Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Last night after I wrote my piece about the flamingos and Kindergarten I decided to check out Stat Counter to see how many hits, visits, pages views, etc... there have been to my blog. It had been a while and was just curious.

My eyes almost burst out of my eyes when I saw the total. Now mind you, this was about 10:30 PM or so. There were about 4,000 pages views as of that time, about 450 visits. I was surprised. I have seen big numbers but never like this and usually the numbers spike when I am linked or I write something that hits home, but usually linked.

I tried to ascertain who linked me. No one did. But I did come across something else. Only the last five visitors appeared on the page, and one of them had the near maximum views allowed, about 495. Upon further investigation the name if the ISP (Internet Service Provider) is Lightower Fiber Networks with the IP (Internet Protocol address) of out of New York. (Click to enlarge)

I know of Lightower. Lightower does business with the DOE and the city (Item #13). So what is the deal?

At first I kind of figured that someone is burning the midnight oil at Tweed printing out my entire blog. Check this out, this is just in the last 2 minutes or so (Click to enlarge);

This is what it was like last night at 10:30 and when I checked at 3 AM. It could not be someone printing at 3 AM. Even if someone were to be printing the blog at that hour, or any hour, that person would not be going from each post to each post. There are much simpler ways to do it. I was starting to think it was a DNS or DOS attack or some kind of malevolent hijinks (If anyone wishes to share their idea please do!).

So this morning around 9 AM I contact Lightower tech support and open up a ticket. I was told they would look into it.

I called back around noon and found out where this "attack" was emanating from. I was told the "City of New York Law Department," or as we know it, the Corp Counsel. Oh, and I was told they are investigating it and sent an email to the IT person and have yet to hear back. And they kept on trying and still heard diddly(Click to enlarge):

So something weird is going on. I am still in touch with Lightower and was told if this problem is persisting for another 24 hours that that IP address will be disabled. 

What I am wondering, is if this is an attack, does this rise to the level of criminal conduct? And also, who is behind this? 

At least it is being "looked into" as of now and wonder where this will lead. But something does stink.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Flamingos Are Not Friends of Kindergartners

So how is my ATRing going? Not bad, but the bloom is a bit off the flower.

I have been on the same school in District 10 for the last week and a half. I know the school well from my District 10 days. My first paid teaching gig as a sub was there back in June of 1995. I sent thirty 5th graders to the closet at once to get their stuff at the end of the day. Whoops!

But it has been uneventful. My first day there, on December 14th, I covered a 3/4 bridge class. I was lucky. The teacher had not left any lesson plans but there were two great paras in the class with me and without them I would have been lost.

I had this same class on the 16th and in between covered a 4th grade class for the day. The 4th grade class was awesome as well. Again, no lesson plans, but 3 students stayed with me during my 1st period period prep to show me where there are. In fact the principal walked in when they students were working independently during Math and looked around and left.

I clustered Thursday and covered another 4th grade ICT class (Alone) Friday. Another awesome para and another great class.

So last week I was in the class where there actually is a vacancy. It's a Kindergarten ICT class with no general ed teacher. The first day was good. It was a field trip to the Swedish Cottage in Central Park to see a marionette show. By the time we got back it was lunch and then prep and the day basically over. Not so much Tuesday and Wednesday.

The teacher is very good but she just can't, or just won't, remember my name. I am referred to as the "other teacher." I try to help out as best I can, but I am basically on my own more or less. It is kind of an awkward situation, but I am putting my best foot forward.

On Wednesday the teacher had a meeting with one of the AP's to discuss her observation and left me to teach her lesson plan. Now mind you this is an ICT K class. The title of the lesson was;
"Understanding Information in Fiction and Nonfiction Story Elements--Non-Fiction Writing"

The teaching point (Which goes up on the board);
"Students will identify information found in the table of contents page by citing evidence"

Can someone please explain to me the purpose of a teaching point for 5 year olds?

I am in no way blaming the teacher for this, in fact she is an awesome teacher and I am sure this directive comes from above, but WTF?

And more WTF. Why in K are we teaching them not only informational reading (I know, I know) but on top of that, "table of contents," "glossary," and that bold words mean the information is important.

The name of the book is "Flamingos Our Feathered Friends". But I read the book to them remind them to pay attention to the questions on the page and the bold words so they know this book is telling them about flamingos.

Check out some of the bold words that are in the glossary;
Guess which two words I learned on that day. The same two words a five year old will not retain. By the way, did you know that flamingos are born grey?

This just seems too much for K students. Even tropical weather is too much especially when I have no idea if they have previous knowledge of it.

The independent work was for the students to go back to the tables, find an informational book and point out some features of informational texts to one another at their tables. It was differentiated that the middle group will identify topics, and the lowest group will identify the difference between non-fiction and fiction.

Again, this is not an indictment of the teacher, but rather the dunderheads that force fed us the Common Core crud. What happened to the days of KWL charts, then reading the book to the class, and just having fun. Any non-fiction book can be informational, no? I read the Billy Martin biography a few months ago, it was full of information.

K students arr sponges. They will soak up everything. We must stop making them grow up too fast.

Oh, one more thing. A student was very thoughtful and brought me, as well as his teacher and the para, a box of chocolate on Wednesday

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Death of a Teacher's Baby Touches Us All

I can't believe it's been 12 days since I have last posted. So much to shared about my latest ATR
posting but that will have to wait. Something else has been gnawing within my brain.

As we all read in the papers this week, a horrible, horrible thing happened in the Bronx. A sick deranged "human being" not only choked his 2 month old son to death, but then drove the lifeless body to Brewster NY rented a hotel room and buried the baby in the woods off Route 22.

The reason this is being shared on these pages is that the mother of the baby is a NYCDOE teacher.

The father, who has lived up to his sordid past, choked the baby because the baby would not stop crying and, according to some reports, the mother was giving more attention to. 

After burying the baby, the proud father turned to the mother and reportedly said,
"If you’re going to become a liability, I’m going to kill you, too.”
Obviously, not a loving relationship, but definitely, an abusive one that the mother and teacher was forced to live in.

How was this case cracked? Eventually the mother could not take it no more and attempted suicide by swallowing pills. Not only her method to choose to deal with the death of her baby, but seemingly, the only way out of an abusive relationship. She a psychiatrist at the New York Hospital in White Plains shared what was told and contacted the police.

Remember, this is what we know, what is being reported. What we don't know is the life that went on behind the closed doors of the mother and her psycho boyfriend.

That being said, some of what I have read on some social media sites from teachers has me a bit unnerved. There are those calling the mother just as culpable for not contacting authorities immediately to calling for the mother to be arrested as well, or the normal, "I will never let myself be in abusive relationship..." This is not needed nor warranted.

It is natural to be angry. It is natural to put yourself into the mother's position and say what you will or will not do. But let's be real. No one will ever know what they will do in any situation unless they are in that situation. To blame the mother, to find fault with her is easy. To support her, to help her, is the hard part. Now mind you, I can only comment on the information that has been made public. But as have now I will support this mother through whatever method I so desire and this should be the same of anyone. Use prayer, good thoughts, etc... This is a tragedy and the mother is a victim, a different type of victim, as well. She is going through hell and will for the rest of her life.

Having said that, I am concerned with more hell being dumped on her by our good friends at the NYC DOE and SCI.

This woman does not need to be subjected to any of the poking and prodding of SCI. Not now, not ever. If they need to find out what happened, contact NYPD and read their reports. The mother has not been charged with a crime, so why should the snoops be out in full force?

Who knows if the mother will ever want to, or can, teach again? The worst thing for the DOE to do will be to investigate her and send her to sit in the Rubber Room for months.

The best thing for the DOE to do is pay her in full, cover her psychiatric expenses in full, for however long it takes. When she is ready to be back in the classroom, send her make to her old school, at her old position, if she wants it. If not, find a position other than an ATR for her.

And, the UFT can be more involved and this is a bone of contention for me.

The UFT can do more to help its members that are in distress. Yes, the UFT has MAP, but until this year (Because it is an election year?) I have never saw flyers in any buildings. I have no idea how effective this program is, but reading it the big problem I have is that one has to go to 50 Broadway to take advantage of it. In the case of mental health the mountain must come to Mohammad, not the other way around. The UFT needs and must be more proactive when it comes to members in distress. This mother was clearly in distress both before and after the death of her baby.

We as teachers must support one another when there is distress in our colleague's lives. This teacher, this mother, is going through the worst imaginable thing a mother can go through. To throw invective language from the safety of a computer screen will serve no purpose. Be upset, be disappointment, be angry, but show a modicum of some support.

God knows, if the shoe were to be on the other foot.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Second Week of My Adventures in ATR Land

On Monday it hit me. Hit me hard like Dorothy in so many ways.

I had a feeling I am no longer in District 7. I have a feeling that I am no longer a teacher. I have a feeling that I am now nothing but an ATR.

That last sentence really was a reality check after what for me was a pretty good re-introduction into the Wonderful World of the NYCDOE.

On Monday I walked in several minutes early and was told to get my schedule from the AP. I walked to her office and she asked me to wait. I sat down at the conference table and what happened? The principal walked in along with the AP and my heart skipped a beat. It literally did. I have become so per-conditioned to whenever I am in an administrator's office that I must have done something wrong that I become some Pavlovian teacher when I see to admins talking. After about 2 seconds I realized the two were talking about some mundane school stuff. WHEW!

So I got the schedule and all it I had to do for the day was to "support" teachers in their classrooms. Nothing more, nothing less. It was at that point where my new reality hit me and I was nothing but an overpaid para.

But I couldn't wallow in it. I walked into each class that day with the attitude what can I do, how can I help, and dove in feet first. I was not going to be reactive, but proactive. The teachers were (or so they seemed) appreciative of my help as well as just being there. In each of the three classes I was with that day I sat with one of the more challenging students of each class and somehow, someway, made a difference for that student for about an hour. But I still wanted to teach.

I got my wish on Tuesday.

Like Ted Williams taking off for 4 years during WW II I came back swinging. Three classes in a row Tuesday morning, and it seemed like I hit a dinger in each one.

The students were engaged (I hate tooting my horn), the lessons were to the point, flowed well. I was rusty. I think I spent a wee bit too much time on the mini lesson and perhaps my introduction. But the students (4/5 bridge, 2nd Grade, and K) were well behaved. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the school atmosphere, maybe it was the District 11 magic, or who knows. But it felt good.

The next day, Wednesday, more of what I did Tuesday but a Kindergarten teacher that stayed in the room while I was teaching asked me if I was retired. I said no, not yet, told her I am an ATR and I asked her to as why she asked if I was retired.

She said that I knew what I was doing, the kids loved my lesson, the kids were focused, and my management was very good. She said she gets people in their with no lessons, no plan, no nothing and that sometimes she has to find something for them to do. It felt good.

Thursday and Friday was back to what I was doing Monday. It was neat hearing the kids calling out "Hey Zucker!" as I walked by, or the little ones saying good-bye as I left the classroom.

Each teacher, as well as the AP,  was gracious and courteous to me and me to them. Hey, I know, this can be an anomaly, each school is different. But for one week, my first week back, I needed this school and was hoping to be there longer or at least up until the break.

Sadly, I am to report to another school tomorrow morning in District 10. In fact it is my step-mother's old school where she retired as an AP in 2001. Irony, huh?

I know I should be in 7, but I am closer to home. The parking at the school this past week was fantastic and it won't be as good this week, but it is a school I am familiar with. Worst part is not being able to go into my old haunts of Mount Vernon for breakfast or lunch.

I am going to do what I can and stand tall and stand proud. I will stand for all ATR's while I can and will actually make chicken salad out of a chicken s**t situation.  No one can defeat you unless you allow them to. It is not futile on to resist, but we need to learn how to resist. Sometimes a smile can be our best weapon.

I know I am going to have some cruddy days, but it will not be because of me.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My First Day ATR De-Briefing, Travelogue , and Other Mundane Stuff

I didn't sleep very well last night. Got up a lot, thought I had not slept when in fact I had, and made a few trips to the bathroom. I hope that was due to the copious amounts of water I had consumed before bed and not to any underlying prostate issues.

I had awoken for the final time about 5:45 AM (In fact my usual time. My son has to catch his bus at 7 AM) and instead of dilly dallying around in bed I got up, woke my son in a most obnoxious way (banging on his door with my wedding ring) and popped in the shower.

I then shaved, using Edge shaving gel and a Gillete Fusion razor. I had a bout a week's worth of beard to get rid of and was sad that for the first time in 30 months I no longer can go a week or two without shaving.

I had my clothes all laid out for me, but there was a hitch. I couldn't find a black sock to the pair I had planned to wear. I looked all over and it did not help that I had yet to put in my contacts and the room was still dark but for a little light on the nightstand (I HATE light in the morning!). Eventually I found the AWOL sock and had completed getting myself clothed.

I had printed out some lesson plans last night and bought some supplies at Staples (Sorry! There is no other place to go around here!). I needed something to carry all this stuff. I did not have a briefcase nor a backpack. What was I to do?

My son came through. He offered me his Yankees Draw String Bag that he got at Draw String Bag Night at the Stadium a few years ago. I would enter the school in style.

I finished all I had to do and said goodbye to my wife and son as well as Sparkles. I was off.

I didn't have to be at school until 8:15 which gave me plenty of time. I whizzed through White Plains and got onto the Bronx River Parkway. My destination was Mount Vernon and Gramatan Bagels.

There was a reason for Gramatan Bagels. I wanted a whole wheat bagel with Nova spread. They really pile it on the bagel there and it was close enough that I could take my time. relax, eat, drink my coffee and read the paper.

At about 7:45 I decided it was time to get going. The school is right over the line from Mount Vernon and I figured I would be there by eight. I went down Gramatan Ave, turned right onto Linclon, then to 1st Ave and down until I got to 241st St and then down a bit. Was there before 8. The best part, are you ready for this??? There was plenty, an overabundance of street parking! I had no problem finding a spot.

I got out of car and took a deep breath. I adjusted the pleats on my skirt (Gotcha! Only joking). I took a deep breath and walked towards the school then up the steps where I was greeted by the school safety agent who was very nice. I signed in and went up to the office.

I checked in with the payroll secretary and she gave me my time card and I punched in. She then asked me to wait outside for the AP.

I was sitting there praying that the AP would forget about me and not see me until noon. But it didn't happen. It was just a ten minute wait.

The payroll secretary escorted me to her office and she was very gracious and kind. She said have a seat while she figured out my schedule. Oh, oh! What was I to get?

Three classes for the day, two periods each class, going in and supporting the classroom teacher.

I had a 1st grade class, then prep, then 2nd grade, then lunch, and finally, 1st grade again. The teachers were quite friendly towards me and did not take it as I was intruding on their space. In each class I assisted with scoring some tests and working one on one with a few students. I soon realized how much I had missed this.

The day ended and I went upstairs to punch out. On the way to the office I met the principal and thanked her as she welcomed me to the school.

It was not that bad a day.

Oh, before I forget, there is another ATR at the school. We got to talking during our prep in the teacher's lounge and I asked him if he knows or has heard of Portelos.

He looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and asked, "Who is that?"

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's Over. I am Back!

It's over.

The suspension ends today. Ironically, the day my mother would have turned 85 years old.

I go back tomorrow (as an ATR), to a school in District 11 (I have been put there provisionally) which I really don't mind. It is much closer to home, won't have to deal with traffic on the Deegan or the Bronx River Parkway. Just drive into Mount Vernon and cross over into the Bronx a few blocks. Perfect.

I quit the job I had on Tuesday. Felt great working with adults that act like adults for the first time in over 20 years. No backstabbing, no whining, no tattling, just true camaraderie and a healthy work atmosphere.

One of the best things of the job I had is I lost about 5 pounds and got kind of buff. I dare anyone to punch me in the gut.

I have not taught in a class since June of 2013. That's almost 30 months. Shouldn't there be some kind of easing back into society? Though I guess it is better to just jump in feet first.

It's like I am being released from jail, or more like a half-way house. I got sentenced to 30 months, but go released after 23 and sent to the half-way house to finish the rest of my sentence. But the ex-cons get a suit, a bus pass, and a $10, I got jack.

But I feel like I am on parole. I have to check in with a parole officer and if I mess up I am in violation and can easily be sent back from whence I came.

There's this part of me that wants to go full Corporal Klinger. Show up tomorrow wearing a skirt, blouse, heels, make-up, and a push up bra. Something flashy, yet tasteful. Ladies, being that it is December should I go with or without nylons? If anyone has any fashion tips, please share.

I am going in tomorrow and any subsequent day henceforth without a chip on my shoulder. I just can't survive or get by with an attitude like that. It won't do me or anyone else any good.

I want to keep to myself, interact with myself, act professionally, do my job, and keep a smile on my face. Once bitten, twice shy.

But, I will ask for the key to the men's room and seek out the CL.

I really wish I knew what I would be doing in the school tomorrow. Am I a cluster? A classroom teacher? Lunch duty? Office duty? Or will they put me in a closet? I am not taking any chances. I have printed out a lesson from "Share My Lesson" for each grade.

I feel like Detective John Kimble on my first day.

I think I'll use my Austrian accent for the first few days.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Carmen Fariña is Nothing But a Disgusting Human Being

So here I am taking a break from watching the Lions game and go to check my DOE email account to see if I have my assignment for December 4 yet. There is no assignment, but something even more disgusting. An email from the NYCDOE's own most disgusting human being, Disgusting Carmen Farina. Let's have a looksee.
On this Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for the work that you do every day.   

Each of you plays a vital role in putting 1.1 million children on the path to a brighter future. You teach them about the world outside the classroom. You create healthy, safe, supportive, and beautiful school buildings. You bring parents, grandparents, and our communities into schools as partners in this crucial work. I am deeply grateful for all that you do and the difference that you make.   

I wish you a joyful and restful holiday full of reflection, giving thanks, and time spent with family, friends and loved ones.   


Speaking personally, I feel so warm, so thrilled, that Disgusting Fariña feels this way. So thrilled, that I want to reciprocate my feelings to Disgusting Fariña on this Thanksgiving holiday.

I want to thank Disgusting Fariña for doubling down on abusive administrators and completely looking the other way as said administrators rule their schools without any ethics or fear of repercussions in destroying the careers, through lies, illegalities, and fantasy of the their hard working teachers. A teacher leaves a seat up in the staff bathroom, a letter in the file to that teacher. A teacher asks a contradictory question of a principal, off to the Rubber Room and to a 3020-a hearing for that teacher.

But, a principal that lies, perjures themselves in sworn testimony, it's not a big deal, right Disgusting Fariñ? A principal creates false documents to give an unsatisfactory observations, hey no big deal.

But if you are a real big shot and you really, really screw up, what happens? You get moved up to sit on Disgusting Fariña's cabinet! WOW!  I've said to people over and over that if you are an admin in the NYCDOE you can be caught  over the dead body, blood splattered on you, with smoke still coming from the barrel and NOTHING will happen to you other than being moved up and making more money.

I am sure that the ATR's of NYC are giving thanks to you. The horror stories I am reading on FB and here and here are just negated by this Thanksgiving treatise by Disgusting Fariña. The ATR's now have a warm fuzzy now due to the thanks given to them by Disgusting Fariña.

Disgusting Fariña wants to exterminate veteran teachers from the rolls and minds of the NYCDOE. That is all she cares about. There are always enough blind newbie teachers to take our place and when those newbies have too many years, too much knowledge, then they too will be exterminated by Disgusting Fariña.

Disgusting Carmen Fariña is the worst, most disgusting human being in the world. She is nothing more than a Mafia Boss running a syndicate with the principals as her Caporegimes. All know they are untouchable and beyond reproach.

I will be thankful for what I have today and every day Disgusting Fariña. I surround myself with people unlike you who are ethical, loyal, and who live by a strong value and moral system. Not like you, who has no values, no convictions, no ethics, no nothing. You are devoid of a heart, of a soul, and of everything.

Just go away and take care of the dementia (Yeah, we have heard that!) and crawl off into with some golden pension from the city and live out your miserable little life in a old age home sitting around do nothing other than watching the Price is Right, wearing an adult diaper and drooling into a cup.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

South Bronx School Endorses Jia Lee as Next UFT President

What a great MORE meeting that was had yesterday! I  walked out of there really knowing that something was accomplished. More (pardon the pun) importantly, I left with a feeling that the process works. That there is a caucus within the UFT with a true democratic ideals which is empowered by the people involved and decisions aren't made by fiat. What a joy it was to see true give and take on the debate of the platform as well as candidates for for UFT officers and the executive board.  This was true union democracy at its best.

But what really impressed me was the MORE candidate for UFT President, Jia Lee. I had only met Jia for the first time (at least to my recollection) at the famous (or infamous) "diner meeting" back in June. Even then, Jia was the voice of reason.

But one thing Jia said when she spoke to the packed crowd yesterday really hit home with me. Some thing that we should all ask ourselves as we charge ahead in the hope of changing the UFT.

"How are the children?"

So simple, so to the point, but so profound, yet so encompassing and important.

I brought this information back to The Crack Team last night and over pizza and Dr Pepper we voted to unanimously endorse Jia Lee as the next UFT President, as well as to make her an honorary member of The Crack Team along with all the perks that come with that.

Everything we do now, (and I am not discounting the roles we have as teachers, but this post is about an election) as candidates, supporters, or even voters of and for MORE boils down to the children. Everything that effects us as teachers will in one way or another, positive or negative, effect each and every child throughout New York City.

The children are affected by the summary discontinuances, the ATR's, the abuse of teachers, the abusive principals, the 3020-a kangaroo courts and more. Each and everyone of these horrors are an affront to education, the teachers, and the communities in which we serve.

But Jia, nor anyone at MORE, needs to wear these horrors on their sleeves to show that they care or can be effective as representing the rank and file as our representatives at the UFT.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jia and how she shared with me her effectiveness as a chapter leader at her school. She does not believe in histrionics, hyperbolic verbiage, or empty threats.

But, she does not believe in being silent, she believes in each and every teachers right to be treated with dignity, respect, and just as importantly, with due process. And, and this made me smile, she is thorough and does what she can to let those in power show how not in control of the situation they think they are. This is what we need, not a "Union Boss," but a Union Leader.

Jia, and I learned this only recently, saved (and I am sure there are plenty) a teacher's career but also lifted her up from the deep depths of despair to the point where this teacher is flourishing once again. I didn't learn this from either Jia or the teacher involved but from someone else. I mean, Jia could have gone around and beat her on drum at this actual (of many) accomplishment but she does not need to. Jia is comfortable and confident in her own skin.

And for those who are unaware, Jia testified before the United States Senate regarding the re-authorization of NCLB back in January. This is a woman that we know has the maturation to establish relationships with all, whether or not they agree with her or not. This is someone we must have as UFT President.

The children, families, communities, and educator's futures are at stake. Why risk it by not electing Jia Lee as UFT President? Why risk electing someone without the maturity and the skills that Jia brings?

We need Jia Lee as UFT President. A vote for Jia Lee is a vote for saving the future.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

UFT Solidarity: The Maturity of Francesco Portelos is in Question

I made a mistake today.

A dear friend, many know her, posited something on Facebook today and tagged many people. I had engaged with a poster that for some reason was able to see through the grime of Solidarity.

He seemed to be towing some kind of official Solidarity party line of "why can't we all just work together," and of course myself, Norm Scott, and a few others chimed in.

Soon Portelos trolled his way into the thread and to paraphrase Jean-Luc Picard (or was it Q?) I had "engaged the Portelos."

I still have a headache.

One thing led to another and I had mentioned how that several members---ooops, I meant, followers, of UFT Solidarity were not UFT members such as Victor Jordan and Christina Vickers (She's a blog post for another day!). And that these members are in positions to make decisions for UFT members.

So instead of engaging like a grown up, or even a 14 year old, Portelos does something even stranger. If that is possible.

For some reason he retorts back to me, and to Norm as well, to publish the streets we live on as one can see here (Click to enlarge)

The coffee shop reference I guess is about when I was hoping wayyyyyy back in July that we could settle our differences. But knowing Portelos, there is more.

However, I wish I had some clarification on this so I can better prepare myself.

Was this a scare tactic? To scare me into doing what or away from?

A bullying tactic? Maybe. Portleos has bullied in the past when he does not get his way just like a during block time in Kindergarten.

A threat? Nah, clowns are supposed to make people laugh.

A dog whistle for the sycophantic, mindless, brainwashed, followers? Could be.

Here is what one should ask themselves. Why is Portelos even spending more than .000000001 seconds of his life to find where Norm and I live? What, gratification, does he get from this? Does he get some kind of perverse excitement?

I don't know about where Norm lives, but there is not much to do here in West Harrison (Perhaps a West Harrsion Travelogue is in order?). But Portelos and/or his followers are in luck!

West Harrison is just less than a mile from beautiful downtown White Plains! Now, the 5 bus of the Bee-Line system can be caught at the White Plains Metro-North Station or if already staying in White Plains the 5 bus can be caught on Hamilton Ave or Lake St which will get you just into West Harrison.

There is a lake, Silver Lake, in West Harrison. Don't expect to swim or fish in there. It's polluted. Probably from all the baseballs hit into hit from the ball field that parallels it.

But enough kidding aside. Time to be serious.

If this kind of behavior by Portelos does not make those who follow him or those about to get sucked in question if he is the right person to not only be a union leader but to even run a caucus those same people must be questioned as well.

It's funny, the same people who are so vehemently against Mulgrew for his bullying tactics support Portelos. Why is that? It's like an physcially abused spouse leaving the abuser and marrying another physical abuser.

Solidarity people, open your eyes. Not only is Portelos despised at the DOE, where one must be able to get along if a UFT president, he his seen as a joke at the UFT as well as a clown. Yeah, I know, that's par for the course, but there are good people 52 Broadway and he has burned those bridges.

Solidarity people, and I know there are a lot of you that are questioning him. Are you afraid if you speak up he will go after you or your loved ones? If so, you have plenty of places to turn to for support. If so, you can stick up for yourself and not be kowtowed by him.

Solidarity people, pay attention to this next sentence. PORTELOS WILL NEVER BE UFT PRESIDENT. Sparkles my cat has a better chance.

It is time to run very fast and very far from Portelos and Solidarity.

I'd bet my bottom dollar Portelos has dossiers on everyone. Secrets to share just waiting for the right moment.

Something just ain't right.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Bad Week for UFT Solidarity

What a week it has been for Portelos and his followers.

First, Portelos was shunned and cast out of the Facebook group he "created" for have the temerity to share one's personal info openly when brought to the carpet about one of his "emails" that would "whoop some ass."

Then he showed how much of a man he truly is by creating some form for those who have felt that Betsy represented herself as a lawyer in which a criminal complaint was threatened.

And then Betsy pulls back the sheath on (as we have alluded to in the past) the Cult of Portelos, (here, here, here, and here).

And then on the Fidgety Teach blog show the similarities between a cult leader and Portelos.

Of course the members of Solidarity are taken aback and probably through orders from their collective embedded chips lash out at Betsy for claiming Solidarity is a "mob."

Oh this is just stuff and nonsense!! Solidarity is a "mob" - as in - "mobsters"???? Is this a slur on our Italian-American identities??? Should we take this as a compliment or as an ethnic SLUR, as 3 of us are of bonafide Italian heritage....?????

Oh and PLEASE - could you fix my photo??? I've changed my Facebook profile pic today....prefer you use that one....which says just what I think of this it is a CARTOON....a favorite from my childhood.....hehe

PLEASE - GET. A. LIFE.  Stop this harassment. It's uncalled for, stupid, and will result in....nothing...NADA....except getting us the sympathy vote in 2016...#uftsolidarity2016
So the above follower believes that Betsy's use of the word "mob" is akin to a slur to Italian-Americans. So wrapped up is this person, and possibly brain-washed, that this person never though of the word mob as...

of, relating to, or characteristic of a lawless, irrational, disorderly, or riotous crowd:
mob rule; mob instincts.
directed at or reflecting the lowest intellectual level of the common people:
mob appeal; the mob mentality.
Yet the above UFT member wants the harassment stopped. Has this UFT member ever asked it's leader to stop his harassment of others who speak out? Has this UFT member ever asked it's leader to cease sending emails to principals that purports to "help" teachers? 

As for a sympathy vote? Please.
This non-UFT member blabbered; 

This is the second time you have deleted my posts and I asked you very nicely to remove my information from this webpage! If you choose not to I will take legal action.  
At what point has the above non-UFT member asked Portelos to remove any information told to him in confidence in which he attempted to shame? Yes, that answer will never be answered.  

But enough of that stuff. 

I might have messed up the other day when claiming that Portelos sent an unsolicited email on the behalf of a teacher at Flushing High School. Several members of The Crack Team reached out to sources at FHS and it was confirmed that this teacher does exist. 

What still bothers us here at SBSB, and this teacher did confirm that he gave Portelos permission to email in the comments section, is what was the background of sending the email and what was promised? 

Did Portelos in eliciting permission to send the email to the principal of Flushing High School promise or intimate that the email was some type of magic elixir that once the principal received the email and seeing Portelos' name he would acquiesce to Portelos' demands? Did Portelos, as one should ethically, explain to the teacher that there might, in all likelihood be negative consequences? 

Here is the problem. Portelos has burned every bridge. No one in the DOE takes his seriously and no one at the UFT like him. The one person that could have helped this teacher at the UFT he has completely ruined (on his own accord) any chance of assistance.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chancellor Farina is Enabling the Incompetency of Bronx Bridges AP Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall

For those who have read my blog posts (here, here, here, and here) about my former AP at PS 154 in the Bronx, Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall there was one more thing I had wanted to add but couldn't find the proper way to segue into it. Until now.

It was either May or June of 2013, about several weeks into the reign of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx when Mr J said something quite revealing to me.

DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 had decided that mass preps in the auditorium were no longer to be accompanied by a movie but rather the children were to sit there, sometime for several hours, reading books. Good idea, poor implementation.

So one day, at the end of the day, I am covering the mass prep along with The Bow Tie, Mr J. The entire 2nd grade was in the auditorium when a student came up to me with a question. Now this student had a lot of issues, had been a holdover, and was quite challenging. I knew how to handle him and I had gained this young man's respect. Anyway, he came up to me and I was standing next to Mr J. and asked me something or was kvetching about something. Anyway, I got him to go back to his seat and as he was walking back Mr J turned to me and said;
"We'll see him in jail in a few years."
I was incredulous. I wish I had said something then, I should have. But as we know if a teacher makes an accusation against an administrator there better be witnesses.

So last night I get an email from a former teacher at Bronx Bridges High School. She knows The Bow Tie all too well and shared her story. A story that she has sent to Chancellor Farina, only to be ignored time after time.

Here is her story of her brush with The Bow Tie, Mr J (We added and/or deleted/edited some and highlighted the good stuff!)

Last June, I met with my principal (NELSIE CASTILLO) for my final conference. I wondered if she would mention that I had only had 5 of my 6 observations. Instead she informed me of my score. I then wondered how the calculation was made. 

Upon looking online, I found that one of my observations had been duplicated---DUPLICATED! The date and class period were changed and it was submitted as the foregone observation report; everything on it was exactly the same as another observation report previously submitted. To make matters worse, it just so happens to be my lowest scoring observation that now counts twice toward my MOTP rating. It all seems a little too deliberate to me.

Had I made my observer (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) angry? To be honest, probably. But what a petty way to retaliate. Fire me if you find me insubordinate, because at least then it might sting. Sabotaging my teacher rating is low, immoral, and incredibly unprofessional.  

Having received an Ineffective MOTP rating the previous year and undergoing the incredibly meaningless appeal process, I was incensed. If I had to go through another appeal, I would surely quit. You see, an APPR appeal is about a year long process where you amass evidence, present it to the UFT, they review it, you review it again with a lawyer, and finally you have a hearing. I didn’t win my appeal. In fact, no one did according to my assigned lawyer. The appeal process seemed to me more of a way to keep a few senescent lawyers and NYCDOE personnel on the books. I had a solid case and I am sure a great percentage of the other appellants did too. 

It turns out, even if I wanted to appeal this year’s rating, I cannot. My MOSL score came back Effective and since my MOTP is Developing, my overall score is Developing too. According to inane rule, you may only appeal a rating if your overall score is Ineffective. 

The fact that I had received an Effective for my MOSL score is evidence enough for me that I deserve to have received my final observation. I teach at an all English Language Learner (Bronx Bridges) school. One hundred percent of my students are ELLs. Every student had arrived to the country within the last four  years. A number of them are Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE), having left their war-torn countries or the fields on which they labored in search of a better life. The vast majority of them might as well be SIFE students, having attended very poor quality schools their entire lives. Most of my high school students arrive to my classroom with the reading and writing skills of a third grader--in their native language. As far as skills in English, numeracy and logic, there are rarely any to speak of. It has been said that “education is not the filling of vessels but the lighting of a fire”. What is left out of this popular quote is that there has to be something in the vessel to fuel the fire, a spontaneous combustion requires ingredients. The teachers at my school are starting with empty vessels and are evaluated based on whether these vessels, which on most occasions take twelve years to fill to the required level, can be filled in four. 

I got nearly 30% of my students to pass on the first try. That may seem like a low number to you, but not compared to similar students within the district. In my classroom, every single one of the students tested grew statistically--between 4% and 98%. These numbers alone stand as testament to the fact that I am not a developing teacher and that I should not have been the victim of someone else’s lack of responsibility, or as it seems based on the observation he chose to duplicate, maliciousness. If anything, he should have fought to keep me as one of his teachers. 

My observer (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) just so happens to not be the very best assistant principal out there. Why can’t I rate him (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) as ineffective as he is? He (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) is the same man who on several occasions said that our students belonged in prison, who lost the Earth Science practicums back in January and cost my students 15% on their exams through no fault of their own, who, after having broken up a fight between two boys left them inside his office, to which the door automatically locks, by themselves, only to be found practically killing each other moments later by teachers who ran to pull them apart.

When asked about the duplicated observation, he (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) said that the principal was supposed to do the fifth and sixth observations. He (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) grabbed my file to see if I had signed the observation, as though if I had, that would save him from the repercussions yet to be seen. No, I never signed that I had received it, and no, it wasn’t in my file. 

I doubt anything will happen to him. The UFT says he should be fired, but then no one answered a single email all summer. I emailed Farina twice and have yet to hear back. Its as if it's all a big conspiracy. 

The evaluation system is meant to put teachers on a bell curve. Its supposed to tell hiring principals and parents how you stack up as a teacher against other teachers teaching the same population the same subject. Someone has to be on the left side of the bell curve, right? After all the bell curve isn’t going away no matter how great all teachers are. The problem is not that this is the goal, the problem is that it is impossible to take into account circumstances out of your control--like lost exams and made up observation reports. This and so many other stories is why the evaluation system is flawed. More so, its why my assistant principal (Rajendra Jimenez-Jailall) should be fired. How is this not illegal? 

WHOA! Some takeways.

One, as far as The Crack Team is concerned, it appears as if The Bow Tie, Mr. J had engaged in criminal activity by falsifying public records, the teacher's observation. Read it again. He never did the 6th observation as he should and instead of being a man, decided to just copy the previous observation verbatim.

According to New York State Penal Law S 175.30 Offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree; 
A person is guilty of offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree when, knowing that a written instrument contains a false statement or false information, he offers or presents it to a public office or public servant with the knowledge or belief that it will be filed with, registered or recorded in or otherwise become a part of the records of such public office or public servant.

Offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Not good. Seems that there might be a possibility that Mr J and his bow tie might be looking at some time in Rikers. Maybe there he might meet some of his former students, you know, the ones he had so much faith in. But think about it. What a self-fullfilling prophecy if there ever was one. One wonders how many Newports Mr J would fetch for.

Leaving two boys locked inside your office so they can duke it out Raj? Come on. Even a TFA teacher knows not to do that. Was Mr J written up for that? Doubtful. As he said under oath at my 3020-a hearing, he is a good friend of Nellie Castillo. Ms Castillo looks the other way apparently. Hey Nellie, isn't this putting minors in harms way? A criminal offense?

Losing instructional material? Isn't this something to be written up for? Not if you are an AP and buddies with the principal.

So meanwhile The Bow Tie, Mr J had the audacity to sit in judgement of me and to criticize me and not assist me. When I complained I was looked at as if I am a liar or crazy. Looks like the Karma Fairy has snapped Mr J's bow tie.

But who is really to blame for this? DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx and former and currently exiled District 7 superintendent Yolanda Torres. They both had no problem conspiring attempting to separate me from my direct deposit and actually succeeding with several of my colleagues, but to pass the buck onto others at the expense of the students and teachers at Bronx Bridges HS is beyond the pale.

I am dying to find out about Mr J and what happened with him at PS 154 during his last year there in 2013-2014. Soon I will. We are awaiting discovery from the DOE and soon we will be deposing both DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx and Yolanda Torres. In fact, I think we should depose both Mr J and his bow tie as well.

This man is a waste of human life. He is self-serving and all for himself. He couldn't handle 1st graders, what the hell is he doing in a high school?

For those reading this at Bronx Bridges, keep on sending the stories.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

UFT Solidarity: The Beginning of the Self Destruction of Francesco Portelos?

We here at SBSB would like to publicly thank The Kinks Ray Davies for allowing us the use of lyrics from 1981's song Destroyer. Some lyrics didn't mesh with the subject matter.

Well, well, well, guess who is at it again sending unsolicited emails to principals? Anyone care to guess?

Yes, it is Francesco Portelos! Even after being outed on these pages for sending unsolicited emails he continues to do it, this time to the principal of Flushing High School (Click to enlarge).

Met a girl called Xena and I went to her FB page
Feelin' proud, feelin' strong, but I'm taking bogarting everywhere
Stop! Hold on. I'm in control

Yes, this was posted on the ATR Support Group FB page.What happened to the ATR Alliance? It is not more. The one who created, or claims, he created the Facebook page which was set up to give support to ATR's and soon politicized was cast out as an admin. Why? Let's find out.

Disclaimer: All what is used here is with permission. We here at SBSB believe in checking with those and getting the OK before we use their names or private information. 

Xena, I want you to take me back
But I'm really not as cool as I'd like to be

My concerns: Is this the behavior of a potential Union Leader?

2 days ago I questioned the possible repercussion of a letter that Francesco Portelos posted on this ATR Support page. It was a letter that Francesco Portelos sent to a principal on behalf of a teacher who was allegedly being harassed. In my response to his post, I raised my concern that the principal might get angry about the contents of the letter and retaliate by taking it out on that teacher or his/her staff. My concern is, who will be there for the teacher when and if this happens? Crickets… Mr. Portelos ignored my comment. 

Two days letter when Betsy Combier responded to my comment, rather than answer to the concerns that I raised about the teacher, Francesco Portelos went into “Attack Mode”. Francesco Portelos attacked Betsy Combier’s credibility as a Teacher Advocate and accused her of badmouthing him to others.

For those of you who commented throughout the exchange, I appreciate your concern in keeping this page peaceful and focused. It is and has always been my goal to maintain a safe place for ATRs (like myself) to vent, share, exchange and receive support, however, my own privacy and confidence was compromised yesterday when Francesco Portelos went on to publicly reveal information about my personal current status from a conversation that he and I previously discussed in PRIVATE: 

NO! It's deja vu all over again. Portelos putting his own wants and needs before a teacher's and him publicly outing something someone told him in confidence? NO! It can't be. But Xena the Warrior Princess does bring up some rather lucid, salient points. Come on, let's see how classy Portelos responded back to Xena. I betcha you are dying to know. 

Cause there's a red, under my bed
And there's a little yellow man in my head

Francesco Portelos: Xena Warrior Princess When you and I communicate, when I communicate or write with countless members via phone, email etc, when I am out handing out flyers or sending these "backfiring" emails, do you know what I am not doing? Being a father and a husband! Don't tell me about devoting time. You are safely out of the system. When were you in a classroom last? Had you been in one now and under attack I would have still helped you via any means necessary.

Oh boo-hoo. Only Portelos has sacrificed. Boo-hoo. Where the world's smallest violin? We all have to devote the same time the same way as Portelos. Yet, his devotion of time has gotten him 107 members and still has yet to figure out a way to get on the ballot.

As for besmirching Xena, well it's the Portelos modus operandi. 

Xena Continues;
Now I ask, Is this the kind of behavior that one would expect from a leader? (He has turned the attention back on himself while publicly sharing my private and personal status.)

I am hurt, insulted, appalled and shocked by Mr. Portelos behavior. How would you respond if you confided in someone and they used your trust as a weapon against you? As creator of this page, I have tried to remain neutral about publicly expressing my personal choice for Union Leadership so as not to influence anyone’s personal choices. With reservation, I admit that there was actually a period where I supported Solidarity and invited Francesco Portelos to admin this page. After strong input from members who implied to me that Francesco Portelos ‘hijacked’ this group and that it was becoming too strongly associated with Solidarity, his admin status was removed. Here is part of yesterday’s conversation:

Yes, Xena, how can someone who wishes to be the UFT leader behave like this? In fact what is scarier, why are his adherents so blind to this behavior and continue to enable it? 

Hey kids over at Solidarity, Xena figured it out, when will you all?

Portelos delusional, then he spoke feelin' kinda' weird
Xena looked at him and said, "ooh you look so weird."
She said, "man, there's really something wrong with you.

Xena: This letter to administrators concerns me because of the possible further abuse that may be inflicted on the teacher who it is intended to protect. Who will be accountable in case that happens? 

One day he's gonna' self-destruct.

Betsy Combier: I have been told that teachers are being targeted after their name is associated with DTOE or UFT Solidarity. Laurie's concern is valid. 

He's up, he's down down, he can't work it out
He get's a good thing goin' then he blows himself out."

Oh, oh, this can't be good. Teachers getting nailed for Portelos' ego?

Silly boy ya' self-destroyer. Silly boy ya' self-destroyer

Francesco Portelos: Betsy Combier that's not true. I'm sorry that our free advocacy work has hindered your money making advocacy work, but don't spread lies.  

Not true? Prove it. Show the world the thank you letters. Free advocacy from Solidarity? Oh it all comes with a price, Sadly, too many are finding out the price of association with Solidarity only now.

But as for Betsy? I have sent countless, countless people to her for advice and not one time did she turn these people away nor charge them. In August 2013 I and several others met with Betsy at a diner on 2nd Ave for several hours and not once did Betsy ask for a dime and even better, she paid for breakfast. Betsy does not give a rats behind about you. 

You're so insecure you self-destroyer

Francesco Portelos: Xena our emails help people. 

Again, prove it. 

Betsy Combier: I have given my advocacy work away for 12 years, Francesco. You conveniently forget.

Francesco Portelos: What I know Betsy is that people have been telling me that you have been badmouthing me. 

No clue if she is, but hey why not? 

Francesco Portelos: Keep my name out of your mouth please. 

Paranoia, the destroyer
(Here it goes again)
Paranoia, the destroyer

Francesco Portelos: Let's be honest...You do charge money for representation though. That is fine. However if we win and build a stronger union, I think you are afraid you will get less work and thus you are sabotaging us.

A round of applause please for a truly class act. One we can expect will out the members needs before his. Well, until his needs supersedes those of the members. 

I think the opposite is true. With Portelos as UFT President (I know, pigs will fly first) Betsy is truly scared of even more work coming her way.

(Mr. Portelos goes on to say that Ms. Combier’s comment was an attempt to scare people for her own personal gain.)

Doctor, Doctor help me please, I know you'll understand
There's a time device inside of me, I'm a self-destructin' man

And there's a little green man in my head
And he said, "you're not goin' crazy, you're just a bit sad
'Cause there's a man in ya, gnawin' ya, tearin' ya into two."

Francesco Portelos: Think about how this post is 4 days old and Betsy decided to just throw that comment out to scare people. Not coincidence. 

Yes, Betsy having read this four days earlier bide her time lurking in the shadows until exactly four days had passed for the best possible moment to strike on a private closed FB page with roughly 200 people to drum up business for herself. As if Portelos never did something like that. :P

Xena: Betsy was answering to my concern. Who are you to dictate who should and should not answer? 

Xena: Betsy Combier, please do not lower yourself to answering Francesco. The only one who is doing any badmouthing is you Francesco Portelos! This is a support page and my concerns are valid. Do you get permission from the teachers whom you are supposedly defending to write letters to their principals?

Again, no answer. Silence. Jimimy Crickets.

Xena brings up the last point quite well; 

My next question is, did the teacher in question ‘request’ that a letter be sent to his/her principal? Where in this conversation did Francesco Portelos respond with an appropriate answer to the original concern that I raised? Is it becoming of a potential leader to go into attack mode when a member raises a concern? Mr. Portelos quickly went into attack mode rather than answer to my concerns which are STILL concerns.

So why can't Portelos answer whether or not the teacher in question asked for his assistance? What is Portelos hiding? Is Portelos not, as he claims, a man of who won't back down?

If you are a supporter or member of UFT Solidarity and Portelios it is time you open your eyes. There is a pattern here. Think about it, if you dare to speak up, think independently, question his perceived wonderfulness, what would he do to you?

Worse, for Portelos to attack Xena, one of the nicest, sweetest people in DOE goes beyond the pale. I have known her story, both the somewhat public version, and just as importantly the private hell she has gone through for almost 6 years. 

Portelos, how dare you talk to her and about her the way you have. What Portelos has gone through does not compare for one second, one iota what Xena has gone through. Oh yes, we all know that only you have gone through the worse and done the most fighting. You remind everyone every chance you get.

How dare Portelos talk about workplace bullying when time after time, he is the one being the bully.

Portelos, you are a scared little man that for some reason can't function without the accolades and adulation of others.

Portelos, you are self destructing. 

Silly boy ya' self-destroyer.
Paranoia, the destroyer

Self-destroyer, wreck your health
Destroy friends, destroy yourself
The time device of self-destruction
Light the fuse and start eruption

Thursday, November 5, 2015

UFT Solidarity: The Grand Illusion of Francesco Portelos

Dang, just when we here at SBSB thought we have seen it all along come Francisco Portelos with a treatise masked in martyrdom, untruths, and narcissism.

Martyrdom, untruths, and narcissism associated with Portelos you ask? Of course. But seeing is believing and one must read it all.

And one must read the SBSB analysis of the gibberish.

Welcome to the grand illusion/Come on in and see what's happening/Pay the price, get your tickets for the show

Our grassroots support is ever growing. We are in schools in every district, from early childhood to high school and gaining more and more retiree supporters daily.

No it's not. We here at SBSB call bullocks! Schools in every district? So what? Big deal.Hmm, let us see. There are about 33 districts or so multiply it by one school in each district and you have....33.

But to be fair, as Portelos was quoted as saying,  
" was too early to quantify the slate’s support, but counted about 100 active members, a number that he said sounded low, but was high compared to other groups."
We apologize for claiming 1 member in each district. There are 3.03 members in each district. 

The stage is set, the band starts playing

Please excuse my language, but our sources are telling us our “campaign is scaring the sh*t out of people.”

Yes, your campaign is scaring the shit out of people but not for the reasons you create on your mind. 

To make matters worse, UFT leadership’s own Unity caucus members are joining our group UFT Solidarity.  

Name them. 

Others are silent supporters who want to keep their job’s at the UFT central and district offices. Unity members do not have to leave Unity to support Solidarity. We will not be cleaning house of the many good reps that are out there.

 Wow, these people must feel so relieved. They must be sleeping well now. 

Tonight was the UFT Executive Board meeting. It takes place two Mondays a month, is comprised of about 100 members and has a lavish buffet that sets the UFT back about $12,000 a meeting.

$12,000 a meeting for a buffet for 100 people? That is $120 per head. Do you have proof of this? Or is this a number that is just pulled out of some orifice? 

We here at SBSB fact checked this and at most the spread is about $3k. Yes, even that is too much money. We here at SBSB think a shitload of pizzas will do or some six foot wedges along with cole slaw and stuff or even ordering out for wings, but please, get facts straight. 

Suddenly your heart is pounding

We are dealing with wannabe bullies here.

Whatcha talking about Willis? Actually some people are not wannabe bullies but true bullies. **cough cough** **wink wink** **nudge nudge** Know what I mean, know what I mean? 

You're wishing secretly you were a star

Once I spoke and Exec Board member XXXXX informed me after that he found Mulgrew standing alone in the next room where the buffet was listening during my speech.

 Maybe he was adjusting himself. Or just wanted to laugh his ass off in private.

Upon my return VP of Non-DOE members Anne Goldman was on the mic.  She is also the wife of former UFT Manhattan Representative Jerry Goldman and mother of UFT political guru Jason Goldman (next to Paul Egan of course).

So what does it matter about her family? Why must her family be involved?  What purpose does this serve? 

But don't be fooled by the radio/The TV or the magazines

I was driving home from school one day and stopped at a red light. My phone always sits on my dashboard, within arms reach, and I often use voice activation to call or text.

Impressive. I keep my phone between my legs when I drive. Who cares where you keep your phone or that you use voice activation. Why? Because it is all "look at me! I use technology!"

A message reminder I had set popped up stating “Call Nurses.” Before the light changed I had quickly navigated to the UFT Nurses Chapter page.

Hmm, it's starting to get interesting. Hold on everyone. Amazing how one can do this and drive at the same time. 

 They'll show you photographs of how your life should be/But they're just someone else's fantasies

The nurses page had links to every private hospital that employees UFT nurses. Each of those pages had the names and phone numbers of the representatives and what times they were available to be reached. By the next red light I started calling and quickly found out that the information was outdated both in phone numbers and in times of availability. “XXXX XXX-XXXX? No she works during the morning.” “XXXX? Oh you mean XXXX? He’s not here now.” “____? She retired.”

Let's disect this. What gives Portelos the right to call people, nurses, at work, to discuss union business? Were these nurses working at the time? Were they attending to sick patients? 

Now, The Crack Team has heard that these were delegates and surely they must be used to getting phone calls during their shifts, but phone calls that are pertinent to the union, i.e. a member needs help, etc... Not from someone who stands behind a podium and plays pretend as a union president while having his photo taken. Yeah, the phone calls might have been permissible, but they were ethically wrong. Again, this is the same old "me first" story that we see time and time again. 

What's worse is that a nurses full name was published. Again, what gives Portelos the right to do that?

Apparently, as we expected, Anne Goldman found out about our calls, and maybe even some flyers others put up at the hospitals and online.


Now I truly believe most people in that room had no idea what she was talking about. I did though and I began to smirk as she glanced over at me and says …AND I AM TALKING ABOUT MR. PORTELOS …AND I ASK THAT IS LEADERSHIP ORDER A CEASE AND DESIST, INVESTIGATE AND REPRIMAND THIS MEMBER.

She's right. Maybe her tone was wrong, but she is right. But again, Portelos is all about himself. 

So if you think your life is complete confusion/'Cause you never win the game/Just remember that it's a grand illusion

I raise my hand to speak and respond, but UFT Secretary Emil Pietromonaco nodded no. Then another gentleman from the Executive Board, representing the nurses, gets on another microphone and adds something about “…the phone calls to the nurses are monitored and recorded. They violated our contract and could now face disciplinary charges. A cease and desist should be ordered and a full investigation by the board!

As we have seen with the continued unsolicited emailing of teachers principals we see it again here. Not caring whether or not he puts someone's job and career in jeopardy Portelos does what he wants, when he wants, for himself.  The same script, only different victims. 

So a bunch of people are pissed at Portelos, and rightly so. But instead of possibly for the first time ever seeing the error in his ways, Portelos of course turns this to all about himself. 

This is what it really comes down to…what their fear and desperation is leading them to do. 

NO, NOT FEAR AND DESPERATION!! Just fed up with the pattern we have seen all over. Harassing women over Facebook who decide to speak up for James Eterno. Taunting emails to female members of MORE. Taunting texts to other members of MORE. The bullying on Facebook and on this blog. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be Portelos. 

So if you think your life is complete confusion/Because your neighbor's got it made/Just remember that it's a grand illusion

But here comes the martyrdom....

Portelos wonders what the UFT can do. From the UFT Constitution he mentions Article 3 Section 6 that a member can be expelled, and Article 4, Section 5, that a member in good standing can't run in UFT election and then claims.....

Desperate move, but it appears that a rigged panel will set up a rigged special review board to expel me and make me ineligible to run.

But where is he getting this? According to our sources at the exec board meeting nothing of the sort was broached nor even thought of.  It won't happen, and sources tell us they won't support it. There are better ways. As one source shared; "But that makes him stupid, not guilty of a breach"

But shouldn't Portelos be more concerned about Victor Jordan who has not been a member of the UFT since Clinton was president. 

One method is shunning as the Amish do. The other method of discipline, if there is any, is something that has been suggested by The Crack Team. 

The Crack Team calls for Portelos' super magic UFT Junior decoder ring to be confiscated as well as his UFT Junior  coloring book along with the UFT Junior realistic grievance book used by grown ups.  Oh yeah, and the whistle too.

So let's do the math. One hundred members of Solidarity, plus let's say...10 nurses, not bad. Though not even enough to get on the ballot.