Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mr Richard Buddin And Jason Felch Man And Wife

As you know, we here at SBSB are not only keeping abreast of all that is happening with hit piece of teachers in Los Angeles by the LA Times, but we are also at the forefront of getting the background behind the story and following any and all leads.

One lead we did follow was one of the writers of the story, Jason Felch. Jason was kind enough to share the wonderment of himself with us here at SBSB. However Jason's jounalistic integrity has come into question. Or has it? It is of course all in the context of what integrity is.

But enough of Jason Felch. He is just the messenger of evil. Jason needed to get someone, somewhere to crunch those numbers. Someone nefarious and someone who is getting paid big bucks.

That someone is Richard Buddin of the Rand Corporation and UCLA. One would assume that Mr Buddin would have had some type of background in education. After carefully scrutinizing his resume no one on the crack SBSB team was able to locate any such experience. Seems Mr Buddin is nothing more than an average, everyday economist.

First contact was made yesterday with Mr Buddin. The identity of the blog was never hidden, in fact it was out there. He was amiable enough to take time from his busy brown bagged lunch to talk with us here at SBSB.

We asked Mr Buddin if he had any background in elementary or secondary education. Mr Buddin answered with a resounding "no." But, and this was quite reassuring, Mr Buddin did share that he does teach at UCLA. Goosebumps is all that can be said.

Mr Buddin was asked if he had ever been in an urban area. He reply was negative, he had not. Was he ever in Compton, East LA, the Barrio, Watts. No, no, no, no went the answers.

He was asked how if "did you take into account the backgrounds of the students in using value added assessment?" He said he had not.

When asked why, how could he do this and at the same time ruin several teachers careers, he replied, and I quote, "The study was supposed to be broad statistical analysis and at no time did he suspect individual teachers were to be used as an example."

This led to him being reminded that even a 7th grader learns in science that when doing an experiment to have all the facts available before such experiment. At this point Mr Ruddin accused yours truly of having some type of agenda and then hung up like an 8th grade girl finding out her best friend is also in love with David Cassisdy.

Since we here at SBSB believe in true journalistic integrity, as compared to the Los Angeles Times, we decided to contact Jason Felch for a response.

Jason, looking down his nose at the blogging world, initially claimed he was to busy. Mr Buddin's words were texted to Jason. When Jason was contacted later on, he said again he had to make deadline. But he had time to say that he had spoken with Mr Buddin.

Jason Felch said I fibbed. He had spoken with Mr Buddin and Mr Buddin told him that those words were never uttered. I explained that I quoted him verbatim. Jason then in his best patronizing, condescending manner explained to me how to be a writer, a journalist. I explained to Jason if he meant if this were akin to taking things out of context. Cat got his tongue.

SBSB stands behind what Mr Buddin said. He said it, he meant it, and he got caught up in it.

Jason, you and Mr Buddin deserve one another.

Special South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast!!!

There will be special Internet radiocast Thursday night August 26 at 10 PM EDT.

United Teachers of Los Angeles President AJ Duffy will be the guest as we discuss the ramifications of the August 15 story in the LA Times damning and outing teachers using value added assessment.

Call in # is (917) 932-8721

Monday, August 23, 2010

Milton Berle Out Of Context

I had a brief conversation tonight with Jason Felch of the Los Angeles Times about the damning article he co-wrote judging teachers with that value added testing stuff on August 15.

The conversation was brief, but I did bring up some points in which Jason was good enough to answer. One point I brought up, in which I wrote about last week, was the observations of classroom teachers reported in the Times.
On this day, Aguilar had invited a student to the board to divide two fractions — a topic on the upcoming state exam.

John Smith, speaking in a slow cadence, he led his class in reciting a problem aloud twice. He then called on a student slouched in the back. The boy got the answer wrong. "Not so much," Smith said dryly.
Several sentences on what was observed in a classroom. But there is a hitch. What context are these lesson being done? What was the question John Smith asked? The answer he received? Slow cadence? Why was this mentioned? Why was the teacher talking in a slow cadence?

As far as Mr Aguilar, what were the fractions involved? What was the context of the lesson? Was this being done in isolation?

Many pertinent questions I feel. And these I brought up to Jason, that without context we one can not make proper judgement.

He agreed. But what was telling was what he said next. "We have only so much space to tell a story. The story was long enough already at two hundred inches. Mist storied are 20 inches. We just couldn't add the context."

I explained to Jason that the implication, the way in which it was written, especially about John Smith the story will be misconstrued by those reading it. That without the facts, how can one make a proper inference to what truly happens, or happened in these two classes.

For example, we can use what Missy Natalie Ravitz wrote in the Huffington Post August 6 taking Diane Ravitch's words out of context. That is an example. Or, better yet, let's play make-believe.

Say one day Joel Klein is amongst friends ruminating about his days watching TV as a child in the projects. He tells one of his friends that he had met Milton Berle. Can happen. I met him in 1980 at Grossingers in Liberty NY. So Joel is there and he shares with his friends that Uncle Miltie told him that, "Sure, I enjoy wearing women's dresses." Yes, I am getting to a point.

So isn't it possible, theoretical that one can say Joel Klein said once, "I enjoy wearing women's dresses"? Now Joel Klein did not actually say that he enjoys it, Milton Berle said it. But, Joel Klein did utter those five words. But without giving the context in which those five words were used, Joel Klein would come across as some cross dresser (though there is nothing wrong with that!).

When writing a story this damning, this explosive, we here at SBSB feel that the Los Angeles Times and Jason Felch should have gone above and beyond to make sure that everything was reported in context.

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

Tomorrow night, August 24 at 9 PM a real treat. Renowned social worker Susanne Berman will be live as we refute this statement by Whitney Tilson;

a public school system that systematically, all over the country, gives black and Latino students the very worst teachers and schools, thereby trapping black and Latino communities in multi-generational cycles of poverty, violence and despair.

And of course, many other claims made by know nothings. Let's see if a social worker is smarter than a hedgefund manager. Also, let's see if Whitney has the guts to call in.

The call in # is: (917) 932-8721

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joel Klein Should Listen To Jim Morrison

In light of last night's PEP meeting in which the Chancellor Joel Klein has finally appeared to be shown for the fraud he is, we here at SBSB are dedicating a special song for Joel Klein.

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

Will be Tuesday night, August 17 at a special time, 6 PM

Join me as the guests will be the people of the City of New York

The first live remote of The Mind Of A Bronx Teacher

Let the people talk!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting To Know State Senator Jeff Klein

I met State Senator Jeff Klein at a local neighborhood event tonight. He was quite nice to me after I insisted on asking him some questions regarding his involvement in extending mayoral control of the schools.

I started off my claiming that he spearheaded the continued control. He corrected me, but now that I think of it, as deputy majority leader he had to have some type of lead role in the negotiations.

I asked him how if he regretted his vote of mayoral control now that the real test scores came out. He told me "no," that all his constituents he has spoken to, including teachers and principals are "happy" with how things are turning out. This reminded me immediately of Animal House when the town is rioting Chip Diller is saying "remain calm, all is well."

Senator Klein reminded me of how the old Board was vs the new and improved DOE. He told me how in the old system, "there was so much patronage in the districts," not failing to realize, which I had to point out to him, the gazillion lucky consultants at Tweed who make boffo bucks. Senator, all that was done was rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

We made some small talk. He think the parent coordinators are great, even though they are under the auspices of the principals. That there is more parent involvement in the new mayoral control law. I asked him about how Chancellor Klein has again circumvented the law and he went on to say how there are checks and balances in the new law.

But back to the patronage. I brought up Chancellor Klein's connections to the hedgefunders, and Eva Moslowitzand her close ties along with her husband. Senator Klein really "did not know too much" about that, but brought up how Caroline Kennedy has done raised a lot of money for the schools? Really? The gig she had with Office of Strategic Partnerships ended in 2004. Though, now she his vice-chair of the Fund For Public Schools. Interestingly, Mort Zuckerman and Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi are also on the board (Can someone say conflict of interest?). I truly do not know what Caroline Kennedy has brought to the table in either capacity. If anyone knows, please let me know.

We left amicably. Senator Klein still insisting there has been real improvement under mayoral control in spite of everything that has been said and the test scores that were released. I also asked him if he would be willing to do the radio show, he said he would have his people get back to mine.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Value Added Trap

I am going to try to be good. Very good. Gonna write about Whitney Tilson, though briefly, but the bawdy comments will stay inside of me.

Last night, at 10 23 PM EDT Whitney blabbered:
This is breakthrough journalism: the Times obtained math and English “scores for the academic years 2002-03 through 2008-09 from LAUSD under the California Public Records Act. Included were 1.5 million scores from 603,500 students. Students' names were not included, but their teachers' names were.” The Times then hired “a senior economist and education researcher at Rand Corp. to conduct a "value-added" analysis of the data” and is now publishing the data, including in the near future (I hope you’re sitting down) “the performance of more than 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers for whom reliable data were available.” In other words, parents (and anyone else) will be able to see which teachers are most and least effective.
How much you wanna bet Whitney is yet again lacking facts?

What got Whitney all googly ga-ga was an article in today's Los Angeles Times Magazine. In it, intrepid reporters, .

Yet year after year, one fifth-grade class learns far more than the other down the hall. The difference has almost nothing to do with the size of the class, the students or their parents.

Is that a fact? You know this for sure? It has absolutely nothing to do with the class, the students, or the parents? Is it possible that it just so happens that one class has smarter students than the other? What are the sizes of the respective classes?

With Miguel Aguilar, students consistently have made striking gains on state standardized tests, many of them vaulting from the bottom third of students in Los Angeles schools to well above average, according to a Times analysis.

We all know what just happened here in New York about test scores. Maybe Mr Aguilar just stopped teaching and all he did was test prep. Maybe, and I am not making any accusations, Mr Aguilar cheated?

Which teacher a child gets is usually an accident of fate, in which the progress of some students is hindered while others just steps away thrive.

Yeah, it is all on the teacher. Nothing to do with the atmosphere at home.

The Times obtained seven years of math and English test scores from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

How were this obtained? Who authorized it? Were parents notified about it in advance? Is this legal? Aren't tests, education, students not supposed to be shared unless the parent gives consent?

Each student's performance is compared with his or her own in past years, which largely controls for outside influences often blamed for academic failure: poverty, prior learning and other factors.

How is it controlled for outside influences? Please. Share. Was each family interviewed, visited? Was there a questionnaire sent out?

the method has been increasingly embraced by education leaders and policymakers across the country, including the Obama administration.

Just because it has been embraced doesn't make them right, or know what they are talking about.

Contrary to popular belief, the best teachers were not concentrated in schools in the most affluent neighborhoods, nor were the weakest instructors bunched in poor areas.

Well, duh! But this runs counter to what Joel Klein has been spewing for years. Joel, are you reading this?

Other studies of the district have found that students' race, wealth, English proficiency or previous achievement level played little role in whether their teacher was effective.

You have got to be kidding! Which studies? Where? By whom? Cite sources. I had to do this in college when I wrote a paper, why are these reporters allowed not to? Cite one source please!!!

Many teachers and union leaders are skeptical of the value-added approach, saying standardized tests are flawed and do not capture the more intangible benefits of good instruction. Some also fear teachers will be fired based on the arcane calculations of statisticians who have never worked in a classroom.

Say AMEN brother!

The respected National Academy of Sciences weighed in last October, saying the approach was promising but should not be used in "high stakes" decisions — firing teachers, for instance — without more study

OK, I agree with what NAS said, but explain how NAS has a horse in this race. Cite the study.

teachers must have had enough students for the results to be reliable.

Seems this is contradictory as to comparing Mr Aguilar's class to others.

Nevertheless, value-added analysis offers the closest thing available to an objective assessment of teachers. And it might help in resolving the greater mystery of what makes for effective teaching, and whether such skills can be taught.


But the surest sign of a teacher's effectiveness was the engagement of his or her students — something that often was obvious from the expressions on their faces.

There of course is some truth to this statement, but boring, does not mean ineffective or incompetent.

On this day, Aguilar had invited a student to the board to divide two fractions — a topic on the upcoming state exam.

Teaching to the test? Seems like it. But what was the problem? Was it being taught in isolation? Just being able to get facts straight does not convey an understanding of dividing fractions.

John Smith, speaking in a slow cadence, he led his class in reciting a problem aloud twice. He then called on a student slouched in the back. The boy got the answer wrong. "Not so much," Smith said dryly.

Not so much what? What was the problem? What was the response? Is that all John Smith had to say? What is the context of his quote?

It was only 11a.m., and already it had been a tough day: Three of Smith's students were sitting in the principal's office because of disruptive behavior. All were later transferred permanently to other classrooms. In an interview days later, Smith acknowledged that he had struggled at times to control his class.

What grade is this? Why are the students in the principal's office? What is the back story with these students? Why John Smith are you speaking to the press?

How much students are learning is rarely taken into account, and more than 90% of educators receive a passing grade, according to a survey of 12 districts in four states by the New Teacher Project, a New York-based nonprofit.

UGH!!!! New Teacher Project. Please. I doubt TNTP is the most objective source to be quoted here.

Almost all sides in the debate over public education agree that the evaluation system is broken.

Who on the side of good says this?

if a third-grade student ranked in the 60th percentile among all district third-graders, he would be expected to rank similarly in fourth grade. If he fell to the 40th percentile, it would suggest that his teacher had not been very effective, at least for him. If he sprang into the 80th percentile, his teacher would appear to have been highly effective.

Must all the variables that can affect this be listed? Too much, too little time.

Any single student's performance in a given year could be due to other factors — a child's attention could suffer during a divorce, for example.

Could be due? But at the very beginning of the article this was written; The difference has almost nothing to do with the size of the class, the students or their parents.

The approach, pioneered by economists in the 1970s

Yeah, dorky economists wearing pocket protectors and Brylcreem and who were beaten up in the playground.

In an interview last week, A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, was adamant that value-added should not be used to evaluate teachers, citing concerns about its reliance on test scores and its tendency to encourage "teaching to the test." But Duffy said the data could provide useful feedback.

Don't do it!!! It's a trap!!!!!!

Even at Third Street Elementary in Hancock Park, one of the most well-regarded schools in the district, Karen Caruso stands out for her dedication and professional accomplishments. A teacher since 1984, she was one of the first in the district to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In her spare time, she attends professional development workshops and teaches future teachers at UCLA. She leads her school's teacher reading circle. In her purse last spring, she carried a book called "Strategies for Effective Teaching." Third Street Principal Suzie Oh described Caruso as one of her most effective teachers. But seven years of student test scores suggest otherwise. In the Times analysis, Caruso, who teaches third grade, ranked among the bottom 10% of elementary school teachers in boosting students' test scores. On average, her students started the year at a high level — above the 80th percentile — but by the end had sunk 11 percentile points in math and 5 points in English. Caruso said she was surprised and disappointed by her results, adding that her students did well on periodic assessments and that parents seemed well-satisfied. "Ms. Caruso was an amazing teacher," said Rita Gasparetti, whose daughter was in Caruso's class a few years ago. "She really worked with Clara, socially and academically." Still, Caruso said the numbers were important and, like several other teachers interviewed, wondered why she hadn't been shown such data before by anyone in the district.

This is wrong. They damned a teacher, shamed a teacher, and like an abused spouse she bought into their judgement of her as not effective.

Call me jaded, but I smell a rat in this story. A very, very, Broad rat. Unfortunately yet again we see reporters doing the shilling for the school districts without getting the other side of the story and leaving out facts and taking things out of context.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is A Social Worker Smarter Than Whitney Tilson?

On my radiocast Tuesday night I mentioned at the end of the show that next week's guest would be a mentally challenged gorilla that would be able to refute any and all of anything Whitney Tilson has written or said. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a translator for a gorilla and the gorilla will be unable to be interviewed.

We do however have the next best thing. A person who went to the same high school as me has gladly added her two cents into the comment Whitney Tilson made in his emailing of August 4, 2009. In this email Whitney blabbered,
"a public school system that systematically, all over the country, gives black and Latino students the very worst teachers and schools, thereby trapping black and Latino communities in multi-generational cycles of poverty, violence and despair."
Yet again, Whitney fails to see the BIG PICTURE. I could have spewed on about my opinion, and I have in the past, but I am but a lowly teacher. What do I know? So I decided to seek out an expert. The expert, Susanne Berman is a graduate of Yeshiva University/ Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Ms Berman is LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker). I shared Whitney's blabbering with her recently.For some reason, she seems to know more than a hedgefund manager. I of course was not shocked. Here now, in an exclusive to SBSB, is what she shared.

"I've worked in a school setting as well and I agree the parents need to take a much more active role in parenting their own children. Scapegoating teachers is not helping anyone in my opinion. Their are a myriad of things and people that contribute to the cycle of poverty in urban societies. While teachers are integral in the educational and some of the emotional development of children, and they are seen as role models, they are not wholly responsible for childrens behavior, successes or failures outside of school and sometimes even in school. Children need many good role models to mirror good choices from. They need a strong support system and like minded peers. While a good education is essential, it is not the teacher's fault if the child doesn't complete assignments, at all, on time, correctly or doesn't show up to class. Their must be reinforcements at home guiding and encouraging the value of a good education and making it the child's responsibility to achieve success." Cycles can be broken, but it starts here with at home rules, discipline, boundaries, support and realistic expectations for the individual. Parent counseling/education may be helpful to those who need help with creating the above."

I am sure this will be expanded on. But, as we can see there are no simple answers to complex issues.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

Next cast is Tuesday night, August 10 @ 9 PM.

We will continue our chat with Chaz of Chaz's School Daze

The call in # is (917) 932-8721

Emergency Powers

There is a little known codicil in the Faber College constitution that gives the dean unlimited power to preserve order in the time of campus emergency. Whoops! I appear to be quoting the wrong educational despot here. I confused Dean Wormer for Joel Klein.

Let's try again. Through a lackey, Klein announced that PS 94 a school for autistic children will move, using "emergency powers" to free up more room for Girls Charter Prep. This after a judge said no way. Again through the lackey, Klein said, ""We are going to use the chancellor's emergency powers, granted by the state's education law, to ensure ... students are accommodated at Girls Prep in the fall,

So what are these emergency powers? According to the Daily News, "The emergency powers law allows the chancellor to make changes to preserve "student health, safety or general welfare" for a period of up to six months."

Health? I do not think the children of PS 94 are in any health crisis. Safety? No. General Welfare? I think this is what they are using. According to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at today's press conference Tweed is using the excuse of overcrowding to move these students. Overcrowding is something according to Stringer that Tweed created. Just like the Rubber Rooms, and the ATR's Tweed screws up, others pay.

I have worked with autistic children. Mainly children with Asperger's syndrome. I am not as familiar with the entire spectrum of autism as Asperger's, but these children, all autistic children one thing is important to them. Continuity and familiarity. Any change can have a profound affect on these children. Even children who are not autistic change can be bothersome, think of how change is with children who are autistic. It can be traumatic. It can take months for these children to readjust.

But what does Klein care? No. I mean he cares, but not about children, not about the students of District 75, and certainly not about the children of PS 94. All Klein, and Bloomberg care about are their hedgefund friends, their cronies, and themselves. Just read what was written in NYC Public School Parents today. Some hedgefund yutz with a really strange name, Ravenel Boykin Curry IV is on the board of the CMO that operates Girls Charter School. And get this. Eric Grannis, husband of Eva Moskowitz is a founding member of the board at girls Prep and a former counsel to it as well. Read on over at NYC Public School Parents to see how many lackies, cronies, miscreants, and hedgefund people have the inside track to what they want. Not one person of color or a minority.

How is Jessica Santos, a mother with a student at PS 94 supposed to compete with this? Ms Santos was at the press conference today and spoke so movingly how her son keeps on getting moved around and how much this traumatizes him. Does or can Ms Santos get the face time whenever she wants with Klein? The same Joel Klein who uttered, "children first" in 2002? No. SHE IS A PARENT! Why can't she have the same access, heck, even more access that these hedge fund loonies? Is she, and all the parents at PS 94 not more important than these people?

Have any of these people spent time in the inner city, have any of them ever visited a school? Have any of them seen the joy, the pride, the love in the parents eyes of PS 94 when their children succeed?

It's tough to look at the world from atop some gilded tower with your nose in the way.

Open Letter To David Cantor

But please don't call what I wrote despicable. It might have been in poor taste, tacky, even icky, but not despicable. There is enough despicability going on at the DOE. Such as:

What happened with David Pakter is despicable.

What happened with Ted Smith is despicable.

What is happening with Dan Smith is despicable.

What is happening with Francis Blake is despicable.

Allowing "DR" Mychael Willon to be employed by the DOE is despicable.

What happened to Nicole Suriel and how it was handled is despicable.

Numb Nuts is despicable.

Seeing a 25 year teacher sent to the Rubber Room for getting a U on an observation by a 27 year old first time in education Leadership Academy principal is despicable.

A teacher sent to the Rubber Room for carrying a Coca Cola in her hand is despicable.

The Rubber Room is despicable.

The lack of learning because everything now is preparing for the tests is despicable.

The shutting out of parental involvement is despicable.
The "gotcha squad" is despicable.

The assault on the teaching profession is despicable.

The fallacy of "Children First" is despicable.

I could go on and on and on. But it is late, and I am a tad bit tired. I hope this opens a line of communication up. Please feel free to email me at anytime. Thank you David for taking the time to read this.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Introducing Tweed's New Minister Of Propaganda

The new "Tweed Minister of Propaganda and Blondes," Natalie Ravitz showed the world in the Huffington Post that she knows how to use big words and misrepresent facts. To paraphrase Don Henley, "We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies."

Who or what is Natalie Ravitz? Obviously she is a child of the utmost most privilege. Isn't that the only job qualification to be in Tweed's inner circle? Except of course for being white. And blonde. A nice clueless look goes over well there on Chambers St. But at the age of 30, Missy Natalie has gone right up the ranks. At one time she was the spokesperson for Sen. Barbara Boxer. The same Barbara Boxer who seems to be OK with late-term abortions. She was also a spokes person for some neo-liberal group the Wellstone Action. Now like Ron Ziegler, she has to be the face of Tweed as it enters into the abyss of its demise.

So what is all the hubbub about? Missy Natalie wrote a piece in the Huff Post attacking Diane Ravitch. Not a good idea. I know a blogger that has a serious woman crush on Diane and this blogger is not happy. The worse part is that Missy Natalie just used conjecture and was quite disingenuous in what she wrote. Let's examine.

For the past week, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch has made it her mission to attack Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein based on what she views as a revelation -- that when the New York State Department of Education made how they grade students tougher, fewer New York City students qualified as "proficient" under the higher bar.

Ain't no revelation. Diane been shouting about it for years as of teachers. Bloomberg/Klein have been exposed as frauds.

The news, which was tough for anyone who cares about our students to hear, was in no way mind-blowing.

You are right! In fact see above. But what I find interesting is that in saying, "in no way mind-blowing," that the fraud was already known within the inner circles of Tweed and that the students and the parents were being intentionally defrauded. I think an investigation might be in order.

But this is nothing new from Ms. Ravitch. Three years ago she wrote in the New York Sun that we need to look at why so many of our kids are "slackers."

Slackers? Did Diane really say that? I think Missy Natalie is confusing Diane Ravitch with Mr Stickland calling Marty McFly a slacker. But what did Diane really say?
Next time there is a conference about the state of American education — or the problems found in each and every school district — why don't we take a hard look at why so many of our students are slackers? Why don't we look at the popular culture and its effects on students' readiness to apply themselves to learning? Why don't we investigate the influence of the role models of "success" that surround our children in the press? Why don't we ask how often our children see models of success who are doctors, nurses, educators, scientists, engineers, and others who enable our society to function and who contribute to our common good?
We here at the SBSB newsroom pride ourselves in delving into the truth, not taking words out of context. Missy Natalie, why didn't you quote the entire passage? Diane brings up some very valid issues that really needs to be addressed. In fact Missy Natalie, have you ever been in the inner city? No, shopping on 5th Ave doesn't count. Do you know what goes on in Brownsville, in Harlem, in Mott Haven, in Melrose? No, I didn't think so.

It is easy to hurl insults from the sidelines.

Ravitch is not on the sidelines. She has her sleeves rolled up and is in the muck. YOU, are on the sidelines. The hedgefund managers are on the sidelines, your bosses are on the sidelines.

Over the past eight years, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have attempted to better prepare our kids for the rigor and demands of a 21st century economy. One of the ways we are able to measure that progress is with tests, however imperfect a science.

Yes, you are correct. They have attempted and they have failed. You said it. But yet you again take the side of the righteous, "tests, however imperfect a science." So if imperfect, why are we using tests to judge educators?

But if Ms. Ravitch had her way, she'd probably do away with tests all together -- she doesn't believe in a system of accountability because, in her words "children arrive in school with poor attitudes toward learning" and even the best teachers are "not going to make them learn."

I do not believe she has ever said to do away with testing and you know that Missy Natalie. But that sentence, accountability and children's attitudes, is that what Diane said or was that taken out of context?
It's time to stop beating up on teachers and ask why so many of our children arrive in school with poor attitudes toward learning. If the students aren't willing to work hard, if they aren't hungry to succeed, then even the best teachers in the world — laden with merit pay, bonuses, and other perks — are not going to make them learn.
So true. Can the best teacher make a kid come to school? Can the best teacher compare with the pull of the streets? Can the best teacher prevent a child from being abused? Missy Natalie, come see it in real life. Stop seeing things from your through your gilded reality.

Have our students made enough progress? No.

I say AMEN!!! Say it loud sister! And who's fault is that? Gee, you are doing a worse number here on Bloomberg/Klein that you are doing on Diane Ravitch.

But under our critics' logic, the State's decision to make it harder to achieve a grade of "proficient" means all of the progress City students have made over the years is bogus.

It is bogus. Where you been. The bogusticity the last eight years from Tweed though is real.

That's like saying Phil Mickelson is a bad golfer if they make the 8th hole at Pebble Beach 50 yards longer, change it from a Par 4 to a Par 3, and he only scores a 4. Oh, and no one told him they were changing it until after he finished his swing, so he's stuck with his Bogey and the label of sub-par.

This is the most convoluted logic I have ever read. Just out of curiosity Missy Natalie, why did you choose Pebble Beach as an analogy? Why not Van Cortlandt? Oh I know why. Van Cortlandt is a public course and you wouldn't be caught dead there. As far as the changing the par, the US Open tries to make the course as difficult as possible. The rough, the hole location changed after each round. But the opposite is done now with testing. Let's see how easy we can make it.

Ms. Ravitch also dismisses the City's gains on the highly respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as "garden-variety."

Yeah, she dismisses them. but let's look at what she said in context.

They pointed to scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress to defend their claims, but this was a weak reed. New York City’s gains on NAEP were garden-variety. Atlanta, Boston and the District of Columbia made larger gains in fourth grade reading and math; Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Diego made larger gains in eighth grade math; and New York City made zero gains in eighth grade reading from 2003-2009, while Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles did see significant improvement in that grade and subject.

So the larger story is this: Mayoral control did not turn New York City into a national model. Before promoting mayoral control as the answer to urban education, Secretary Duncan would do well to consider Cleveland, which has had mayoral control since 1995.

Like New York City, Cleveand has participated in national testing from the inception of urban district assessment. Cleveland has made no gains in fourth grade reading or eighth grade reading or fourth grade mathematics or eighth grade mathematics.
She is saying NEW YORK MADE ZERO GAINS!!! What is it Missy Natalie that you don't or can't understand. We are being compared with Cleveland! Yuck!

This is in contrast to last year, when she told the New York Times that the NAEP scores showed "schools long-term have made significant progress."

Here we go again. Something taken out of context.
A critic of the mayor’s education record, the education historian Diane Ravitch, offered a bit of praise.
“I think that it shows that the schools long term have made significant progress, but not in the short term,” she said. Noting the large number of students who did not meet federal standards, she said, “There’s no miracle here.”
Key words used. Bit. Praise. Not. No. Miracle. Here. It's like when I go sopping with my wife and she asks me my opinion on clothes. I say something nice to be polite and so I can leave Nordstroms.

It's another to say that everything they have accomplished thus far is meaningless.

You are so far from the truth. It is a pity. A real pity that you are being used this way Missy Natalie. But you have no clue as what you are talking about. I somewhat doubt that you wrote this yourself, that one of your handlers did and you are the one taking the hear and coming across as ignorant. But if you had any integrity whatsoever you would do the right thing and learn what is really going on.

Hello Tweed!!!!!

We here at SBSB wish to welcome and give a shout out to whomever day in and day out reads the blog. We here at SBSB are quite flattered that this blog is being monitored by some troll with nothing better to do, even on a Saturday afternoon. Keep on coming back, and please, be on the lookout for the SBSB year ending pictorial, "Women of Tweed."

Just several questions for the lurker/troll. Why the continued, in fact bordering on OCD, about David Pakter? That ship has sailed. Also, why as the lurker/troll did yesterday, google Nicole Suriel? Why on August 5th was Betsy Combier googled?

Just remember stranger mysterious lurker/troll you are more than welcomed to leave any comments you so desire.

Please click to enlarge.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pedro Santana Incompetent Principal

I've taken all I can takes and I can't takes no more- Popeye, 1934

Enough already! I am talking about the sycophants of Pedro Santana who have been directed, in all probability by him, to leave comments in the post written on June 27 in regard to his front page tribute of that day's New York Times.

He is what he is. A phony and a fraud. At PS/MS 279 he would act like your best friend and the minute your back was turned do everything he could to turn you in. At PS/MS 279 if the principal asked him to jump, he would ask how high. At PS/MS 279 he went behind the principal's back, a principal that was a mentor, a mother to him, and conspired with parents in a letter writing campaign to remove her around 20o2. He is a snake.

What is so great about Pedro Santana? Oh yeah! The Times reported that, "59 percent of its seventh graders passed the state math test — below the 81 percent who passed citywide, but enough of an improvement to help the school earn an A." Yet, when this year's test scores came out the eight graders who were seventh graders last year, only 16.6% of the students passed. This means that Pedro Santana is sending 80.4 % of eighth graders unprepared for high school math! A commenter left this comment, "Bottom line is the school was doing poorly and now after having Mr. Santana at the helm they are doing better."

You got to be kidding!!!! How is the school doing better? Sixth graders this past school year, only 19.7% of students passed and 25.9% of seventh graders passed. Why then is Pedro Santana held in such high esteem?

"But surely the ELA scores must be out of this world Bronx Teacher, why else is he still there?"

Yeah, why is he still there? The ELA scores from 6-8 grades are respectfully, 10.9%, 14.2%, and 9.1%. We here at SBSB sarcastically doff out hat in salutations and congratulations at Pedro Santanas fine leadership.

Perhaps if Pedro Santana spent less time talking about guy things like wrestling, or just having students hanging out in his office to "shoot the breeze," maybe the students would be able to walk into a high school ready.

That Pedro Santana's school earned an A last year shows how meaningless these grades are truly. Couple that with the cloud of investigation he is under, the test scores and all his malfeasance surely shows that the snake clearly is incompetent.

And Maybe one day the truth will come out about him and Manhattan Charter School

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Performance By The SBSB Players

Back on August 1 I introduced the SBSB players. This troupe will periodically perform a scene from a movie that represents the bullshit of today's so-called educational "reformer."

Tonight we have a special treat. Steve Martin joins us in the role of Joel Klein and Richard Ward is portraying a composite of all NYC teachers.

The scene. The Teacher (Richard Ward) as a wise, learned person is walking with Joel Klein (Steve Martin) when The Teacher metaphorically shows Joel Klein the difference between Klein's vision for education and the DOE as opposed to The Teacher's viewpoint.


Neil Young Sings As Joel Klein

Goes without saying.......

Just a side note. I was at this show at the Nassau Coliseum in March 1991.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast

Tomorrow night at 9 PM. Call in # is (917) 932-8721

The guests will be:

Chaz from Chaz's School Daze

And this time for sure, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join us in playing Race to the Top Dating Game.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fooling Al Sharpton

One voice that keeps speaking out versus the evil that Bloom/Klein do to students is Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News. Thank God for journalists like him. Just pray that Mort Zuckerman doesn't kneecap him

Gonzalez had a quite interesting column in Friday's Daily News. Somehow, someway Gonzalez sees through the smoke and mirrors and realizes that it is not about Bloom/Klein, but about the children. That it is they are are being shortchanged. How it got published, which is in stark contrast to the Daily News' sycophantic editorial of the same day, I will never know.

But what caught my eye in Gonzalez' column is what Al Sharpton said in this whole imbroglio about the deception of Klein.
To promote his reforms nationwide, Klein even founded a nonprofit group last year with the Rev. Al Sharpton. They called it the Education Equality Project.

The new scores are so bad Sharpton has begun to distance himself from Klein. "I'm very disturbed and concerned by these scores," Sharpton said. "We were told students were improving, but it seems our kids were victims of dumbed-down tests to make the administration look good."

Al, you mean you are surprised? You feel used? Abused? This is strike two for you in trusting people. Logic dictates that you would have learned from the Tawana Brawley fiasco. Bit nooooooooooooooooo. You again fell hook, line, and sinker for the "I'll call you in the morning" line.

I know Al, you were thinking you were climbing up in society. That you were going legit hanging out with Klein and his ilk. Twenty years ago if Klein saw you in an elevator he would keep his wallet in his hand. But as Abbott and Costello learned in their movie, "In Society," you never make it into society. Basically you are Billy Ray Valentine in Klein's eyes and always will be.

But as I always say, why curse the darkness when one can light a candle. There is some good that can come out of this for Rev. Al. In fact he inspired yet another branching out into other media for us here at SBSB. Due to Rev Al being Rev Al we here have set up an acting troupe that from time to time act out scenarios that are relevant to what is going on in education.

So without further ado, put your hands together for the SBSB Players! For tonight's video we have the famed actor Tim Matheson playing Joel Klein, and in the role of Rev Al Sharpton, Stephen Furst. The scene is just after Rev Al (Furst) learned of the bogus score the last several years with Joel Klein (Matheson) comforting him the best he can.