Thursday, June 25, 2015

Principal of Arts & Media Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn Writes up ATR for Testing Blood Sugar!

Principal Deborah Glauner
Oh, we just can't keep making this sh** up now can we?

Sit down, here comes another round of ridiculousness heaped upon a ATR.

But first, a little background.

There are two types of diabetes. Type I in which your pancreas has shut down and no longer produces insulin. You really have to watch what you eat and you need to either inject yourself with insulin several times a day or have a pump attached to you and inserted in you which pumps insulin as needed throughout the day. The most known reason for someone having Type I is that a virus attacks the pancreas and which in turn shuts down the production of insulin.

Then there is Type II. The body does not produce enough insulin. This is caused by heredity, weight, eating habits, etc... I have Type II and have cut out the carbs, the fried foods, the ice cream, etc.. I take Metformin and Glimepiride and have no plans to ever take insulin.

Both types need to have their blood sugar below 150 after meals and their A1c levels at below 6.5 ideally. Mine is currently 7.1 and it is tough. I also need to get my weight down.

But the worse part is testing the blood. Got to carry that darn test kit around all the time and sometimes you have to test when you really need to. So it really boils my britches when I get a story from an ATR who needs to test her blood and gets written up for it.

As the ATR wrote to The Crack Team;

I went to 10 schools as an ATR this year. Just received an S rating and perfect attendance.
Regardless, my efforts at school #9 the (I.A.)principal Deborah Glauner (2002 Teaching Fellow) of (Arts & Media Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn) is placing a disciplinary letter on my file. Reason? For checking my blood glucose in front of one student. She assigned me 6 periods per day: first 3, last 3. I had to walk a mile from a parking spot and walk/run 4 floors up, no elevator. There was no place to test BG (Blood glucose) before first 3 periods. The class roster had 4 students but only one student was present. But she wrote students (plural) big difference. At the same school a student threw a calculator at me hitting my shoulder. And my iPhone 6 was stolen in the last day.

Can this be true? Let's have a looksee (Click to enlarge).

Have you read it? OK, let's get past all the gobbledegook about who said what and where who was and concentrate on the part about blood borne pathogens. Principal Glauner states that the teacher in question placed students...

"at risk of exposure of bodily fluids." 

Dear God, where have we heard of this before? This ATR has stole Principal Glauner's essence .

Risk? Look at this video (At about 1:38 in) see the blood gushing everywhere? Take a reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaal close look. It's a pin prick. The strip soaks up 99% of the blood.

In fact one, and I have been guilty of it, one can use the needle for the next test therefore not having to dispose of the needle.

In fact, by checking the NYCDOE Occupational Safety and Health website on blood borne pathogens there is not one single link to anything to do diabetes testing. It all has to do with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and basically what to do if someone is hemorrhaging blood.

A member of The Crack Team spoke with someone today at OSAH and asked if checking for diabetes, whether in front of students, adults, or anywhere can be considered a risk. The gentleman, who was quite kind, replied unequivocally, "NO!! Not at that tiny amount." When asked about proper disposal of the testing strip he said, "A testing strip is safe enough to dispose of in the regular trash."

So why then did Principal Glauner (Or if we won't to go with the bodily fluid theme, "Principal Ripper) have to write up this ATR?

Simple. The teacher is an ATR. Principal Glauner is a Interim Acting principal and feels she show she is tough. The ATR knows more than she. The ATR is nicer. There are a littany of reasons.

What would have been the harm in a) giving a counseling memo or just have an informal conversation with the teacher? Or b) Reach out to someone at Tweed and truly find out if the itty bitty bit of blood is dangerous. It is not.

But here is the main problem. Principal Glauner could have taken this moment and turned it into a true teachable moment. Isn't this what education and being an educator is all about?

Sadly, Principal Glauner is too infatuated with her new found power. She does not feel she is capable and must make others feel bad to build herself up in her mind.

Monday, June 22, 2015


More ATR horror stories direct from the files of "YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SH** UP!"

My advice in dealing with the UFT when you need help and not getting it. Simple. The greasy wheel gets oiled. Be the biggest pain in the ass you can be. Don't just call once. Just keep on calling. And if after a day this doesn't get you what you want go to the next level. Do the "pop-in." Go to your district office and insist on seeing someone and DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! Or if you have the time go to 52 Broadway and insist that you be taken care of and DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

If you go to a restaurant and the service is crappy are you going to just say nothing? Will you accept nothing after you speak to the waiter and he/she is not responsive?

But you have to be your own best advocate. Don't rely on others to do the bidding for you. You need to grab the bull by the balls and make your presence known.

If anyone needs any help, advice, to vent, to have a shoulder to cry on, or whatever, email me. Many of you have since I wrote Part 1 on Thursday and still need to get back to more.

Hang in there!

My classroom teaching has been unfairly rated unsatisfactory by a field supervisor named Edele Williams. I seek help from Brooklyn UFT representative Bill Kalogeras, but to no avail. I received a phone call from someone who is supposedly working with Bill and he told me all I can do is write a rebuttal. I was told I cannot grieve. I contacted the UFT chapter leader from the school I was rated in. She was supposed to take a look at my rebuttal report and give me some advice, she never did. I am really being harassed by this field supervisor and feel I have no representation at all.  Help please...

My ATR status is wholly due to the UFT's failure to support my case against improper excessing. At a Step 2 grievance the evidence was all on my side. I brought to the hearing an email from Human Resources stating that I had been hired permanently with "all the rights" of a regular member of the school faculty. The excessing letter was given to me in very apparent retaliation for a report about cheating in the school I made the same day. A month later five other teachers gave statements to investigators that cheating in the school was commonplace and involved the administration. My Step 2 hearing took place three years ago. The union has yet to find the case a slot for arbitration.

I have been observed in areas that are not my license area. I am a music teacher and Field Supervisor Kathlyn Layne feels free to observe me and then rate me as unsatisfactory on lessons that have nothing to do with my subject area. Why are we being subjected to these observations? Even if it were in my license area it is very difficult moving from school to school and being observed teaching students we have do not know or have built rapport with. The UFT keeps saying we are teachers and we should know what to do and be prepared with lessons. I have never been provided with any resources such as paper pens, class lists etc. We go to these new schools and we get no bathroom keys, no access to copy facilities, we don't even know the staff. These tactics being implemented by the DOE are designed to harass arts out of the school system and the UFT stands by and does nothing.

I'm constantly assigned past the 90 minute contractual limit. The UFT's answer is there is no remedy even if you file a grievance. I ask "Why is it in the contract?" They say our way to transfer is the Open Market Transfer. I inform them I have applied to 30-40 jobs and can’t even get an interview. I'm told im being ridiculous because it’s impossible to get a job in Staten Island. How can the UFT tell me it’s impossible? Anyway, I then ask about the jobs I applied for in Brooklyn. I am told I can’t get those because they are too close to the bridge. I then inform them I applied for Manhattan as well. No response. Also, in my rotation, I notice there are many schools that have teachers in my discipline with no experience, even in the decent schools.

I was brought up on charges for leaving the building early. Principal Brigit Bye at Pan-American High School had my ATR supervisor and her supervisor, Mark Ryan, convene a meeting in her office.  It was never proved that I left the building. Ms. Bye does not want any ATRs to go to her professional development meetings on Fridays. I went upstairs to the cafeteria to speak with my friend who works in the building. Long story short, I had the local UFT rep of the school sit in on the meeting while the administrators attacked me. The result was the UFT rep, who I did not know, never said one word or gave me a response before or after the meeting. It was like having no one there to represent me. In the end I received a disciplinary letter to file and was required to punch in and out in violation of the contract.

I interviewed with the DOE's Office of Special Investigation regarding my school principal's sexual misconduct in the school towards staff. The findings were unsubstantiated and I was penalized with termination. The UFT did not support me at all. They listened and did lip service. He has destroyed the school to the point of it closing in June 2015. The DOE fired him and then rehired him. who does this kind of behavior? The school presently only has 30 students. The union did not investigate. The union representatives fraternized with the school principal. The union was aware of his harassing me and all they told me was to not do anything so he can attack me. How could I not do anything if they targeted me. My school principal wrongly accused me of verbal abuse and the UFT did nothing to stop him.

I'm being assigned over 2 hours away from where I live. I'm covering classes with no lessons left. I can't get through to people in the union. I need a contact person who understands.

 I used to be informed about UFT matters when I was permanently placed in a school and/or the UFT Chapter Leader. I used to be sent lengthy Chapter Leader Weekly newsletters with an abundant amount of information. When I was chapter leader I would send the newsletter our to my members. Since becoming an ATR in May 2014, I have yet to be sent or see a UFT Chapter Leader weekly and feel disenfranchised by union. We are treated like second class citizens and to expect a chapter leader in a temporary placement to start adding me to their list is not realistic. If I have an issue, I am not sure who to turn to. I need my own chapter leader and delegate that are familiar with the issues I face.

I was temporarily teaching at a school and was summoned to a disciplinary hearing. The school’s UFT Chapter Leader refused to represent me. The Bronx Office and UFT central office did not return any of my calls or emails. I wound up going on my own without any representation. I had no one to turn to and was given a fictitious disciplinary letter. We need our own elected chapter leader.

I was at a school the first week of May 2015 and the UFT Chapter Leader was giving out ballots for elections. He refused to give me a ballot and allow me to vote.   What voice do I have?

One kid told me 'You're just a f'ing don't have a real job and don't sit in the teacher's chair"

So the first Arbitrator fined me $7500 for 'failing' to meet with a parent and supposedly..'placing a book down 'hard' on a student's desk...The student at first alleged I threw it at him..then changed his story..Never mind the fact it was a computer literacy class and we were using laptops..Like Stymie..said..What books? We 'ain't got no books'...the second Arbitrator said I should get a letter in my file (um, it's already there)..regarding another teacher's allegation that I spoke rudely to him and made him 'uncomfortable' whilst I was assigned to sit in the men's bathroom/lounge at my school all day. It was just he and I in the room.I'm trying to remember if that was before or after he 'peed' and I got to listen to his urination sounds..and of course he's one of the principal's buddies. So throughout the summer pay I will be paying the DOE $833 per check. over $1600 per satisfy their 'fine' by the end of the 2014/2015 school year. Not only am i fined $7500 for virtually nothing..nothing provable..and mostly on the say so of the principal ..(I'm not even going to get into the 'neglect of duty' charges related to ONE lesson review..hey, I thought we got two years to 'improve' under the contract and the binding APPR/3012C agreement...not me..of course there was really nothing wrong with the lesson..identical lesson the year before rated effective)..So I get $7500 deducted from 9 paychecks..which directly coincides with my 'retirement' eligibility date. Age discrimination anyone? In the real world 'debt' collectors have to go to court to garnish your the real world suitable payment amounts are arrived at between the parties. Of course being fined in such a manner also spells age discrimination. I do believe that my age and retirement eligibility date motivated their calculation it is not possible under the law to garnish pension wages. So while all my comrades at my former school get to enjoy their raises and look forward to their summer..I at the 'final' summer of my career (technically speaking) am looking at another 5 garnished 'final' paychecks (as it were) after 31 years 3 months and 6 days of service.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


These stories of ATR horrors come from the files of "YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SH** UP!"

Again, for those who do not know, click here to learn what an ATR(Absent Teacher Reserve) is. 

Reading these stories, what bothers me the most is not the nasty treatment from administrators or secretaries, that's to be expected, but rather the nasty treatment by fellow teachers and union members.

Here's the thing to all teachers who decide to dump on ATR's. It might happen to you one day so don't do stuff that will invite the Karma Fairy to see you.

This will be done in two parts. I have also fixed grammatical and spelling mistakes as opposed to what I had posted the other night. I wanted to keep it real but someone got their knickers in a bunch. Remember, these were received in quickly written emails. As far as upper and lower case letters being where they should and/or punctuation, who cares right now? ;P Any highlighting or italics or whatever has been added by The Crack Team.

If anyone needs any help, advice, to vent, to have a shoulder to cry on, or whatever, email me.

So yesterday I went into the teacher's center to use a computer. They were, apparently, having a retirement party for someone. I walked in and looked around. A person I've never seen before comes over to me an says, "You need to leave. This is not for you."

It was when K'Tori asked me (a guidance counselor ACR)  to count all the books in the library. He demonstrated how to do it by verbally counting 1, 2, 3, and pointing his finger at each count.

You are just an Atr., you don't work here, you are a visitor.

"The Uft calendars are for the teachers in this school, you are an ATR ". That was said to a fellow ATR in front of me by a "teacher" at some HS in the Bronx.

I'm livid. Super popped in for an informal obs on an iss class. (Not my license) Ap told me to direct them to castle learning and super didn't think that was good enough and wants to now give me a U.   He has already observed me and given me an S.  Ap told him I am doing a great job, and he insists its not good enough. I told him I'm tired of the games. You say you are going to help me find a job but the truth is you are looking for any excuse to fire me. I'm done being Mrs nice guy

An ATR I know told me she tried to take a cup of water from the water dispenser in the teachers' room and was told nastily that she couldn't have any and only the teachers in the school were chipped in were allowed to have any of this magical water lol

No bathroom keys in any of the schools. which means you have to walk from the fourth floor at times to the first to go to the bathroom.

I was invited to the teachers appreciation luncheon and be told that only teachers could eat.

Bathroom key? You're here a week. What do you need a key for?

No place to keep my things. I have to walk around from class to class with my coat, bookbag, hat scarf and anything else I'm carrying. The teacher room is locked in most schools and no teacher seem to have a key for it. I have been given no materials and told that there are no books that I can use. (I was in the science room). The kids come without pencils or paper. I can't use a laptop to get to the smartboard. In some schools there's no place to write anything because they all use the smartboard. I think subs are treated better then ATR's Given Lunch duty, Save room and told to file papers in the office. The principal told me that the teachers are meeting with parents and then doing inquiry team work. So I need to file papers in the office.

A 69 yr old ATR told me a principal made her walk the hallways 5 periods a day for hall duty. She was very upset.

 At the school I just was assigned to; I had to contact Amy and then Mike Sill to get bathroom keys.

So this loudmouth teacher at my current school started in with me again yesterday. (The same one who said principals don't want ATRs because they come from failing schools and must be bad, even though she admits she doesn't know what an ATR is.) I took a phone call from my son's school in the faculty room during my lunch. She starts reading from her phone an article on "cell phones in the workplace"-LOUDLY. Looking at me while she does so. Then a few minutes later my husband called to see what was going on with me getting home. We were on the phone less than three minutes. She continued reading from the article - LOUDLY. Then said, "I think we need to copy this and blow it up poster size and hang it here in the room because SOME PEOPLE have no manners and need a REMINDER". Looking at me. I asked he if she had a problem because the passive aggressive behavior was really over the top. She looked SHOCKED and said, "Well, you are in everyone's face with your phone calls and you're loud and you have a big mouth. No one wants to hear you. No one cares about your phone conversations and you're here blasting it out for everyone to hear. No one WANTS you here. No one wants you eating lunch here. No one wants to hear your shit while we try to eat! And we don't like you trying to talk to us like you belong here." So I responded, "Here's a plan. I won't direct my big mouth at you and you keep your big mouth shut around me and we can just agree to ignore each other! DEAL?" And then she got all shocked and hurt and said I can't handle "constructive criticism".Top of Form 1
I've been told several times" I wished I could be excessed so I can rotate from school to school and get paid for doing nothing!"
I'm going to Renaissance School of the Arts where I was threatened on an interview back in October. The principal told me that my response would be called in as a refusal since I have an accommodation and can't walk up to the fourth floor every day. Now I will have call HR or go in armed with my accommodation letter and hope and pray that I get a new placement without getting into some kind of trouble.

I had a TIA and the stupidvisor called the hospital to see if that was true.

At Fannie Lou, the old stupid safety agent refused to open a bathroom for me. One of the Aps told me that their crazy students do better with their real teacher. Many times I am being asked are you a teacher? In another school the secretaries will not answer my greeting.


Was working in the basement "save room" for the better part of the last 4 weeks, so, had to constantly deal with the worst of the worst, trying to sneak out while my back was turned, wandering around the room looking for trouble, boys touching girls, girls sitting on boys laps, "play fights", NO INTERNET NO CELL SIGNAL, NO WINDOWS...very prison-like. OH, and One 15 yr old black kid on his way OUT of the save room on Fri saying "bye WHITE BOY" to me. Very nice. I won't miss THAT school, let me tell ya.

A principal told me she didn't like my kind and only real teachers get a bathroom key.
The principal of the school below informed the school safety agents to tell me that I would be arrested, If I continued to use his school's bathroom.  District rep hung up on me and after I called his boss. That mother fucker came to me and said, I hung up the phone on you because I have an African-American wife and a gay son.  Oh, I believed that the principal didn't like my kind as being the gay kind.
The only time Debbie Otto will speak to you will be to ream you a new one or give you more work to do. My mother in law died while I was there and when I called to let them know I'd be taking off, the secretary told me I had to get "PERMISSION from Ms. Otto". When I told her about my mother in law, she said, "Well, are you going to need all your days because you're a sub and you're here to save me money not cost me money. You can't bring her back, you know." When I returned after taking my FULL allotment, she saw me and said, "Welcome back from your vacation. Here's your class." Not a damn word of sympathy from a soul at that hell hole.

I came into the office one morning and the secretary announced "The slave labor is here."

As an ATR, I recorded a principal that lied because she stated that I refused an assignment and stated I was problematic. That never happened. I sent the UFT District Representative the recording and no action was taken to support me against false accusations.

I'm being observed trying to teach when I have no regular class or school. I've tried to reach UFT appointed representatives Michael Sill or Amy Arundel sometimes to no avail. Sometimes I will get a response to my concern only after several days have passed. I'm constantly being demeaned and humiliated by being called and treated like a substitute. I receive no bathroom key, no place to hang my coat, no place to sit to have lunch, asked to punch in and out in violation of the contract, do clerical work, hall duty, teach gym and self-contained special education classes alone even though I have a Career and Technical Education license. I am denied access to UFT chapter meetings inside the schools, and no longer offered per session positions. I have always been a strong supporter of the union and feel completely abandoned.  

At times it takes me 2 hours to get to work which is a violation of the contract. I am sent to the furthest locations in the borough while other ATRs, on opposite parts are sent closer to me.

There appears to be an unfair hiring practice as most of the new teachers are young and inexperienced. Why isn't the UFT addressing this? Veteran and experienced ATRs are applying to countless positions that are being filled by less expensive and more novice educators.

Monday, June 15, 2015

ATR in Queens Treated Like A Child

This is yet another story from the files of "You Can't Make This Sh** Up!" A continuing series of the most boneheaded moves from NYCDOE upper echelon.

Today's story is another in the long line of ATR abuse. The ATR (Absent Teacher Reserve) in question is of course a veteran teacher, The Crack Team believes she is over 40, and just wants to do her job. The story is in her words and comments are added by The Crack Team.

The story revolves around how this ATR was late twice by late than 30 minutes and the principal at the school had decided not to just deduct the time from her CAR but rather give her two unexcused absences with the subsequent 2 says of docked pay.

Principal says she has to call legal about my being late 2x payroll Secy put it in as unauthorized absence 29 minutes and says I'm being docked I called the school each time said I was stuck in a construction area on union tpke she not only didn't give me any transportation delay form to fill out she didn't even put it in my car as late instead put it in unauthorized because if you're under 30 minutes total lateness you're okay so I explained this to the principal who said she's calling legal for two lastenesses under 30 minutes and I called she said she wants phone records from me to prove it.......prove this.

 Hasn't there been quite a bit of construction on Union Tpke in Kew Gardens near the Van Wyck of late?

Why not give the transportation delay form? What's the big deal?  But phone records? Why not get the phone records of the school. Surely their bill has numbers of who is calling in. 

I told the principal I would look up my cell phone record..I asked them for the dates..I have one date and the call..the other one I"m not so sure..and I also never knew about a 'transportation delay form'..but if they want to go 'legal' go right ahead. Both latenesses were under 30 minutes.

 These people don't want anyone to know of the OP201 form.

Payroll secretary lambasted me in front of the staff in the office again..screaming..Everyday it's something else with you..I'm really need to chill out..I"m asking you about my put in 29 minutes as 'unauthorized' absence on my CAR..I showed her the print out..and it blew her feeble mind apart.

Yeah chill out! Here's the thing. The secretaries take on the personality of  the principals. Of course if you come to a school for 5 days you are not into the flow of things there and need to go to the one other person besides the custodian who knows what is happening in the school. 

But how is 29 minutes get you docked for the day??

 But why not got to the CL of the building? Some comments of the CL from time spent in the building.

union rep who I reported to the UFT office for telling me that I'm a 'guest' at his school and he 'doesn't have to represent me'

I had already been ranked out by the UFT chapter chair in the school earlier.

No wonder ATR's need their own chapter. ATR's, reach out to James Eterno for advice and assistance. He is an ATR, ran for delegate at the school he was assigned to and won! He is fighting for the ATR's to have their own functional chapter. He's a real mensch and it'll be good to talk to someone.
This stuff has got to stop. The union and it's leadership is enabling this crap.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Double Standard World of DR Alison Coviello at PS 154 in the Bronx

I smoke. I know I shouldn't but I do. Maybe 10 cigs a day and I don't buy packs. I just buy loosies for if I have a whole pack with me I'll wind up smoking that pack.

I want to quit and know that I will be more or less stress free for the next 6 months I think this is as good as time as ever.
So why am I sharing this? Because one of the 19 charges against me was that I had been smoking a cigarette, outside, away from the school during that 5 minute lull we all have between the time we dismiss the students and when we have to start PD.

On December 12, 2012 As I was smoking, as per chancellor's regulation C-810 that was in effect at the time and written on May 3, 2005 (I shall paste only what pertains to me);
Smoking is prohibited on all school grounds and other DOE outdoor facilities, including playing fields, school yards, entrances and exits to buildings, parking lots, and the like.
Fine, no problem. However, DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx decided to add her own codicil to a Chancellor's Regulation. There was to be no smoking on the entire block the PS 154 was on. From East 135th between Willis and Alexander Avenues and on Willis up to 139th St and Alexander to East 137th St.

The spot I was smoking can be seen here (Click to enlarge);
I indicated my spot by marking it with "ME." The main entrance is where you see that white truck and by that tree that is indicated as where I was is a city park, not any park or property that belongs to the school.

In the disciplinary proceeding that followed several days later I asked how she can supersede a Chancellor's Regulation. DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx responded that she had spoke to someone at legal and they said it was OK. When asked the name of the person DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx responded, "I don't remember." Apparently her favorite words.

Yes, DR Alison Coviello's, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx edict was in the 2012-2013 Staff Manifesto about where to smoke but as we shall soon see, not everyone has to follow the edicts from the burning bush.

DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx did inform me that I was free to smoke directly across the street from the school however illogical as it would seem for in Chancellor's Reg C-810 it did say that children should not see their teachers smoke.

I was written up for this. I had never ever smoked where I was not supposed to, I always followed C-810, and never was disciplined for this. Why I couldn't get a counseling memo is beyond belief but if I was part of the inner circle, the few, the proud, the ignorant, perhaps, well not perhaps, nothing would have come of this.

As we ended the meeting I inquired if the cars are only allowed to be parked in spaces in the lot and not along the wall. DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx said yes as one can read in the school manifesto. I inquired as to why one of her Chosen, Gladys Rabinowitz has been parking her car there for weeks now. It is not as if DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx was not aware of this. DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx did one period of lunch duty and when she escorted the students to playground from the cafeteria she had no choice but to walk by Ms Rabinowitz's car.
This photo was taken just the next day or two days later. For the rest of the month the car was still there. Parked everyday violating the terms of the school manifesto.

When we came back after the break what was there to see? The car. Here is the car on January 14, a full month later;
And guess what? It was there at least through January 28.

Again, why do I get a disciplinary letter and the Nissan stays?

When we get to the hearing the defense we use is that I was following Chancellors Regulation's to the T. The smoking on entire block was never used by the DOE, but that I was too close to the school. But that was contradictory to C-810.

An updated C-810 came out on November 29, 2012. Which states (Click to enlarge);

In the hearing they now were nailing me that I was within 100 feet of the building as opposed to the May 2005 Reg which said not near entrances or exits. I was not near the playground, nor was I near the parking lot. I was not smoking near an entrance or an exit. I was complying.

And guess what? DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx never informed the staff of this change in Regs!!! Is that not part of her job?

Here is what the arbitrator had to say;
How am I, or any other teacher, supposed to know when a new Chancellor's Reg comes out? Does this not fall to the purview of a school leader to do so? Even using the arbitrator's convoluted logic that I was still in violation of the previous C-810 where is he getting being on the sidewalk is the same as being in the parking lot or the school grounds? These arbitrators pick and choose what they want to believe and try to find some distorted rationalization to fit with their perverted logic.

Again, if my name was Joe Blow or I was feminine, I don't get written up for this. No way no how. This was all part of the DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx method and conspiracy to do me in. She had one set of rules for her inner circle, her crowd, her boot lickers and another set of rules for those she hates.

Gladys Rabinowitz by being a favorite, a toady flouts the rules only because it curries favor, or has the opportunity to curry favor. DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx know how to divide and conquer the staff of a school.

Oh, one more thing. I know what I did wrong, in retrospect I should not. BUT, what became of this incident was not warranted. A true leader doesn't need to use the hammer all the time.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Are IEP's Taken Seriously at PS 154 in the Bronx?

Individual Educational Plans, or IEP's if you will, are sacrosanct. They are mandated by federal law and are legal documents. Sadly, too many manipulate IEP's for their own evil ways and parents are not aware of their rights and how much power they wield.

Several disturbing stories from sources deep within my now former school, PS 154 in the Bronx, have come to The Crack Team in recent weeks alleging monkey business with student's IEP's and services that are mandated to them.

The first allegation, and this was from several sources as well, was a veteran staff member with involved in the IEP's for the last several years at 154 decided that at the end of the 2013-14 school no longer wished to be involved in the IEP process anymore and decided to move on to a different path at PS 154.

A newbie teacher is now the one who make the decisions and she is one who only has an initial certificate. How could this happen?

The Crack Team was informed that upper echelon at PS 154 was allegedly exerting undue pressure of the veteran staff member to manipulate IEP's. This staff member has a conscience. This staff member could no longer deal with unethical requests.

Better yet to have a pliable newbie teacher for administration to work with, no?

The Crack Team has also come across something as equally disturbing.

Allegedly, paras, one to one paras, have been pulled from being with their students this year at PS 154 to give tutoring to students in Reading Rescue.

Allegedly, these tutoring sessions have been happening in the morning and while we here at SBSB applaud any and all methods to help our most troubled students get up to speed we do not believe it should be done at the expense of students whose federally mandated one to one paras are spending less time do what they should be doing by law. We are also troubled that the Cult of Calkins endorses Reading Rescue.

To get around such shenanigans either the IEP's are either being ignored or being changed.

If they are being ignored then that would be not only unethical but can appear to be stealing money. Funds are allocated for paras based on how much time they spend with a student. If said paras are only spending part of the day with the students they work with then the they are not full time paras and the monies for these paras should be cut.

On the other hand, and we have seen it before at PS 154, IEP's are being changed that a student needs his one to one para for only half the day. Of course this is easy to do in the South Bronx where parents are not fully aware of how much power the posses and not knowing the law. Even with this method monies are being spent for full day paras when they are in essence not full day paras.

We at SBSB are quite concerned with these allegations and wish to see a special blue ribbon panel put together by Chancellor Fariña post haste. The children of PS 154 deserve to be protected.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Claudia Macek of PS/MS 83 Distorts Reality

It''s time the truth starts coming out about the charges I faced and the hearing I was part of. Too many people lied and distorted the truth.

One of the charges I faced took place at the grading site for the 2013 ELA exams at PS/MS 83 in the Bronx. I had a run in with the principal of that school, Claudia Macek and her AP, Mary Lou Gorman. Both ladies played loose and fast with reality.

Now yes, I wasn't perfect. The first day of scoring, April 20, I was unable to come due to a Bar Mitzvah I had to be at. I had to leave an hour early another day and was late one other day.

Now having scored in the past I knew that this happened quite consistently with other teachers. Some days they couldn't make it, some days they were late or had to leave early. In fact, one teacher at my table in 2012 missed about 6 sessions and there were no repercussions.

But no one every said what the protocol was if you could not make it nor if you were late. And no one ever came across a person like Claudia Macek before.

Now the big charge I was nailed with was #9;
"Respondent acted unprofessionally and/or insubordinate in that he shouted at a supervisor, stating sum and substance, 'that Nazi, Eva Braun (Macek)' while referring to a another supervisor on April 25."
Hmm, this is where reality is distorted.

That day I left the wonderful world of PS 154 early to head to White Plains to see my endocrinologist. I believe my appointment was at 2:30 or 2:45 which left me plenty of time to get to PS/MS 83 by 4 PM. I had never waited more than a few minutes to see the doctor and my time with her lasted usually no more than 15 minutes.

This time was different.

I had arrived early and waited and waited and waited. I must have waited about 45 minutes and didn't get out of there until 3:40 or there abouts. Knowing the turd storm that was awaiting me (Macek had already singles me out for having a Coke in my hand and once for looking at my cell phone while other tables had a kitchen cupboard in the middle and the supervisors table had deli sandwiches up the ying yang as well as their cell phones in front of them) I asked the doctor for a note. I really thought that would help.

I arrive at the school about 20 minutes late and as I am walking to the gym Macek confronts me in the hall. What happened to me then had never before happened in my years of teaching.

She laced such a tirade at me yelling at the top of her lungs in her gravely, smoke damaged voice. This right in front of people who were walking though the school building without any shame or care in the world, it was like she knew she could get away with it.

There I was taking it, knowing that if I fought back I was a dead man. I just kept asking her to "please speak to me in a professional manner," which seemed to infuriate her more.

But then it go worse.

Accuse me of being late, or not showing up at all, but don't call me a liar or a thief. She did.

In her shrieking that only she can she berated me for having plugged in my phone behind the supervisors table. She was like how dare you decide to just walk behind the table and do that.

Well, I did and I asked permission. I would not have done that without permission. I was told "sure, go ahead." She then asked me who gave me permission and sadly I had not been able to acquaint myself with all the names of the almost 300 people in the gym. I had no answer. But it was the truth.

Then, she accused me of stealing. I was accused of stealing a stapler. I told her repeatedly that I had done no such thing but she kept insisting. Even a week later when we met with my CL and her, she still was accusing me of the stapler theft.

She finally got winded and I tried showing her the note. She said not to show it to her, but to show it to the attendance supervisor, AP Mary Lou Gorman. As I place it on the table in front of her I said, while looking away from her;
"What is it with that woman (Macek)? She's like Eva Braun."
Never screamed it, never said Nazi, no one else could have heard what I said other than Mary Lou in a gym full of 300 people.

Under direct testimony, Mary Lou claims;
    "And he was very, very agitated that day and angry.  And he threw down on the table a doctor's note and I  asked him to take it back. Why he was angry at that point or why he was calling the principal names."

Why do you think I was agitated Mary Lou? Have you ever been screamed at and publicly embarrassed? Have you ever been accused of theft and deception? I'm not saying what I had said was right, but figure things out. I had been treated in the most unprofessional manner ever!

I should have just left that day. I should have said thank you I am done. I wish I had but then again, hindsight is 20/20.

Then it got weird. In the discipline letter I received a week later there was a log of everything, which Mary Lou had kept at the behest of Macek, I had done that day. What time I walked to the bathroom, what time I got up out of my seat (Even though there were time we were waiting 20 minutes for the next box of exams). Even when I an adult decided to get something to eat and only finding out later I had to ask permission.

At the end of the log the last thing written was;

"7:15: While sitting at the scoring table Mr Zucker put his hands behind his head."

Yep!!! I can't make this crap up!

Under direct testimony Macek testified;
"And then, at one point, he sat there with this arms behind his head like this, just sitting there. I don't know why. But that's what he did."
The DOE lawyer then asked her;
"Now, when you say you observed him with his arms behind his head, approximately how many times did you observe that behavior?"
To which Macek responded;
"Pretty often that day. I don't know if it was to get me to come over and say something or not. But I didn't."
 But under direct testimony  Macek when asked about when and what she heard about what I had said testified;
"And he said to her I spoke to that Eva Braun. And she said who do you mean? He pointed to me. So, she told me about  that, too."
But Mary Lou says that I was screaming and using the word Nazi. I never did either.

I was 100% wrong to say that. I was frustrated. Not just at Macek but at how the entire year had been going. I apologized in the hearing and still to this day deny ever screaming or using the word Nazi.

But Macek slipped and she showed where her mind is at.

She slipped in contradicting what Mary Lou had claimed and she show that her mind is about herself, that she must be the focus of everything. To think for a moment that I am putting my hands behind my head to get her attention to come over the scoring table.

Both those response should have been a huge red flag for the arbitrator.

What should have been a red flag with Macek as well should be the way she contradicted Mary Lou and her obsession with where my hands are.

We here at SBSB have heard from sources at PS/MS 83 that indeed, Claudia Macek, when she was AP as well as principal, did have difficulty with the truth and the way she talked to staff. The way Macek talked to me was not in a vacuum, but it seems this is who she is.

In fact The Crack Team has heard a 3 minute audio tape of her raging at a teacher at the top of her lungs as the teacher stood up for his rights and then called upper echelon to report this teacher and spreading falsehoods.

I wouldn't put it past Macek that she was in cahoots with someone that week, someone who might have pre-planned to find me incompetent.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Four Month Suspension Has Started

So there I am this morning about 8:35 minding my own business, eating my breakfast, and having the latest in a long line of discussions whether or not the Freemasons control the NYCDOE when someone walks in the room asking to see me.

I knew what it was about at once but played dumb just in case I was wrong. It was to notify me that my 4 month suspension was to commence tomorrow, June 3, and I return to the ATR pool on December 4. All this without pay.

I will give the person at the Rubber Room at Zerega credit for not making me immediately leave the building and gave me a good 45 minutes to let me process what had just happened and say goodby to my colleagues. I am grateful for this as well grateful for knowing the people that I shared that room with.

I am grateful as well for keeping my job and only being suspended for 4 months. I know it could have been a lot worse.

I'm kind of lucky getting suspended when I did. My next check should be paid in full and my summer pay should be more or less unaffected. That means I am looking at September through December without pay. Fortunately, we were anticipating something like this and we planned accordingly. I am also going to apply for unemployment and that should help.

I have one major concern though. My health and welfare benefits.

I have been getting mixed messages from too many people at the Welfare Fund, UFT, and HR that either I have a 30 day grace period or my benefits end immediately. If I get the 30 day grace period I am good, but there is a but.

The 30 days should take me to the summer. I am not suspended during the summer, only during the school year. I will be getting paid through the summer and my deductions for the UFT and GHI will or have already be taken out. The problem is that no one can tell me whether or not I will be covered during the summer.

If I am being punished for 4 months (June, September, October, and November) why then if I can;t access my benefits during the summer will my punishment then be for 6 months? It does not make sense nor is it logical.

I am in the process of finding out this information right now. Several people that I trust are working on it and hopefully I will get an answer soon.

Then there is COBRA. The Welfare fund is about $225/month and GHI is about $1k/month. That comes to $1200 per month or $7,200 for six months or $4,800 for 4 months. We do not have that kind of money.

And we need coverage.

To begin, I am diabetic and need my medications as well as needing to continually see my endocrinologist. Along with diabetes comes a slew of other health concerns that can pop up at any time.

Worse off is my wife.

My wife has had two back surgeries over the last 16 years. One a laminectomy in 1999 and removal of a cyst in 2008. For the last 6 months or so her pain has been getting worse and shooting down her leg. We went to see one of the top spine surgeons in the area the last few week and she had an MRI as well. The diagnosis is not good.

Her back is a mess. Not only does she have several discs bulging out but she is scoliosis and stenosis as well. The cure is a 6 hour fusion starting at the L3 and going up to her thoracic region. But the doctor can't do surgery now.

She has a major Vitamin D deficiency which is precluding the doctor from surgery. He said at this point he can't be sure the bones will heal properly. But what she can do is physical therapy for the next 3 months and hopefully building up the muscle around her spine and her stomach will help her a great deal.

As some people know my wife had suffered a series of seizures early last year which those at Westchester Medical Center were never able to figure out the cause. After seeing a neurologist 2 weeks ago he speculated that the reason is the Vitamin D deficiency but can't be sure. She has an MRI scheduled this Saturday to see what is going on in her head.

She is also on a medication that she can't stop taking. If she does, she is dead. Heck there are medications I must take and it won't be good if I go without.

So, I will be out about $28k in gross pay and no insurance for either 4 or 6 months. Great.

Just gives me more to ask for from the City of New York in the lawsuit. For those that are interested court is next Wednesday, June 10, at New York Supreme Court on Chambers St. Contact me if you are interested in coming.

Thank you for allowing me my rant.