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);

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Judge Smails Tells Danny Noonan He Is Not College Ready

In the 1980 hit comedy, "Caddyshack" (Which I have watch hundreds of times), caddy extraordinaire Danny Noonan attempts to curry favor with Judge Smails to win Bushwood's caddy scholarship. This coming on the heels of the untimely death of Carl Lipbaum, the original winner who suddenly died of a severe anxiety attack while at summer school.

While transversing the first fairway Danny, who was caddying for Judge Smails lamented that he will not be able to afford to go to law school after college but his family will be unable to afford it. Judge Smails in a bad mood due to the noise coming from Al Czervik's foursome, tells Danny that the "world needs ditch diggers too." After this comment Judge Smails niece, Lacy Underall from Manhattan, is mean and mocks him.

I bring this up for I am disturbed about a quote from His Commissionership, John King Ph.D, OEO, OC, Esq., KC, OB-GYN in a New York Times article, from this past Monday, about the forums he is hosting across the state;
“The reason that 45 states, the District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools have all come together around the Common Core is the clear need to ensure that all of our students graduate from high school ready for college and career success,” he said. 
I am confused. Danny Noonan seems to be not only college ready, but career ready as well. He works hard at the club, puts his money away, save for the odd Coke-Cola and cheeseburger, and knows he wants to be a lawyer with a practice in noise litigation. Yet with all his hard work, his father's job at the lumber yard, he might not be able to afford to go to college.

On the the other hand, Judge Smails ne'er do well nephew Spalding, is lazy, stupid, eats his own boogers, can't make up his mind what he wants for lunch, drinks alcohol with cigarettes in the glass, and mistakes a Baby Ruth bar for doody, apparently will be able to go to college, probably any college he wants to. What is wrong with this picture?

Because even though this film took place in 1980 and is fictional, it still emanates today.

College is becoming more and more unaffordable by the day. An Ivy League school could cost up to $60K a year. Private colleges almost as much. Public schools, while far cheaper, are getting more and more expensive, compared to when I went.

So if we get all our children "college ready," what then happens when they or their families can't afford college and/or go into massive debt to afford it? Or does His Commissionership, John King Ph.D, OEO, OC, Esq., KC, OB-GYN and his ilk mean to send all our students, other than the top tier (be that academically or their social strata) to community college?

Career ready? What does that mean? When my son was 5 he wanted to be an ice cream man when he grew up. Now at 12 he wants to play Major League Baseball. Does he need school (I am being sarcastic)?

But what about the lack of jobs that we see here in the United States today? Their either extremely low paying or extremely high paying, no in between. Is His Commissionership, John King Ph.D, OEO, OC, Esq., KC, OB-GYN and his ilk training our children to be greeters at Wal-Mart?

A very bright educator and I were having a conversation about the Common Core last week. She told me that we need the Common Core so we can compete with India. She bought into the propaganda.

In India 68.7% live on less than $2 a day. So I guess to compete against India, we need 70% in the United States to make less than that?

India has 1.2 billion people, 74% literacy rate. Just because so many call centers are opening up in India doesn't mean they are kicking our butts.

Must we compete against China and it's 1.3 billion people? Most of the people there are making less than $10 a day. My wife has been to China many times for business. The factories there house, feed, and employ the workers who make those $600 handbags for $2.99.

The jobs are going overseas because it is cheaper and their is less, much less government oversight. What must change in this country is the greed from the top. Just look at what is happening to Boeing in Washington State.

I'm going to sum up how much of a farce this career and college readiness mantra is.

Growing up I had a friend that was at the top of our high school graduating class and went to the University of Chicago. Me, I was way at the bottom of class and went to WCC out of high school. He was very, very book smart. Once when he was trying to show off how smart he believed he was I told him something.

"Hank, let's try an experiment. Let's have someone drop us off in the middle of the woods separately, no supplies, no nothing. Within 24 hours you will be dead and I will be lounging about in front of a TV."

That can't be  taught in school. That transforms so much through life. That I learned at a YMCA sleep away camp in Connecticut, not in school.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Money Pit at PS 154 in the Bronx

Some teachers from PS 154 have shared some concerns with The Crack Team here at SBSB. The biggest concern is the lack of transparency from Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal when it
comes to the monies being strewn about.

With the register down to the mid 400's this year and losing approximately $125,000 due to the low enrollment teachers and parents should have a right to know how, and on what, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal spending the schools dwindling coffers.

While this and this give some idea of how monies are being spent, the information is way to convoluted for the average non doctoral person to understand. If only there was an easier way.

That is why the some parents and staff, not the Socs at PS 154, but the Outliers/Greasers want to see the real budget. The real expenditures. As of today, November 18, 2013, teachers have been very concerned that the Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal has failed to provide a copy of the budget since her reign began back in April of 2012. Only when there is full disclosure of the monies spent can those that are asking these pertinent questions be satisfied.

And satisfied they should be. While all welcome professional development, one can ask if the monies are being spent wisely for PD.  In the meantime, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal had hired several high priced consultants since last year with so far less than desired results.

We can start with Responsive Classroom and its lack of change this year at PS 154 in the Bronx. Reports have come into the SBSB newsroom that discipline is still a major problem at the school and that several students have been in danger. How much money was spent on RC to do 4 straight days of PD in school the last 4 days of June? How much does the entire program cost? How much does it cost for the staff developers from RC to come into the school and to support the school?

More importantly, what is being paid to Teachers College and Lucy Calkins for the Readers and Writers Workshop method? Thus far this year a TC trainer has been in the school almost 4x a week for almost every week of the year. This was pretty much the same last year. How much is Calkins and TC receiving? What is the length of the contract? What are the terms of the contract? Should not the staff and the community of PS 154 in the Bronx know such things? Surely in Scarsdale or Harrison there is transparency.

As was reported on these pages in August, not only is Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal a disciple of Lucy Calkins, but was at one time an adjunct professor at Teachers College as well. Who are her loyalty's to? The students, or Lucy's bottom line? Especially due to the DOE willing to pay for the full non-approved TC Common Core aligned curriculum. Yet, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal would rather spend the schools money on something that has no produced results.

With Calkins way of failure Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal has allowed the students of PS 154 in the Bronx to display grammatically incorrect, rambling, misspelled, punctuated work being considered as "finished".

Calkins stole Donald Graves' work, created a "program" she could sell to the masses. By creating a calendar and strictly scheduling it, she made it work for her PD people. She needs to have all of the teachers on the same page when her hacks appear because it works for THEM. You don't schedule it and script it. As soon as you do that, it stops being workshop - it becomes just another program! 

As far as the Coaches" - they are in no way experts in literacy. Almost none are literacy certified. Their "expertise" is their ability to  parrot Lucy. They all sound exactly alike. They speak with the same high falutin, condescending tone in their voices, they imitate that irritating Lucy hand action and if you ask them a question they can't answer from the script , they get quite nasty.  But what comes across are the coaches are like "Herb Tarlek" or salesman or saleswomen for the product than knowledgeable literacy experts they think they are. 

So why then is Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal involved with such a racket? Some have suggested that she might be kicking money back to Lucy Calkins. Or some have said she is just too stubborn to see the failure of Calkins. But at the very least there is a perception of a conflict of interest. 

So the old saying goes, show us the money!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Arne Doofus Dingus Dunce Duncan of DC

I'm a schmuck. I voted for Obama in 2008 and felt good about it. I had had it of 8 years of George W. Bush incompetency and lies. I wasn't voting for change, I was voting for accountability and for having a voice in my government. I truly believed that under Obama, the voices of the people if not
100% heard, will be at the very least be taken into consideration.

Gone will be the dreams of kowtowing to big money. Gone will be wasting money in two wasteful wars. Gitmo would be closed. A sensible and straightforward manner in insuring those without healthcare would finally be solved. NCLB? It will be a thing of the past, in fact there would be less federal involvement in local education matters. Guess I, along with others, have been incorrect.

What steams me is that I have defended Obama from Right Wing nut jobs who claim he is a socialist. How can a socialist turn over education to private and corporate entities? Same with Obamacare. Who is making out? The insurance companies. The corporatists are benefiting from the extension of Gitmo and since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, into Pakistan.

But one of the stupidest things I have heard from this administration came out of the mouth of non-educator Arne Duncan bellowed to a  group of state superintendents on Friday;
“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said. “You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”
First off let me add that is not just white suburban moms that are displeased. I guess I can speak for white suburban dads and say we are displeased as well. But anyway (I will toot my horn again), as I predicted, it is now the time for the rollback or should I start saying the Revolution.

The undertones of what Arne is saying is fascinating yet revealing. I don't know if what he said comes from being racist as some have said, or just clueless as to what his policies have wrought or clueless as to the world around him.

First off, there has never been a crisis in education. In fact I'll go as far as saying Bush was much more benevolent than the Obama administration and truly wanted to help along those that truly needed the help. It has been under Obama that the push for privatization and federal intervention into education as truly accelerated and been encouraged. But I have digressed.

Arne needs to realize why there has been more silence coming from the urban core concerning education deform from the inner cities.

Parents are less informed, not only own their own volition, but more and more the urban governments of this country, and particularly in NYC, have been become more of a top down style of governance than in the suburbs. In the suburbs, in the small towns and villages, and even the cities, there is still a participatory style of government. Not only is speaking at council meetings easier, but better, still encouraged. One can still call their mayor, supervisor, trustee, or council member at home and discuss issues.What Arne is unaware of is this is democracy in action. Heck, I won't even get into New England town meetings.

The school boards are still elected by the people and for the people. More and more schools boards and school districts are being usurped and taken over my maniacal short little men with Freudian issues across the country. See the paragraph above for participatory democracy.

Many, not all, but a goodly amount of parents in the inner city are immigrants. They do not know or are afraid to speak out. There are also parents hat work multiple jobs and don't have time to complain or to be informed. There are parents that have been so beaten down by the system they can't or won't speak up. And worse, there are parents that just don't care.

But how can you as a parent, let's say in NYC, speak up for your child's education when a parent whose child goes to school in Brooklyn has a complaint and must traverse to the Bronx to deal with the school's network? How bus and/or subway lines must this parent transverse to advocate for their child's education? Even the parent that goes to each and every PEP (Panel for Eduction policy, NYC's answer to the board of ed.) is met with disdain from the panel time after time.

And let's not forget the suburbs seem to have an independent media. The Journal News in Westchester County is doing a wonderful job at exposing Common Core.

The parents in the suburbs still have and want to keep their voices in their district's decisions and their child's education. We will never abdicate that right. To have that right taken away from us, to have our local boards ability to know what is best for our children removed, is not the American way. Our schools, our communities, and our children are not part of a corporation.

But for Arne to say that, "isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were," speaks to a bigger issue of his ignorance.

Speaking only for me, I know what my son is capable of and what he can do. I do not need a test to tell me what my son does or doesn't know, what he is or isn't capable of. There is a difference between proficiency and ability. I'm tired of this proficient crud. It means NOTHING!

Thanks to Arne and Obama we are allowing our children to be mindless and clueless incapable of thinking for themselves. Oh, and please spare that we need to compete with other countries. India and China pay their employees squat. Is that what Arne wants, our children to make $5 an hour?

Arne, your time and your charade are over. The Education Revolution is just beginning.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Ever Open Educator Forum

This Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 6 PM a first ever Open Educator forum hosted by Francesco Portelos.

Learn about true bullying and how to deal with the miscreants from Tweed.

Learn about Rubber Rooms, the teacher discipline process.

And all that other good stuff that has made the NYCDOE, Uncle Mike, Sock Puppet Walcott and over 1,000 principals the laughing stock of NYC and the USA!

Tell Francesco Frank Sinatra Jr sent you and receive a free glass of wine!

Be there or be square.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal at PS 154 in the Bronx Likes Progressive Discipline

I knew I had the audio somewhere. All that was needed was patience on my part to listen to hours upon hours of audio. Well not really, I kind of had the time frame of the audio in my head, but still had to listen through many a minute of audio.

Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal really wants to put the PAL in principal. But in reality, it is all a mirage. Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal loves to have the blue light shone on her to show how just how truly caring and interested she is in the lives of staff members.

In fact, Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal paints herself as the true "progressive educator," even when those progressive ideas continuously crash and burn. In fact, the audio I was searching for truly shows the inconsistencies of Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal  (listen here) as a principal. If you are wondering what that means, Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal claims that she believes in giving a warning first. Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal says that she believes in "progressive discipline"

Hmmm, does Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal practice what she says she practices? Highly doubtful. Perhaps with those that curry favor with her, those that follow her around like a lost puppy, or those that drink the Kool-Aid. But does she show progressive discipline with the Outliers of PS 154? I doubt it. Does she show progressive discipline with the over 40 club at PS 154? Nah.

If Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal practices progressive discipline, why then was I written up for smoking outside the school in accordance with Chancellor's Regulation C-810? Why was I written up for not having my "learning environment," not my classroom, in order on September 7, while the rest of the staff had almost until the end of the month? 

Why was I written up on the basis of one teacher whining how I addressed her? Why was I written up for going hypoglycemic? Why was I written up on the basis of one teacher, (Same one above) claiming that I did not pick up her class when it was not even my place to pick the class up?

Could I have not been given the opportunity to have counseling memos put in my file? Because if Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal truly practiced progressive discipline what she did to me, and mind you, there is a lot I can't speak about yet, seemed to have been greasing my skids. 

Why was, as I still believe to this day, set up to fail from the beginning of September 2012?

But that is what PS 154 under Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal is all about. It's like The Outsiders. You have the Greasers on one sides and the Socs on the other. We all know who the Socs are, we all know their attitudes. The Socs at PS 154 team up on the Greasers, the outcasts, the outliers. The Socs think they can divide and conquer the Greasers, but they can't.

When there 154 is being destroyed by the policies of Dr Alison Coviello; EdD. and Principal, the Socs will be drinking the Kool-Aid and claiming how wonderful things are. It will be the Greasers who save the kids, who save the day.

But maybe, just maybe, some of the Socs will flip. There are some that can be saved, that can leave the dark side.

But the Greasers still left at PS 154, you guys can do it. You guys can save 154. Be sure you speak with SodaPop and Darry, They will give you the help you need.

Oh, and beware the claims of progressive discipline. It's a crock.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Robben Island at 4360 Broadway

As many of you know, I have been reassigned due to my blogging and exposing the day in and day out hypocrisy of the NYCDOE. I believe that this has been part of a vast conspiracy with my principal, Dr Alison Coviello; PhD and Principal at the center of the conspiracy. I don;t have any concrete evidence, but I believe that God shine a path to the truth.

Since September 3, 2013, I have been jailed at 4360 Broadway, Children's First Network 403 as my jailers. Today was the darkest day yet.

For two months I have been "stored" in the cafeteria on the 5th floor of 4360 Broadway. Yes, a cafeteria. Here is proof (over there on the left). See, it says cafeteria, but for some reason local custom (I am still studying these people) it is called a "conference room." But it does not look like any conference room I have ever seen (up above). In fact, this cafeteria/conference room is so special it has a copying machine that runs full throttle throughout the day and I get to suck in the fumes.
 But all is not that bad. It could be worse. For instance, I have an activity to do in the cafeteria/conference room. Count the dead ants on the sticky paper and count the ants going into the ant trap.


 But the best part is I made two new friends today. They decided to pose for a photo (look to the left). The little fella who on his back with his legs sticking up I am going to name him George. I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and pat him and pet him and rub him and caress him.

 I do not like it in the cafeteria/conference room. Aside from the filth, there is no real place to keep my device plugged in, people are coming and going. The HUGE conference room down the hall which hosts PD brings hordes of people into the cafeteria/conference room at lunch time. I have zero privacy and in the words of George Carlin, no place for my stuff. In fact, a book I was reading, Lincoln's Men was swiped from the cafeteria/conference room yesterday. Worse, is that I had about 30 pages to go.

So I really don't like it up there. I prefer the break room, (which I was told it is not even though that is where the vending machines are) on the 4th floor by the security desk and elevator. I have a bit more privacy and it is more comfortable. Their reasoning, "we have been told we must 'supervise' you." This directive coming from Tweed. Though others RR's on 4th floor allowed free reign. Supervise? What am I 12 years old? I am not supervised! No one EVER comes to see how I am doing or if I am breathing. If they cared so much about their supervisory duties then why am I allowed to be subject to copier fumes and ant and roach doody?

But they say that the cafeteria/conference room is the best they can do since they have no room for me and "nothing for you to do."

But people whine and complain. Boo-hoo. So word gets back to my jailers which brings me to today.

I thought today was going to be the end. I had no access to the outside world. My phone was on the fritz and when I asked one of my captors for permission to use the CFN 403 phone, I was told emphatically, "NO!"

 I am not even allowed to use computers. I've been told that the times I have that when someone's else has gone on the computers are slow ROAD APPLES I say! IE is slow and people too stupid to realize it and use Chrome or Firefox.Me signing on to a computer in no way slows down a computer.

I've been harangued for walking into what I had thought a closet, which turned out to be another photocopier room looking for an outlet for my phone.

I have been told in no uncertain terms that I am not allowed to leave the cafeteria/conference room. I can't even eat lunch in the 4th floor break room (even though they say no one ever eats there I do see ¡mucho arroz con frijoles!).

I must ask permission to goo pee pee or doody. I must ask permission to use a vending machine.

This is being done to break me and not to infect others. Such as the way Portelos is isolated and Christine Rubino is isolated. We, and all the others, are political prisoners.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Governor Chris Christie Is a Meanie and a Bully

The news is out. Governor Chris Christie, he of the wide girth, publicly berated a public school teacher, Melinda Tomlinson, who dared to ask him, “Why are you portraying our schools as failure factories?” In response, Governor Christie responded, “What do you want? I’m tired of you people, do your job” according to Tomlinson. They had a brief argument over public schools.

What is this animosity Governor Big Mac has for teachers? The Crack Team did some digging and has found out that when Governor Big Mac was a young child in the 4th grade he had a crush on his teacher, which The Crack Team has found exclusive video. He stalked her to her home on Valentine's Day and professed his love to her. Sadly, he was rejected. The hurt lasted with him to this day.

First things first. I guess it is official now. I am now amongst another groups of "you people." Being a Jew, I knew when hearing "you people," there was a good chance either I, my family, or the tribe was being referenced. Now, when I hear those two words, I must now wonder if the conversation is about teachers as well. But, as one of The Crack Team's groupies shared with us, people say, "you people" to convey;
when they want to distance themselves. It's as bad as using a racial slur. It implies a sense of superiority.
We here at SBSB wonder of Governor Big Mac will ever go into the bowels of Camden, or West Orange, or Patterson and say this to people who come up to him and complain about the lack of food stamps, available jobs, and lack of housing? We doubt it. 

What about all those people a year later that still are homeless due to Sandy on the Jersey Shore? Would he say, "I'm tired of you people" to them? Again, we doubt it.

But Governor Big Mac is so concerned about choice and the horror of public school teachers, why then does he have no clue about New Jersey's private schools for disabled students?
the schools — together a more than $600 million industry — are paid for by the public but can spend in ways public schools cannot, sometimes fueling nepotism, high salaries, fancy cars, generous pensions and questionable business deals.
He reacted quite calmly. No bluster, no in your face, no bravado;
 "It was all news to me when I read it so I called over to Chris Cerf and said to him, ‘Put together a briefing for me and tell me what you think is going on,’ and he said he would," 
What we do enjoy is his pandering to Orthodox Jews;
He favors vouchers, expanding charter schools and extending state dollars for special education to Jewish day schools. 
Yeah, let's send the monies to Jewish day schools. We have all seen the disaster of the Kiryas Joel School District and the Yeshiva's in Rockland County NY, here, here, and here.

But let's go back to what started this brouhaha. Christie shared his ignorance by saying;
 “I would be happy to take as many dollars as possible away from failure factories that send children on a no-stop route to prison and to failed dreams, if we could take that money and put it into a place where those families have hope,"
Where are the failure factories? Upper Saddle River? Franklin Lakes? Short Hills? Tappan? Or does he just mean the schools within New Jersey's inner cities? For if that is what he means, he did not just dump on teachers, but the parents, the students, and the communities in Camden, Patterson, Newark, Jersey City, that see their schools as an oasis in the middle of chaos.

If every student was in a charter school or had access to vouchers in Camden, would the problems of Camden go away? The same in Newark or West Orange? No.

Where are the jobs? Why did the jobs leave New Jersey? What happened to all the manufacturing jobs in Patterson, Camden, and Newark? How many mayors have been indicted for graft in Atlantic City? How many politicians state wide have been arrested in New Jersey over the last ten years?

The problems will not be fixed by demonizing teachers, belittling public schools, cutting monies from public schools, opening charters, or picking fights with nice ladies who just ask a question.

There are so many reasons that students in areas of poverty struggle in school. But there are so many problems and so many students that we can't list all the reasons. The reasons are too numerous and each student is different.

Invest on the communities. Think about this, Zuckerberg's $100 million could have been spent on opening a supermarket in East Orange or Camden. It could have been used to create ball fields and soccer fields, it could have been used to clean up the inner city. But no, Zuckerberg wanted to look cool on Oprah and kiss Governor Big Mac's large butt.

The issues in the inner cities, and this goes for across the country, not just New Jersey, are numerous and complicated. The easy way to deal with the problems are to bully those that disagree with you and cut monies and shut things down. The hard way is ti actually invest and change the culture of the inner cities.

Governor White Castle needs to heed Mr Spock from Wrath of Khan, "It is easier to destroy than to create."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Is PS 154 in the Bronx Safe for Students?

Lots going on at PS 154 in the Bronx that sources have shared with The Crack Team.

Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal of PS 154 has begun a groovy peace bus. What is a peace
bus?  A peace bus is a big, cute, groovy, faux bus located on the wall by the office. Every day that PS 154 is violence free, a day is marked. When 5 days are marked, the students of the school win a prize!! YAY!!!

Where does such a groovy idea come from? Those wonderful people at Responsive Classroom, that's who. Go look at Responsive Classroom's website and find them on YouTube. See how much inner city videos they have. How many students get free lunch. Remember, not everything works in Peoria.

As actual reality based, non liberal, educator shared with me recently about Responsive Classroom;
"...find it frustrating that we don't hold kids accountable anymore - my admins believe the kids who act out need 'a hug and a cookie'. How about a suspension and a boot in the butt (figuratively, of course). My classroom was student centered, but there were rules and there were consequences. We deal with many on free lunch, very dysfunctional homes, but that's all the more reason why they need some discipline in school - some lack any structure at home"

I guess when one is liberal and one doesn't understand the workings of children of the inner city and when one believes that since one is white, has a Ivy League pedigree, and was raised in opulence and without want, one can be condescending enough to the families and children of color. 

Back to the peace bus. The peace bus was christened on October 7. How well did it work? It worked so well that the first day without violence was October 15!! YAY!!! A week of violence, followed by a lull? Keep reading. 

There was a lull, but it the violence returned to the school, October 16-22, yet resumed October 25. Oooh, a two day lull. Gee, that peace bus really is working wonders.

But of course this is to be expected. But as Anthony Cody wrote in "Punished by Rewards,"
"....rewards can be seen as punishment in the sense that rewards both manipulate behavior and are a form of doing things to students rather than with students"
 Yeah, it is really nice to have meeting with students and explain to them how in the professional world fighting will not cut it. But when you are sharing this with 3rd graders, or dare I say, 5th graders, you are giving them a concept that is far too in the future for them to genuinely comprehend. Not saying that none of them will absorb it, but at that age in which students live in the moment, does it hit home?

Even more so, especially as the students get older, there is a certain pride in not being one of those that needs to be rewarded, that they do not care about momentary rewards. It is a source of pride for them to be the "bad kid," the kid that will get in trouble or ruin the rewards for everybody else. 

From the Psycho-Educational Teacher blog; 
External rewards may temporarily inhibit disruptive behaviors but they do not teach appropriate behavior and will not help children outgrow the disruptive behavior. Teachers need to be aware that rewards appeal exclusively to students’ extrinsic motivation (“I do _____ so that I can get _____”) having little or no effect in strengthening children’s intrinsic motivation (i.e. self-pride, self-confidence, self-efficacy, and a sense of accomplishment among others). Consequently, even when the teacher uses rewards consistently, a discipline system that only takes into consideration giving rewards while ignoring children’s perceptions, attitudes, and feelings may have a strong short-term effect in winning compliance, but no long-term effect in helping habitually disruptive students learn new and more productive ways of behaving. 
In my opinion, rewards do serve their purpose, but only once the teacher has established themselves as no nonsense and has the respect of the students that are the most troublesome. The rest of the students in the class, believe it or not, look to those students on how to behave. The most troublesome students must be won over first. 

But talking to these students in a patronizing, condescending voice won't work. They see through the bull. They know when they are being conned. Stickers and rewards won't cut it with them, unless it is right there in the moment. And even that is daunting for I believe that their behavior will adjust just for that reward, for that momentary grasp of getting something. But long term, rewards won't work alone.

I know these kids are hurting inside. I feel for them. But what they need more than anything else are boundaries. Not stickers, no pizza or ice cream parties, but boundaries.

But this is how Dr Alison Coviello; PhD. and Principal of PS 154in the Bronx wants it. Kind of like socialism, All students must be treated the same, and all teachers must respond in the same manner.

So with that, the violence will prevail at PS 154 and students will not learn nor will they be safe.