Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mayor Bill De Blasio's Education Agenda Is A Joke.



























With much fanfare, Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out his education agenda and to say the least its very flawed.  In his education agenda he wants many "high needs" schools to have a second grade reading specialist.  What about the other grades?  Does any educator really believe that one year of intensive literacy is going to solve the long-term academic problems?  Moreover, the Mayor wants to add Advanced Placement courses to 100 schools that don't have them presently.  The problem here is that many of these schools don't have Advanced Placement courses because the students of these schools struggle and fail to pass the much easier Regents as many of them as level one students (the lowest level academically) when entering the high schools.  Finally, the goal of the 80% graduation rate smacks of the Bloomberg/Klein years when the pressure to improve the graduation rate resulted in academic fraud.  How does the Mayor propose to reach his 80% graduation rate goal and ensure that the students are indeed receiving a quality education without schools cheating? 

While the Mayor's education agenda is laudable, it fails to address the realities of the prime causes of the educational inequality that is so very evident in the New York City schools.  The so-called progressive Mayor does not tackle the social-economic conditions that hinder children in deep poverty who end up a grade behind their better prepared peers as they enter Kindergarten and only widens during the K to 12 student years.  The Mayor fails to address the issue of teacher turnover in deep poverty schools and change the DOE policy that discourages schools from hiring veteran teachers and encourages them to hire inexperienced teachers because their cheap which only hurts student learning.  In addition, the Mayor's education agenda fails to address the racial and economic inequity that has resulted in highly segregated schools where the higher academically achieving students with middle class incomes  will travel two hours or more to be accepted by the better schools while the neighborhood high schools in deep poverty areas struggle to fill their vacancies with "high needs" and over-the-counter students.  For example Francis Lewis High School is crammed with 4,500 students when the school that should have 2,800 students while August Martin High School had 580 vacancies that had to be filled with students who registered late, new to the city schools , or came out of incarceration.  Many of them "high needs" and academically deficit.  I might add that Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on lowering class size, yet there is no mention of smaller classes anywhere in his education agenda, why?

The school I am assigned to for the first month of the year has an incoming freshman class that is 35% level one and the teachers at the school were informed that every one of their classes have students with IEPs and its the teacher's responsibility to know what the IEP contains and to adjust their lessons accordingly.  I have seen seniors who have trouble with simple Math and are functionally illiterate and yet the Mayor is talking about Advance Placement courses and college readiness.  The disconnect between the Mayor's education agenda and the reality is obvious and I cannot believe how clueless the Mayor and Chancellor are when it comes to the real problems that beset the New York City schools.

The Mayor would be better served if he addresses the poverty and the lack of a family structure rather than trying to put a band aid on the infection that simply hides the problem without solving it.  To me, the Mayor's education agenda is simply a joke. 


24 comments:

bronx northeast said...

well said!

Anonymous said...

BRING BACK OUR PARKING PERMITS! Bloomberg cut teacher parking permits by 80% back around 2008. This is the cause of massive daily nightmares at our school. Our school has 6 permits for 45 teachers. We rotate them meaning each teacher gets one for about one month out of the school year. We need to go back to the way things used to be where every teacher got a permit if they wanted one. Parking spots should be on a first come, first serve basis. This system also gets many teachers to school earlier to get more work done. Bill D could very easily bring back our permits. Is the UFT going to fight for this? My guess is no.

Anonymous said...

"OM Gosh, look at the time! I have to go cover the AP calculus class!" -said no ATR, EVER All props to Andy Rooney, but did you ever notice how atr's always get the lowest of the low classes, all the time? Who gets the higher performance kids? Could it be the principals favorite from sub central? ASSorted brown-nosers tossed an easy class for an extra $40 per session while we sit with 40 1's and 2's in the psych wing?

Chaz said...

I had good representation having Eric Chin as a NYSUT lawyer.

Rita Cat said...

I watched him give this speech. I wanted to reach through the television and slap him. He has no idea what is going on in schools. Kids don't need AP. They need basic skills. What good is AP math to a kid who can't multiply.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be massive remediation for reading and math. The classes I'm in are upsetting as a teacher, parent and human being. The kids are functionally illiterate. They will tell you they don't need to be, they have cell phones. Another bit of brilliance from DeBlasio

Anonymous said...

Chaz,
I'm an ATR at some ridiculous school in the Bronx. I have to admit, the greatest thing Mulgrew did was not bend on the situation. Of course it's terrible and absurd. However, it ain't Chicago and Bloomberg did not get his way. He and many others thought thousands and thousands of teachers would lose their jobs after a certain time frame. It never happened! Kudos to Mulgrew on this. I was going to retire BUT THEN I SAID TO MYSELF, retire? Why? I'm an ATR who's babysitting for a 6 figure salary. Most days I hang out in the library of whatever school I'm assigned and read, etc. I received an ineffective last year. And? What does it really mean? Nothing, it actually means nothing!! I'm actually thinking of just doing as many more years as possible as an ATR. I love it. I work with an ATR AP who's making 135K for just showing up. We are all laughing are asses off. This is the best scenario ever. The dumb morons at Tweed haven't figured that by placing ATR's, most would actually retire. Instead, floating around every few weeks is a dream. The day I retire is prob the day they place me somewhere permanent. Until then (hopefully never) I'm a professional survivor. My new title is P.S. Professional Survivor! Thank you, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Deblasio is a reformist solving these problems will call for a revolution.

Anonymous said...

To 6:49,
You don't speak for all the ATRs who are humiliated daily. I've been covering 5 hellish classes a day since September 9th, as have many ATRs. I don't believe you're an ATR. Perhaps a UFT Unity drone? Mulgrew did nothing. Actually worse than nothing, he diminished our due process rights. In NYS there's LIFO. If Mulgrew could get rid of us he would as another gift to Diblasio and Farina.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:49 great post. True to the core. I'm in the same position. I can't believe they're paying me for this. I will be so upset if I'm ever placed in a real teaching position. Hopefully I can ride out my career as an ATR. It would be a dream come true as well for me.

Anonymous said...

No ATR makes 135Kyr----unless they're an administrator. The 2 anon's who brag about being an ATR are ousted school administrators. Typical NYC DOE----pay the APs to do nothing while treating teachers like garbage. Thanks for confirming how easily school ADMINISTRATORS are able to rob the city---all with the city's blessing.

Anonymous said...

6:49,
There's no way you're an ATR - praising Mulgrew, saying ATRs have an easy time of it! You're full of shit. By the way, ATRs don't get Ineffectifives - they get Unsatisfactory or Satisfactory. Proof you're just another Unity asshole touting Mulgrew.

Anonymous said...

OK. I am a long time NYC teacher. I feel very sad for all the teachers placed in the ATR pool due to no fault of their own. However, bragging on a blog about getting paid to sit around and do nothing is the WORST thing to fix the problem. ATR's gotta realize how much the DOE wants them fired. Bragging about getting paid to do nothing will give the DOE more ammo to try and get rid of ATR's outright. The UFT is not always gonna be there for the ATR's. (Think about how the UFT sold out some of the rights for ATR's already) Lastly, many, many, regular NYC teachers have no idea or clue as to what an ATR actually is. ATR's hanging out reading newspapers in the teacher lounge all day just makes regular teachers think you are loafing off the system. ATR's need to educate teachers as to who and what they are.

Anonymous said...

If Deblasio drew on his own experiences as a student or solicited honest input from students or parents of the popular classes he would realize that our schools are a place of suffering where people are forced to go to be made to feel ignorant and inferior, to be herded from room to room, to be treated like so many numbers and degraded and threatened in the name of a "future" that no longer exists...

Anonymous said...

Most ATRs are working hard each and every day. Those who brag about doing nothing hurt all the rest of us who are ATRs.
Chaz, when do we get our retro pay? There isn't any info from the union or the doe.

Bronx ATR said...

Hey 6:49, You're not fooling anyone. Mulgrew didn't bend and saved our jobs(!), you got an ineffective ( it's S or U), etc. What's the point of all that crap? To get teachers to hate us? To convince ATRs to vote Mulgrew and Unity? Then you follow it up with a comment from yourself agreeing! I hope you experience life as an ATR.

Anonymous said...

An anonymous post can be anyone. A shill for Mulgrew? Why not? But if u think less than 25% of ATRs arent in full agreement with the sentiments expressed by 6:49, you're dreaming.

Anonymous said...

11:28,
Those two specimens are not ATRs. Use some intelligence.

Chaz said...

We get our retro pay on October 15th. Or 15 days after the contract promised it to us.

Anonymous said...

More than 25% of the population think teachers are overpaid morons. Another 50% of teachers think the same thing. You're a moron.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28...ATR'S do not have to "educate" teachers about anything. Who are you to demand anything of us. Any day you could be one of us and then you will know who we are. You are under the new Advance rating system designed to give you an ineffective rating and get you fired, not us, and YOU want an accounting from ATRS. You want to know who we are..wait...you will know soon enough. I will explain this much...all ATR'S are not teachers..they could be principals, AP's, guidance, psychologists, etc. Who knows who wrote those bragging posts. What ATR teacher makes $135K? Even you "long time teacher" don't make that much! Yes, you need to be educated, but not by ATRs. Get you head out of your arrogant ass. We ATRS have enough problems to deal with. And we don't get rated under Hedi/Advance,we are under the old S/U rating system. Who gives a shit what any of you smug "long time teachers" think. We don't owe you any explanations and we know who our enemies are, you are one of them "long time teacher!"
Sorry, Chaz, this poster just pissed me off with this bull.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I make over 125K with per session as a phys Ed teacher. I work with kids who are fat slobs. Amazing job.

Anonymous said...

10:07,
Another phony, made up comment. No one cares what you do or how much you (don't) make.
Get your degree, jump through hoops and you'll be hired for a few years- maybe.

Anonymous said...

Chaze , if we take the words Black, nigger, and slave out of this speech could it be what's going on today?

Greetings,

Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest, and still the oldest, methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree, a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “AGE,” but it’s there only because it starts with an “a.” The second is “COLOR” or shade. There is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD black male vs. the YOUNG black male, and the YOUNG black male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE, and the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have white servants and overseers [who] distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen.”