Sunday, November 27, 2011

Little Evan Stone And Princess Sydney Morris Are Do-Gooders (Thank God!)

Let's try this. Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat (sound of teletype)rat-tat-tat-tat....From the newsroom of Educators4Excllence, breaking news!!!!

E4E, Little Evan Stone, and Princess Sydney Morris have been featured on as a couple of gosh diddly darn do gooders! Yes, in an article entitled, "Educators 4 Excellence: An Independent Voice for Teachers" (notice the major typo when you see the article) written and attributed to no one, this puff piece shows just how how wonderful and flawed the whole E4E cult truly is.

Sadly the same old propaganda is used; Two years ago, Sydney Morris and Evan Stone were both teaching at a traditional district elementary school in the North Bronx. Morris taught 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms and Stone taught 5th graders. Both teachers reveled in their careers and were extremely passionate about their profession. However, they came to realize much of the control and responsibility they were granted within the classroom was lost outside of its four walls. Morris recalls the pair feeling they had zero say on the policy level.

Oh joy, the reveled in their careers. They are so set apart from the rest of the 80,000+ educators in NYC. But...... What's this? They seemed to realize that they couldn't control policy?  They had zero to say?

Why not join the school leadership team? This is a quite effective, and some would say better way, to effect change, policy at the school level. But I guess being children of privilege they don't expect to roll up their sleeves and work their way to the top. One would assume that like a country club in which you getting voting rights immediately, they expected the same from the UFT and Tweed. But then again, the more cynical person will see that they paid kvetchers doing the bidding of Gates, Broad, et. al.

Sydney blabbers; “Policy decisions were made at the 30,000 foot level without any input from classroom teachers,” Morris says. “We didn’t have a say in the decisions that affected our students. We realized the need to bridge the gap between the people that create policy and the people who implement it.”

See above, Re: school leadership team

Morris and Stone co-founded the teacher-led nonprofit organization, Educators 4 Excellence in spring 2010 while they were both still teaching

Yes, they did, and with a nice $250K of gelt from Democrats For Education Reform which laundered it for the Gates Foundation. Why don't Little Evan or Princess Sydney ever mention this?

The organization started with 16 teachers and has grown in less than two years to include 3,200 teachers. 

Oh please. Where is this number, 3,200 derived from? They barely have enough people at their shin dings to qualify for a minyan. I would say a good number of those 3,200 signed up to watch a train wreck.

Morris’ passion for teaching transferred into a new calling: to give teachers a voice so students can ultimately succeed.

So why didn't her students succeed? 

The nonprofit provides informed access to timely and relevant information about teaching and education policy.

Why is a non-profit needed for this? Timely and relevant information can be found on, and I bite my tongue as I say this, Gotham Schools. Oh, but then Little Evan and Princess Sydney won't be getting any attention.

“We believe in the importance of bringing teachers together to network because it can be a very isolating profession,” explains Morris. “We give them the chance to come together with like-minded policy makers across the city through a series of events and panel discussions where teachers can share their ideas.”

Yes, thank you for getting teachers together, but if one were to look in the back of the UFT paper one would notice that the UFT sponsors trips to outlet malls, Broadway shows, and putt-putt golf. 

But, E4E's events and panel discussions are so tightly controlled. Just how neutral are these events?

To become a member of Educators 4 Excellence, teachers must sign the nonprofit’s declaration. The declaration supports a commitment to excellence by  elevating teaching as a profession in order to drive better outcomes for students.

OH VEY!!!!! Yes, one must sign a declaration supporting E4E's convoluted truths, but so did Germans have to sign onto the plans of the National Socialist party.

To put their methods into action, Educators 4 Excellence forms teacher-led policy teams. Groups of 15 teachers delve into one specific issue in education and look at research, surveys, other states and districts to devise an outline of what they would like to see in terms of education policy reform.

Yes, each teacher with an average of of about 26 and with 2.5 years experience are attempting to decide, with the nefarious backing of Uncle Mike and Sock Puppet Walcott, the fate of thousands of teachers.

Educators 4 Excellence focuses on how to create a system for teacher evaluations that fairly and equitably evaluates teachers, while also placing an emphasis on supporting them to improve.

Translated: Educators4Excellence focuses on the directions of billionaires ensconced  in their billionaire homes holding the purse string as well as the puppet strings. 

This is another fraudulent piece written by God knows whom. E4E, Little Evan, and Princess Sydney still refuse to come clean in where they get their money from and who really calls the shots.

Want to claim to be grassroots? Want to join a true grassroots movement? Look at GEM. Independent voice and no billionaires. In fact don't forget to see the GEM produced The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman movie, December 8th at the Emily Dickinson School, 735 West End Ave in Manhattan.

One more thing, some say I might harp on E4E just a tad much. But if we let our guard down with this group they will become dangerous. They are bullies and frauds. The only way to defeat them is to continue to keep the heat on, to continue to expose what they are. Think about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Technology In Education Is Not For The Mega Mind Of Jeb Bush

It's easy to bash the Bush family. Yes, that Bush family. Poppy, W, and especially Jeb. It easy, but I find it necessary. However, I will keep my wrath from Poppy and W, and instead target Jeb? Why Jeb? It seems lately that Jeb has decided to come to the forefront of the education deformer debate and put him self front and center. We all know the smoke and mirrors that Jeb used to show that he was the "education governor," but in reality, Jeb and his policies were failures.

So it is with great wonder and befuddlement why anyone would take anything by Jeb Bush seriously. Jeb Bush feels he has a mega mind. So would then anyone who takes him seriously be a groupie? A Megamind if you will.

It came across to us here in the SBSB newsroom that the Megamind groupie does have a bit of a man crush on Jeb Bush. The crack team at SBSB came across a paper, or rather an article that was credited to Jeb Bush which was passed around like the holy grail. "Giving Every Student a Digital Learning Experience," which was published this past January in Education Next, which by the way is one of the official mouthpieces of the deform movement, shows the ignorance the former Florida governor possess and the idiocy of anyone, think the Megamind groupie, who thinks Jeb Bush is a person to be quoted.

Jeb Bush starts by blabbering; Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a challenging, high-wage job that doesn’t require a basic understanding of technology.  Nearly everyone in our 21st century workforce – doctors, librarians, mechanics, and teachers to name a few – uses and interacts with varying degrees of technology on a daily basis.

Yes, that must have been quite a stretch for Jeb to think that or say that, or probably, tell his speechwriter to throw that line in, but it is true.

To get those challenging, high-wage jobs, today’s students are going to need college courses, vocational certification, or job training, many of which will be offered virtually. 

But, he shows us his true colors here. He shows that he is now beholden to the Tom Vander Ark's of the world in which technology is not just another tool for the teacher and the classroom, but rather a replacement for the teacher and the classroom.  Curious as to why Megamind didn't see this one.

Schools must equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need for future success, and today that means using a technology-inclusive education.

Curious, hmmmm. "Schools must equip?" A "technology inclusive" education? These seem like code for less teachers, less salaries, more money in the hands of the consultants and the software people.

See kids get technology today. My son, bless his heart, at the age of 8 showed me how to use the DVR. My son, at the age of 5 knew to go to to find out the sports scores. He knows Youtube, he knows it all. The vast, vast majority of young students (I am going with young because by high school kids these days seem to be able to do anything) understand how to use technology. What they don't yet know is, aside from word processing and research, is how to incorporate those tools that are ALREADY OUT THERE AND FREE into their education.

Yet less than 10 percent of our nation’s students are benefiting from digital learning. 

Translated: Less than 10 percent of the nation's students are not benefiting from  consultant's latest cure all which will cost millions of dollars in no bid contracts.

Thankfully, state leaders are recognizing the power of digital learning and the impact it has on students’ future success. 

Thank God for Tom Vander Ark and others like him for their knee pads they bring to every golf course they go to with a legislator. Look, state leaders don't care about the education of students. They just care about what they can get out of it for themselves. 

Michigan and Alabama were the first states to require an online learning experience in order to graduate high school...... This year, Florida passed an online course requirement. 

Learning experience, Gracie?  I can share a learning experience I know of in Florida. A student took phys. ed. online. He was at home, and the computer told him to do 20 jumping jacks, run around the block a few times. When done, just click completed. Can you imagine the abuse????

This reminds me of when I took drivers ed. at Maria Regina High School in 1980. The final exam was being passed around like Whitney Tilson would if and when he goes to prison. The instructor was reading the paper and we were passing the exam around to get the correct answers. Jeb, where is the accountability for students? Where is the give and take, the social skills, the discussions that students need to not only learn, but to become well rounded human beings? I guess Jeb doesn't care as long as the coffers of his cronies are enriched.

Equipping every student with a personalized digital learning experience is a must in today’s digitally-driven society. Digital learning can customize education with high expectations and ensure that all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers.

What is this digital learning experience?  I mean everything now is an experience. Going to dinner is now a "dinner experience", giving birth is now a "birthing experience", blogging is now a "blogging experience."

Customizing education? Does that mean we give the students spinners and spoilers? Maybe a little flame paint job? Education is not Bergdoff's in Palm Beach where you have your own private shopper to customize your "shopping experience."

High expectations only come about through technology? No! High expectations are there to begin with as a teacher. In fact, this customizing of the "educational technological experience," is if anything dumbing down education and lowering expectations. In fact I will go so far as saying that expectations are actually being lowered to assure that each student is regarded as the same mindless drone. Nothing more than a cog in the continued manipulation of those that claim they are for students first. 

Technology is a tool. It is like a book, or a piece of chalk, or even a pencil. It is part of the learning process, part of the classroom experience (pardon the pun) it is not a means unto itself.

Project based learning in the opinion of myself and the crack team does concur will lead the students to a full smorgasbord of learning pleasures. Even in the days before computers there was nothing better than project based learning.

In the summer of 1976 my parents sent me to a sleep away re-education enhancement school/camp. I recall that for one week we researched the Mormon church. It's history, it's beginnings, etc...We gave what would be considered now a rudimentary presentation. But ever since then, I have had a fascination with the Mormon's. Not to be the point of converting, but to a point where I can hold my own in a conversation with those on mission.

Why must we pay monies for what is already out there for free? Give me a computer (only Apple), a good internet connection and MS Office and wonders can be accomplished. Hell, give me an iPad, or even an iPhone, which unfortunately, can't be bought on NYC FAMIS, and wonders can be accomplished.

Students will be eager to finally wish to write, and write well if they could produce their own blogs, or websites. Students will learn how to filter out information using the Internet. Students can work on their presentations skills and verbal skills with podcasting. Students can learn how to edit stories, videos through iMovie. Artists can be birthed through the use of basic Photoshop, or Illustrator. Books, can be read, and students be more eager to read because the books on electronic and thus more stimulating. And I know I am leaving a lot out, but I am meeting a friend I haven;t seen since 1977. So another time OK?

Why this re-inventing of the wheel when the wheel that is being used as either not been tried out or has never been flat? It's because the ignorant, the few, the Tom Vander Arks do not care for the boys and girl of color, but only the presidents on green.

Why anyone who wishes to be taken seriously as a educator would use this Jeb Bush article as an example of how to use technology in education is beside the crack team.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anthony Krinsky Can Only Blame Unions

On November 11 I wrote a defense of Mona Davids related to the stunning fact free story written by intrepid New York Post reporter Carl Campanile on November 10.

The next day I get an email from Anthony Krinsky, author of the Edobserver blog telling me I had just been made famous by him. Wow, I said to myself, how did  this happen? Krinsky wrote a post debunking what I had written as well as the tenets of Mona's organization New York City Parents Union. As I was reading this I was quite curious as to how the 5-10 people that read Krinsky's blog will assist me in creating fame and was perplexed that Krinsky blames everything on the teacher's unions.

In response to one of the most important matters in education today, and #1 on the chart for NYC Parents Union is class size. Krinsky wrote;  Smaller class sizes is their hall-mark achievement.  This policy is singularly responsible for doubling education spending and teacher union membership, without budging the needle on student achievement even 1%.  Common sense, research, and the staffing policies of the best charter schools make it clear that spending more money per teacher on better teachers, is far more effective than putting more mediocre teachers in a school building.

So, you believe that this is some plot to keep teachers in their jobs and to increase the membership of unions?  There are many studies I can cite to show that reducing class size is the best way to go, but there is much anecdotal evidence nationwide to prove it. But you do contradict yourself. You decry spending more and more money yet you want teachers to be paid more. Do you really believe that teachers go into teaching for the money?

You mention student achievement not going up one percent, well who do you think makes the decision on which curriculum teachers must use?

 And please don't think charters are the giant balm that they are. Only 20% of charters do as well if not better than neighborhood schools. Plus in charters you have much less students with IEP's, ELL's, and behavior problems than you do in a traditional public school. These students are the ones that benefit the most from smaller class size.

 On more teaching, less testing Krisnky shares; No teacher accountability for performance.

Tests should be used to assess students needs, not to evaluate teachers. Their are too many variables in children and their lives for even a Noble prize scientist to use as a control. How shall we evaluate police officers? Firefighter? Please share.

Expand Pre Kindergarten and Early Intervention Programs. Krinsky got me laughing; True meaning: Create more union jobs.

 Geez, wanting children to have access to education at such a young age is appalling, eh? Reaching out to students that have disabilities that can be corrected or reduced so their education is not more expensive in the long run I guess is just plain wrong.

Krinsky's take on Qualified and Experienced Educators and Educational Leaders; Make sure that super-capable and enthusiastic Teach For America candidates cannot be placed (every year, 90% of applicants -- over 35,000 teachers are NOT placed annually)  so that under-achieving, union-brainwashed teacher ed-school grads can keep all the jobs for themselves.

Super capable? What makes a TFA'er super capable? Did you know that TFA candidates go through 50 hours of training in August? That is 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week, for five weeks. Would you this amount of training acceptable for your doctor? For police officer? For a psychiatrist? For your auto mechanic? Surely not. Besides, please share a link with us that confirms that 35,000 teachers each year are not placed.

Anthony, you are wonderful at pointing out all that what you believe is wrong. You keep on blaming the unions, but have you ever read any contracts? You claimed on my radio show that the UFT contract is over 400 pages long. You were off by 200.

What is your solution? What is it you are doing right now other than kvetching on your blog? If you feel so strongly about this why not teach. Show us all how it is done and how easy you think it is. Many will be looking to hear your take.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Anthony Krinsky Fractures Reality

A new name is out there amongst the deformers, Harvard grad Anthony Krinsky. I had Anthony on my radio show (which will return after the 1st of the year) back on August 23. He was a gracious guest and a good sport.

The name Anthony Krinsky might sound familiar to some. He has a blog and a website, StopUTLA. Anthony also appears to be a disciple of Ben Austin out there in Los Angeles and presumably is head over heels with Michelle Rhee.

You also might have read of Krinsky in Whitney Tilson's blog. Whitney seems to have a big man crush on Krinsky. I mean who wouldn't. But Whitney likes to quote Krisnky from time to time.

The last week or so Krinsky and I have had a tit for tat, back and forth email exchange with stayed pretty friendly yet quite opinionated. I do wish to credit him for being quite the mensch in inquiring about the status of my wife and I thank him for that. But one thing gnawed at me. I missed asking him a question when he was on my radio show.

If you listen to the recording of that evening at about 44:50 in Krinsky shares with me how in 1994 he as an Americorps member was volunteering in West Philadelphia High School. He shared this with me in response to be asking what he has done for the "cause."Never mind that he called the students "hooligans," but he was quite proud of his involvement.

On the show Krinsky said that he took students who couldn't even read a ruler and taught them to add and subtract fractions during the homeroom period over, I would guess, several weeks. I say several weeks because in his email Krinsky claimed 15 hours of work. This is what confuses me. Maybe things have changed, but when I was in high school homeroom was no longer than 20 minutes and we were basically just there for attendance, the morning announcements and any business that needed to be taken care of. Where was the time to educate these students into adding and subtracting fractions?

On the radio show I asked Krinsky if there was anyway to verify that this took place. Now I had forgotten that I had asked him this question and asked him last week to verify his service. Last week Krinsky shared with me that the organization he was with is known as WEPIC, or as he later said which the acronym stands for, West Philadelphia Partnership, and that either a Blain Stoddard or Krinsky's WEPIC manager Mike Connelly should be contacted for verification. The crack team has spent numerous man hours scouring the ends of the earth and have been unable to find entities known as WEPIC, The West Philadelphia Project, or even Blain Stoddard or Mike Connelly.

But in listening to the recording of the show tonight, when asked if there was anyway to verify Krinsky's involvement with West Philadelphia, Krinsky flat out said, "No." Strange isn't? Even stranger is Krinsky also sharing with me that he was forced to leave WPHS by the union for doing too good a job.

What else is strange is that Krinsky claims that he was with Americorps during this time at WPHS in 1993-1994 school year. However, according to the Americorps website, President Clinton did not sign the Americorps bill until September 1993 and the first class of 20,000 Americorps members does not start serving in its 1,000 communities until September of 1994. This totally contradicts Krinsky's timeline.

We here at SBSB have many answers for Anthony Krinsky. How did you assess that these students learned how to add and subtract fractions? Did the students retain this information? Was teaching of this task done in isolation? Were simple fractions, common denominator used, or were these mixed fractions? Was this done with any visuals? What were the math levels of these students? How many students exactly did you teach? Was it whole class or in a group setting? And even more curious, why would Krinsky leave this remarkable feat off his LinkedIn page?

We here at SBSB look forward to hearing about Anthony Krinsky's version of reality. We welcome him to respond in the comments box and look forward to all 5 readers of his blog to respond as well.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bronxdale High School's John Chase Jr Discusses His Tallywhacker

We here at SBSB wish to commend Principal John Chase Jr., of Bronxdale High School for having the know how to assure that he keeps his job in perpetuity as principal at Bronxdale High school.

Bronxdale High School Phys. Ed. Teacher Beulah Balbricker

How did he do this you may ask yourself. Simple. Principal Chase learned the super secret, never discussed method to being principal for life. Commit a criminal, unethical, or vile act and presto! The NYC DOE will look the other way and absolve you of any responsibility. In fact, I am sure that as of this posting the DOE is contemplating rewarding Principal Chase with a promotion and/or certificate of appreciation.

What criminal, unethical, or vile act did Principal Chase commit? According to yesterday's  New York Post Principal Chase has no qualms about talking about his penis and the places and inanimate objects that he enjoys sticking it. One would assume that rather than an inanimate object, Principal Chase would have preferred sticking it with a real life breathing person. However, we here at SBSB don't wish to judge one's own fetishes. We are cool with all types of fetishes here, rather we take umbrage at Principal Chase not only having the temerity to share to what, and not to whom, he likes to insert his penis, but also that whilst under investigation he has not been removed from his position.

It has been reported by The New York Post that Principal Chase has stuck his penis in a copying machine because it has a "hole that gives a great b*** j**." This was said to a staffer whose jaw is still on the floor.

Principal Chase also took a page out of the 1982 movie Porky's and allegedly celebrated;
a hole in the wall left behind by phone repairmen because he said it meant he could shove his member into it whenever he wanted.
At press time, Bronxdale phys ed. teacher Beulah Balbricker is currently searching for that penis and has enlisted the help of a police sketch artist. 

But the question begs. What is Principal Chase still in the building? What would have happened to him if he was a teacher? We all know. Uncle Mike and Sock Puppet Walcott would waste no time in not only holding a press conference denouncing the behavior of this teacher, but would try and convict the teacher in the press. There would be cries of tougher standards for teachers, tougher vetting of teachers, and the ubiquitous whining that teachers are scum of the earth, that teachers can't be trusted, and that we need to do away with tenure. But, we are just merely peons that higher ups need to blame for their misgivings and Freudian physical shortcomings.

Principal Chase has learned to game the system. He knows as an administrator he has carte blanche to do whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases, with whatever inanimate object he wishes to.

We here at SBSB want to wish Principal Chase and whatever inanimate object that becomes Mrs Chase a long and happy life. The future Mrs Chase will rest comfortably knowing that Principal Chase can not and will not lose his job.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Whitney Tilson Embarrasses Himself Yet Again!

Ugh. Whitney stuff tonight. I just can't help it, especially when he emails contradictory, convoluted, half baked, foot in his mouth blabbering diatribes. If you have not yet subscribed to Whitney Tilson's newsletter or listserv or whatever you wish to call it, I suggest you do. Mention SBSB in the request email and you win a prize!

So Whitney wrote today;
The issue of teacher evaluations has come to the forefront all over the country.  Everyone – even the unions at least pay lip service to it – agrees that there are huge differences among teachers that have an enormous impact on students, so it’s critically important to attract, train, and retain talented teachers – and improve or get rid of ineffective teachers.  To do so, there needs to be a robust, fair system of evaluating teachers, which is REALLY hard to do.  Many smart people are working hard on this – a task made more difficult by the unions, who have effectively taken the position that if an evaluation system is unfair to even one teacher, then it’s unacceptable.

Yep, the unions are paying lip service to it because we know it is flawed, unproven, stupid, and a myriad of other reasons. But as usual, we shall take Whitney's words and show how ignorant and ill informed he always is.

there are huge differences among teachers that have an enormous impact on students,

Yes, I agree. There are huge differences between teachers. A teacher who is teaching for the first time is way different than a veteran teacher. A male teacher can have a different type of impact on male students than a female teacher can. Some teachers really suck up good and are favorite pets. Some teachers have class sizes over 35 kids in a 5th grade class and have about half a dozen serious behavior problems that consistently takes away from any education process going on. And when that teacher asks for support from the administration, the collective administrative heads plop into the sand. Or maybe one teacher has many ELL students. Or students living in shelters. Or students that are abused. So yes, there are differences. Differences that no matter how bad we wish to control, we are unable to control.

But Whitney shows his true colors here;  so it’s critically important to attract, train, and retain talented teachers

Code for white, elitist, young teachers. I think by retain Whitney means that the TFA candidate will complete their two years.

there needs to be a robust, fair system of evaluating teachers, which is REALLY hard to do.

Face palm statement of the year.

Many smart people are working hard on this 

Where? Whom? Teachers? Of course not, who care for the input of teachers?

 a task made more difficult by the unions, who have effectively taken the position that if an evaluation system is unfair to even one teacher, then it’s unacceptable.

Whitney, in all the do gooding that you do to feel better over your white liberal guilt and to show that as a hedge fund manager you have not raped and pillaged this country would you not be the first person in line to whine that the death penalty is unacceptable if ONE, just ONE person is executed that just might be guilty? Would you not whine your Whitney whine if just ONE, just ONE family is denied health coverage because of affordability or availability? You are such a hypocrite.

More blabbering from Whitney, disguised as a love letter to Steve Brill;
This is a really interesting conversation, especially your P.S. Steve.  It's the UNIONS that are responsible for the testing/value-added system that EVERYONE knows is quite imperfect – even the biggest defenders of the very best testing/value-added system admit (yes, publicly) that some teachers and even entire schools engage in "teaching to the test" to the detriment of real learning, there's a meaningful error rate, the results can be unstable year to year for some teachers, and it's useless for granular distinctions between, say, a teacher in the 55th percentile vs. 45th.  (I do maintain, however, that a teacher that is consistently in the bottom 10% is almost certain to be really lousy.)

Steve's suggestion is 100x more sensible, but the unions are so distrustful of the system and principals (to be fair, with good reason in many cases) that they're forcing an excessive testing regimen upon the system – and then, ironically, endless criticize that very system.  That's why so many people like me think that their real agenda is to not have any accountability at all: they think and perpetuate the myth that all teachers are equally wonderful, which is an insult to teachers in my opinion.

In my business – and in virtually any business in the country – I can fire whomever I like, if I am dissatisfied with them for whatever reason, even if they're good at their job – if I don't like their attitude or aren't a team player, for example (obviously within the bounds of the law: I can't fire someone because I don't like their ethnicity, age, etc.).  Does this sometimes result in someone being fired "unfairly"?  Sure.  (And if it violates the law, that person can sue me.)  But the alternative – what we have now in our schools, is far worse.
It's the UNIONS that are responsible for the testing/value-added system that EVERYONE knows is quite imperfect

The unions are responsible? How? Yet you are now admitting that EVERYONE knows that VAA is quite imperfect. Whitney, would you allow yourself to use an imperfect system to pick companies to long or short? No. Would you allow an imperfect system to evaluate you as a hedge fund manager? Yet, you know the system sucks, yet why do you advocate for it, yet blame the unions?

that some teachers and even entire schools engage in "teaching to the test" to the detriment of real learning, there's a meaningful error rate, the results can be unstable year to year for some teachers,

The teachers that teach to the test do it for two reasons. One, and most foremost is the pressure they get from ABOVE!!!! Yes, the administration with their asses online the line pass the anxiety down to the teachers. Secondly, when you have a family to feed car payments, braces to pay for, a mortgage, college tuition to pay for, and the truss to help your mother in laws sciatica and your pay and job rests on TEST SCORES, well what the hell, short of cheating, do you think a teacher is going to do? Whitney is part of the system that is enabling the very thing he decries!!!

That's why so many people like me think that their real agenda is to not have any accountability at all: they think and perpetuate the myth that all teachers are equally wonderful, which is an insult to teachers in my opinion

Oh thank you for taking our side. Please, will you purchase tickets to the upcoming Educator's Ball?

In my business – and in virtually any business in the country – I can fire whomever I like, if I am dissatisfied with them for whatever reason,

Yes, Whitney, we know that. You are a private company. A business. There is a difference. One, education is not a business and two, you are private. You do not have to deal with that pesky little thing in the US Constitution known as the due process. Guess what? Cops can't get fired for no reason, neither can firefighters, sanitation workers, parks employees, highway workers. Deal with it.

if I don't like their attitude or aren't a team player, for example (obviously within the bounds of the law: I can't fire someone because I don't like their ethnicity, age, etc.).  Does this sometimes result in someone being fired "unfairly"?  Sure.

I am sure you sleep very well at night Whitney. Flippant ******e

Whitney, it appears you are straddling the fence here, playing both sides. But I doubt it. As usual you just continue to embarrass yourself, loving the idea of your own thoughts and lack of conviction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Carl Campanile Of The New York Post Questions The Integrity Of Mona Davids

So here I am yesterday giving the students busy work as I read that veritable bastion of journalistic integrity, The New York Post. Haha, only kidding. That entire first sentence was a lie. Let me start again.

So here I am yesterday afternoon cleaning up the hair balls that my cat had spewed forth whilst cleaning it up with that rag, The New York Post. As those hair balls are being collected I see an article entitled, "New parent group all $nug with UFT,"written by a "journalist" Carl Campanile. Upon further reading I spit out my Coke and my eyeballs shoot of their sockets, all in a stereotypical sign of surprise. This article much to my chagrin, not only mocks Mike Mulgrew, which I have no problem with, but mocks Mona Davids, which I do have a problem with.

Campanile insinuates that a donation of $10,000 from the UFT to Mona's organization, NYC Parents Union is a quid pro quo. Not just for giving a honor to Mulgrew, which he was not the only one, but to others as well. Worse, Campanile, forgetting that the first job of any journalist is to refrain from bias allows Democrats For Education Reform's Führer Joe Williams to be quoted in a style befitting someone who has discovered that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same,
“It was always clear that the UFT was behind this organization, but now they aren’t even trying to pretend there is any separation,”
Shocking! Lest us not forget Joe Williams that DFER sugar daddy Rupert Murdoch, who happens to be the owner of The Post gave DFER's sister propaganda arm, Education Reform Now a fat check of $1 million.

Mona said she;
“welcomes and appreciates alliances with other individuals and organizations who share our interest in obtaining the highest-quality public education for all children in New York City.’’
We here at SBSB are appalled (just in case, this is sarcasm!) at Mona's wish that all individuals in New York City should have the best education, the best access to education, and not to quote Mona, but surely to paraphrase and echo her thoughts, an end to the bullshit that abounds at the highest levels of the NYC DOE, City Hall, and the deform movement that has developed and keeps a protective wall around all the misgivings brought forth on the parents of the children, and of course the children themselves, of New York City.

What subversive wishes does Mona and the New York City Parents Union have in mind? Let's have a looksee at their "demands."

  1. Smaller Class Sizes
  2. Excellent Community Public Schools for ALL Children
  3. More Teaching – Less Testing
  4. Parent and Teacher Empowerment and Leadership
  5. Equitable Funding for ALL Schools
  6. Moratorium on school closings and charter co-locations
  7. Culturally Relevant Curriculum
  8. Expand Pre Kindergarten and Early Intervention Programs
  9. Qualified and Experienced Educators and Educational Leaders
  10. Enforcement of the law requiring charters to recruit, retain and show their retention efforts of students with special needs and English Language Learners.  The practice of pushing/counseling out such students must end
  11. An end to the granting of waivers for chancellor appointees who do not qualify under the law
  12. An immediate end to mayoral control and the failed education policies of the past 9 years
How dare she!! How dare Mona and her organization want these things. For shame Mona, for shame. How can you sleep at night? But in all seriousness, what Mona is demanding, and let's stay out of the union politics for a moment, are what teachers everywhere throughout the five boroughs are demanding. That is except white, twenty somethings, from elite colleges, that plan to teach only a few years to pad their resumes.

We here at SBSB reached out to Carl Campanile between bites of his Taco Bell Beef Burrito Supreme to get his take on the article he written. He was asked if in light of what he had written in regards to the NYC Parents Union and Mona if he plans to write an expose on Educators4Excellence and the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have received from The Gates Foundation which has been laundered through DFER. His response was:
"The story speaks for itself."
OK. So we decided to speak to the story. The story in an on the record statement told Dennis from the crack team here at SBSB; 

"You need to forgive Carl. He at one time was an idealistic journalist but after years at the Post he has become nothing but a mindless, brainless robotron who does the bidding for his master Rupert Murdoch. Carl lost any independent thought and ethics long ago and has resigned himself to being some drone in the News Corp militia of hack reporters. Some have thought of saving Carl's journalistic integrity by having him spend a month with the 8th graders who put out Scarsdale Middle School's newspaper, but it was decided he was too far gone."

In the light of full disclosure, I must admit that today I bought two raffle tickets for a local church. These are considered donations. One can safely assume, using Carl Campanile's logic that I have now foresworn Judaism to be led now by Rome, or worse. To bring my beliefs now to the Catholic Church in which the first order of business will be to replace the Christmas dinner with brisket and latkes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How To Avoid School Closures In 6 Easy Steps

Oh, it was with so much sadness that I read over at Norm's Notes that there are now 47 schools scheduled to be closed. That's forty seven schools that have been set up to fail, 47 schools that never stood a chance. I even saw an old favorite of mine, PS 277 in The Bronx targeted for closure. What a beautiful building it is. I think it was built around 1903, a time when education meant education for students, not for trying squeeze out a dollar.

So the crack team here at SBSB got to thinking. What can be done to prevent school closures? We brainstormed all weekend. Came up with many ideas, and many non ideas. We fought, we laughed, we even cried trying to come up with a solution. Finally, Herb mentioned how he used to watch Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live back in the 80's. A light bulb popped over all our heads. Yes! Billy Crystal's character, Fernando, always said it was "Better to look good than to feel good." So using this phrase as our motivation we here at SBSB came up with ideas, which used all in conjunction with, will prevents schools in NYC from facing the dreaded threat of closure.

Of course this can and should be used as a primer to those principals, mainly the Leadership Academy grads that have no morals, ethics, or qualms about doing what is in their best interests, who will proliferate such schools that don't wish to be closed.  Something tells us that though this might be an original idea, it might have been used before.

1. Have a really cool name. PS 55 or PS 491, or any PS with a number is not cool. It does not make a statement. Have a school name that implies something grand. "The Nautical School for Applied Life Sciences." Or, "Institute for Life Implicated Sciences." Or "Academy for Dignified Table Etiquette." Names like this show that your school truly stands for something and sets it apart from the other schools. Now mind you, this alone will not guarantee your school from not closing.

2. Involve Uncle Mike. Your school must have some kind of photo and/or video of Uncle Mike engaging in some sort of staged read aloud, ceremony, etc... with your school. Why? Because how can Uncle Mike allow a school to close if there is recorded proof that he has had an involvement with it? Think about it. Uncle Mike hates looking like a putz, would he not look like a putz being on record as praising it then it being closed. Just be ready to have a plaque made to hang in the school commemorating Uncle Mike's visit.

3. Money. Find some outside sucker, er I meant, person that is filthy rich, or a corporation that wants to look like it is doing good and get money, preferably one that has donated monies to Uncle Mike. This will get an influx of nice computers which will eventually be used as doorstops, but the school can brag it has the latest technology. Also, as mentioned in #2 photo opportunities are limitless with the filthy rich and the corporations as they assuage their white liberal guilt.

4. Hire young teachers from Teach For America. Yes, this is key. Schools are closed to be rid of those older, seasoned veterans of education. How can Uncle Mike close a school if the teaching staff is made up of young, single, elitist younglings who are so chock full of energy?  Would Uncle Mike want to throw these kiddies out on the street before they can pad that resume for law school or business school? NO!

5. The only people of color in the school should be the students. This is key too! The entire staff, including secretaries, etc... should be white. This will show that they are doing the Lord's work and really truly care about the school and the neighborhood.

6. And lastly, cheat. This goes without saying, cheating on the tests is most important. Do whatever you can. Be creative. Be quick. But don't be sloppy and do cover your tracks. Remember, it is about having the perception of success. Not the reality. As long as those test scores are up Uncle Mike and Sock Puppet Walcott will shower you with praise. Praise will make you look good. Unfortunately, you might have trouble looking in the mirror at night. But who cares, you will be loved by all.

This advice is free and we here at SBSB will not charge a royalty for anyone that implements our "Avoidance to Closure" model.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Upcoming November Failtacular Of Little Evan Stone And E4E

Just for those who are breathlessly awaiting the next Educators4Excellence propaganda meeting, on Tuesday, November 29 at 6 PM EDT those wonderful kids are sponsoring yet another one sided, for lack of a better word, forum at the American Museum of Natural History. After reading Accountable Talk's blog today, this might be quite an opportunity for a Mic Night. But I have digressed and this is something that can be touched on at another time.

The forum, or symposium if you will is entitled; "The Future of Teacher Prep," and ostensibly is on the current and future status of teacher prep. This is an issue deep to the heart of Little Evan Stone as he told the mole that infiltrated the E4E shin ding back on October 14. Little Evan Stone shared with our mole is unhappiness with the current state of college education prep courses while feigning amnesia to the 50 hour, 5 week prep work that Teach For America provides to aspiring teachers in the month before the aspirants are put in schools entrusted with our students education.

Among those on the bill for the evening is former New York State Commissioner for Education and current Dean of Education at Hunter College, David Steiner. We wonder if David Steiner is getting a speaking fee for this appearance. The SBSB crack team uncovered his web page for the speaker's bureau that he is engaged with. Of course, we here at SBSB do not wish to deny anyone the opportunity to earn a dollar, we question this since E4E enabler Whitney Tilson decried the lack of disclosure in Diane Ravitch's speaking fees, but wonder if the acceptance of speaking fees should not only be disclosed by public employees, such as David Steiner, but if Hunter College has some type of regulation in regards to the acceptance of speaking fees. We are only bringing this up to insure that E4E does not in any way look hypocritical. Editor's note 11/6/11 David Steiner emailed us here at SBSB and had this to say; "For the record, I have zero relationship with any speakers agency, and I am getting no honorarium for the November 29th event. I checked your link, and your sources are correct that I am listed by that Agency - I have never even heard of it. I will of course be contacting them as soon as someone will answer their phone to demand they withdraw my name from their website."

Also up on the panel is someone named Maritza Macdonald. Maritza is Senior Director of Education and Policy at the American Museum of Natural History. From what we have been able to ascertain through E4E's invite is the AMNH is the first new "college of teacher preparation in a century," in New York City. Funny, from the links on the AMNH web page it seems that the classes are just being held at AMNH, but the certification, the classes, and the whole shebang are being sponsored and run by Teacher's College. Curiously, Maritza seems like a stand up educator. One would wonder what she would do if she knew of the funding behind E4E and its true motivations. Maritza, feel free to contact us at any time.

And last, but certainly least is Kathryn Hayes, Partner in Program Evaluation at the New Teacher Project. As you can see, Kathryn has quite an extensive history in not being an educator. Please, someone, explain to me why an MBA is important to education? But we here at SBSB welcome her appearance. This will be a perfect opportunity to ask her about the failings of Michelle Rhee and the goings on of the Broad Foundation. I am sure she will welcome such inquiries.

As far Little Evan Stone and E4E, this is yet another example of not fully disclosing its motivation and monies to the public and those it invites on its panels. Also, yet another example of its hypocrisy. Please, think about attending. This will be a perfect opportunity for Mic Night. We all know how Little Evan gets when there is dissent.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Whitney Tilson Strokes It To A Different Drummond

Arnold Jackson, and his older brother Willis, were poor boys of color that lived in Harlem. One day, their mother died and in her will she bequeathed them to a rich white man on Park Ave, her former employer Phillip Drummond. Funny how at no time did she consider family for the boys to live with. She knew that only a rich white man could do good by her boys. Sound familiar? Think about it for a minute.

Now yes, I know Diff'rent Strokes was a TV show, and in reality it was the producers and creators that assumed only a rich white man could save boys of color. I remember a friend of mine claiming that Diff'rent Strokes was one of the more racist, if not insensitive shows on TV due to this sterotype of a rich white man as the "Great White Hope" being the only one who knew what was best for two African-American boys from the hood. But fiction has met reality.

Whitney Tilson is today's Mr Drummond. As discussed on these pages in the past, in which it was questioned whether or not Whitney is a true racist, Whitney is yet again showing his true colors (pardon the pun) and believing that he is the Great White Hope and knows what is best for boys and girls of color.

Whitney has yet again shared how wonderful he believes he is by sharing with us mere mortals that he has signed up through iMentor to mentor a teenage boy of color from KIPP NYC College Prep. Aside from the perversity and the weirdness I yet again, through authorization of the crack team here at SBSB, call bullocks on Whitney.

It's really nice of Whitney to show, or act that he cares. But I doubt his sincerity. This is just another way for Whitney to make Whitney look good. Look, the kid is already in KIPP, he is already one of the creamed. He has advantages, though perhaps not economically at the time. What is Whitney going to do? Beat the color out of him and bring him into Whitney's own little world of chilled salad forks, the Hamptons, and of course the sub par ethics of hedge fund managers. Of course we all know that if the kid is ever allowed to come to Stately Tilson Manor on 5th Ave the kid would probably be told to use the servant's entrance and if anyone sees him to just say that he is the help.

Why Whitney are you being a mentor at KIPP? Why not come into the real innards of the Bronx and truly help those that desperately need it? Come mentor and influence someone who is running with the Crips, Bloods, or Latin Kings? How about mentoring someone whose parents are not there emotionally and physically and show the pitfalls of being in 5th grade and panhandling for money at the Pathmark on 204th St in Inwood? How about visiting a homeless shelter where there are many students and helping them their families find a home? How about coaching a basketball team, or more realistic for Whitney, perhaps a crew team? But it won't happen. Why? Because Whitney doesn't want any surprises. Whitney wants a KIPP kid that he feels comes with some built in standards, some already packaged success. A kid from the innards of the Bronx is just too much of a variable to make Whitney look good.

But why does this mentor have to be Whitney? Surely, Whitney knows professionals of color. Why not encourage these people to join iMentor and do the right thing? What these kids need to see is doctors, lawyers, judges, business people that they can identify with. Whitney, is nothing more than the plantation boss. Once his back is turned, or he loses interest his mentee will no longer benefit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Anti-American Ramblings Of Whitney Tilson

Now that I am free to finally blog in my traditional way, I must bring up, in fact I was requested to bring up, my pal Whitney Tilson's latest falsehoods from his email this past Staturday, and which also is appearing on his convoluted, mind numbing, self absorbed blog.

I read it whilst sitting around the ER on Saturday looking forward to commenting on it later that evening. Due to circumstances I have yet to be able to comment on it till tonight. I think I am going to have fun.

Whitney writes that he received yet another email proclaiming love, allegiance, and several offers that are not mentionable here on a family blog. It seems that yet another TFA graduate wrote his wonderfulness about the shortcomings of NYC teachers. Whitney, as is is wont, not only posted the email, but commented without even to attempt the veracity of the email.
I am a TFA alum and am now working an administrator in a traditional public school.
I'm writing because, well, I'm about as fed up with the teachers union as a person can be. 

We have some of the most ridiculous drama I've ever encountered here (and, mind you, I helped open a school in during a state takeover of the district the school was in...), and I have been completely and totally appalled by the fact that our union fights for incompetent educators, whom even the union members will admit are terrible, harm-causing, and truly need to leave (and yet, in the same breath, they vow to fight to the death for them -- for the sake of the union itself). 

The amount of time, energy, and resources that go into these union battles are mind boggling.   After working nearly full time on documentation of one individual since February, I've come to the conclusion that there is literally nothing we can do, and since it is such a terrible, energy-sucking, time-consuming, miserable mess that leads to zero results, why even bother trying?  

Whitney then blabbers that his cousin, who just happened to retire as a teacher in Florida concurred with the TFA turd. 

Why does this bring a chuckle? For one, I challenged all those to write Whitney the biggest piece of fiction they could and see if he would be stupid enough to publish it. I truly doubt this is a true story. But I shall at least pretend it us. But Whitney is so into ripping teachers a new one and beatificating TFA teachers that he can't see the wrongness that this supposed "educator" is committing and exposing how ignorant and hateful of teachers Whitney is is worth commenting on. I will give you all time to find the mistakes. If you match mine, you win a free dinner courtesy of me.

The author of the "email" to Whitney writes; and I have been completely and totally appalled by the fact that our union fights for incompetent educators,

"Our union?" This former TFA'er claims to be an administrator. Therefore this person is not a member of the UFT, but rather the CSA. Why then would the author of this say "our union?" Something is amiss. Either the author is not an administrator or is fibbing. But I am ever so willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt that it was a Freudian slip.

What I think the author equates with the union fighting for the rights of these so called incompetent teachers is that according to the UFT contract, and more importantly, the United State Constitution, Amendment XXIV, there is this little thing called due process. Obviously, Whitney is anti-American.

whom even the union members will admit are terrible, harm-causing, and truly need to leave (and yet, in the same breath, they vow to fight to the death for them -- for the sake of the union itself). 

Is there any proof to this? Again, the 14th Amendment does come into play here. Is Whitney, and his TFA lover, so anti-American that they will deny this due process?  Are not criminals, or accused criminals due the same due process even when evidence to their crimes is more or less open and shut?

The amount of time, energy, and resources that go into these union battles are mind boggling.  

Yeah, it takes time, but since this person is an administrator this is the process and this is what must be done. You think the NYPD or the District Attorney kvetch about the time, energy, and resources its takes to prosecute a criminal? No! But it is something that prevents abuse of power and puts the onus for proving guilt on the side of the prosecution. Tough toe nails if you find this task to onerous.

After working nearly full time on documentation of one individual since February, I've come to the conclusion that there is literally nothing we can do, and since it is such a terrible, energy-sucking, time-consuming, miserable mess that leads to zero results, why even bother trying?  

So Whitney, it seems as if your pal is absconding on their responsibility as an "administrator." Do you find that acceptable? Would it be acceptable for a preosecutor or ploice detective to throw their hands up and look the other way at crimes being committed because their jobs are too energy sucking, time-consuming and a miserable mess?

Why are you not chastising this person for failing to do their job? And since this person seems to be failing to do their job why then are you not denouncing all administrators? I think Whitney just likes to bash teachers for the sake of it.

Every day Whitney opens his mouth and shows his own warped reality of his little gilded world. Yes, Whitney likes to open his mouth and loves the sound of his own voice so he can go home at night and dream about how smart he thinks he is. But what Whitney truly is is, and he shows it in his lack of respect for Constitutional rights of others, is a pure bias against what America stands for. Whitney Tilson is as anti-American as they come. Whitney Tilson wishes to live in a world in which this country throws away the Constitution and follows some junta made up of people who think they are just as smart as Whitney thinks of himself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Family And Moe, Larry, And Curly

So, I would first like to thank all those who shared their well wishes. It is deeply appreciated. Also, my wife is home safe and sound and taking it easy.

Some good news. The blood test done Monday morning by the oncologist came back negative. Now apparently, well not actually, the attending physician (Who in retrospect went to the Wendy Kopp School of Medicine) in White Plains Hospital made the call that the CT scan showed lymphoma and that a biopsy was needed immediately. But more on this later.

So after consulting with her internist/GP whose specialty is oncology said that though he doesn't want to say he is optimistic, but rather a realist, wishes to do things in order, and not do anything that is invasive or not necessary as of now.

As her regular doctor explained, the nodes are still inflamed, but not to the point in which it can denote lymphoma. This can be caused by an infection, virus, and certainly the pneumonia. So once this is all cleared out of her system, then the necessary and proper steps will be take such as a PET scan. So we are not quite out of the woods, but breathing (pardon the pneumonia pun) much better.

So how does this all tie into education you might ask yourself. I'll tell you. Much to our surprise and chagrin when she went to the ER and then later admitted from the doctor's (another doctor examined her, he is just a GP) office on Saturday, this doctor did not have admitting rights to the hospital. Why you might ask? Because, as was explained to me, the hospitals are now denying, at least in the NYC area admitting rights to regular old "Doc Jones." And not just admitting rights, but denying any consult rights as well.

This leaves you without a lack of choice in YOUR doctor, without the doctor you have a relationship with. Without the doctor you trust. We are told by the ed deformers that choice is a must in education, that choice is what is best. So why is choice (And in now way am I speaking out about Obama care) not a requisite in one's medical care and why isn't anyone raising holy hell about this pattern in hospitals?

Now mind you, if you are a GP and do have a specialty such as gastroenterology, or oncology, or urology, then the hospital will give you full rights. But it seems that this pattern only leads to the filling of the pockets of the hospital itself.

Another thing came upon my mind while dealing with all this mishegas. We are quite lucky, quite fortunate to have health insurance. Not only for routine care, but emergency care, hospitalization, and of course any unforeseen somewhat catastrophic stuff. There are millions out there that if diagnosed with cancer have no place to turn. Which got me to thinking....

Isn't having access to full medical care a civil right? We keep on hearing from the deformers that education is the civil rights issue of our time. But wait a minute. All children do have access to education. Not all children, or even adults for that matter, have access to full medical care. Shouldn't the lack of medical care be known as the civil rights issue of our time and for hedge fund managers, business people, and former Microsoft CEO's be just as appalled at the lack of decent medical care for approximately 43 million people?

And it's just not in the inner city where medical care is lacking. I guarantee that we could find at least 10 people in Scarsdale, Bronxville, Upper Saddle River, Roslyn, Great Neck that have zero access to medical care and/or health insurance. I must call shenanigans and make claim that these ed deformers are not only charlatans, but grifters and hypocrites. I call on NBC and Microsoft to spend a week putting together propaganda about the lack of access to medical care and health insurance that affects so many in this country. That I will support.

Anyway, thank you all again for the well wishes and prayers. I will be back to my usual sarcastic and snarky self lambasting and ridiculing those that wish for it so desperately.