Has it been two weeks since I last sat down and blogged? Apparently so. Too those who have missed my unique take on the happenings of education, I apologize for being away for so long. For those that hate my writings and were glad to see the gap in my blogging, too bad.
And boy am I back with some interesting news which happened a week before my last blog post. Now sit down and get a drink before I share it with you. I'll wait until you do. OK, ready?
April 29, 2012 was just a regular day at PS 154. It was the first day of not worrying about testing and for the first time in months actual learning was happening. The flowers were in bloom, the sky was blue, and all seemed peaceful. That is until our principal went over the PA at 1:15 PM and announced an emergency meeting at the end of the day for all staff in the auditorium. Immediately I knew what it was about, but if I share it now, there would be no further reason for me to blog.
At 4 PM (extended day) we gathered in the auditorium to hear our principal tell us that she had gotten a phone call from the superintendent that morning that that day was to be her last as principal. Now mind you, this was the principal that had replaced the infamous John Deacon (Linda Amil-Irizarry) in May of 2009. Why did this happen? We have no idea and no one is sharing. Should it have happened? I won't say. But I have issues with the way it happened.
Once again, the NYC DOE show how it just does not care about the schools, the communities, the parents, or even, yes I am going to say it, the students. Does the DOE have the right to change principals? Yes it does. Does the DOE ever do it right? No it doesn't, especially when it comes to principals that wish to have sexual intercourse with inanimate objects, cheat on tests, cheat on teacher observations, etc...
What the powers that be failed to do was take into account the parents or the community in this decision. I do not mean asking the parents for their input, but having the decency to contact and share with the PA and to be in the school at dismissal to discuss this with the parents. Also, a letter should have gone home with the students that day sharing the removal of the principal. This would have happened in Scarsdale, Bronxville, or even Riverdale or Forest Hills. But not on 135th St in The Bronx. Why? Because those that are do not give one iota of thought to those that they feel aren't.
I spoke up in the auditorium. I had too. I was not supporting the outgoing or the incoming principal. I only spoke up in support of the great school community and the students. I feel that PS 154 has and is being set up to fail. Three years in a row, the budget has gone down. Two years in a row, we have received C's. We have failed to meet our AYP in ELA last year, and failed AYP in Math for Spec. Ed. and ELL last year. This is not the staff's fault at all! How can a teacher teacher with over 30 kids in their class and several serious behavioral problems? This is not an excuse, this is an explanation and a fact. How can we go forward when students are leaving the school with no education because the only instruction students are receiving are to the tests?
I am not in any way besmirching past or present administration. The fault clearly and will always lie with the nattering nimrods on Chambers St. For Uncle Mike, his sock puppet Dennis Walcott and all those brainless law school educated consultants do not give one shit about the communities and the students. They see only $$$$. They care for only $$$$. And they certainly do not care for the underclass of the city, whatever their skin color is. For Tweed and Uncle Mike feel that it is only the well educated, well developed, well connected, white person that can save little boys and girls of color.
It's time for the parents to rise up now. It is time for the parents to not feel afraid, anxious or scared and take control of their children's schools and their education. They need to say NO to the deformers and YES to education. Only with the parents finally having enough and finally putting a stop to those in power will we as teachers begin to have that voice again as decision makers when it comes to education.
THE TIME IS NOW AGAIN!