Saturday, August 22, 2020

If One Child Dies of COVID-19 Blame DeBlasio and Carranza

I pray this doesn't happen. But it just might if Mayor Twiddle Dumb and Chancellor Twiddle Dumber don't get their heads out of each others asses. A child can die. Yes, teachers can die. But the NYCDOE doesn't care about teachers. The less of us the better for them. But a student dying? Due to the negligence of reopening schools? This will be a stain of blood on the hands of the mayor and the chancellor. I hope they are prepared for a news report like the


Mr and Mrs Schlomo Rabinowitz announce the passing of their son, 8 year old Throckmorton from COVID-19 this past Wednesday, November 18, 2020. 

Throckmorton was a 3rd grade student at PS 2112 in Queens. He loved school. He was so happy to return to school this past September 10 and was happy to being with his friends again. 

Throckmorton loved math and science and especially to write stories. He was a loving older brother to Harvey age 4 and Gertrude 4 months. He was a vivacious reader and loved to play baseball and watch Sponge Bob. He wanted to play for the New York Mets when he grew up and when Pete Alonso heard of his illness not only hit two home runs for him in a game, but visited him in the hospital. 

Throckmorton was part of routine testing for COVID-19 at PS 21

12 and on September 17, five days after his test, results came back positive. His parents were curious because both the chancellor and the mayor had assured the school community that everything was to be done to keep schools sanitized and for students to be socially distant. Other parents did not know of Throckmorton's positive test for 10 days. SCI is looking into this due to the fact their is a suspicion that the principal of his school as well as the district superintendent kept the test results secret. 

At first it seemed that Throckmorton was asymptomatic. But soon Throckmorton developed COVID-19 symptoms around October 1 and slipped into a coma from which he never awoke. 

Mayor DeBlasio and Chancellor Carranza have both spoken of their with memories of things their press people told them to say Throckmorton. Throckmorton's teacher is beside herself and has gone into hiding. She is standing by the family. 

This is, of course fiction. Please, I am not making light of this or anybody's challenge with theirs or a family member's battle with COVID-19, but this can happen with DeBlasio and Carranza in charge. Will these two be able to sleep at night? Sadly, yes. But this can happen. And it won't happen if two men put aside their pride. 

Nationwide about 406k children have contracted COVID-19. The death rate is .06%. That's 2,400 children dead. That's 2,400 too many. But go ahead and open the school Mayor DeBlasio, Chancellor Carranza. Let the blood be on your hands.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Governor Cuomo Is About to Throw DeBlasio and Carranza Under the Bus

 I still don't think the school buildings are opening September 10. Yes, the UFT threatened astrike and/or job action (sick out). I don't think it will get to that point either. But that is a story for another blog post. 

 But Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber are completely fucking this so called grand reopening up and  losing allies along the way. They have painted themselves into a corner and either too stupid, too incompetent, or just thick headed to see that the ship is sinking around them. That they can only save themselves. Or have someone save them.

That person, Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber believed was to swoop down from above and save their sorry asses is Governor Andy Cuomo. Governor Cuomo in their little minds was to be there Dark Knight and force the UFT to have teachers report. Guess what? It ain't going to happen. 

Today, on the Today Show, and according to the Post, Cuomo...

..said he had his “fingers crossed” that Big Apple schools are ready to open safely — but admitted he is not sure he’d send his own kids to one in the city.

“I would have a lot of questions,” Cuomo admitted on the “Today” show when asked if he would send his children to New York City public schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a risky proposition no matter how you do it, let’s be honest. We’ve seen schools open — we’ve seen colleges open — and get into trouble in one week. So there’s a lot of questions to answer,” he said.

Asked how confident he was that they were actually ready to reopen, he said, “Fingers crossed on all of this.”

Governor Cuomo knows it's over for Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber. He's prepping them. Or prepping us. But he's getting the bus ready. He's throwing both under. He won't have their incompetence sully his already sullied hands. 

The question is, does Cuomo do this bus throwing publicly, or in private? Let's hope and pray that it is a nice public throwing under the bus. I think this was his plan all along. 

Or, and I just thought of this. Will DeBlasio suck up enough to put the entire blame on Carranza and drive the bus? Either way, someone is going under that bus.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

 The following came into the SBSB newsroom earlier in the week. It is a letter and petition directed to our dear governor requesting that he stop the insanity and inanity, as well as De Blasio's and Carranza's incompetence to keep schools from opening on September 10. 

This letter and petition were created by Marisa Wagner and Tracy LaGrassa, both biology teachers, both with PhD's, both with real life educational experiences, at Bronx Science High School. Who do you think we should listen to? These two dolts, or Drs Wagner and LaGrassa? Both deserve all the kudos.

The Crack Team and myself have read this many times over and we like what we read. This letter and petition obviously is the results of people with brains, foresight and most importantly not named Carranza or De Blasio. You can tell the authors put more time and work into their letter how to reopen the schools than Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber have.

Please sign the petition. And please use the hashtags on Twitter, #notuntilitssafe and #followthescience. 

I still don't believe schools will open on September 10.

Dear Governor Cuomo,                                                          


As teachers in the New York City public school system, we are proud of how New York, under your leadership, has handled the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. You and your advisors have made public health decisions based on the science. You advocated for and procured what was needed for the medical community. You spoke frankly to the public about what was happening and what had to be done, and, together, we flattened the curve. You are now guiding us through a cautious, phased reopening of the state, adjusting criteria as needed. All of this is toward ensuring that the curve stays flattened. Your leadership during this crisis has helped to ensure our safety, despite the lingering presence of SARS-CoV-2 in our local communities and the increasing prevalence of the virus in states to our south and west.


We now ask that you take that same cautious approach, informed by the best science available, as we consider how to safely reopen our schools. We all want to return to the normalcy of in person learning; HOWEVER, we feel it is irresponsible to reopen our school buildings to children in any capacity until it can be done safely, for the sake of the health of our children, our staff, our families, and New York. We have serious concerns about how we can accomplish this in the NYC public school system with over 1 million students at over 1,600 schools, and in light of impending budget cuts, in time for buildings to reopen in September. Once outbreaks begin to happen in the schools, a second wave of COVID-19 in NYC seems inevitable.


Based on the best science available, what needs to be done NOW to make our schools safe to reopen in the age of COVID-19?


We MUST have a robust testing and contact tracing system in place that includes frequent testing of ALL students and staff, multiple times per week.1 As more data are collected concerning SARS-CoV-2 and children, the evidence is increasingly clear that children of all ages are capable of contracting and transmitting the virus as well as adults do.2 Upwards of 50% of virus transmission happens pre-symptomatically, from infected individuals who have not yet experienced symptoms.3 Viral transmission happens from asymptomatic individuals, those who are infected but never experience symptoms.4 This evidence informs us that temperature checks and self-reporting of symptoms are ineffective measures to prevent virus spread.


If we cannot identify infected pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in our school communities, there most certainly will be outbreaks that will contribute to community spread throughout the city. Pooled PCR testing to detect viral RNA, recently FDA-approved, could be performed a minimum of twice per week on all cohorts within a school.5 Rapid, inexpensive antigen-based tests for virus present in saliva, akin to home pregnancy tests, could be done at home each day to determine whether or not it is safe for that student or staff member to go to school. Such tests exist but there has not been a push for licensing, manufacturing and distribution.6 We are in this for the long haul, until we achieve the protective herd immunity needed to keep our community safe. We have every confidence that we will eventually have successful vaccines to help us to reach that herd immunity more quickly, but we cannot wait. Frequent testing with rapid turnaround time for all students and staff in the schools needs to be implemented NOW and we would be proud to see New York take the lead on this.


Our physical buildings must be made safe. Although most viral transmission happens via larger respiratory droplets and is mitigated by 6 feet physical distancing and wearing masks, there is evidence of transmission via aerosols, smaller droplets that remain in the air longer and can accumulate in rooms with poor ventilation. Thus HVAC systems need to be inspected and upgraded as needed for sufficient air exchange rates in classrooms and offices.7 Cleaning supplies, soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer and the like must be kept in plentiful supply to reduce viral transmission via contact with surfaces. PPE such as masks and gloves must be made available. We need a means to enforce PPE use and proper physical distancing at all times of the day, including arrival, travel to classrooms, lunch, and dismissal.


Given the current lack of widespread use of SARS-CoV-2 tests that allow sufficient monitoring of our school communities, as well as budget cuts that will make funding all of the necessary safety measures nearly impossible, we have zero confidence that schools can be safely opened by September. Please make the right decision now. Let us begin the school year with 100% remote learning. Let teachers focus on making remote learning engaging and effective for all our students. Let us invest resources and creativity in making the necessary technology available to all NYC students. This is especially important because remote instruction will continue to be an essential component of education until the pandemic is over.

Once a robust test and trace system is implemented in all schools and all physical buildings are safe, and assuming that COVID-19 cases remain at their current low rate in NYC, then a phased return of students to their schools for physically distanced, 6-feet-apart learning can be considered. To accommodate this phased return under the current budget conditions, the safety measures put forth above should be applied in a way that prioritizes first bringing back the students who need in person learning the most.8 

Younger children (e.g., grades K-8) as well as older students who require in person services should be part of the first phase. Younger children are more susceptible to learning loss, need interaction with peers and their teachers for social-emotional development, and need home supervision to benefit from remote learning.9 Many parents of younger children rely on their children being in school to allow them to work.


High school students should be the last to be phased in for school reopening. High schoolers require less parental supervision and can do well with 100% remote learning. In addition, in NYC, while most primary and middle schools are neighborhood schools, requiring a short commute such as a walk to school, most high schoolers travel longer distances, often between boroughs, each day to get to school. Given their longer times on public transportation and their inherently larger social and in-school networks, high school age students have the potential to contribute the most to increased citywide community spread and will be more difficult to contact trace as compared to younger children.


Governor Cuomo, we urge you to lead us through a safe ’20-’21 school year for all New Yorkers. We fear for the health of our students, ourselves, and all of our families. We do not want to have to mourn the loss of any more members of our school and home communities due to COVID-19. We do not want to see any more members of our school and home communities suffer permanent organ damage and chronic disability due to COVID-19.10 We want to see the curve in NYC and New York remain flattened.


New York City Public School Teachers


Marisa Wagner, Ph.D. - Biology Teacher, Bronx High School of Science

Tracy LaGrassa, Ph.D. - Biology Teacher, Bronx High School of Science



  1. Need for frequent, inexpensive testing with rapid turnaround time

  1. Children contract and transmit SARS-CoV-2

  1. Pre-symptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2

  1. Asymptomatic spread of  SARS-CoV-2


  1. Pooled RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA is FDA-approved

  1. Rapid at home antigen tests exist and are sensitive enough to detect transmissible virus

  1. Aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV2

  1. Alternative NYC plans for phased re-opening, prioritizing younger grades first

  1. Younger children need in person learning more than older children

  1. COVID-19 morbidity for even mild cases

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Carranza and De Blasio Are Twiddle Dumb and Twiddle Dumber (School Buildings Won't Reopen)

I said it back on June 30 and I will say it again. My gut feeling is that building will not reopen in September, and it will be 100% remote learning for the time being. 

I am not going to even bother going over the myriad of cohort schemes that the DOE has come up with in splitting up classes and school for safe distance learning and whatnot. In a system so large, this cohort plan to too cumbersome and will be too burdensome on the families. 

The much maligned schedule, hopefully this is just a trial balloon or some type of prototype but a one size fits all 1,800 schools is not workable. Worse, was the silence from the UFT in putting this forward. Again, this is where the UFT still continues to have problems with the rank and file. This schedule appears to have been completed in a vacuum. Who was involved? Were teachers involved? What other choices were presented to the UFT as well as the DOE? And once again, a change to the contract was not presented to the membership to be voted on. I for one am tired of this. This must end now, not sometime soon. Especially with what happening now, nothing in education is static anymore. Life and education are now fluid. The UFT must change with the times. 

I don't believe a word the DOE says. Right now I am giving the benefit of the doubt to the UFT.

So what makes me think the buildings won't reopen?

Two hundred thousand students will start off the year remotely. Where are all the extra teachers coming from? Schools are going to need extra teachers in the schools, right? They're going to need just as many extras if not more doing remote learning.

We still don't know how many teachers will receive medical accommodations to teach from home. The New York Post has speculated that 80% of teachers at Stuyvesant High School will receive accommodations. What if that's the same in every building? What is the demarcation line for a school and teachers being remote? Do we know if medical is processing the accommodation requests without quotas for each and every school?

The school buildings are disgusting. Some of these buildings are over 100 years old. That means there is 100 years of rat doody, dead vermin, dead cockroaches, etc... lying within the floors and wherever. And if that gunk hasn't ever been cleaned what makes anyone think the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned every single night. Where is the extra custodial staff coming from? The extra monies to clean and disinfect? The safety materials for the custodial staff? Too many questions, zero answers. 

 Plus, there is not enough ventilation in the buildings. Some windows don't open. Some air conditioners, if a school has them, don't work. Are the proper filters installed? If so, how do we know?

The lack of nurses. Mulgrew has drawn a line in the sand with this one and I hope he keeps to it. He said if every school doesn't have a nurse then teachers will not report. As of now, I believe, there are 85 nurses without a school nurse. And no one cares if you train someone for a day and give them the duties of a nurse. They aren't nurses. 

The monitoring of students and staff. Did I read this right? Mommies will determine whether or not junior has symptoms? The same mommies who send junior to school with snot dripping out of his nose? Oh yeah, there are to be temperature checks outside the school buildings in the mornings. By whom? For whom? With what training will these temperatures be taken? Won't that cause a non social distancing situation outside the building? This would seem to take up quite a bit of time. 

All it takes is one. It takes one child to get sick, one child to die and there will be a shit storm. The city doesn't want a shit storm. And the parents will pull their children in a nano second. Then again in Carranza and De Blasio you have two thick headed bone heads.

Which leads me back to...

As I said earlier, I am giving the UFT the benefit of the doubt thus far. I do not think that that it is time(nor is it a fair comparison) for emulate Chicago and Los Angeles. Nor is it time for  Mulgrew to go all radical on the DOE.

Think of a poker game. The UFT has a flush, and Carranza and De Blasio are holding different cards of different suits and keep on raising. Why the fuck should the UFT call? Let the Carranza and De Blasio keep fucking up. And guess what? They will. Why use a hammer when a chisel will do? Mulgrew is p3wning both these dolts. Let him.

If and when Mulgrew declares that staff can't (not will not) report, the teachers will come out as the benefactors and protectors of the schools and students. Carranza and De Blasio will look like schmucks. This isn't Chicago or Los Angeles. Yes, those cities are big but not nearly as important. All eyes are on New York City right now. 

 I'm not rationalizing anything. I'm not shilling. This is how I feel. 

Twiddledumb and Twiddledumber should have been planning for full and comprehensive remote learning as well as proper professional development. They've both been caught with their underwear down around the knees. It's time to bring the undies down to their ankles.