Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Answers To Anonymous Questions

There was a response from an anonymous "student" to the post recent blog posting, "More Ignorance From Non Educators." Though I believe this student to be a certain hedge fund manager that for some reason has a passion for highway rest areas.

How many levels of growth do your students typically achieve in a year?

Zero. None. How does one measure growth in phys.ed, or art, or social studies?

How do you determine which of your students "will" learn versus those who "can" learn?

All students can and will learn. All won't excel. Just a fact of life. I didn't excel in HS. To quote Judge Smails, "the world needs ditch diggers too."

Why would it be "socialist" if all the students in your classroom or at your school were learning on grade level and were accepted to college?

Oh I was being snarky and sarcastic. I saw the word "collective" and wanted to be a smarty pants.

And lastly, why do charter schools threaten you so much?

Threaten? HA! Give me, or any teacher for that matter a class of 12-15 students that are the cream of the crop, and who are there to learn and see what gets done! The reason these students do well is the parents are buying into the system and they have a stake, as do the students. I am sure there are very, very few behavior problems in charters, and when there are the students can, and are removed from these schools. How long will a student be allowed to stay in the charter if that student is not contributing or failing? Not very long. So please, give the public schools the same deal as charters and you'll see the change.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Ignorance From Non-Educators

Just about a half hour or so ago I was perusing the Internet for something amusing. I decided to see if see if Interstate Rest Stop Magazine's Man of the Year Whitney Tilson's blog had been updated. I mean you can always get a good laugh there. Alas, it has not been since December 18. Oh, Whitney, the challenge still stands. So I am reading some love letter he wrote to Diane Ravitch in a style that he thinks he knows more then her when I came across yet another busy body know it all in the style of Whitney. Her name is Catherine Bellinger and she thinks she is really, really, super duper smart. She goes to Princeton, so she should be super revered, and when she speaks, should be treated like EF Hutton. She has this organization called Students for Education Reform, and a blog, as well as a page on Facebook.

Catherine was very rude to Ms Ravitch as well. Condescending, patronizing, and I guess like her mentor, pimp, teacher, etc... Whitney Tilson, just plain ignorant. Hey, NYC Educator, not doing any name calling here. Just stating facts. Mmmm,K? But I want to discuss her blabbering to Diane Ravitch another time. There is something else I came across.

On Whitney the do gooders blog he listed something Catherine listed from a book, "Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism," by David Whitman. Entitled, "20 key practices of high-performing, high-poverty urban schools" just another manifesto in the slippery slope into turning all schools into charter schools, or just something written by someone who does not know what they are talking about. Unfortunately Li'l Catherine is taking this as gospel without using any of HOTS.

Let's examine the points.....

1.Tell students exactly how to behave and tolerate no disorder

Really? But if teachers do that SCI, or OSI will repel down the school in hoods and remove us from school.

2.Require a rigorous, college-prep curriculum.

No problem with that. I believe in challenging students. But what about the students in special ed.? Or who just aren't going to college? All students CAN learn, not all will excel. Sorry if that sounds cold but it is a fact.

3. Align curriculum with state standards and specify performance outcomes.

It's done already. DUH!

4.Assess students regularly and use the results to target struggling students.

They are assessed way too much as it is. We are talking about CHILDREN! And how do we target the struggling students when you have a class of 27 and 4 serious behavior problems?

5. Keep students busy in class with a clear plan and a variety of assignments.

Busy time.

Build a collective culture of achievement and college-going.

Sounds like Obama's socialism to me. How do you propose this happens?

Reject the culture of the streets.

Of course!!! "Hey you young student. I know your parents are never home and you are out until 11 30 even though you are in fourth grade. But give up the bling and the wads of cash and pretty please stay in school." See how simple?

Be vigilant about maintaining school culture.


Extend the school day and/or year.

I will give a massage to the first person, except Norm Scott, that will explain to me how this is a benefit.

Monitor and enforce attendance.

Really? You agree with this Catherine? See # 7 and please don't forget all the asthma related illness we have. Maybe you can help by going from borough to borough picking up all the rat feces.

Welcome accountability for adults and embrace constant reassessment.

Does this include administrators as well? What about accountability in Tweed?

Give principals and teachers more autonomy -- think "charter school."

No, think "THIRD REICH"

Eliminate (or at least disempower) local teacher unions.

HAHAHA! Why not spay or neuter? Not to worry, Mulgrew has beaten you to it.

Use unconventional channels to recruit committed teachers.

You mean hedge fund managers that want to satisfy their white liberal guilt and think they know what is best for little brown boys and girls?

Don't demand much from parents.

Yes, there should be no demands nor expectations of parents. Screw them. Who needs them. Bloomy is right.
For those who don't know, I am being a wee bit sarcastic.

Escape the constraints hobbling traditional district schools.

Isn't that what Kathy Bates did to James Caan?

Don't waste resources on fancy facilities or technology.

Or courthouses, or no bid contracts, or consultants paid in six figures.

Keep the school small.

School small, or class sizes small? This seems like code for CHARTER SCHOOL

Track and support students after they graduate.

Tracking is BS, and I think he might have been struck down in the Supreme Court.

Help create additional schools following your model.


Li'l Catherine, you need to really find another line of advocacy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Am More, Mayor Bloomberg

I was searching the internet to see if I could find any photos of Bloomberg or Klein with a sheep or some other type of farm animal and came across this video. Probably been seen before and to those who have, apologies.


I wish I could take credit for this. So funny!! I had this Tweated to me this morning. Click here for the link. Read on:

I recently stumbled across a highly classified document in the files of one of our largest pharmaceutical companies when I placed "Manhattan Project (similar)" into a classified search engine. It appears that an unnamed career officer in The U.S. Department of Education has, since 2004, been funneling hundreds of millions of dollars through the CIA for the development of a TESTING PILL to be administered to all students taking high stakes tests.

On trial tests of the TESTING PILL in a secret location in Texas, 100% of the students tested above the 90 percentile in reading and math. Thus, the scores of American students have the potential of becoming the highest in the world, outstripping even Taiwan and Finland. In addition, this modern day miracle should also guarantee that our children will lead the world in the 21st century global economy.

However, the results of this Manhattan like secret project, in terms of its urgency and its mind-boggling consequences, haven't yet been openly reported. There appears to be one major side effect which the researchers are at this point calling the ZOMBIE EFFECT and which requires further investigation and testing. It seems that 97.6% of the test group displayed significant decreases in their levels of intelligence, creativity, and higher order thinking skills.

Researchers and drug company representatives are hoping that the TESTING PILL will have the same instantaneous impact upon improving education as Prozac has had as an antidepressant in a world that seems to be speeding out of control.

Richard Lakin,
Your Not So Tongue in Cheek reporter
April 3, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

See Ya Kid!!

So why am I writing this on Christmas day? One, I have the time, and two this is something very near and dear to me. I am writing about something in my school which I swore I won't do anymore, but now I am compelled to. I will attempt to put my cynicism and sarcasm away for a few moments.

On Wednesday I said goodbye to a student. He is in second grade. He was held over this year. He went to another school where there is a special ed seat open for him, and he will have a management para. This is the best thing that could happen to him. I am happy for him and his mom. But I am saddened.

I have spent the better part of this year focused on this student. He has a lot of issues. Major anger issues, but also wants and needs major attention. Unfortunately he was getting too much negative attention. But he also has a huge heart, is quite verbal, and quite smart. Academically he is very behind. But through no fault of his teachers.

He has thrown chairs, flipped over desks, tried to stab students with pencils, blocked the door and refused to allow his class to leave the classroom. I can't count the times I had to look for him all over the school. He has a sense of entitlement, and all the instances I mentioned have come at the slightest perceived provocation.

But he loves music and art. He wants to be loved, and needed. One on one, or in a very small setting he shines. He is caring. He does have empathy. He is not a mean kid, nor a bad kid. He truly is good. He wants to be good. He just does not know how to go about it at times.

His mother is on the ball. The father is a sperm donor. He speaks a good game, but it is all talk. Mom is the one who has to deal with the phone calls, and the promotion in doubt letters, and the crap. I feel for her.

I told the kid that he can call me anytime, that mom has my phone number. I promised him I will visit him at his new school and that he better visit me. I will genuinely miss him.

But according to Joel Klein, I am a failure, even though I am not responsible for his academic progress. I know that somehow, someway I have had a positive influence in his life. I know that ten, twenty years from now something I said will click in his head and he will become a better person for it. I know when he hears my name in 2033 he will smile. But I can't now, and I don't know if I will then. The SYSTEM, not his teachers, has failed him thus far.

The SYSTEM is responsible for making learning unfun, everything skewed to some bullshit tests that only benefit the test making companies and the DOE. The SYSTEM is responsible for the large classes this kid should never have been in. The SYSTEM is responsible for monies going to Tweed lackies, Klein toadies, and charter schools instead of getting this kid a management para long ago. The SYSTEM is responsible for an asinine method of holding kids over no matter the test scores or ages when ever freaking study out there shows that the only time this benefits a student is when it is done in Kindergarten! Let's have more fifteen year old fifth graders and let's see how their self-esteem is doing. Yeah, I have seen such students.

The SYSTEM is broken. Joel Klein is walking around butt naked but very few wish to tell him the truth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Have Been Thinking About Whitney Tilson

Yeah I admit it I have. But not in the sort of rest stop rest room tapping on the stall next to you sort of why. More thinking along the line how Whitney Tilson is the embodiment of the Hitlerjugend, or Hitler Youth.

Just reading the ignorance, self-righteousness, and the hate in his blog, I see the comparisons between the Hitlerjugend and Whitney and his ilk.

As the Hitlerjugend were basically mindless drones, clueless and indoctrinated into the ways of the Third Reich, so has Whitney been into the ways the the DOE.

Just reading what this Turd Blossom has written lately, especially about Diane Ravitch, who has a resume second to none in the world of education, you can see how entitled, as were the Hitler Youth were, that Whitney thinks he is.

Just like the rallies the Hitler Youth had in Nuremberg, Whitney rallies all to his palatial, hidden away from reality palace on 5th Ave where all hail Whitney and his self-endorsed greatness.

The Aryans thought they knew better than everyone else, Whitney there is no difference with you.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jaime Estades For UFT President!!!!!

Sorry for the long time between posts. Been busy. So busy I didn't catch how the top 1,400 sycophants working for Joel Klein will be getting raises totaling $12 million dollars, including 475 that already make over $100K. That is bugging me, but not as much as something else I read in the Daily News article.

What is bugging me, perplexing me, annoying me the most is Mike Mulgrew's response. Mulgrew, and I must think of a pet name for him, blabbered, "The chancellor has the right to make his own judgments about what his managers deserve." No outrage Mike? No stern consternation? Not even a tsk tsk?

Mike, you lead a union of approximately 80,000 members and with a statement like that you show absolutely zero leadership. What sickens me is a parent is able to say what you lack the balls to say.

"It doesn't make sense at all," said Jaime Estades, PTA president at Brooklyn's Public School 84, which saved money this fall by packing fifth-grade classes with an average six more students.

"It's laughable and painful that anyone in their right sense would give raises," Estades said. "What we need [in city schools] is textbooks and teachers and after-school programs."

Mike, why is Jamie able to be outraged and you aren't? You are sickening Mike. The election can not come sooner to vote you out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Teacher Season

I have been holding my tongue since Reichsführer Bloomberg opened that hole underneath his nose and announced as if he were the Burning Bush, "that the state should place a one-year limit of teachers in the reserve pool," and something he could also press for in the contract.

Is he serious? Think about this. If this ever goes through, it is open season on any tenured, over forty, making too much money, thinks for themselves teacher in the system. Ya think the principals wield the absolute power without any reason now? Just wait until they have the unfettered power this will give them.

A principal doesn't like the cut of your jib? Well there is reason enough for a principal to start writing you up, throw letters in your file, which you can not grieve thanks to the 2005 bending over Randi Weingarten did on our behalf.

Has a teacher been a thorn in the side of the administration? Let's start showing up in the classroom every day and find anything, or everything wrong. Students didn't answer question correctly, too much student movement, not implementing the WORKSHOP MODEL during phys ed. The spaghetti theory in teacher evaluation will be used. Throw it all against the wall, and if it sticks it is good.

A teacher makes too much money and the principal wants to get some young, cheap blood in? Turn a handshake between a teacher and a student into a corporal punishment accusation. Sure, why not, teachers are no good.

What gets me is right now when a teacher is brought up on charges 99% of the time there is a settlement offer made before the hearing. Basically boils down to sign this, pay a huge fine spread over 18 months, take a course, oh and here is the kicker. The teacher signs the settlement with prejudice. Meaning, that the teacher has no future right to civil action against the DOE. If a teacher is so incompetent, why settle? And why the fear of any future litigation?

But, where again is Mike Mulgrew? Mike, we are waiting. It is so simple to save face and do the right thing. Just say ten simple words, "we won't accept any contract in which ATR's are sacrificed." C'mon Mike, just say it. You can do it.