Sunday, April 29, 2018

MORE Presents It's Contract Demands of the UFT (Seriously)

The Crack Team has studied the MORE contract demands that will be presented to the UFT in the coming months (At press time we are awaiting word whether or the presentation will be private or a public one with marching bands, parades, releasing of the doves and an other ritualistic overtones).

This is what MORE wants the rank and file to get behind eventually, akin to God handing down 15 10 Commandments to Moses at Mt Sinai.

Read it, think it over. You, the Rank and File are blessed.

Mulgrew once he reads this will probably be crapping himself.

   Contract on Scribd

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Free Speech Shit and Shinola Primer

My son is soon to be in college. He graduates high school in 14 months and soon will be on his way to college. Boy, the time does fly.

He and I have been having discussions of late of college life. What to expect, what not to do. Some of the conversation is inane. Such as, the difference between shit and shinola. Or the more serious, such as don't ever get into a car with someone that has been drinking.

Lately we have been talking about oh the crazy ultra-liberal shit happening on college campuses of late.

Safe Spaces. He believes that people who do this are basically "p*****s." He says, "nowadays you have young people you can't stand to hear something they disagree with, but in the 20th century you had young people going off to war or protesting against war and you didn't see them bitching about anything a the time."

Speech on Campus. We had a talk once when Ann Coulter and that crazy Milo Yiannopoulos were banned from college campuses because of their ideas. My son agreed with me that while we both find them abhorrent and brain damaged they have a right to speech. On the other hand one who finds these two and others like them disgusting also have the right to protest peacefully, ignore them, or close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears.

Has much as I find Richard Spencer's views on Jews vile he does have the right to speech in this country.

If you don't like what someone says and they haven't directly threatened you are family with physical harm stop making every little microaggression as some insult to you.

Fight For UFT Contract This Saturday!!

Honorary MORE Member Frank Sinatra Jr
The Contract is expiring this October. It's right around the corner. Think the UFT gives a **** what the rank and file want? No way!!!

Want your voice heard? There's only one opposition caucus that has the cajones, the will, and the way, to have your voice heard and to throw a monkey wrench into the negotiations.

Yeah, the MORE Caucus is what I am talking about!

Come this Saturday, April 28 and let your voice be heard. The meeting is open to everyone as usual. We as teachers need to and must be heard!!!

Tell someone at the door Frank Sinatra Jr sent you and get a free glass of wine on the house!!

MORE General Meeting
Sat. April 28
CUNY Graduate Center
Room 5414
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Proposed Agenda:
Contract Strategy Proposal

Committee Reports
New Items/ Sharing of concerns

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Democrats Need Allegorical Lesson to Grow

Myself, I am a "left of center libertarian". I believe there is a place for liberalism, I believe there is a place for government in our lives, I do believe government can make things better, but I hate overreach, both in politics and government.

Our, mine and my brother's, grandfather was a neighborhood captain for Tammany Hall back in the day. He would register voters in the cemeteries, vote several times on election day, leave turkeys at the doorsteps of the poor (With a note "Happy Thanksgiving from the Democrats") and somehow got my parents to the top of the waiting list in 1962 for Peter Cooper Village.

Reality is my great-uncle Jack was a Communist. He went to Cal-Berkley in the late 1920's and was met there by a distant cousin, actor Howard DaSilva. Jack went on to work for the State Department and after WWII got caught up in the Alger Hiss crap and moved to China. When Mao took over he was kicked out, along with other Americans, of the country and lived the rest of his live in Rome never to return to the US.

Every month or so Jack used to write my dad and for the first page or so inquire how we were doing, how I had gotten big, etc... and then for the next how many pages or whatever discuss how Marxism, or Leninism, or Communism, or whatever was going to take over the world and all that stuff. When he died he had about $1 million in stocks. Go figure.

So I guess that is why I am the way I am. But as I have grown older, and more so being a father, things change. I still believe in the core of what Jack and my grandfather believed in. Both Jack and my grandfather believed in the same thing but from opposite ends of the spectrum. But without some of the rough edges. To me extremism on either the left or the right is anathema to me.

I look at the Democrats and see why they lost in 2016. Not just because of a shitty candidate in Hilary, but the Democrats were concentrating more on voters like Jack than voters like my grandfather.

I came to this epiphany when my son and I traveled to Ithaca College in February. Driving through the small towns of Broome and Tompkins Counties, driving though the desolation in Owego NY, stopping on the way home in Hancock NY thinking of all the small towns that I love visiting upstate got me thinking. As I was driving I said to a friend of mine who came along that in these small towns that I believe the vast majority of the people in these forgotten corners of New York have have the same needs and wants, hurt, as well as anger, as those in the inner cities. They do want justice, they do want health care, a safety net, jobs, an opportunity, but they are constantly being talked down to. They are taken for granted and see the Democrats ignoring and bypassing them. The want the social justice but want to go about it differently.

What they want, and care mot about is where and how is that next pay check coming from. What will happen to me if I or my family get sick? What about my farm? My business? What about the opioids?? But these issues are either ignored or just brushed over. They see the Democrats not talking about or attempting to solve bread and butter issues. They see Democrats getting into bed with every crackpot who cries, "SAFE SPACE!!" "TRIGGER!!!" Being told that there concerns are not the Democrats concerns.

Drive through Hancock, drive through Owego, the towns are dead. Closed up storefronts with plywood. Dollar stores. Instead of Crack Dens there are Meth Labs. Where and when do the people of these communities get heard? The want safe streets, they want responsible policing, They want good schools. Well financed schools. They want the same thing as those in the South Bronx but want to take a different path.

My wife and I love to visit Hudson NY. There are many art galleries along the main drag Warren St. which runs east-west from the Hudson River. A block in either direction of Warren St you see the poverty which the weekenders ignore or try to turn away from.

You can not have a party, a group, a class and claim you are are are for change, claim you are there to help without opening your eyes and not just listening to the other half, but embracing the other half's different ways of seeing the same thing as you.

This is what the Democrats need to embrace. This is what the people of the Democratic party need to be party of.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thinking of Not Paying UFT Dues After Janus?

Janus is looming over our heads. How will the Supreme Court rule? If it rules against the unions, how narrow or broad will the decision be?

As many know, Governor Cuomo signed into law that effectively will take away free union lawyers to any member that does not join a public service union, in our case, the UFT...

The unions, for instance, will not have to provide free legal representation to these non-members in statutory or administrative proceedings.
The way I have have read this and from conversations is that if one decides not to pay their dues you will not have free representation for arbitration hearings or 3020-a hearings. Fine by me.

However, those that decide to go this route will still be entitled to all rights and protections in the current collective bargaining agreement. But from what I have heard, and my source is very good, that those rights and protections can only be taken away through collective bargaining.

I am still awaiting confirmation from others concerning losing rights, but I have no problem with it.

I know, the UFT has been unresponsive and is reactive, not proactive, to the needs and wants of the rank and file. But the only way to affect change, the only way to solve the problem is from within, not from without. I would rather have a dysfunctional union than no union at all.

Why should any dues paying member have to carry a non-dues paying teacher? I am not taking anyone's rights away from not paying dues. That is someone's right. It is also someone's right to suffer the consequences of their decision.

I will have no problem if the UFT in it's upcoming contract negotiations agrees to two sets of contracts. One, for the members paying dues, and another, for those that refuse to pay dues. Basically, one will get nothing and like it.

Salary schedule? Out the window. Negotiate your own salary. Health and pension benefits? Bupkus. Negotiate on your own. Lunch, preps, hours, you are on your own. Working conditions? Tough toenails.

If I am a member of a country club, I get full access to the golf course, pool, and dining. Why should I be playing my 18 holes and share the course with someone who is not a member of the club?

I have box seats at the Yankees, why should someone with bleacher tickets sit in my $350 seats?

I empathize and understand the anger at the UFT. But if there is nothing, it will be much worse. If you decided to go on your own, you will be much worse.

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Helping an ATR

The following are real words and real life from a current ATR. The statement below was read to the UFT executive board on March 26, 2018. Her name has been redacted to ensure her privacy.

This ATR came to the attention of MORE. For several weeks people at MORE were supporting this ATR to no end. What was most important were the holistic measures in which the people of MORE went about in their support of this ATR. More or less in the way I had written back in January.There was no need to radicalize this ATR. There was no need to manipulate this ATR. There was no need to make this ATR even angrier. There was no need to tell the ATR to record and FOIL and be defiant. However, there was a need to help this ATR in the present and that is what was done.

MORE, working as a team, in fact working for this ATR, advocated for her to the right people. This advocacy would have been unsuccessful if not for reaching out to Mike Sill as well as others. If bridges were burned, this advocacy would have been for naught.

I'm not going to name names. It's not important who gets credit. The people at MORE who advocate for teachers aren't looking for credit, they're just looking to support and assist. It's a team effort.

This ATR has had her school changed to a place where she is much, much, happier.

Good Evening,

My name is XXXXXXX. I want to Thank You for the opportunity to speak at
tonight’s Executive Board Meeting. I have been an educator for 24 years; my goal has
always been to educate children and make a difference. After earning the respect and
support of my colleagues and administration, I never thought I would be subjected to
such a level of humiliation, emotional and career damaging behavior. After being
assigned as an ATR in March 2017, I wake up every day with a positive attitude for my
students despite the inability to build supportive relationship with my students,
colleagues and administration.

This school year I have been in 3 different schools and in that time, I felt only partially
supported in one. When an educator isn’t supported, it’s impossible to feel that you're
performing at your best. After being placed in a new district, I was amazed by the level
of respect that the administration showed the ATR’s and the classroom teachers. Just
as I was starting to build a relationship with my students and administration, I was
removed from that school and placed back into my old district. A member of the
administration by which I was targeted, was at this new school assignment where I was
covering a 1st grade maternity leave position. I was told that I was the third teacher
within 6 weeks. From day one, I felt the demands and pressure from the Administration.
An educator needs time to build trust with the children. Every day, I would start on a
positive note, speak with the children and then the distractions would begin. I had two
very difficult first graders who would fight with each other as well as the other children.
Repeatedly, I would call for support from the administration asking for the names and
extensions of the dean and or guidance counselor, she would just tell me to put the
difficult children with another first-grade class. I was never introduced to the support
staff nor was my class located near the other 1st grade class to escort the disruptive
students. As always, my goal was to educate children, which was nearly rendered
impossible as I wasn’t given the time or the support to build trust with them. I found it
very frustrating because of the demands of the curriculum and the work to be done. This
caused a lot of anxiety and emotional distress and my goal for educating children and
reaching their goals was increasingly diminished.

ATR’s are afraid to speak out as each new school is like starting all over again. I called
my district representative who I have known for many years and when I told him where I
was he said, “Oh my God, that principal is a **** well I would rather not repeat that exact
phrase, but let’s just say it wasn’t very flattering. To date, 5 people have already
resigned from that school this year. I have reached out to Michael Sill and explained the
situation at which time he asked that I put everything in an email. I have met many
ATR’s who are also in dire situations. I have asked many of these people to come today
but they are very hesitant. However, I needed to come here today to shed some light on
the struggles of the ATR’s. Given my educational credentials, and career experience, I
shouldn’t be an ATR. It brings me to tears to think how an administrator with less
educational and career experience was able to attend the principal academy and be
empowered to ruin a career vs strengthen one. I would like to propose that we set up a
meeting in my district with the ATR’s, so we can discuss ways to problem solve and
improve the current situation. Today, I began a new placement which means another
ATR is at the school I just left, this is a never-ending epidemic. Moving forward, let’s
meet to figure out how to improve this demoralizing cycle.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

UFT Doesn't Lift Finger to Help High School of Art and Design

The following is a letter written by the Chapter Leader at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. The chapter is being hung out to dry and ignored by Mike Mulgrew and the entire UFT. They need support and are looking for it.

Sadly, The Clown and his Insane Clown Posse have gotten hold of it. WATCH OUT HSAD!!! This not the person nor the the people you want on your side. Everything The Clown comes in contact with dies a horrible death. The Clown has already shown his MO. The beef the school has right now is with the UFT. That's where you start. Get the UFT off it's ass first, not by going after the Superintendent (not saying culpable). But this is how The Clown operates. Premature Clownjaculation.

Think The Clown cares? No, The Clown and his Insane Clown Posse see this as an opportunity to suck into more people into his warped world by hording email addresses. That's all The Clown cares about.

This is a delicate matter and you need help from the adult in the room. Not an angry, bitter people with a mob and cult mentality.

What's worse is the lack of support, the lack of anything from current UFT leadership! This is why a change must be made at 52 Broadway. You kinda figure that with Janus decision looming on the horizon Mulgrew and his crew will be on their best behavior. Doing what they can to keep the funds rolling in. Go figure. 

Good luck to all at the High School of Art and Design. Know where to turn to.

Mr. Jason Agosto
UFT Chapter Leader
XX-XX XXX Street

Mr. Michael Mulgrew
United Federation of Teachers 
52 Broadway
New York, NY, 10004

March 29, 2018

Dear President Mulgrew and UFT Leadership,

The UFT chapter at the High School of Art and Design has been living under distress and oppression for the past two years. On January 25, 2016, Principal Manuel Urena arrived at the High School of Art and Design and his tenure as principal has produced record faculty turnover, constant violations of the UFT contract agreed to by the UFT and the DOE, violations of state and federal labor law, blatant retaliation against leaders of our chapter, and a hostile and unhealthy work environment. It is difficult enough to teach and conduct union activity under the above outlined circumstances, but what has made the situation more challenging is the silence, aloofness, and non-response of the UFT leadership in addressing these matters. Alice O’Neil, our UFT District Representative, is well aware of the issues plaguing our school and has even been a firsthand witness to some of them and yet no meaningful action has been taken by Mrs. O’Neil or UFT leadership to remedy these issues.

The Art and Design chapter presence has been silenced in our school. The threat of swift and brutal retaliation at the hands of Mr. Urena and his administration has made chapter members fearful and hesitant to engage in any union related activity. Jason Agosto, our UFT chapter chair, has been subject to the most blatant retaliation from Mr. Urena in the form of negative observation reports, spurious disciplinary letters based on unfounded accusations, as well as the maligning of his reputation amongst parents on our School Leadership Team.  What’s more disheartening, is that the UFT leadership has allowed this treatment of Mr. Agosto to go unchecked as the above mentioned actions have continued to occur on a regular basis for two years. The UFT’s non-response to the abuse and blatant retaliation of Mr. Agosto has emboldened Mr. Urena and he has used the UFT leadership’s silence to further retaliate against other vocal chapter members.

The threat of retaliation by Mr. Urena extends to all functions of the chapter within the school. Chapter members who serve on the School Leadership Team have been silenced because anyone who raises an issue that presents a problem or narrative which contradicts Mr. Urena’s is subject to retaliation in the form of negative observation reports and spurious letters to file. Mrs. O’Neil witnessed Mr. Urena in a threatening tone dismiss chapter concerns about Special Education compliance issues at a November 2, 2017 school leadership meeting but yet there was no follow up to the issue on the part of UFT leadership. The same is true for chapter members who serve on the school security team and the UFT consultation committee. This retaliation has been reported to Mrs. O’Neil and UFT leadership on a number of documented occasions but with no action taken to address it.

The Art and Design chapter’s suspicions of Mr. Urena’s anti-union animus were confirmed when in January 2017, it was revealed that Mr. Urena, through one of his Assistant Principals, attempted to recruit a probationary teacher to report information back to administration that was discussed in a December 2016 chapter meeting. Specifically, the teacher was asked to report who the vocal members of the chapter are, who was leading chapter meetings, and who would replace Mr. Agosto in the event of his removal from his position. This incident exposed Mr. Urena’s intent to retaliate against vocal chapter members and was reported directly to Mrs. O’Neil at one of her visits to our chapter on January 5, 2017 and a follow up letter was sent to President Mulgrew on February 1, 2017 describing the specifics of this ordeal. Even with all of this information being reported directly to UFT officers, no action was taken to address it. It is now the subject of a Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) complaint being litigated at the expense of the chapter leader when NYSUT lawyers refused to take on the case. The hearing this PERB complaint requires has been delayed three times since November 2017.

Mr. Urena has further sought to silence the voice of our chapter by refusing to honor School Based Option (SBO) votes on circular 6 (c6) assignments for teachers. In a consultation committee meeting on May 10, 2017, in the presence of UFT CTE Representative, Jeffrey Bernstein, Mr. Urena stated in a pointed and threatening tone, that he would not honor SBO votes and if we proceed with an SBO, he would put every teacher in meetings during c6 periods on a daily basis not allowing teachers time to plan and grade as the current split c6 assignment affords teachers the time to do. In addition, Mr. Urena further stated that if we were to pursue a grievance to force him to honor the SBO process, he would place teachers in meetings every day for their c6 assignments in response to any pursuit of a grievance. Mrs. O’Neil and Mr. Bernstein sent follow up emails to Mr. Urena on May 12, 2017 but he responded that his,“position was clear” and it was up to the Chapter to decide how we wanted to proceed. Mrs. O’Neil stated that she would address this issue with Superintendent Marisol Rosales. However, there was no follow up and the split c6 menu was enacted with no contractually mandated School Based Option vote to reflect the chapter’s participation and voice in the matter.

Our contractual rights have been been further subverted by Mr. Urena’s refusal to meet with our Chapter’s consultation committee without assistant principals present to serve as his witnesses. The contract makes clear that these meetings are to take place with only the principal and the chapter committee in attendance. District Representative Alice O’Neil advised that if Mr. Urena entered any consultation committee meeting with Assistant Principals joining him, we present Mr. Urena with an agenda and respectfully exit the meeting. We did exactly as Mrs. O’Neil directed us to do in September, October, and November of 2017. Mr. Urena, in turn, responds to our exit from these meetings with snarky quips and feigned ignorance as to why we are exiting the meeting all the while knowingly violating the contractual process for consultation.  Mrs. O’Neil stated that she would address this issue with Mr. Urena’s supervisor, Superintendent Marisol Rosales and that monthly consultation committee meetings would resume after that. To date, the UFT has not received any update from these meetings that supposedly addressed this issue with the Superintendent.

Adding insult to injury, Mrs. O’Neil reached out to Chapter leadership in December 2017 stating that she was able to secure a consultation committee meeting with our chapter committee and Mr. Urena without the intrusion of Assistant Principal observers on December 21, 2017 at 2:50pm. On the day of the meeting, Mrs. O’Neil abruptly cancelled the meeting with no explanation. Mrs. O'Neil did send Chapter Leader Jason Agosto a cryptic and vague text message with no explanation for the consultation committee meeting cancellation. These events have further silenced chapter voices as the absence of monthly consultation committee meetings all year has deprived the chapter of our voice on issues such as fiscal and budgetary matters, instructional goals, programming, and how to best serve students while honoring the contract. What’s further disheartening is that Mr. Urena has done all of this because he knows UFT leadership will never hold him accountable for it.

Mrs. O’Neil also informed Mr. Agosto on December 7, 2017 that President Mulgrew would be meeting with Chancellor Farina in the days that followed and that the High School of Art and Design was the only high school on the agenda for that meeting. Mr. Agosto nor any member of Chapter leadership has been given any details on that meeting or even if it happened at all. This is yet another example of the UFT’s failure to advocate for its members and defend our chapter from the onslaught of anti-union animus perpetuated by Mr. Urena.

The inaction by the leadership of the United Federation of Teachers in response to the decimation of our chapter at the hands of Mr. Urena is outrageous and disappointing. It makes an already difficult situation that much worse when union officers who are charged with and paid with member dues to enforce the contract in every school have allowed and even tacitly encouraged these actions. Mrs. O’Neil’s actions on December 21, 2017 showed us that UFT leadership is either incompetent or working in collusion with Superintendent Rosales and Principal Urena to undermine our chapter’s position within our school. Further evidence is the recent photo proudly displayed on the UFT website of one of our teachers receiving the UFT’s CTE Award with Mr. Urena standing confidently among art and CTE teachers projecting a false narrative of a vibrant and active UFT chapter.

The legal ramifications of these actions have caused targeted chapter members to pursue outside legal counsel at our own expense to defend our rights and livelihoods since the UFT is not carrying out their duties to do so. Continued contractual violations occur on a daily basis at the High School of Art and Design and the UFT’s leadership has been complicit in allowing them to occur despite having a consistent documented papertrail attesting to them. We demand a meeting between our chapter’s consultation committee and President Mulgrew to address these issues directly to create the working environment that our chapter members deserve. If the UFT refuses a meeting with President Mulgrew and continues to ignore our plight, we will be forced to pursue a PERB complaint against the UFT for failing to enforce the contract and defend members from anti-union animus at the hands Mr. Urena and his abusive administration.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE)  to be publicly posted on their website and other online platforms to inform members of your inaction and dereliction of your duties. This letter will also be sent to other labor related media outlets as well as to the other major municipal workers’ unions to express our outrage at the UFT’s ineptitude and corruption to our union brothers and sisters across New York City.

We look forward to your prompt response in addressing the above outlined concerns. If we do not receive a response, we will see you in court for the PERB complaint we will file against the UFT in response.

In Solidarity,

Jason Agosto
Chapter Leader

Andrew Savage
UFT Delegate

Robert Robinson
Chemistry Teacher

George Zicopolus
Math Teacher

Janice Edelman
Art/CTE Teacher

Maya Zabar
English Teacher

Ayoka Cox
Guidance Counselor

Rachel Kaplan
History Teacher

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Clown Has Created a Shlimazel


I was once a disciple of The Clown. I learned through trial and error that The Clown wore no clothes, just shiny clown underpants.

Sadly, not all others have seen just The Clown's shiny underpants.

Mr Shlimazel, followed blindly to the point where his career is now in jeopardy. He has emailed Randi Weingarten, Betsy Combier and others incessantly calling them c**ts. He has harassed a federal judge to the point where US Marshalls have had to visit him and have a "talk."

Yesterday, in reaction to a comment on this blog I incurred Mr Shlimazel's wrath. On a Facebook thread he commented...

"your wife told me she's mentally ill at your 3020-a and only a mentally person could not notice that you're a faggot...are you a sick man that has his wife use a fake dick?"

"Now you have reason to write about me."
So I am now writing with Mr Shlimazel's blessing.

Wow, throwing the old family thing in there huh? Wonder under whose (or is it who's?) tutelage he learned that strategy? Could it have been The Clown's? Funny thing is this person was never at my 3020-a.

But then the texts started...
"Only a mental ill would marry you dagger."

"Get some dick."

"Be a real man faggot."

"You know people think you are a faggot." 

"Seriously...come out of the closet because you're hurting yourself and your is 2018 and you don't need to be in the're more of a woman than your wife, faggot."
I made a mistake and I will cop to it. It was with the best of intentions.

This is very early in 2016. I had a good relationship with this person. At the time I had one with Betsy. Betsy and a friend of hers were being harassed non stop by this person (I have seen the emails). I read the emails that Mr Shlimazel and The Clown were sending.Mr Shlimazel was being vile and causing undo consternation to women. I spoke to him. I tried to clam him down. But in what in my lay opinion was OCD, he wouldn't listen. Betsy and her friend were seriously considering filing criminal charges. I told him that what he was doing can be construed as a crime.

Long story short The Follower just continued and continued with the emails to Betsy, the entire UFT, Randi Weingarten, PERB, and Judge Cogan of the Eastern District of New York. Oh dang, I forgot about the emails (And by emails, we are talking in an OCD (What seems to be to the lay person) manner. Chancellor Farina, US Attorney's office, every journalist in NYC, maybe even Hank Steinbrenner. Who knows?

So yesterday I mentioned to him that he is going off the deep end. I had to. My wife was getting scared. Tried to calm him down. When I asked if he learned from the US Marshalls visit he replied that he will...
" it again"
Oh and about Randi....
"She will pay for her sins."

And then, I get a text saying...

 "tell your Grand Leech  (Randi), i will stop (emailing he means) if i can get out 75%  pay on mental disability from the DoE....this way it is a win/win I don't see the DoE and they don't see me...leaving the DoE is a win"
"Or i keep it up until i get justice"
And of course me, I am at the center of this all. I had lunch with Cogan, Betsy and Randi, and we seemed to have planned this out.


I don't know if to feel sorry for Mr Shlimazel. He made his made. He decided to join The Clown's cult and be played like a dime store floosey. Go to PERB he was told. The chances of winning at PERB are slim and none. Bryan Glass encouraged to go to PERB first for one reason. To get those who are doing bad under oath and on the record. Did The Clown tell Mr Shlimazel this?

In my opinion, he's lost his mind as a plaintiff in his oft dismissed federal lawsuit and is about to lose it in the lawsuit he is involved in as a defendant along with The Clown. He needs to look across the table at the next court date and see The Clown for what he is. If not for The Clown, Mr Shlimazel might still be of sound mind.

All this for what? Getting a U for a per session gig. Boo fucking hoo. I can rattle off 10 teachers in 10 seconds who have had it much worse. This behavior not worth losing one's job, life, or liberty.

Mr Shlimazel needs to high tail it to New York Hospital in White Plains. There is a psych ER there and are affiliated with GHI/Emblem.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Repeal NYS Teacher Evaluation Laws 3012-c and 3012-d

James Eterno is spearheading a MoveOn petition to repeal New York State Evaluation Laws3012-c and 3012-d. Click here for the MoveOn petition link. Please sign and share!

From James' blog...

Petition to Repeal NYS Teacher Evaluation Laws 3012-c and 3012-d

We must return teacher evaluation to local districts free from state mandates by repealing New York State Education Laws 3012-c and 3012-d.

  • Evaluating teachers based on student results on tests and other student assessments that were never designed to rate educators is neither a scientifically or educationally sound way to be used for a Measure of Student Learning portion of a teacher's rating.
  •  The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher evaluations is subjective and highly unfair, particularly in NYC where the Danielson Framework has been used not to help teachers grow as professionals but as a weapon to frighten teachers into teaching to score points on arbitrary rubrics in multiple unnecessary classroom observations.
Why we are starting this petition?
The teacher evaluation system in NYS is broken beyond repair. NYS passed a flawed evaluation system into law in order to receive federal Race to the Top funds. However, the current version of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act no longer requires states to rate teachers in part based on student test results to receive federal funds.  Rating teachers on student exam scores is not recommended by the American Statistical Association as it is not a reliable way to measure teacher performance yet in New York we only have a moratorium on using standardized tests to rate certain teachers. Teachers are still rated on tests and other assessments that were never designed to rate teachers. The Measures of Student Learning portion of teacher ratings is highly unreliable. Many call it "junk science."

NYS ELA tests cannot measure student progress under any particular standard.From a statistical standpoint, a handful of questions per standard is not a statistically sound measure of a student’s mastery of that standard.  Additionally, test passages that are on, above or even slightly below grade level cannot measure the progress of a struggling reader who enters a class two to four years below grade level. These tests cannot measure the progress of newcomers to our country who are learning English as a new language.  It takes many years for newcomers to master the nuances of the English language.  In effect, students such as these described above can make more than a year’s worth of progress and yet still not show progress on the NYS ELA due to the text complexity of all test passages.
The Measure of Teacher Practice portion of teacher ratings in New York City is based on the Danielson Framework whose creator, Charlotte Danielson, said this about teacher evaluation in Education Week:

"There is ...little consensus on how the profession should define "good teaching." Many state systems require districts to evaluate teachers on the learning gains of their students. These policies have been implemented despite the objections from many in the measurement community regarding the limitations of available tests and the challenge of accurately attributing student learning to individual teachers.
"Even when personnel policies define good teaching as the teaching practices that promote student learning and are validated by independent research, few jurisdictions require their evaluators to actually demonstrate skill in making accurate judgments. But since evaluators must assign a score, teaching is distilled to numbers, ratings, and rankings, conveying a reductive nature to educators' professional worth and undermining their overall confidence in the system.

"I'm deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in the academic and policy communities) believe it's time for a major rethinking of how we structure teacher evaluation to ensure that teachers, as professionals, can benefit from numerous opportunities to continually refine their craft."

The Danielson Rubric describes an ideal classroom setting and was never intended to be used as an evaluative tool against teachers. Examples: A rubric that rates a teacher "developing" when he/she "attempts to respond to disrespectful behavior among students, with uneven results" (Danielson 2a) is not a fair rubric. A rubric that rates a teacher ineffective because "students' body language indicates feelings of hurt, discomfort, or insecurity" (Danielson 2a) having nothing to do with how that particular teacher treats her particular students is not a fair rubric for teacher evaluations. Teachers do not just teach emotionally well-adjusted children from idyllic families and communities. We teach all kinds of children who live under various conditions. These conditions have a major impact on the emotional well-being of children.

Children experiencing emotional distress due to factors beyond their teachers' control quite often have trouble concentrating in class yet to be considered "highly effective" under Danielson, Virtually all students are intellectually engaged in the lesson." We teach children with selective mutism and other speech and language and learning disabilities yet Danielson doesn't take this into account. Students' emotions have an impact on their academics, and students' emotions are impacted by many factors beyond any teacher's control such as homelessness, marital stress in their home or divorce, loss of employment of a caregiver, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, bullying outside of their classroom, personal illness or illness of a loved one and many other factors too numerous to list. Holding a teacher accountable for these factors that are beyond a teacher's control is not reasonable and yet that is what some of the components under Danielson demand.

Teachers in NY are frustrated and demoralized by a teacher evaluation system that has robbed us of our professionalism.

We demand an end to this absurdity. We demand that NYS change its education laws so teachers can return to the practice of seeing their students as human beings who are so much more than a test score or a robot that must adhere to absurd requirements under the Danielson Rubric in order for their teacher to be judged "effective" or "highly effective." NYS has created an adversarial relationship between students and their teachers and this absurdity must end now.

Teachers have no confidence in the evaluation system that reduces teacher worth into a meaningless series of numbers and letters. Teachers in NYC fear classroom observations are not being used to help them grow professionally, but instead teachers must teach to try to score points on Ms. Danielson's often misused framework.

In NYC, there is a climate of fear in the classroom which does not lead to improved teacher practice. Four observations per year for veteran teachers is excessive. One per year or every other year is sufficient for the vast majority of veteran teachers. Ms. Danielson stated in Education Week that after three years in the classroom, teachers become part of a "professional community" and should be treated as such.

Danielson says:
Personnel policies for the teachers not practicing below standard—approximately 94 percent of them—would have, at their core, a focus on professional development, replacing the emphasis on ratings with one on learning.