Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What A Surprise! Leadership Academy Principals Blow And What Is An Allison Gaines Pell?

Remember when you went to school, the principal was someone who had been in education for years. Knew it like the back of their hand, and also knew how to be a leader. No anymore. Now under Joel Klein's warped mind of running schools like a business anyone and anybody can become a NYC school principal. All one needs to do is go to the Leadership Academy which is funded from Bloomberg's rich lackey's and which surprisingly has won a contract with the DOE to train principals.

Did you read the New York Times today? I did. Didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Supposedly, principals are freer, but raise doubts. Especially those emanating from the Leadership Academy. I am not going to comment on the entire article, but there were several Spock type eyebrow raising passages in the article.

“I wanted to change the old system,” Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said in an interview. “New leadership is a powerful way to do that.”

Yes, Joel, that is the way. Doesn't matter whether or not you should be in education, screw experience. As long as you have spunk that is all that matters.

But an analysis by The New York Times of the city’s signature report-card system shows that schools run by graduates of the celebrated New York City Leadership Academy — which the mayor created and helped raise more than $80 million for — have not done as well as those led by experienced principals or new principals who came through traditional routes.

Really? Please. My cat could have predicted that.

Chad A. Altman, the 28-year-old head of a Bronx elementary school,

You have got to be freaking kidding me!!! What does Chad Altman know, except satisfying his white liberal guilt?

As New York State lawmakers consider whether to renew the 2002 mayoral control law, which expires June 30, one proposal on the table would revive the district superintendents, now largely powerless, to more closely supervise and support principals.

Yes, please have the superintendents involved. I mean except BFF Yolanda Torres. The superintendents have been figuratively neutered.

For all of New York’s recent focus and investment in school leadership, more than a quarter of teachers said in city surveys last spring that they did not trust their principals or consider them effective managers, and more than a third of those leaving the system cited the quality of school leadership as among the main reasons. “Perceptions of principal leadership skills are drivers of attrition,” an internal report concluded.

Teacher turnover has been higher at schools run by Leadership Academy principals

Yes, this is so true. So many of these principals from the leadership academy feel they must make up for some type of physical shortcoming, they are making Freud spin in his grave.

over the summer of 2007, nearly a quarter of these principals lost at least a third of their teachers, compared with 9 percent of other principals

Joel, boobala, don't you see this as some type of issue and/or problem?

Allison Gaines Pell could be the personification of the new principalship. A graduate of Brown University with a master’s degree in education from Harvard, she taught for three years at St. Ann’s, a Brooklyn private school, and two in Syracuse, and worked for educational nonprofit agencies before being fast-tracked to the principal’s office through the Leadership Academy in 2005.

Please someone, somewhere explain to me Allison Gaines Pell's qualifications. Big bucks await you if you can name one.

Joy: a new computer program — which she could buy without approval from on high — designed to help teachers collaborate online.

“That’s hot!” Ms. Gaines Pell exclaimed to her assistant principal, John O’Reilly.

Oops, there is her qualification. She talks just like Paris Hilton. I wonder if she has anything else in common with Paris, I mean aside from having everything handed to her her entire life.

But while Ms. Gaines Pell’s school earned an A from the city this fall, The Times’s analysis shows that Leadership Academy graduates were less than half as likely to get A’s as other principals, and almost twice as likely to earn C’s or worse. Among elementary and middle-school principals on the job less than three years, Academy graduates were about a third as likely to get A’s as those who did not attend the program.

You know those grades mean squat. The grading system is so screwed up. But, I told you so. ;)

The first independent analysis of the academy’s effectiveness, done at New York University, is due in June. “I think our batting average is quite good,” Mr. Klein said. “Could it improve? I’m sure it could improve.”

Joel, admit it. Or is it a intervention you need. You f**ked up with this one.

Maria Penaherrera — who started as a substitute teacher 20 years ago and worked her way up to the principal’s office — used her financial freedom to hire four assistant principals at the 900-student Public School 114 in Canarsie, and ran up $150,000 in debt. Then she eliminated three of the positions only to have the fourth assistant principal quit. That left a custodian to take charge in February when a carbon monoxide alarm went off while Ms. Penaherrera was out. She has since been reassigned to a central office post while the Education Department investigates, and did not respond to requests for comment.

What do we say about absolute power given to incompetent people? A monkey from the moneky cage at the Bronx Zoo could have done better.

Seven years ago the system was changed. Nothing has changed. It was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Sunday Night Rant

Wow! Two weeks without a post. I apologize to everyone. Not only have I been extremely busy, but it has been extremely difficult to write with two of my best source materials no longer at the school. Also there is the revamping of the blog which I keep putting off. I want to change the name and URL but my mind has been a blank.

But something has come across my mind. I actually read it first in EdnotesOnline, and in yesterday's New York Post. Mayor Bloomberg thinks that parents involved in the DOE are bad. Bad because they know nothing of education. I find this laughable. Just look at the first three paragraphs.

Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that parents should butt out of trying to dictate educational policy as the debate over mayoral control of the schools intensifies.

"You do not want parents setting educational policy. You do not want parents telling teachers how to teach. Teachers would not be happy about that," Bloomberg said on his WOR radio program.

"That's what you have professionals for," he added.

Does this not contradict the last seven years of mayoral control? Please explain to me Chancellor Klein's qualifications in education. That is except the six months he taught in 1969. Or better yet, golden boy Whitney Tilson's qualifications. Yes, that Whitney Tilson of the upper East Side liberal Tilson's. Also the Whitney Tilson with the poor manners, and angry, mean blog. Now I am sure Whitney means well, but he is some type of investment/hedge fund dude. What does he know about education? Other than deriding those who disagree with him? Whitney is good if you wish to know what rest stops one can cruise in the metropolitan area, but education? Nah.

Remember opinions are like a**holes. Whitney is one, and everyone has one. But I have digressed.

No one has said that parents should make policy. What people are saying is that parents should be involved in the decision making process and have access to redress their complaints immediately. In fact, in my opinion (there is that word again!), I think parents truly want to know who is accountable for the child's school and want some accountability when something is wrong. Back when there were, as Bloomy likes to remind us, "32 bureaucracies" all a parent need ed to do if they had a problem was stay local and actually speak to the local superintendent. Now, where does that person go? To an ISC? To Tweed? To the LSO? Everything is so centralized.

Just look at what happened in my school. No one was willing to accept responsibility. The buck was passed. Nothing was done until someones a** was on the line. But again I digress.

I think the real reason Bloomy and Klein don't want parental involvement is they think they are smarter and feel they need to take care of the great non-white. The majority of the public school students are non-white and Bloomy and Klein with their superiority clearly in their own minds feel that they need to be Uncle Mike and Uncle Joel and tell the non-white what is good for them. They do not give one iota about these people. Of course Klein likes to say how he is one of them by growing up in the projects of Queens. But that was fifty years ago. Let's see Klein come to the Melrose Houses and hang. At night. Than we can talk.

Only in NYC are the parents shat on. This will be unacceptable in Saddle River, Great Neck, Scarsdale, or Greenwich. Why is it in NYC?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Yet Another Dirty Little Secret

Seems that the Dear Principal John Deacon's Little Gatekeeper and all around nasty human being has seen the handwriting on the walls and will not be rejoining the school next year. That is too bad. Too bad for the parents that are hung up on when calling the school, too bad for the teachers who are lied to time and time again, and too bad for "the teacher." Yes, "the teacher." If it weren't for the Little Gatekeeper, "the teacher" would have been long gone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Blog

I will continue blogging. Just wish to change the name, URL and focus of the blog. The school community won. The evil Sith Lord Dear Principal John Deacon was removed. It's evil apprentice Numb Nuts was removed. We hit the exacta. However, the idiocy, the hypocrisy, the incompetence of Tweed is still here. June 30th is coming and hopefully, and I believe, things will change. And come November hopefully there will be another change.

As far as the dirty little secrets. It was known ten days ago Sith Lord Dear Principal John Deacon was being replaced. The other dirty little secret is never send Numb Nuts to a student to incriminate a teacher with false charge of corporal punishment. Because Numb Nuts was not bright enough to not tell the student, "we are trying to get rid of this teacher." Notice the keyword there, "we." Numb Nuts did not conjure that pronoun up on his own. Like a good little Schutzstaffel officer he is, he could not say no to Der Führer's orders. Oh and before I forget. Numb Nuts should not coach a student in how to write a statement in the bogus corporal punishment.

It is all about Karma baby!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Over

The blog is over. Done. Kaput. Finis. It has served its purpose in its current incarnation. It's a time for healing. Time to look forward. No more crap. Everything from August 28th will be deleted. It will be retooled and focus on education in NYC. And maybe some other stuff. Like the Yankees. Or gardening. Or cooking. Or potpourri. Or the Brady Bunch. Take this time to look back and copy what you enjoyed from the blog. Who knows? Any suggestions?

Good-Bye Dear Principal John Deacon

Goodbye Dear Principal John Deacon, arguably one of the worst human beings that have ever graced the New York City Department of Education. Your reign or terror and error were brief but memorable. Your total lack of any regard for integrity, rule of law, children first shall never be forgotten. You came into an excellent school and destroyed everything the students, the parents, the community, the teachers have built over the years. How dare you!! All you cared about was yourself. You made no effort to get to know the community. No effort to get to know the parents. No effort to get to know the students. No effort to get to know the teachers.

What is your major malfunction? Do you suffer from Malignant Narcissism? Are you, as one teacher seriously suggested, mentally retarded? Are you an alcoholic, or a dry drunk? You failed as a superintendent in District 8, and now you fail as a principal in an elementary school. Never has a principal been so disliked, so hated as you.

You could have been seen as a savior to the school. The staff thought on August 28th that you were going to be fantastic, that there was a principal that would work with the staff, the parents, and the community. But you showed your true colors so fast.

You are a vengeful, mean spirited little nothing. Please take this time before charges are brought against you to think about the lives you have injured. Every teacher, every parent is more than willing to testify against you.
One more thing. The blog as it is now will cease. More later.
Today is Dear Principal John Deacon's last day at the school. It has been removed to spend its days sitting on its a** at Fordham Plaza.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Quality Review; Part 2

Let's continue with the school's quality review.

Part 2: Overview

What the school does well

• The school provides students with a safe environment, which supports their
growth well.
ROTFLMFAO!!!! The school does not in any way, shape or form provide a safe environment for students in this school. Please read this blog from August 28th and make the decision yourself. Good thing Dear Principal John Deacon has BFF Yolanda Torres
• Organizational decisions made in regards to additional after-school and
extracurricular activities for students lend support to their academic growth.
ROTFLMFAO!!!! The school does not in any way, shape or form provide a safe environment for students in this school. Please read this blog from August 28th and make the decision yourself. Good thing Dear Principal John Deacon has BFF Yolanda Torres
• Teachers take initiative through inter visitation and sharing practices that
have a positive impact on student learning.
Yes, true. Teachers left to their own doings, do well.
• Students enjoy coming to school and speak positively about the support
they receive from their teachers.
What else can be said? The teachers are the best in this school.
• The school uses a variety of data sources to provide teachers with
information on students’ academic strengths and areas in need of improvement.
And these information sources are? More an more redundant paperwork so there is less teaching.

Areas for Improvement

• Revisit and refine the goal-setting and teacher feedback process to give
students specific information and targeted strategies to help them meet
their individual needs.
How can teachers teach when there has been a breakdown of discipline in the school? How can teachers teach when they get no support whatsoever from administration?
• Improve communication with students and parents in the development of
learning goals and next steps towards the achievement of academic
excellence and high expectations.
Dear Principal John Deacon needs to get out of its bunker once in a while and actually communicate with parents. Perhaps if it stops looking down its nose at the parents things relations can improve.
• Refocus the inquiry team on the target population and specific learning
targets that will meet these students’ individual academic needs.
The root problem of this has been removed. **cough** NUMB NUTS **cough**
• Develop effective systems and structures in the usage of interim
checkpoints to monitor teacher planning and differentiated instruction.
God, there they go with that differentiated instruction. It is being done. Just the smart way, not their way.
• Revisit the mission and vision of the school in order for the whole school
community to work collaboratively in one direction.
Again, lack of leadership. Get a new,competent, non-mental leader and things will change.

Quality Review; Part 1

Time to share the quality review with the world. This will be done in several parts over the next few days with comments added in red. Please share any interpretations or comments that you have. Just in case anyone cares, Best Friend Forever Yolanda Torres prepared the report. Yes, BFF Yolanda Torres reviewed her bestest friend in the whole wide world's school. The objectivity is mind blowing!

Information about the school
Public School XXX is an elementary school with 525
students from pre-kindergarten through grade 5. The school population comprises 35%
Black, 63% Hispanic, 0.6% White, and 0.2% Asian students. The student body includes
17% English language learners and 20% special education students. Boys account for
57% of the students enrolled and girls account for 43%. The average attendance rate
for the school year 2007 - 2008 was 92.1%. The school is in receipt of Title 1 funding
with 98% eligibility.

Part 1 The School Context

Overall Evaluation

This school is underdeveloped with proficient features.
Well, duh, what do you know?
Students like their teachers, value their support and feel cared for in the environment of
Public School XXX. This is true. The respect and admiration back and forth between teachers and students in this school is awesome. The newly appointed principal is an experienced educator so experienced Dear Principal John Deacon was forced out of the superintendency of District 8 last year. One would think it is impossible to screw up such a cushy position. That is until BFF Yolanda Torres came by who values the empowerment of teachers. Yeah, right, sure. This line was the biggest crock of Sh** in this report until... She has put in place an open-door policy so teachers can voice their opinions and concerns to the administration.....this line. The only open door policy is the front door which we have been told is open for us to leave, and Dear Principal John Deacon's flunkies and sycophants to enter. Although this is away to bridge the lines of communication there is no communication at all! Dear Principal John Deacon acts like a crime boss having its capos do the talking and decision making. between the administration and teachers, there is currently a sense of uneasiness amongst teachers on its effect. There is no uneasiness. It is called distrustfullness. BFF Yolanda Torres do you get it yet? No one, students, parents, teachers, the cockroaches trusts Dear Principal John Deacon!
The school uses a variety of data to maintain records of all student progress. Student
assessment binders with their work in different subjects are evident in classrooms. It is
unclear how the work in these binders aligns with student goals, teacher planning and
data analysis to help students progress. This comes from a lack of leadership. A school needs great leaders as well. We have great teachers, but most of the leaders are lacking big time!
Teachers provide the administration with monthly data on student progress in English
language arts and math and together they hold one-on-one meetings to discuss the
information the data provides. Teachers have an idea of the needs of the students but
do not address these individual needs in the planning and delivery of differentiated
lessons. Trust me BFF Yolanda Torres it happens. Core subject teachers do not yet receive the data in order to address students’ individual needs for interconnectedness. That is because cluster teachers are non-persons according to Dear Principal John Deacon.
The school’s self-evaluation indicates that the expectation is for 90% of teachers to be
involved in the inquiry process. In addition to the inquiry core team, each grade has its
own inquiry team with a target population to focus on. Unfortunately, the inquiry core
team lacks direction and a “granular” focus of the learning targets and specific strategies
to be experimented with the target population. This team lacks voice and a clear
understanding of what is necessary within the inquiry process. Think. Who was leading the inquiry team? Yes, Numb Nuts. The same Numb Nuts that was told to shut up in the meeting when you came to do the QR! Numb Nuts has zero curriculum, education skills. Have you realized this yet? Consequently, they make insufficient use of data analysis and accountability tools to inform their decision making practice on student academic performance.Again, this falls back in the lap of Numb Nuts, and subsequently, Dear Principal John Deacon.
Staff, students, and parents acknowledge that communication is important.True. Very true.
Nonetheless, the communication amongst these constituents lacks clarity and
congruency.But ultimately, the school is a reflection of it Fuhrer, oops, Dear Principal John Deacon. It does not believe in communication. Or openness. Or accountability. The lack of clarity around school-wide academic expectations and established short-term checkpoints has created different levels of understanding on the development of student individualized learning plans. As a result, students are unable to articulate in-depth their individual learning goals and how to reach them.But ultimately, the school is a reflection of its Fuhrer, oops, Dear Principal John Deacon. It does not believe in communication. Or openness. Or accountability. Yeah, a repeat, but true.

Tomorrow, Part 2.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gang Banging Dear Principal John Deacon

So what happened yesterday is the 2nd in command or whatever for School Safety, the "gang expert," and several uniformed School Safety agents came and caught Dear Principal John Deacon with its britches down. Two students, both somewhat wannabes, though one was wearing a Latin Kings necklace, and the other, who flashes Bloods signs all day, his "muscle," have been intimidating some 4th graders. In fact one of the 4th graders they have been picking on his family is down with the Crips.

Both young men, the Latin King a 14 year old 5th grader awaiting placement into a JHS for some time now and the Blood wannabe when confronted by the gang expert peed themselves. Gave it up like scared little boys they really are. The 2nd in command guy told the boys he will be back in two weeks to see if their behavior has changed.

What is ironic is that Dear Principal John Deacon was confronted about why there is a 14 year old 5th grader. The party line given was it was trying to get the young man into one specific school. But, Dear Principal John Deacon was told that enough already, find another JHS to get the young man into.

Sadly, this all could have been avoided. Dear Principal John Deacon has been warned, told, whatever since OCTOBER that there are gang bangers, wannabes abound in the school. Students wearing beads, colors, flashing signs, yet she chose since OCTOBER no to do anything about it. But, of course, Dear Principal John Deacon will claim when asked that it was doing something to combat the gang scourge. Hey, Dear Principal John Deacon. Hiding your head in the sand and wishing really, really, really, super duper hard that the problem goes away has been scientifically proven not to work.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A 2nd grade student bit a classmate on his pinky during lunch. In fact he took a chunk of the finger. This has not been the first time he has bitten a student. Dear Principal John Deacon has done nothing in the past and won't do anything now.
School Safety is here in droves. Gang related activity is prominent.