Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chancellor Carmen Farina Must Clean House At The DOE...Now!

























Chancellor Carmen Farina has stumbled her way through the first 75 days of her tenure.  She experienced a "Cathie Black moment", backtracked on the charter school issue, and has not taken decisive action against the DOE leadership that protected principal Marcella Sills and other "bad principals".  Moreover, Ms. Farina is faced with the Bloomberg/Klein/Walcott toxic ideology that is pervasive throughout the highest levels of the DOE.  A case in point when the new Chancellor discussed with her staff about putting the ATRs back in the classroom, the DOE leadership immediately leaked it to the press so that the newspapers could write editorials calling the  ATRs "bad teachers".  In response, the Chancellor backed down, for now, about the ATRs returning to the classroom.

Chancellor Carmen Farina needs to understand that she must do a "spring cleaning" and get rid of the stench of the Bloomberg Era that permeates the DOE, especially at Tweed.  It's no secret that there is a legacy of mistrust between the DOE and the teachers in the classroom caused by the Bloomberg education policy.  Most teachers believe the DOE is the enemy and care little for what's best for the public school students.  Instead the classroom teachers believe the DOE has made teaching in the classroom a hostile experience.  Furthermore, teachers believe that the DOE has instituted a "gotcha system" that is trying to terminate or force veteran teachers out of the system "by any and all means possible".  This adversarial relationship must change and the only way it can happen is for the Chancellor to do a through "spring cleaning".  To expect the existing DOE leadership who have been indoctrinated for 12 years under the vile Bloomberg Administration to change course is naive.

The Chancellor should vastly reduce the 700 lawyers and 300 accountability experts that has greatly contributed to the "gotcha system mentality" at the DOE. An example of the vindictive mentality at the DOE is the persecution of superstar teacher and blogger, Fransesco Portelos, who wrote a spoof piece on "How to hack the DOE payroll portal and give yourself a raise". How did the DOE react to this spoof?  They filed a criminal complaint of "Official Misconduct" with the NYPD who asked Mr. Poirtelos to turn himself in and was eventually jailed for 33 hours.  The loads of paperwork and obscene data mining that takes up too much of a teacher's time and is basically a waste of resources is a direst result of all these useless "accountability experts" and the consultants that the DOE has employed. The Chancellor shoulkd take a page from the new Police Commissioner, William Bratton, who has forced three top NYPD officials to retire and moved around over one hundred top officers who couldn't be fired but are now encouraged to either resign or work in an entirely different position and away from their power source in a "do no harm" move..

Presently, the DOE acts as a "bully" when it comes to the teaching staff.  Carmen Farina can't simply"rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic"and expect that the very same people who treated the schools and the teachers with disrespect and as disposable cogs and the students as widgets in a perverse business model to earn the trust of parents, students, or teachers.   Only a complete "spring cleaning" by the Chancellor is necessary and instead of a staff of non-educators, only long-term successful educators should be at the highest levels at the DOE.  Moreover,  the Chancellor should streamline the bloated DOE Bureaucracy, reduce the use of the high-priced consultants and eliminate the useless and money sucking  "Children First Networks", the unaccountable accountability and legal units, and finally, the remainder of the "gang of eighteen" that still inhabits the highest levels of the DOE.

Its no secret that I consider Chancellor Carmen Farina a disappointment so far.  However, to be fair, this school year is a transition period and the real changes will be put in place by September of this year.  My advise to the Chancellor is to stay firm and bring the joy of teaching back to the classroom for the sake of the students and please don't praise "Common Core" when it doesn't work without a completely understood and tested curriculum that goes with it.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that this old grey mare ain't up to the gargantuan task of tossing out the Bloomberg era toxic elements you describe. Let her go back to her storage place among an ample quantity of the globular form of para-dichlorobenzene.

Anonymous said...

She's been a big disappointment for many of us, as has been Mayor deBlasio.

All that rhetoric from both of them and no action. Seems neither of them was ready for prime time.

Can't believe that the NYCDOE sanctioned the arrest of Francesco Portelos for writing a SATIRICAL blog.

Seems that we're heading more and more into a police state, with our Constitutional rights as citizens and teachers eroding more and more every day.

I expected more from the new Mayor and his administration. What's with him? He can't be that blind to the plight of the teachers, particularly since his own kids are products of the NYC school system.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, I see some of the gang of 18 has left the DOE. Any idea how many of them are left?

Anonymous said...

The DOE needs a lesson on anti-bullying. A workshop should be arranged for them and made mandatory to attend. Their behavior toward teachers is completely unethical. Teachers need to pushback and tell them to shove it.

Anonymous said...

DeBlasio is only concerned with his all day babysitting program. He couldn't care less about the teachers or the students. His son is at Brooklyn Tech which is a specialized high school so his kid isn't around the disruptive losers we encounter on a daily basis. And really what does Dante know what's going on with his teachers?

Michael Fiorillo said...

DeBlasio has made some serious errors in judgement. The snow-day-that-wasn't is a sideshow, but his being caught flat-footed by Moskowitz is a big deal; he and the public schools were badly hurt by it.

Sad as it is, he's probably the best we're going to see for quite a while, in that he doesn't want to see us eating cat food in a ditch somewhere. That sets him apart from most of the people we're dealing with in education, and counts as "progress."

I never expected that much from him, but I also think we have an interest in at least not joining Moskowitz, Cuomo, Murdoch and Zuckerman in piling on him.

I don't know if he "deserves" our critical support, but for the time being I'm not sure we have that much choice. The alternatives to DeBLasio, Moskowitz in particular, are pretty sickening.

If nothing else, this whole episode of "Mayoral Control Is Only In Effect If It Helps Charters" shows that its one thing to be mayor, and quite another to control the government.

Chaz said...

Michael:

I'm not criticizing De Blasio and you're right, he will be the best we get for awhile. However, he must stand up for the public school system and stop being only focused on taxing the rich for his pre-K.

Anonymous said...

We better stand behind this mayor >>for better or for worse>>
FROM CUOMO TO EVA to the press they are all on a campaign to discredit the mayor, public schools and teachers.

If we get a penny raise you will see the media jump all over the pro charter anti- teacher movement. If Dblasio ends up being a one term mayor that means that the mayor to follow will be an Eva supporter.

Cards are stacked against us and I agree with Michael Fiorillo "He's probably the best we're going to see for quite a while" Folks I know we all have short memories but lets not forget the Dblasio is up against 12 years of BLOOMBERGs corporate model for NYC

Anonymous said...

Fariña is probably a fantastic grandma who is really really missing her family. Is it worth it? From a $$ standpoint, she clearing 400K between her salary plus pension. But at this point in her life? She is definitely wishing there was a way out without embarrassing DeBlasio. The other putz, Dorita Gibson is a waste too. Josh Starr was the right choice for #1 and DeBlasio blew it. Chaz, bet you a corned beef on rye at Katz' deli that Fariña is not the chancellor come September. No way, enter Josh.

Anonymous said...

We must support DeBlasio, as teachers, any way possible-he is IT for us...for now..and the future.

Anonymous said...

Was DeB caught "flat footed" or steamrolled by a completely media supported Moskowitz? How can't she help but look,good...she's holding all the cards, at least in this charter debacle.

Anonymous said...

I've said it once before on this blog, and I'll say it again. Our fortunes rest with Bill de Blasio's success as a mayor. For better or worse, we need to stand solidly behind him, because he indeed will be the best we get in this town. His failure will result in a another Bloomturd type who will be all in with Evil Moskowshitz and her merry band of public school teacher anihilators. BDB's success will ultimately be ours, and I think he has been judged too harshly after only ten weeks in office. If you remember, Bloomturd didn't even start damaging the system and making it in his own image until September 2003, a full year and a half after he took office. I personally, would like to see BDB stick to his guns and not be cowed by Evil, and rag tabloids in NYC. Just think where we'd be right now if Joe Lhota won that election. I shudder to think about it.

Anonymous said...

If we don't support DeB now...he won't even be able to bring in Starr...He is being paper-trained by the oligarchy since inauguration...without ANY support...he will fold...Not even fold...simply collapse under the sheer weight of phoney criticism from "the press" and "media"

Anonymous said...

We must support Mayor DeBlasio against the ed deformers who are out to ruin us. We need to support the mayor on this blog and other blogs. Our future and his seem to be going hand and hand.

Anonymous said...

http://nypost.com/2014/03/16/coney-island-principal-tampered-with-parent-surveys-staffers-claim/

Another one!! Edelman is my new hero.

Anonymous said...

Reading this post along with your earlier one along with others such as Perdido and Arthur's, one cannot help see the desire for many to flee the system as quickly as possible. I understand the thought - trust me - I've been in the system for 17 years, but it does bring forth one of the many problems with this system and that is to say the inequity of this system in terms of the building (schools) we work in. I should really say the administrations we work for - who our principal is, who our AP is so forth and so on. Is it fair that I have a principal and an AP who have common sense and great deal of fairness within them and another teacher teaching 20 miles away is stuck with one from the leadership academy? A friend teaches for D75 and has a total of eight visually impaired students she is responsible for. Yet she makes just as much as I and does not stress about APPR. My sister in law teaches middle school and is inundated with data, yet I really don't feel I am swamped with data reports at my school. There are many such differences and I think readers know what I am talking about here - the type of student body is an obvious one. The point being made here is that - yes, many teachers are fed up ,but there are many others who are not at that point yet because they have it "pretty decent" in their building in this huge system. Many of your readers Chaz are ATRs and they are the former of course. This system of rank and file will never unit - it just will not because the pain and gruel of the job is not fully shared by all. I asked a district rep last year about student growth measures. I asked him - shouldn't we as a school be worried. I admit, I was confused about the whole thing but his answer was: You shouldn't be worried. You're telling me that ____________ high school won't show growth? Of course it will! I then asked him to tell me if he was so sure that __________ high school (a "C" school) would show growth? Are not myself and the teachers in the "C" school in the same union? He didn't know what to say, but again, it points to in inequity of this whole system. I know this post digressed from your original topic but was just on my mind.

Anonymous said...

DeBlasio was advised by Chicago's anti union Rahm Emanuel. Don't expect much.

Anonymous said...

Stop plans to abandon public school students :
Call 1-877-255-9417 and press 2 to speak with your NY state senator. Let's actually do something. The Senate is about use public funds to finance non public schools ,increase aid to charter schools, and provide new facilities funding for charter schools directly benefitting Eva Moskowitz. Let everyone know.

Chaz said...

While I agree we need to support Bill DeBlasio, his Chancellor must change the personnel, policies, and support the classroom teachers. So far she has failed to do this.

Anonymous said...

Met with the DOE last week as counselors were brought down to chambers street to interview. The interviewers relayed to the counselors that its going to take some time to clear out all of the previous administration's (would not mention bloomberg)crap, disorganization and corrupt policies and that the DOE realizes so many educators are frustrated but to hang in there and remember it will take some time.

Anonymous said...

why is fregan moskowitch on WOR radio morning program and NO ONE from other side represented???? Someone please look into WOR radio morning show having moskowitz blabber about her obnoxious charter shit...but question is where is our representatives going on the airwaves to disproves her bull shit about her phoney scholors getting the best scores throughout ny which is a bunch of bull shit just ask diane ravitch

Mr. Portelos said...

I just found out that Farina was the mentor of Principal Linda Hill when she first became principal of IS 49.

That cannot be good. Is that why she is doubling down on her?

Anonymous said...

Chaz,
Any thoughts on this 9 year deal to 2018? What do you think would be the total % raise? I believe total could be around 13-14% in total. What do you think?

Chaz said...

Sounds reasonable.

Anonymous said...

A raise for the hides of the ATRs

Anonymous said...

CHAZ-When are these ATR meetings? I would love to be there.