SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Money Pit at PS 154 in the Bronx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Money Pit at PS 154 in the Bronx

Some teachers from PS 154 have shared some concerns with The Crack Team here at SBSB. The biggest concern is the lack of transparency from Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal when it
comes to the monies being strewn about.

With the register down to the mid 400's this year and losing approximately $125,000 due to the low enrollment teachers and parents should have a right to know how, and on what, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal spending the schools dwindling coffers.

While this and this give some idea of how monies are being spent, the information is way to convoluted for the average non doctoral person to understand. If only there was an easier way.

That is why the some parents and staff, not the Socs at PS 154, but the Outliers/Greasers want to see the real budget. The real expenditures. As of today, November 18, 2013, teachers have been very concerned that the Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal has failed to provide a copy of the budget since her reign began back in April of 2012. Only when there is full disclosure of the monies spent can those that are asking these pertinent questions be satisfied.

And satisfied they should be. While all welcome professional development, one can ask if the monies are being spent wisely for PD.  In the meantime, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal had hired several high priced consultants since last year with so far less than desired results.

We can start with Responsive Classroom and its lack of change this year at PS 154 in the Bronx. Reports have come into the SBSB newsroom that discipline is still a major problem at the school and that several students have been in danger. How much money was spent on RC to do 4 straight days of PD in school the last 4 days of June? How much does the entire program cost? How much does it cost for the staff developers from RC to come into the school and to support the school?

More importantly, what is being paid to Teachers College and Lucy Calkins for the Readers and Writers Workshop method? Thus far this year a TC trainer has been in the school almost 4x a week for almost every week of the year. This was pretty much the same last year. How much is Calkins and TC receiving? What is the length of the contract? What are the terms of the contract? Should not the staff and the community of PS 154 in the Bronx know such things? Surely in Scarsdale or Harrison there is transparency.

As was reported on these pages in August, not only is Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal a disciple of Lucy Calkins, but was at one time an adjunct professor at Teachers College as well. Who are her loyalty's to? The students, or Lucy's bottom line? Especially due to the DOE willing to pay for the full non-approved TC Common Core aligned curriculum. Yet, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal would rather spend the schools money on something that has no produced results.

With Calkins way of failure Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal has allowed the students of PS 154 in the Bronx to display grammatically incorrect, rambling, misspelled, punctuated work being considered as "finished".

Calkins stole Donald Graves' work, created a "program" she could sell to the masses. By creating a calendar and strictly scheduling it, she made it work for her PD people. She needs to have all of the teachers on the same page when her hacks appear because it works for THEM. You don't schedule it and script it. As soon as you do that, it stops being workshop - it becomes just another program! 

As far as the Coaches" - they are in no way experts in literacy. Almost none are literacy certified. Their "expertise" is their ability to  parrot Lucy. They all sound exactly alike. They speak with the same high falutin, condescending tone in their voices, they imitate that irritating Lucy hand action and if you ask them a question they can't answer from the script , they get quite nasty.  But what comes across are the coaches are like "Herb Tarlek" or salesman or saleswomen for the product than knowledgeable literacy experts they think they are. 

So why then is Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal involved with such a racket? Some have suggested that she might be kicking money back to Lucy Calkins. Or some have said she is just too stubborn to see the failure of Calkins. But at the very least there is a perception of a conflict of interest. 

So the old saying goes, show us the money!


Anonymous said...

Did anyone file a Freedom of Information Law request with the Department of Education for the budget?

The Central Records Access Officer of DOE is Joseph A. Baranello. The Deputy Central Records Access Officer is Rebecca Chasan.

Their email addresses are:

The general email address of DOE's FOIL Unit is:

The FOIL Unit is part of DOE's Office of the General Counsel.

The General Counsel is Courtenaye Jackson-Chase.

Her email address is:

Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the Panel for Educational Policy have the responsibility for seeing that DOE complies with the Freedom of Information Law.

Their email addresses are:

Anonymous said...

Hey let's not forget SCI.

If enough people call perhaps they might look into it.