SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Time for the UFT to Retain Lawyer Bryan Glass

Have you ever had the "what the fuck" moment with the UFT? Wait, dumb question. We all
Über Teacher Lawyer Bryan Glass
have. Again, what the fuck are they thinking or waiting for?

One would kind of assume that after last night's news dump that it will be OK for students to have asynchronous learning four days a week that a light bulb would have appeared over 52 Broadway. Not just a light bulb representing an idea but as a beacon for the students, the communities, and the teachers of New York City. Sadly it was not to be.

The city and the DOE keep on trying to create chicken salad out of chicken shit. They show time and time again that they have know idea what their doing. There is no plan. There is "let's see if this works," and cross their fingers it will. They do this not only due to their incompetency, but the enabling and silence coming from the UFT.

This afternoon as I was walking into Pet Smart, I get a news alert from LoHud. NYSUT, unhappy with looming budget cuts decided to sue the state. This was around 4 PM if memory serves. Not too long ago a New York State budget spokesman announced that the state will not withhold any money. The threat of a lawsuit apparently works. See?


Hint, hint UFT. Lawsuits work. Lawyers can do the job. Here's some free advice. 

Hire Bryan Glass. Not tomorrow, not next week when their is chaos, hire him now. Tonight. Right this very minute. This is a no-brainer. I can attest to Bryan's professionalism and resourcefulness. Hundreds of teachers within the DOE can do the same. This makes perfect sense. Who wouldn't want to hire Bryan?

Bryan has saved the careers of many a teacher and won many teachers a nice cash settlement. Bryan has also gone up against big odds and pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. 

Bryan's consultation fee is quite reasonable as is his retainer. His email address was posted on last night's post,or contact him through his website.

Bryan has an office in Lower Manhattan with could be an amiable meeting place or he can come to you. Or if you wish, Bryan can meet you at the Wegmans in Montvale.

Let Bryan take the city and DOE to court. He has a track record. He won a case on Monday. He can do this again. The schools shouldn't open. Bryan can make the UFT look good. 

The ball is in your court UFT. Pick up the phone and call Bryan Glass. It might be the best phone call the UFT has ever made.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The UFT Never Misses an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity

For those that have lived in a cave for the last 24 hours, Solidarity, led by Lydia Howrilka here) who did not have underlying medical conditions but lived in fear for those they lived one did. and represented in court by über teacher lawyer Bryan Glass won a Temporary Restraining Order for the five plaintiffs (Read decision

What happens next? The TRO only pertains to the five plaintiffs and expires on Monday, September 21. Plus, the Corporation Counsel according to a source is not appealing the TRO, and the judge in the case is welcoming affidavits for other teachers who feel that they are in the same situation as the original five plaintiffs. Email Bryan Glass for more information. Immediately. Affidavits must be in no later than 6 PM EDT Thursday, September 17.

No on to bigger and sadder things.

The UFT, the Unity part of the UFT, could have had this victory. I saw this decision coming and not just because Bryan Glass is the attorney. It made sense. Five teachers, all with loved ones with Centers for Disease Control underlying conditions. A mayor and a schools chancellor that day in and day out not only spew inane contradictory blabber out of their mouths but have time and time again shown that the only reason to re-open school building is that each need to know that all is OK in the phallus department for them.

What does the UFT do? Does it play offense? Not exactly. They were playing what Warner Wolf termed the Giants offense back in the late 70's. The UFT was playing a "prevent offense." The UFT just didn't want to punch the ball into the end zone. They could've. The had the resources to. They just didn't want to.

Yes, Mike Mulgrew for most of August was talking strike. "Wow," some people said, "Mulgrew is being proactive." But striking would not have been a good idea. I laid down why a strike would not have worked two weeks ago. But seeking injunctive relief in keeping schools closed would have been a winner.

One of the advantages in going to court, the city and the DOE would be have not only been forced to lay out their re-opening plans but would have been forced to defend contradictory, ever changing, and unsafe reopening. The city and the DOE would be defending the indefensible. The UFT, on the other hand would show that only the union had the safety and welfare of the students, the school communities, and yes, the teachers as a priority.

With winning in court and keeping the school from reopening the UFT is letting the judge make the decision. The UFT won't have the public perception of turning it's backs on our most vulnerable. The UFT could've had the city and DOE as the villains, as the ones that are usurping education and the re-opening.

The UFT could have had their own plan for 100% remote learning which as of this evening, 9:01 PM EDT on September 15, 2020, the DOE hasn't figured out.

But with a strike, there is always the threat of scabs. Not so with a court ruling. With a court ruling no risk of 2 for 1, or losing automatic checkoff. Teachers would still get paid. The UFT would have had hand. They could've negotiated from a position of strength. The clock is running out for the UFT to proudly take its gonads show them off to the rank and file.

In the mean time the latest I heard is 55 teachers testing positive for COVID. In several schools the teachers are refusing to enter the buildings, photos on Facebook and Twitter of mold in classrooms, schmutz on vents, windows that open have an inch, and too many schools with not enough PPE. Hey, how is that agreement going so far?

And lest we forget the numbers are going up for students who are doing full remote and the DOE is still 10k teachers short.


Time for 52 Broadway to bring in the big guns, and act in a big way.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

EXCLUSIVE TO SBSB!!! UFT SOLIDARITY'S LEGAL COMPLAINT

As we all know, UFT Solidarity led by Lydia Howrilka filed a complaint against the DOE two weeks ago and arguments were just heard this past Friday, September 11. The complaint names five people as plaintiffs and they are being represented by über teacher lawyer Bryan Glass

Originally, Bryan and Solidarity were going to seek injunctive relief for total remote learning. But Bryan, being the lawyer he is with amazing intuitive skills believed that it was a reach. Bryan narrowed the complaint down to seeking to broaden the scope of acceptable accommodations (for instance, those who don't meet any of the CDC guidelines) to those who live with a family member that does meet the CDC guidelines. Bryan felt that many districts in New Jersey are offering this type of accommodation and felt this was the surest way to success. Bryan is always many steps ahead.

The plaintiffs are four dedicated teachers, and one dedicated substitute teacher. The defendants are the NYC DOE and his majesty, Chancellor Carranza.

The Crack Team has been able to get a copy of the complaint filed by Bryan Glass and it is being presented publicly for the first time here on SBSB. A source has shared with The Crack Team that a decision is due this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Why A Strike Could've Been Problematic

A strike would have been financially difficult for me as I am sure it would have been for many others. A strike shouldn't be called for all willy nilly like one caucus keeps on calling
for. People have financial obligations as well as familial obligations. The vast majority of us don't live in a fantasy bubble and/or have mommy and daddy to fall back on to maintain one's hipster Brooklyn lifestyle.

Having said that, I would have voted for a strike and supported a strike. I think the UFT was hasty in calling for a strike. In my opinion, they should have done like Solidarity and sought injunctive relief in the courts first. I don't see how they would have not prevailed in court and in all probability we would have gotten a much better deal.

But a strike would have been difficult for several reasons. And I am not talking about the loss of pay, the loss of dues check off, loss of tenure. Not to mention, possibly the two interpretations (UFT vs DOE) of a strike is allowed due to safety reasons.

How do we picket? Imagine we are on strike. We are on strike due to a concern of getting COVID-19. We don't want to be in crowded and unclean places with a lot of people. Right? Guess what? That's what basically a picket line is. Crowded. Some of the schools that will be picketed the areas are not healthy. How then can we justify picketing if we justify not being in the school buildings? Yes, I understand there is a difference. With picketing everyone will be socially distant, wearing masks, and be outside. But that's reality. People don't care about reality. They care only about perception. But if there is a way to picket remotely, I am all for that.

So say there is no picketing. At least with picketing you can keep tabs on who crosses the line and discourage those that are thinking of it. But picketing or no picketing, what's to keep a one from crossing the line remotely or even know if a someone is crossing the line remotely? The numbers crossing the line could be too great for those on strike to have any impact.

Lastly, and this is most important, the past knowledge of the labor movement in those, (I'm just choosing a random age) under 35 is not there the way it is for those my age and maybe ten to fifteen years younger.

My step mother was a teacher and an AP. All her friends were educators. I heard all the stories of 1968 and 1975. I heard all the time from one of her friends who told me, "You schmucks have given back everything we fought for!"  He was right. But I listened. I learned from her friends. Even as a kid we knew people who were in unions, who fought for their rights. Then, when I started teaching in 1995, there were plenty of teachers left from the sixties and seventies who imparted their experiences. Where are types those today?

But these young ones. These non-tenured fresh teachers, will they sacrifice? Even the teachers that are tenured but have less time in, will they? What about the ass kissers every building seems to have about a good half dozen of? Will they sacrifice?

I do believe those younglings from that other caucus will support a strike. I'll give credit them credit for that. But there will be many who cross ranks that are too new, too ignorant, too scared, and don't have mommy and daddy to fall back on. Plus, that Brooklyn lifestyle is tough to give up. The alternative is moving to Yonkers

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The UFT Let's Go of Balls Yet Again

Let me get this straight. Teachers are to report to their buildings on September 8. On September 16, teachers go home and all 1 million students start online. This of course and many other surprises were shared with us in a very personal email by UFT Presidenté Mike

Mulgrew. Blended learning starts September 21.

The teachers that report (And at press time neither Mulgrew nor the personal letter mentions if teachers with accommodations must report to buildings ) on September 8 which is 4 business, or school days away. Will all teachers go into the buildings already tested for COVID? Should they? Many colleges won't allow anyone in dorms before students are tested and the results come back.


Some schools have 300 staff members. Some have more, some have a lot less. Would any of the upper crust of the UFT go to a party with that many people? But yet it is safe for teachers and other staff? How do we know that? I'm sure that the DOE will have a report for each school, but how do we know it is honest and accurate? What this sounds like is that teachers once again with be the canaries in the cage and if a few die so be it and the DOE but save a few bucks.

What will be done for the 3 days of of total remote learning? How was 3 days selected? Is this an arbitrary number? Then to sow confusion even more, the "blended learning," will begin September 21. How? With whom?

Oh yeah, I have been hearing that the 6 days teachers are in the school buildings there will be intense PD on blended learning. I'm sure the DOE will go to the files of, "Making It Up as We Go Along." Where will such PD be done in a school building? Who can actually give the PD?

The UFT announcement said...

...The city has also agreed to a robust program of repeated random sampling and COVID-19 testing of adults and students present in schools. This new testing program is one of the major pieces that medical experts told us we needed. A blind representative sample, composed of 10% to 20% of all students and adults from every school, will be selected each month for COVID-19 testing.

OK, this is all well and shitty. But what about September 8. Nothing against my fellow teachers but how do we know there won't be any teachers who have COVID? Shouldn't all teachers be tested before they return on September 8? What about staff that is already in the buildings today? Have they been tested?If not, why haven't they?

There is plenty of time to get every single DOE employee tested in time for September 8. The UFT and DOE could've announced a joint plan to send staff for FREE to City MD or any hospital, etc... for testing and have the results back by Tuesday.

But only testing 10-20% of students and adults? Explain what this means? I am not a statistician, but how can there be accuracy of any infections, symptomatic or asymptomatic? Is the plan still for parents to take their children's temperature each and every morning? The same parents who send their kids to school with green snot running out of their noses? The same parents who send their kids to school with a 102 degree fever?

I know I've been saying that school would not open up on September 10. But this agreement is like putting lipstick on Bill De Blasio. It's still sucks. The UFT had the mayor and the DOE by the balls and they let go.

My son goes to Ithaca College, and I trusted their plan more than I did the DOE's. Classes were to begin online this week with students moving in over the course of September. Eventually, all students would be on campus by October 5 when in person, hybrid, and remote classes would begin. Students when the come to campus would be tested and isolated in their dorm room for 24 hours. If and when their roommate shows, the same for the roommate however they would be isolated in a hotel room for 24 hours. Dorms were to be restricted to only those that live in that dorm. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it had more thought put into it and I believe those who put it together were genuine. The mayor and DOE can't get their heads together to save their lives. And now it seems the UFT capitulated.

What should the UFT have agreed to?

A completely independent authority should have tested the buildings.

All data for each school, be it cleanliness, PPE stock, etc... should be posted daily on each schools DOE webpage.

Planning and PD for blended and/or remote learning should have begun in March, but at the very least the first two week of September.

All students and staff must be tested before their first day in a building.

Total remote learning beginning No later than September 28 and no earlier than September 21.

Starting October 5, bring students back in a scaffolded manner every two weeks. First grades Pre-3 to 1st, 2nd to 4th, 5th to 6th, 7th to 8th, and lastly all high school students. This would have been safe and with much, much less chaos. But I keep getting this feeling that DeB and Carranza are trying to placate the parents of the UWS and Brooklyn.

As for the UFT. Dang, you had them by the balls. You really did. The UFT should have gone to court first. I am not a lawyer, but I do not see how the DOE would have prevailed in court. A strike is messy. With a strike, especially now, it would be difficult to keep others united and from crossing the picket line. But that is a story for another blog post.


I don't know if Solidarity's cause of seeking injunctive relief is moot now. That's a question better left for super lawyer Bryan Glass. I'd like to see it go forward. However, it might create a shit storm. One can't hep but question the timing of the announcement today and the fact Solidarity filed today.

Word of advice to the UFT. Next time you have a mayor and/or the chancellor by the proverbial scrotal sac, don't let go. In fact, hold them and give a good squeeze every now and then to let those whose scrotum you're holding that you are still there and mean business.





Saturday, August 22, 2020

If One Child Dies of COVID-19 Blame DeBlasio and Carranza

I pray this doesn't happen. But it just might if Mayor Twiddle Dumb and Chancellor Twiddle Dumber don't get their heads out of each others asses. A child can die. Yes, teachers can die. But the NYCDOE doesn't care about teachers. The less of us the better for them. But a student dying? Due to the negligence of reopening schools? This will be a stain of blood on the hands of the mayor and the chancellor. I hope they are prepared for a news report like the

following.

Mr and Mrs Schlomo Rabinowitz announce the passing of their son, 8 year old Throckmorton from COVID-19 this past Wednesday, November 18, 2020. 

Throckmorton was a 3rd grade student at PS 2112 in Queens. He loved school. He was so happy to return to school this past September 10 and was happy to being with his friends again. 

Throckmorton loved math and science and especially to write stories. He was a loving older brother to Harvey age 4 and Gertrude 4 months. He was a vivacious reader and loved to play baseball and watch Sponge Bob. He wanted to play for the New York Mets when he grew up and when Pete Alonso heard of his illness not only hit two home runs for him in a game, but visited him in the hospital. 

Throckmorton was part of routine testing for COVID-19 at PS 21


12 and on September 17, five days after his test, results came back positive. His parents were curious because both the chancellor and the mayor had assured the school community that everything was to be done to keep schools sanitized and for students to be socially distant. Other parents did not know of Throckmorton's positive test for 10 days. SCI is looking into this due to the fact their is a suspicion that the principal of his school as well as the district superintendent kept the test results secret. 

At first it seemed that Throckmorton was asymptomatic. But soon Throckmorton developed COVID-19 symptoms around October 1 and slipped into a coma from which he never awoke. 

Mayor DeBlasio and Chancellor Carranza have both spoken of their with memories of things their press people told them to say Throckmorton. Throckmorton's teacher is beside herself and has gone into hiding. She is standing by the family. 

This is, of course fiction. Please, I am not making light of this or anybody's challenge with theirs or a family member's battle with COVID-19, but this can happen with DeBlasio and Carranza in charge. Will these two be able to sleep at night? Sadly, yes. But this can happen. And it won't happen if two men put aside their pride. 

Nationwide about 406k children have contracted COVID-19. The death rate is .06%. That's 2,400 children dead. That's 2,400 too many. But go ahead and open the school Mayor DeBlasio, Chancellor Carranza. Let the blood be on your hands.



Friday, August 21, 2020

Governor Cuomo Is About to Throw DeBlasio and Carranza Under the Bus

 I still don't think the school buildings are opening September 10. Yes, the UFT threatened astrike and/or job action (sick out). I don't think it will get to that point either. But that is a story for another blog post. 

 But Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber are completely fucking this so called grand reopening up and  losing allies along the way. They have painted themselves into a corner and either too stupid, too incompetent, or just thick headed to see that the ship is sinking around them. That they can only save themselves. Or have someone save them.

That person, Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber believed was to swoop down from above and save their sorry asses is Governor Andy Cuomo. Governor Cuomo in their little minds was to be there Dark Knight and force the UFT to have teachers report. Guess what? It ain't going to happen. 

Today, on the Today Show, and according to the Post, Cuomo...

..said he had his “fingers crossed” that Big Apple schools are ready to open safely — but admitted he is not sure he’d send his own kids to one in the city.

“I would have a lot of questions,” Cuomo admitted on the “Today” show when asked if he would send his children to New York City public schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a risky proposition no matter how you do it, let’s be honest. We’ve seen schools open — we’ve seen colleges open — and get into trouble in one week. So there’s a lot of questions to answer,” he said.

Asked how confident he was that they were actually ready to reopen, he said, “Fingers crossed on all of this.”

Governor Cuomo knows it's over for Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber. He's prepping them. Or prepping us. But he's getting the bus ready. He's throwing both under. He won't have their incompetence sully his already sullied hands. 

The question is, does Cuomo do this bus throwing publicly, or in private? Let's hope and pray that it is a nice public throwing under the bus. I think this was his plan all along. 

Or, and I just thought of this. Will DeBlasio suck up enough to put the entire blame on Carranza and drive the bus? Either way, someone is going under that bus.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

 The following came into the SBSB newsroom earlier in the week. It is a letter and petition directed to our dear governor requesting that he stop the insanity and inanity, as well as De Blasio's and Carranza's incompetence to keep schools from opening on September 10. 

This letter and petition were created by Marisa Wagner and Tracy LaGrassa, both biology teachers, both with PhD's, both with real life educational experiences, at Bronx Science High School. Who do you think we should listen to? These two dolts, or Drs Wagner and LaGrassa? Both deserve all the kudos.

The Crack Team and myself have read this many times over and we like what we read. This letter and petition obviously is the results of people with brains, foresight and most importantly not named Carranza or De Blasio. You can tell the authors put more time and work into their letter how to reopen the schools than Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber have.

Please sign the petition. And please use the hashtags on Twitter, #notuntilitssafe and #followthescience. 

I still don't believe schools will open on September 10.

Dear Governor Cuomo,                                                          

 

As teachers in the New York City public school system, we are proud of how New York, under your leadership, has handled the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. You and your advisors have made public health decisions based on the science. You advocated for and procured what was needed for the medical community. You spoke frankly to the public about what was happening and what had to be done, and, together, we flattened the curve. You are now guiding us through a cautious, phased reopening of the state, adjusting criteria as needed. All of this is toward ensuring that the curve stays flattened. Your leadership during this crisis has helped to ensure our safety, despite the lingering presence of SARS-CoV-2 in our local communities and the increasing prevalence of the virus in states to our south and west.

 

We now ask that you take that same cautious approach, informed by the best science available, as we consider how to safely reopen our schools. We all want to return to the normalcy of in person learning; HOWEVER, we feel it is irresponsible to reopen our school buildings to children in any capacity until it can be done safely, for the sake of the health of our children, our staff, our families, and New York. We have serious concerns about how we can accomplish this in the NYC public school system with over 1 million students at over 1,600 schools, and in light of impending budget cuts, in time for buildings to reopen in September. Once outbreaks begin to happen in the schools, a second wave of COVID-19 in NYC seems inevitable.

 

Based on the best science available, what needs to be done NOW to make our schools safe to reopen in the age of COVID-19?

 

We MUST have a robust testing and contact tracing system in place that includes frequent testing of ALL students and staff, multiple times per week.1 As more data are collected concerning SARS-CoV-2 and children, the evidence is increasingly clear that children of all ages are capable of contracting and transmitting the virus as well as adults do.2 Upwards of 50% of virus transmission happens pre-symptomatically, from infected individuals who have not yet experienced symptoms.3 Viral transmission happens from asymptomatic individuals, those who are infected but never experience symptoms.4 This evidence informs us that temperature checks and self-reporting of symptoms are ineffective measures to prevent virus spread.

 

If we cannot identify infected pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in our school communities, there most certainly will be outbreaks that will contribute to community spread throughout the city. Pooled PCR testing to detect viral RNA, recently FDA-approved, could be performed a minimum of twice per week on all cohorts within a school.5 Rapid, inexpensive antigen-based tests for virus present in saliva, akin to home pregnancy tests, could be done at home each day to determine whether or not it is safe for that student or staff member to go to school. Such tests exist but there has not been a push for licensing, manufacturing and distribution.6 We are in this for the long haul, until we achieve the protective herd immunity needed to keep our community safe. We have every confidence that we will eventually have successful vaccines to help us to reach that herd immunity more quickly, but we cannot wait. Frequent testing with rapid turnaround time for all students and staff in the schools needs to be implemented NOW and we would be proud to see New York take the lead on this.

 

Our physical buildings must be made safe. Although most viral transmission happens via larger respiratory droplets and is mitigated by 6 feet physical distancing and wearing masks, there is evidence of transmission via aerosols, smaller droplets that remain in the air longer and can accumulate in rooms with poor ventilation. Thus HVAC systems need to be inspected and upgraded as needed for sufficient air exchange rates in classrooms and offices.7 Cleaning supplies, soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer and the like must be kept in plentiful supply to reduce viral transmission via contact with surfaces. PPE such as masks and gloves must be made available. We need a means to enforce PPE use and proper physical distancing at all times of the day, including arrival, travel to classrooms, lunch, and dismissal.

 

Given the current lack of widespread use of SARS-CoV-2 tests that allow sufficient monitoring of our school communities, as well as budget cuts that will make funding all of the necessary safety measures nearly impossible, we have zero confidence that schools can be safely opened by September. Please make the right decision now. Let us begin the school year with 100% remote learning. Let teachers focus on making remote learning engaging and effective for all our students. Let us invest resources and creativity in making the necessary technology available to all NYC students. This is especially important because remote instruction will continue to be an essential component of education until the pandemic is over.

Once a robust test and trace system is implemented in all schools and all physical buildings are safe, and assuming that COVID-19 cases remain at their current low rate in NYC, then a phased return of students to their schools for physically distanced, 6-feet-apart learning can be considered. To accommodate this phased return under the current budget conditions, the safety measures put forth above should be applied in a way that prioritizes first bringing back the students who need in person learning the most.8 

Younger children (e.g., grades K-8) as well as older students who require in person services should be part of the first phase. Younger children are more susceptible to learning loss, need interaction with peers and their teachers for social-emotional development, and need home supervision to benefit from remote learning.9 Many parents of younger children rely on their children being in school to allow them to work.

 

High school students should be the last to be phased in for school reopening. High schoolers require less parental supervision and can do well with 100% remote learning. In addition, in NYC, while most primary and middle schools are neighborhood schools, requiring a short commute such as a walk to school, most high schoolers travel longer distances, often between boroughs, each day to get to school. Given their longer times on public transportation and their inherently larger social and in-school networks, high school age students have the potential to contribute the most to increased citywide community spread and will be more difficult to contact trace as compared to younger children.

 

Governor Cuomo, we urge you to lead us through a safe ’20-’21 school year for all New Yorkers. We fear for the health of our students, ourselves, and all of our families. We do not want to have to mourn the loss of any more members of our school and home communities due to COVID-19. We do not want to see any more members of our school and home communities suffer permanent organ damage and chronic disability due to COVID-19.10 We want to see the curve in NYC and New York remain flattened.

Respectfully,

New York City Public School Teachers

***

Marisa Wagner, Ph.D. - Biology Teacher, Bronx High School of Science

Tracy LaGrassa, Ph.D. - Biology Teacher, Bronx High School of Science

 

References: 

  1. Need for frequent, inexpensive testing with rapid turnaround time

  1. Children contract and transmit SARS-CoV-2

  1. Pre-symptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2

  1. Asymptomatic spread of  SARS-CoV-2

 

  1. Pooled RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA is FDA-approved

  1. Rapid at home antigen tests exist and are sensitive enough to detect transmissible virus

  1. Aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV2

  1. Alternative NYC plans for phased re-opening, prioritizing younger grades first

  1. Younger children need in person learning more than older children

  1. COVID-19 morbidity for even mild cases


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Carranza and De Blasio Are Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber (School Buildings Won't Reopen)

I said it back on June 30 and I will say it again. My gut feeling is that building will not reopen in September, and it will be 100% remote learning for the time being. 

I am not going to even bother going over the myriad of cohort schemes that the DOE has come up with in splitting up classes and school for safe distance learning and whatnot. In a system so large, this cohort plan to too cumbersome and will be too burdensome on the families. 

The much maligned schedule, hopefully this is just a trial balloon or some type of prototype but a one size fits all 1,800 schools is not workable. Worse, was the silence from the UFT in putting this forward. Again, this is where the UFT still continues to have problems with the rank and file. This schedule appears to have been completed in a vacuum. Who was involved? Were teachers involved? What other choices were presented to the UFT as well as the DOE? And once again, a change to the contract was not presented to the membership to be voted on. I for one am tired of this. This must end now, not sometime soon. Especially with what happening now, nothing in education is static anymore. Life and education are now fluid. The UFT must change with the times. 

I don't believe a word the DOE says. Right now I am giving the benefit of the doubt to the UFT.

So what makes me think the buildings won't reopen?

Two hundred thousand students will start off the year remotely. Where are all the extra teachers coming from? Schools are going to need extra teachers in the schools, right? They're going to need just as many extras if not more doing remote learning.

We still don't know how many teachers will receive medical accommodations to teach from home. The New York Post has speculated that 80% of teachers at Stuyvesant High School will receive accommodations. What if that's the same in every building? What is the demarcation line for a school and teachers being remote? Do we know if medical is processing the accommodation requests without quotas for each and every school?

The school buildings are disgusting. Some of these buildings are over 100 years old. That means there is 100 years of rat doody, dead vermin, dead cockroaches, etc... lying within the floors and wherever. And if that gunk hasn't ever been cleaned what makes anyone think the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned every single night. Where is the extra custodial staff coming from? The extra monies to clean and disinfect? The safety materials for the custodial staff? Too many questions, zero answers. 

 Plus, there is not enough ventilation in the buildings. Some windows don't open. Some air conditioners, if a school has them, don't work. Are the proper filters installed? If so, how do we know?

The lack of nurses. Mulgrew has drawn a line in the sand with this one and I hope he keeps to it. He said if every school doesn't have a nurse then teachers will not report. As of now, I believe, there are 85 nurses without a school nurse. And no one cares if you train someone for a day and give them the duties of a nurse. They aren't nurses. 

The monitoring of students and staff. Did I read this right? Mommies will determine whether or not junior has symptoms? The same mommies who send junior to school with snot dripping out of his nose? Oh yeah, there are to be temperature checks outside the school buildings in the mornings. By whom? For whom? With what training will these temperatures be taken? Won't that cause a non social distancing situation outside the building? This would seem to take up quite a bit of time. 

All it takes is one. It takes one child to get sick, one child to die and there will be a shit storm. The city doesn't want a shit storm. And the parents will pull their children in a nano second. Then again in Carranza and De Blasio you have two thick headed bone heads.

Which leads me back to...

As I said earlier, I am giving the UFT the benefit of the doubt thus far. I do not think that that it is time(nor is it a fair comparison) for emulate Chicago and Los Angeles. Nor is it time for  Mulgrew to go all radical on the DOE.

Think of a poker game. The UFT has a flush, and Carranza and De Blasio are holding different cards of different suits and keep on raising. Why the fuck should the UFT call? Let the Carranza and De Blasio keep fucking up. And guess what? They will. Why use a hammer when a chisel will do? Mulgrew is p3wning both these dolts. Let him.

If and when Mulgrew declares that staff can't (not will not) report, the teachers will come out as the benefactors and protectors of the schools and students. Carranza and De Blasio will look like schmucks. This isn't Chicago or Los Angeles. Yes, those cities are big but not nearly as important. All eyes are on New York City right now. 

 I'm not rationalizing anything. I'm not shilling. This is how I feel. 

Twiddledumb and Twiddledumber should have been planning for full and comprehensive remote learning as well as proper professional development. They've both been caught with their underwear down around the knees. It's time to bring the undies down to their ankles.