Sunday, December 29, 2013

NYC DOE Investigator Lawrence Scott Texts Privates to Teacher He Is Investigating for Corporal Punishment

OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott
Another "Wow! moment" in the annals of the New York Post, the DOE, it's investigative process, and Uncle Mike's Reign of Terror.

The Post outed OSI investigator Lawrence Scott in not only telling Natalya Sokolson Gordon, a computer and fifth-grade teacher at PS 329 in Coney Island, that her;
 “I have the power to get rid of you just like that,” she said he told her, snapping his fingers, “or I can make everything go away.”
Nothing earth shattering really with that revelation. MYy pal and all around first-rate blogger Chaz shared how the investigative process works over 5 years ago.

But worse, even more degrading is that Investigator Lawrence Scott sent Ms. Gordon; scores of X-rated texts, a photo of his penis and explicit demands for sex

Obviously he has some serious Freudian issues here.

Soon Investigator Scott told Ms. Gordon that he "likes it dirty" and to call him when she gets the "courage."

Hey, these are not the best of pick up lines. Might we suggest a book or the old workable line, "Hey, what's your sign?"

But courage for what? It seems to The Crack Team that Investigator Scott lacks some courage in his dealings with women.

Investigator Scott also suggested, we here at SBSB hope it was done politely, that some of the sex positions he has suggested may force Ms Gordon to "scream."

To quote Humphrey Williams from the Monty Python film, "The Meaning of Life," "What's wrong with a kiss? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss?" But I guess that is not macho and controlling enough, eh?

Gordon also has filed complaints that Scott groped her breasts and put his hand between her legs during a discussion of her case in a closed-door meeting at her school.

But those meetings were recorded and worse, according to the attorney on staff here at SBSB, touching one's bits without permission is criminal.
§130.52 Forcible touching.  A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire. For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching. Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.(Eff.11/1/03,Ch.264,L.2003)

As Betsy Combier was quoted in the Post article, "they are still making the victim a culprit" because Ms Gordon did not "report him and that she texted back."

This, is like, and I am sorry for using this analogy, but being raped twice. Once, by Investigator Scott and now a second time by Richard Condon. Condon claims that Ms Gordon did not reach out to to his office and that she apparently was a willing participant by texting back.

Investigator Scott was in a position of power, the same as a rapist. He had power not only over Ms Gordon investigation, but her career and future as well. I guarantee you that Ms Gordon was scared, depressed, anxious, confused, and intimidated. No matter how much one might say she participated by accepting and sending photos on her own volition, no matter how one slices it she was still coerced.

 What Condon and his office are making of Ms Gordon is that she is the "steamy temptress," the perpetrator in this perversion of justice and a woman by Investigator Scott.

We at SBSB are not prudish enough to look down our collective noses at sexting. But, when a person sends unwanted sexts or coerces one into sending sexts then it is a problem.

Why Investigator Scott is not facing criminal charges is beyond the pale. But three other things concern us here at SBSB.

One, are there any other victims of Investigator Scott's perverse proclivities. Second, has he made such "moves" in the past and been rebuffed, and if so, how did this play in his investigations. And lastly, what other improprieties have occurred with OSI over the years?

Oh, and we here at SBSB believe that Investigator Scott has every right to due process. Are you listening Campbell Brown?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Why Do UFT Retirees Get to Vote in UFT Elections?

Late on Christmas night I jumped into the middle of a Twitter conversation between Norm Scott and Randi Weingarten. The jist of the conversation was about the lack, and rightly so, of democracy in the the UFT. Of course Leo Casey chimes in with;

But that is another story for another blog post. Of course losers don't get to make decisions, but the losers get to participate, no? Isn't the US Constitution set up to give voice to the minority?

But at that point I chimed in asking a pertinent question which Randi replied to;

Huh? So the rationale is as long as the retiree vote is capped? At this point, Reality Based Educator shared;

And my reply to Randi, which she never responded to, was;

Which brings us back to the question, why do retired teachers get to vote in the UFT elections?

I mentioned this to a friend of mine that drives for UPS and is a Teamster just after the UFT elections. To say he was surprised would be an understatement. We both put our heads together and were unable to think of one union that has retirees vote.

I understand that the retirees have done a lot for us in the past. They are concerned about their benefits and pensions. They sacrificed a lot in the past and we owe them a debt of gratitude. As one retired teacher friend of my family would say to me, "You schmucks have given back everything we went on strike for in 1968," I couldn't agree more. But now they are holding back rank and file to affect change.

Personally, I have no problem giving them a seat at the table. Of course they should be represented in the UFT. Be it in the DA, executive board, etc.... They have a right to have a voice. But, to be able to sway elections for current teachers with issues that are affecting us today and in the future is not right. If anything, if retirees continue voting, their votes should at the most count for one-half, and still be capped.

But as long as they get to vote, the opposition to Unity (I don't feel I am at liberty to speak for any one organization) must be proactive with the cards we are dealt and be ready for 2016.

This means reaching out to the retired chapter and forging some common bond. Find out what it would take to get an endorsement, to see how the retired chapter can best advocate for the opposition. It certainly won't hurt to try, it's better than sitting around in committees.

The issues facing the teachers of New York are in the present and in the future, not in the past.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Buy David Greene's Book!!

I just ordered it last week and it has yet to arrive but I know it will be a great book. Of course I am   by noted education advocate David Greene.
"Doing the Right Thing: A Teacher Speaks"
talking about the new book,

For those who do not know who David is, David can be found, here, here, here, and here.

I first met David about 2 years or so ago. I have found David to posess an encyclopedic knowledge of education and teaching. I have sat with David many times in Starbucks and have been regaled with stories of of his almost 40 years of teaching, his passion for education, his foresight into what we can do to fix education, his honesty, and his caring.

I don't think there is one person that Dave won't truly want to help. He has "talked me down" on several occasions and has had me walking away from our meetings feeling better about myself. He does this by being straight with you and talking to you, not at or through you. And this I know we will find in his book.

Dave is our Obi Won Kenobi. Our Clarence. Our Conscience. We're lucky he is on the side of good and not evil.

When I finish the book I and The Crack Team will review it.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

PS 154 in the Bronx; Violence Free Since the Week Before Last!

Yes, it's true! PS 154 in the Bronx has gone a full SEVEN DAYS without violence from December 6 thru December 16, 2013.

Every day I get in the queue (Too much, the Peace Bus)

What does this mean? It means hat day, or some special goofy wearing thing day is about to happen and the marker on the Peace Bus moves up!

To get on the bus that takes me to it (Too much, the Peace Bus)

So for those keeping score at home, PS 154 has had 1 day straight without violence in October, 5 days straight at the end of October, 5 days straight around Thanksgiving, and now 6 days straight. The Crack Team is hard at work to see if the Peace Bus crashes or moves past 6 days.

I'm so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, the Peace Bus)

Funny, shouldn't there be no days at all without violence? Or better yet, why are days celebrated with a negative connotation instead of a positive one such as, "Six days straight of tranquility." Not only will something positive be celebrated, but a students will learn and new word, it's meaning, projects, writing, can be used with tranquility. The list is endless. Instead the students get, "VIOLENCE."

The house is only another mile (Too much, the Peace Bus)

Seriously,  Peace Bus? You think the 5th graders care about the cute little bus? LAME. Yeah, Peace Bus works for the little ones, but the 5th grade? Isn't it bad enough that the 5th grade has to have time out chairs, or whatever euphemism their called, just like the Kindergartners?

Thank you, driver, for getting me here (Too much, the Magic Bus)

So with silly hat day or favorite hat day is this something to have fun with or, as usual, is the fun ruined by forcing students to write about their hats?  What about the kids who don't have hats?

There'll be an inspector, have no fear (Too much, the Peace Bus)

Yeah, as everything is at 154 spontaneity is controlled and planned.

I don't want to cause no fuss (Too much, the Magic Bus)

 But a fuss must be caused for there is still violence and the problem is not solved by sugar coating it with celebratory hat day, or Save Hat Day, or the Peace Bus, or Magic Bus Day, or bring your pet to school day. Because in the real world, there are no celebratory days for doing what you should be doing. I mean, if the Common Core is around so we can get our students ready for he real world, shan't we a true discipline code that gets the students ready for the real world?

More important, shouldn't the parents of the PS 154 community know that there children are safe each and every day of the school year?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Carmen Farina to be Named New NYC DOE Chancellor

A high level source within the NYC DOE has shared with The Crack Team at SBSB that Carmen Farina will be named as new chancellor of the Department of Education.

Another close source to The Crack Team has given Ms Farina a thumbs up and thinks naming her is a great choice.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding and we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves with either praise or condemnation. What we do like is that Ms. Farina has risen through the ranks from teacher to principal to superintendent to deputy chancellor. Just with that on her resume she has more cred than anyone in the upper echelon of the DOE.

Just as an aside, our source shared with The Crack Team that to get rid of the current evaluation system we might have to give up retroactive raises. But that is a story for another time.

One way to tell what kind of chancellor Ms Farina will be is to check what the Post, deformers, hedge fund managers, and Eva have to say in the aftermath of making it official. If their not happy, well.......

Anyway, The Crack Team has come up with some suggestions for Ms Farina to implement when she is in Tweed (Of course it goes without saying to 86 the new evaluation system and the Common Core, testing, closures, and charters bogarting resources). In no particular order;

1. Get rid of the lawyers. Too many lawyers sitting around in TPU (Teacher performance unit) and Labor Relations doing nothing other than thinking of a new way to stick it to the teachers. Not only that, but think of the money that can be pumped into the schools instead of lining the pockets of the lawyers.

2. Real Administrators. When I started teaching in 1995 the AP's and the Principals were seasoned educators with at least 15 years before one became an AP and/or principal and were experts in particular field of pedagogy. Now, you neither had to have ever taught or you start your administration courses the year you get into the system or you just write a check.

3. End gotcha. It's time. And this includes all the petty little charges in 3020a's.

4. Let teachers teach. This can go so many ways, but the person that knows the students best is the teachers, the front lines. Just like in the military, the grunts see and know so much more than credit is ever given. Let's bring the spontaneity back to teaching.

5. Put the deformers in their places. That means the Post, MichelleRhee First, Whitney, Eva, Klein, Murdoch, etc... Have a Sister Souljah moment with these people.

6. Tell Eva Moskowitz there's money to be made in North Dakota. With the prevalence of fracking in North Dakota, many families are moving to the state with "inadequate" public schools. Tell Eva she can make more money in Williston than Harlem. Give her bus money to encourage her to be on her way.

7. End the ATR system. Not with termination, but with real placement of the Lost Teachers of Israel.

8. Administrators should face the same discipline as teachers. This means that the days of a principal being arrested for cops finding a kilo of coke in the trunk of his car after he gets pulled over for DWI and a suspended license while wearing no pants and underwear while two prostitutes are in the back seat shooting smack should no longer warrant a promotion. Not saying the principal should be terminated, just not promoted.

9. Follow the contract. A contract is a two way agreement. Please, let's respect the contract.

10. Stand up to Cuomo. He has two uses for his finger. One, to pick his nose, the other to see which way the wind is blowing. Cuomo is a bully. He's trying to be the svelte Chris Christie. How do we deal with bullies? A rolled up newspaper to the schnoz.

11. Respect. Simple respect. That will go very far. It will rub off on the media, the public, and the politicians. Defend us against Campbell Brown. Against Michelle Rhee. If that happens just once, or maybe twice, you will not only earn respect and loyalty, but get that proverbial foot off our chests.

The Crack Team is sure that there are some things that were not mentioned. For that they apologize. But it's a start.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

All E4E's Evan Stone Cares About Is the Money and the Common Core

Remember last Thursday when yet again on these pages we exposed the sycophancy of Little Evan Stone and his support for the Common Core? After a few short hours after that post was put up, a dedicated reader of this blog sent The Crack Team some samples of her daughter's 3rd grade work from Go Math. This mom shared with The Crack Team, as only mother could, the pain, the suffering, and the hatred of school permeating through her daughter as she is forced to adhere to standards so insidiously stupid that only those making a buck benefit. 

Let's take a look at Little Evan's handiwork (Yes, we know that Evan alone had nothing to do with Common Core, yet we know that Evan and his type have enabled the shoving down our throats of Common Core), shall we (You might have to click to enlarge)?

Gee, so many answers, so frustrating for a little 8 year old girl. Different ways? The passage already gives 2 ways to write the journal entries. I, as a older person, am confused.

How many times did Justin face palm before the trip?

Are your jaw dropping?

Hey, we as teachers have no problem with wanting our students and our own children to think critically and be good problem solvers, but this, this is just, just, really dumb.

But again nothing that a 2 1/2 year 6th grade teacher like Little Evan won't like. That is as long as his organization's pockets are being lined with cash by Billy Gates and his ilk. For that is what Evan is about.

Hey, let's see if anyone can answer this rejected problem from Go Math.

Little Evan Stone was all alone on the street corner under a street lamp. He wanted a money to start an "grass roots" education advocacy group. Suddenly a man in a Porsche drove up and asked Little Evan to get in. Little Evan did and the man introduced himself as Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Little Evan was impressed. Ten minutes later Evan left the car with $250,000 in unmarked bills.

What were the denominations of the bills?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ambulance Chasing Comes to PS 154 in the Bronx

Awesome article by Lisa Fleisher in today's Wall Street Journal about how easy and quick school
leaders seem to call EMS for unruly special needs students.

According to Fleisher,
"a group of New York City parents are trying to prevent public schools from sending children who have severe temper tantrums to the emergency room against their parents' wishes."
These parents are soon facing not only high medical bills, but time lost from work to pick their children up at the hospitals.

 According to the article, Nelson Mar, an attorney for Legal Services NYC who is representing the parents, said;
" department protocols say that children can be transported by EMS against a parent's wishes only when the child's life is at stake, or if it is clear that even a small delay will jeopardize the child's health.  In some ways the schools are treating the hospital emergency rooms as timeout rooms,"
Funny that this came up today in the WSJ. The Crack Team has learned that a student, a little boy, a boy with some issues was taken away in an ambulance alone (Of course with a staff member, but alone nonetheless), and probably frightened, to a hospital for the sheer fact that he was acting out. Yep, having a tantrum.

The boy, Hyman Goldstein is a handful. Yes, there are issues and yes he does get out of control, but is this any reason for DR Alison Coviello; Ed.D. and Principal to call and/or OK an ambulance and have him taken away to check for mental issues?

As Rober Unger a spokesman for the EMS unions told the WSJ;
"...emergency workers are supposed to respond to true medical emergencies. Schools should not be wasting lifesaving and rescue resources to resolve their discipline problems,"
But yet it happens and yet even with the greatest super duperist behavior solving program ever created by mankind, Responsive Classroom. DR Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal felt the need to OK Hyman Goldstein to be taken away on a stretcher, with strangers, to a strange place, to wait alone in a strange locked room until his mommy arrived.

If there were real world instead of fantasy disciplinary protocols in place at PS 154 this never would have happened. A little boy would have never been ripped away from his school which is supposed to be his safe place, and according to DR Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal, a "happy and joyful place". A mother never would have received a phone call telling her that DR Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal approved an ambulance to transfer him to the psych ward at the local hospital and have to be behind a locked door.

This in no way reflects The Crack Team's views of the pedagogues involved in the dealing with Hyman Goldstein. Their hands are handcuffed by the one size fits all, non outside the box thinking,  discipline protocols imparted by DR Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal.

But where everyone is forced to have a Happy Good Time smile and force fed everything is just hunky dory OK, this is what happens when the students know the discipline is a joke. 

Again, would this happen in Harrison? Of course not, but it happens in the Bronx on 135th St because it is known that the parents will be silence and there are people that think they know what is best for boys and girls of color.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This past Thursday as I was hanging out in my favorite post-work coffee house I began a conversation with another human being about the state of education in this country. Even though this person is somewhat new to teaching, this person was not drinking the Kool-Aid of the deformer and
was very bright and quite perceptive.

As we talked, I learned that this person, who shall henceforth be known in this posting as Cher, was a former employee of the Success Academy charter schools which are led by the irascible Eva Moskowitz. We both smiled and told the barista to brew up another pot of Guatemala-Antigua Original Medium Roast and soon Cher was dishing dirt on Success.

Cher had been what is known as a "associate teacher" at Success at the salary of $50,000. As an associate teacher, Cher did all the grunt work for the head teacher or as she said of what an associate teacher is nothing more than a "bitch for the teacher."

The associate teacher makes all the photo copies, writes the lessons and homework on the boards, if a child is misbehaving, the associate teacher takes that student for a walk. In fact speaking of walking, Cher shared that not only are individual students singled out for not walking correctly in the hall but entire classes as well for the smallest of infractions.

Funny how students need to practice walking in the hall. As Cher mentioned, the first month of school is spent on discipline. How to walk in the halls, how to sit down, when to sit down. In fact she shared with me how the little children are forced to sit quietly for hours at a time.

One thing Cher shared, and I did not know this, but the teachers at Success do not have to write lesson plans. WOW! The lesson plans are already pre-packgaged and given to the head teachers at the beginning of the month and all that needs be done is to copy these plans to a planning sheet.

Cher told me how that the official work hours for staff are from 7 AM-5 PM. The problem is that faculty meetings are called to start at 4:45 PM and this inevitably leads to teachers staying at the school way past 5 PM and not getting paid. Worse for teachers is the Wednesday after school training held as the plush Success offices in Harlem.

I asked Cher about the naughty dirty rumor that Eva and Success counsel students out who do not pass muster. Being a person of high moral quality Cher was only able to discuss what she had seen personally and felt she was unable to speculate on the rest of the school. When I told The Crack Team of Cher's ethics they all gave her a thumbs up.

Cher told me how a student in her class was consistently misbehaving. The parents were called in time and time again. The behavior was not changing and at one point the powers that be at Cher's school finally said, "There is nothing more that we can do." The student, who was from Africa, was let go. Put on irrevocable waivers.

This seems to be part and parcel of what happens to special education students at Success. Cher told me that while Success does accept special education students, that IEP's are ignored and no modifications are given special ed students and that Success has the same expectations of special ed students as they do for general ed students.

While we applaud at putting the bar high for special ed students and we can't think of one teacher that doesn't, the bar should always be set at levels for special ed students that are attainable and which correlate to their IEP's. Never should expectations be set so unreasonably high solely to make a crazy headmistress of a charter school chain look good, oh, and to make some money.

Students have their lunch recess planned out for them with activities. No being a child and just spazzing out in the yard.

Students in 2nd grade start getting prepped for the exams in 3rd grade.

Staff is told that there are to be no interactions with the co-located school at all.

One thing Cher told me that is somewhat puzzling. Many of the teachers in her Success Academy are current TFA'ers. I was always under the impression that TFA can't place teachers in charter schools. But oh well, most of the rest of the staff are former TFA'ers. Go figure.

Ever wonder how some of the money is spent at Success? Check out the Happy Hours that Success splurges on for it's staff. No 6 foot heroes, only the best bars with top shelf booze and quality food. The Crack Team wonders if Eva gets snockered at these.

That's pretty much what Cher shared with me. Hopefully Cher will share (pardon the pun!) more.

It is interesting to hear this stuff about Success first hand. The more and more that I hear about the evils of Success and Eva the more I come to realize that Eva is in it for herself, that she believes that only white people know what is best for the boys and girls of color, and that her time is coming to a end soon.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Evan Stone of Educators 4 Excellence Spews Common Core Propaganda

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!! Like your mother in law coming to visit, like that huge blackhead on the back of your neck that is in a horrible spot to squeeze and stays there for years. Or worse, like that old Saturday Night Live skit with John Belushi, "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave," Little Evan Stone just won't go away.

Imagine New York City's shock when all 25 people (Myself included, but just for the sports section) that read the New York Post opened up to the op-ed section and saw a supposedly coincidentally timed to John King being in NYC opinion piece about the Common Core written by that "independent" mind of Little Evan's.

Now for those who don't know who Evan is, he has been a comedic source on these pages for years, an average 6th grade teacher, while his babe, Princess Sydney Morris was worse, and has not taught in over 4 years. 

After I stopped laughing whilst rolling on the floor I decided to share what Evan blabbered with The Crack Team. They laughed so hard that one member of the team, Throckmorton, died. For those who are interested, the funeral is tomorrow and we will be sitting Shiva through Tuesday.

Little Evan of course had to inject himself immediately; This week’s town halls on the Common Core with State Education Commissioner John King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tish, which I attended, did little to calm the circus-like atmosphere that has surrounded the implementation of the standards from Day One.

Circus like atmosphere? Where? In Port Chester? In Western New York? Where was the circus like atmosphere. The only two places that turned into a circus was in Poughkeepsie and the so called supporters of the Common Core that showed in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. 

By lumping these new standards in with other hot-button issues,

Like the APPR? Race to the Top? Testing? It's all intertwined. One begets the others. One can't survive without its hosts. It's all the same no matter how it is sliced.

What Little Evan is doing is worse. He is throwing up the proverbial red herring to distract the readers into believing that only the Common Core is isolated change and that it has no effect on other deforms.

The new standards are more rigorous and promote the very skills teachers and parents have been calling for — critical thinking and problem-solving — skills that colleges and jobs will require.

I'm a parent and I never called for such skills in the schools and no one ever asked me. I'm also a teacher and no one and none of the teachers (Of course only the cool ones) I know, ever asked for such skills. Don't critical thinking skills and problem solving start in the home by fostering a childs natural ability to learn? That's why I have always expected my son, and my students, to come to their skills on their own. I am just there to facilitate.

But which colleges and which jobs are suddenly now requiring such skills? Haven't these skills always been required in college and the work place? 

When I taught sixth grade, I used to have to teach 127 unique math standards or topics. Now I’d be able to focus on 27 standards, giving me the time needed to make sure all of my students understood the underlying concepts.

One hundred and twenty seven math standards?? You don't say! You mean these? This was difficult for you? Yikes! Why memorize? Heck, Massachusetts had the gold standard of standards. Is this too difficult for you?

For example, I used to teach the equation for the area of a square in a 50-minute lesson, simply memorizing the equation and applying it to problems.

You did? Then you sucked as a teacher! You didn't have them take the area of the classroom, the cafeteria, the hallway, the office, their home, Sydney's family's home in East Hampton? Then they could write about how they came about their findings. Simple, eh? 

Now I could teach real-world mathematical problems involving area over the course of a week, allowing my students to uncover multiple ways to solve for the answer and truly understand the concept.

Please see my response above. 

But parents send their children to school to prepare them for the real world, and we haven’t been doing as well as we can.

Not in Kindergarten. Or 1st grade, or elementary school. We all don't get to prep Choate.

As The Post pointed out recently, just a third of New York City public-school students graduate high school ready for college, thus denying many students the opportunity to succeed. 

Yes, the Post, the bastion of journalistic morals and integrity, with no axe to grind on either side of the education debate pointed such a fact out. But wait, what about credit recovery? Does that not prepare students by just letting them graduate and letting them out in the real world?  <----sarcasm i="">

For example, in focus groups we have conducted all around the city, Educators for Excellence is hearing positive feedback from reading and writing teachers, many of whom are praising the focus on both fiction and nonfiction reading, as well as the new emphasis on text-based evidence.

Who participates in these surveys? Can we see the surveys? Are only card carrying members of E4E allowed to participate in such surveys? Are these surveys taken at E4E youth rallies? Are these surveys done scientifically?

In a recent poll, the National Education Association found nearly 75 percent of teachers said they support the Common Core.

Sources please. 

But what is most disturbing about Little Evan's spew in the Post today is his dishonesty. You see, what Little Evan doesn't want anyone to know is that the face of technological failure, Bill Gates funds Educators4Excellence while at the same time funding Common Core. Again, Little Evan is a liar. And according to the same article, Common Core is a curriculum, though Little Evan claimed it is not. Little Evan also fails to mention that his hero and mentor Bill Gates said that we won't know for ten years if Common Core will work or not. Will this be acceptable for the offspring of Little Evan and Princess Sydney?

What Common Core is just a repackaging of what was being done already for the purpose of creating new profits for corporations. It's all about the money. It's all about who will out whore whom and Little Evan, you are in the top three.

I put it to Evan, let's you and I walk the streets of Harrison, NY together and survey the parents of this great community together.

Let's face it. Little Evan is Bill Gates little b**** boy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SBSB Calls For the Arrest, Prosecution, and Conviction of KIPP Principal Anokhi Saraiya

Imagine if you are a mommy and one day you drop off your son at school. As you leave him and head to work, thoughts of his learning, exploring, and creating are going through your head. You smile as you arrive at work with those wonderful thoughts still in your head.

As you walk into your job you dream of how much school means to the future of your son. You want him to have a love for learning and for school, something that can, and should last a lifetime. But then one day things change. For the worse.

Today, the Daily News reported that the KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School on W. 177th St two young boys were detained into "tot cells" to cure their behavior. According to the Daily News, these rooms (The size of a small closet) had a single mat, a single light and a window 2x3 feet in the door (seems like something out of a Viet Nam War prison camp). The students were left in there for 15-20 minutes.

Oh, these two boys were FIVE AND SEVEN YEARS OLD!

Teneka Hall, mother of one of the boys said;
“He was crying hysterically...It’s no way to treat a child.”
On December 3rd her son Xavier had to be rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital because he wet himself and his panic attack was so severe, that that EMS was called.

Another boy was detained a dozen times since September for acting out in class.

What did these boys do to deserve such barbaric treatment? They didn't clap in proper cadence?

Now we all know the militaristic tone of KIPP. I have seen it first hand in which students must sit with their backs at a 90 degree angle. That they must respond in a cadence, and where there is any show of individuality it's hit down with a hammer. But this is just too much. Who would suggest such a thing?

Psychologists suggested such a thing. Who are these psychologists and did they actually evaluate the students? If so, were the parents informed of the evaluation, and then, did they give permission? According to KIPP spokespeople, "...they only sent children to the room when their safety became an issue and they discussed using the tactic with the kids’ parents, who approved it.

So if the parents approved it, why then are they annoyed?

Again, as KIPP claims, they only did this because the students when their safety (Whose safety? Students or staff?) was a concern. But again, who are these psychologists? 

But something like this would never need to happen if you had qualified, veteran teachers in the front of these boy's classrooms who had classroom management skills. I guarantee the teachers involved were first year teachers and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But as KIPP wants mindless students that follow, so too do they want mindless teachers that will acquiesce and never question administration. That is where the principal of this school comes into play.

Anokhi Saraiya is the principal and the enabler of the horror these boys went through. Who might you ask is Anokhi Saraiya? Guess? TFA, Teacher's College Summer Principals Academy (Just like someone else I have written about), exclusive Liberal liberal arts college as well as an overrated education college.  

But it is in this video, in which Anokhi explains she went into teaching, she shows just how condescending she is about education,  educators, and boys and girls of color. It's as if she is regurgitating  the bleeding heart liberal's handbook on urban education. Here, watch and try not to hurl.

Anokhi Saraiya from KIPP Foundation on Vimeo.

"Just to have the chance to interact with them."

"To watch them learn and see their faces light up."

Or the ever favorite, "I get to learn from my students."

"I got fed up by the system and my kids being labeled by their test scores."

The last one baffles me because KIPP and all the charters care about, brag about, and rationalize their existence over are test scores. So color me perplexed and confused.

 Anokhi Saraiya is the leader of this school so she is responsible. She terrorized these students. She injured them. This is child abuse.

According to NYS Penal Law § 260.10;
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when: 1.  He or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the  physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen  years  old  or directs  or  authorizes  such  child to engage in an occupation   involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health; This is a Class A Misdemeanor
The perp walk should await Anokhi Saraiy. Let's hope the 33rd Precinct and the Manhattan District Attorney do what is right.

 One thing does bug me. Why hasn't the Daily News named the teachers involved and the name of the psychologists? If this happened in a real NYC school the teacher would be plastered all over the front page. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thomas Friedman in a Flat Out State of Confusion

All those who think that Tom Friedman of the New York Times should stop sharing his ignorance about education signal by giving me a "harumph!" Hey, one of you didn't "harumph!"

It's time for Tom Friedman to flatten his flat views of education and go back to what he does best; find a cab driver in some 3rd world country to give him the facts of what is really going on.

Wait, bad idea. He just might find a cab driver here in New York that is a former TFA or E4E suck up and take that person's word for Friedman thinks is wrong with education in this country.

To paraphrase the Kinks, Friedman is;
On planet Earth there is an illusion,
That Tom Friedman's going 'round in a state of confusion.
I picked up yesterday's New York Times and started to read Flat Earth dude's ode to what he doesn't know about education. Of course, he began with the PISA scores.

THE latest results in the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which compare how well 15-year-olds in 65 cities and countries can apply math, science and reading skills to solve real-world problems were released last week, and it wasn’t pretty for the home team.

But did Friedman read this? A true comparison with other countries involved in PISA? Gosh, he is a reporter, a columnist, he works for the newspaper that gave the world the truth about the Viet Nam War. Why is he so hellbent wrong?

In today’s hyperconnected world without walls — when more Indians, Chinese, computers, robots and software can perform more average blue-collar and white-collar jobs — the only high-wage jobs are increasingly high-skill jobs.

How can one compete against countries that pay their "middle class workers" a few dollars a day? I'll say it again. My wife has been to MAINLAND China many times on business. The factories OWN their workers. The workers live, breath, everything and anything, for the factories. They live and die there. They eat, get married, and die there. China is government run Capitalism, we can't compare ourselves to them. It's like comparing the Yankees with Manchester United.

Ten years ago a designer like my wife could make over $125k. Now that same designer is lucky to make $60k? Why? Not because those in China are better, but because they are cheaper. My wife knows Photoshop and Illustrator as much as the next person does in China, but she costs more and won't put in 18 hour days. As a country, how can we compete against this?

First, to be in the middle class, they will need to be constantly improving their skills over their lifetime. 

Isn't this the same as it always been? The problem is not the schooling but the culture. No one wants to start off at the bottom anymore. No one wants to grunt it out anymore.

When I was 16 I worked at McDonald's on Central Ave in Hartsdale. All the afternoon, evening, and weekend employees were from the local high schools. Now, a few are. I was happy to make $2.90 an hour and to work my butt off. Now, high school kids look down on McD's.

 And third, countries that thrive the most will be the H.I.E.’s — the high imagination-enabling countries — that attract and enable talent to be constantly spinning off new ideas and start-ups, the source of most new good jobs.

Not happening in the USA with all this testing. Also, not happening here with kids not being kids anymore.

It found that the most successful students are those who feel real “ownership” of their education. In all the best performing school systems, said Schleicher, “students feel they personally can make a difference in their own outcomes and that education will make a difference for their future.”

¡Uno momento por favor Tomas! Is this not what teachers, at least the cool teachers, have been screaming, shouting across your flat earth for quite some time?

“students whose parents have high expectations for them tend to have more perseverance, greater intrinsic motivation to learn.” 

Hmmm, I think what  what Friedman is saying here is that education begins in the home. 

A story if you don't mind. A month ago I received a call from my son's social studies teacher telling me that he was delinquent in several homework assignments and this was affecting his grade. Without dithering, I asked her to keep him in at lunch until the problem was solved. Teacher was happy, son was pissed. Too bad for my son. 

The highest performing PISA schools, he added, all have “ownership” cultures — a high degree of professional autonomy for teachers in the classrooms, where teachers get to participate in shaping standards and curriculum and have ample time for continuous professional development

 But we as teachers are not allowed to think independently. Like a nail sticking up we are hammered down immediately. We are made to teach to a script, listen to a failed software designer explain our jobs, incompetent leaders abound, what then Mr Friedman are we to do?

So teaching is not treated as an industry where teachers just spew out and implement the ideas of others, but rather is “a profession where teachers have ownership of their practice and standards, and hold each other accountable,” said Schleicher. 

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 We’re going through a huge technological transformation in the middle of a recession. It requires a systemic response.

Yeah we are. So why then are the students at PS 154 in the Bronx, my school, using a $250k Mac lab only to use it for ST Math and RAZ Kids? Where is the outrage by NYC Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who generously gave the school the Reso A monies?

But Friedman of course couldn't write a column without a little dig.

Democrats who protect teachers’ unions that block reforms to give teachers more ownership and accountability, and who refuse to address long-term entitlement spending that threatens to deprive us of funds to invest in the young, are harming our future.

Please see the above Picard face-palm above.

There is no escape for the state of confusion that Friedman possess. Whichever way the wind blows is where one will find Friedman bloviating the latest

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Attorney Needed to Take on NYCDOE

For those who read my blog  you will know I am in for a fight right now. I have been brought up on 3020a charges. I can't go too much into specifics, but I was set up to fail last school year.

Right now I have my NYSUT attorney fighting for me, but I need an outside attorney to bring my case to Federal Court. I am not at liberty to share his name just yet, but he his a fantastic attorney and his price is quite reasonable.

My wife and I are going through some rough financial times and I want, and need, to retain him as soon as possible. I know in my heart of hearts that through discovery we will find proof of the conspiracy. My fears are that when Uncle Mike and his minions leave they will wipe all servers of any damaging information. I also need him to work hand in hand with my NYSUT attorney.

I have set up a crowd sourcing site and just ask if you can donate what you can, $20, $10, $5, or even a dollar. I'm looking to raise $1k for the retainer.

Please, if you have any questions please feel free to ask me.

Again, thank you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Has DR Alison Coviello of PS 154 in the Bronx Foiled a FOIL Request?

In September of 2012, Betsy Combier put through a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request requesting any and all emails from DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx for any and all emails with my name featured. In November of that year the request was granted and
11 irrelevant emails were shared with Betsy.

In March of this year, Francesco Portelos requested the same. However, instead of just my name in the emails he made it broader, using more keywords and asked for a wider array of information;
Dear Mr. Baranello,
Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, please send me copies by Email of the following records:
Following information on Principal Alison Coviello and Superintendent Yolanda Torres.
1. Personnel files
2. Per session time cards from January 1, 2008 to March 15, 2013
3. All school expenditures Principal Alison Coviello has made since April 29, 2012.
4. All OORS reports filed by Principal Alison Coviello since April 29, 2012
5. Allison Caviello's PPR and TDR's for school years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.
6. Any email  from September 1, 2011 to present. From email accounts, and and  personal email (if she used this from DOE computer) as well Alison Caviello's text messages from DOE Blackberry containing any of the following keywords :
"Peter Zucker", blogger, blog,  "character education", TC, "teachers college", Calkins, Lucy, Jew, "through literacy", Kike, "blue eyes", Zuck, Peter, Zucker, Pete, PAZ, literacy, 326, "South Bronx School," Sobronxschool, SBSB, "Bronx Teacher," BT, blog, blogger, @sobronxschool
7. Any and all memorandum sent by Principal Alison Coviello from April 29, 2012 to present.
8. All emails and memos related to Alison Coviello being hired as principal.
9. Alison Coviello's licensing history.
10. How much and to whom Alison Coviello paid per session to since becoming principal.

Months passed, seasons changed, the Red Sox won yet another World Series (RATS!), when lo and behold Francesco got a reply last week from Rebecca Chasen, Deputy Central Record Officer at the FOIL Squad.

Now, we're supposdedly waiting on numbers 7,8, and 2. Number 4 is confidential records, but the interesting part is the emails. Just keep reading for the big shock. See if you get it.

When Betsy got the email records there were only 11 in total up until the end of September of 2012. When Francesco received his email records, there were a total of 19 up until the end of September of 2012. In total Francesco received 45 emails of which, I was either the recipient or the sender of 43 and the other two were to a personal director. What does this tell you?

As I have stated before on these pages I truly believe that DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 was part of a conspiracy to ruin my career. I believe the truth is in the emails and the text messages from her Blackberry. I do not believe in any manner at all that there were no emails between DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 and Yolanda Torres or any higher ups in the DOE between the time she took over as principal in May 2012 and the present.

One would assume that FOIL requests must be honored and not doing so, not sharing all what is asked for is either criminal or if that person is an attorney like Joseph Baranello, who is the records access officer for the NYC DOE, perhaps unethical and contemptible and perhaps the New York State Bar Association should be made aware of how disingenuous he is being. Perhaps the bar association is aware of his inflammatory Facebook posts that Betsy unveiled in February of 2012.

But something about this all still stinks like the New Jersey Turnpike does around Elizabeth. Just who processed those emails? DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 rarely uses her DOE email opting instead to use a school created domain through Google Apps.

I was under the impression that with the DOE email a "FOIL official" just needs to mine the servers that hold the DOE email (Please correct me if I am wrong!). But how do they get the Google Apps email? Perhaps the owner of the email would give that same official the password to their account and that official will look for the emails in question?

Today, it was explained to me by a legal eagle and several lay people. Apparently, DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal was given the task to find the emails that were requested and have them forwarded and shared for Francesco Portelos? Am I the only one here that sees some issues with this?

This is like having the fox watch the hen house. Of course, DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal has shared with me on many an occasion that she NEVER LIES, so one must assume that this was done on the up and up. HA! Punk'd! I am being sarcastic.

But this leads to so many questions about ethics, accountability, criminality, morality. We all know when someone says they never lie what the truth is. It's like that guy I knew in high school who told us he had been to hundreds of Yankees games in his life, and this was in our junior year. We did the math and it was impossible. Or that guy we all know that claims to have been with hundreds of women but in reality is home on Saturday nights watching Nick Jr and eating his dinner out of a can while standing over the sink.

Anyway, there is more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to legally obtain forbidden emails and other records that the DOE does not wish anyone to see.

Again, God will show the truth. I believe in my heart of hearts there is something out there.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Notice of Claim Has Been Filed Against the NYC DOE

The deed has been done. I had until December 3, 2013 to do it and I did it. I filed a Notice of Claim against;

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, its agents, servants, employees and/or licensees.

For the claims;
To recover money damages for infringement and violation of United States Constitutional First Amendment rights and rights of Due Process rights infringement of first amendment rights, pain and suffering and related damages incurred by and on behalf of claimant myself by reason of the negligence, malfeasance, willful, recklessness and carelessness...
And in a Dr Evil moment asking for the sum of; 

has suffered damages in the sum of TEN MILLION DOLLARS ($10,000,000.00).
 Of course, the little finger never came up to the corner of my mouth.

 This really is just to cover myself. I believe that this will never see the light of day in state court but will be heard in Federal Court. So be it.

Imagine, how much money the DOE spend on lawyers to wipe out teachers careers, fighting these teachers in 3020a hearings, and going to court. No wonder the DOE has no money for schools.

I am facing charges for two reasons. One, this blog. I have known for sometime that Yolanda Torres, Superintendent of District 7 has not liked this blog and has called me unpredictable.

The other is that I truly believe, as I have stated many times on these pages, that DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal has been involved in a vast conspiracy to rate me unsatisfactory last school year, that all my observations would be found unsatisfactory, and resort to lies, half truths, out of context situations to fill my file with specious disciplinary letters to the file. Oh, and lest we forget my own Serpico moment. I believe that the truth is out there and that with my faith in God the truth will come out. 

I think in my heart of hearts that this conspiracy will lead to Tweed and go very high up the food chain. But the opposite is true. It can go down the food chain as well. Not all involved in the conspiracy are administrators. Learning from another blogger and one in 3020a proceedings right now, that person, ......................, decided to jump on the "let's do him in bandwagon" by blatantly defaming me.

God knows the truth. God will show the truth.

Dr Alison Coviello of PS 154 in the Bronx Tells Students, "NO GYM FOR YOU!"

The students of District 7, and most of the South Bronx are out of shape. Nearly 1 in 3 elementary students in the South Bronx are obese, 2 in 5 students are overweight. Many students do not exercise on a regular basis. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for many health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease.

Bronx County has some of the highest rates of asthma in the United States. Rates of death from asthma in the Bronx are about three times higher than the national average. Hospitalization rates are about five times higher. In some neighborhoods in the Bronx it is estimated that 20% of the children have asthma.

Exercise helps to stretch the lungs and bronchial tubes, which in turn may help reduce the resistance to breathing. Even though the bronchial tubes become inflamed (as occurs in asthma), the positive effects of exercise may help prevent symptoms. The lack of exercise may also contribute to obesity, which may also be a risk factor in asthma. For those who already have developed asthma, aerobic exercise might trigger attacks, but these can easily be prevented by using an inhaler (such as albuterol) before the activity.

 PS 154 in the Bronx has just lost it's famed physical education teacher due to retirement at the end of October. A phys. ed teacher that coached the basketball team without pay, a phys. ed teacher that donated a basketball hoop to the school, a phys. ed teacher that gave it his all. What is his legacy?

DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal of PS 154 has decided that the students of PS 154 can no longer have gym. Yes, you read that right. She has decided that gym will no longer be offered to the students. Why, you ask?

Could she not find another phys. ed teacher? The Crack Team was told no one was ever interviewed, nor were inquiries made. Of course there is now money in the budget, but where have the monies gone?

The reason why DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal has decided not to employ someone in the gym, The Crack Team has learned, is due to the fact that DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal must control all facets of life at PS 154. By putting an ATR (The weekly ATR is covering the former gym teacher's schedule in the classrooms) in the gym (even though in NYC a elementary phys. ed teacher can have a Common Branch license) DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal does not want someone that "doesn't know what they are doing."

OK, fine, for a moment we shall give DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal the benefit of the doubt. Then shouldn't a ATR with a phys. ed license be found? If not in District 7, then from outside the district? In fact The Crack Team knows of a eminently qualified ATR that has a phys. ed license.  Why has this person not been contacted?

Of course this is just another example of DR Alison Coviello's, Ph.D and Principal method of not only having to control all aspects of the school, but again flaunting the laws of the New York State Education Department.

According to the NYSED; 
All students in K-12 must attend and participate in a physical education program.
All pupils in grades K-3 shall attend and participate in physical education on a daily basis.
All pupils in grades 4-6 shall attend and participate in physical education not less than three times per week. 
120 minutes per calendar week exclusive of any time that may be required for dressing and showering.  
Grades K-3 are required to have daily physical education for a minimum total of 120 minutes per week. Grades 4-6 are required to have physical education three days per week for a minimum total of 120 minutes per week. See Commissioner's Regulation 135

 Recess may not be used to meet the physical education days/time requirement 
Under Commissioner's Regulation Part 135.4(c)(4)(i), elementary classroom teachers may teach physical education under the direction and supervision of a certified physical educator.
Designing the elementary physical education curriculum should be a cooperative venture of the District Director of Physical Education, the elementary physical education teacher(s) and the elementary classroom teachers. This would ensure that the physical education curriculum covered in this fashion counts toward the day and time requirement, and will be documented in both the physical education teacher's lesson plans and elementary classroom teacher's lesson plans. See Commissioner's Regulation 135

Think if a phys ed teacher in Harrison, or Scarsdale, or Roslyn, or Franklin Lakes retired. Would the principal of the elementary schools in these communities not have a phys ed teacher in place all ready to go? Will these principals allow the students not to have physical activity? Would the parents of these communities allow such actions?

One thing that the principals of these communities would do is fight like hell for the monies that are due their schools and not roll over and accept what their central offices are telling them.

But none of this is happening at PS 154 in the Bronx. DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal would rather exert control rather than put the students needs first. Every. Little. Thing. Must. Be. In. Her. Control.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Perception Or Reality at PS 154 in the Bronx?

Oh Thanksgiving is over, the last football game of the day is near end and after several nights of wishing to blog but having to compete for computer time with my son and his Minecraft obsession, I finally have some time.

On November 19 on these pages it was discussed how monies at PS 154 in the Bronx have the Teachers College. This is true with a post written in August on these pages about the same perception. But it seems the deeper the perception is the more it might become reality.
perception of being misspent in a possible conflict of interest with

But first a little background. We here at SBSB shared how back in April when a teacher at PS 154 was unceremoniously removed during instruction time that the class of 2nd graders had a parade of fresh, new, and quite young Teachers College substitutes who showed their ineptness quite glowingly. We also exposed how DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx advertised on the Teachers College website for teachers in lieu of using the Open Market system. For this we might have been mistaken.

Apparently, due to the school's demographics, scores, being in District 7, PS 154 is not subject to the outside hiring freeze. We are still waiting to confirm, but due to the diligence of journalistic integrity here at SBSB we feel that we must share this and offer a pro forma mea culpa at this point.

But that does not excuse what has happened at PS 154 this year as far as staff decisions have gone.

Again, reality is perception and perception can be reality.

This year there were 5 classroom openings at PS 154. Of the 5 positions filled, 4 of these, or 20% were filled by graduates of Teachers College.

Of the 5 positions filled, 4 of these (again, 80%) were filled by teachers that do not reflect the community.

Of the 5 positions filled, all, or 100%, were filled by females.

Of the 5 positions filled, all, or 100%, were filled by those under 30.

Now, recall, DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 is not only a graduate of Teachers College, but at one time was an adjunct professor there.

With the thousands of ATR's DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 could not find ONE teacher to employ at PS 154? A teacher with skills?

With the thousands of graduates from education programs from across the country and the New York metropolitan area as well DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 was only able to fine ONE QUALIFIED candidate for PS 154? Is it possible that the lone non TC teacher is just a token hire to ward off the whiff of a conflict of interest?

With the thousands of African-Americans and Hispanics wishing to teach in New York City how is it possible that 80% of the candidates hired were neither African-American or Hispanic?

With so many students in PS 154 and the South Bronx without a positive male role model in their lives and crying out for one how is it possible that not ONE MALE candidate was hired or even considered?

Now there can be two perceptions here. One is that DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 might have a conflict of interest in regard with Teachers College.

The other might be that DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 wants staff that reflect herself. Neither African-American or Hispanic, and certainly not male.

With the school due to be squeezed out by Bronx Classical Charter (2nd grade will be added next year) what does this portend for the Greasers, the Outliers, of PS 154? It means if you don't give up your life, kiss ass, and follow aimlessly and blindly, then you will be set up to leave. No way in hell any of the Socs will be excessed. 

Perhaps it is time that the hiring practices of DR Alison Coviello, PhD. and Principal of PS 154 to be looked into?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Press Release From Senator Tony Avella Concerning PS 29 in Queens

This came across the SBSB newsroom just the other day. State Senator Tony Avella, sent out a press release on October 11, 2013 in the matter of Jennifer Jones-Rogers of PS 29 in Queens.

For those that don't recall, this blog covered the travesty Jones-Rogers reign of error here, here, and here. 

The Crack Team would like to give a shout out to Senator Avella for putting his energy, giving his attention, and working tirelessly to see to it that the children and community of PS 29 were put first.

The press release (The Crack Team added the highlights);