Saturday, October 25, 2014

BREAKING!!! NYS Senator Wishes to Meet Concerning PS 154 in the Bronx

Great news came across the SBSB news desk this week.

After many hours of lobbying, phone calls, letter writings, etc... trips to Albany, I have finally gotten an audience with a highly respected and highly influential New York State senator to meet with me, and maybe some others, on my plight and the conspiracy DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx had diabolically planned against me and possibly others.

I can't give all the details but the meeting will be taking place after the November elections at the senator's office. The senator is aware of the situation at PS 154 and from what his chief of staff has shared is appalled.

Details to follow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Persecution of the Rubber Room's Colonel Hogan

Back on September 4, these pages reported on how the fake cops at OSI came to serve some papers on fellow Rubber Room prisoner Colonel Hogan.

The story is that back in the Spring, Colonel Hogan was covering the SAVE Room for one period. In the room that day was a 3rd grade girl and a 7th grade boy (The school is a K-8 school).

The 3rd grade girl claimed that during Colonel Hogan's time covering that day the 7th grade boy walked over to her and whipped out his schlong. Soon after that Colonel Hogan was removed for parts other than the school.

The notice he got was to come down to OSI and speak with them. Colonel Hogan dutifully went along with a rep from the Bronx UFT. The complaint was that he had witnessed the whipping out of said schlong and did nothing st the time nor did he report it. Tito denied ever seeing it happen and since he never saw what happened he can't report what he didn't see.

He was shown the statement by the little girl, but there was no statement from the 7th grade boy.

The OSI meeting ended and several weeks passed. His principal sent him notice to request a meeting with him and a UFT representative to be held within the walls of the Rubber Room.

The meeting came, he again denied ever being aware of any such incident and that it would be extremely difficult to report what he did not see.

The meeting ended and he went back to gen pop and the principal went on her merry way.

Just an aside. This principal is a Leadership Academy grad. She replaced a trusted and beloved principal at her school. Since her arrival she has systematically gone after veteran teachers. Over 40 teachers have left the school either under their own volition or other indignities. A pattern persists, no? Tito is a 23 year veteran teacher on the wrong side of 50 and makes way too much money. Figure it out.

So a few days after the meeting with the principal, the HR person at the Rubber Room has something for Tito. It is a disciplinary letter to the file. But that is not all.

A week or so after that he gets hit with 3020-a charges. Yep, four specifications all related to this incident.

Among the charges are;

Lack of professional fitness.

Violation of Chancellor's Regulation A-412.

Neglect of duties

Poor judgement

Created a situation in which a student can show off his schlong

Failed to supervise the male student

Failed to supervise the female student

Yeah, someone screwed up here and it was not Colonel Hogan.  Anyone care to guess?

The principal is covering her tushy for allowing a 7th grade boy into a SAVE Room with a 3rd grade girl. Who would allow such a thing to happen? Why would it happen? The principal needs a scapegoat and she picked Tito to be the fall guy. This is a man who in my opinion could not and wold not hurt anyone. That if he saw what happened or if it truly happened he would have done all in his power to stop it and/or report it.

Why would he not report it? What advantage would he have to stay silent?

On the other hand, why is this even going to a 3020-a hearing? Is this not an incredible waste of time and money? A letter in the file is not sufficient even when it is just one person's word against another?

More curious, it seems that either OSI felt there was not enough evidence to warrant any further action or that they decided to bump it down to the principal for her to take the necessary steps. If OSI didn't feel it needed further action why then did the principal have to go past a letter in the file.

It is open season again on teachers. We are sitting ducks and there is not one person out there who care. The DOE is running scared from Campbell Brown and trying to prove her wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Does Bronx Superintendent Yolanda Torres Keep Her Job?

When I went into the bodega yesterday morning I saw the headline on the front page of the Daily News that Fariña sacked 12 out of 42 superintendents. Coming so soon on the heels of the ode to District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres one couldn't but help to wonder, as well as hope.

Sadly when I turned to page 5 I saw that yet again Yolanda Torres is the Teflon Superintendent. Even though she is responsible for;
....the debacle of Linda Amil-Irizarry as principal of PS 154, to the abuse of students by former 154 AP Derrick Townsend and the subsequent cover-up, the arrest for stealing funds of the principal at PS 31, to the continuing educational failure in District 7, admonishments from the New York State Department of Eduction, to allowing co-locations, to the stealing of time at PS 162 involving former Principal Marilyn Manzolillo and her AP Greg Papadopoulos (In which Papadopoulos only received a letter to the file) and the subsequent death of an AP at 162, and the brain drain (Teachers leaving in droves) at PS 154, one can seriously call into question Yolanda's integrity.
Let's also had in the "wonderful" test scores (Click to enlarge);
 Was the only qualification to keep the superintendent job was to be a principal and have taught for ten years? Or was a qualification to be a leader as well?

But in today's Daily News Chancellor Fariña laid out what she expects from the superintendents in today's Daily News;
“You’re the eyes and ears of the chancellor, you’re accountable for the success of the principals. Being on the ground visiting and listening is crucial.”
Hey The Crack Team has no problem with that.

But The Crack Team has a problem with this;
city’s supers will get the low-down on strategies for aiding troubled schools, including help getting rid of bad teachers.....
But why not work with teachers on how to be the best gosh darn teacher that they can be? But if not, is one of the strategies for getting rid of teachers to have the principal enter into a conspiracy and pre-determine that a teacher will be found incompetent?

But back to the wonderment of how Yolanda Torres has somehow managed to keep her job.

I hate to quote Families for Excellent Schools, but;

" of 11 middle schools in District 7, eight middle schools are failing and only 10% of students are at grade level."
Almost 10 percent of the failing elementary schools in the city are from District 7.
What gives? The superintendents at Districts 8,9,11,and 12 were all let go, yet Yolanda stays. We all know why District 10 Superintendent wasn't replaced...too much money flowing in Riverdale, but The Crack Team is perplexed at Yolanda's seeming good luck.

The Crack Team wants to know, as well as the entire District 7 community, who is Yolanda Torres' rabbi?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Has DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal Secretly Recorded Formal Observations?

DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx has a hidden, well not hidden, rather a special talent that not too many know about.

Apparently, it seems that DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal is not only an educator but a court reporter as well. Yes, you read that right, a court reporter.

It's not being implied that she moonlights as a court reporter, but rather she has the skills of a court reporter and these skills have come across in how she conducts (Or has conducted in the 2012-2013 school year) formal observations.

Back in 2012-2013 when DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal had pre-planned how many observations I was to have, as well as the diabolical plot that I would be found incompetent before the school year started, DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal had a very unique method of observing.

She would enter the classroom with her trusty laptop, sit her self down, and when you started teaching she did what she had to do. No, not taking copious hand written notes, but rather transcribing the entire 50 minute lesson onto her laptop.

How can this be done you ask? Yes, DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal is super duper smart and like James Bond knows it all. But did DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal, while earning her doctorate, also attend some of the finer schools in Manhattan for court stenography? Better yet, does she have the skills were court reporting?

A good court reporter must be able to type about 180-22- words per minute using what is known as a Stenograph (Take a look at this video) on a 22 key unmarked keyboard. Now remember, this is a hard job, even though most of the time there are mostly two people talking, or even one.  Yes, there is a lot of interaction amongst judges, lawyers, witnesses, but not like having 25 kids and 1 teacher.

DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal was able to take these skills as a court reporter and transfer them to the classroom. Not only was she able to transcribe the entire 50 minute lesson, supposedly verbatim, but in the transcription have the name of every child who has spoken, the inflections of the voices, and the movements of all in the class. She was able to do all this while being able to concentrate on the lesson being taught as well.

Now, there were some mistakes made in the transcription handed back. Large chunks of the lesson were missing and comments, inflections, interactions that never happened in the lesson were on the transcript.

Now for the readers of this blog who say, "IMPOSSIBLE!", well, you must put away your cynical hat for just a moment. As my dad said, "Anything is possible, the question is, is it probable."

Hmm, let's put my dad's theory to use.

Can DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal actually type as fast as a court reporter? Anyone can, even a monkey, but type that fast with accuracy or DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal's idea of truthiness? 

If DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal can type that fast, she would have to be spot on accurate with who said what to whom as well as the correct inflection used in each speaker's voice. 

If DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal can type that fast and accurate surely it must take some amount of concentration, concentration that is not used to properly follow the lesson, no? 

If DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal can type that fast and accurate along with the needed concentration wouldn't she not miss out on some of the small intricacies of the lesson? Perhaps even unspoken moments? 

Can DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal truly type that fast and accurate and if not, dare it be said...? That she covertly recorded the lesson on her laptop only to transcribe it later and purposely omit exculpatory evidence to quality teaching?

If DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal was audio recording observations, does this then not explain why (To transcribe the audio) it took almost a month to get feedback, the rating, and the transcription of the observation back?

At anytime, if the observations were being recorded, had DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal informed or gotten permission from the teacher being observed for the lesson to be audio recorded? 

In a previous 3020-a hearing, DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal when asked if she had audio recorded observations denied she had. Was this the truth or a fib?

In a controlled setting, would DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal be able to replicate such skills as she exhibited during formal observations? 

These are all questions inquiring minds would like answered. If these observations were audio recorded it would be a serious breech of trust and of ethics on the part of DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Did District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres Know and When?

In 1973, Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, during the Watergate hearings asked John Dean this question in regards to President Nixon's knowledge of the Watergate break-in;
"What did the President know, and when did he know it? 
In 2014, the same question should be asked of Bronx District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres.

What did Yolanda know and when did she know about the diabolical (here, here, here, and here) plot that DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx and BFF AP Jessica Cruz were involved in against me and possibly other staff members at the school?

I had spoken to Yolanda on or about July 17, 2012 sharing my concern about the technology, or the lack of technology, at PS 154 and also asked her if she can bridge any differences between myself and DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal. Unbeknownst to myself at the time, the plot was put into play on August 24, 2012.

It is only natural to wonder what Yolanda's involvement is in this sordid conspiracy. One can only look at the past and wonder what machinations she has involved her self in.

From the debacle of Linda Amil-Irizarry as principal of PS 154, to the abuse of students by former 154 AP Derrick Townsend and the subsequent cover-up, the arrest for stealing funds of the principal at PS 31, to the continuing educational failure in District 7, admonishments from the New York State Department of Eduction, to allowing co-locations, to the stealing of time at PS 162 involving former Principal Marilyn Manzolillo and her AP Greg Papadopoulos (In which Papadopoulos only received a letter to the file) and the subsequent death of an AP at 162, and the brain drain (Teachers leaving in droves) at PS 154, one can seriously call into question Yolanda's integrity.

If she was not part of the plot planning then she has hired to rouge administrators and is incapable of leading a school district. If she was part of the planning, then she is still incapable of being a district leader and has serious ethical issues.

These questions must be asked of Yolanda Torres;

In June 2012, myself and several other staff members at PS 154 went to meet with her about our concerns about DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal. She seemed generally taken aback by some of our concerns. Was the fact that myself and others, either immediately or soon after rated U or brought up on 3020-a charges, orchestrated by her? 

If Yolanda was involved in the conspiratorial plot against me (And possibly other teachers) who at Tweed did she confer with or get permission from? 

At what point will Yolanda's leadership, or lack of, for District 7 be looked into? 

And again, what did Yolanda know and when did she know it? 

The ELA test scores at PS 154 are worse now (Page 355, and remember, this years cut scores were lower!) with DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal than before

Where is Yolanda?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Is PS 154 in the Bronx the Next Watergate?

I got to thinking.

I got to thinking after reading some of Chancellor Fariña's Capacity Frameworks on the DOE website. Yep, was really rubbing my chin and pondering.

Under the Framework known as Trust, and so it was said;
Relationships between all members of the school community— including administrators, educators, students, and families—are based on social respect, personal regard, and integrity. Trust creates a school culture where teachers, principals, staff, and all members of the Department of Education value and respect each other...

Another Framework, Effective School Leadership so sayeth;
 The principal sets the tone for the school, develops a climate of inclusiveness, and inspires staff and students with a clear vision for student achievement. The goal of a strong school leader is to build coherent instructional and social-emotional support that improves student achievement. School leaders support teacher development by consistently offering professional development opportunities and providing meaningful feedback.
¡Uni momento, por favor! It seems that someone has not gotten the Frameworks memo. I wonder who, **COUGH COUGH**, **WINK WINK.**

 What would a lay person say if they have read about the shenanigans that DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx and BFF AP Jessica Cruz have engaged in concerning me, and possibly others?

When this was shared on August 7, would any Joe Shmoe from Palookaville see the integrity, the trust, the inspiration, and the meaningful feedback? Would Mr Schmoe find the same values in this? Or this?

One would hazard to guess that the answer would be an unequivocal no way!

But let's give DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx and BFF AP Jessica Cruz the benefit of the doubt for just an itty bitty moment. Perhaps we don't have enough information to make an informed opinion, or enough information to confirm a fact.

But first a little background info.

As reported here on December 3, 2013, the erstwhile and multi-talented Betsy Combier filed a FOIL request in September 2012 for Coviello's any and all emails regarding me. Betsy felt she was quite thorough in using many keywords. But alas, they were one step ahead of her.

In an email in September 2012 from BFF AP Jessica Cruz to DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154, BFF AP Jessica Cruz suggested to DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 that all future emails regarding me should be use the honorific, "Mr."

Now I am not a member of the legal profession, I do happen to be Jewish, and I can assume that this is not kosher behavior. Can this be obstruction of justice as some have suggested? I can't say, nor is it my place to make either an assumption or pass judgement.

But these questions can be asked...

Why were they so afraid of what Betsy would find out and why would they use a pseudonym for me? 

In a school that still consistently has almost 90% of students across all testing grades in both Math and ELA  put so much energy into what some might also call a cover up?

Are there any other teachers from the 2012-2013 school year that were U-rated for the year subject to what I was subject to? 

Are there any other teachers from the 2013-2014 school year that were rated ineffective or developing for the year subject to what I was subject to? 

Are these kind of behaviors by administrators done in a vacuum or is it systematic throughout the system? Knowing that if we all had a dime for every time we hear a teacher say, "My principal set me up," we would be quite wealthy, if this is just the tip of the iceberg in a systematic problem, how many years do we go back to see if this was done and be sure accused teachers are exonerate?

What did District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres know and when did she know it? More importantly, was she the one orchestrating this conspiracy? 

Inquiring minds want answers.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rubber Room Indignities at 1230 Zerega Ave Bronx

While sitting around in the Rubber Room at 1230 Zerega Ave last Monday, October 6th, we yet again found out that what others think of us, as if it were really a surprise.

Doing what one usually does in the Rubber Room the big macha, along with his two deputies, of 1230 Zerega Ave came to address all 11 of us. Why were we blessed with his presence?

A little background.

We are warehoused in the large, 10 table, approximately 36 seat cafeteria. In this cafeteria there are two vending machines (One for snacks, the other for beverages). We are also blessed with a former 7-Up soda refrigerator where we can store our food. We are also have a toaster and a microwave.

There is also a 42 inch flat screen LCD-HD TV in there. Hanging up in the corner. We can watch the TV whenever we want. Sadly there is no cable, we just get the over the air channels and whatever corresponding digital channels come along. We just don't have the remote. That is under lock and key by a receptionist, Mrs Forest Gump, in the enrollment center. No one know why she has such specialized attention.

The Rubber Room/Cafeteria at 1230 Zerega Ave.

About 10 days ago we decided to turn on the TV to watch the latest Channel 4 news when Mrs Forest Gump comes into the cafeteria to eat her lunch. We were then hoping to watch New York Live right after but Mrs Forest Gump would have none of it. She had to watch her stories. We were subjected to the Young and the Restless.

It was attempted that we have every right to watch the TV as her and out of courtesy she should at the very least consult with us, ask us, what we want to watch or if it is OK to change the channel. Her reply was quite typical;
"This is MY cafeteria, 'you people' don't even belong here."
Umbrage was taken at this and it was reported. It didn't have to happen this way. It could have been worked out, a compromise found. But Mrs Forest Gump had to insult and degrade us.

Which brings us to Monday.

So like Fielding Mellish had to listen to the general, I too, as well as my colleagues had to listen to the leader of the building belittle and humiliate us. 

He told us in no uncertain terms that we are not in a Rubber Room and we should not call where we are a Rubber Room. We are in the cafeteria.

That there are 180 people at the Zerega Ave complex and that it is very convenient to the 6 train, the Hutch, the Bruckner, the Cross Bronx and the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges. Oh, and the parking is out of this world.

There is no other place to put us at Zerega and this is where we must be as he talked condescending to us implying we should be grateful for the amenities we have (See above).

But he would like one thing from us. We must leave the Rubber Room, oops, the cafeteria from 12:30 to 1:30 so the rest of the staff at Zerega can eat lunch. Never mind that half the building is out at schools and whatnot and the rest are eating lunch at their desks. We must vacate or as he implied;
 "We can find other reassignment centers in the Bronx for you."
When asked that even if everyone in the building wished to eat lunch at that time there isn't enough room for everybody, he ignored that and shared that people wish to converse with one another at lunch and talk about the travails of the New York Jets and we will be inhibiting such dialogue.

We were told we can go to lunch (But not in the cafeteria), sit in the bullpens of our networks, sit in unoccupied meeting rooms, or the copy room. But NOT IN THE CAFETERIA!!

This is really unacceptable. We are professionals and human beings. We have already lost a great deal of respect and dignity from others, why must this person come in and kick us when we are down. The Leader even admitted that it was true that this decree was in response to the complaint about Mrs Forest Gump. The same Mrs Forest Gump that insulted the teachers in the Rubber Room last year and the same decree was declared. There is a pattern here for the Leader to notice. Mrs Forest Gump does not play and work well with others.

And if you are asking yourself is the cafeteria overcrowded due to the exodus of the Rubber Room inmates? Not exactly. Mrs Forest Gump has been the lone person having lunch there from 12:30 to 1:30 everyday and watching her stories unfettered.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Students Do Not Come First at MS 344 in the Bronx

This stuff just can't be made up. I am creative, but not that creative.

Back in 2011 Principal Rashaunda Shaw was in the news for some transgressions at her then school MS 344 in Harlem.
According to the New York Post Shaw a lot happened under Shaw's reign at MS 344; 
MS 344 was a "persistently dangerous” school, and just two of 88 eighth-graders last year passed the state math or reading exams. 

She was always late, barely leaves her office “except for the bathroom,” (There is a reason this is highlighted, be patient) and hired a sister-in-law and her boyfriend’s ex-wife, among other cronies. 

Shaw, 35, also hired former Staten Island Assistant Principal Odufuyi Jackson, a friend who was busted in 2009 on felony charges that he conspired to steal more than $100,000 in Social Security benefits.
 So does the DOE bring her up on charges? No. Does the DOE take steps to take away her administrative license? No. Does the DOE put her in the Rubber Room? No. Does the DOE have her humiliated? No. They just move her elsewhere.

That elsewhere is the Globe Middle School (MS 272) in the Bronx where Shaw is currently the interim acting principal. But who knows for how much longer.

MS 272 has, or rather had, a fitness center with weights and what not in the school for 30 years. This room was not only used by the students to get into shape and build a healthier body but to take pride and gain self esteem. It was important to them. Not as important as it was to Shaw.

Shaw decided to have the room discontinued and it's equipment sent elsewhere. Why? Because she wanted to have it as her office with, now get this, the bathroom right there for her.

Obviously she must have upset someone because interpreted WPIX-11 reporter Arnold Diaz caught up with her and this is what appeared today on the News at 10.

Done laughing?

Is it me or should the Benny Hill theme (Open the theme in a separate window and then play the video) be playing as she is driving down that street?  And we all can see why she wants a bathroom so close, or rather in, her office.

But there are some points to be made. One is, how can Shaw afford 2 Mercedes (Does anyone know the model and the sticker price)? Which manipulations of the DOE did she employ? Judging by the DOE's two responses the folks at Tweed clearly did not understand the usage of the room nor what it meant to the students and the school community. I am willing to give the DOE the benefit of the doubt in that they did not know, but they should have looked into the matter more before giving the OK to take down the room.

The Crack Team has suggested that if Shaw had kept the gym and had her office amongst the equipment this would have been an equitable situation. Not only would the gym still be available but Shaw could have availed herself to the weights when she feels she has been in hiding for too long.

Anyway, we here at SBSB wish to shout out a hardy Mozel Tov! to Rashaunda Shaw and her soon to be new position either at Tweed or some network office in charge of training how to use dry erase boards.

One more thing. Isn't it time to stop blaming the teachers for everything and to start look at those with the power?

Oh, when contacted by a member of The Crack Team and asked about going down a one way street Shaw replied, "Yeah, I was only going one way."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Formal Observations Pre-Determined by Principal Alison Coviello PS 154 Bronx

Remember the PreCogs in the movie Minority Report? They were able to predict a murder before it happened. DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 and her BFF AP Jessica Cruz canpredict how many formal observations a teacher will have before that teacher as their first one.

When we last left our intrepid conspirators on these pages last month it was shared how on August 24, 2012  BFF AP Jessica Cruz emailed DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal on proper English language use on the upcoming (PreCog abilities again?) write-ups for my file.

This email by BFF AP Jessica Cruz was in response to the email from DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal on how DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal  can find me incompetent in August, 10 days before the school year even started.

So it becomes even curiouser that before I had even my first formal observation of the 2012-2013 school year I was scheduled for two formal observations on a schedule that DR Alison Coviello Ed.D and Principal and BFF AP Jessica Cruz shared only amongst themselves (And assuming AP Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) which came out in November. Take a look.

Now of course names of other teachers are redacted. Those redacted names with a (2) next to them are non-tenured and marked accordingly, and those non-tenured are marked and so on (All redactions and whether or not tenured or non-tenured added by The Crack Team).That is all except one.

As you can see the week of December 3rd, under then AP Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall observations is a tenured teacher. This tenured teacher was to have a a second observation, scheduled before even the first one was complete, to be observed by BFF AP Jessica Cruz the week of March 4.

I was scheduled to have my first observation in the presence of DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal the week of December 3. But AP Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall was supposed to observe my second observation the week of January 28 but he didn't, but did informally observe me on January 30 and only judged me on my "learning environment," not my pedagogy.

DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal did email me and share with me on February 17 that I was on the schedule for an pre-observation for me on February 21and the observation for me for February 22. This during the abbreviated February break of 2013.

See the fix was in, not only for me, but for others as well (In a way).

Coviello that year did not let anyone take advantage of Part A of the formal observation;
 The first model, known as Annual Performance Options (Component A), offers an individual teacher, in consultation with his/her supervisor, the opportunity to set yearly goals and objectives and to choose the met hods for demonstrating professional growth.
But as with me and one other staff member she decided that even before our first observations we were to have two.

Now I have always been under the impression that a tenured teacher, though can be informally observed as often as an administrator wishes, received only 1 formal observation, unless that observation was a U. And that once having a U, they can be formally observed 2 more times.

Even if I am wrong, why then were most of the tenured teachers (Other tenured teachers received more than one observation) not made to be observed a 2nd time? Was DR Alison Coviello's; Ed.D and Principal mind made up in November 2012 who was to receive or not receive a U rating in June of 2013, which was more than six months away?

Moreover, did I and others, have the same opportunity, the same chances to succeed as other teachers had? Were we all at the same starting line or did some have to start from the back of the pack? What other teachers and staff have fallen out of favor with DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal and how were they then treated? What about those who consider themselves safe for the are favorites. Surely they are aware how easily they can go from being a favorite to an enemy of DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal.

Bigger question. Has  DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D and Principal acted in a ethical and professional manner engaging in what appears to be an alleged conspiracy to ruin my career as well as others? If no, should there be any repercussions?

When does this behavior end? 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Errol Louis is the Kool-Aid Man

By now we should all know who Errol Louis of NY1 and the Daily News works for. Not for truth, but for
those that distort the truth.

I at one time had thought the Errol was above the fray, that he had integrity and wished to give both sides of the education debate equal time. I will never forget when he had Julie Cavanagh on his NY1 show debating Little Evan Stone of E4E in 2011. I watched and felt that Errol had sifted through the BS of Evan and allowed Julie to give her side.

But lately he has become a shill of the deformers. A badly misinformed shrill. I guess this is par for the course for someone who grew up in New Rochelle, went to a great high school, went to Harvard, Yale, and Brooklyn Law, and mingles with the hipsters in Park Slope. Yes, Errol is just oozing educational cred. Do we dare say that Errol is an elitist?

Errol this past Thursday wrote a column for the Daily News in which he shows just how clueless and ignorant he is when it comes to education.

Errol blabbers forth; Thursday’s sure-to-be raucous education rally, to be held within shouting distance of the Tweed building and City Hall, is a timely reminder of a civic force that many of the city’s progressive leaders seem incapable of understanding...

We here at SBSB believe they understand it. These aren't the parents that are forming these protests, nor is it the communities. These protests are led by inane, self-absorbed, me first, **cough cough** EVA MOSKOWITZ **cough cough**. When we see these parents clamoring for a better education ON THEIR OWN ACCORD, as the people protesting for democracy are doing in Hong Kong, or the students in Colorado clamoring for a real AP social studies curriculum  in Colorado, then we'll talk.

Errol says; Wednesday’s speech by Chancellor Carmen Fariña, centered on an announcement that the Education Department will scrap the old method of assigning letter grades to individual schools, could be a step in the right direction 

We here at SBSB are proud of Errol for not flying off the shrilling from the mountain top like ignorant others over at Mona Davids Parents Union.

...but the administration appears to be dragging its feet on attacking the urgent problem of turning around schools that are badly broken

Broken? How so? Specifics. Real specifics. Yes, the test scores suck, but why? Is it just the teachers or is it the crappy curriculum teachers are forced to deal with? Is it the cycle of poverty and mental health issues that never get addressed that our students have to deal with every day? Is it crime? Is it a lack of funding? Is it a lack of leadership at Tweed and at the schools? Tell us Errol in your own words, using your own investigatory facts, WHY ARE THE SCHOOLS BROKEN??

While Thursday’s rally isn’t pushing specific demands, it’s clear the organizers are warming up for a battle to raise the current limit on charter schools in the city.

That's what it is all about. Not the broken schools, not the teachers, just more and more and more and more charter schools and more and more and more and more halves against the have nots.

But the main thrust of the gathering is to show that there is a large and vocal number of New Yorkers fed up with poorly-performing schools and impatient with the litany of excuses for why we can’t do better.

But Errol just said the rally was all about charter schools, so why is he contradicting himself? Again, is this movement organic? NO!

The chatter from those defenders on social media sites and letters to the editor usually includes talking points about how poverty is the true culprit

Yeah it is. See above, it is one of many. Think about this Errol. Take the teachers Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle and switch them out with teacher from IS 162 on 149th and St Ann's Ave in the Bronx. What do you think will happen? 

But Errol has more to say on this and he feels he must insult teachers; Those old arguments, repeated year after year, have grown stale. Most airline passengers don’t know how to fuel and fly a jet or run an air-traffic control tower. But they do know when plane after plane is dirty and cramped, arriving late at the wrong destination and occasionally crashing.

This isn't fair. My cat can take apart this argument. But what the hell.

Please do not compare what teachers do to fueling a jet plane. Yes, these guys work hard and I am sure there is a learning curve, but really? Now, if we were compared to these guys fueling a plane than I might say, "touché."

But how about this? Does Errol want a pilot or an air traffic controller that has had only 50 hours and five weeks of training when he is jet setting around the USA? Doubt it. Does he want constant turnover of air traffic controllers and pilots? Doubt it as well. 

But his argument that the public does know when a plane is dirty or cramped or late has a lot to do with how an airline is run, yes, the MANAGEMENT! Why not then does Errol and his ilk kvetch about WHO IS RUNNING THE SCHOOLS? And Errol is being quite specious with his last argument. Seriously, how often does a plane land at the wrong destination? And crashes? How many crashes of American commercial jets have there been the last ten years and what is the ratio of mechanical vs pilot errors?

What Errol fails to point out is that the people who fly our planes, design our planes, and guide our planes have training in planes. Also, flying, designing and guiding is evaluated by OBJECTIVE MEASURES, not the whim of some untrained, irrational human being. 

Come on Errol, tell us all how to fly a jet, or guide a jet over LaGuardia, or design one. Yeah, I hear crickets too.

And let's not forget that pilots, air traffic controllers, and flight attendants are all proud union members.

Families for Excellent Schools, the group organizing Thursday’s demonstration, has compiled a number of damning reports 

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We know, and we care. But see above arguments. Again, FES is a front organization for FormelyMichelleRheeFirst. Yet refuses to put into context and show how it came to this statement; 
A school where nine out of 10 kids can’t proficiently read or do math does not simply ‘need improvement,’
A recent Associated Press report notes that the nation’s top 10% of income earners have increased spending on their kids by 35% in recent years — pouring a fortune into private-school tuition, bidding up home prices in districts with high-performing schools and paying so much money for extra help that some SAT tutors now make over $50 an hour.

SAT tutors are only making $50 an hour? I guess the ones making that kind of dough are getting hosed. But I will like to see this AP report. Where is it? But if true, I can guarantee that the parents sending their kids to private schools are doing it to keep the Common Core away from them, to keep them from testing, and for smaller class size. Why isn't Errol advocating for what parents really want? For what Errol wants for his own kids yet won't admit it to others. 

I used to have respect for Errol. I thought he was objective and can see and respect both sides. But he has drank from the Kool-Aid trough for too long and is useless. Nothing more than a shrieking shrill.

One more thing. The problems Errol is whining about are the same problems that permeated the 12 years of the Bloomberg reign. Where was he during those 12 years? Bought off by Bloomberg? 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Pervert Grows in Brooklyn Tech

As many others were I was appalled and sickened when I picked up the Daily News and read about the deviancy with students that Brooklyn Tech "teacher" Sean Shaynak allegedly committed.

According to the Daily News, Shaynake is accused of;
  • Taking a 15-year-old to a nude beach in New Jersey without permission and plying her with vodka, tequila and whisky until she passed out at his home.
  • Exchanging some 10,000 text messages with that same girl, in which he asked her to participate in lesbian sex with another student and told her about his experience with a ménage-à-trois and gay sex.
  • Giving another student perfect grades “regardless of the fact she did not do any assignments and left tests blank,” said prosecutor Joseph Mancino.
  • Forcing himself on that 18-year-old student when she resisted his attempt at intercourse.
  • Carrying on a “four-month sexual relationship” with yet another teen, which included a trip to an out-of-state gay-themed sex club where she watched him getting “serviced” by other men.
  • Taking that student on what prosecutors described as a “terror ride” from Queens to Brooklyn that ended with her hiding in the bushes and her teacher screaming and banging on his car. “He threatened to tell her parents,” Mancino said.
  • Sending full-frontal photos to four students, two of whom were minors.
  • Storing an extensive library of pornography in his computer, which included bestiality — sex acts between humans and dogs, horses and goat.
Yes, these all seem pretty damning. If true, it would be hard to disprove the allegations in regards to the full frontal monty shot and the text messages.

But what is this person thinking? He is a teacher, trusted to teach and protect the students he is charged with. Yes, a person who does such acts does not think of others and is selfish. Pedophiles usually are. If he was this hard up for attention and physical release and/or contact there were other ways, safer ways to satisfy his perversions.

But no matter how heinous the accusations are, no matter how angry we are, as parents of the students, as teachers, as human beings, he has every right to due process, full and equal protection under the law and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But according to tomorrow's Daily News, Shaynak was arrested, yet not charged in the beating of an 11 year old in Maryland in 2005, yet the DOE still hired him because he wasn't convicted.

That does not make sense. Yes he wasn't convicted, yet the child he had beaten had a restraining order. Why then did the principal and the DOE hire him? Is not someone at Tweed or Brooklyn Tech culpable for hiring this man? Should this not have been a red flag? ATR's are flagged for much, much, less and don't get hired.

At a time when teachers and tenure are under attack Shaynak is quickly becoming the poster boy of Campbell Brown and Mona Davids as to why teachers should not have tenure, should not have the right to due process, and labeling all teachers and predators.

Worse, Campbell and Mona will beat the drum that even while being held awaiting to be bailed out of jail Shaynak will still be collecting a salary of around $52k. But according to the UFT contract, and something the NYC media won't let anyone know, teacher's accused of sexual misconduct have their pay suspended for 90 days. In fact Mulgrew said in the Daily News;
 “The city has the ability to remove this person from payroll,"
 The in the words of Captain Picard, "Make it so!" The onus is now on the city.

But the city won't. The city doesn't want to. Why? They need a poster boy too. The city needs someone to collect their pay and sit and stew either in jail or a Rubber Room to give fodder to those that want to debase tenure, to cry pervert at every single allegation. Worse, the city and DOE will take the longest time to bring charges to dismiss him just to give the anti-tenure crowd more ammunition.

What to do? Do what they city has done to ATR's, bring an expedited 3020-a hearing. There is no way that this investigation can take over a year. Surely, the NYPD and Brooklyn DA's office can and will share information with the DOE. Again, time for the city and DOE to put it's money where it's mouth is.

We here at SBSB call for Shaynak to do the honorable thing and fall on his sword. We call for him to resign immediately or at the very least take an unpaid leave of absence. Again, we at SBSB are reiterating what was said above. He has the right to due process and the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. But accusations such as this call for some action for the greater good to be taken.

We feel for the families of the students affected directly by Shaynak, for the families indirectly affected as well as the entire Brooklyn Tech community.