Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The World James Waslawski Created At MS/PS 279 in The Bronx

MS/PS 279 Principal James Waslawski
Every so often we here at SBSB are lucky enough to get some information that shows what a sham the NYC DOE and it's foot soldiers, the principals and assistant principals, truly are.

Last week we were fortunate enough to have an expose on MS/PS 279, District 10, The Bronx come across our newsroom. The lies, manipulation, and intimidation current principal, Leadership Academy grad, and Cahn Fellow, James Waslawski uses has not saved the school from the incompetence of principal Pedro Santana who left, or was forced out in 2004, but rather has made things worse to the point where nothing might be salvageable.

Anyone and everyone at 279 who dares to disagree with Waslawski instantly becomes a target of his wrath. Yes, as previously mentioned, Waslawski  inherited a mess. But rather that was because of the ineptness of Pedro Santana and not the dedicated, talented staff of 279.

In April 2011, the Joint Intervention Team descended upon MS/PS 279. The report was so damning that everyone and their mother truly believed that Waslawski would be gone due to his erratic and confounding lack of management and leadership. But like a cockroach in the middle of a thermonuclear blast, Waslawski survived. Is he the best the Leadership Academy has to offer?


One would even think that a if Waslawski would want the brightest, the most talented, the most qualified assistant principals. But Waslawski follows the Leadership Academy playbook to a T in picking an AP. Someone that lives in his colon, someone who shares his ideology, and someone who has few qualifications for the job.

That person is Hallie Iannoli. Yes, that Hallie Iannoli who is the daughter of former Monkee, Peter Tork. While Peter Tork was and still is extremely talented, it appears that not only is Hallie an enigma wrapped in a riddle, she apparently is untalented and useless as well.

Hallie graduated from The New College of California (San Francisco) in 1996. This is a college that operated from 1971, to 2008 in which it lost its accreditation due to many failures including erratic bookkeeping. In fact, Hallie earned her BA in 3 years from such a failed institution should raise eyebrows.

But one cloud hangs low over Hallie. Why did she leave her previous school, Urban Action Academy, a school she helped found to go be an assistant principal at 279? The crack team is working on this at press time.

Troubling too is the fact that Hallie has been teaching for only 8 years. Back in the day, an AP and/or Principal was a veteran teacher with at least 15, sometimes 20 years, under their belt. In fact, even though the AP position was advertised as AP for ESL, Hallie has only a temporary TOESL certificate that expires today, January 31.

Allegedly, what Waslawski told the School Leadership Team was that the C-30 was irrelevant. That he would pick the candidate and too bad what the SLT wants. DOE rules call for the entire C-30 process to be completed in 3 months from date of advertisement. It now has been more than 3 months since the advertisement closed and the DOE has apparently sanctioned the alleged violation of its own rules.

The SLT has gone from delays to a rush in completing the process. At press time we do not know if Hallie's TOESL license has expired, been extended, or made permanent.

Hallie has never had a permanent teaching or leadership license. This should lead one to question the fairness and openness of the C-30 system and the entire system as well. The lack of transparency from the DOE and its principals is not only damaging the great history of the New York City Schools, but inevitably, and it is happening already, will damage education in NYC.

The injustices keep coming. Yesterday we had to read how Little Evan Stone and Princess Sydney Morris were parroting Uncle Mike and Sock Puppet Walcott in coming out against an independent arbitrator for teachers to appeal ineffective ratings in the new system. One would wonder what they would say knowing that Waslawski has given a U rating last year to anyone who stood up to him. Apparently, 279 is becoming more like Iran and North Korea. Threat and intimidation rule the day.

Our sources have told the crack team that former chancellor Klein revised C-30 and put in a clause that any irregularities must be reported within 15 days. At 279 it was more than 15 days since the highly qualified candidates found out that someone else was appointed.

Administration needs to learn that it is the kids that come first, not themselves and their little petty crap. With all this testing, data, VAA, crap after crap, the upper echelon cares nothing about the well being and education of the students. Rather, the upper crust, the elite, of the schools will do whatever self preserving acts out there to save only themselves.

But worse is the fact that the DOE not only enables this incompetency to influence our children, our students, but the DOE turns a blind eye to the inevitable, when these incompetents completely fuck up.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alexander Nazaryan Signed, Sealed and PWNED!

For those who listened to my Internet radio show this pass Tuesday night, thank you for putting up with all the glitches. My erstwhile co-host, The Frustrated Teacher, seems to have the same telephony capabilities that Oliver Douglas put up for so many years in Hooterville.

However, TFT's mind is as sharp as a razor blade slicing up some home made salt water taffy. TFT and myself welcomed self-important New York Daily News "journalist" Alexander Nazaryan and the author behind the sychophantic op-ed column in The Daily News of January 15, 2012 in which Alexander railed against the current evaluation system and supports the mess that Uncle Mike and Governor Andy which to implement.

This all started on January 15 in when I engaged with Alex on Twitter (which using my Twitter name you can find a blow by blow account). When I came back from hiatus I thought that having Alex as a guest and debating the points we both made would be a wonderful idea. Little did I know, and TFT as well, that I would be dealing with someone that chooses facts from make believe, has no foundation in which to base his beliefs, and just like our favorite toy when we were young we just pull a string on the Alexander Nazaryan doll and it just spews out what its master wants us to hear.

One of the points that Alex made in his column was that the evaluation system today does not allow for any feedback from principals besides an S and that a principal can only observe a teacher through a formal observation.

Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, and this was a point that we brought up Tuesday night and in my tweeting that indeed, a principal can walk into your classroom anytime and informally observe you and write you up, critique, praise you, for those informal observations. Case in point, Francis Blake. Francis had many informal observations used against him in his 3020a hearing several years ago. I had an informal observation once and it was suggested that I use more open ended questions. A principal, or an assistant principal if they do their job properly can and will use the formal observation to not only be aware of what you are doing in the class but use it to help you improve and hone your teaching skills.

But Alex would have none of this (Alex appears about 17 minutes into the show). Alex says that the administrators "need the tools." By what that means, I have no idea. I brought up that the inexperience of today's administrator leaves them hamstrung to be able to recognize good practices. Alex vehemently disagreed. Alex says that they need good tools, especially involving data.

That threw TFT for a loop. Mention data to TFT and he blows a gasket. TFT asked Alex what admins they lack right now, Alex's response was TEST SCORES!! Alex said that they are important because scores can be used to evaluate a teacher then said the magic three words that popped a vein in TFT's skull, VALUE ADDED ASSESSMENT!

Listen to how Alex gave the dictionary definition to VAA. Alex couldn't even understand how one high stakes test can be used to judge a teacher and not even care nor understand that so many factors can go into a child's success or failure in such high stakes testing. Alex failed to realize that professional, in which we are trained for can make these determinations. Perhaps by writing a progress a report. Alex said if it is a good test then it works to which he admitted "we are working to such a test." Alex believes that even though these tests are no perfected, that "no test is ever perfect, but an opinion of a teacher will be less perfect." And that, "an opinion is more subjective than a test."

This statement clearly shows someone that is unable and unwilling to think for himself. But, and this is a big but, as we brought up to Alex, doctors OPINIONS are trusted, why aren't teachers opinions trusted? "Doctors" said Alex, "run tests" Guess what Alex, SO DO TEACHERS!!!!

Alex really wanted to wrap this up quick, but I got one last question in that was submitted by a reader;
...what exactly he would look for in a teacher who teaches students with learning disabilities who come from one or a combination of the following: poverty, are apathetic towards learning, are English second learners who have parents who do not speak English, do no homework, do not study are educationally neglected at home, are addicted to video games, go to sleep at 2 in the morning, don't know they have an IEP, cut class or enter into high school a minimum of five years behind in writing and reading.

Alex Nazaryan showed us all through the magic of Internet radio just down his nose he looks at the world. Alex blabbered, "I would probably try to have a better attitude about the kids I teach. It sounds like you are fairly negative in your assessment of these kids." Alex refused to answer how he would work with a kid like this. Alex would not deal with reality. He was appalled that I would characterize kids in that way.

Alex Nazaryan comes from an elite world of university snobbery in which one his trained in only numbers and nothing else. Yes, Alex did teach for 5 years and his NYSED records show that he had a license for three years, but in his article he fails to name the middle school he taught at in Flatbush and how long he was there, but he does mention that he taught at Brooklyn Latin School. A school in which students must take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. How much ELL's and Special ed. students did Alex have to deal with there? I am curious as to the school he taught at in Flatbush.

Alex is a fake, a fraud, a scheister. Rumor has it he taught only to source material for a book he plans on writing. I do give him credit for appearing on the show and jumping into the fire as most other deformers will not. But like all the other deformers when they have to deal with media that is not owned by the Murdoch's and are made to not only state their true positions on education but to back up said positions with clear cut hard facts they make the sound that Ralph Kramden made whenever he got caught by Alice, "hahmana, hamahna, hahmana!"

Alex, we here at SBSB will be keeping an eye on your written tripe and challenge you to be honest and forthcoming in any future writing you do on education. You can start by naming that middle school in Flatbush.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Next Mind of a Bronx Teacher Internet Radio Show
Yes, after a long hiatus The Mind of a Bronx Teacher Internet radio show returns this coming Tuesday night, January 24, 2012 at 9 PM EDT. On the first show back we welcome New York Daily News journalist Alexander Nazaryan. This past Sunday, Alex wrote a op-ed piece in which he supports tougher evaluations for teachers.
A fun Twitter  discussion with Alex (@alexnazaryan) ensued later Sunday afternoon with Alex and he has graciously agreed to appear Tuesday night.
For those that have forgotten, the call in # is (213) 943-3735

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

South Bronx School Gives Governor Cuomo Some Ultimatums

Thank you paid Koch brother's spokesman and current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for doing the bidding of the evil twins, amongst others, and giving the UFT a 30 day ultimatum that demands we kow tow to Uncle Mike and sign the agreement for the new evaluation system. That's real nice Andy. As a 6 year old does when he doesn't get his way, Governor Andy is taking his balls and not let anyone play with them until he gets what he wants. Worse, is threatening to withhold money shows that he is now akin to some Bond super-villain.

But we have come up with out own list of ultimatums here that we feel are more urgent than some unworkable evaluation system that is not going to be used to help teachers, but rather weed teachers out and ultimately make teaching into a transient profession much like the fry chef at McDonald's.

We here at SBSB give Governor Andy a 30 day ultimatum to address the lack of support we face every day in the schools. If not, we here at SBSB will ceremoniously give Governor Andy a virtual wedgie.

Governor Andy has a 30 day ultimatum to demand of Uncle Mike and Sock Puppet Walcott an end to the ATR system and place these teachers in positions full time in schools. If not carried out, the governor's mansion will be TP'd post haste.

Governor Andy has a 30 day ultimatum to explain to Sock Puppet Walcott that it is improper for a principal to discuss with his female staff members feats that the above mentioned principal's penis is capable of. If not carried out in 30 days, we will write a blog post about tricks Sandra Lee's hoo-ha is capable of.

Governor Andy has a 30 day ultimatum to disclose all donors, such as the Koch Brothers, Brighter Choice, etc... If not adhered to we will disclose what we know of Madeline, the pool table and the Governor's Mansion in the mid-80's.

Governor Andy has a 30 day ultimatum to find his center, consult with Dad, and stop being a dick and to allow learning to happen in the schools of New York State. If this does not happen within the time frame demanded we guarantee that we will lose a generation of children.

Governor Andy has a 30 day ultimatum to stop this Freudian shortcoming show with Uncle Mike to see who has the bigger, well you know. If not ceased within the allotted 30 days we will expose both of them.

Governor Andy has 30 days to listen to the principals in the trenches that signed the petition against this absurd evaluation crud. If this demand is not met, Governor Andy will have the blood of a teacher that will eventually commit suicide on his conscience.

And lastly, Governor Andy has 30 days to grow some balls, use his critical thinking skills and to be a leader, not some street whore. If this does not happen, Governor Andy will always be though of a someone's little bitch.

I voted third party in 2010 in the New York Gubernatorial election. It was not a wasted vote.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thoughts About Stuart Schmelz And Sycophantic Assistant Principals

As those regular readers of this blog remember, Stu Schmelz, an assistant principal at IS 162 in the Bronx passed away suddenly last May. Tribute was paid to Stu, twice, on these pages after his untimely passing. We here at SBSB and those that worked with Stu know that he got jacked big time and know that in due time the truth will come out in full.

A lot of truth landed on the desks at the SBSB newsroom of what transpired at IS 162 prior to his passing. At press time we can't reveal too much other than the dirty dealing that was perpetrated upon him was beyond reprehensible. Not only was Stu thrown under the bus, but the bus backed up and ran over him again and again.

Stu was caught up in the world of people having obscene, carnal relations with ghosts and dogs, sycophantic machinations brought on by the de facto leader of the Mole People, chronic disappearances for football and gallivanting with a passport, and literally picking up doody. But for now, what we know will need to remain only referred to cryptically and must remain vague.

Stu was one of a kind in this business. His word was his bond. What you saw with Stu was what you got. You could trust Stu. You could count on him. Unfortunately, education, in particular the NYC DOE has become a world in which the incompetent, sycophantic, unqualified are rewarded, while those who are competent, independent thinkers, qualified are slowly fucked and made to suffer.

Yes, there has been lots of news lately of principals without any morals. Principal Penis, and newly added to the list, Principal Liza Cruz Diaz of PS 31 in the Bronx. But what of those that we call assistant principals? There are much more of them than principals, and with more and more schools being added, there seems to be a high demand for them.

Back when I started teaching in the 90's all AP's it seemed were teachers who had paid their dues through years and years of teaching. Now, all one needs to become an assistant principal is a check book, some college that offers an administrative degree, a compliant friend, and the ability, to cleanse on a daily basis, a principal's colon. Oh, and let's not forget what a joke the C-30 process is. Why others are interviewed when it has already been predetermined who the AP will be I have never understood.

There are too many AP's out there that just take up space and for lack of a better explanation are nothing more than a principal's Himmler. They do the evil bidding of their principal and will move mountains to blame someone else for their own Freudian shortcomings. Assistant principal's such as these are manipulative, bereft of any and all empathy, sympathy, or basic understanding of the human race. In fact, one can wonder if such AP's as these are of the human race.

Fortunately, there is something known as Karma. Karma will always rear its head for such AP's and will, to paraphrase John Lennon, gonna bring them down. Well not actually Karma, but their own manipulation, machinations, inclinations, and general low sense of themselves will catch up with such AP's.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rally Against Bronxdale Principal John Chase Jr 1/10/2012

We here at SBSB have been right on top of the the "Objects My Penis Loves" scandal at Bronxdale High School in the Bronx. We also provided commentary when the DOE gave Bronxdale High principal John Chase Jr, a slap on his pen..., er we meant hand when it found that yes, he was guilty of guilty of violating Chancellor's Regulations A-830 regarding sexual harassment and allowed to stay on as principal in lieu of the outrage of female staffers and the danger to the inanimate objects of Bronxdale High.

We would also like to take the time to commend NYC Councilman James Vacca for going to bat for the teachers at Bronxdale. Councilman Vacca is outraged that Chase has been allowed to continue on at Bronxdale even while being found guilty of one charge, and two other charges pending.

So in light of this, we here at SBSB would like to announce a rally in support of the community at Bronxdale High and against the perversions of Principal John Chase Jr.

When: January 10 @ 3 30 PM until dark

Where: Columbus Campus; 925 Astor Ave. - Bronx 10469

Speakers; Councilman Jimmy Vacca, the office of State Senator Jeff Klein, several U.F.T. chapter leaders from the campus, and the office of Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera.

Other groups;  the N.O.W. Network (National Organization of Women) and local community groups, and  The Bronx U.F.T.

Media; A lot will be there

Monday, January 2, 2012

Governor Cuomo Announces A New Education Committee

We here at SBSB wish to take the time and congratulate Governor Cuomo on his call in tomorrow's state of the state address tomorrow night in calling for an education committee to look at education across the state. This is an idea we here at SBSB have mulled over in the past.

Wait, hang on here. A member of the crack team is informing me that Gov. Cuomo's planned ed. committee is not all peaches and cream. Hank is informing me as I write this that the education committee will be staffed by those outside of education. Hmmmm. In light of recent events we here at SBSB wish to withdraw our congratulations and instead flip our collective middle fingers at Gov Cuomo for this asinine idea.

But more news is coming across the SBSB newsroom. Crack team member Shlomo has been working the phones with contacts in Albany and has just had  the names of the outsiders  faxed to us that will sit on the committee determining the best path for education in the Empire State. Job well done, Shlomo!

The list:

Georgina Bloomberg Her equestrian skills will bring a certain panache and class to the committee.

Jesus, the janitor at The Food Network Originally it was planned that Gov. Cuomo's main squeeze, Sandra Lee was to be on the committee. But she believes in having someone else do the hard work for you so what better way than having Jesus doing it for her.

Father O'Brien Priest at the Church of St John and Mary in Chappaqua and the priest who happened to look the other way with his right palm extended when Andrew Cuomo got divorced, er, his marriage annulled from Kerry Kennedy.

Glen Moreno Chairman of Pearson and what better way to say Thank You! for lavishing contracts upon, and receiving donations from?

Spalding Koch Bill Koch's 19 year old grandson. He is a spoiled rotten kid, but needs something to do with his time. Anyway, Gov Cuomo owes the Koch brothers big time.

Cee Lo Green The committee needs some street cred. Also, Cee Lo feels that he needs to look like he cares.

Wendi Murdoch What is an important education committee without a Murdoch? Besides, it gives her something to do as the Ciallis takes effect on Rupert.

And two more spots need to be filled. At press time we don't have the names but we do know one member will be from Western New York to show that Gov Cuomo cares about that part of the state, and the other member will be a rich, rich person with homes in Bedford Hills, Manhattan, and Hampton Bays. This member has children that are currently educated privately in an exclusive boarding school.

Thank you Governor Cuomo! You certainly made my choice voting 3rd party in 2010 look better and better everyday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whitney Tilson Thinks He's In The Army

Imagine much to my surprise as I am eating breakfast this morning at Denny's on Wolf Rd in Albany this morning as I open up my email and come across the depraved and confused mind of Whitney Tilson's ramblings. What a way to start off a new year. Hopefully, 2012 we'll hear less and less of Whitney as he becomes more and more exposed for what he is, racist, condescending, patronizing, self-absorbed, and not intelligent. Oh, and I have forgotten, Happy New Year!

Whitney really came up with a humdinger of an idea his email today;
One important analogy is the U.S. military, which I think has a lot of lessons for our schools – both are enormously large, sprawling bureaucracies, but one is, by far, the best in the world, while the other is, at best, middle of the pack.  And the U.S. military wasn't always this way – after Vietnam, it was a broken, demoralized institution, just like our schools today.  How did it turn itself around?  What are the lessons we can apply to our schools?  If someone reading this wants to research this and write up something on it, I'll fund it!
Debunking this blabbering is like child's play. It is not fair and it is too easy. To make it a challenge I should find a one cell life form that just might have a 1% chance in not being able to simply state the fallacy of Whitney.

The irony of Whitney using the military is laughable. This coming from someone who if he ever did join the service would be immediately fragged by his troops (look, I'm not stupid, no way Whitney goes in as an enlisted man) the first night in country. Him also lauding the military is ironic considering how some liberal family member of his snagged his way out of the draft and Vietnam and instead "served" in the Peace Corps. This family member should have at least had some backbone like Muhammad Ali, or been a conscientious objector. Not a little pansy that runs to the Peace Corps.

But one can see how Whitney's military analogy is correct, at least in his mind.

KIPP is run like a boot camp somewhat. All students conform to a a proscribed behavior delivered in a drill instructor manner. Students use cadences in the classroom, sit with backs straight, heads held high, and walk in lock step with one another in silence through the halls. If students can't cut muster they are quietly encouraged to leave, or just told to. The same method as in boot camp or Office Candidate School. Anyone recall An Officer and a Gentleman and the DOR( Drop on Request)?

Students in KIPP, and let us not forget other thoughts of education, ***COUGH*** Success Academy schools, ***COUGH*** in which students as young as Kindergartners are forced to assume punitive drills to correct non-conforming behavior.

Now, I am too young to remember much of Vietnam. I was in 3rd grade when the war ended. But do recall wearing a POW bracelet during all of 3rd grade. But I think I am more school on history than Whitney.

The reason Vietnam was such a mess was not because of the military, but the same reason education is screwed up now. Politicians and the outsiders. The generals should run the military and education should be run by teachers. Now there is an analogy.

But as Whitney's ilk likes to say, just throwing money at a problem is no solution. If we use Whitney's analogy about the military one of the things that got us out of our post-Vietnam funk was the lavish spending of the Reagan administration on the military. See, money can solve problems.

But what really got us out of that funk was Desert Storm, which the politicians steered clear of. It was not until the last ten years, especially from 2001-2009, in which the politicians needed to make up for the Freudian shortcomings and fucked up the military again.

But think, is it possible, even probable, that a graduate of the Naval Academy would command a aircraft carrier let alone a ship? NO WAY! Yet in Whitney's mind a young one from an elite college (and I'll take Annapolis over any Ivy League school) that just graduate and had 50 hours of training is good enough to be a teacher. Yes Whitney, let's use that military analogy.

But let's fast forward to the cold war. I recall reading that even though the Soviets had vast military superiority, that the US and its allies would win the battles and the war. Why? Because the Soviet military drilled their troops in a rote style, that there was no use for individualism. Not the US military, in which the troops were taught to think for themselves on the bsattlefield, or as the Marines likes to say, "Improvise, adapt, overcome." Think we are teaching students this with all this test prep? NO!!! Yeppers, let's use the military as an analogy!

What about these school leaders and central administrators that always demean teachers? Do they follow the military principle that the grunts are the backbone of the service? I don't think so. Ask any admiral, general, colonel, major, etc... You find the brass the men go through a horde of gunfire for are the officers that respect their men, work with the ones that need improvement, and leave the ones that can do it alone. They eat, shit, shower, and don't ask the men of anything that they won't do themselves. And more importantly, not counting Abu Grahib, and other dumb ass stuff the last ten years, take responsibility for their actions. Give me a boss like Gunny Highway! Yep, there is another military analogy that can be used at the DOE.

Hey, I, and other like minded smart people always say that as teachers each day is different, each child is different, therefore since we as teachers can not control what comes into our classroom we should not be judged for matters that are not in our hands. Same as the military. They leave base to go on patrol the troops have no idea if they will come back alive. Hell, when they leave home and kiss the wife good-bye they have no idea if that is the last kiss ever. See, teachers and the military can't control outside forces. Yes, you guessed it. Another good use of a military analogy in education.

I wish to thank Whitney Tilson for sharing his thought on this first day of 2012. Again, he shows what happens when one does not think before putting fingers to keypad. And also what happens when one is so full of himself.