Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chancellor Carmen Farina's Cathie Black Moment.

























It seems that Chancellor Carmen Farina's decision to open the New York City schools during the height of the snowstorm was a terrible lapse of judgement.  Despite warnings from all the meteorologists that the heavy snow was to hit New York City between 6 and 10 am, she chose to open the New York City schools anyway.  Her terrible decision ended up outraging parents, teachers, and principals throughout the City.  It turned out the the heaviest snow band that had dropped 3 to 6 inches in an hour was moving through the City just as the children were traveling to their schools. Talk about perfect timing for a disaster?

Worse, was what Chancellor Carmen Farina said when she defended her decision in a press conference to open the schools.  She said the following:

“It has totally stopped snowing,” Fariña said. “It is absolutely a beautiful day out there,” (Note it was still snowing and mixing in with sleet and freezing rain while the roads were slushy and with large puddles everywhere). Interestingly,on such a beautiful day she cancelled her evening meeting in Brooklyn because of the weather.

Yes, a "Cathie Black moment" by our new Chancellor.  Even the teachers and principals unions criticized the decision to open the schools and when the Mayor defended his chancellor by claiming that the National Weather Service informed him that there would only be up to 3 inches of snow on the ground when school opened, weatherman Al Roker on Twitter called the Mayor's claim untrue and he's right.The National Weather Service was going for the heaviest snow to start in the morning at the time the Chancellor made her decision to keep NYC schools open Here.

The Mayor and Chancellor made an extremely poor decision and rather than admit they made a mistake they blamed the National Weather Service, parents who don't feed their children, and ignored the safety of those children as they attempted to attend school in a heavy snowstorm with near zero visibility and snow covered roads and sidewalks.  I must remind the two of them it's safety first and everything second when it comes to the City's children. How disappointing that our Chancellor is still following the snow policies of the Bloomberg administration that has been criticized for years.

14 comments:

reality-based educator said...

Total incompetence - the way the decision was made, the failure to revisit it this morning, the refusal to apologize for it or acknowledge it was a mistake, the defending of it with statements worthy of Cathie Black.

Hard to believe anybody is defending de Blasio or Farina today, but I heard a few at work and have seen a couple of defenses on the Internets.

But there's nothing to defend here.

Farina and de Blasio are laughing stocks today all over the Internet for the stupid defenses they made of their stupid decision.

The political capital they spent today on this decision will be very large.

De Blasio will now be a late night comedian punchline and the meme is out there that he is incompetent and in over his head.

Tamar Flower said...

I agree... a major failure..

It is even sadder that he is using some valid reasons, parents do not have a place to care for their children (which is true, I know we are teachers, but when working in underpriveleged neighborhoods, it is fact) as reasons the lame brain decision.

If he keeps this up, he will be a 1 term mayor

Anonymous said...

This has been going on for a long time. If you want to call yourself a progressive, you must be open to change.

Pissed Off said...

We have a Bloomberg clone in office.

Anonymous said...

What makes anyone think that this guy has any smarts!!! Yes, he is way over his head!! Maybe we are better off letting his wife or son making the decisions.

Anonymous said...

Farina should have stayed in Florida. They are both borderline idiots. Why can't we ever get a decent mayor?

Anonymous said...

Man I was really hoping that the "change" would be a little more evident by now. I still have hope but it has decreased by half. Fariña was supposed to be this fresh veteran educator who was bringing morale back to the teaching force. I really want to believe in her as a 20 year veteran who teaches in a high school in the Bronx. Unfortunately, as I'm writing I can't help to think that the reality is that indeed, there will be little to no change at all. What can she really do? The job is too big for her and the behind-the-scene crew she's chosen can't help much either. The top 3 issues in my opinion that she also mentioned include: Testing, ATR's, and Networks. The testing has taken over the children's lives and other "fun" realities such as music, art, dance, etc are being dismissed. She said she would take this seriously. The ATR scenario is baffling her. I believe she really doesn't have a plan. Finally, the network support system is a disaster. It's not working and schools are being forced to spend big money for services that aren't even rendered. The network scenario is a disgrace. Give the money back to the districts and the kids.
Fariña is in trouble. She's going to lose the heavy backing and the "love" that was shown to her quickly. It's going to get ugly, very quick.

Anonymous said...

What about Senora Farina comparing the DOE to Macy's???????

Very strange, indeed....

Frankly, I'm experiencing buyer's regret here over my decision to vote for Mr. deBlasio.

Anonymous said...

What was your student count today? I covered 3 classes: one had 2 students, one had 3 students and one had 4 students. Most of them were sleeping or listening to ipods instead of doing their handouts. They might as well have been at home, and me as well. I had to take 3 buses (waiting for them in blizzard conditions), climb over numerous rock-hard piles of last week's snow, walk through puddles of unknown depth, walk in the street when sidewalks were total ice and never cleaned, I almost twisted my ankle when I fell into a small pothole, and walked for a long distance with my boots full of freezing water when the water repellency died. I came home absolutely aching all over from the tension-filled walking over challenging slippery surfaces--to an ice-cold apartment. The radiators were totally cold. I had the maintenance guy in there so fast, he must have skated to my door. Finally, with some heat and a mug of hot tea, I began to feel semi-human again.


DiBlahblah & his minion the Cereal Killer (Cream of Wheat, anyone?) deserve to be flogged for their utter stupidity in making kids and teachers go out in such dangerous weather conditions so that a very few could "have a hot meal". And what a meal! Some undersized fruit, some greasy carb-ridden food like pizza, some mystery meat perhaps. That's worth risking thousands of peoples' safety? This is what you get when you have an agenda-driven mayor who has his agenda and doesn't look up for a reality check.

Michael Fiorillo said...

As badly as they messed up, they got off easy: had the weather turned meaner at mid-day, rather than get milder, there would have been real hell to pay, since the return home in outlying areas would have been more dangerous than it already was.

As everyone has noted, unbelievably poor judgement on DeBlasio and Farina's part.

Still, I wonder about the motivation. If Bloomberg were still Mayor, we could attribute it to his fundamental callousness and inhumanity, but I don't think that was the issue here.

I think they kept the schools open, possibly against their own better judgement, for two reasons: First, they were scared of what elites and the editorial boards would have said if they'd closed the schools ("Where's the grit and rigor?").

Second, they have internalized the unwritten law that the public schools serve as a child care service for the working poor, that adolescents must be kept off the streets at all costs, and that, as in any factory, the production line must be kept running, even if "productivity" takes a hit.

Where else do you think that inane, "If Macy's is open, the schools should be open" remark came from?

They dodged a bullet yesterday, because no matter what (justifiable) criticism they receive, it's nothing compared to what easily might have been.

Anonymous said...

Wow the teachers and overall educators have suffered for quite some time now. Its not bad enough to be hammered daily by the rag tabloid newspapers in nyc. Its not bad enough that we had to endure the harsh realities and oppression of the bloomberg regime. Its not bad enough that we have had to endure a contract that has been expired for years with no raises. Its not bad enough that some of our best teachers, guidance counselors and social workers have been reduced to nothing sitting in the so called ATR pool. (other unions laugh at the thought of their union ever having any such system)Its not that bad that the DOE is sending so called "field supervisors" to evaluate teachers whom have no classrooms, unfamiliar with students and are rotating to a different school each week. Its not bad enough that our last 3 chancellors had to get waivers because they knew nothing about education. Its not bad enough that the DOE hires new teachers and counselors when we have hundreds already in the system just anxious to work. Now, we have a mayor and chancellor who keeps nyc schools open when just about the entire population of nyc is home and staying off the road as per their instruction from the mayor...... When will all of the insanity end?

Anonymous said...

Wow the teachers and overall educators have suffered for quite some time now. Its not bad enough to be hammered daily by the rag tabloid newspapers in nyc. Its not bad enough that we had to endure the harsh realities and oppression of the bloomberg regime. Its not bad enough that we have had to endure a contract that has been expired for years with no raises. Its not bad enough that some of our best teachers, guidance counselors and social workers have been reduced to nothing sitting in the so called ATR pool. (other unions laugh at the thought of their union ever having any such system)Its not that bad that the DOE is sending so called "field supervisors" to evaluate teachers whom have no classrooms, unfamiliar with students and are rotating to a different school each week. Its not bad enough that our last 3 chancellors had to get waivers because they knew nothing about education. Its not bad enough that the DOE hires new teachers and counselors when we have hundreds already in the system just anxious to work. Now, we have a mayor and chancellor who keeps nyc schools open when just about the entire population of nyc is home and staying off the road as per their instruction from the mayor...... When will all of the insanity end?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Fariña is just not going to be much of a factor. She's so in over her head and at her age, why is she doing this disgusting job of chancellor (that really can't be done anyway)? Her husband lives in Florida. This 70 year old woman is certainly regretting taking this job. Bet the ranch she steps down as soon as she can. It would be a total embarrassment if she did it now but soon enough, she's a goner! Wait for the change, change this, were gonna change a lot if things in the DOE. HaaaaaGaJaJjaaaa!!!!! You ain't changin' nuthin' hunnie.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we have hit rock bottom and I hope this is the case since the only way to go is up. It is comical when you hear these press conferences and the THINGS that come out of their mouths. I don't know if I am stunned or have become desensitized to the stupidity.
In The chancellors own words during a terrible snowstorm " it's a beautiful day" and "if we close the schools one day before vacation the kids will regress and not meet the standards" did she really say that?? and Deblasio states the weather service only predicted 3 inches of snow...however all schools in new jersey connecticut and long island were closed . WE ARE THE CITY DAYCARE SERVICE..you can't make this stuff up.