SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: October 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

John Deacon and Snack Cakes

Seems we need to be watching out for our goodies at South Bronx School. It is becoming increasingly clear that John Deacon does not like anyone that has a Ding Dong, Yodel or Ho Ho's. It seems that if you are the owner of one of these snack cakes you can expect to be harassed simply because you have one.

I don't understand why John Deacon has a problem with these particular form of snack cakes. Perhaps it is because these cakes are chocolate. But then when I think about it, John Deacon has a problem with Twinkies as well. Even the elusive, rarely seen, devil's food Twinkie. Even snack cakes made by Bimbo's seems to irk John Deacon.

How could someone not like these snack cakes? I think it might be that John Deacon has not bit into one in quite some time and has forgotten how tasteful it can be. Especially the cream filling that is found inside. John Deacon must get over the prejudice that John Deacon has with snack cakes and come to realize that there are advantages to embracing these cakes.

All John Deacon wants is mindless yes people and this.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Numb Nuts At It Again

A few weeks ago Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a "category 5 moron". I think that Numb Nuts is holds that dubious distinction with her. Can this administrator abdicate his responsibilities any more? I can't sit and and believe that no one has noticed, not a school administrator, and district administrator, anybody. Numb Nuts just takes up space. He is useless. But then again I really shouldn't be when administrators are not held accountable.

I was walking up a stairwell and saw a young boy, a boy that I don't know that well, alone, and looking for Numb Nuts. I inquired as to where he was going and this is when he told me he wanted to ask Numb Nuts something. I took the boy with me and walked to Numb Nuts office. No Numb Nuts. We went to the main office. No Numb Nuts. I decided to take him back to his class and as we were walking Numb Nuts magically appeared before my very eyes. I asked Numb Nuts where the young man was supposed to be, Numb Nuts said, "his class", that the boy was not with him at all. OK I thought to myself I told Numb Nuts I will walk the boy back and I did.

Upon returning with the young man to his class I explained to the teacher where I had found the wayward student and what he was in search of. That the boy told me that he left the classroom in search of the elusive Numb Nuts. The teacher told me that was not true, that the boy had not left the class alone, but had earlier with Numb Nuts. I then raised an eyebrow in a curious way as Mr Spock does when he sees Captain Kirk.

Here is the $64,000 question. Where the f*** was Numb Nuts and why is this boy, a boy that is known to run around the school, alone at any time? And if the boy did run from Numb Nuts, why was there no one curious as to where the boy was?

Instant karma dude.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Remember When....?

Remember when you wanted to become a teacher?

Remember when teaching was seen as a noble profession?

Remember when teaching was fun?

Remember when teachers weren't crapped on?

Remember when every day student and teacher were creative?

Remember when you thought you could change the world?

Remember when you were were able to explore learning with your students?

Remember when you were first told to stop being so independent?

Remember when you first heard from your mayor that you were no good?

Remember the first time you were hung out to dry?

Remember when you stopped taking chances?

Remember when you tried to recall why you became a teacher?




Remember when Eddie Van Halen was sane? Remember when this showed how teachers were thought of?

What's It All About?

How you treat people, that is what it is all about. Well, part of it at least. Or a good majority. Yeah you can be a dick, but that is what people see on the outside. It is what is on the inside that counts, what your heart is, where your heart leads you. If you come to work everyday ready to suckle at the proverbial teet of the Kool-Aid God. I think those that do do not have the confidence in themselves to do their jobs correctly, or a major lack of self esteem. What these people, or shall we say, incompetent AP's do is then need to make themselves feel bigger and take it out on the teachers. As long as the AP covers their butt then they are satisfied, but can they honestly look in the mirror and feel good about what they have done? Or when they are looking in the mirror, are they looking over their shoulder, see if anything, or anyone can knock them off their perch?

I truly believe what comes around goes around. But there are two words in this song that some should take to heart.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who's Next?

I was thinking about The Who today. Wish I had seen them in their heyday. My first day of high school was the day after Keith Moon died. It led the morning announcements. I mean how cool could that be? I probably could have seen them if I wanted at Shea in 1982. They were still The Who as far as I was concerned even though they had Kenney Jones at drums. But my mom was dying of cancer then and my head was elsewhere. But finally I saw them in 1996 at MSG doing Quadrophenia in its entirety. What a show! No Jones, but now they had Zak Starkey, Ringo's son, on drums.

So why thinking of The Who? The greatest rock anthem ever, "Won't Get Fooled Again." Just the title is so appropriate to what the teachers are feeling at my school. And the lyrics? Let's take a look.

With our children at our feet / And the morals that they worship will be gone /And the men who spurred us on / Sit in judgement of all wrong

Our students, those who we are supposed to be there for there morals are being corrupted by the Numb Nuts of the world. The Numb Nuts, the John Deacons, sit in judgement of us.

For I know that the hypnotized never lie

The Kool-Aid drinkers think they are so truthful, but they have been at the Kool-Aid trough too long.

And the world looks just the same / And history ain't changed

More things change the more the stay the same.

What is most striking is the album cover. For I feel that the teachers, not just in my school, but the entire city feel like that obelisk on the cover.




Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Joel, Why?

If I were to tell how many out of classroom administrators, coaches, etc... for such a small school population you would be shocked. John Deacon has decided, without any input from the school based support team, the chapter chair, or anyone, to announce to hires today. All the hires are redundant to what we have in the school.

The worse part is that the students have zero textbooks, the teachers are allowed one ream of paper the entire year, there are no computers, and no supplies for teachers. All we hear is,"there is no money available." How is this possible, when three created out of the blue, redundant positions are filled? When you have a man, Mr FG, who can't speak or write proper English teaching writing to students? Isn't it a requirement to speak and write English proficiently to teach how to write in English? Well, Duh!!

Joel Klein
wished to give more power to principals. What Joel failed to realize is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thanks Joel for showing how to put children first.

A Correction

I made a mistake in yesterday's posting, "Let's Not Do Lunch." I mistakenly claimed that a supervisor or pedagogue must be out with the students during lunch. I was wrong. I apologize to any who read this and got a mistaken impression.

I do not however apologize to Numb Nuts. He is still useless.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let's Not Do Lunch

Numb Nuts does a lunch period alone. Actually he does it alone because a good 75% of the time he is not where he should be. He runs, he hides, he shirks his responsibilities and as usual, pawns it off on others. The thing is he has the easiest lunch period there is. Three classes!

Travel back in time to this past Thursday. Out in the yard whilst the children are playing and frolicking in the cool autumn air there is not one supervisor or pedagogue to be found out there with the students. Oh there are a some excellent aides out there, aides that are more aware of what to do than Numb Nuts, but what if a child gets seriously hurt? Would not the powers that be be curious as to why Numb Nuts is not out there? Or perhaps the lawyers of the parents that decide to sue the DOE when their child suffers from a head injury. I don't wish that to happen, but would it not be fascinating being fly on the wall and watch Numb Nuts being disposed by a lawyer? I don't think his smarmy attitude would go over to well.

You ask how about when he is there, actually making a lunch duty contribution. I don't know how to put this. It should be simple since Numb Nuts claims he is a disciple and sycophant of Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline. Oh but when he gives workshops on Canter's work, he just copies and pastes the information. See, he is a phony. One would think that the lunch period is calm, that Numb Nuts and the students are connecting on some Zen like plane. Sorry to inform you, that is the furthest thing from the truth.

The man is a shriek machine. I swear, his head will explode one day like that guys in the 1981 movie "Scanners". There is no sense of order, no sense of anything. All he does is go up to a student, get in their face and scream, "excuse me!" The students do not take him seriously at all. Several years ago some third grade students came up to me and said, "Numb Nuts is a pussy. He never means what he says and we can get over on him all the time." Shouldn't this make someone, somewhere wonder if this man is cut out to be an AP? This inane drone does not have tenure yet as an AP, so what is the DOE waiting for? Does John Deacon see something that students, teachers, and parents do not see?

Thank you Joel Klein for putting children first.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Detroit Lions Kid

I failed to mention something the other day about Detroit Lions Kid. Thursday, the day after he assaulted the teachers, Numb Nuts decided that he was too busy to continue to baby sit him and placed him back in his class with the teacher he had assaulted. Good thing the teacher was not assaulted again. Could have made Numb Nuts look even stupider than he really he is. I should stop calling Numb Nuts stupid. Calling him stupid is an insult to stupid people. But luckily was no assault on the teacher. Detroit Lions Kid just decided to attack, unprovoked, another student in the class. Punched the boy in the stomach, choked him, and tore up his notebooks. BRAVO Numb Nuts!

Yesterday morning Numb Nuts decided that he will pawn off his responsibility yet again. He was desperately looking for a class to pawn of the boy. He picked the wrong class. He had the contract and chancellor's regulations thrown in his face. The teacher told him that before Detroit Lions Kid his placed in the classroom that the teacher wished to see the proper paperwork on the boy's removal from his class. Oh this was over the phone. Numb Nuts didn't even have the common courtesy to bring the child to the class himself, instead he got school safety to do it for him.

Children First making a difference!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bomb Threat Update!

There has been slew of inquiries as any resolution in The Case of the Mad Bomber. Before I go on I wish to clear up any perceived ambiguities. Even though the Mad Bomber did not officially maker a threat of using a bomb, his words; "I want to blow up the school" do convey the wish and the use of using a bomb in the blowing up of the school. So no matter how you slice it, it is still a bomb threat.

He was outside yesterday and today for lunch. No penalty, no foul. No phone call home, no call to the local precinct, no call to the DOE, no call for Chinese takeout, nothing. I am somewhat curious as to why such a piss poor response is taken. Surely, there is a slight disturbance in the Mad Bomber that some kind of preventative measures, at the very minimum, should be taken. But perhaps I speak in haste. I should not put the proverbial cart before the proverbial horse. Could it be the Mad Bomber learned his lesson and swore off ever again making bomb threats?

Not! Yeah, the Mad Bomber and Alfred E Neuman this morning, before school, opened their mouths about how they wish to blow up the school. Now mind you this is unconfirmed at press time, but the crack team here at SBSB are working the phones and their sources to bring to you, our readers the facts and facts only. But as Mr Spock once said, "rumor has its basis in fact."

I guess it really does not matter anymore what the students do or say. There are no consequences anymore especially since John Deacon issued an edict that there must be two witnesses per DOE rules for a student to dealt with in a disciplinary manner. Where exactly might I find those rules? I think John Deacon must have this mixed up with treason. In the Constitution Article 3, section 3 clearly states:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

By the way, that is how Aaron Burr avoided getting convicted for treason in 1807.

As I see it John Deacon interprets chancellor's regs and state law to John Deacon's own liking, and mistakes DOE law for the United States Constitution. I am so confused. What is next, rallying the black shirts from the balcony?

Now I understand the daily martial music in the morning.





Time For The Exposing

Get your minds out of the gutter. Sickos. Think exposing only means one thing. Well keep it to your mind. The exposing I meant was it is time to reveal all those cryptic little doo-dads I have been leaving at the end of each post for a week or so. But let's review.

What do J D Salinger, Andy Kaufman, Thomas Pynchon, Brian Wilson, Prudence, Doris Day, and Bill Waterson all have in common? Anyone figure it out? They are all famous recluses. Yes, even Andy Kaufman. I don't care what is said I still believe he is alive and well and having a great laugh. Does this make be mentally unfit?

But you may ponder to yourself, what does this mean to me. Why references to recluses, and eccentric recluses at that. The reason is............

That basically what our principal is. A recluse. A John Deacon (recluse bassist of Queen). Hiding out in the principal cave delegating powers to know nothing Numb Nuts. Fiddling as the school falls apart. Hoping beyond hope that if problems are not dealt with they will go away. John Deacon has failed elsewhere and now our school, a school of wonderful teachers, wonderful students, wonderful parents is being flushed down the toilet into a cesspool reeking of incompetence created by John Deacon. A student clearly states that he wishes to blow up the school? Should 911 be called, NYPD come in? NO! We need to help the student feel better, give him self esteem. He can't go outside for two weeks. F*** that!

John Deacon thinks John Deacon is above state law, chancellor's regulations and what is best for the students. And those that enable John Deacon, and those that blindly follow John Deacon are nothing but drones who have drank the Kool-Aid and are just as complicit in short changing the students. But Tweed doesn't care. Because Tweed doesn't believe in Children First.

Sorry Piggy. It'll get better.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time For The Cavalry

Oh what a day. Can it get worse? It certainly is not getting better. Rome is burning, Nero is fiddling and no one from the outside world cares. We are being overrun. All the students need to make official is a conch shell, a fat kid wearing glasses, and disprove the existence of the beast.

Frank made another threat to shoot a teacher today. It was suggested that may a call should be placed to his mother and that perhaps a mutual admiration society be formed. Numb Nuts poo pooed so condescendingly about Frank's latest threat with probably the stupidest statement I have heard in my years of teaching. Worse than the principal who wanted to make an announcement about keeping stool samples in the refrigerator in the parents room.

"He is 11 years old, what can he possibly do?" What can he possibly do? DUH! Does Numb Nuts have any idea of reality? Numb Nuts was quickly retorted thusly; "I am sure the school workers at Columbine wondered what a teenager could possibly do," before the massacre. In fact Numb Nuts there have been several school shooting by 13 year olds. Nothing came out of his mouth. He was totally pwn3d. Complete and to the point.

But wait, there is more Numb Nuts idiocy. The Detroit Lions Kid assaulted three teachers yesterday including his own. Two teachers punched in the stomach, one in the ankle. One of the teachers hit suffered an asthma attack. I am sure Numb Nuts didn't care, I mean what can happen from from silly old asthma? I mean the teacher who got the attack has got to be the nicest, sweetest, friendliest person I have ever met. This teacher helped me, went of of the way for me three years ago when I needed personal help. In fact her family who never met me did as well.And how is she repaid. In fact how are the other two repaid?

The Detroit Lions Kid spent the day with Numb Nuts. Yes you read that right. Just spent the day with Numb Nuts. But wait! If you keep on reading it gets even more botarded. Detroit Lions Kid was taken by Numb Nuts and tossed into another classroom by this morning. The teacher was not told why, or what happened. Is it not putting this teacher in danger. Well you ask, the child was occupied with work provided by Numb Nuts. Guess what? You know the answer.

At least he was kept out of the classroom, away from the teacher you might inquire. The Detroit Lions Kid was brought back to the students classroom in the afternoon. But didn't he assault his teacher? Is it plausible, if not possible, that this student might turn violent again? I mean these are all valid points one should think through before making a dumb ass decision like this.

Yeah, Detroit Lions Kid got violent with a student. Punched the kid in the stomach and then choked him. Numb Nuts came and took the boy. Where? Nowhere. It happened during dismissal. So no consequences.

The students need a Ralph. Had enough of Jack.

Where is Bill Watterson when you need him?

Not to worry. Getting close to revealing my thinking.







Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bomb Threats and Mundane Things

Bomb threat today by a student. He couldn't be any clearer in what he wished to do to the school. Assumed protocol was followed. The student's assistant principal was immediately notified. This AP knows the deal. Is righteous. But unfortunately the AP's hands are tied. As I mentioned it has been officially made known to us that under no circumstances are students to be disciplined. That if a child throws a chair at another child, only a phone call to the parent may be made. So back to the Mad Bomber. No punishment. Well, not really. He got to choose his punishment. I guess the lessons of Columbine, Pearl, MS, West Peducah, KY, Stamps AR mean nothing.

I understand that we as a society have gotten too much of a cork up our ass when comments like these are made and treat all comments, no matter how trivial with a howitzer, but for a student to make a statement like this, to be this angry or upset where then at the very least is the inquisitiveness on the part of the upper echelon to delve into this matter? This is not something that if you wish goes away it will.

What if a student made this comment in Franklin Lakes, or Roslyn, or New Rochelle, or Hempstead. Would it be swept under the rug? NO! There would be immediate action. Police called, parents called, letters sent home, counselors brought in. Why can't students in the Bronx have the same learning environment as suburban students? Please, don't say it is money or that the students are not as smart as the 'burbs.

So Frank's mom came in today. Useless. Blank look the entire time. Got the "I don't know what to do with him" line. Didn't even register on her face the threats of violence he made or the racial remarks. Numb Nuts decided to interject and was splendid in his patronizing way.

Speaking of Numb Nuts he lost control of the third grade cafeteria today. At least when he was in the cafeteria as he should have been. There are only three classes and the mayhem is caused by one. This he can't handle? I had to save his butt and settle down the cafeteria which took all of about a minute, and I never had to write a check to learn what to do.

Doris Day, can you come out to play?

Very soon, I promise!

Blogging Fun! The FAQ

I have received several emails, telegrams, shout outs and cries for help from dedicated readers on how they can use this blog for good clean adult fun. Most are comment and subscription questions and I have decided to take the time out from the the control center here at South Bronx School to answer some questions.

1. I have something witty to say or wish to add a comment how do I do that?
Kevin Jones, Boise, ID

Good question question Kevin. It is very simple, at the end of every post you will see "0 comments" or if they case may be "1 Comment", and so on. All you need to do is click and leave what you wish to contribute.

2. I want to comment but the government watches everything I do. Can I comment anonymously?
Bob Jones, London, England

Yes Bob, you can, and get rid of that tin foil hat! You are given several options when commenting. All you have to do is click the post anonymously button in comment box.

3. Instead of always checking back to read your snarkey posts I wish to subscribe. Can I do that, and will anyone see my email on the blog?
Harvey Jones, Bell Buckle, TN

Harvey just look to your right. See what it says, "subscribe by email"? All you need to do. No one will see your email address at all. That easy, that simple. Also a little lower down, under links, you will see two drop down menus in which you can subscribe with RSS feeds. Not sure exactly how it works, but it does. I think. Anyone know?

4. Come on, be truthful, Numb Nuts is really a figment of your imagination.
Tom Jones, West Seneca, NY

Unfortunately he is all too real.

5. Do I really come off as that clueless?
Numb Nuts, New York, NY

Yes, you are a botard. Face it, get used to it, move on.

So there you have it, the first South Bronx School FAQ. Now remember to blog safely and have lots of fun.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Will It Take?

Today Frank assaulted a boy in the yard. The boy, to no one's surprise, is much younger and smaller than Frank. Apparently another boy, Alfred E Neuman was giving the boy the business, just teasing and horseplay when Frank decided to get involved. Frank punched the boy several times, threw the boy up against the fence and attempted to throw him over the fence. There are plenty of witnesses. All ducks lined up for the hammer to come down Pretty rough, eh? I mean say you are that boy's parents would you not be concerned that a student like Frank doesn't face any serious repercussions?

And he won't! Mom was actually called and mom did say she is coming in tomorrow. I highly doubt that she will, and if she does it will be the same old song and dance. "I don't know what to do with him." Too bad. Send him up to Four Winds in Katonah, take some parenting classes, or go back in time and get spayed. Want to know the worse part of this? It was all so easily preventable.

The permissiveness in the school is like the Twilight Zone. Remember that episode with Bill Mumy, "It's a Good Life?" We don't want to piss off little Anthony. God forbid we might hurt Anthony's feelings.

As mentioned previously it is official school policy that no students are to be disciplined, other than calling home, for any and all behavior issues. Any misbehavior in the yard during lunch, that includes fighting, is not to be dealt with taking the students privileges away. Oh no! It is their social time. Can't do that.

What about the students who go to school for one reason and one reason only? To learn. Do they not have a right of freedom from fear? Or serious injury? I know I talk about discipline, but don't get me wrong. I don't want to see the school turned into a Gulag. But this lack of discipline is all for the wrong reasons. To cover asses. Simple as that. So nothing shows up, if you know what I mean, nudge, nudge. Again where is the Children First theory coming into play? They think that if they avoid the problems the problem will go away. What will it take to get the heads out of the sand?

A student to get seriously injured. Or a teacher. Unfortunately it will happen.

Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are we losing touch?

Dang why me being so cryptic?

In due time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mom Has Spoken

The Dude's mom has made it clear on Friday that she is not going to sign anything to remove The Dude from special ed. She has even realized that the setting he is in, is better than where he was (thanks to Candy), she did not like the how she was being pressured into signing away her and The Dude's rights.

Hey if The Dude is to be moved no better place to be in than with Candy. But why can't this be done for the right reasons? Not the cover our collective asses, hide our heads in the sand reasons, but truly because this is what is best for The Dude.

We have such a top heavy school, with positions filled by such incompetent people that actions that are done with The Dude are the norm, not the exception. Would something like this ever happen in Bronxville, Scarsdale, or Dobbs Ferry? NO! These people are concerned with only one thing. Preserving their own status quo. They only feign interest in the students, keep up appearances to the outsiders. The law states that a child to be removed from special ed. must be tested out. The Dude has not been tested out, nor are there any plans to do it. So then why is Numb Nuts at the forefront to move The Dude? So Numb Nuts has less aggravation. That is it. And that is all it will ever be.


Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue

In due time, in due time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Open To Interpretation

On Wednesday when we had our illegal after school professional development in vis a vis the subversion of certain chancellor's regulations and state laws, I politely reminded Numb Nuts which regs and laws are specifically being violated. Numb Nuts blabbered back to me in his best party line, memorized, rhetoric way that the school is not in any way breaking any rules. I then reminded him that yet again he is incorrect, politely, and explained that I have more than once read the relevant regs and laws. I guess it was at this point that the hamster in the wheel started running faster because he came up with a most brilliant response.

"We have decided ourselves how to interpret chancellor's regulations and state law."

Great answer. This coming from someone who has, for lack of a better word, sworn to serve to for the betterment of children comes up with this line? And it is just not him, remember he is just parroting the party line of the politburo. Is this acceptable? Who decides which regs and laws are open to interpretation? I had always assumed it was God. But now the politburo get to pick and choose which regs and laws they have to follow? Aren't we right now in this country upset with W. and The Dick who have decided when and how to use to the Constitution for their own means? Great, now their ethics and morals have trickled down.

Starting Tuesday I choose to pick and choose which regs and laws I choose to follow. I shall arrive late, and leave when I decide. Lunch will be two hours along with the requisite two martinis in the teacher's lounge. Shaken, not stirred of course. I can, and any teacher should be able, to do anything we want!! Better yet, why not teach the students that if there is a law or anything they don't agree with, that they can decide to interpret that law or better yet not follow it at all.

This school is so Kafkaesque.


Where is Brian Wilson?

Oh the cryptic stuff again.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Does Amy Mcintosh Have a Conflict of Interest?

We all know that Amy Mcintosh is the person at Tweed that has devised the Zagat's guide to rating teachers. But what is not known is that there is a possible conflict, something that is hush hush. And who better to uncover what should not be known other than the crack investigative team here.

Amy Mcintosh is married to Jeffrey Toobin, talking newshead at CNN, and author of "The Nine", amongst other books. But nowhere in Mr Toobin's biography's is it noted that his wife is the Zagat reviewer of NYC teachers. Not here, or here. or even here. I find it strange. I would be quite proud of my wife if she were able to hold such a lofty position without the requisite skills. But why do you ask does this matter?

Mr Toobin has previously worked for the Department of Justice.

So has Joel Klein.

Mr Toobin has graduated from Harvard.

So has Joel Klein.

Jeffrey Toobin works for CNN which is owned by Time-Warner.

Time-Warner owns NY1.

Time-Warner also owns Time Magazine.

Time-Warner also has one of the biggest cable contracts with NYC

Is there a possibility that the reporting of the NYC DOE has not been fair and balanced?

IMHO, all are relevant questions.

Has anyone seen Thomas Pynchon of late?

Yeah, still being cryptic.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Video For The Folks at Tweed

Pay attention. Dig the song, dig the meaning.

Another Example of Children First

So Mr First Grade gets to equate himself with a Holocaust victim and guess what? He is the new ELA cluster teacher in our school. Makes sense. He's a cluster f***.

So what are his qualifications? Give me a minute whilst I ponder this somewhat rhetorical question. Still pondering. Thinking. Wait, got it! He has a heart beat and walks upright (though some would tend to question this).

I have always assumed, and I guess I might be wrong in this case, that one needs a rudimentary knowledge of the English language to teach ELA. Perhaps there is a memo out there I have yet to read. Now understand please that I am not in any way, shape or form, belittling those who do not speak English, or whose first language is not English. But come on, this is not right. And not just because of Mr FG's English problem.

He has zero classroom management skills. In fact he lacks any skills with children. Today I had to rescue him yet again. He was walking ten third graders through the hall. I heard several blood curdling shrieks. I went to investigate and the students were completely out of control. I had to settle these kids down, get them to do what they were supposed to be doing. Wait, I embellish a wee bit. Numb Nuts came along and tried, but couldn't. So there I am with the students finally settled down and Mr FG starts opening his mouth making the problem worse. I had to send him away like a child so the problem didn't get worse.

Please explain to me how this benefits the children. Somebody. Anybody.

Has anyone seen Andy Kaufman?

Yeah, I am being cryptic still.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Wednesday Night Rant And Other Stuff

This past Friday, Numb Nuts gave PD on Lee Canter method of Assertive Discipline. Ironic that he is the one giving the PD. Oh, for you civilians, PD is professional development. The reason it is so ironic is that when he does lunch duty what he teaches and preaches he doesn't put into practice. You can actually see the veins in his forehead start to bulge and pulsate. Like those dudes on Star Trek. Also out in the yard as well he gets insane. The students have told me that all he does is yell, and never means what he says.

The Dude is a mess. Keeps running out of class, is in the halls, causing problems in his new class. No one cares except the teacher he is with right now. Assertive discipline you say? His teacher Candy, she rocks! She is so organized, so knowledgeable, so loved by her students that she is in fact too good to be a teacher in our school. But she has twenty other students in her class. She can't spend all her time assertively disciplining The Dude, especially when she gets zero support from administration. The law is being not just being broken, but being ignored to suit the powers that be agendas. Call me old fashioned, but when a law is broken the cops should be called and the lawbreakers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Oh the contract was not only violated today. Big time. Just pissed on.

The teacher in the 12:1:1 class I feel so sorry for. Most of the students in that class are just not properly placed. Numb Nuts is not doing anything about it. Just like he didn't do anything about four students that were completely out of control in a teacher's class today. He just stuck his head in, said something stupid and meaningless and left. But back to that teacher who I shall call Saint. The school does not understand what a good teacher she is and how she is not getting any support whatsoever. She doesn't deserve what is not being done. She didn't deserve what happened today. Not by a long shot.

Oh one more thing.

Has anyone seen J D Salinger?

Yeah I know, I am being cryptic. All in good time.

Today Makes It Official

Today made it official at my school. To quote Michael Ray Richardson, "The ship be sinking."

My school:



Sad, it never should have come to this. Check back later for more fun stuff about what happened today. I need to chill.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Numb Nuts Being a Numb Nut

Numb Nuts is working hard, in fact super duper hard in his office. He is sitting at his desk doing something on the computer while one student from that 12:1:1 class is lying on the floor doing something. As I walk by his door I see another boy from the 12:1:1 class running around the hallway. This is a student that should not be out in the hall by himself under any circumstances. Yet there he is. Alone. And Numb Nuts is oblivious to it all.

The King, as this student shall henceforth be known, runs right to me when I call him over and I bring him to Numb Nuts office. I ask Numb Nuts if he is looking for The King and at that moment Numb Nuts stands up with a "of course" look on his face and walks to the door to retrieve the young man. Problem not solved.

A few moments later whilst in another room, and a teacher doing running records with a student, The King comes running in. I look behind him expecting to see Numb Nuts, but alas I do not. The King is running around the room, going under the tables, trying to play hide and seek. I keep my eye on him, staying close, making sure he is not going to get hurt. What The King wants his a healthy dose of attention, and the moment I give it to him he is liable to bolt. I do attempt to redirect him, get him to focus on something else but to no avail. I wonder to myself why isn't Numb Nuts even mildly curious as to where The King is. Is he not responsible for this young man?

Almost ten minutes passes before Numb Nuts, walking to his office from the opposite direction. I ask Numb Nuts if he is looking for The King. Of course, he tells me. He comes in and there is The King under the table. The King starts to curse Numb Nuts out and Numb Nuts looks on with a blank look on his face.

He is what is most on my mind. Why isn't Numb Nuts doing the job of what an assistant principal supposed to be doing. More importantly what about the safety of The King? If I wasn't around, twice, where could The King have wound up? I guess when the only qualification you have for being an assistant principal is cherubs on your checks, you need not worry yourself over such trivial matters as the safety of a student.

Children First! Yipee!

The Dude's Mom Fights Back!!

On Friday the full court press was put on The Dude's mom to sign the paperwork to have The Dude officially mainstreamed. Mom did not cave! Kudos to mom! Think it is over? Not by a long shot! The Dude is still being mainstreamed, not only against mom's explicit wishes, but without being tested out of special ed. Is this legal? Why is this not being done properly such as testing out?

Is this not a shining example of "Children First?"

Amy Mcintosh's Qualifications Unearthed!

The crack team here at Southbronxschool.blogspot.com did some major investigating over the weekend to see if something was overlooked in Amy Mcintosh's sparkling resume. that perhaps she did hold a position of importance that would make her qualified to rate teachers based on very subjective means.

After reading the information, I offer a hearty apology to Ms Mcintosh. At no time should I have inveighed sarcasm and derision over her qualifications. And for those of you that did, either by laughing your fannies off, or just wet themselves laughing so hard in front of a computer monitor I have only one thing to say. Shame on you.

Amy Mcintosh was Zagat's CEO at one point. From October, 2000:

"I've been a long-time user of the familiar burgundy guidebooks, as well as zagat.com, and like everyone else have found the Surveys indispensable, wholly reliable, and fun to use," Ms. McIntosh said.

Click here for entire story.

Warning, please do not be drinking or eating something while reading. May cause food or drink to be released through nostrils.

So I guess using that logic, she is qualified to work for the DOE because in first grade she used a primer.

But here is the problem. Why not use a Zagat's type rating for teachers instead of what she is suggesting? Zagats reviews have Food, Decors, Service, and Price. For teachers you can have basically the same.

Food, you can have just a rating for the administrators of the school. Like are children actually put first(if someone has a better idea feel free to post it!).

Decors could be the classroom and the overrated bulleting board.

Service could been not only a student's performance, but those things you can't measure like a teacher working all weekend long, or at night, or on their honeymoon.

Price, that be how many hundreds of dollars a teacher spends on their classroom, how many hours multiplied by per session a teacher should receive for all those long hours put in on their own time.

Ms Mcintosh, I apologize for mocking your qualifications.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Who is Amy Mcintosh?

Who is Amy Mcintosh? Amy Mcintosh was quoted in a New York Times article that I posted the other day:

Amy McIntosh, the Education Department’s chief talent officer, who helped develop the system, said that her team would continue to explore ways to monitor the effectiveness of the city’s nearly 60,000 other public school teachers, but that for now the state tests were the only data on which to reliably base evaluations of them.

As Arte Johnson would have said, "verrry interesting."

I wonder what algorithm is being used to determine which teachers are above average, average, or below average? Or what is being factored into said algorithm. I hope such things out of a teachers or students control are factored in. Perhaps we can factor in that Harvey had his father put out a cigarette on his forehead the night before a test, or that Lance had to watch dad beat the crap out of mom the morning of a test, or maybe Meredith's step father decided to sexually abuse her when she was supposed to be studying. I could go through a plethora of examples like I have mentioned, but unfortunately I have an appointment on May 30th, 2009 and just do not have the time right now.

I am all for giving teachers all the tools we need so we can learn more about ourselves, improve ourselves, but in the long and short run this is not what will happen. Who is going to suffer the most? The students. teachers will be so anxious about this "grading" system that inquiry will be thrown out the window. Teachers will now just concentrate 100% on the tests that all that will be left is memorization and rote. The students will not have any critical thinking skills at all, and this is what is most lacking in the students in NYC. Not memorizing facts, and we all have seen what happens when someone just blabbers on without understanding what they are talking about.

So what are Amy Mcintosh's credentials? Surely she has a long and storied career as an educator. Now, thanks to technology and Linkedin.com we can examine Amy Mcintosh's sparkling education resume.

Chief Talent OfficerNYC Department of Education(Government Agency; 10,001 or more employees; Education Management industry)January 2007Present (1 year 10 months)Develop strategy and lead major new initiatives around teacher, principal and management recruitment, induction, development and performance management.

Talent officer as opposed to Human Resources manager. Obviously something in the Amy Mcintosh background shows that she understands education, schools, children, etc...

Let's see what is next!

Executive Director, Partnership for Teacher Excellence NYC Department of Education(Government Agency; 5001-10,000 employees; Education Management industry)February 2006January 2007 (1 year)Lead a grant-funded initiative to attract, develop and retain more math, science and special education secondary teachers in NYC public schools. The Partnership links NYU, CUNY and the NYC Dept of Education in an unprecendented alliance to improve the supply of qualified shortage area teachers for NYC public schools and to develop them in a way that will make them more effective and more likely to remain in careers in urban public education.

Instead of paying her for this, why not just pay teachers per session after school and we can brainstorm on how to retain teachers.

Deputy Chief of Staff/Chancellor's OfficeNYC Dept of Education(Government Agency; 10,001 or more employees; Education Management industry)October 2004February 2006 (1 year 5 months)Senior staff to Chancellor of NYC Dept of Education. Created first strategy and plan for Autonomy Zone, now a major second-term initiative. Led other policy, strategy and communications initiatives.

So she starts as a deputy chief of staff and rises to make decisions on how qualified teachers are in administering tests? But this is her first job with DOE what comes before??

SVP Risk ManagementD&B(Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; dnb; Information Services industry) June 2002July 2004 (2 years 2 months)


Risk management? Ever see the Seinfeld where George has to give the presentation about it?

Volunteer Chair of NYC Board Teach For America(Education Management industry)19962002 (6 years)

So?

Senior Management various Verizon (and NYNEX, Bell Atlantic)(Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; Telecommunications industry)1995-2001 (6 years)Positions of increasing responsibility in product management and marketing at NYNEX. Head of consumer marketing for Bell Atlantic at merger. General manager of high speed internet businesses for Bell

My best buddy works for Verizon. Tomorrow will go find him in his truck on the Concourse and tell him to come work for the DOE.

SVP MarketingAmerican Express(Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; Financial Services industry)19841995 (11 years)Moved from marketing manager up to SVP marketing. Positions in corporate cards, business travel, traveler's cheque(s) and consumer card businesses.

I had to correct a spelling miscue there. I am sorry will have to deduct points.

I got the education qualification!!!! I found it! I found it!!

Harvard Business School mba, general management, 19821984 Harvard University ab, Economics, 1976 — 1980


The Harvard degree and fifty cents will get you a pineapple soda on Anthony Ave. Time to come see reality than decide fates of teachers and students from a gilded tower.

Several questions. What are Amy Mcintosh's qualifications, and how much money does she make, and could her job be done cheaper my teachers making per session @ $40/hr?





Friday, October 3, 2008

Mr FG (First Grade)

After a long morning I finally make it to the bathroom and whose shoes do I see in the stall next to me? Yes, Mr First Grade. How did I know? It is easy. The slacks that were cuffed with staples, the uneven cuffs, the shoes that are appropriated from a sleeping homeless person. Just to easy.

I say good morning and promptly go about my business. Mr FG can't shut up. He continues harping on how he is being persecuted by not only the powers that be, but other teachers as well. I wished he had chosen another word other than persecute. Let's look at the definition:

1: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict ; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief 2: to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities)
I don't think his beliefs are being persecuted, unless of course his belief that he is a capable teacher, and a fine human being that should be taken seriously. I think if he wishes to be taken seriously he shouldn't get drunk in a bar and dance for nickels. And there have not been any persistent or urgent approaches towards him. So persecuted? Maybe he should go to Darfur or speak to a Holocaust victim to learn the meaning of persecution.

And this morning he doesn't shut the f*** up! He is droning on and on how every single person in the school is out to get him. "They all talk about me behind my back", he keeps on saying. I am thinking that he needs some Reynolds Wrap for a hat. I finally ask him to let me have some privacy, the broccoli from last night is not doing me well.


He has leveled charges against teachers in years past that he is being asked to do more work than he thinks he should. When he was allowed a classroom his students came out worse off in June than they were at the beginning of the year. But what he has pulled this year is shameful. The staff have gone overboard to help him. How does he repay these people? He spits on them. He is an ingrate. And worse, he is delusional. Delusional about his sense of self.




Thursday, October 2, 2008

More On The Dude

Remember The Dude? If you need refreshing click here. Anyway The Dude is about to be officially mainstreamed. I am all for mainstreaming a student. When it is for the right reasons. But unfortunately mainstreaming The Dude is for the wrong reasons. He is being moved because he is a behavior problem. But more because of personality conflicts within the class.

The Dude's mother will be coming in to sign the papers so he is no longer in special ed. Mom is sweet, but needs someone to advocate for her. The Dude and his sister are the adults in that home. In fact Sister is the one that cooks, gets The Dude ready for school and so on. Mom is going to be met with a full court press and told that The Dude has progressed and he is ready to move on. Also, why aren't teachers being asked to join in on the meeting with mom? But what, you may ask yourself, is the problem?

The problem is that the IEP/PPT team (school psych, etc...) have not tested him out of special ed. Nor was there any conference or anything to discuss it with IEP/PPT team. The Dude is two grades behind where he should be in reading and several teachers have mentioned that there might be dyslexia. Shouldn't he be tested for this? Seems to me that the law, if not the spirit of the law is being broken. Time to call in the school cops?

So another example of the "Children First" philosophy gone awry. More of the "cover your ass and hide your head in the sand and hope the problem either goes away or becomes someone else's" philosophy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What a Cluster ****!

This is botarded! Now teachers will secretly be evaluated on test scores? There are so many many variables to test scores. Why not judge teachers also on how motivated they get their students, how much of a positive impact they have on their students lives? Why aren't the parents being evaluated and those who are below average ACS will be called and their parenting days are over. A family friend says to me every time I see him, "You schmucks have given everything back we fought for in 1968!"

So how are administrators going to be held accountable?

So the reason any teacher wishes to stay in the classroom is....???

From today's NY Times:

Teachers to Be Measured Based on Students’ Standardized Test Scores

New York City is beginning to measure the performance of thousands of elementary and middle school teachers based on how much their students improve on annual state math and reading tests.

To avoid a contentious fight with the teachers’ union after a contentious fight, the New York City Department of Education has agreed not to make public the reports — which described teachers as average, below average or above average with various types of students — nor let them influence formal job evaluations, pay and promotions.

Rather, according to a memo to principals from Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, sent on Wednesday night, the reports are designed to be guides for the teachers themselves to better understand their achievements and shortcomings.

“They won’t be used in tenure determinations or the annual rating process,” the memo said. “Many of you have told us how useful it would be to better understand how your efforts are influencing student progress.”

Still, even without formal consequences for teachers, the plan is likely to anger teachers and parents who are already critical of the increasing emphasis on standardized test scores as a substitute for judging school quality. It follows the city’s much-debated issuance of report cards labeling individual schools A through F largely on the basis of student improvement on state exams.

The State Legislature this spring prohibited the use of student test scores in teacher tenure decisions. The new measurement system — called “teacher data reports” — is an expansion of a pilot program that the city began in January involving about 2,500 teachers at 140 schools. The pilot program was so controversial that several participating principals did not tell teachers they were being monitored.

Christopher Cerf, the deputy chancellor overseeing the program, said it was important to get teachers “comfortable with the data, in a positive, affirming way.”

“The information in here is a really, really important way to foster change and improvement,” he said. “We don’t want people to be threatened by this.”

In introducing the pilot program, Mr. Cerf said it would be a “powerful step forward” to have the teacher measurements made public, arguing, “If you know as a parent what’s the deal, I think that whole aspect will change behavior.” But this week, he said that for now the reports will be treated as personnel records not subject to public-records laws.

Principals interviewing prospective teachers from other schools would be permitted to ask candidates for their reports, but the candidates would not have to provide them.

Ms. Weingarten said that the assurance that there would not be a public airing of individual teachers’ information made her more comfortable with the idea of the reports, which she said could help teachers identify their strengths and weaknesses.

“This can be used to inform instruction and advance it,” she said in an interview. “If this is something that becomes a ranking facility, opinions will be very, very different. That door has now been closed.”

Still, Ms. Weingarten said the reports answer only “a very narrow question” of how a particular teacher’s students do on tests. She and others have long argued that there are many other criteria on which teachers should be evaluated.

The new reports are part of a broader bid by the city to improve the ways teachers are recruited, trained and measured. Last year, the Education Department began a push to get rid of subpar teachers before they earned tenure, forming a team of lawyers and consultants to help principals amass enough information to oust those who are deemed deficient and do not show signs of improvement.

There have been similar efforts across the country, as politicians and academic experts say that teachers are the most important element in improving student performance and closing the gap in achievement between white and minority students. School systems in Texas and Tennessee, for example, have used student performance and improvement as a tool to evaluate teachers.

New York City plans to generate reports for roughly 18,000 teachers — every math and English teacher in fourth through eighth grades.

Amy McIntosh, the Education Department’s chief talent officer, who helped develop the system, said that her team would continue to explore ways to monitor the effectiveness of the city’s nearly 60,000 other public school teachers, but that for now the state tests were the only data on which to reliably base evaluations of them.

The teacher data report balances the progress students make on state tests and their absences with factors that include whether they receive special-education services or qualify for free lunch, as well as the size, race and gender breakdown of the teacher’s class.

Using a complicated statistical formula, the report computes a “predicted gain” for each teacher’s class, then compares it to the students’ actual improvements on the test. The result is a snapshot analysis of how much the teacher contributed to student growth.

The reports classify each teacher as average, above average or below average in effectiveness with different categories of students, like those who score in the top third or the lowest third on the test, and those still learning English or enrolled in special-education programs. It also contains separate measurements on effectiveness in teaching boys and girls, though it does not distinguish performance by students’ race or income level. Teachers will also be given a percentile ranking indicating how their performance compares to those who teach similar students and to a citywide pool.

“When we have talked to teachers about this, there is real insight about the students,” Ms. McIntosh said. “They will say, ‘I didn’t realize I was teaching to the bottom,’ or, ‘I am really great with boys, and less so with girls.’ ”

Last year’s pilot program also attempted to measure how well a principal’s perception of teachers aligned with the student test score data. According to the Education Department, about 69 percent of the teachers whom principals rated “exceptional” were in the top half on the reports. And 73 percent of those whom principals called “fair, poor or very poor” were in the bottom half.

Frank Cimino, the principal of Public School 193 in Brooklyn, which participated in the pilot program, said he was still uncertain about how useful the reports were.

“I would like to make a comparison to see what it shows this year to what it showed last year,” he said. “I don’t think anything can replace getting into the classroom.”

BEARS!!

This story is too funny not to tell.

In the 90's I and my 3rd class went on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo towards the end of the school year. A teacher in my school had arranged it for her class and another but for some reason my class went instead. It was your typical end of year field trip. Something to waste time. In fact most field trips are, very few have any tie in with the curriculum. If they did then every fouth grade class that was studying the American Revolution would go see all the locations in the city where the Battle of New York took place. It happens in Westchester County.

On the bus to the zoo the only thing on the student's minds were the bears. They wanted desperately to see the bears. The bus dropped us off at the Southern Blvd entrance. I had one parent volunteer with me and thirty students. Easy. I doubt Numb Nuts would be able to handle it.

So off the bus we go. We line up in two lines enter the zoo and the kids are still OCD'ing on the bears. "Please, A Teacher in the Bronx, can we please see the bears first?" I tell them OK. It makes sense. As any who have been the Bronx Zoo know the bears are in an almost direct line from the Southern Blvd entrance. So we make a bee line to see the bears.

The expression on the students faces were of a high anticipation. Bears! Bears! Bears! They were almost there. In fact it was clear sailing. The railing was empty. They were promised an unimpeded view of the bears. Praise be the bears!

"Oh mi dios!", the parent volunteer cries out. Kevin one of my students looks at me and says, "A Teacher in the Bronx, one of the bears is trying to jump over the other bear and can't make it over." I look and there is Papa Bear getting down with Mama Bear and Baby Bear must have been sent to the movies, or maybe was at Grandma and Grandpa Bear's den. Anyway the kids seemed to have no idea of what was happening, I ended the the bear viewing prematurely, though I don't think there was anything premature with Papa Bear. I saw Mama Bear later. She was laying back and having a cigarette. Papa Bear wasn't there. I think he had to get up early for work.

No biggie. It was done, it was over. But what would happen now under the reign of Chancellor Klein? I would have been called immoral for not thinking ahead of time that bears might be fornicating that time of the year and should have considered this option. Condon's office would have been sent into the school to take statements with leading questions from the students, and the bears would have been interviewed as well. The New York Post would have labeled me the "BEAR VOYEUR TEACHER" and would have felt shame. My career would be hanging by a thread.

And people wonder why teachers won't go the extra mile anymore.

Washington Knew When To Leave

It appears that Bloomberg thinks himself indispensable. Hey I give him credit for keeping New York solvent, keeping crime down, being pretty much straight forward. But what he has yet to learn is humility. He thinks that the the sh** will hit the fan if he is not around to control the sh**. This is exactly what Hugo Chavez tried to do in in Venezuela. Wait, are teachers allowed to use swear words? Must we lead a chaste life? More on this another time.

I think the days of seeing New York turn into the budget busting, crime infested, filthy city are long gone. In fact this transformation is going on throughout the US with some exceptions. Hell, even Yonkers is nicer. But like Giuliani, Bloomberg is a control freak and thinks that only he can save us from ourselves. All he is really doing is saving us from Anthony Weiner, an attention whore if there ever was one.

William Thompson seems to have the skills, the brains, and the cajones to do the job as mayor. Yeah we know that Bloomberg is worth $20 billion, but Thompson manages a combined portfolio of nearly $95 billion. Like David Paterson he is a no nonsense, no bullshit person. Best of all he actually has experience in education unlike Bloomberg and Klein.

Which is my entire issue with Bloomberg and Klein. The lack of HOTS when it comes to education, and the constant blaming the teachers tirades. Yes, I agree there are some bad teachers. But, there are a great many teachers out there who care. Or worse, did care until they found out that they had to worry about themselves and their direct deposit first, and this is what this administration has done to us, and now are just robots for the DOE. Aren't the parents the ones who are ultimately responsible for a students progress and success in school? Why not hold a press conference in City Hall and make examples of parents who never sign a report card, never ever come to conferences, never show an interest in their child's education? If the mayor is unable or unwilling to find such parents I will be more than happy to supply him with a rather long list.

Bloomberg
and Klein bust our balls about attendance, why not the parents balls about showing up on conference night? I have never seen a class in my school, or anywhere with more than fifty percent of the parents showing up.

Check this out. Eight years ago I awoke on a Saturday morning to drive all the way into the Bronx for a district wide presentation on gangs. It was replete with an officer from the local precinct, elected officials, etc... Notices were sent home, fliers in every school. Ten parents showed up.

Maybe if food was served more would have shown.