Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Audio From My WFAS-AM Interview

I would like to give a big thank you to Bob Marrone and his right hand man, his producer, his engineer, (His very own BabaBooey) Scott for the warm welcome and the graciousness of allowing me to share time with them this morning at WFAS-AM 1230 in White Plains (The studio is actually in Hartsdale).

Just to share a brief story or two. I grew up a few blocks away from WFAS (The tower loomed over the neighborhood) and my friends and I will go up there on a Saturday morning to try to get the DJ's to give us old 45's they no longer needed. I remember once getting Clapton's version of "I Shot the Sheriff."

On another occasion, I must've been about 10 years old, we went up there one weekend morning to try to get the morning guy, Bob E. Lloyd to advertise the car wash we had on our street to raise money so we can buy baseball cards. Believe it or not, he did.

So back to this morning.

I arrived at the studio about 6:25 sat down watched Bob do the news and soon enough it was my turn at 6:35. The interview was in three segments, coming between the usual stuff, news, sports, weather traffic, commercials and contest for Westchester Knicks tickets.

The interview started with background about myself and built up to the crescendo of my current predicament. Here for your perusal and listening enjoyment is the entire interview in 3 parts.

Oh, and before I forget, I will be appearing again next Tuesday, November 25 at 6:35 AM

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm Appearing Live in Studio Tomorrow Morning on WFAS-AM 1230

WFAS 1230 AM is a small radio station in White Plains, NY. Tomorrow I will be appearing live, in studio on the Bob Marrone Show at 6:35 AM until about 7:20 AM EDT to talk about my situation and how it correlates to all teachers. It should be quite an interesting 45 minutes. 

The call in # is 914-693-5700

The coverage area of WFAS is not great as you can see on this map;

So what to do? WFAS streams live, is on iHeart Radio, or download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store

For the social media aficionados, check out WFAS on Facebook, Twitter, and Bob Marrone is on Twitter as well.

To paraphrase Charles Osgood, "See you tomorrow on the radio."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello UFT, It's Me!

Hi, UFT, it's is I. How are you? In fact where are you when not only myself, but many others need you?

Not to beat a dead horse, but I was conspired against by my principal at PS 154 and I have yet to hear anything proactive from you. Not a, "How you doing?" or "Can we help?" Nothing. Why is that? Please, don't claim you don't read this blog. You all do.

Why is it that I must, and other teachers as well, when there is clear and concise evidence of wrongdoing heaped upon them by out of control, vengeful administrators take the matters into our own hands?

Why must teachers spend thousands of dollars on outside lawyers to get a proper defense that we have a right to? Certainly the $100 a month paid by approximately 80,000 teachers can suffice in having some kind of defense fund.

(Oh for those scoring at home, that is $8 million a month, $96,000,000 a year!)

I sit in a room day after day trying to keep myself somewhat sane by having Star Trek debates, wondering why Spongebob is unable to swim even though he lives under water, and whether or not one got peanut butter on one's chocolate or if someone got chocolate in someone's peanut butter.

There is a crisis happening and all we are getting lip service to the abuse of ATR's, the discontinuances, the Rubber Rooms, the abusive principals, the working conditions, and facing termination for passing gas in an incorrect manner.

I was promised a meeting with a high ranking union person tomorrow, Veteran's Day. But after asking where and when several times as to where we will meet I was told that it would have to be sometime in December. I still give this person credit for at least responding to me and hearing me out. We know that can't be said of the Unity leadership in the gilded tower at 52 Broadway.

Where is the outrage from the UFT about my situation as well as my colleagues? In a strange way the silence of the UFT seems to condone how we are being treated.

All we ask is to be there for us, to support us, and we don't get that.


Ain't nothing there.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Open Letter to Chancellor Fariña

 I went to the PEP meeting (I'm at about 19:40 in) this past Thursday at Murry Bergtraum High School and had the pleasure of addressing the PEP. Unfortunately I was unable to fulfill my 2 minutes since the matter was a personal issue. In light of that, I am writing this open letter to Chancellor Fariña to share the gist of what I had planned on speaking about.

Dear Chancellor Fariña;

Thank you so much for allowing me the time to address you this past Thursday night at the PEP meeting. I apologize for bringing up a personal matter before the PEP. I had never done something like this before and was not aware of the protocol.

The lady, Ms X, who spoke to me privately about my concerns was gracious and seemed genuinely concerned, and shocked as I shared my story. I know both of you have been busy since and she might not have had the time to share with you what I had with her so please allow me to briefly share with you what I told her and what I had attempted to share with you at the PEP meeting.

I had been teaching for 18 years when before the 2012-2013 school year began Dr Alison Coviello, Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx, had decided before the school year started that I would be found incompetent.

This decision was based on conversations she had with a man named Michael Agona, a retired Brooklyn principal and current chairman of the Chancellor's Committee.

Dr Coviello had also already scheduled me for 2 formal evaluations even before I had my first.

I, and neither does any teacher, have no problem being judged on their merits. But I ask you respectfully Chancellor Fariña, how can we be properly judged or evaluated when what his being dealt to us comes from the bottom of the deck? All we want is the same chance, an equal chance of every teacher in our building or the city.

Even if the argument is that Dr Coviello has a right to consult with Michael Agona to do her job, the question must be asked, what was shared about me,  with Michael Agona? Was he told that I had already been U-rated and had unsatisfactory observations in the 2011-2012 school year? Or was he told that I must be "gotten" at all costs. Either way, the parties acted in an unethical manner.

If Dr Coviello told Agona that I had been U-rated and the previous year, that would be untrue and unethical. If Dr Coviello told Agona that I must be "gotten" at all costs that would be just as unethical unethical and just plain wrong.

But this calls into question who initiated the contact with Michael Agona? Was it Dr Coviello? Was it a third party? Was it Michael Agona? See how this seems like a conspiracy?

But even if Dr Coviello says that this was a consultation which is her right to be informed and that she at no time was planning on finding me incompetent, why then was I scheduled for 2 formal observation before I even had my first? A reasonable person can see that this shows intent to find me incompetent ahead of time, before the school year had even started.

Is it ethical for Michael Agona to not only assist principals in how to U-rate teachers but to sit on a panel and render and/or assist in decisions to determine if U-rated teachers were wronged?

Is it ethical for a principal to determine before hand that a teacher would be rated incompetent? Should not a principal do everything in their power to raise the level of a teacher's pedagogy? To do everything to help a teacher thrive?

From what you know of this situation Chancellor Fariña, does this all fall into the Frameworks that you have espoused?

Would a principal in Roslyn, in White Plains, or in my town of Harrison, NY engage in such behavior? Would a school board in any of those towns when informed of the truth of something that had befallen myself, and probably countless other NYC teachers, not be shocked and indignant at such transgressions?

I love working with kids, I miss working with kids.

One of the great joys of being a teacher is seeing the growth in our students as people. We want them to be the best possible person they can be. We as teachers want the students to have ethics and morals yet the way most of us are treated nearly everyday is contradictory to what we are trying to impart.

Does this "gotcha" mentality directed at teachers actually do the students any good? The time and the money spent on me and the other 8 teachers at PS 154 that were U-rated in 2012-2013, how did that benefit the students? How does the constant harassment of ATR's help the educational process?

Everything directed at teachers appears to be punitive in nature. Why must it be that way? Must every matter involving a teacher that has done something incorrect have a figurative hammer applied to it? What ever happened to talking problems out? Is this not what we want to impart on our students? 

Thank you for your time. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

BREAKING!!! NYS Senator Wishes to Meet Concerning PS 154 in the Bronx

Great news came across the SBSB news desk this week.

After many hours of lobbying, phone calls, letter writings, etc... trips to Albany, I have finally gotten an audience with a highly respected and highly influential New York State senator to meet with me, and maybe some others, on my plight and the conspiracy DR Alison Coviello, Ed.D and Principal of PS 154 in the Bronx had diabolically planned against me and possibly others.

I can't give all the details but the meeting will be taking place after the November elections at the senator's office. The senator is aware of the situation at PS 154 and from what his chief of staff has shared is appalled.

Details to follow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Persecution of the Rubber Room's Tito Landrum

Back on September 4, these pages reported on how the fake cops at OSI came to serve some papers on fellow Rubber Room prisoner Tito Landrum.

The story is that back in the Spring, Tito was covering the SAVE Room for one period. In the room that day was a 3rd grade girl and a 7th grade boy (The school is a K-8 school).

The 3rd grade girl claimed that during Tito's time covering that day the 7th grade boy walked over to her and whipped out his schlong. Soon after that Tito was removed for parts other than the school.

The notice he got was to come down to OSI and speak with them. Tito dutifully went along with a rep from the Bronx UFT. The complaint was that he had witnessed the whipping out of said schlong and did nothing st the time nor did he report it. Tito denied ever seeing it happen and since he never saw what happened he can't report what he didn't see.

He was shown the statement by the little girl, but there was no statement from the 7th grade boy.

The OSI meeting ended and several weeks passed. His principal sent him notice to request a meeting with him and a UFT representative to be held within the walls of the Rubber Room.

The meeting came, he again denied ever being aware of any such incident and that it would be extremely difficult to report what he did not see.

The meeting ended and he went back to gen pop and the principal went on her merry way.

Just an aside. This principal is a Leadership Academy grad. She replaced a trusted and beloved principal at her school. Since her arrival she has systematically gone after veteran teachers. Over 40 teachers have left the school either under their own volition or other indignities. A pattern persists, no? Tito is a 23 year veteran teacher on the wrong side of 50 and makes way too much money. Figure it out.

So a few days after the meeting with the principal, the HR person at the Rubber Room has something for Tito. It is a disciplinary letter to the file. But that is not all.

A week or so after that he gets hit with 3020-a charges. Yep, four specifications all related to this incident.

Among the charges are;

Lack of professional fitness.

Violation of Chancellor's Regulation A-412.

Neglect of duties

Poor judgement

Created a situation in which a student can show off his schlong

Failed to supervise the male student

Failed to supervise the female student

Yeah, someone screwed up here and it was not Tito.  Anyone care to guess?

The principal is covering her tushy for allowing a 7th grade boy into a SAVE Room with a 3rd grade girl. Who would allow such a thing to happen? Why would it happen? The principal needs a scapegoat and she picked Tito to be the fall guy. This is a man who in my opinion could not and wold not hurt anyone. That if he saw what happened or if it truly happened he would have done all in his power to stop it and/or report it.

Why would he not report it? What advantage would he have to stay silent?

On the other hand, why is this even going to a 3020-a hearing? Is this not an incredible waste of time and money? A letter in the file is not sufficient even when it is just one person's word against another?

More curious, it seems that either OSI felt there was not enough evidence to warrant any further action or that they decided to bump it down to the principal for her to take the necessary steps. If OSI didn't feel it needed further action why then did the principal have to go past a letter in the file.

It is open season again on teachers. We are sitting ducks and there is not one person out there who care. The DOE is running scared from Campbell Brown and trying to prove her wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Does Bronx Superintendent Yolanda Torres Keep Her Job?

When I went into the bodega yesterday morning I saw the headline on the front page of the Daily News that Fariña sacked 12 out of 42 superintendents. Coming so soon on the heels of the ode to District 7 Superintendent Yolanda Torres one couldn't but help to wonder, as well as hope.

Sadly when I turned to page 5 I saw that yet again Yolanda Torres is the Teflon Superintendent. Even though she is responsible for;
....the debacle of Linda Amil-Irizarry as principal of PS 154, to the abuse of students by former 154 AP Derrick Townsend and the subsequent cover-up, the arrest for stealing funds of the principal at PS 31, to the continuing educational failure in District 7, admonishments from the New York State Department of Eduction, to allowing co-locations, to the stealing of time at PS 162 involving former Principal Marilyn Manzolillo and her AP Greg Papadopoulos (In which Papadopoulos only received a letter to the file) and the subsequent death of an AP at 162, and the brain drain (Teachers leaving in droves) at PS 154, one can seriously call into question Yolanda's integrity.
Let's also had in the "wonderful" test scores (Click to enlarge);
 Was the only qualification to keep the superintendent job was to be a principal and have taught for ten years? Or was a qualification to be a leader as well?

But in today's Daily News Chancellor Fariña laid out what she expects from the superintendents in today's Daily News;
“You’re the eyes and ears of the chancellor, you’re accountable for the success of the principals. Being on the ground visiting and listening is crucial.”
Hey The Crack Team has no problem with that.

But The Crack Team has a problem with this;
city’s supers will get the low-down on strategies for aiding troubled schools, including help getting rid of bad teachers.....
But why not work with teachers on how to be the best gosh darn teacher that they can be? But if not, is one of the strategies for getting rid of teachers to have the principal enter into a conspiracy and pre-determine that a teacher will be found incompetent?

But back to the wonderment of how Yolanda Torres has somehow managed to keep her job.

I hate to quote Families for Excellent Schools, but;

" of 11 middle schools in District 7, eight middle schools are failing and only 10% of students are at grade level."
Almost 10 percent of the failing elementary schools in the city are from District 7.
What gives? The superintendents at Districts 8,9,11,and 12 were all let go, yet Yolanda stays. We all know why District 10 Superintendent wasn't replaced...too much money flowing in Riverdale, but The Crack Team is perplexed at Yolanda's seeming good luck.

The Crack Team wants to know, as well as the entire District 7 community, who is Yolanda Torres' rabbi?