SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Helping an ATR

The following are real words and real life from a current ATR. The statement below was read to the UFT executive board on March 26, 2018. Her name has been redacted to ensure her privacy.

This ATR came to the attention of MORE. For several weeks people at MORE were supporting this ATR to no end. What was most important were the holistic measures in which the people of MORE went about in their support of this ATR. More or less in the way I had written back in January.There was no need to radicalize this ATR. There was no need to manipulate this ATR. There was no need to make this ATR even angrier. There was no need to tell the ATR to record and FOIL and be defiant. However, there was a need to help this ATR in the present and that is what was done.

MORE, working as a team, in fact working for this ATR, advocated for her to the right people. This advocacy would have been unsuccessful if not for reaching out to Mike Sill as well as others. If bridges were burned, this advocacy would have been for naught.

I'm not going to name names. It's not important who gets credit. The people at MORE who advocate for teachers aren't looking for credit, they're just looking to support and assist. It's a team effort.

This ATR has had her school changed to a place where she is much, much, happier.




Good Evening,

My name is XXXXXXX. I want to Thank You for the opportunity to speak at
tonight’s Executive Board Meeting. I have been an educator for 24 years; my goal has
always been to educate children and make a difference. After earning the respect and
support of my colleagues and administration, I never thought I would be subjected to
such a level of humiliation, emotional and career damaging behavior. After being
assigned as an ATR in March 2017, I wake up every day with a positive attitude for my
students despite the inability to build supportive relationship with my students,
colleagues and administration.


This school year I have been in 3 different schools and in that time, I felt only partially
supported in one. When an educator isn’t supported, it’s impossible to feel that you're
performing at your best. After being placed in a new district, I was amazed by the level
of respect that the administration showed the ATR’s and the classroom teachers. Just
as I was starting to build a relationship with my students and administration, I was
removed from that school and placed back into my old district. A member of the
administration by which I was targeted, was at this new school assignment where I was
covering a 1st grade maternity leave position. I was told that I was the third teacher
within 6 weeks. From day one, I felt the demands and pressure from the Administration.
An educator needs time to build trust with the children. Every day, I would start on a
positive note, speak with the children and then the distractions would begin. I had two
very difficult first graders who would fight with each other as well as the other children.
Repeatedly, I would call for support from the administration asking for the names and
extensions of the dean and or guidance counselor, she would just tell me to put the
difficult children with another first-grade class. I was never introduced to the support
staff nor was my class located near the other 1st grade class to escort the disruptive
students. As always, my goal was to educate children, which was nearly rendered
impossible as I wasn’t given the time or the support to build trust with them. I found it
very frustrating because of the demands of the curriculum and the work to be done. This
caused a lot of anxiety and emotional distress and my goal for educating children and
reaching their goals was increasingly diminished.


ATR’s are afraid to speak out as each new school is like starting all over again. I called
my district representative who I have known for many years and when I told him where I
was he said, “Oh my God, that principal is a **** well I would rather not repeat that exact
phrase, but let’s just say it wasn’t very flattering. To date, 5 people have already
resigned from that school this year. I have reached out to Michael Sill and explained the
situation at which time he asked that I put everything in an email. I have met many
ATR’s who are also in dire situations. I have asked many of these people to come today
but they are very hesitant. However, I needed to come here today to shed some light on
the struggles of the ATR’s. Given my educational credentials, and career experience, I
shouldn’t be an ATR. It brings me to tears to think how an administrator with less
educational and career experience was able to attend the principal academy and be
empowered to ruin a career vs strengthen one. I would like to propose that we set up a
meeting in my district with the ATR’s, so we can discuss ways to problem solve and
improve the current situation. Today, I began a new placement which means another
ATR is at the school I just left, this is a never-ending epidemic. Moving forward, let’s
meet to figure out how to improve this demoralizing cycle.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

UFT Doesn't Lift Finger to Help High School of Art and Design

The following is a letter written by the Chapter Leader at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. The chapter is being hung out to dry and ignored by Mike Mulgrew and the entire UFT. They need support and are looking for it.

Sadly, The Clown and his Insane Clown Posse have gotten hold of it. WATCH OUT HSAD!!! This not the person nor the the people you want on your side. Everything The Clown comes in contact with dies a horrible death. The Clown has already shown his MO. The beef the school has right now is with the UFT. That's where you start. Get the UFT off it's ass first, not by going after the Superintendent (not saying culpable). But this is how The Clown operates. Premature Clownjaculation.

Think The Clown cares? No, The Clown and his Insane Clown Posse see this as an opportunity to suck into more people into his warped world by hording email addresses. That's all The Clown cares about.

This is a delicate matter and you need help from the adult in the room. Not an angry, bitter people with a mob and cult mentality.

What's worse is the lack of support, the lack of anything from current UFT leadership! This is why a change must be made at 52 Broadway. You kinda figure that with Janus decision looming on the horizon Mulgrew and his crew will be on their best behavior. Doing what they can to keep the funds rolling in. Go figure. 

Good luck to all at the High School of Art and Design. Know where to turn to.


Mr. Jason Agosto
UFT Chapter Leader
XX-XX XXX Street
XXXX XXXX, NY 12345

Mr. Michael Mulgrew
President
United Federation of Teachers 
52 Broadway
New York, NY, 10004

March 29, 2018

Dear President Mulgrew and UFT Leadership,

The UFT chapter at the High School of Art and Design has been living under distress and oppression for the past two years. On January 25, 2016, Principal Manuel Urena arrived at the High School of Art and Design and his tenure as principal has produced record faculty turnover, constant violations of the UFT contract agreed to by the UFT and the DOE, violations of state and federal labor law, blatant retaliation against leaders of our chapter, and a hostile and unhealthy work environment. It is difficult enough to teach and conduct union activity under the above outlined circumstances, but what has made the situation more challenging is the silence, aloofness, and non-response of the UFT leadership in addressing these matters. Alice O’Neil, our UFT District Representative, is well aware of the issues plaguing our school and has even been a firsthand witness to some of them and yet no meaningful action has been taken by Mrs. O’Neil or UFT leadership to remedy these issues.

The Art and Design chapter presence has been silenced in our school. The threat of swift and brutal retaliation at the hands of Mr. Urena and his administration has made chapter members fearful and hesitant to engage in any union related activity. Jason Agosto, our UFT chapter chair, has been subject to the most blatant retaliation from Mr. Urena in the form of negative observation reports, spurious disciplinary letters based on unfounded accusations, as well as the maligning of his reputation amongst parents on our School Leadership Team.  What’s more disheartening, is that the UFT leadership has allowed this treatment of Mr. Agosto to go unchecked as the above mentioned actions have continued to occur on a regular basis for two years. The UFT’s non-response to the abuse and blatant retaliation of Mr. Agosto has emboldened Mr. Urena and he has used the UFT leadership’s silence to further retaliate against other vocal chapter members.

The threat of retaliation by Mr. Urena extends to all functions of the chapter within the school. Chapter members who serve on the School Leadership Team have been silenced because anyone who raises an issue that presents a problem or narrative which contradicts Mr. Urena’s is subject to retaliation in the form of negative observation reports and spurious letters to file. Mrs. O’Neil witnessed Mr. Urena in a threatening tone dismiss chapter concerns about Special Education compliance issues at a November 2, 2017 school leadership meeting but yet there was no follow up to the issue on the part of UFT leadership. The same is true for chapter members who serve on the school security team and the UFT consultation committee. This retaliation has been reported to Mrs. O’Neil and UFT leadership on a number of documented occasions but with no action taken to address it.

The Art and Design chapter’s suspicions of Mr. Urena’s anti-union animus were confirmed when in January 2017, it was revealed that Mr. Urena, through one of his Assistant Principals, attempted to recruit a probationary teacher to report information back to administration that was discussed in a December 2016 chapter meeting. Specifically, the teacher was asked to report who the vocal members of the chapter are, who was leading chapter meetings, and who would replace Mr. Agosto in the event of his removal from his position. This incident exposed Mr. Urena’s intent to retaliate against vocal chapter members and was reported directly to Mrs. O’Neil at one of her visits to our chapter on January 5, 2017 and a follow up letter was sent to President Mulgrew on February 1, 2017 describing the specifics of this ordeal. Even with all of this information being reported directly to UFT officers, no action was taken to address it. It is now the subject of a Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) complaint being litigated at the expense of the chapter leader when NYSUT lawyers refused to take on the case. The hearing this PERB complaint requires has been delayed three times since November 2017.

Mr. Urena has further sought to silence the voice of our chapter by refusing to honor School Based Option (SBO) votes on circular 6 (c6) assignments for teachers. In a consultation committee meeting on May 10, 2017, in the presence of UFT CTE Representative, Jeffrey Bernstein, Mr. Urena stated in a pointed and threatening tone, that he would not honor SBO votes and if we proceed with an SBO, he would put every teacher in meetings during c6 periods on a daily basis not allowing teachers time to plan and grade as the current split c6 assignment affords teachers the time to do. In addition, Mr. Urena further stated that if we were to pursue a grievance to force him to honor the SBO process, he would place teachers in meetings every day for their c6 assignments in response to any pursuit of a grievance. Mrs. O’Neil and Mr. Bernstein sent follow up emails to Mr. Urena on May 12, 2017 but he responded that his,“position was clear” and it was up to the Chapter to decide how we wanted to proceed. Mrs. O’Neil stated that she would address this issue with Superintendent Marisol Rosales. However, there was no follow up and the split c6 menu was enacted with no contractually mandated School Based Option vote to reflect the chapter’s participation and voice in the matter.

Our contractual rights have been been further subverted by Mr. Urena’s refusal to meet with our Chapter’s consultation committee without assistant principals present to serve as his witnesses. The contract makes clear that these meetings are to take place with only the principal and the chapter committee in attendance. District Representative Alice O’Neil advised that if Mr. Urena entered any consultation committee meeting with Assistant Principals joining him, we present Mr. Urena with an agenda and respectfully exit the meeting. We did exactly as Mrs. O’Neil directed us to do in September, October, and November of 2017. Mr. Urena, in turn, responds to our exit from these meetings with snarky quips and feigned ignorance as to why we are exiting the meeting all the while knowingly violating the contractual process for consultation.  Mrs. O’Neil stated that she would address this issue with Mr. Urena’s supervisor, Superintendent Marisol Rosales and that monthly consultation committee meetings would resume after that. To date, the UFT has not received any update from these meetings that supposedly addressed this issue with the Superintendent.

Adding insult to injury, Mrs. O’Neil reached out to Chapter leadership in December 2017 stating that she was able to secure a consultation committee meeting with our chapter committee and Mr. Urena without the intrusion of Assistant Principal observers on December 21, 2017 at 2:50pm. On the day of the meeting, Mrs. O’Neil abruptly cancelled the meeting with no explanation. Mrs. O'Neil did send Chapter Leader Jason Agosto a cryptic and vague text message with no explanation for the consultation committee meeting cancellation. These events have further silenced chapter voices as the absence of monthly consultation committee meetings all year has deprived the chapter of our voice on issues such as fiscal and budgetary matters, instructional goals, programming, and how to best serve students while honoring the contract. What’s further disheartening is that Mr. Urena has done all of this because he knows UFT leadership will never hold him accountable for it.

Mrs. O’Neil also informed Mr. Agosto on December 7, 2017 that President Mulgrew would be meeting with Chancellor Farina in the days that followed and that the High School of Art and Design was the only high school on the agenda for that meeting. Mr. Agosto nor any member of Chapter leadership has been given any details on that meeting or even if it happened at all. This is yet another example of the UFT’s failure to advocate for its members and defend our chapter from the onslaught of anti-union animus perpetuated by Mr. Urena.

The inaction by the leadership of the United Federation of Teachers in response to the decimation of our chapter at the hands of Mr. Urena is outrageous and disappointing. It makes an already difficult situation that much worse when union officers who are charged with and paid with member dues to enforce the contract in every school have allowed and even tacitly encouraged these actions. Mrs. O’Neil’s actions on December 21, 2017 showed us that UFT leadership is either incompetent or working in collusion with Superintendent Rosales and Principal Urena to undermine our chapter’s position within our school. Further evidence is the recent photo proudly displayed on the UFT website of one of our teachers receiving the UFT’s CTE Award with Mr. Urena standing confidently among art and CTE teachers projecting a false narrative of a vibrant and active UFT chapter.

The legal ramifications of these actions have caused targeted chapter members to pursue outside legal counsel at our own expense to defend our rights and livelihoods since the UFT is not carrying out their duties to do so. Continued contractual violations occur on a daily basis at the High School of Art and Design and the UFT’s leadership has been complicit in allowing them to occur despite having a consistent documented papertrail attesting to them. We demand a meeting between our chapter’s consultation committee and President Mulgrew to address these issues directly to create the working environment that our chapter members deserve. If the UFT refuses a meeting with President Mulgrew and continues to ignore our plight, we will be forced to pursue a PERB complaint against the UFT for failing to enforce the contract and defend members from anti-union animus at the hands Mr. Urena and his abusive administration.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE)  to be publicly posted on their website and other online platforms to inform members of your inaction and dereliction of your duties. This letter will also be sent to other labor related media outlets as well as to the other major municipal workers’ unions to express our outrage at the UFT’s ineptitude and corruption to our union brothers and sisters across New York City.



We look forward to your prompt response in addressing the above outlined concerns. If we do not receive a response, we will see you in court for the PERB complaint we will file against the UFT in response.

In Solidarity,

Jason Agosto
Chapter Leader


Andrew Savage
UFT Delegate






Robert Robinson
Chemistry Teacher


George Zicopolus
Math Teacher






Janice Edelman
Art/CTE Teacher


Maya Zabar
English Teacher






Ayoka Cox
Guidance Counselor


Rachel Kaplan
History Teacher


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Clown Has Created a Shlimazel

BEWARE THE CLOWN 


I was once a disciple of The Clown. I learned through trial and error that The Clown wore no clothes, just shiny clown underpants.

Sadly, not all others have seen just The Clown's shiny underpants.

Mr Shlimazel, followed blindly to the point where his career is now in jeopardy. He has emailed Randi Weingarten, Betsy Combier and others incessantly calling them c**ts. He has harassed a federal judge to the point where US Marshalls have had to visit him and have a "talk."

Yesterday, in reaction to a comment on this blog I incurred Mr Shlimazel's wrath. On a Facebook thread he commented...

"your wife told me she's mentally ill at your 3020-a and only a mentally person could not notice that you're a faggot...are you a sick man that has his wife use a fake dick?"

"Now you have reason to write about me."
So I am now writing with Mr Shlimazel's blessing.

Wow, throwing the old family thing in there huh? Wonder under whose (or is it who's?) tutelage he learned that strategy? Could it have been The Clown's? Funny thing is this person was never at my 3020-a.

But then the texts started...
"Only a mental ill would marry you dagger."

"Get some dick."

"Be a real man faggot."

"You know people think you are a faggot." 

"Seriously...come out of the closet because you're hurting yourself and your wife...it is 2018 and you don't need to be in the closet...you're more of a woman than your wife, faggot."
I made a mistake and I will cop to it. It was with the best of intentions.

This is very early in 2016. I had a good relationship with this person. At the time I had one with Betsy. Betsy and a friend of hers were being harassed non stop by this person (I have seen the emails). I read the emails that Mr Shlimazel and The Clown were sending.Mr Shlimazel was being vile and causing undo consternation to women. I spoke to him. I tried to clam him down. But in what in my lay opinion was OCD, he wouldn't listen. Betsy and her friend were seriously considering filing criminal charges. I told him that what he was doing can be construed as a crime.

Long story short The Follower just continued and continued with the emails to Betsy, the entire UFT, Randi Weingarten, PERB, and Judge Cogan of the Eastern District of New York. Oh dang, I forgot about the emails (And by emails, we are talking in an OCD (What seems to be to the lay person) manner. Chancellor Farina, US Attorney's office, every journalist in NYC, maybe even Hank Steinbrenner. Who knows?

So yesterday I mentioned to him that he is going off the deep end. I had to. My wife was getting scared. Tried to calm him down. When I asked if he learned from the US Marshalls visit he replied that he will...
"...do it again"
Oh and about Randi....
"She will pay for her sins."

And then, I get a text saying...

 "tell your Grand Leech  (Randi), i will stop (emailing he means) if i can get out 75%  pay on mental disability from the DoE....this way it is a win/win I don't see the DoE and they don't see me...leaving the DoE is a win"
"Or i keep it up until i get justice"
And of course me, I am at the center of this all. I had lunch with Cogan, Betsy and Randi, and we seemed to have planned this out.

Jeesh.

I don't know if to feel sorry for Mr Shlimazel. He made his made. He decided to join The Clown's cult and be played like a dime store floosey. Go to PERB he was told. The chances of winning at PERB are slim and none. Bryan Glass encouraged to go to PERB first for one reason. To get those who are doing bad under oath and on the record. Did The Clown tell Mr Shlimazel this?

In my opinion, he's lost his mind as a plaintiff in his oft dismissed federal lawsuit and is about to lose it in the lawsuit he is involved in as a defendant along with The Clown. He needs to look across the table at the next court date and see The Clown for what he is. If not for The Clown, Mr Shlimazel might still be of sound mind.

All this for what? Getting a U for a per session gig. Boo fucking hoo. I can rattle off 10 teachers in 10 seconds who have had it much worse. This behavior not worth losing one's job, life, or liberty.

Mr Shlimazel needs to high tail it to New York Hospital in White Plains. There is a psych ER there and are affiliated with GHI/Emblem.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Repeal NYS Teacher Evaluation Laws 3012-c and 3012-d

James Eterno is spearheading a MoveOn petition to repeal New York State Evaluation Laws3012-c and 3012-d. Click here for the MoveOn petition link. Please sign and share!


From James' blog...

Petition to Repeal NYS Teacher Evaluation Laws 3012-c and 3012-d

We must return teacher evaluation to local districts free from state mandates by repealing New York State Education Laws 3012-c and 3012-d.

  • Evaluating teachers based on student results on tests and other student assessments that were never designed to rate educators is neither a scientifically or educationally sound way to be used for a Measure of Student Learning portion of a teacher's rating.
  •  The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher evaluations is subjective and highly unfair, particularly in NYC where the Danielson Framework has been used not to help teachers grow as professionals but as a weapon to frighten teachers into teaching to score points on arbitrary rubrics in multiple unnecessary classroom observations.
Why we are starting this petition?
 
The teacher evaluation system in NYS is broken beyond repair. NYS passed a flawed evaluation system into law in order to receive federal Race to the Top funds. However, the current version of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act no longer requires states to rate teachers in part based on student test results to receive federal funds.  Rating teachers on student exam scores is not recommended by the American Statistical Association as it is not a reliable way to measure teacher performance yet in New York we only have a moratorium on using standardized tests to rate certain teachers. Teachers are still rated on tests and other assessments that were never designed to rate teachers. The Measures of Student Learning portion of teacher ratings is highly unreliable. Many call it "junk science."

NYS ELA tests cannot measure student progress under any particular standard.From a statistical standpoint, a handful of questions per standard is not a statistically sound measure of a student’s mastery of that standard.  Additionally, test passages that are on, above or even slightly below grade level cannot measure the progress of a struggling reader who enters a class two to four years below grade level. These tests cannot measure the progress of newcomers to our country who are learning English as a new language.  It takes many years for newcomers to master the nuances of the English language.  In effect, students such as these described above can make more than a year’s worth of progress and yet still not show progress on the NYS ELA due to the text complexity of all test passages.
The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher ratings in New York City is based on the Danielson Framework whose creator, Charlotte Danielson, said this about teacher evaluation in Education Week:

"There is ...little consensus on how the profession should define "good teaching." Many state systems require districts to evaluate teachers on the learning gains of their students. These policies have been implemented despite the objections from many in the measurement community regarding the limitations of available tests and the challenge of accurately attributing student learning to individual teachers.
"Even when personnel policies define good teaching as the teaching practices that promote student learning and are validated by independent research, few jurisdictions require their evaluators to actually demonstrate skill in making accurate judgments. But since evaluators must assign a score, teaching is distilled to numbers, ratings, and rankings, conveying a reductive nature to educators' professional worth and undermining their overall confidence in the system.

"I'm deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in the academic and policy communities) believe it's time for a major rethinking of how we structure teacher evaluation to ensure that teachers, as professionals, can benefit from numerous opportunities to continually refine their craft."

The Danielson Rubric describes an ideal classroom setting and was never intended to be used as an evaluative tool against teachers. Examples: A rubric that rates a teacher "developing" when he/she "attempts to respond to disrespectful behavior among students, with uneven results" (Danielson 2a) is not a fair rubric. A rubric that rates a teacher ineffective because "students' body language indicates feelings of hurt, discomfort, or insecurity" (Danielson 2a) having nothing to do with how that particular teacher treats her particular students is not a fair rubric for teacher evaluations. Teachers do not just teach emotionally well-adjusted children from idyllic families and communities. We teach all kinds of children who live under various conditions. These conditions have a major impact on the emotional well-being of children.

Children experiencing emotional distress due to factors beyond their teachers' control quite often have trouble concentrating in class yet to be considered "highly effective" under Danielson, Virtually all students are intellectually engaged in the lesson." We teach children with selective mutism and other speech and language and learning disabilities yet Danielson doesn't take this into account. Students' emotions have an impact on their academics, and students' emotions are impacted by many factors beyond any teacher's control such as homelessness, marital stress in their home or divorce, loss of employment of a caregiver, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, bullying outside of their classroom, personal illness or illness of a loved one and many other factors too numerous to list. Holding a teacher accountable for these factors that are beyond a teacher's control is not reasonable and yet that is what some of the components under Danielson demand.

Teachers in NY are frustrated and demoralized by a teacher evaluation system that has robbed us of our professionalism.

We demand an end to this absurdity. We demand that NYS change its education laws so teachers can return to the practice of seeing their students as human beings who are so much more than a test score or a robot that must adhere to absurd requirements under the Danielson Rubric in order for their teacher to be judged "effective" or "highly effective." NYS has created an adversarial relationship between students and their teachers and this absurdity must end now.

Teachers have no confidence in the evaluation system that reduces teacher worth into a meaningless series of numbers and letters. Teachers in NYC fear classroom observations are not being used to help them grow professionally, but instead teachers must teach to try to score points on Ms. Danielson's often misused framework.

In NYC, there is a climate of fear in the classroom which does not lead to improved teacher practice. Four observations per year for veteran teachers is excessive. One per year or every other year is sufficient for the vast majority of veteran teachers. Ms. Danielson stated in Education Week that after three years in the classroom, teachers become part of a "professional community" and should be treated as such.

Danielson says:
Personnel policies for the teachers not practicing below standard—approximately 94 percent of them—would have, at their core, a focus on professional development, replacing the emphasis on ratings with one on learning.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

MORE Demands of UFT President Mike Mulgrew

I'm not at liberty to say who wrote this. This person is an indispensable member of MORE.

MORE plans on bring front and center in the demands of the rank and file during negotiations for our new contract. The rank and file and MORE will be heard!  Loudly, clearly, and succinctly.


Dear Brother Mulgrew,

Thanks to you and the Division VP’s for eliciting member views through the contract surveys.   I hope this is just the beginning of a local-wide conversation as we make the necessary preparations to defend our living and working conditions, and public education itself, in very challenging circumstances.

Here’s my gist on our upcoming contract negotiations:   

No Givebacks - No Zeros - No New Contract – No Work

Janus or No Janus we have a Democrat Mayor and Democrat Governor who are trimming their budgets to pass along the Federal budget cuts to the public-sector workers of New York.  No doubt de Blasio and Cuomo will point fingers at one another and the Federal government but where does that leave the UFT contract come November?  

If the Supreme Court rules as expected, the UFT will be preoccupied in the coming months to maintain its membership and financial solvency.  How does the SCOTUS ruling combined with trickle down budget cuts affect the bargaining position of the UFT?  

The best response to Janus and Trump et al is an informed and organized rank and file, in close alliance with other workers and our school communities.  The time to organize is now.

We must hold our local and state politicians accountable and demand a decent contract by November 2018. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Does Science Teacher Anna Poole Have a Rabbi in the NYCDOE?

Yeah, the DOE does seem to be run by a bunch of imbeciles. So purports Chaz when he wrote about former Beacon High School science teacher Anna Poole. Anna Poole, you may recall, set several students ablaze in 2014 in a science experiment gone awry back in 2014.

Personally, Anna Poole used the resources available to her, as is her right, to keep her job. I do not have a problem with that. However I do have several issues.

If she had been a tenured teacher would SCI have gone harder on her and not left her discipline up to the chancellor? If this had been a tenured teacher is it not fair to say that E4esaid teacher would not only have been brought up on 3020-a charges but possibly criminal charges as well?

According to a commenter on Chaz's blog there were some irregularities in her right to representation. Is this not a right as teachers that we see as inalienable?

Again, Mona Davids (She's still around????) has to stick her ignorant nose where it should not be and as always without having full information to base her inane comments on...
“I think that’s outrageous and ludicrous. It’s actually insulting, but it’s typical DOE. That’s what they do, reward poor performance.”
Mona, while not condoning nor condemning Anna, there is a difference between an accident and poor performance. Mona claims she she's smart. Prove it.

The way the Daily News implied that she got rewarded with a raise...
...currently makes a $79,484 a year — up from $56,048 on the day of the explosion.
No, she got was was contractually due her. That is it. 

What I want to know is if Anna Poole has a rabbi within the DOE. Why did she get a nice cushy gig within Tweed? How did she get it? Why did she get it? I have speculated that she must be with Educators 4 Excellence or Teach for America. Maybe she's Teaching Fellows?

I have no problem with what Chaz wrote. I disagree with him somewhat, but I respect his opinion. What he wrote was on his blog. He was not going to the, for lack of a better phrase, through the MSM to bash a teacher (yeah, I know. I have done the same, but only to TFA, E4E, and other rats. Poole, as far as we know is not a rat). Chaz did not have to go through a reporter. He was adult enough to do it on his own. Some weren't.

It pained me to see another teacher, a teacher who purports to claim to be on the side of teachers, playing both sides of the fence.

Too many teachers have been brought up on BS charges for leaving pee on a toilet seat, to carrying a cup of coffee, to leaving the toilet seat up, to not passing gas according to the way mandated in Chancellor's Regulations.

I have no problem with Anna Poole staying employed by the DOE. I have a problem with how the DOE kept her. There is something just not right about this "promotion."

Monday, March 12, 2018

ATR UPDATE!!!! Kicked in the Head Whilst on the Ground

On February 20 I wrote this piece on yet another besmirchment on a fellow ATR. The results are in. No one is happy other than the field supervisor.

The ATR, who henceforth will be known as Schlomo , met with the FS and his DL on February 26. The meeting lasted about 10 minutes and basically he was verbally requested on November 29, 2017 to have lesson plans for each grade. Schlomo then showed the FS the lesson plans on December 21, 2017. Now, take that last sentence and don't forget it. I will get back to it in a moment.

On both dates that the FS spoke to Schlomo about his lesson plans there was a caveat. The principal wished to see the plans. OK, fine.

The FS, in the discipline letter, blabbered that it was requested that Schlomo show his lesson plans to the principal. Mind you, the FS gave notice to Schlomo of the discipline meeting on February 15.

However, the FS actually cast eyes upon the lesson plans on DECEMBER 21, 2017 A FULL 46 DAYS before notifying Schlomo of a discipline meeting!!!

Why, oh why, could not the FS have either a) Say to Schlomo, "let's go see the principal together and show your lesson plans", or b) say, I'll do you a solid and share with the principal that you have the lesson plans, or c) clearly state in writing that he was supposed to physically bring the lesson plans to the principal?

See, there is a hitch here. At no time did Schlomo ever receive anything in writing as to the subject of his lesson plans. All direction was done verbally. On Schlomo's part there he was not sure if the principal was to seek him out or vice versa in regard to the lesson plans. It was a mix up. Why not just give a counseling memo? Why have to proverbially kick someone in the head with a steel tipped boot while their down? Mistakes happen. He was not purposely insubordinate. He was not trying to pull a fast one. He did not put a child in danger. Geez, it was a misunderstanding!!!

The last two school years Schlomo received an S on his rating sheet. Thus far this year he is treading water.

In the fall the FS informally observed him with a Kindergarten class and guess what? It was unsatisfactory. Of course this brought out the dreaded PLAN OF ASSISTANCE. 

But it gets goofier. Just this week the FS did another informal observation, again with a Kindergarten class (Thank God it was first thing in the morning!). Let's see how this goes.

Anytime you meet with a FS and you do not receive anything in writing, take notes (or audio), and the minute you get home memorialize the meeting in an email and write something like this....

Dear FS, 

This morning when we met you told me to do X,Y, and Zed. Yada, yada, yada.

Thank you very much.

Love,

The ATR.

It's all about covering your buttocks.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

SBSB EXCLUSIVE!!!!! MORE Caucus Presents 2018 Contract Demands

With it being 2018, the contract is up this coming November. The MORE Caucus being in control of the Unity/UFT's executive board has not only a front row seat to the upcoming negotiations, but is not on the outside looking in and has established contacts within the UFT to be heard. Yes, it is nice to show how technological adept one thinks they are in posting nice little online polls on Facebook with "cool" graphics. But that gets one nowhere.

MORE is fighting an uphill battle every day. Unity/UFT continues to try to swat away MORE but MORE is here to stay.

With that being said, The Crack Team reached obtained the contract demands MORE is presenting to Unity/UFT tomorrow night at the exec board meeting. Today, right now, will be the first public airing of the demands and it should put Unity/UFT on notice.

Notice: Some names have been redacted.

1. Real raises: Set a pattern or follow a city pattern with raises that are equal - to uniformed/sanitation workers-
We expressed that HS members were especially upset during the last contract with delayed retro and raises that did not follow the pattern of other union workers in. UFT acknowledged this and said the first thing the city negotiators will argue for is "increased productivity"

2. Do away with C-6/professional assignments so HS teachers can have two full preps to prepare, especially those that are in ICT/ESL co-teaching situations
IF C-6 cant be totally done away with then pedagogical related assignments only (no lunchroom duty)-  (this  also addresses the proliferation of teacher teams)
UFT claims reps go to high schools through-out the cities the prevalent complaint from faculty is the lack of time teachers in co-teaching situations (Sped/esl) have to work with each other, if c-6 cant be done away with they would like to see something to address this using c-6 and PD time

3.Class size violations - with the proliferation of oversized classes we need some type of accountability for DOE/principals every day that a class is oversized the contract.
UFT will meet with xxxx to come up with a joint reso and action on this. XXXX has worked closely with class-size matters on this and has argued several grievances on class-size violations in his school. UFT agreed that class-size is a priority.

4. Unit pricing (stop the so called fair student funding formula-which "charges principals more for veteran teachers)- XXXX says they were at least able to get this to the negotiating table last time
This would solve many problems from class-size, ATRs, to inequities in schools 
UFT said we did bring this up in the last round and the city answered it is not an item that can be bargained, but its worth bringing up again

5. Regents grading in schools- same as unit pricing, UFT can bring up, but not something we will necessarily bargain

6. Transfer system -seniority/sbo- at least a partial return to seniority transfers"
seems highly unlikely this will happen

7. 2 observations for tenured teacher- this is the state minimum
 We brought it up, UFT hears us, but they (uft unity( have a different take which they expressed at ex bd and DAs (the current system protects teachers)

8. teacher diversity and school integration - can we collectively bargain actions to address this?
UFT said it takes two willing partners, UFT has been aggressive on both fronts but hasn't found the same commitment from DOE. They would like to expand the para-professional to teacher program, they can bring it up in negotiations and do something like they did in the last round. paras have a higher percentage of people of color than teachers. 

9. DOE PD'S that occur in schools will be accredited towards CTLE hours
UFT spoke about how long it has taken DOE to receive proper certification to even be a provider, we pressed that UFT members with families, childcare, elder care, grad school can not be expected to fulfill these requirements-the PD time in school ought to count for CTLE

10. Due Process for UFT members under investigation or Exonerated (UFT will look more into this- but this is what we offered:

A small adjustment for the type of outside complaints described would be for a parent to have to come up and sign a complaint in writing that was made by a student. Those things don't currently happen and would filter out a fair amount of capricious complaints. 

Another small adjustment would be to require the investigation process to consider the intent as part of its process. This would compel all parties to consider context of any action in their decision. Investigators' final report should have to state the apparent intent behind the act in writing in their final report.  This would absolutely lighten the burden for those who go through the process. It's a small shift but it has powerful consequences on all levels. The DOE is the only district in the state with a bureaucracy to support investigations like what we have. The local CBA (our contract) needs reflect that uniqueness with fairness protections (many of which that haven't yet been though of yet) That do absolutely account for that. 

A larger shift would be to advocate for a written schedule of fines or punishments for infractions reflective of progressive discipline and for that schedule of fines/punishments to be made public.

In general, significant efforts should be made to make the discipline process more fair and more predictable. This would take that process out of the hands of a vindictive administrator and protect teachers and students. 
11. immigrant liaison- UFT passed a reso on this- can we collectively bargain training for UFT members, add this to comp-time menu and c-6- UFT asked how do we envision this- we said offer training for members and like the respect for all and sustainability coordinator- have it be someone that is trained and listed throughout the building. Also possible offer it on the SBO comp-time position and/or C-6. UFT said they will follow-up 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Teachers With Guns? There is a Better Way

So this dipshit President Assclown, and his lackeys at the NRA, are suggesting that teachers should be armed as well as locked and loaded in case of some crazed demented male with a tiny tallywhacker decides to shoot up a school.

This is not a good idea. Please read Arthur Goldstein's take on why it is stupid. Think about it. We as teachers keep on hearing how we are no good. But, we are to be trusted with handguns and other weapons in case an active shooter comes into our school to destroy the lives of the children we keep on being told we are destroying anyway.

Law enforcement are the only ones with the training and capabilities to protect the children and take down an active shooter. Yeah, dumbass Trump says to train teachers. But law enforcement does not get trained just once, they keep on getting trained and re-trained.

My son's school district has a Harrison police officer at each school. That is who I trust. I also, God forbid, believe that if there is an active shooter in his school that his teachers will shield the students to the best of their abilities. But not all school districts and police departments can afford or have the manpower to have an office in each school.

This is not perfect, but this is what we have until more is done to limit the sales of guns and military style weapons. But in the meantime something needs to be done. The Crack Team got together and came up with some ideas that are better than arming teachers and hopefully will appeal to the Cheeto Face president and his sycophants.

Lightsabers

Yes, lightsabers. Arm all teachers with lightsabers. As Obi Wan told Luke in Star Wars Episode IV...
Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
Yes, each teacher will be assigned a light saber (color of their choice). As Rey has shown in Episodes VII and VIII one does not need to be trained in the ways of the Force to use one. And let's not forget that Finn was proficient with a lightsaber.

Vulcan Nerve Pinch

Each district will send several teachers from each school to the Vulcan Science Academy for intensive instruction on the practice of using the VNP. What's that you say? Only Vulcans have the ability to perform the VNP? I don't think so.

In Star Trek: TOS episode "Omega Glory" after Spock uses the VNP...
Kirk tells Spock "Pity you can't teach me that" (i.e. the Vulcan Nerve Pinch), and Spock replies "I have tried, Captain."
And lest we forget, Mr Data, Odo, Jean-Luc Picard (because he is way more cool than Kirk), Jonathan Archer, and the useless holographic Doctor have all used the VNP. It can be done.

General Order 24

Yes, we more Star Trek: TOS! In "A Taste of Armageddon" Captain Kirk while he and the landing party were being held hostage ordered Mr Scott to implement General Order 24, An order to destroy all life on an entire planet. But Scott was trained well. He did not want to follow in the footsteps as Captain Garth did on Antos IV. Scott had the Enterprise wipe out all power and weapons systems on EminiarVII.

Trump can commission, or use his billions, to build a star ship orbiting the earth. When an active shooter situation happens in a school the local principal can give General Order 24.

Batman Style

No, come on. Let's be real. There is no such thing as Batman. But, we can train teachers, one teacher per school, in the style of Batman.

Each summer every school district selects one teacher (of course by seniority) to travel to Bhutan and be trained by The League of Shadows and Ra's al Ghul. After an intensive 8 week session the teachers travels back to their schools and are in essence each school's Dark Knight. When an active shooter (hopefully never) situation arises that teacher can take care of the shooter Batman style.

The Crack Team worked hard at coming up with these inane ideas. Much harder than Trump and the NRA did coming up with their dumbassity. It's time to be realistic. Want to end the Active Shooter curse. Don't give them something to shoot with.

Oh, and get rid of Trump and all the blooducking NRA Republicans.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yet Another ATR Assassination Attempt

More from the files of "You Can't Make This Shit Up!"

An ATR that I know is meeting in a discipline conference with his field supervisor when we
get back on February 26.

This ATR is a damn fine teacher. He is very smart, comes prepared, keeps to himself, the kids love him, the teachers dig him. Doesn't rock the boat, keeps to himself, crosses at the green and not in between, posts no bills.

The previous two school years he has received a Satisfactory rating.

Until this year.

This ATR's field supervisor this past November gave him a U rating on an informal observation. Along with this came the usual improvement garbage.

Dear field supervisor sauntered into the school this past Thursday, February 15 to meet with him.

The usual blabbering spewed forth from the field supervisor until the ATR was blindsided.

He received notice to meet with field supervisor and UFT rep on the Monday we come back.

Why? Because the ATR never submitted his lesson plans to the school principal.

The ATR claims that the principal NEVER ASKED once to see his lesson plans. I believe him.

I also know of this principal, this principal is a damn fine principal and treats all staff with respect and does not have "gotcha" bone in their body. Same with the school's AP's.

Something smells here.

First, giving this ATR such short notice for a meeting is not cool. Especially, when he decided to partake of the district rep in attending the meeting with him (time was of the essence Thursday to contact the DR!)

Second, is the field supervisor assuming that the principal asked for the lesson plans? Has the field supervisor communicated with principal?

This is the first meeting in nearly three months with the ATR. At their last meeting she asked him to keep a set of lesson plans for each grade. At what point since November has the field supervisor followed up on her request? 

The ATR feels confidant. The ATR has the DR going in with him. The DR is a good person. That the ATR is not using the chapter leader is not an indictment against the CL. In my opinion, every ATR should use the District Rep when called to a discipline meeting. It's logical.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Calling on E4E and Michael Loeb to Renounce and Retract ATR Death Warrant

So Unity/UFT has a new pal in E4E's Michael Loeb. That's nice. It's always nice to have a pal. But a pal is not one who had knives out to destroy your profession and the teachers one claims to represent.

I will give Unity/UFT a kudo. They have yet to throw ATRUnitys completely under the bus. That day may come. They have come close. Unity/UFT have enabled the crap, either by design or neglect, ATR's are suffering through. But however small, ATR's, still have some voice. Maybe I am being kind?

But why pal around with E4E's Michael Loeb and allow him to play a prominent role in a DA or any type of UFT activities? Why would Unity/UFT be pals with someone that wants to destroy the careers up to 2,000 members who have done the pal no harm?

Unity/UFT has a short memory. Let's go over something. Michael Loeb no matter how you slice it is a card carrying member of Educators 4 Excellence. E4E's existence is predicated on destroying the teaching profession from within, whilst funded and supported by, Bill Gates, The Walton Family, Whitney Tilson and all the corporatist edtards and ediots out there.

Sure, let let the E4E wolf into the UFT hen house. Of course, nothing can go wrong.

The Crack Team came across what we here at SBSB consider nothing more than a death warrant for ATRs written as a policy paper back in May 2014. In essence E4E supports (Read it here on page 7)....

"Two hiring cycles strikes a balance between providing a fair opportunity for teachers to find a new teaching position and at the same time provides schools and the system the autonomy they need," said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director.

Yes, I know, that was written four years ago. Doesn't matter if it was four years or four hundred. This was, and still is, E4E's official policy. Yet, not only is E4E invited to the dance it gets to dance with, and probably go home with, Unity/UFT.

Yet, the "Loyal Opposition," MORE/New Action, continues to get shot down and shat upon at every Exec Board meeting and DA. MORE/New Action have have time and time again put their money where their mouth is. Whether or not you agree with their tactics they have been there time and time again for the teachers and communities of New York City.

If MORE/New Action are the "Loyal Opposition," what then is Michael Loeb and E4E? The "Disloyal Pal"?

E4E has shifted gears and basically put on some lipstick and tried to make itself look pretty. But lipstick on the E4E pig still makes it an E4E pig.

It is time that E4E lay down it's cards and show it's colors. It is time to renounce and retract it's statement of May 2014 concerning ATRs. It is time for Michael Loeb at the next DA to publicly announce his support for ATRs and denounce Unity/UFT for the way ATRs are being mishandled across the city.

No one will be holding their breath. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

E4E's Michael Loeb: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?


 On February 6, Norm Scott over at his blog Ednotes posited some possible type of cooperation Educators 4 Excellence and Unity/UFT due to, well let's read Norm's words...
between
The resolution described below never came up at the meeting as there was a 6PM adjournment. No one from E4E handed out the reso but a stack was left on the UFT lit table, which we are always told is a no-no - they say they only want official UFT lit and if we try to leave Ed Notes or MORE lit there we get a hassle or even an attempt to throw the lit away.
This goes back to a DA in which an E4E hack, Michael Loeb, science teacher and chapter leader at the The Urban Institute Of Mathematics, put forth a resolution about restorative justice before the assembly and was received in a favorable light by the Priests presiding over the DA.

I have written about Michael Loeb in the past (here and here). But it appears that Michael is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. What or who is Michael Loeb?

Michael is a big macha (He's the treasurer!) in the E4E hierarchy as we can see here in the financials for 2016 of E4E. Does Unity/UFT know about this? Do his colleagues at UIM know about this?

Michael also seems to have passed muster with Unity/UFT in that New York Teacher felt Michael was a go to guy for a quote. Maybe the UFT knows of Michael's loyalties? Maybe it doesn't.

I am sure Campbell Brown and her crew at The 74 are well aware of Michael's loyalties. Michael was featured prominently in an article on Campbell Brown's teacher hating website.

One can question Michael's loyalties when a colleague of his at UIM that served our country admirably in the Marine Corps was besmirched. Funny how Michael wasn't quoted in this fray. (At press time The Crack Team is not sure if Michael was the CL at UIM at the time).

Heck, Michael make one wonder about the truth behind E4E's financials when he posted this plea for monies needed for E4E (Yes that is Michael doing his best Les Nessman imitation).

Michael claims (boldface mine)....

....E4E, with our over 10,000 New York and 16,000 national teachers, we take action to improve public education by meeting with elected officials, running for union leadership positions, and advocating for our education policy proposals to improve local schools. 

But what is worse, is Michael has no problem posting photos of his students at UIM and personal information such as names on his personal Twitter account (Find it yourself. I will not give Twitter handle nor link to it). For shame Michael. Putting identifying information of a student on your personal Twitter account as well as students faces.


Maybe Michael, because of who he is and who he knows will skirt by on this. I know of a dear friend who accidentally put a students name on his blog and was grounded. But I am sure Michael will be able to look in the mirror if God forbid something should happen to one of this students. 


But inquiring minds want to know about this meeting of the minds of Unity/UFT and E4E. What gives? Why is this happening now? Can we expect E4E to run with Unity in 2018? Why would Unity/UFT sleep with the enemy? I guess it's official. Of the three caucuses running in 2016 (I am counting New Action w/ MORE) only MORE has yet to reach out to E4E.

What is one tho think? Michael Loeb, it is your serve.