresh material to blog about.  For those haters of the blog and for those that need their SBSB fix, I and the Crack Team are back.

So, what is new? My school, PS 154 in the Bronx has been slated for closure. Actually a decision has yet to be made, but rather the euphemism, "Early Engagement Process," is being used.

I'm not going to get into the details on the process of how the school will go about being saved or closed, you can read it on the handout we were given in our teacher's meeting after school last Monday, October 15 which you can see below. 


District 7 superintendent Yolanda Torres and network leader Debra Lamb met with the staff in the library last week. Amongst what we were told, besides the "this is a beginning, not an end," and "this is a great opportunity," is;

The DOE will look at the entirety of the school community. The decision will be "holistic," based on the feedback of the parents, the staff, and the education process.

PS 154 is in this predicament because of three years on a row of C, C, and last year, an F.

Our last quality review was in December 2009 in which we were proficient. So how did we get a C that year?

So what is it we were told is next?

Come November and December feedback and data will be collected. During the winter, a decision will be made in, I would presume, a Caesarean manner. Thumbs up or thumbs down. But wait, there will be one last hurdle. The phaseout, if there is one, will go before the Panel for Educational Policy and the jibe I got, and I am sure the parents got, was that the PEP is a bastion of independent neutrality and the decision will be made.

When the questions came to ask the superintendent, I of course brought to Yolanda Torres;
"our budget has been cut over a million dollars over the last 4 or so years. We have no math coach, no literacy coach, not AIS teachers, no full time SETSS teacher. We are being asked to be in a race that we are starting 100 yards behind the starting line. The decision to close the school or not is all based on which side of the bed Uncle Mike or Sock Puppet Walcott wake up on that morning. It's as if we are being set up to fail"
That statement was met with silence.

To the parents of 154, you are being conned. Ask yourself why is this being done? Because they can. They know by seeing 30 parents showing up for the parents meeting that they can get away with this. Think about this. Will this be done on the Upper East Side? Riverdale? Forest Hills? The south end of Staten Island? NEVER!!!

As parents you should be up in arms at the lack of any support. The shoving down our throats of a bogus curriculum from Tweed. Your children's education is at stake. Your community is at stake. Your children are nothing but one vast data collection to the corporatists and profiteers that have taken control of the NYC DOE. Be angry at the people making the decisions.The time to stand up is now, not tomorrow, not next year, but today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Staten Island Teacher John Webster Fights For Himself

I am still trying to figure out if yesterday's article in the New York Post about phys ed teacher John Webster is supportive or derisive of him.

Just to catch you all up to speed, John Webster is a phys ed. teacher at PS 330 in Staten Island. John, who is 5'10" and 220 lbs, was attacked by a 50 pound (SBSB guidelines prohibit the naming of the student) student at his school.

According to the Post, John claims;
a pupil fractured his ankle, injured his knee and forced him to go to a shrink for stress
Yes, a 50 pound child can cause this. I know first hand.

In August of 2009, about 3 weeks before school started I had my right knee scoped. I had about an inch and a half of cartilage removed. I assumed that with some time between surgery and school I had plenty of time to rehab the knee and all will be well come September.

First day of school, in fact the first few days of school, all was well. Had a little aches and pains in the knee but it was progressing. Unfortunately, I was doing lunch duty as well.

I think it was the 2nd week of school and was outside with the 3rd grade. A fight broke out and a boy who I shall refer to as Schlomo got into a fight. In fact he initiated the fight and as the person he was attempting to fight fought back little Schlomo's infamous temper got the better of him.

As I was attempting to prevent another student from being seriously injured I was holding the other student back, keeping myself between him and little Schlomo. Schlomo kept on trying to get at the boy but I wouldn't let him. Then Schlomo picked his foot up and kicked me in the outer side of the surgically repaired right knee which was planted and bearing weight in the melee.

Ouch! Long story short, that kick set me back. On my next appointment to my doctor he told me that I had grade 1 ACL sprain. I was quite lucky. So lucky that I was then forced to wear a knee brace for about 2 1/2 months.

It could have been worse. In retrospect, I wish I had put in for a line of duty. I should have. But in my head I did not feel like dealing with all the crap the DOE would have given me being that I already had an "injured" knee.

But yes Virginia, a kid can "beat up" a teacher. I know of someone who last year was bitten by a student and the skin was broken. This kid because of an IEP suffered no consequences.

But there are students who without IEP's suffer zero consequences for hitting teachers, throwing chairs, books, and whatever they can get their hands on in fits of violent rages.

It is easy to blame the students and the families in which they come from for this. But I think the bigger culprits are the DOE and their joke of a discipline code, administrators that hide their heads in the sand for they don't want incidents "showing up", and the Pupil Personal Teams of the schools in NYC that are either over burdened, incompetent, or told to butt out.

We should celebrate John Webster today. We should want to shake his hand and buy him a drink. We need more John Webster's in the DOE. We need people like John that are not afraid to take a stand, to stick up for themselves. Then and only then will the walls of Uncle Mike's phallic fallacy come crashing down.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Guide For Principals To Screw Teachers

A very interesting item came across the SBSB news desk over the weekend. Apologies if this information we have is already known.

In 2010 NYC DOE very well paid consultant and retired principal,  Joseph Belesi presented some workshops on how principals can be rid of tenured teachers. Entitled, "Performance Management," Belesi and his cronies presented a treasure trove to principals. A step by step guide on how to get rid of "incompetent" teachers. The Crack Team is in possession of the 43 page handbook for the principals which will be presented not all at once, but rather in little bits and jabs over the next several weeks.

In today's story we will learn who is behind PIP+ and the document known as the "Principal's Guide To The New Supports Addressing Low Performing Tenured Pedagogues: The Teacher Performance Unit, The Labor Support Unit And The Peer Intervention Plus Program."

As Chaz the Blogger and Admiral Ackbar have warned on many occasion, PIP+ is a trap.

PIP+ is run by (guess what?), a corporation known as RMC Research Corporation. As it says on it's website, RMC;
is a national leader in program research and evaluation, professional development, consultation, and product development. From small studies to multi-year projects, we support national, state, and local clients who serve schools, families, and communities. RMC's six regional offices conduct national and regional work, with each office maintaining specialty areas of work. Through technology, our offices collaborate with each other and with partners across the country.

We are enthusiastic about the opportunities for educational innovation and reform afforded to states and districts by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). With many years of experience, staff from all of our offices look forward to providing information and resources and partnering with districts and states to advance best practices in teaching and learning.

RMC  is run by Everett W. Barnes Jr.who saw in 1991 that education was to turn into big business.

But wait, there is more weirdness. The project manager for, or at the time for PIP+, was Dr. Sandra Kase, currently the 2nd in command at the Bridgeport, CT schools. Turns out though that Dr Kase was employed by the NYC DOE apparently before she came to RMC Research. Hmm, what a coincidence.

What a tangled web.