Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mayor Bill De Blasio's Education Grade Is A Failure.















When Bill de Blasio campaigned to be Mayor in 2013, his education platform was very impressive,  It promised lower class sizes, an elimination of the despised Bloomberg Era education reform, and  a more teacher friendly DOE where collaboration would replace confrontation.  Moreover, he gave educators hope that Bloomberg era policies like school-based fair student funding, reassigned teachers for frivolous reasons, and the ATR crisis would be eliminated.  Finally, he promised to fully fund the public schools and stop the closing of schools.  How did the Mayor do in keeping his promises?  Not good, not good at all.

The Mayor's first mistake was his selection of Carmen Farina as Chancellor.  true, she's a long-term educator.  However, she was also Joel Klein's Deputy Chancellor and is part of the problem not the solution.  In fact, she retained 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers and as a result, few real changes happened in the Mayor's first term. Sure, she eliminated the useless and money sucking Children First Networks and gave back the Superintendents their authority.  However, her selection of Superintendents left much to be desired. Further, she has keep the destructive fair student funding, froze school budgets and allowed DOE Central to continue their bloated ways. Worse, she has allowed the ATR crisis to fester and has no real solutions to resolve the issue.  In addition, reassigned teachers were just as high as the last years of the Bloomberg era.   Finally, her apathy for veteran teachers was summed up by her statement she made to a conference of "newbie" teachers in 2014 when she said the following:

"New teachers should avoid the teacher’s lunchroom during the first few weeks. It’s where “the whiners” go to gripe".

Her attitude about veteran teachers has been picked up by principals, especially the Leadership Academy drones, who have been indoctrinated by the Bloomberg/Klein ideology and its little wonder that veteran teachers are being harassed to resign or retire throughout the system.

Second, the Mayor has utterly failed to reduce class sizes, his main campaign promise.  In fact even his Renewal Schools have class sizes at contractual limits.  That's no thanks to Chancellor Carmen Farina who has allowed schools to  continue to put their personal preferences over student academic achievement such as using teachers uncertified in the courses their teaching or allowing a sixth period, rather than hiring teachers certified in the content specialty.

Third, the schools remain underfunded at 89% of their fair funding, despite an ever increasing DOE budget.  Far too many schools lack proper resources, books, and technology to properly run a classroom.  Moreover, 25% of the New York City Public School classrooms have no air conditioning and school overcrowding is a problem in Western Queens.  Finally, many of the small Bloomberg high schools have no gym space and nothing is done about the lack of physical activity.

Fourth, despite promises to the contrary, 17 schools have or will close by the end of the school year, many of them from the failed Renewal School program.

Finally, the Mayor has bought into the Bloomberg narrative of raising the graduation rate while ignoring the academic fraud that is associated with the rising graduation rate, like "credit recovery", online or blended learning, scholarship requirements, and Principal pressure to pass failing students.

Overall, I must give the Mayor a failing grade of an "F".


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also give Mulgrew an 'F' but DeBlasio an "A'--in the negotiation of the 2014-19 UFT Contract

Anonymous said...

The mayor gets an A in getting the union in his back pocket.

The 2014 contract is a joke and farina hates teachers over age 25

They need to can Farina and every superintendent

Anonymous said...

De Blasio is a failure as a mayor. I don't expect him to win reelection.

Anonymous said...

Hey Carmen- I avoid the teachers' room because that's where the spies go to hang out when teachers gripe, then report back to the principal. I stay in my classroom all day every day.

As for DeBlasio, he best be considering these snow days now.

Anonymous said...

Two very important 3020 a case last week held some interesting results and nothing has been written about it. Why? Chapter Leader Marilyn Martinez was removed just before the February break and was served with lighting speed her 3020 a charges. The next day her 3020 a hearing began! How is this possible? So her case skips over all the other cases in front of her? I though it took at least a 12 to 18 months in the rubber room before a case is heard because of all the other cases that a head of it. Now some case are allowed to make it to the top of the heap? Beside on what?
This is something that is important to know why, and what the reason is behind it.
Is it legal? What is the legality behind it? This teacher is being target more than they target the average teacher! Please we want to know why this case came up so fast compared to the others.
Next the case of Mr.Hertz!! Very important! An arbitrator ruled that charges must be put in writing within 90 days! First what is the name of this great arbitrator who ruled against the DOE. He will of course be fired by the DOE soon and the uft will approve of it. But to the more important question does not this ruling set a precedent? Isn't that why the DOE is taking this case to federal court to get it overturned because they know it will set a precedent? Excuse me but are these not important questions that someone should be answering or talking about? Why have we not heard anything for these two ground breaking 3020 A cases?

Chaz said...

Anon 7:35

I agree with you. However, of late the stay in the rubber room or being reassigned is approximately six months before the hearing starts not a year or more.

Anonymous said...

Thank for answer one of my questions. However the Marilyn Martinez case was more like 6 days, than six months. Her case most have been pushed way head of everyone else? Why?
And the most important question of them all
Does the Hertz ruling set a precedence that of a 90 day write up? This is a very important ruling in our favor and it must be analyzed and studied. What do you know of this?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe deBlasio knows about anything going on in the schools. If he did he would terminate Farina immediately - anyone would, except for Bloomberg. It's like Klein is still in charge, except he's put on some weight, got a wig and a pantsuit.

Anonymous said...

And our useless and corrupt UFT is silent on the targeting of experienced teachers, and ATRs. Yes, useless and corrupt UFT.

Anonymous said...

Older experienced teachers are being attacked more than ever. There should be an investigation about systemic age discrimination going on in the DOE.

Anonymous said...

Hey people, Diblasio is the best you are going to get these days. I mean look at what you had in the past and what is around us:
Betsy Devos
MIchael Bloomberg
Joel Klein
Kathy Black
Eva Moskowitch
Christine Quinn
Koch Brothers
The list goes on and on so lets put things into perspective here. Diblasio may not be great but he is our FRIEND people and right now we do not have many friends....

Anonymous said...

My friend, still working as a DOE teacher, just told me yesterday of an elementary school colleague of hers who got something like 8 ineffectives, none of which were deserved. Can you spell targeted? So suddenly one day last week, the principal had security march this woman out of the school, without warning, and without the opportunity to gather her belongings, and told her she was up on 3020a charges. Shouldn't she have received some sort of letter informing her of such charges first? Why would she be marched out of the school for ineffectives (her school is one of those nightmare schools and only about 10% of the students are Americans), unless there was a charge of some inappropriate behavior that she had not even been called in to discuss? She was not offered any union representation, just marched suddenly out of her classroom and out of the school. Was this not a serious violation of her rights?

Anonymous said...

10:58 There's an obvious explanation for this that so many teachers can relate to one way or another. In this case the principal probably needed a scapegoat so that he/she could make it look like they were taking the appropriate action in removing the "ineffective" teachers. The same exact thing happened to me and a woman that I worked with when we taught in a renewal school.

Anonymous said...

Bad Principals that are destroying our schools are protected by this Mayor. These abusive bad Principals are neglecting our students on a good education. Fariña and De Blasio know who they are, and they are unwilling to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio and Fariña are destroying public education by allowing fraud, and allowing the targeting of experienced teachers.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of bad Principals destroying our schools, and many of them have made it to the press.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, fraud and covering corruption is what they do.

Anonymous said...

And the UFT is useless, and on the wrong side with very bad recipes.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, this is a serious note. If you want to do a separate section on the Danielson Framework and how to score higher, I can assist. Let's focus on domain 2 (Classroom environment), specifically piece 2a. Under the examples of what constitutes as a highly effective, one bullet point states that if you ask a student how his/her sporting activity was over the weekend or yesterday or whenever, etc, and then the class takes notice while teacher asks for applause (which is a separate bullet point), it is an AUTOMATIC highly effective for section 2a. It cannot be disputed as it is specific to this exact domain within an informal or formal observation, low inference scenario. So I tried it. I surveyed my class to see who was on what teams, etc. During an informal I brought up that ____________ is on the school ____________ team and they won their game this past weekend. The student smiled as was a bit shy and then I started clapping and in turn the students chimed in clapping. When I was given my observation back I noticed I received an effective in 2a. I brought it to the attention of my AP and brought evidence (Danielson Framework handout) and showed under the 2a domain a highly effective is scored when .............. The AP laughed but knew I had done this. True to ________ word of telling me "I must base your observation on what I see for the 20 min I'm in your room only", ______ had no choice but to reverse my score for 2a from effective to highly effective. It is scripted and it is true. There are many, many ways a teacher can be scored highly effective by reading the examples given under rubric. I am more than happy to help because I know there are people on here who are stressed about observations but in doing this technique, the observer must stay true to the model.

Anonymous said...

The major problem is that they can pick and choose what evidence they want o substantiate their rationale for any rating of their choosing. Everybody knows that.

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

11:25

Sounds like you have a reasonable person as an AP. Most APs would look at what you showed them, stare you in the face and not do a single thing. In fact, most would say that was ineffective or developing for "not being some academically educratty languagey" thing. Or something I am making up words. Heck, they'd likely say "those are just examples, but not the rule" or something.

When you have a good AP, they look for ways to help you as a teacher. When you have a bad AP/Principal, they are only looking to harm you.

I will try that though!

Anonymous said...

Fariña should retire with all her cronies, and bad Principals.

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Anonymous said...

A high number of unsatisfactory ratings are being delivered again this year. Observations out of license, observations on students an ATR just met seem acceptable. Lame reasons, and opinions of supervisors in which a supervisor may not be an expert of the subject area are allowed. Disciplinary meetings on attendance or any type of bizarre reason are acceptable. Still some lucky ATRs have not had a supervisor, or has not been observed. The observation process is being used in an arbitrary, and capricious way in most cases to demoralize ATRs. Instead of reducing class sizes by putting ATRs back to the classrooms, the limited resources are going to waste. Some of us believed in a change of tone, but the reality is that it is getting worse. We have a department of education badly run by consultants, lawyers and bureaucrats instead of a department run by input of teachers that rewards and appreciates effort and good teaching. Also experience it is considered a liability, and a reason to be a target.