Monday, May 31, 2010
Let's play make believe. OK kiddies?
I am a fourth grade teacher. For some reason or another I have only ten students in my class. Their names are; Huey, Dewey, Louie, Peepeye, Gertrude, Wanda, Rhoda, Harvey, George Jefferson, and Mary. Last year in third grade they all scored three's and four's in their state mandated ELA exams. This is the first year under the new evaluation process which their test scores will be part of my evaluation. In NYC this will be either 20 or 40 percent of my evaluation, and in Colorado 50%. Heck, in some states the test scores can and affect my pay.
So the big day comes. The kids take their ELA test. I wait for a few months and the scores came in. Let's see.
Huey: has dropped from a high 4 to a high 3. Why? It seems that during the 3 days of fourth grade ELA Huey was in a shelter with mom. It seems that dad was drunk after getting fired, came home, dinner wasn't ready and he put a beating on mom. Mom being scared took her and Huey to a shelter where Huey stayed during the course of the exam. I only recently found out about it.
Dewey: His scores dropped from a high four to a low four. Mom got a new job at night and he was left alone with his eighty one year old grandmother at night. Dewey stayed up every night until 11 30 to watch The Daily Show.
Louie: His score went from a three to a high one. The reason for this is he copied the answers of the kids sitting next to him. This year without this friend in class he wasn't able to keep up the charade.
Peepeye: His score went from a high three to a low two. It seems that all the nights of having Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner and Doritios and grape soda for breakfast have caught up with him. Also the fact that mom is turning tricks for crack in front of his eyes seems to have been on his mind during the test.
Gertrude: What a great student! A high four. But unfortunately went down to a three. Seems mom's new boyfriend has taken a liking to her at the wrong time. Each night before the test the boyfriend climbed into bed with her when mom went down to the bodega to get some smokes.
Wanda: Three to a one. Seems the medication that Wanda takes had not been filled during the exams. She has a new script but there is some mishap with the Medicaid so Wanda had been without her medication during the exams.
Rhoda: Three to a two. The night before the first day of the test her mother put a cigarette out on her arm. The night before part two, her mom punched her four times in the head. The night before part three mom went to the store and Rhoda had to watch her little sister for five hours.
Harvey: From a four to a low three. The three nights during the test Harvey and his older brother decided to hangout in front of the Pathmark on 204th St and panhandle until 10 30 PM.
George Jefferson: Low four to a two. He was being recruited by the Crips each night during the exam. He was plied with bling and malt liquor. In fact George was involved in jumping a tourist from Finland on 149th St.
Mary: From middle of the road three to a two. Mary couldn't get to sleep each night of the exams. Too many gunshots ringing out in the courtyard. She had to sleep on the floor all in one room with her parents and her five brothers and sisters.
So there you have it? All their scores dropped. Of course it is mine, the teachers fault. How will this effect my evaluation? My pay?
What I find laughable is that no one looks at the variables, the multitude of variables that can affect a child and their education. These so called reformers are always looking for the easiest answers, the quick fixes when none exist.
Would any scientist when doing an experiment, or trying to reach a conclusion allow this kind of instability in their experiments? No. But the deformers, Mulgrew, allow it.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I was sitting in the parking lot outside of Modells today keeping up on the blogs. I came across a post by Queens Teacher which I found really profound, which can be read here. QT is lamenting the end of teaching as we know it, but something else, at least it is my interpretation. That the deformers are looking for the easy way to solve problems.
In fact these two words of wisdom from QT resonated with me;
"Why do we need to wait 10 or 20 years to finally figure out this will not work"
" I personally am telling any young person I meet to not even THINK about being a teacher. I mean, why spend all that time, money and energy in a degree that is considered useless"Which got me to thinking about "Wrath of Khan." No, not Khan himself, but Dr Carol Marcus and the Genesis project.
But what the video doesn't show is this exchange with Dr McCoy and Spock immediately after watching the video.
McCoy: Dear Lord. You think we're intelligent enough to... suppose... what if this thing were used where life already exists?
Spock: It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.
McCoy: Its "new matrix"? Do you have any idea what you're saying?
Spock: I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications, Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.
McCoy: Not anymore; now we can do both at the same time! According to myth, the Earth was created in six days. Now, watch out! Here comes Genesis! We'll do it for you in six minutes!
See? The teachers and education, "life," are being destroyed by Genesis, the new matrix. And what Spock is saying is true. It is always easier to destroy than create. And that is what is being done with education by the deformers. Destruction, because it is so much easier. Why bother to create and have to deal with hard work?
What happened to Genesis? Khan let the device explode and it created a new planet. Spock's body was left on the new planet and as we saw in Star Trek III "The Search For Spock" he was rejuvenated, and the Genesis planet destroyed itself due to its instability and in my opinion, artificialness.
What the deformers are attempting to do is create something easily which is impossible. They all need a few viewings of Wrath of Khan.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
There are a few things that have been gnawing at me of late. I have been wanting to put it to music, but deemed it better to blog my thoughts. Of course this will be in my own special, convoluted, logical manner.
Logic. There is the keyword. And not just any logic. All what is happening with this reform, or rather, deform is quite illogical.
The RtTT sell out by our esteemed UFT leader Mike is quite illogical. Basically he is holding all the cards as far as I see it. He is at the table with Klein, Bloomberg, Duncan, Obama, and Tilson. He has a flush. The others have nothing. The others aren't folding, the keep throwing chips into the pot. But who is sweating? It's Mike. When it comes time to make his last best, he folds. Throws the cards down. This is what he has done with the new evaluation system and signing off on the RtTT application. Why? There was no pressure for him to sign. There was no pressure for him to cooperate. Sheldon Silver would have done his bidding for him. Why fold when you have the best hand?
The other thing gnawing at me is the mantra from Klein that education is run like a business. OK, fine. Willing to give the benefit of the doubt. But there is a but. Businesses have competitors. This we learn in Business 101. What is not taught in Business 101 is that a business does not help out its competition. That's what the charters are. Charters compete against the DOE. This is like the Krusty Krab competing against he Chum Bucket. Plankton wants Mr Krabs secret recipe for the Krabby Patty. Does Mr Krabs give it to him? Of course not. Does Plankton covet the recipe and try to get it? Of course, this is the part of doing business. But you will never see Mr Krabs giving part of his restaurant to Plankton. You will never see Mr Krabs fire Spongebob to help out Plankton. So why does Klein help out the competition? Where is the logic in all of this?
As Mr Spock once said, "In an insane DOE, the sane teacher must appear to be insane." I think it is time for the next chancellor to be from Vulcan. Perhaps Sarek?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
During Prohibition he helped run booze down from Canada. He also sold slivowitz (Jewish schnapps) from the trunk of his car that was made by my dad and my dad's cousin smashing plums in the bathtub of my great-grandfather's apartment on 181st St in the Bronx.
My grandfather was a precinct captain for the Democrats in starting in the thirties. He was aligned with the last vestiges of Tammany Hall. He would go to the cemeteries to register voters. Every Thanksgiving he would leave turkeys the doorsteps of the destitute with regards from the Democrats. He would vote many times on election day. In fact when my parents got married in 1961 he used his juice to get them to the top of the list for Stuyvesant Town.
My great-aunt, my grandfather's sister, told me when I kiddingly said in 1996 I was planning on voting for Bob Dole, told me that she would kick the shit out of anyone in the family who voted Republican. This coming from a ninety-three year old woman.
In fact my father's Uncle Jack on his mother's side was an avowed Communist/Marxist. He had great admiration for Chairman Mao, and had worked in the State Department when the Alger Hiss thing went down. He moved to China, got kicked out by Mao and lived the rest of his life in Italy.
In fact Uncle Jack got turned on to Communism by his cousin, and I guess my cousin as well, Howard DaSilva. Yes, the actor. For those who don't know, he played Louis B Mayer in Mommie Dearest.
So you can see I come from a long line of Democrat/Liberal people.
The day I registered to vote I put my party affiliation as Democrat. The first presidential election I voted in I pulled the lever with pride for Walter Mondale. And then Mike Dukakis. But finally got a winner with Clinton. Twice. Even would have voted for him a third time as much as I was sickened by his humming sessions with Monica.
But since Bubba got elected the last time I became a bit more conservative. Children usually make you do that. I became more independent/libertarian, but I was still a Democrat. Like Chris Rock once said, "I am liberal in some ways, conservative in others." I could've voted for McCain but couldn't with that idiot as his running mate, but felt I made a good choice with Obama. The Cheney-Bush years were just to weird and scary.
I want my vote back. Now. When 2012 rolls around I have decided that I will not vote for President Obama.
I thought that with Obama in the White House, and the Democrats in control of both houses, that the grownups were back in charge. That decisions were made at what would be best, not what sounds the best. Obama elected with the help of unions, not just teacher's unions, vowed, or at least gave reason that NCLB would either not be renewed or at the worse, fixed. NCLB looks like a cakewalk compared to this RTtT shinola. What Obama has wrought is much more draconian, than NCLB.
What is worse, is the total immersion now of the federal government into a local matter. Education. Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the federal government authority to get involved in such matters. I tune out the tea baggers. They are, well, tea baggers. But someone, somewhere, needs to grow a set and bring this federal takeover of local education to the Supreme Court. I do not believe it can withstand a constitutional challenge.
So whom to vote for? Gus Hall is dead so I can't vote for him. Who are the frontrunners? Palin? Yeah, right! Would be like voting for Mulgrew. Though I think he is smarter. Mitt Romney at one time seemed good. But he has sold his soul to the Rightists of this country.
I could go, and probably will go third party. I have feeling Bloomberg will run. He has the money, and the ego. But the campaign slogan he will use, Tausendjährigen Reiches, has already been used.
I will probably go with the Libertarian Party candidate whoever that will be.
I need to vote my conscience.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As you can see here (click to enlarge) Little Philip's Facebook page;
Little Philip still doesn't understand how the Internet works, or worse, how a representative of the bar should present himself.
It seems that either Little Philip does not take the law seriously, he takes himself too seriously, or has extremely low self esteem. Seems he wants to be Fonzie in this photo, but turns out to be a wannabe like Squiggy.
Little Philip, don't you think it is time you grew up?
Breaking News: For Immediate Release
You watched "Law and Order" and
learned about the Rubber Rooms that
David Pakter was kept in for years.
Now read a REAL Rubber Room story in
which Truth trumps any Fiction
Reporters, Journalists, Bloggers:
Please Post and cover this story
Public Schools Systems in New York City and nationwide are in peril.
There is a big reason the NYC Dept of Education is fighting tooth and nail to not allow a tape of the attached Verbatim Transcript to be played at the
Open to the Public
State Teacher Trial of Whistle-blower, David Pakter.
The NYC DOE has brought one "Witness" after another, against David Pakter, who have committed knowing Perjury.
Pakter fought to protect the Constitutional Rights of the City's more than 1,000,000 school children.
Key witnesses for the DOE told one story.
But the attached verbatim transcript of the Tape the DOE does not want you to hear tells a very different story.
You can read it all in 15 minutes but
you will never forget this conversation,
between a Teacher and a Principal.
After all the grotesque and obscene
Lies, the Libels, the Smears, the Dirty tricks,
There is the Truth.
Today, May 25, is David Pakter's Birthday.
The best gift anyone can give him is to
READ the attached Verbatim Transcript Evidence
that the NYC Dept of Education maintains
they can stop the Public from hearing.
If they are right--
then I was never born and
the world is flat,
Charter Schools are Non Profit Charities
Justice for Teachers in America is no more.
The reason the NYC DOE is terrified to have a secretly made tape of a meeting with Principal Hilda Nieto played at an OPEN TO THE PUBLIC TRIAL is because the tape proves that the charges were intentionally fabricated by SCI and the NYC DOE when it was known by the NYC DOE I had discussed my decades long Academic Incentive Awards initiative program in great detail with Principal Nieto during a (tape recorded) Meeting in her Office.
The Incentive Awards were also discussed in numerous letters to the Regional NYC DOE office at 333 Seventh Ave. in Manhattan.
Below are the actual Charges made against David Pakter
by the NYC DOE and the responses to each "Charge".
Please note my response to each charge appears in CAPITAL LETTERS.
OFFICIAL NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION CHARGES AGAINST DAVID PAKTER
( Important Note: Virtually all of the following charges, (except the charges relating to attendance at the small windowless Rubber Room located in Harlem), will be shown and proven at Trial to be either outright lies or distortions of fact to such an extreme degree as to make the charges little more than knowing falsehoods.)
NOTE ALL MY RESPONSES & COMMENTS ARE IN UPPER CASE/CAPS
Below is a Verbatim Copy of ALL NYC DOE Charges against David Pakter
DAVID PAKTER (hereinafter referred to as "Respondent") is a tenured teacher, under File # 407530, Social Security # XXX-XX-XXXX, formerly assigned to The High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan. During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent engaged in misconduct and was neglectful of his duties as follows:
SPECIFICATION 1: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent promoted his and /or his family's watch business during school hours.
I INFORMED STUDENTS (AS I HAVE FOR 3 DECADES) THAT ANYONE WITH A 90% AVERAGE WOULD EARN A WATCH DESIGNED BY PAKTER
SPECIFICATION 2: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent gave watches as gifts to students during school hours.
YES, YES AND YES- LIKE JOEL KLEIN GIVING OUT CELL PHONES
SPECIFICATION 3: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent gave a watch to School Aide during school hours.
ABSOLUTELY YES- I GAVE A WATCH TO A MINIMUM WAGE SCHOOL AIDE DURING MY LUNCH BREAK FOR HER SON AS I KNEW SHE HAD A VERY LIMITED BUDGET TO BUY HIM A BIRTHDAY GIFT.
ISN'T THAT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OR DO I NEED THE PERMISSION OF THE NYC DOE EVEN TO GIVE SOMEONE A GIFT.
SPECIFICATION 4: In or about October and/or November of 2006, during class time, Respondent:
(a) Talked about his and/or his family's watch business.
(b) Provided the watch website address.
(c) Showed students a book and/or a brochure and/or a catalog of watches.
(d) Said words to the effect that he would give a watch to any student who achieved a gradepoint average of 90% or better.
(e) Showed two watches to students.
(f) Talked about his personal life.
(g) Said words to the effect that he was fired from The High School of Art and Design for being a whistleblower.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGED STUDENTS TO STRIVE TO GET ON HONOR ROLL AND PROMISED THEM FASHION ACCESSORIES AS AN INCENTIVE AS I HAVE DONE FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS TO THE DELIGHT AND DEEP APPRECIATION OF COUNTLESS NYC DOE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS.
ALL ABOVE FALL WITHIN MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS RE FREE SPEECH.
(h) Showed the class an "R" rated movie.
FILM WAS R-RATED EXACTLY FOR THE SAME REASONS AS "SCHINDLER'S LIST", "SAVING PRIVATE RYAN", "THE PIANIST", ETC ETC ARE, R-RATED AS WELL AS THE DOZENS OF AWARD WINNING FILMS I HAVE SHOWN TO CLASSES FOR 37 YEARS WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF PEERS AND COUNTLESS NYC DOE PRINCIPALS I SERVED WITH DISTINCTION WHO RESPECTED MY GOOD JUDGEMENT TO SCREEN FILMS THAT CONTAINED STRONG LIFE LESSONS.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ABOVE ABSURD CHARGE ALSO BRINGS UP POSSIBLE CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS PERTAINING TO CENSORSHIP. ALSO TARGETTING TEACHERS BY ACCUSING THEM OF SHOWING A FILM IS AN OLD AND TIRED TACTIC OF THE NYC DOE.
THUS SUBCHARGE (h) VIOLATES AND GIVES RISE TO AT LEAST TWO CLEARLY SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS CHARGE HAS BEEN DROPPED BY THE CITY
SPECIFICATION 5: In or about November of 2006, Respondent had two trees delivered to the school despite being previously told by Assistant Principal Giovanni Raschilla to wait until he discussed the matter with Principal Hilda Nieto.
THE ABOVE TOTALLY AND INTENTIONALLY DISTORTS FACTS
- I HAND CARRIED TWO SMALL ARTIFICIAL PLANTS IN WICKER BASKETS TO SCHOOL ON MY LUNCH HOUR WHICH I PLACED OUTSIDE DOORS TO THE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM WHERE EVERYONE AGREED THEY LOOKED TOTALLY GREAT AND VASTLY IMPROVED THE AMBIANCE OF THE SCHOOL LOBBY.
VERY INTERESTINGLY NO WHERE IN RICHARD CONDON'S SPECIALLY PREPARED SCI REPORT PREPARED FOR CHANCELLOR JOEL KLEIN IS IT MENTIONED THAT ON THE SAME DAY I PLACED THE TWO PLANTS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM I ALSO HAND DELIVERED A LARGE BEAUTIFUL SILK PLANT, ALSO IN A WICKER BASKET TO PRINCIPAL HILDA NIETO'S OFFICE AND GAVE THE PLANT TO HER SECRETARY, MS. TUCKER REQUESTING SHE GIVE THE GIFT TO THE PRINCIPAL TO DECORATE HER OFFICE.
THE PLANT GIVEN TO THE PRINCIPAL WAS NEVER MENTIONED IN THE SCI REPORT AND I WAS NEVER CHARGED WITH GIVING PRINCIPAL HILDA NIETO A SILK PLANT BUT I WAS CHARGED WITH GIVING A GIFT TO A MINIMUM WAGE SCHOOL AIDE.
NIETO NEVER THANKED ME, VERBALLY OR IN WRITING BECAUSE SHE KNEW THAT IT WOULD PREVENT ANY PLANT CHARGES FROM BEING MADE AGAINST ME.
ALSO THE SCI REPORT TO KLEIN DID NOT MENTION THAT I BOUGHT AND HAND DELIVED MYSELF, SEVERAL PLANTS IN BASKETS TO THE MAIN SCHOOL OFFICE WHERE I HAD TO SIT ALL DAY WHEN I WAS NOT COVERING CLASSES AS AN ATR SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.
ON THE DAY I WAS REMOVED, THE PLANTS I HAD PERSONALLY PURCHASED, PAID FOR AND PERSONALLY DELIVERED AND INSTALLED AT THREE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS IN THE SCHOOL WERE STILL THERE EXACTLY WHERE I HAD PERSONALLY PLACED THEM
NOTE THAT THE PLANT GIFTS TO THE PRINCIPAL'S PRIVATE OFFICE AND ALSO TO HER MAIN SCHOOL OFFICE ON A DIFFERENT FLOOR IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING, WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE 3020-a SPECIFICATIONS.
THINK ABOUT HOW EVIL AND MACHIAVELLIAN THAT MAKES THESE PEOPLE AND THE NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION IN GENERAL.
BUT IN ANY EVENT ISN'T IT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE TREATED IN THE SAME FASHION AS ANY OTHER TEACHER IN NYC WHO DECIDES TO DECORATE HIS/HER CLASSROOM AND/OR SCHOOL.
IN SHORT WE ADDRESS HERE THE CONCEPT OF EQUAL TREATMENT AND EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
SHOULD SOME TEACHERS BE ALLOWED TO BRING A PLANT TO SCHOOL AND NOT OTHERS?
NOTE: THE WEEK I WAS REMOVED I WAS ABLE TO GET GIOVANNI RASCHILLA, MY A.P. ON TAPE ADMITTING TO UFT CHAPTER LEADER JACK SANCHEZ THAT HE, RASCHILLA, KNEW THE WHOLE PLANT BUSINESS WAS ILLEGAL AND THAT HE WOULD REMOVE THE PLANT LETTERS FROM MY FILE IMMEDIATELY AS UFT SANCHEZ DEMANDED.
SPECIFICATION 6: Respondent's actions caused widespread negative publicity and notoriety to the High School of Fashion Industries and the New York City Department of Education in general when his unprofessional behavior was referenced in the UFT Newspaper.
THIS IS THE FAMOUS CHARGE THAT RANDI WEINGARTEN ORDERED NYSUT TO WRITE A PROTEST TO CHANCELLOR JOEL KLEIN ON OCTOBER 24, 2007 TO WHICH KLEIN NEVER RESPONDED BUT WHICH THE NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION LATER DROPPED RATHER THAN BE FORCED TO FIGHT THE UFT IN COURT OVER A FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUE.
SPECIFICATION 7: During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent was absent ninety-eight (98) times from work. (Rubber Room)
SPECIFICATION 8: During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent worked a partial day fifteen (15) times. (Rubber Room)
HARLEM RUBBER ROOM WAS A VERY SMALL ROOM ON 125TH STREET, WITH NO WINDOWS, NO IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE DRINKING WATER, BARE WALLS UNTIL I TRIED TO HANG A FEW PICTURES AND WAS ORDERED NOT TO DO SO AND THE MUSEUM PRINTS REMOVED.
AND WORST OF ALL THIS SMALL ROOM CONVEYED TO THE PEOPLE HOUSED THERE A SENSE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA AND INCARCERATION
A UFT HIRED AIR SPECIALIST, HIRED BY UFT SPECIAL REP-KLAUS BORNEMANN, USING SOPHISTICATED AIR TESTING EQUIPMENT WROTE IN HIS AIR QUALITY REPORT THAT THE CEILING VENTILATORS AT TIMES WERE BLOWING AIR OF SUBSTANDARD AIR QUALITY INTO THE ROOM.
THE ABOVE AMOUNTS TO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT UNDER THE US CONSTITUTION AND IS THE REASON I STOPPED REPORTING TO THE SMALL WINDOWLESS RUBBER ROOM IN HARLEM.
Please Note: The fact that the DOE would certainly deny that any, or all of these charges do not violate any of my Constitutional and/or First Amendment rights, (which is to be totally expected), does not make such an assertion and/or position true. It is only by challenging established customs and perceptions of what does and does not violate the Laws of the Land, that "old" laws are struck down, and new Laws and new legal precedents- established.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Whitney Tilson is rubbing one out again I am sure after watching last night's 60 Minutes report about the SEED boarding school in Washington DC. I can imagine Whitney with his eyes closed, kneeling over the bowl, thinking how wonderful he is, how great him and his ilk are. Whitney even wrote about it.
Speaking of great TV, 60 Minutes last night did a wonderful segment on Washington DC’s SEED charter school, one of the only charter boarding schools. The very high cost ($35,000) (and other difficulties) of running a boarding school make it very difficult to replicate (there’s one more in Baltimore, with another planned for Cincinnati), but the school is doing great things.But, and it is a big but.
If you watch the video, which is linked above, you hear several things voiced by Byron Pitts starting at about 4:50 into the story:
Unlike most schools, there are two periods of English and two periods of math per day in middle school........ Upperclassmen are required to read 45 minutes a day in addition to their homework. Classes are small with 10 to 15 students.Hmmm, two periods for math and English? I am impressed. Sounds like block scheduling to me. Block scheduling which is already being done, and has been done for quite some time.
Forty-five minutes of reading for upperclassman? My child in third grade is required to read twenty minutes. Fifth graders I know are required to read forty minutes. So forty five minutes is not that impressive.
But wanna know what is impressive? The classes that have 10-15 students!!!!! This is a fantasy for the a teacher. In fact if you asked a teacher if you would rather have a class this small or a night with Sarah Silverman the teacher would choose the small class size.
I mean the obviousisity of the above statement is like knowing the sun rises in the east without having to see it rise. A class this small students can and will learn. A teacher can spend more time with the students, and more time involved in teaching.
Students in high poverty, crime infested neighborhoods need the soothing of a smaller class. They need the one to one, they need the attention, the need the calmness and tranquility that such a class provides.
But there is no money for this. No money for building more schools, and the money allocated for smaller class size has been misappropriated. But, there are people with money out there that can help. The hedge fund managers like Whitney (Glory Hole) Tilson. But unfortunately it won't happen for two reasons. One, is that there is no tax break, or profit in it for him. And two, Whitney won't be able to write things such as:
Funny story: as I was rushing to catch my flight at JFK on Saturday, I heard a rhythmic “clap…clap…clap-clap-clap” and thought to myself: “That’s got to be KIPP.” Sure enough, when I went over to talk to them, it was the students from KIPP AMP in BrooklynWhitney catching another flight? I just try to keep in mind what Dock Ellis said about George Steinbrenner in 1977.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I haven't had the time as of yet to read all of the Steve Brill hit piece in today's New York Times yet. To be honest, I only made it through the first couple of paragraphs when I had to stop because I was laughing harder than I did when I saw originally saw the wrestling scene from Borat.
First thing I laughed at was Brill's claim about the Contract that, "not only specifies everything that teachers will do and will not do during a six-hour-57 ½-minute workday but also requires that teachers be paid based on how long they have been on the job" First, get your facts straight about the six hour and 57 1/2 minutes and secondly, I believe that pay is based on longevity for cops, firefighters, EMS, parks employees, sanitation workers, correction officers, etc... Why not complain about these?
Secondly, Mulgrew had his deer caught in the headlights moment when Brill asked him in regards to his press secretary Richard Riley, "Suppose you decide that Riley is lazy or incompetent,” I asked Mulgrew. “Should you be able to fire him?” Mike responded that Riley is not a teacher. Decent answer, but not how it should have been answered. How should Mike have answered?
Mike should have told Brill that he wouldn't try to separate Riley from his paycheck for holding a coffee cup, holding a Coke, bringing plants to the UFT offices, for disagreeing with him, for not kissing his ass. Mike could have reminded Brill that if he has an issue with Riley, that he would try to work out the problems first, that he would treat Riley as an adult. Mike could have also mentioned that he would never berate nor degrade Riley in front of others.
But Brill is being disingenuous. He never defined incompetent. Or even lazy. Did Brill ask what the parameters of Richard Rilely's duties are? I have no idea, and I am a dues paying member. So without this information I say Brill's point is moot. But let's pretend it is not.
Let's say Richard Riley was having a bad day. Pretend his wife had left him for some trucker who fancies himself a country western star and she ran off with him to live in the local trailer park and at the same time emptied Richard's bank account. But being the trooper Richard is he comes into work, but there is a press conference later that day. I am sure Mike will give him a break, let someone else do it. But if Riley were a teacher, at 8 30 he would have to forget all about his personal life and be "ON." And God forbid he was moping around, having a tough day, he would here from his principal. "You are a professional, deal with it!"
But, wait there is more. No Riley is as good as the people working under him. Does Riley have to deal with the subjectivity of employees under him? Or even for that matter Mike?
Are there employees at the UFT headquarters that have parents that do not show an interest in them? That do not show up when employee evaluations are handed out? If Mike or Riley were to call in a parent of an employee does that parent come to 52 Broadway drunk at 8 45 in the morning? Would an employee when not getting his or her way decide to trash the office by throwing chairs? Would that employee then run through the halls?
See Brill, this is kind of what teachers deal with every day. And more. Kids afraid to go home, kids that have cigarettes put out on their arms. The little 2nd grade girl who is being babysat by a male 2nd cousin who decides that he is horny and violates the girl. The sleeping on the floor at night to keep out of the way of bullets. The elevators that stink of urine, and the hallways too! The parents who show no interest in their child's education. The parent who gives their child Cheetos and grape juice for breakfast. The child that needs to be hospitalized but the parent ignores all pleas from the school to do so.
Brill, come to the inner city. Speak with teachers. Learn. I find it ironic that you of all people are apt to criticize teachers for perceived failings when anything you have been a part of has failed.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
He was lamenting or gleeful about the worse hiring situation for teachers since God knows when when he blurbed the article from the Times which showed that Her Wonderfulness, Eva Moskowitz is hiring in droves.
In New York, where the Success Charter Network is hiring 135 teachers for its seven schools in Harlem and the Bronx, some of the 8,453 applicants have called the office three times a day to check on their status. Veteran teachers have also offered to work as assistant teachers.Everything is so wonderful with Eva. Always the opposite of reality. That is because Eva has a special method of weeding out unwanted applicants for her "Success" Academies.
SBSB was able to get a hidden camera into Eva's selection process. It is shown here for the first time ever.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
SBSB has learned that a 47 year veteran teacher has been sent to the Brooklyn Rubber Room. His infraction? So horrifying, that children and the elderly are advised not to continue reading this.
The infraction? A split inseam. Yes, you read correctly. The teacher in question, a male teacher of over seventy years of age, and quite zaftig was removed for having a split inseam in his trousers.
Apparently the split inseam was in the upper thigh region of the trousers exposing the fabric of the accused boxer shorts. No naughty bits were ever exposed. In fact due to the size of the teacher he was not aware of it until it was brought to his attention.
The day this teacher was sent to the Rubber Room he was ordered by his principal to bring his class to the auditorium where another teacher was waiting. The teacher was told to report to the principal's office and there he learned that he was being removed and sent to the Rubber Room for he had exposed himself.
It didn't matter that the teacher in question was more than willing to go to a tailor and have the inseam fixed. It didn't matter that the girth of of the teacher made it nearly impossible for any bits to be hanging out, loose, or flapping in the breeze. All that was seen was his boxers.
If this is something to be sent to the Rubber Room for, then all female teachers need to watch out for cleavage. I have seen enough cleavage from teachers that leaves nothing to the imagination over the years.
One thing I don't understand. If this teacher had exposed himself, what is he doing in the Rubber Room? Why hasn't he been suspended the ninety days without pay, and why has he not been arrested? I have the answer. Because no one ever saw his doodle, and his doodle was where it should be. Same goes with the beans.
The crack team here at SBSB will continue looking into this matter and will pass along any updated information.
Fortunately the crack team here at SBSB has located a video of the principal explaining to a DOE higher up the quandary that she is in.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I have said it before and I will say it again. Whitney Tilson just makes it too easy. There is no challenge anymore in exposing what an idiot he is.
Whitney now has a man crush on Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D) Buffalo. The reason for this man crush is that Hoyt is co-sponsoring legislation in the Assembly to lift the charter cap and all the other little stuff for RTtT monies. Whitney writes:
The charter bill is going to be a heavy lift in the NY Assembly, however, which makes Sam Hoyt, an Assemblyman from Buffalo, so important. Sam has been almost alone in the Assembly in fighting for kids, and faces a tough reelection fight from a union-backed candidate, so I hope you’ll come to a fundraiser hosted by Mayor Bloomberg next Wed., May 12th from 4-6pm at the Harvard Club...Sam hosted me when I visited Buffalo last September and we visited a couple of charter schools...One of the most important thing DFER does is support particular candidates who have shown great courage on this issue, and no-one fits this description better than NYS Assemblyman Sam Hoyt of Buffalo.That's sweet. But Whitney, you should choose your friends more carefully don't you think?
Seems Assemblyman Sam Hoyt has an issue with keeping something of his in his pants with female interns other than his wife. Now the crack team here that investigated Sam Hoyt is not looking down its nose at his adultery. That is a personal matter for Sam and Mrs Hoyt. What the crack team has a problem with is Assemblyman Hoyt, a man in his mid forties, using his position of power and authority to have dalliances with a young female intern. Shame on you Assemblyman Hoyt. Please read about this here.
But some of the best was reported by the NY Post in which Assemblyman Hoyt longed to be the interns "lollipop." In an email entitled, "what i wish," the Democratic assemblyman's list included: ". . . that i could be painting your toenails right now . . . that i could see you do that little cheerleader move . . . that i could be your human lollipop . . . that i could take a shower in your shower with all that girly stuff."
Hoyt responded that, "No rules were broken. No laws were broken. I broke my marriage vows," he declared. Then why is it that Assemblyman Hoyt is no longer allowed to have college interns?
We here at SBSB not only condone, but to a certain extent promote a healthy kinky life. As Ann Landers once said "what two adults do in their own time is their business." What we here at SBSB do have a problem with is an member of the New York State Assembly misusing his position to seduce and fraternize with an intern.
One more thing. We also have a problem with Mayor for Life Bloomberg hosting and promoting a $1K fundraiser this Wednesday, May 12 at the Harvard Club for Assemblyman Sam Hoyt.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
What are you doing this summer? If your answer is "I don't know," or "nothing" I suggest you make this a Rush summer. Rush as in the band, not the big, fat, addict fathead.
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are now in their 36th year of Rush. I can't believe it my self. I saw Rush for the first time during their Exit...Stage Left tour at the Meadowlands in 1981. I was hooked then and still hooked now.
Since their Presto tour in 1990 I have seen them every tour and a minimum of at least 2X per tour. In 2007 during their Snakes and Arrows tour I saw them in Mohegan Sun, PNC Arts Center, and Columbus OH, in which I had second row seats right in front of Alex. But the best summer of Rush for me was 2004 during their R30 (30th anniversary) tour. I saw them at Jones Beach, then a week later I had second row at Radio City. In fact in the bootleg version of that show you can see me pumping my arms at the end of Working Man, and see Alex Lifeson bending down and giving my friend his pick. But that year I made a pilgrimage. As Catholics wish to visit the Vatican, Jews Israel and Muslims Mecca, every Rush fan must see the boys in their hometown of Toronto. Five days after seeing them at Radio City I was in TO seeing Rush.
Area dates for Rush include, Mohegan Sun July 19th, SPAC July 23, Jones Beach July 24, and the PNC Arts Center September 3. The tour is entitles, The Time Machine Tour," and will include Moving Pictures played in its entirety. Check out the Rush website for other dates.
But there is more. A Rush documentary, "Beyond The Lighted Stage," will be released in theaters this summer. Did you know that Rush is third, behind the Beatles and The Stones for most consecutive gold or platinum albums ever? Here is the trailer for the movie.
And my favorite Rush song of all time......
And of course, God playing the drums.....
Monday, May 3, 2010
So, where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the thingy from yesterday's Times. Need I say more? No. So I shall continue. So I give you Part Deux.
In New York, Mr. Legend, the Grammy-winning soul singer, has used his visibility to debate political opponents of charter schools in the news media. “What these people are proving who are running excellent schools is that poor black and brown kids can be successful,” he said in an interview. “Until recently a lot of Americans didn’t even believe that was true, because they saw such persistent gaps in the education outcomes.” Who believed that? No one thought I was going to amount to much in school, and I am neither black nor brown. Mr Legend, it all starts in the home and small class size. Please come see the difference between a class with 27 students and a class with 14 students. There is a major difference.
In fact Mr Legend, have you ever stepped inside an urban public school as an adult? I don't think so. Why not bring some of your high falutin' friends to a urban public school and donate all those wads of cash and time you give the charters. But what is deal with John Legend and child molester Kanye West?
Mr. Legend is on an advisory board of Harlem Village Academies, three small schools that held a glittery fund-raiser at Lincoln Center last week. Katie Couric told the crowd that she was a mentor to students on Saturday mornings. Hugh Jackman, the host, announced a $500,000 gift from Rupert Murdoch.
Oh please. Why can't public schools have this? Geez, give us a glittery bake sale and have Amber Marie Noggle from News12 Bronx there. I find it ironic, and somewhat conflicted that Rupert Murdoch has donated $500K and the Post sells out on the side of charters.
Last year, 93 percent of eighth graders at the flagship Harlem Village Academy passed the state math, English, science and social studies exams, compared with 41 percent in its West Harlem school district, records show.
What is the class size at HVA and what is the population with IEP's? First person to get me that info gets a belly rub.
The article goes on and quotes the Hoxby study, but the reporter has the good sense to counter its claims with this. But the gist is that study’s finding that 83 percent of charter schools are doing no better than local public schools shocked many advocates, all the more so because its author, Margaret E. Raymond, is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a bastion of libertarianism.
Mr. Skeeter of Williamsburg Collegiate is what advocates mean when they talk of human capital. A former public school teacher in the Bronx, where he lives, he works from 7 a.m. to 5:30, nearly three hours longer than his public school day.
No life. I take it Mr Skeeter is single.
Ninety-eight percent of some 1,000 students in grades three through eight in Uncommon Schools, almost all poor minority children, passed their New York State math exam last year, and 89 percent passed the English exam.
Again, what is passing? If passing is a 2, then it is all a scam. This is what is bugging me the most. This acceptance of passing at a 2. It should be a three.
I am just getting tired of all this celebrity and people with money getting involved in education because of some long held belief that this is their way to assuage their white liberal guilt and to have their own Angelina Jolie moments. Please John Legend and Katie Couric, please come to an inner city public school and do some good there. The kids need it. Separate but unequal sucks.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
In today's Times, it was reported the charter school results are mixed. That these schools do no better or no worse then there public school counterparts. But, it seems those with the wealthy backers, the financial wherewithal seem to do better. So charters it seems are not necessarily better, it is just the money a charter gets that gives the appearance of betterness. I am going to do this in three parts. I am just to lazy and tired to do whole thing today.
Some highlights from today's article.
Executives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, McKinsey consultants and scholars from Stanford and Harvard mingled at an invitation-only meeting of the New Schools Venture Fund at a luxury hotel in Pasadena, Calif. Founded by investors who helped start Google and Amazon, this philanthropy seeks to raise the academic achievement of poor black and Hispanic students, largely through charter schools.
Many of those at the meeting last May had worried that the Obama administration would reflect the general hostility of teachers’ unions toward charters, publicly financed schools that are independently run and free to experiment in classrooms. But all doubts were dispelled when the image of Arne Duncan, the new education secretary, filled a large video screen from Washington. He pledged to combine “your ideas with our dollars” from the federal government. “What you have created,” he said, “is a real movement.”
That movement includes a crowded clique of alpha girls and boys, including New York hedge fund managers, a Hollywood agent or two and the singers John Legend and Sting, who performed at a fund-raiser for Harlem charter schools last Wednesday at Lincoln Center. Charters have also become a pet cause of what one education historian calls a billionaires’ club of philanthropists, including Mr. Gates, Eli Broad of Los Angeles and the Walton family of Wal-Mart.I see someones name missing! Dare I say whom? Anyway, a few comments. George Steinbrenner once said, "If more than two people know of a charity you are doing it for the wrong reason." So that is what I doubt my Whitney, and Eva, and Tommy's reasons for being involved in charters. As for the above mentioned. I doubt it as well. It is about control. Nothing more and nothing less. But notice that none of the above are teachers, yet Arne Duncan is treating them as some farsighted educators. "Their ideas?" Please why not get teachers, teachers who are at the frontline of what is happening ans ask them? Why is anyone afraid to get teachers involved in the so called ed reform movement?
fewer than one-fifth of charter schools nationally offered a better education than comparable local schools, almost half offered an equivalent education and more than a third, 37 percent, were “significantly worse.”
Academically ambitious leaders of the school choice movement have come to a hard recognition: raising student achievement for poor urban children — what the most fervent call a new civil rights campaign — is enormously difficult and often expensive.
You mean they thought it would be easy? Or are they in it just to make $$$$$?
Academically ambitious leaders of the school choice movement have come to a hard recognition: raising student achievement for poor urban children — what the most fervent call a new civil rights campaign — is enormously difficult and often expensive.
Wow. That is so neat. But not original. Here is an original motivator, something I find works with the EDiots.
Jason Skeeter stood before his math students the other day as tightly coiled as a drill sergeant. He issued instructions in a loud, slightly fearsome voice, without an extra word or gesture.
Can this be a violation of chancellor's regulation A-420 pertaining to verbal abuse? Oh wait, charters have no regulations. Other than making sure the right kids come to their schools, and making sure half-witted relatives are given show jobs.
“Clap if you’re with me,” he said, clapping twice to snap students to attention. The class responded with a ritual double-stomp of the feet and a hand clap.
I think it would have been really cool if the teacher, Jason Skeeter said this instead, "Clap your hand if you believe in Tinkerbell." Now that would have been inspiring. It helped Tink.
At Williamsburg Collegiate, everything is measured, everything is compared, graphed and displayed publicly
Yes, this happens before school when all the male teachers compare, graph, and display themselves publicly. Mr Skeeter is in the lead.
A rigidly structured environment is part of the formula the school believes produces success.
As was so at the Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten. Achtung, baby.
The curriculum is constantly adjusted.
Wow, they get to adjust their curriculum but we are stuck with Everyday Mathematics. Oh joy.
fifth graders began the year, their first at the school, below grade level, his goal is for all to pass the state exam.
Why in Westchester County passing is considered a 3 or a 4, but in NYC passing is a considered scoring a 2? Can someone clarify this for me.
So this goes on and blabbers on about Cleveland charters, I don't care. But they have no big bucks donors.
The administration’s Race to the Top competition, which waves the carrot of $4.3 billion in education aid
The states need to rent out and view "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and see what happens to people once their greed takes over. Here is an example. Captain Culpepper ruined his life.
The club of millionaires and billionaires who support them includes Mr. Gates; Mr. Broad, whose fortune is from home building and financial services; Michael Dell of Dell Computer; Doris Fisher, who, with her late husband, Donald, founded the Gap; and the Walton family.
No regular folk. Why is that? I also notice a certain someones name missing.
Rather than starting their own schools, these philanthropists largely went looking for successful charters and provided money for expansion.
Why not put the money is failing charter schools, or better yet, put the money where it is needed most in the inner city schools and neighborhoods.
Celebrities who support charters have also picked carefully.
Of course. How about Angelina Jolie, who I believe only does what she does for the publicity, adopt a school?
An independent study recently backed the claims to high achievement made by New York City charters, which have benefited from the strong support of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein
This has never made sense to me. It's like if the owners of Dunkin Donuts decided to help out Krisy Kreme.
Ok, I am done for the night. Read the article. Read me. I might comment on the rest of it tomorrow. I am tired.