Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Education Reformers "Talk The Talk" But Fail To "Walk The Walk" When It Comes To Having A Quality Teacher In The Classroom.

According to the Education Reform organization handbook the most important factor in a child's academic development is not poverty, nor is it the dysfunctional family environment, and it certainly it's not the social-economic conditions affecting the child, its the quality of the teacher the child has in school.  You might laugh at this ridiculous assumption but when these Education Reformers actually gain control of the school system their "talk to talk" fails to "walk the walk" when it comes to providing a "quality teacher in every classroom".

A prime example of how the education reformers talk out of both sides of their mouths is when reformer heavyweights Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein gained complete control of the New York City Public School System.  This was their chance to show that by putting "quality teachers in every classroom" will result in a narrowing of the income/racial academic achievement gap and raising educational standards.  In other words, its time to "walk the walk".  Unfortunately, given the opportunity to "do the right thing" and put a "quality teacher in every classroom", instead they did the exact opposite and implemented an "education on the cheap" policy.  The New York City School System under these two "heavyweight education reformers"encouraged schools to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best" teachers.  Is it any wonder that during the entire tenure of these two education reformers that the academic achievement of the New York City Public School students has remained flat and the academic achievement gap has actually widened!

Yet, the Bloomberg Administration will falsely claim that they are hiring "highly qualified teachers" That's because under the Obama Administration, led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan they provided waivers under "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) that exempted schools from hiring "quality teachers".  Under NCLB  all schools should have teacher equality and all teachers must be "highly qualified".  To NCLB  a "highly qualified teacher" is a teacher that is fully credentialed, has expertise in their subject matter, and is experienced.  Just the opposite that the Teach For America's  "two year wonders" or the "one and done" Teaching Fellows brings to the schools.  However, New York City, like many other school districts across the country took advantage and were given waivers that allowed the school districts to hire "newbie" and alternate certification teachers in mass and fool the parents and subject their children  to inferior teaching by claiming they are hiring "highly qualified teachers".

Unfortunately, for political reasons, the Federal Department of Education has "dragged their feet" in showing if teacher equality has been abused by the waivers granted. To date there are no statistics on the distribution of  "newbie" and teachers in training (Teach For America) instructors in the schools that they are required to do by Congress.  However, California did provide a study that showed that schools with a poor and minority population have twice the number of teacher in training and other alternate certification instructors leading a classroom when compared to other schools.

The bottom line, when Education Reformers take control of a school district instead of practicing what they preach, a "quality teacher in every classroom", they find a way around that slogan and in many cases encourage the schools to hire the "cheapest teachers" and practice an "education on the cheap" policy instead. What a bunch of hypocrites.  This is certainly true when it came to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his long-time Chancellor Joel Klein.


Anonymous said...

Great post chaz. Too bad the media doesn't pick up on this.

Keep up the good work in informing us about the MYC education beat.

Anonymous said...

Its not really teachers on the cheap because they're paying the newbies to do our (atrs) jobs. They are actually paying twice. Its about doing away with those who know better. They can't get away with the things I'm seeing at these new schools. At one school the staff stays until 6pm nightly with no per session; if they complain, no tenure and they're out. At another school no lunch! At yet another 2 Saturdays a month (with no per session). Add to this policies that make no sense at all - ranging from absolutely no consequences for students to the elimination of all boundaries between the roles of teacher and student.

Anonymous said...

How perceptive you are on how the Bloomberg/Klein rhetoric does not reflect the actual situation in the schools.

Maybe the City newspapers should be asking questions but I won't count on them doing that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:31, BRAVO! ATRs are introduced by secretaries, teachers and administrators to many classes as, "Here's your sub for today, Mr. S." which is a green light for the students to consider it a "free period" to play cards, text, talk, and totally ignore the handouts "Mr. S." has been charged with distributing and collecting when finished. There are indeed no consequences for bad behaviors--except for the teacher--when the students, thwarted by Mr. S from turning the period into a free-for-all, attempt to get back at Mr. S for ruining their good time by claiming he did or said something on Klein's wonderful list of corporeal punishment categories. I have also been placed in schools where the principal insisted I allow the students to call me by my first name. I was not allowed the honorific of "Mr." or "Ms.". We finally compromised on "B", the first letter of my last name. How ridiculous is THAT? I was also required by one school to proctor a 4-hour PSAT exam with no breaks, and then, although promised that after the exam, I would have no further duties, I was immediately ushered into a classroom to cover a class which was over an hour long! I had no breaks, no lunch during school hours that day and was told to eat lunch "after school". That is not medically recommended for a hypoglycemic such as myself. The next day, I left the school, with the collaboration of the payroll secretary, earlier in the day to make up the time to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said. Trying to blame us instead of the students. A.P of security at campus magnet tried to blame me for the kids not doing the assignment left for them. He walked into my classroom after I had called security/deans numerous times to attempt to stop students from running around, playing cards or listening to music on very expensive phones/ipads. He asked me why the students weren't doing the assignment in a very condescending tone and questioned me in front of them about the lack of control. He then said I should write the assignment on the board. That's when I pointed to the board and told him to read the task and detailed instructions I always write. He had nothing to say and walked out. Never heard from him again in the 2 weeks is was in the building. At least the a.p was supportive but even he was totally frustrated by the environment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chaz, why not compile a list of the worst hellholes (aka schools) in each boro for your fellow lion tamers (atrs) via comments?

Anonymous said...

He did put together such a list - Campus Maggot was at the top. I would add Springfield Gardens - Academy of TV something ( they lock you in a windowless computerless room for a week and don't let you see anyone) Far Rockaway schools , all schools in Beach Channel and the East West school in Flushing with the 2nd worst principal in the system. I don't even try to get the kids to do the work as an atr - what is the point - I am not going to get in screaming matches with students that I don't know and that have no respect for me because they think I am a sub. I give out the work - period. They do it or they don't . They take our their phones fine - I may say something once but I will not repeat myself and get accused of corporal punishment. The administrators of the school don't care about us or the kids and obviously neither does the DOE. Why should I get high blood pressure dealing with their disasters. I just let it go and let the day go by. Cruz at Campus is the worst - be careful with him he will go after you but he breaks so many rules it is pretty easy to go after him too.

Chaz said...

Anon 3:32

I did and you can find it at

Anonymous said...

A great list for those in Queens, but I'm in a third world country, the Bronx! I'm anonymous 1:31 and those are just a sprinkling of what I've endured. I'd love to give you 2 or 3 of worst with the nightmarish details.

Anonymous said...


It is time to start a Bronx list of nightmarish schools,

I am an ATR who has seen several cesspools in the past month.

In one Bronx school, the fake principal (with 3 months experience) ordered the school safety agents out of her school. In addition, the principal has been circulating a petition for the immediate removal of the SCANNING EQUIPMENT from the "Impact" campus.

It is easy to visualize that this school was a dangerous place for all personnel due to the fact that the student body was made up with numerous gang members who came in as "over-the-counter"admissions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz, there needs to be a segment on Bronx schools.
Look into Wings academy in the Bronx. The kids there have taken over the school. ATRs there are in serious danger. Channel 4 nbc just did a segment on it. Three teachers there are on line of duty injury from assaults.

Anonymous said...

I just love seeing some newbies come in with "know it all" attitudes and their snarky disrespectfulness...only to border on tears a few weeks later.