SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Germany Supports DTOE and Calls for NYCDOE Spring Cleaning

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Germany Supports DTOE and Calls for NYCDOE Spring Cleaning

For those that remember, DTOE sponsored it's first rally today in front of Tweed calling for the
abolition of the dependence of lawyers at the DOE. A good time was had by all and The Crack Team will like to thank master of ceremonies Francesco Portelos for putting this all together.

I was tasked with handing out leaflets to the growing crowd of people curious in what the group had to say. At first the passers by refused to accept any leaflets. They seemed to be busy going elsewhere but their body language showed that they really did care but didn't have the time to chat.

That was until we came across a family from Germany.

This family, a mom, dad, sister and brother, were walking in front of Tweed when I, and others, struck up a conversation with them about the the state of education in Germany. The language barrier was difficult seeming that their English, except the mom's, was so-so and the only German I knew was gleamed off of "Hogan's Heroes."

After some banter and sharing with the family how the Untied States will wipe the flow with Germany in next Monday's Group match in the World Cup, their 21 year old son agreed to answer some questions about German education and be videoed for posterity.

Notice anything? Our German friend shared with us that Germany does not rely on standardized tests for it's students and even though he did not understand what the word respect (respektieren in German) he shared with us that teachers are treated well in Germany.

More shocking, when asked what makes a good teacher, the young man alluded to that teachers have autonomy in the classroom and was shocked and dismayed that teacher's get punished for not being perfect.

They promised to go back to Germany and share the plight of NYC teachers and teachers throughout the United States.

Oh one more thing. Off camera they agreed that the NYCDOE does need a spring cleaning and that there are way too many lawyers employed at Tweed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A brief look at the history of the DOE tells us that any philosophy of leadership has been lacking for years. The 1990s was the decade of the 'Out of Town Chancellors'. Many believe that politicians did not want to hire anyone who knew the system from the inside out and the bottom up, so they hired big name out of towners who could barely grasp the state of our schools. This was symbolized by the tenure of Ramon Cortines, who had to close schools for an asbestos crisis in his first month. All of those out of town Chancellors happily departed without making any great impact.
That was followed by a decade of the 'Lawyer as Chancellor' program. Harold Levy may have been a reformer, but Joel Klein really approached the job as a liability attorney would. Claim responsibility but use others as scapegoats for failure. For me the drowning death of a student on a field trip best manifested Klein's philosophy. A teacher was fired, an Assistant Principal transferred, the Principal reprimanded and Joel Klein got to go to the funeral. Harry Truman must has been spinning in his grave that day when he saw that Klein was much more of a lawyer than a leader.
Unless a year of teaching Kindergarten and a decade of schilling for Mayor Bloomberg makes you an educator, we can skip over Dennis Walcott. That would make Carmen Farina the first Chancellor in 25 years who is an educator who knows New York City Public Schools. She should clean out the lawyers the way Harold Levy cleared out the bureaucrats. If she can't see that a bloated legal staff was only made necessary by Bloomberg's top down mismanagement of education, then she will be no more of a leader than any of the others we have had for the last 25 years.