Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NYC Principal Arrested, Plans Imminent Career Advancement

The Daily News is always the first paper I read everyone morning without fail. As soon as I pick it up I check the back page (Sports) first and then check out the front page. Well lo and behold, my eyes bounced out of their sockets when I saw the headline (No! Not the new dolts on the left).

It's nice to see yet another principal of the NYCDOE take advantage of the free and easy to use career advancement plan offered for administrators through the DOE and the CSA. Get arrested, get caught in unethical activity, get a raise and career advancement. Just don't murder someone. The DOE must draw the line somewhere.

The Daily News reported today that Sadie Silver, principal of PS 28 in Bushwick was arrested;
"...Friday with Michael Acosta, 34, after cops caught the educator and her partner carrying heroin and prescription drugs into Coxsackie Correctional Facility."
Oops! Wait, there is more!

While at Coxsackie to visit an inmate at the maximum security prison, the News reports;
"Silver and Acosta face felony charges of promoting prison contraband and criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child, since they had a 10-year-old with them when they were collared."
Promoting contraband? They were smuggling heroin into the prison. Was this for the prisoner's personal use or for him to sell to the other inmates? And how was this heroin and suboxone (Used to fight opioid addiction), which which was also one of the drugs named, being smuggled into the prison?

The Crack Team posits an opinion. Since both Silver and her boyfriend were arrested, it would be safe to assume that the drugs were hidden on the person of the 10 year old, Silver's daughter, as the News reported.

Silver was subsequently hauled off to the Greene County Jail, made bail, and was immediately reassigned by the DOE.

But this is not Silver's first brush with taking advantage of the career advancement plan offered by the DOE. A few years ago, the News reported;
"...Silver was slapped with a $1,500 fine by the city Conflict of Interest Board for using her position to land her brother a data-entry job at her school."
Good thing she is a principal or she would be forced to follow Chancellor's regulation and New York State Criminal Law.

But be sure, even though what she did was heinous, especially with a child involved, we here at SBSB will expect that she has due process and that all procedures are followed.

But several things are under the collective skins of The Crack Team. Of course the seemingly turning their head, going through the motions of doing something to administrators (Here, here, here, here, here, and here of the many scandals). But where are the deformers jumping all over this story?

Nary a word from The Three Stooges of New York State attempting to separate teachers from due process. Nothing to be found here, here, here, or here!

Imagine if this had been a teacher in Coxsackie. How fast would those three be jumping up and down screaming that this teacher must be fired, to heck with due process? How fast would they be complaining about the system? How fast would they be tweeting about this?

Teachers are given too much power but the deformers. Is it not time these people start looking at management? They have the power, the make the decisions.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Delusions Within Campbell Brown's Mind

Everyone's favorite ed deformer, Campbell Brown is back in the Daily News today sharing her thoughts on the op-ed pages. This time she is attempting a new tact, claiming she is not attacking teachers at all but rather tenure. Yeah, sure. Let's have a looksee.

Campbell blabbers; The tenacious New York parents who are challenging the state in court have one goal in mind: ensuring that all of our public school children have good teachers.

No, not true. This is about two things. Control and publicity. Campbell has seen one too many Hilary Swank movies, and NYC Parents Union and their leader Mona Davids flies in which ever direction the wind blows. Throw enough money at Mona and she will drop the suit like a hot potato.

As for Mona's Minion, Sam Pirozzolo, if he was so interested in the plight of children why then, as a commenter in this blog post wrote of Sam; 
Wasn't it in 2007 that Sam joined the CEC? What did he do in those seven years to help get incompetent teachers out of schools. (People who work in schools know that thousands without the required skills leave each year.)

I understand that Sam was at the forefront of the DOE mob trying to lynch Francisco Portelos, but the issue there was never competence. We should look at Sam's record on the CEC to determine if tenure or teacher competence was ever an issue, or if this lawsuit is just another stunt to keep his political hopes alive.
 As for Campbell saying that public school children should have good teachers, one wonders what became of her and hers that used to claim that all children deserve great teachers? See, Campbell and her ilk can't make up their minds.

They know that research confirms the single greatest in-school factor in a child’s academic success is a good teacher.

Now we're into the greatest factor "in-house" is just a good teacher? Seems to us here at SBSB that not too long ago Campbell and her ilk were once claiming that the greatest influence in a child's education is a great teacher. What gives? 

So when opponents claim this lawsuit is an attack on teachers and their rights, that argument is more than disingenuous.

No, it is not disingenuous. It's true. Like the calls for divestment in Israel is an afront to Jews and Israeli's, to the far right attacking all Muslims, Campbell and her ilk are attacking teachers. Yet, Campbell and Mona, we are sure, will claim that the recent recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision and Rush Limbaugh's birth control spiels are an attack on all women, right (Just for the record, none of us here at SBSB support the Supreme Court decision nor Rush Limbaugh's comments)?

Under New York law, schools must decide after just three years whether teachers are granted tenure — a supreme level of job protection that can amount to permanent employment.
Three years is an eternity. In fact, cops and firefighters in NYC are off probation after 18 months. And please stop saying permanent employment. There is no such thing. I have spoken with friend who work for NYPD, FDNY, DSNY, and it is just as difficult to terminate one of them.

State law makes it nearly impossible to dismiss teachers who have been identified as ineffective.

The system works if there is true incompetence. The system is abused by administrators who lie and cheat. Is it not up to the employer to make sure there is a paper trail. Yet, we are still awaiting Campbell to explain what is ineffective. In fact in a tweet to me the other day, a deformer said that one of the qualities of an ineffective teacher is a teacher that "leaves when the school day ends." Really?

And in times of layoffs, the teachers who get priority to keep their jobs are those with seniority, regardless of how well they teach.

Same with cops, firefighters, sanitation workers, parks employees, etc... Sorry but the is the fairest method. It makes sure there is no favoritism or politics. 

Put together, those three provisions hurt our ability to ensure that every child in the state has an effective teacher. Yes, there are other important steps to improve strong teacher quality and equity, including better starting salaries and higher pay for teachers in the most in-demand fields.
So, throwing money at teachers and all will be fine? What about respect, ending the harassment, smaller class size, materials, a real curriculum? Why isn't Campbell asking and advocating for these? 

But what has driven parents into action is a system of laws that knowingly undermines success.

A few parents. Parents that are part of a cult of personality and parents that are manipulated. 

So let us dispense with the absurd: Seeking good teachers for all does not mean you are somehow going after teachers. It means you are working to end laws that are not in the interests of children.

Tenure does protect children. It gives teachers the ability to advocate and speak out for what is right for the children.

Has Campbell bothered to read Arthur Goldstein's Daily News column the other day? Or what about in 2008-2009 when I kept reporting to OSI that the AP at PS 154, Derrick Townsend was physically abusing students? OSI did nothing, I wrote about the absurdities going on at the time. Or when I went on FOX5 to report the abuses? I never would have been able to do what I did, nor what Arthur does and countless like him, if there was not tenure.

In fact, some of those who feel strongest about removing incompetent teachers are other teachers themselves.
Who? Which teachers? Educators 4 Excellence?

The lawsuit is not intended to erode any teacher’s right to due process. And it will not.

Oh yes it is.

For starters, all teachers, with or without tenure, have a baseline of due process rights.

Yes, we will agree to that to a point. The problem is, teaching is an art, teachers are artisans. What one might see as ineffective teaching, another might see as good teaching.

One student, or one parent might think that Mr X is the best teacher ever while another student and parent might think Mr X is horrible.

I love Jackson Pollack. My wife, an artist detests his work. Who is right?

...the goal here is only to make sure that system actually makes sense, without undercutting our kids’ constitutional rights.

But going after a teacher's Constitutional rights, that's OK? See, Campbell wants teachers that are accused of sexual and physical abuse to NOT be afforded any Constitutional rights. Even if they are found not guilty, or penalized without being terminated, she wants the "verdict" to be overturned by the chancellor. How then is that due process?

One more thing. Maybe I am missing something, and if I am wrong will admit it, but where in the New York State Constitution does it give any credence to what Mona, Sam, and Campbell or attempting to do?

The nation’s top school official, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, has summed it up well: Tenure itself is not the issue.

Whew! Arne is mentioned, then this must be a good idea!

Job protections for effective teachers are vital to keep teachers from being fired for random or political reasons.

Where? Does Campbell mean this, which RiShawn Biddle was so good to share with me.

What RiShawn and Campbell fail to realize, as well as Minion Sam Pirozollo and his handler Moan Davids fail to realize is who exactly is and is not covered by the above. Read on; 

The disciplinary procedures described below are those set forth in statute. The contracts negotiated between State employee unions and the Governor's Office of Employee Relations have substituted "Contract Disciplinary Procedures" for these provisions. Thus, the following information applies mainly to Managerial/ Confidential employees and persons not in a negotiating unit or subject to the Taylor Law. 
How can so many people just be so clueless and so in love with their thoughts inside their heads?  
The parents behind the New York case are fighting for effective teachers. No one should undermine them by misrepresenting their motivations.

No, the parents of New York are being used as pawns by Campbell Brown, Sam Pirozzolo, and Mona Davids. Hey, it's a triumvirate. A triumvirate is a group of 3, like...Robbie, Chip, and Ernie? Nope. Athos, Porthos and Aramis? No. Patty, Maxene, and Laverne? Nope, not them. Ah, Moe, Larry, and Curly.

Campbell Brown, Mona Davids, and Sam Pirozzolo are undermining the parents of New York State. They, and only them, are using parents and students by giving them false promises, false hope, and it is them that are creating the problem. Veraga is such a weak case that is almost a certainty to be overturned. 
Just remember where Mona got her bread buttered. Remember that Sam Pirozzolo did nothing, absolutely nothing to improve District 31 or advocate for students at MS 31. And not only does Campbell Brown have this innate fantasy of teaching is, but she has stayed silent as thousands of children in Iraq have been maimed and killed due to decisions her husband, Dan Senor, was involved in. If she is so for the kids, where was she for the children of Iraq?


Friday, July 18, 2014

For Sam Pirozzolo Seven Years is Magic

Lately on these pages we have been sharing the comedy stylings of Sam Pirozzolo, president of CEC 31 and optical store owner in Queens.

Yesterday we shared how Sam claimed that 80% of students are unable to read or write in NYC. We asked for proof, and Sam shared it with a report by the Annenberg Institute.

Today, Sam Tweeted out (In regards to the Annenberg report);

We are still a bit confused. According to Sam, 80% of the students of NYC are illustrate. However, the report he cites is specifically geared to middle schools.

On the second tweet from Sam, that our criticism of the ELA and math exams in 2013 based on Common Core is unfounded because the Annenberg Report was written in 2007. Oops! We got caught with our knickers down.

The Crack Team did not read the report properly and did not see that on page 2 that it was written in 2007. We should have known and apologize to Sam.

But 7 years is a long time. How long is 7 years? Well Pon Farr is how long a Vulcan goes without mating (Dear God, not another Star Trek reference!). Just see what it did to Spock.

I have some eggs and milk in the fridge that have been sitting there for 7 years, perhaps Sam will like to have these?

But using Sam's logic (Star Trek reference?) anything that occurred in 2007 is relevant today, in fact, should take precedence on anything happening in 2014.

Alex Rodriguez led the AL in home runs with 54 in 2007. Is he still the AL leader, should he still win the HR title this year?

Chien-Ming Wang won 19 games for the Yankees that year. This year he is in Triple A Louisville hoping to catch on with the Reds. Should his pay not be based on what he did in 2007?

Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, ended in 2007. With Sam's logic, the show is still appearing on PBS,

In 2007, the Mets had a pretty decent team, just finishing a game behind the 1st place Phillies in the East. Should the 2014 Mets rest on the laurels of the 2007 Mets?

Sam is living in the past and still can't cite any current studies for his 80% claim. 

The Crack Team calls on Sam Pirozzolo to show actual facts to back up his claim. These facts must be from independent sources and be easily verified.

Why is Sam Pirozzolo so afraid to use relevant up to date facts and why is he afraid to share these facts? What will the judge say when Sam has nothing to show but empty air instead of facts?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mona Davids' Minion Sam Pirozzolo Gets It Wrong Again

The laughs and the comedy stylings coming from NYC Parents Union are just too much to keep up

Back in April, Mona Davids tweeted out that 50% of NYC can't read or write at grade level. Remember, this is before the opportunity came to take advantage of an opportunity only for Mona.

Mona never cited her sources, just doing what she does, pulling a number out of the air and running with it.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Mona's Minion (Hey that has a nice ring to it!) Sam Pirozzolo in a Twitter rant claimed that NYC Parents Union filed their lawsuit on behalf of the 80% who can't read or write.

So we have gone from 50% of students are not at grade level to, 80% of students can't read or write. Using Sam's words, henceforth 80% of students in NYC are illiterate.

I asked Sam for some kind of verification that 80% of students can't read or write, some kind of evidence. Sam quickly obliged.


What Sam fails to realize, perhaps because he is too busy bellowing the falsehoods in his brain and too busy shoveling snow naked is that both reports he cites are based on 8th grade students. And worse, they are based on tests, standardized tests from 2013 that have been roundly criticized not just by teachers and parents but politicians as well.

These tests in New York State have been so critiqued that Governor Andy, desperate to get re-elected by a greater than 55% margin has suspended using the tests to evaluate teachers for 2 years. What does that tell you?

What Mona and her Minion fail to realize that how one does on an exam has nothing to do with whether or not one is at grade level. It just shows that that student is able to do well, or poorly, that day, on that particular exam.

Using that logic, my son, who got a 2's on last year's state Math and ELA exams should be part of the lawsuit. His grade in 6th grade for both Math and ELA were both over 90, so then what gives?

Could it be that the fact that of the 3 days of the ELA exam not one student in his class completed the exam on 2 of the days? Could it be that the tests are flawed? He felt too much pressure? There are a multitude of reasons why he, and the students of NYC and New York State didn't perform well on the tests in 2013. But of course, Mona and her Minion want to take the easy way out and blame teachers and tenure.

We here at SBSB suggest that Mona goes back to whatever it is she does and that Sam goes back and concentrates on correcting astigmatisms.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sam Pirozzolo Bares His Soul

Part of the lawsuit spearheaded by NYC Parents Union honchos Mona Davids and Sam Pirozzolo is their complaining about practices that can harm children brought about by teachers.

What troubles us here at SBSB is what about practices that can harm children and shock the conscience by the professional complainers?

The Crack Team came across Sam Pirozzolo's Facebook page (Last photo) and what we found was quite shocking, and a bit surreal. And just to be sure that it is not deleted, this screen shot will show for all the audacity of Sam Pirozzolo (Click to enlarge!).

The Crack Team is busy attempting to ascertain whether or not that is Sam's buttocks shoveling the snow naked. We are in no way accusing Sam of shoveling snow naked or being a deviant snow shoveler. Even if it is Sam's buttocks, we here at SBSB believe that Sam (As one can see in his FB profile photo, Sam is a darn proud American!) is protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America as every right to due process as well as the .

But there is a bigger issue here. What kind of person not only will post this photo on his Facebook page but not take advantage of the privacy controls Facebook offers to keep the entire world from seeing this photo?

Francesco Portelos got hammered for a sarcastic remark in which others said he was threatening children, well, is this something children should see? Are not the children of the lawsuit and any other children who wish to sue able to access this photo? What kind of example is Sam Pirozzolo setting? Does he think it's funny for children to see a fat man's naked buttocks? Is there some kind of cheap thrill that Sam is getting by showing this?

Again, we are not saying this is a photo of Sam, but at no time has he either confirmed nor denied who the owner of this offensive buttocks is.

All the more shocking is that Sam is the chairman of CEC 31 and, even more shocking, Sam was a candidate for the New York State Assembly from the 63rd district. Is this the kind of man we want making education decisions for our children, laws for the people of New York State, shoveling our snow?

If this photo was on a teacher's Facebook page how fast would Mona Davids, Sam Pirozzolo and their minions pounce? Would Mona Davids, Sam Pirozzolo and their minions give the teacher the benefit of the doubt and laugh it off?

No they wouldn't

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sam Pirozzolo Loves Money From Unions

Mona Davids has been in the news lately due to her publicity seeking, attention seeking lawsuit to have a judge declare tenure and seniority unconstitutional.She has been dissected, but not vilified, here and here. But she is not alone in this.

Where every Kirk has his Spock, every Laurel his Hardy, ever Frick his Frack, every Laverne her Shirley, Mona has her Schlamozel. His name is Sam Pirozzolo, Vice President of NYC parents Union.

Who is Sam? Well one can read his official bio, but it seems to leave out that Sam lives the American dream as a small business owner. Sam owns Steinway Eye Care Center in Astoria, Queens. We here at SBSB applaud Sam and his initiative in living out the American dream as a small business owner as well as a provider of a valuable service to the Astoria Community.

But there seems to be a problem.

Sam, though a proud (We are assuming) American, seems to have an issue with unions, at least the UFT. He will never besmirch himself in taking any kind monies or business from unions, he has his principles, correct?

The Crack Team has learned over the course of the last 24 hours that Sam loves unions as long as he can make a buck of the backs of the workers.

Sam's optical store is a provider for;

1199SEIU Optical Coverage

TWU Local 100

Teamsters Local 237

ConEd Retirees

Retail Clerk Local 1500 

And......... THE UFT!!!!!!!

Oh the irony!!!

Sam Pirozzolo does not like union, especially the UFT. Is this not a case of biting the end that feeds you? One must wonder if the unions mentioned above, including the UFT, know of Sam's dirty dealing underhandedness.

The Crack Team has already decided, as is their right as Americans and union members not to do business with the Steinway Eye Care Center in Astoria, Queens. This will hurt Crack Team member Cletus the most for he is cockeyed, lives in Astoria, and is in need of corrective lenses.

But that is all for the comedy stylings of Sam Pirozzolo for tonight. Stay tuned for what he is basing the lawsuit on. You will bust a gut. But in the meantime, feel free to read Francesco's expose of him.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

In Defense of Francesco Portelos, He Loves Kittens

I was away for the weekend. My son, who just turned 13, went to baseball camp for the week in
Pennsylvania and my wife decided to spend Sunday night in my old stomping grounds of Corning NY.

Oh, just as an aside, since I have mentioned my son playing baseball people are free to mention in comments in comments section here, or on Twitter, that my son plays baseball. So if one were to say (Paraphrasing Don Drysdale), "Hey I hope your son knows that when he is at bat the pitcher owns half the plate, but just won't tell which half he owns so he better not crowd the plate. If he does, he deserves to get plunked." Or, if someone says, "If he hits a dinger and shows up the pitcher, he'll get plunked in his next AB (Paraphrasing Bob Gibson).

And yes he will deserve it, and yes, it's part of the game and anyone saying this will not be wishing harm to my son my just stating fact. If I never mentioned my son and baseball no one will ever bring up crowding the plate, or since he is a catcher, no one will bring up not to block the plate and wind up like Buster Posey or Ray Fosse.

I bring my son up, he can be talked about. 

So back to today's topic.

I get up this morning and see that Francesco Portelos is shamed in both the Post and the Daily News for this tweet (Names redacted on advice of The Crack Team's Crack Legal Team)(Click to enlarge);

 For which Mona Davids replied;

Yes, we respect that Mona is a mother and protective, but her response was a bit hyperbolic. Francesco was in no way, no how threatening her child or anyone else's child. He was making a point.

If Mona is upset about children's names being used one wonders then why did she post the complaint on her website NYC Parents Union? There was absolutely no reason, other than a self-serving one, to post the complaint. If anyone wanted to read the complaint they would have had to schlep out to Staten Island to get a copy. And then, if the children's names were mentioned in a blog or twitter, then Mona would have a beef. But short of that, The Crack Team suggests either removing the complaint from the website or redacting the names of the children.

He was responding to a tweet in a sarcastic manner. Quite sarcastic. It was not a threat. If you think it was such a threat, call the cops, not the newspapers.

Portelos meant is that without tenure protection, which is is due process which Mona keeps forgetting is in the United State Constitution, a teacher seeing harm to a student, not physical harm, but harm in an educational manner, can be disinclined to speak out, disinclined to go on the record, disinclined to do the right thing.

Mona should be aware that without tenure I never would have spoken out against the abuses in my school 5 years ago.

Francesco never would have spoken out about his principal (Doesn't Mona find this reprehensible?)

We never would have known about the abuse in a Brooklyn middle school. Or this story, or this one, or this one. There are too many just from this blog alone, too many stories to share.

Start looking at the learning conditions, class size, lack of materials, the administrators, Tweed for poor learning conditions. Teachers serve what is prepared in the kitchen. We are the waiters. You wouldn't fix a failing restaurant by firing the wait staff, would you?

By the way Mona, some of the most crime riddled neighborhoods in New York City have some of the lowest income people. Are these people not entitled to live in a safe community? Why not start going after NYPD cops? They get their "tenure" after 18 months, they don't have to speak to investigators after a shooting for 48 hours, and have the same rights as teacher's if they are accused of something. They just don't call it tenure.

Maybe that is what we need to do. Change tenure to kittens.