Friday, July 29, 2011

Baking Cupcakes With E4E's Tori Truscheit

Earlier this week, July 26, Gotham Schools published an article in which a teacher, Stuart Kaplan, a nine-year teacher at High School for Law and Public Service in Brooklyn, was stripped of his membership of the famed youth group, Educators4Excellence. For those who don't recall, Mr Kaplan caused quite a stir in June at a E4E youth rally when he publicly questioned E4E Jugendleiter, Little Evan Stone.

Mr Kaplan, it was implied by several E4E lackies in the comments section this past Monday, was unprofessional in speaking out and it was claimed that he caused "a scene," and that he embarrassed the profession. You can judge by yourself here.  We here at SBSB support unequivocally Mr Kaplan's right to speak out and at no time through thorough analysis of the video did we notice that he was rude, obnoxious, or out of line. In fact, we find that Little Evan Stone was out of line for calling the meeting over.

But, one thing comes to mind. What does it mean to act professional? Are we as teachers supposed to continue our professionalism outside of the classroom and/or school? Of course not, we are all human beings.

But, let's use the example that E4E and its sycophantic defenders use on how teachers should comport themselves. That we as teachers must not only set an example for our students 24/7, but when amongst other educators outside of working hours, we must always be professional.

The crack team was creating a white paper on this very subject when sadly it came across some information regarding E4E Vice President of Programs, Tori Truscheit.

Apparently Tori is quite a baker. Tori is the purveyor and creator of an unusual type of cupcake. The Red Velvet Vulva Cupcake with Buttercream. Yes, you read that right. Now, the jokes will be abstained for now, except to say that rumors of E4E Blog Monkey™ Ruben Brosbe posing for the cupcakes is not true.

Now mind you, we here at SBSB are not in any way, shape, or form disparaging Tori's lifestyle choice Nor or we denouncing the cupcakes, nor the vulva, which we all here at SBSB are fans of.

What we are disparaging is the rank hypocrisy of E4E, and its members. Mr Kaplan has been villified, again and again for his "behavior" last month. Other E4E shills have constantly reminded teachers on how to act. Yet, we have here, an "educator" selling and advocating pornographic cupcakes.

Is this information relevant? Yes, it is. It is because it yet again exposes the hypocrisy of E4E and it's enablers, in particular the NYC DOE. Look what happened to Melissa Petro. She was railroaded out of teaching for something she did before she became a teacher. Did E4E at anytime lend her their support?

It also exposes that E4E is nothing but a bunch of rich, entitled, elitist children that has decided to take it upon themselves to rule and judge by fiat, and that they are still children because they still think that life is still fun and games.

But in reality, who cares about Tori's Red Velvet Vulva? But E4E, you want to keep on setting and deciding the rules, start abiding and living up to what you all decree.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Do Teachers Think? Educators4Excellence Want To Know!

Today, Uncle Mike Bloomberg, announced with pride that over 40% of teachers were denied tenure this past school year. That number was up from 11% the year before. Ironically, in Uncle Mike's pronouncement he failed to see how under his auspices he has hired 42% of the teachers he has hired on the last three years don't make the cut. In fact, more irony is that he has touted, along with all his shills, that teachers are most effective within their first three years of teaching.

Along with Uncle Mike's news today, noted lackies Little Evan Stone and his babe, Princess Sydney Morris and their deformer front organization Educators4Excellence, came out with a statement. To wit;
"We applaud Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to make tenure decisions more meaningful and look forward to offering feedback from teachers on how to improve the process even further.  What we learned from this year's effort is that teachers need more transparency about how decisions are made and the process must be standardized across all schools.  That way we can truly ensure being awarded tenure is a significant professional milestone for educators."
Excuse me while I rattle the fence that Princess Sydney and Little Evan are straddling, but I have an issue with the second part of his Tweed approved statement. Please don't give me the transparency crap. If you wish to use already debunked value added assessments, how can you say that as well as claiming a standardized process when each kid, in each class, in each school, all across the city is fundamentally different? It doesn't matter if you lump them all into the same demographics, the same poverty levels, the same wealth levels, the same gender crap, whatever. What happens behind closed doors teachers, administrators,  even God who has bestowed us with freewill can not be controlled.

See Princess Sydney and Little Evan, you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You and your ilk have been so specious and disengenous that your very own Blog Monkey™, Ruben Brosbe got caught up in it.

But you brought up a very good point. What do other teachers think? The crack team earlier this evening contacted several teachers and asked them what they think. We here at SBSB would like to thank these teachers for taking the time to speak with the crack team and allow their names to be used.

Teaching was a second career for me. Well, actually a first career. I was in a physcially abusive marriage and when I finally got the nerve to leave my husband I went back to school to become a teacher. My children were so proud of me. I worked so hard the last three years. This year the parents of my 3rd grade class threw me a wedding shower. I was so touched. I felt I made a difference. But I was in shock when I was denied tenure.

Gertrude Smith, 37, Massepequa, NY

Wow, second career for me. Right now my wife is undetgoing chemotherepy, she has stage 4 cancer. My children are scared about losing their mom and know worried that I will be losing my job. I really sacrificed a lot for my students. I had 31 students in my 5th grade class and 3 serious behavior problems. I hope things work out for me.

Jeff Smith, 44, Teaneck, NJ

Hehehe. Oh well. I tried. I am leaving teaching anyway. Never was staying more than 4 years. I will move back to my parents hom in Scarsdale, maybe start a business with my sorority sisters from Dartmouth. Daddy promised me he will give me money for that. And I plan to troll medical schools for a husband.

Penelope Smith, 26, TFA '08 Scarsdale, NY and East Hampton NY July 1-September 1

Huh, I deserve tenure. No wait. I don't deserve tenure. Wait, that was wrong. I truly deserve tenure. No, that was wrong. I think I don't deserve not to deserve but should deserve not getting tenure.

Ruben Brosbe, 26, Blog Monkey™, Upper East Side

I have a mortgage to pay, one child of mine is autistic and we send him to special needs school, the other child is not yet in school and we pay a babysitter because my wife needs to work. I know I am young, but this is my career and I am getting caught up in this political BS. It is not fair.

Dave Smith, 31, Dobbs Ferry, NY

So there you have it. Five teachers who took the time to speak with the crack team here at SBSB. Princess Sydney, Little Evan, stop fu**ing with people's lives.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

This Tuesday night, July 26 at 9 PM EDT we welcome in Neil Haley host of the Total Education Hour here on Blogtalkradio. 

Among things that Neil believes is that the SOS March is not grassroots, that charters are good, and that there is a conspiracy between the press and the SOS March to embarrass ed deformers.

Neil will go up against Chalk Duster, the author of one of the newest, and more fascinating blogs out there, America's Future The Inside Story 

Chalk Duster is a teacher from the Bronx and has seen it all. She has taught almost all grades in Elementary and is not shy about sharing her opinion, especially with those that are ignorant. Be sure to check out her blog.

The call in # is 917 932 8721!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gracie Capital CEO Daniel Nir Refuses To Condemn Corporal Punishment AT HSA 3

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think the more we shine a light on Eva Moskowitz and her dubious practices, the more she will scurry towards the baseboards and hopefully her, and her movement will just wither and go away. But Eva must not be the only one accountable. So should her sycophants and enablers, and by this I mean the board members of all her schools, and in particular, Harlem Success Academy 3.

As you all recall the New York Times reported on the plight of Karen Sprowal and her son Matthew at the hands of HSA 3 in September of 2008. My two cents were added here and here, as well as Ms Sprowal's fascinating retelling of the horror that Matthew endured on my radio show. But, should we just me content to hold Eva responisble? I say no.

The board members of HSA are just as responsible for the corporal punishment that Matthew Sprowal endured. According to Chancellor's Regulation A-420;
Corporal punishment is prohibited. Disruptive behavior by a student must never be punished by use of physical force. Such behavior usually reflects underlying problems that require guidance intervention. School personnel should take steps to identify the problem(s) and, working closely with parents, help the student receive maximum benefit from the educational program offered at the school.
Surely, as a charter school, HSA3, and all of the Success Academy school adhere to Chancellor's Regulations. What is troubling is that according to the New York Times story and Mrs Sprowal none of the above mentioned steps were taken.

Regulation A-420 defines corporal punishment as;
Regulations of the Commissioner §100.2(I)(3)(i) defines corporal punishment as any act of physical force upon a pupil for the purpose of punishing that pupil.
Matthew was punished with physical force. Walking the halls for thirty minutes because he acted out is physical, he is being made to walk.

So we here at SBSB got to thinking. Wouldn't the board members of HSA 3 be aghast at what transpired to little Matthew? We thought naturally so.

So we contacted hedgefund manager Daniel Nir, he who summers in East Hampton and is CEO of Gracie Capital, and who probably has never met or dealt with a minority in his life, too put it to him directly. Will he condemn the corporal punishment inflicted upon Matthew Sprowal?

Mr Nir refused unequivocally to condemn corporal punishment inflicted on a 5 year old. Too make sure, he was asked again and still refused to condemn such behavior brought on by adults on a 5 year old boy. When asked if he would condemn corporal punishment on his own children, he hung up the phone.

One can only conclude that Mr Nir has no problem in what transpired with Matthew Sprowal. Why else would he not condemn it? Surely, as a super duper rich man, Eva needs him more than he needs Eva.

The question of whether or not corporal punishment upon Matthew would be condemned was also put to the chair of HSA 3, Joel Greenblatt CEO of Gotham Asset Management and adjunct professor at the Coulmbia University Graduate School of Business. Mr Greenblatt failed to condemn what happened to Matthew. Again, the same conclusion must be surmised.

Ben Appen CEO of Magnitude Capital was contacted as well as Bryan Binder, portfolio manager at troubled SAC Capital, which for some reason is headquarted in Anguilla. Both refused to condemn the treatment inflicted upon Matthew.

So of the 10 board members of HSA 3, four members, or 40% of the HSA 3 board refuse to condemn corporal punishment. Sad. I guess when one is living a gilded life they see only what they wish to see and admit to what Eva will allow them to.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Whitey White World of Gotham Schools

Earlier this week, Educators4Excellence Blog Monkey™, Ruben Brosbe announced to the world what had been known for sometime, he was denied tenure. Gotham Schools, the official online news site of the NYC DOE was the exclusive online source for Ruben's belated admission.

Now to toot our horn yet again here at SBSB, we way ahead of the curve when on July 9, 2011 we predicted that indeed, Ruben will be denied tenure. Yes, we were proud.

Of course we would want to share this with the world. So I decided to link, along with a sarcastic comment, the revelation in the comments section of Ruben's mind numbing admission. I wrote;

"Called it about Ruben two weeks ago! "

OK,OK. A little snotty and self-serving, but obviously nothing against the convoluted and always changing at a whim rules of posting comment over at GS. 

But much to the chagrin of myself and the crack team, it was deleted. I immediately emailed Gotham Schools editor Elizabeth Green asking her "what's the deal?" She emailed me back;
from    Elizabeth Green via
to    So BronxSchool
date    Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM
subject    Re: Why Was A Comment Deleted?
hide details Jul 21 (1 day ago)
Your blog contains obscene language, and the comment included a link to your blog. I'm not going to reply any more to this thread - it's our call and that's the bottom line.
- Show quoted text -

Wow, obscene language? Gee, I know I can be blue, a little rough, and for sure sarcastic, but obscene? In April of last year I addressed another Gotham Schools diva on obscenity on this blog about what is truly obscene.  But, enough of this obscene talk.

But there is more, something that has been on my mind for sometime about Gotham Schools. NYC Educator touched on it briefly this past Tuesday. Yeah, we all wonder how Ruben Brosbe has a gig for Gotham. I have my theories, and have touched on it in the past but that is not what is bugging me.

What is bugging me, and what I notice when I look at Gotham's "Who We Are" page is what the "reporters" or aggregators are. Have you noticed yet?

They are all white, and with the exception of newcomer and only male, Geoffrey Decker, all part of the Ivy League elitist brand. How did Decker get in? Who did he know? I guess if I went to an Ivy League school instead of SUNY, I would not be called obscene by Elizabeth Green.

So why does this matter? The students, the parents, and the families of the NYC schools I would guess are 80% minority. I fathom to guess what the percentage is of minorities for teachers and administrators, but I am sure it is quite up there. But Gotham Schools does not reflect the community it is serving nor reporting on.

How can any of these aggreagators at GS report faithfully on the schools of the NYC DOE, on the inner workings of the DOE, if they have not walked in the shoes of the most important members of the school community, the families and students.

No wonder they are shills for Uncle Mike. They have no clue to what really and truly effects the life of the boys, girls, families, teachers, and administrators of color. Inside that ivory penthouse of theirs on Lafayette St, gives them all the opportunity too look down on the masses, the unwashed, those that they would never in a million years associate with, or if they dare do, to admit it.

All five of the aggregators, especially Elizabeth Green, are living in a fantasy, cloistered world, with their own convoluted, self absorbed sense of reality. Why don't they go to the people, go out there and seek the truth from the parents and the students, see what is truly happening?

Why? For one they are not really reporters. They just report and parrot what is the news. Yes, aggregators. But worse, no one at GS wants to get their hands dirty, roll up their sleeves, have to be in the nitty gritty real world of the South Bronx, or Bed Stuy. It is difficult to look down at those who do from eye level. It is better to do it from on high.

I put it to Gotham Schools to do the right thing. Hire a person that is representative of the NYC schools. Go out there and do it. Do not limit your search to Ivy League schools, go out there and scour SUNY-Oswego, SUNY-Plattsburgh, SUNY-Old Westbury. I am sure that you will find someone jut as good, if not better, than someone from Columbia.

But sadly, I doubt this will happen. Those at GS are too ensconced in their little world to let someone who is not like them into their world.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Of Mice And Ruben Brosbe

It was the depths of the Great Recession. Teachers everywhere were losing their jobs, being denied tenure. Two men, Evan Stone and Ruben Brosbe were chased out of a school by an angry mob when Ruben nearly bored a classroom of 3rd graders to death. They were both on the run again, looking for a school that would take them in.

Evan was the smart one, the one with the plans. His companion Ruben was slow witted, easily manipulated, and extremely self absorbed. But Evan promised those at TFA that he would look out for Ruben, that he will always be by his side.

They finally boarded a bus, the M55, that would take them to the Bronx. Evan knew there were jobs to be had. They got off the bus on 181st and the Grand Concourse and camped out for the night in a vacant lock. The next morning they would head to PS 47 on 167th St where they heard there were jobs to be had.

As they were eating beans, Ruben, with his big eyes looked at Evan and asked, "Tell me about the tenure Evan, tell me about the tenure."

Evan was looking for one more job, one more gig in which he would finally have enough money to open a school of his own and run things the way he wished to, to give out tenure to those who were deserved of it.

"Oh the tenure will be great," Evan started to explain to Ruben. "We will not give it out with out properly evaluating whether or not each teacher deserves it. Each decision on tenure will be merit based. We will implement the E4E manifesto regarding tenure immediately. We will be loved and adored."

"And I'll get tenure too, right Evan?" Rubeb said excitedly. "You betcha!" said Evan.

But before they laid down to sleep, Evan exhorted wise words upon Ruben.

"Ruben, listen carefully. Look at this spot where we are, look around, remember it. If you fuck up again, I mean any kind of fuck up at the new school, just run to this spot. Run here and wait for me. Got it?"

"Sure Evan, I understand," said Ruben

The next day Evan and Ruben entered the school and met with the principal. Both were both given jobs. Evan as a teacher, and Ruben as his para. And old teacher, Candy showed them to the classroom and both were to spend the day setting up.

But just before they set up, they met Curley, the principals son and AP. Curley looked at Ruben and took an instant dislike to him. It seemed that Curley hated whiny, Blog Monkeys™. But there was another problem, Curley's wife. Curley's wife liked Blog Monkeys™.

After an uneventful first day of teaching, Evan and Ruben met up with Slim, a veteran TFA teacher. Slim was overworked. He for some reason had more than one class. Ruben saw an opportunity.

"Evan, can I have the class? Please? I promise to love the students and take care of them everyday."

Evan gave Ruben the OK to be a classroom teacher. Ruben was happy.

But the joy of having a new class was not to last. Ruben was trying to hard with his class. He was overbearing and boring. He made no sense. He didn't know how deficient he was. Soon enough, and sadly, the class died of boredom.

Soon after this happened, Ruben was alone in the classroom when Curley's wife walked in. Curley's wife asked  Ruben to tell her about his blog, about E4e, about everything he knows about teaching. Ruben was more than happy to oblige.

This went on for hours. Ruben talked and talked and talked. He didn't even let Curley's wife get in a word. For a while, Curley's wife was being polite, She nodded her head as if truly interested, but even after she started to yawn incessantly, Ruben could not take the hint. Suddenly, after about the fourth hour of Ruben's soliloquy, Curley's wife's eyes rolled back into her head, she gasped for air, and fell to the floor.

Ruben had fucked up again. This time there would be hell to pay. He couldn't get out of this one like he had at the previous school. He had to run, and run he did to that spot where Evan told him to meet if he ever fucked up again.

Evan had been out on the town with Slim when he got back to the school. He saw a commotion and saw Curley and the other teachers standing around Curley's wife's body. They all knew who was responsible, they all knew that Ruben had just bored her to death.

Evan knew where to find Ruben. He dared not let the others know, but he knew and knew what he had to do. He couldn't let the others, now a mob of teachers, get to Ruben first. He had to be the one who did it. To do it quick and to save Ruben from any pain.

Evan got to the meeting spot. "Ruben, you have now done did it and I don't think I can help you this time."

"I'm sorry Evan, I am sorry," cried Ruben.

"Come here big fella," Evan said to Ruben as they both sat down and Evan put his arm around Ruben.

"Tell me about the tenure again. I like the way you tell it."

"Sure Ruben, sure," said Evan as he said in his most reassuring voice. ""Oh the tenure will be great. "We will not give it out with out properly evaluating whether or not each teacher deserves it. Each decision on tenure will be merit based. We will implement the E4E manifesto regarding tenure immediately. We will be loved and adored."

And as Evan was saying this, he started to look at the back of Ruben head. The deed needed to be done. He was happy that he was not looking in Ruben's eyes.

Suddenly, Evan did what needed to be done, that should have been done to Ruben so long ago.

"Ruben," said Evan, "you are a putz, a schmuck, and schlimazel. Please, leave teaching now. I can no longer help you, nor do I want to. Please don;t come to any more E4E meetings, lose my number, lose my email address. Please, go away."

Finally, what needed to be done was done. Evan looked at Ruben with a face of relief. Evan was rid of the albatross. In fact better, education was rid of the Ruben.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lady Gillette Razor And Ruben Brosbe's Tenure

The crack team went out last night and partied hard at IHOP has we celebrated the prophetic abilities of the team in regards to yesterday's non-bombshell that Ruben was yet again denied tenure. Yes, on July 9, 2011 we here at SBSB predicted that Ruben would be denied tenure. Yes, those celebratory pancakes at IHOP were sure delicious and mocked Ruben's opus as well.

Ruben decided to call his opus, "Occam’s Razor And My Tenure." Between gulps of our pancakes we called it other things, but we all agreed that Ruben came across as a whiny botard. Let's have a look.

Ruben started off whining right away; It always seemed strange to me that one could be granted tenure after only three years of teaching.

Oh boo-hoo. It seems strange to me that you and your minions became teachers after only 5 weeks and 50 hours of training. In fact Ruben, did you know that NYPD police officers are off probation after only 18 months? And these people carry guns, can make arrests, carry tasers. Think about it.

....most teachers are still in the process of learning and establishing themselves as professionals in the midst of their third year. So, to give someone tenure before this third year has even finished always seemed odd.

But don't you find it sad that in your fifth year of teaching you have yet to learn and establish yourself as a professional? Besides you have fact incorrect. You get tenure after 3 years and 1 day. But you are way past that 3 years and one day, actually you are at 3 years and 366 (instructional) days. A good friend of mine that is not a rat like you received tenure after three years. What is wrong with this picture?

Nonetheless, in a system that does little to recognize performance otherwise, tenure represented a rare milestone of merit, and I wanted it when I was eligible.

Recognize performance? Do elaborate? You want validation? Attention? Are you making up for something that you did not receive as a child? But of course, you wanted it when you were eligible? So you have a sense of entitlement? 

I was disappointed then when my principal informed me last year that my probation would be extended.

How come you never shared this with the 6 people who read your blog as serious education reporting? Or the people who read and then mock your writings at Gotham Schools? But didn't you take a hint then?

I accepted this, and when I later heard that, per our superintendent’s directions, tenure was especially difficult to earn for teachers who were new to a school.

This seems what I once told an old girlfriend at the White Plains Diner, "It's not you, it's me." And just like you, the old girlfriend didn't get the hint. But, and this is a big but, what truly happened to you at PS 33? You claim you were excessed. I think you lie. a panel on value-added data run by Educators 4 Excellence in November, Sandra Tacina, Director of Talent Analytics for the DOE, informed the audience that in the previous year, teachers who scored lower than 50 percent on their Teacher Data Reports were red-flagged in tenure decisions. I wonder if she realized that this applied to at least one member of the audience.

Less than 50? Notice how you were screwed? Uncle Joel and Uncle Mike swore up and down that TDR's would never be used in tenure based decisions. But like the little mindless whore and shill that you are, you advocated just this in October. Oh, and I am sure that Ms Tacina knew about you, and the others like Little Evan and Princess Sydney who failed to meet their TDR.

I could sense from the tone of observations and informal conversations with my administrators that my confidence was misplaced.

The skids were being greased. Did you seek out advice from your chapter chair, or have you ruined that relationship? Did you start seeing help from the UFT on how to better present yourself and your portfolio so you can receive tenure? I do recall hearing how the UFT was offering such workshops. However, it would have been to fraught with irony for you to seek help from the very union you are seeking to circumvent.

In addition to student growth data, I submitted evidence of collaboration with my co-workers, parent communication, artifacts from my work on the school’s data inquiry team, and print-outs of the six DonorsChoose projects I’d had funded in the past year.

Which co-workers? You little friends, or the veteran teachers that you should have sought out from day 1? 

I was frustrated then when my principal and assistant principal informed me about a month later that once again I would have my probation extended. However, I wasn’t surprised.

You shouldn't be surprised. You are a botard through and through. But, have you ever given consideration that your blog and your contributions to Gotham Schools screwed you?  I mean if I were your principal and read how stupid, indecisive, and whiny you are I would have second thoughts about you.

Had I poisoned my relationship with my principal? Was something written on my blog misconstrued as critical or unprofessional? Was I still red-flagged by the DOE?

Yes, yes, and yes!

I thought and I thought, until I came to an important realization: I wasn’t ready for tenure.

Wow, what an honest guy. You move me Ruben, you truly do.

My principal told me she saw a “disconnect” between what I understood and how I put it into practice in the classroom.

Ruben, have an out of body experience one day and read your dribble. 

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past four years. I know I’ve improved a lot as a teacher and that I’ve learned to create a classroom community where my students feel safe and excited about learning.

I am sure you have, and that is what good teaching should be all about. But you couldn't leave it at that......

I also know that in one key area — the progress of my students — I must improve.

This is something you have no control over. Students go home at night, their reality, their world takes over. Yes, we can do all we can at school, but once they are out of our reaches the harsh, cold reality of each student's home life take over. Ruben, I coached baseball. I had a kid on my team that could not throw the ball. I practiced with him personally at each practice. I had him work on throwing drills at practice and told him, and his dad what to do at home. Not once did he do these drills outside of practice. Was I a bad baseball coach?

I started my son with professional baseball training when he was in Kindergarten. He has been playing ball since T-ball. I practiced with him outside of his training, I picked up what he was taught, he also had the athletic ability. Guess what? But I can't, nobody can, teach him to pitch like Koufax, to hit like Ted Williams, or to field like Ozzie Smith. Some kids are just average. Stop whining!

In practically every profession, people are subject to the judgments of their supervisors before they are considered for advancement. Sometimes they disagree with these assessments. Why should tenure be different?

All tenure does is give you the right to due process. That is all. That is all it will ever be.

Had I stayed at my previous school, I have little doubt I would have received tenure, because many principals are willing to rubber stamp their teachers for time served.

See, this is why you are thought of as you are. Give me, give the world, examples of where you know for a fact that principals rubber stamp tenure. And again, what happened at your previous school. Try the truth for once.

But, my principal gave tenure to some teachers this year, and extended probation for others.

But you didn't get it. Are you 100% sure the reasons your principal did not give you tenure are what she said, or is she being arbitrary and capricious? 

But now the question Ruben is are you returning in September? Yes or no? Were you discontinued?

In a way Ruben, I hope you stick around. The fodder and amusement you give will not be easily replaced. But you need to cut this Nancy act out. Stop being a little whiner, start being a man and stop thinking and start doing.

Ruben, it is so ironic that you are whining just the opposite of what you and your ilk have been advocating. Karma is a bitch. Right, Ruben?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

History will be made this Tuesday night, July 19, at 9 PM EDT. Join us as we welcome Matthew's mom, Karen Sprowal as she takes us through the Kafkaesque hell she went through as she took on Harlem Success Academy 3 and Eva Moskowitz.

Karen's son Matthew was counseled out of Harlen Success Academy 3 after being sold a bag of goods by Eva Moskowitz

Ms Sprowal was featured in the New York Times last Monday,​1/07/11/nyregion/charter-s​chool-sends-message-thrive​-or-transfer.html?_r=1&smi​d=tw-nytimes&seid=auto and her odyssey through HSA hell was featured in my blog;​​a-moskowitz.html​​kowitz-lusts-for-whitney-t​ilson.html​​g-news-eva-moskowitz-admit​s-to.html

Call in # 917 932 8721

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Eva has come clean! She admits it, or it was a Freudian slip, but still the truth is out there! In yesterday's New York Times, Eva, in a desperate move to spin the Matthew Sprowal incident, basically parroted what she wrote in her love letter to Whitney Tilson but added just one little teeny tiny wrinkle. Eva wrote;
"It is our obligation to advise parents when there is a better setting for their children. This is not unique to charter schools."
WHOA! We here at SBSB are blown away. Though we decry that students are treated as such, we do doff our collective SBSB hats towards Eva for finally admitting what has been know all along. Thank you Eva for being so forthright.

But even while we here at SBSB are happy that Eva came clean, we are also saddened how yet again the children are caught in the middle of a megalomaniac's crusade to elevate herself to some lofty position as well as how it show not only the disparity and hypocrisy vis a vis charter schools and public schools. Oh before I go on, charter schools are not public schools. They are private school financed by public dollars.

The crack team decided to scour the Chancellor's Regulations with a fine tooth comb. The assignment was to find anything, something that gave principals of public schools the ability to "council out" students, or to paraphrase Eva, that a public school principal has an obligation to to find a better setting for the student.

This took many minutes, and we lost many a man, but alas, we did not find one single sentence, nor nary a word that gives a principal such authority. How could that be?

The crack team came to the conclusion that not only is it illegal, but it is immoral to tell a child's family that it might be better to find a better setting. See, the difference between a public school and a charter school is that from the day a students enters Kindergarten we have an obligation to give unconditional support to that student. We do not look at a students as a way to generate revenue, or to pay ourselves exorbitant salaries, or to have a chancellor so scared, so manipulated as to get what we want.

We at public schools have to take anybody and everybody that is zone for out school (I am talking about elementary). We ca not turn anyone away. We are like an ER. We are obligated to give education to all that ask for it.

Meanwhile, we have Eva sitting in her ivory charter office, looking down over Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn and she thinks she is. The great white Jewish savior of boys and girls of color as she, just like Caesar, gives the thumbs up or down on children whose parents somehow bought into her propaganda. All that matters, all the Eva cares about is Eva, about expanding the brand of Eva, to elevate Eva. To look at Eva and see how hip and caring she is because she moved to Harlem. Hey Eva, truly want to get down with reality? Give up all of Eric's money, mom and dad's money as well, and move into a tenement or the projects. Then you'll be down. To paraphrase Jan Brady, "Eva, Eva, Eva!!!"

But Eva, your euphemism is already at work. The Pope has decided that he will no longer excommunicate. The Pope will now just tell the person that it is obligated to help find another religion for that person.

Couple divorcing will no longer ask for a divorce. Rather, they will just say to one another that they are obligated to find a better marriage for one another.

Teachers will no longer be terminated, they will be directed to a better setting. This of course will save money on the 3020a process.

Puppies and kitten will no longer be abandoned. Rather, a better setting will be forthcoming they will be told.

Evil headmistresses of charter networks when the day comes that they are exposed will be told that a better setting, like McDonald's awaits them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eva Moskowitz Lusts For Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson is not only blessed, but he is special as well. We should all look at Whitney and see how much he cares. How much does he care. So much, that while on some weird vacation in Thailand, Whitney was blessed with being the sole human being on earth to receive Eva Moskowitz's retort to Michael Winerip's masterpiece of this past Monday.

So Eva blabbered to Whitney and Whitney like the dolt he is blabbered it back to humanity. But dare we examine what Eva Moskowitz blabbered? Yes, we dare. But before her words are examine, one very important thing is missing from her rant. Can you figure it out?

So Eva blabbers; The facts clearly show that Success Academies' educators are incredibly committed to serving children with special needs,

Wow, that is nice. Success Academy is great for being so dedicated to the children with special needs. Does Success have to go through the process of almost three months to determine whether or not a kid needs services? Does Success have a backlog of students who are required services, yet do not receive said services. Each and every special ed teacher I have come across in the PUBLIC SCHOOLS is dedicated. Has gone above and beyond.

We serve a high percentage, and do not push out children who don't "thrive."

So if a student never does work, consistently misbehaves, and the parents are not involved this child remains in Success no matter what?

Our ELL population is 9.6%, and when you factor in children who we have successfully taught English (and are no longer ELL), we clearly educate the same children.

Arthur Goldstein, the famed and preeminent ESL teacher from Francis Lewis High School called into my radio show the other night and said that it takes 2 years for a students to learn the language. Do you give these students two years? Or since you are Eva Moskowitz does it take less?

Winerip clearly indicates, no one pressured Ms. Sprowal to leave the school.

Yeah, but no one lifted a finger to keep Matthew. Or to do the right thing by Matthew. Or perhaps this statement by Matthew's mom over at NYC Public School Parents did not resonate with Eva; 
"I outright refused to comply with the principal’s request for me to transfer my son to another school."
Three years later, after coaching from the United Federation of Teachers, his mother is now unhappy.  The UFT spent five years hovering over our schools to find hordes of students who were unfairly "pushed" out, and the best they could find was a single story with a happy ending.

Do you have irrefutable proof that the UFT coached Matthew's mom? If you do, I dare you to show it now. If not, I demand that you retract this statement. As far as a happy ending, please, Whitney will think it is time to go cruising the Interstate rest areas.

It is our obligation to advise a parent that there might be a better setting for their child.

Obligation or need? Your Freudian slip just showed. You just contradicted yourself Eva. The last I checked, a PUBLIC SCHOOL can't do this. But you can. Hmmmm.

Our schools are a work in progress, every day we try to do better for the largest number of children. 

The largest number of children? Shouldn't that statement be all children? So students do fall through the cracks at Success?

While I don't believe that the school mishandled the situation, we are always working to improve how we serve children with all types of needs.  For next year, we have added a 12:1:1 program at two of our schools and a Director of Special Education at the network-level who comes from the city's District 75.

Please. You have already contradicted yourself about moving kids out of your school. But, that is so nice of you to have now two 12:1:1 programs. And please share who this Special Education director is.

The theme is repeated in this story.  33% of 4th graders passed the state ELA test at PS 75, but public schools like PS 75 get more tough-to-serve children.  (PS 75 does not, but schools like it do, he argues) When schools like ours have 86% of 4th graders passing the same test, it must be because we don't have the same kids, because schools can't possibly be expected to do that well.

No, you don't have the same kids. You don't teach the same way. You have students and families that have a commitment, that sign contracts. If they don't follow the rules they are met with punitive measures. Can a PUBLIC SCHOOL do this? No!

Winerip also makes the argument that schools like PS 75 care about children and thus have low test scores while schools like Harlem Success Academy don't care about children and thus have high test scores.

Schools like PS 75 do care, and all schools and teachers care. Students at PS 75 do not have the resources that you have been able to finagle out of men and rich backers.

You Eva, do not care about the students. You care about yourself, your image, your legacy. That is all that is important to you. You feel you are the savior for the boys and girls, and families of color. That only a Jewish White woman who lives on the border of Harlem can save the day.

I tell our principals, our true measure of success is whether children race through the door each morning and are disappointed to leave each day because school is just that compelling. 

What a load of crap. BLECH!!!!!!

Now for what is missing. Have you noticed that Eva did not mention the corporal punishment inflicted on Matthew? No where, no how. She didn't even deny it! So obviously Matthew was made to walk the hallways in a punitive manner, and Eva condones this type of behavior to a 5 year old student.

What's worse Eva, is that you don't even have the capability to look inward at your own little reality and add in your missive that perhaps it was the teachers fault, I meant the new, white elitist teacher's fault. It does happen you know.

Start allowing children to be children. There is nothing wrong with having a strong hand, but when that hand has a black glove on it there is no benevolence.

The only thing you care about Eva is you, yourself and your legacy. You are an attention whore of the lowest proportion. You are a fraud, you are a charlatan, you a phony.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

This coming Tuesday night, July 12 at 9 PM EDT we welcome the one, the only, the fantastic, the lovely, the affable Frustrated Teacher from The Frustrated Teaher blog; He will square off against a mystery conservative guest that will be revealed Tuesday night. TFT will surely P3WN this guest with the greatest of ease. Fascinating radio it shall be!!!!
Tonight's mystery guest will be Dr. Stephen Guffanti MD who has never taught before and blames teachers for all the is wrong in education, believes in charter schools, home schools is children and believes that God is missing from Education.

Dr Guffanti also has a program, "Rocket Phonics" that promises to take a child to a 5th grade reading level within two years.

Don't forget, tonight at 9 PM EDT. And call in! 917 932 8721

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The True Eva Moskowitz

 Editors note: After this story went to press the crack team here at SBSB learned that Leonie Haimson's blog, NYC Public School Parents has a first person account written by Matthew's mom, Katherine Sprowal. Click here to read it.

In the movie Airplane! right after Striker landed the plane, Rex Kramer said over the radio that there are people that, "want to shake his hand and buy him a drink." I think I can not only speak for myself, but a multitude of others out there who can and will say the same thing of Michael Winerip of the New York Times. Michael, and there are time I have disagreed with him, continues to pull back the sheath of idiocy and stupidity on the NYC DOE. Michael I offer you a glass or two of Slivowitz.

Why is Michael Winerip  about to be blessed with Jewish schnapps? It is because of the article that is to appear in tomorrow's (July 11) New York Times. In this article Weinrip, rips (pardon the pun!) the sheath off of the world created by Success Academy and its leader Eva Moskowitz.

The sheath that Winerip exposed is all to common practice of charter schools, counseling students who do not conform to its values, its core beliefs, out of the school and washing their hands of them. Winerip writes about Matthew a kindergartner, and the hell that Harlem Success Academy 3 put him and his mother, Katherine Sprowal through in 2008. Ms Sprowal unfortunately was hoodwinked by the propaganda video produced by HSA, and soon enrolled young Matthew in the school and like every parent, beamed with pride as she was sending her little man into the world of education. Only it was not the world of education she sent him into, but rather a vast, evil corporate structured educational system that is run by a cold, nasty evil woman.

Winerips starts out writing; Matthew is bright but can be disruptive and easily distracted. It was not a natural fit for the Success charters, which are known for discipline and long school days. 

OK, this can happen at first. New environment, new grade, a lot of newness. But, Matthew is a kid. By the looks of him in the photo he looks very bright and very inquisitive. What teacher, what school wouldn't want a kid like Matthew?

From Day 1 of kindergarten, Ms. Sprowal said, he was punished for acting out. “They kept him after school to practice walking in the hallway,” she said. 

Wait. HSA kept a 5 year old after school and had him practice walking in the hallway? Is HSA the Marine Corps? Yeah, I know, after school at HSA is not the traditional after school. But still. This is a five year old boy! What kind of trauma must this kid be going through on his very first day of school??? Were any positive behavior modification tried before this drastic and perilously close to corporal punishment maneuver was tried?

What better why to suck out the love of learning this young man should have than to berate, bellitle, and shame him than to make him walk the halls from day one?

Several times, she was called to pick him up early, she said, and in his third week he was suspended three days for bothering other children.  

Suspended for bothering students? Isn't HSA bound by Chancellor's Regulation A-443? Isn't HSA bound by the NYC DOE Discipline Code? Or is Eva allowed to circumvent these?

In Matthew’s three years of preschool, Ms. Sprowal said, he had never missed time for behavior problems. “After only 12 days in your school,” she wrote the principal, “you have assessed and concluded that our son is defective and will not meet your school criteria.”

You go Ms Sprowal!!! Want to know why Matthew never had issues in preschool? Because his preschool teachers knew what they were doing! I have seen these women from preschools in the neighborhood where I work. They are like sergeants. Sergeants like Tom Sizemore in Saving Private Ryan. Tough and they are in control, and shower the kids with love. This is their life's calling. They don't just stay for two years and apply to law school.

I have a feeling that Matthew's Kindergarten teacher was a white, young, new teacher that went to a very elite college. 

Five days later, Ms. Sprowal got an e-mail from Ms. Moskowitz that she took as a veiled message to leave. 

The crack team also is in receipt of this email, however we have it in its original German;  "Bin nicht vertraut mit dem Thema. aber es ist extrem wichtig, dass Kinder erfolgreich und ein Neun-Stunden-Tag mit mehr als 23 Kinder (und das ist unsere kleine Klassen!), Wo sie ständig gefragt werden fühlen zu fokussieren und konzentrieren kann überfordern Kinder und ein schlechtes Umfeld. "

Basically Eva is claiming that a 9 hour day with 23 students can be tough. No sh** Sherlock!

The next week, the school psychologist evaluated Matthew and concluded he would be better suited elsewhere: “He may need a smaller classroom than his current school has available.”

Translated; Please, get him out of here.

But Eva's mouthpiece, Jenny Sedis said; “We helped place him in a school that would better suit his needs,” Ms. Sedlis wrote. “His success today confirms the correctness of his placement. I believe that 100 percent of the time we were acting in Matthew’s best interest and that the end result benefited him and benefited P.S. 75, which now has a child excelling.”

Ms. Sedlis denied that Matthew had been suspended, and said he was not disciplined when he was kept after school. 


Sedis goes on to blabber; “Practicing walking through the halls is the opposite of a punishment,...Just as in math, when a child does not get a concept, we re-teach."

And reeducate well having the students watch films of students misbehaving while their eyes are kept open and drops are applied. 

Oh please. Don't compare math and walking in the halls. You guys dropped the ball. Matthew's teacher dropped the ball. HE WAS IN KINDERGARTEN!!! Try positive reinforcement!

Sedis blabbered on; ....that two Success board members were leaders of well-respected special-education schools, Donna Kennedy of Gillen Brewer and Scott Gaynor of the Stephen Gaynor School.

So what? My great-uncle was a Communist. What did Donna and Scotty say about this? Did they ever know? In fact, what would have been done at their schools?

Sedis also offered counterexamples, like Iris Ayala, whose 6-year-old son, Alexander, has an attention disorder and speech problem but has thrived at a Success school. Ms. Ayala said Alexander often acted up, running out of the classroom. But the school gave him special-education help, she said, and now he is reading above grade level. “I love the school,” Ms. Ayala said. 

So why wasn't Matthew afforded this?

But here is something that Weinrip wrote at towards the end of the article; Ms. Moskowitz has enormous political clout, and without my asking, Laura Rodriguez, a deputy chancellor, sent an e-mail saying the Success charters were getting better about special education.

Why should they be getting better? Why? Shouldn't they be there already?

What happened to Matthew is appalling. This is a corporate mentality that allowed this to happen to him. His mother entrusted HSA 3 with her child and they dropped the ball. The fewer problems that Eva and her ilk have to deal with the better.

Hey Eva! If one of your flesh and blood children were treated like Matthew what would you do? What would you say?

Moskowitz is a fraud, a charlatan, a snake oil salesman. She is evil, and out for herself. Let's keep peeling away at Eva.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is Th-Th-Th-That All Ruben?

The official Blog Monkey™ of Educators4Excellence, and also Gotham Schools, Ruben Brosbe, has written a convoluted, look at me article, which some have interpreted, as to be his goodbye. Yes, we don't have confirmation, yet there are several signs that are pointing to this conclusion. Let's have a looksee.

Yesterday, one of my blogging brethren, Accountable Talk, wrote yet another asshat article on his blog. A commenter, who billed themself as AsshatForTenureDenial left this comment; "For those who really want to know about Ruben Brosbe, his tenure was also denied. This I can assure you." That is clue #1

The second clue actually is a series of me having asked Ruben in Gotham and by leaving, or attempting to leave, comments on his blog whether or not he has ever been denied or extended tenure. These questions have been met with either silence or blogger moderation.

The third clue is again leaving him a comment on his blog on his most recent piece as to whether or not he has been denied tenure and/or been discontinued. Again, silence. Yes, I know I am a major nudge, but I have allowed comments that have been clear cuts attacks here on SBSB. Why won't Ruben allow dissenting views on his blog?

But the fourth clue is what makes one raise an eyebrow much as Mr Spock once did. If you read Ruben's piece there is the typical kvecthing and whining, but nowhere does he write about looking forward to next year, how he might incorporate what he has learned this year into next, how he might better himself next year, etc... The crack team looked at this quizzically and again over Chinese take out from Tung Sing on Central Ave decided to have a look at Ruben's previous end of the year posts.
At the end of Ruben's first year of teaching in 2008 he wrote this. The clue, 
"and after looking forward to next year as a chance to do the grade right, it's looking like I won't get that chance." 
In June 2009, he blabbered;  
"...that I'm actually finishing my second year of teaching (the end of my commitment to Teaching Fellows) or that I'm actually going to fight to teach for a third year" 
In June 2010 he spewed,  
"What's surprised me most lately is how ready I am to go back in the fall."  
But here we are, July of 2011 and not once has Ruben mentioned next year. Not once in any single posting in June 2011, and not once in what appears to be his farewell. How quaintly curious.

If this is true, why was he denied or extended tenure now a possible second year in a row? His it his blog? Doubt it. It is not controversial, but he does come across like a sniveling, whiny, Nancy all the time.  His teaching? I can't comment on this truly without seeing the scores of his students, seeing him teach. I don't think he is as good as he fancies himself, but I don't think he is that bad a teacher. In fact, if he was caught up in this whole denying imbroglio that is infecting the DOE I have no choice but to support him.

So what is it? I'll tell you what it is. It's karma, baby. Just like the schmuck last week who was killed whilst riding his motorcycle without a helmet in protest of helmet laws, Ruben ran face first into karma. To paraphrase Dick Martin, Ruben is this years winner of the Fickle Finger of Fate award.

How ironic it is that Ruben is doing everything he can to fu** over veteran teachers that had gone out of their way to mentor him, to assist him, to guide him. How ironic it is that Ruben advocates fu**ing over teachers with mortgages, children, car payments, lives so he can be part of group, to feel accepted, to get some type of validation as a human being that he never received as a child.

Ruben Brosbe is one of the worst type, and I use this term loosely, human beings. He is lower than a used car salesman. Ruben will do whatever he can do fu** someone over, especially a veteran teacher. And worse! Worse is that Ruben sees teaching as all about him. All about how he can look good, how he can use educator on his resume to advance his career. How the students should show him constant adulation and reverence because the rich white boy his there to save all the little boys and girls of color.

If Ruben was denied tenure will he go crying to the UFT for help? I doubt it. He will do what rich little white boys of privilege do. Have daddy pay to retain an attorney. Will he go running to his little friends, or rather associates at E4E? No, and besides they probably are looking for a chance to drop him like a hot potato. Opportunists, like those at E4E, despise opportunists and joiners like Ruben.

As an old teaching colleague once told me, "don't ever come between me and my direct deposit," Ruben did all he can to come between the direct deposit of 78,000 NYC  teachers.

Of course if Ruben wishes to grow a set and refute any of what I have written he is more than welcome to leave comments. His comments will not be moderated nor edited. But he shant. He is a balless wonder.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Depression And PTSD At The NYC DOE

You thought I forgot about the blog. I have been busy. It's been over a week since I have shared the deep recesses of my mind. Nothing really has really grabbed my attention. Until just the other day.

I rarely buy the official newspaper of Uncle Mike Bloomberg, The New York Post. Firstly, it is too expensive for a crappy newspaper, and lastly, it is crap. We get it free at school, I can read it online for free, and as far as I am concerned only Phil Mushnick andWonderword make it worthwhile.

But I came across the following story about a teacher that it has taken the DOE 8 years to fire quite by accident. I think it was in the official mouthpiece of the Department of Education, Gotham Schools. But anyway, it was printed this past Sunday, July 3 and being that I was in the wilds of Columbia County Sunday, I completely missed it. I know, I know. I am digressing yet again.

Susan Edelman wrote that Murry Bergtraum HS Spanish teacher Yvonne Chalom was convicted on 32 count of aggravated harassment, yet the DOE did not feel it had enough to fire her. So it found grounds, it accused her of taking photos of a school clock without permission, throwing a temper tantrum in a room-assignment mixup, and calling an assistant principal a “bitch.” OK. The old David Pakter ploy.

But Edelman whined on how Ms Chalom received her salary, how it cost the DOE $1 million dollars, how her 3020a hearings took two years and two years to get a ruling, how she sat in the rubber room and did nothing, and how arbitrator James Cashen charged the DOE $900 a day, and gave the lawyers a year to submit closing arguments.

But Ms Chalom is not the problem here. Yet, the Post decided to make her an example and the Post decided to use her photo. She is not the problem. And mind you, I am not getting into her guilt on innocence here. She has every right to expect due process. She has every right to use due process. Hell, look at the Casey Anthony situation. It took three years almost to bring her to trial.

But there are two issues here that need to be addressed and neither concern Ms Chalom. The problems are the system.

The first problem is James Cashen. Mr Cashen charges $900 a day to come to New York and arbitrate 3020a hearings. Mr Cashen also lives in Hudson, NY. Ever been to Hudson? It is a two and a half hour drive from New York. Who pays for Mr Cashen's accommodations? Mr Cashen out of the $900? Mr Cashen has a vested interest to late this case drag on as long as possible. Remember the OJ trial? The prosecution did not screw it up. It was Judge Ito. Cashen let this go on as long as possible, Cashen was in control. He could have moved things along quickly, but he didn't. Why wasn't he made the subject of the Post article? Why wasn't his photo pasted in the paper?

Now onto the other issue. In the Post article, Edelman writes that, "Ms Chalom,who lives near Ground Zero, claimed she suffered from post-traumatic stress after 9/11." Let's give Ms Chalom the benefit of the doubt here. The crack team here at SBSB has delved into the innards of the DOE and the UFT to list programs that are offered to teachers that are in distress. The list is as follows:

Yep, there ain't anything to list. Nothing. Nada. Bupkus. Where can a teacher turn to that is suffering from depression? From PTSD? From alcoholism? Drug abuse?  From physical abuse? Think about this. As a teacher, when 8 30 hits, you are on, and you have to keep that smile, that happy face on until 2 50. You have no choice. And if you dare to show weakness, dare to bring your troubles to school, dare to open up to the wrong colleague, or open up to the wrong administrator you are screwed, blued and tattooed.

NYPD has offerings and help for cops who battle alcohol. And these are people who carry guns. NYPD has help for cops who are involved in spousal abuse. Why isn't the DOE and UFT at the forefront of setting up programs for teachers who are fighting mental duress? What harm would it do to help that teacher who is fighting depression? Or alcoholism? Wouldn't it make the teachers more productive, less prone to taking sick days? Teachers are people too. If we are pricked we bleed, if we are tickled we laugh, if we are wronged we fight back.

There are one too many teachers working without a net. One too many teachers that need help and have no where to go. One too many teachers who know if they ask for help, their career will be over. It is time for the DOE and the UFT to do the right thing and have a support system in place for these teachers.