Thursday, December 21, 2017
Chancellor Carmen Farina Claims She Brought Joy, Dignity, And Trust. What A Joke.
Today Chancellor Carmen Farina announced her retirement and claimed she brought joy, dignity, and trust back to the New York City Public Schools. From a teacher's perspective I find that a joke. Let's dissect her statement and see why it's not true.
How joyous is it to be subject to mindless and useless 90 minute Professional Development (PD) every Monday and for another 85 minutes on Tuesday? I see no teacher smiling and jumping for joy at these mandatory PD's and other useless ill-conceived projects thought out by the administration. Further, the Chancellor failed in her promise to remove the 400 principals that she claimed should not be running their schools and has turned a blind eye to principals like Namita Dawarka of William Cullen Bryant and Jose Cruz of Math, Science, Research, and Technology high schools. Finally, are teachers happy that class sizes remain the highest in the State and that she allows vindictive principals to file termination charges against veteran teachers for the most trivial of incidents?
Ask veteran teachers if she respects them?. The answer is a resounding no. Back in 2014 she told a new teachers conference to stay out of the teacher's lounge where veteran teachers complain too much. Moreover, she would visit schools and her prime mission was to identify bad teachers and tell principals how to start a paper trail to terminate them. Finally, she has total disrespect for the veteran laden ATR pool and would fire them all if she could. In fact, she gave orders for the DOE not to place ATRs in vacancies at the Renewal Schools.
Under Chancellor Carmen Farina the DOE still uses the punitive Charlotte Danielson rubric and insist on 4 to 6 observations when the rest of the State requires only 2. That's not trust if you ask me. In addition, academic fraud is widespread throughout the school system as the graduation spikes ever higher while only 22% ever get a 2 year degree at a community college. The Chancellor looked the other way when it came to "credit recovery", administrative pressure to change failing grade, and a bogus scholarship requirement that penalizes teachers who fail too many students. Finally, she supports micromanaging teacher instruction in the classroom rather than "let teachers teach" and do what's best for their students.
Chancellor Carmen Farina's failure to eliminate Fair Student Funding that incentivizes principals to "hire the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their students. Moreover, she agreed to under fund schools at 90% of what the formula requires. More importantly, her idea of collaboration was with our disconnected union leadership while her polices and administrators practice a top down approach with little or no collaberation between the DOE and teachers. In fact Chancellor Carmen Farina retained 80% of all Bloomberg policymakers and her failure to "clean house" allowed the Bloomberg ideology to continue at the DOE.
Under Chancellor Carmen Farina the DOE is looked at as the enemy and not a partner when it comes to educating students. To me its goodbye and good riddance.