Friday, April 26, 2019
Micheal Loeb, a Bronx teacher and Chapter Leader is a national board member for the education deformer organization, Educators 4 Excellence (E4E) ran on the UFT integrity line and received a whopping 25 votes! That's right, only 25 votes and I guess many of those votes came from his Teach For America dominated Bronx school.
This should prove to most educators that Educators 4 Excellence has no support from the rank and file at the UFT. Moreover, its time for the UFT leadership to stop acting like E4E is a legitimate caucus and admit that E4E does not represent the union or our interests. Finally. E4E is simply a front for education reform organizations and are funded by the likes of Bill Gates and other anti-teacher groups.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Corey Booker is one of two dozen Presidential candidates for the Democratic nomination. However, based on Mr. Booker,s history, I cannot support him for President and here's why.
Support for Charter Schools:
As Mayor of Newark, Mr. Booker supported charter schools and was the darling of the education reform movement. He was also anti-teacher and supported merit pay and weakened tenure laws. Remember what Barack Obama did? Teacher evaluations, support of charter schools, and a champion for Teach For America two year wonders.
Support for the Palestinians:
Cory Booker was seen holding a sign that supports the Palestinian cause. He also refused to attend the AIPAC convention. While Mr. Booker is not anti-Israel, it does bring back how Barack Obama poorly handled US Israel relations.
Do Nothing Senator:
Mr. Booker as Senator has done little of consequence except support an education reformer agenda.
While one well respected blogger may support Cory Booker as President he might want to remember that when it comes to education, Cory Booker is another Barack Obama and remember how that worked out?
Sunday, April 21, 2019
As expected, the Unity caucus swept all the positions as the opposition caucuses could not agree with each other to form a united front. The biggest loser was MORE, who lost their moderate supporters and 58% of their vote as they moved to the extreme left. While the biggest winner is Solidarity which is becoming less of a one man show and more of a legitimate opposition. Retirees made up 46.6% of the total UFT vote.
For Solidarity to evolve into the primary opposition caucus, they must get better candidates for the mid level positions and to reach out to the retiree community. Otherwise, Solidarity will continue to spit into the wind when it comes to winning seats in the next election.
The table below are the election numbers for your information.
2019 UFT Election
Read the JD2718 blog for a complete breakdown of the votes.
Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Open Market Transfer System (OMTS) is now open. However, if you are a veteran teacher, the OMTS is simply a joke since principals are only looking for cheap and "newbie" teachers. This is because the DOE inspired Fair Student Funding penalizes principals who hire veteran teachers.
While the DOE and UFT will not admit it, the OMTS is only successfully used by untenured teachers. Few veteran teachers can use the OMTS to transfer to another school.
Ask any veteran teacher if they were able to transfer to another school, using the OMTS if they have ten or more years of teaching experience and you will find out that the numbers are few. Many veteran teachers can't even get a simple interview least a job offer!.
The OTMS is only useful for inexperienced and untenured teachers, experienced teachers need not apply.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
A survey produced by a think tank found that China has the highest respect for teaching while Brazil has the lowest. The study was done for 35 countries worldwide and the top five countries that respect teachers are as follows:
By contrast, the lowest five are as follows:
The United States is about in the middle at number 16.
The top three countries, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan show teachers the same respect as doctors wile the lowest five countries treat teachers as social workers, the lowest professional occupation. The United States and most European countries equate teachers with librarians.
As for NYC teachers? If you ask me, the DOE thinks of teachers as replaceable widgets and probably thinks of them the same way as they treat the mail room employees at Tweed.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Back in 2005, the UFT under President Randi Weingarten negotiated the worst contract in NYC education history by giving up seniority transfer and Civil Service protected bumping rights. By doing so, it allowed the DOE to impose school based Fair Student Funding (fsf). The result was that it incentivized principals to hire "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school. Consequently, student academic achievement suffered due to the influx of cheap "newbie teachers" who lacked classroom management. curriculum expertise, and the experience to handle different student learning styles.
To fix the problem, the Mayor and Chancellor needs to eliminate school based fsf and restore District-based hiring as it was before fsf. Moreover, all vacancies must be filled by excessed teachers in their content specialty before "newbies" can be hired. This will eliminate the 1,000 strong ATR pool that drains the DOE coffers, help reduce class size, and eliminate the need for offering a $50,000 bribe to retire or resign from the DOE.
Until the Mayor and his Chancellor restores the old hiring process, the DOE will continue to pay 1,000 teachers and other educators to babysit classrooms and that's a shame.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
The Department Of Education (DOE) has a group of lawyers who's only job is to terminate teachers by any means possible. The lawyers are from the DOE's Office Of Legal Services (OLS), now known as the Office of General Counsel (OGC). The OGC is divided into four departments, two departments primarily go after teachers . One is the Administrative Trials Unit (ATU) that prosecutes teacher misconduct and the other is the Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) also known as the "gotcha squad", that prosecutes teacher incompetence.
If you ask DOE management the OGC only goes after teachers that commit serious misconduct or are incompetent. The truth is far different, the OGC will willingly aid and abet unscrupulous principals to get rid of veteran teachers by any means possible. Principals know that if they claim that the teacher either committed misconduct or are incompetent, the OGC will eagerly help the Principal charge the teacher under section 3020-a. Even if the independent State arbitrator finds the DOE charges to be untrue, the arbitrator will still give the teacher some penalty and this allows the Principal to jettison the teacher into the ATR pool and out of the school.
DOE has two main investigative units, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), who investigate corporal punishment and verbal abuse cases, while the semi-independent Special Commissioner of Investigations (SCI) investigate sexual and criminal complaints . Both OSI and SCI investigators are not fair minded. Both investigative agency's mission is to substantiate the allegations against the teacher. Read my corrupt investigations posts Here.
An example is the lunch teacher, a 20 year veteran, that South Bronx Schools is writing about. The teacher is an elementary school teacher and she was giving an untimed State Common Core test last year. She noticed that one of the students was struggling and hungry, the teacher decided since it was lunch time so she told the students to hand in their tests and she collected them and locked them up. After lunch, she gave the student who hadn't finished the test to complete.
The Principal found out that the teacher stopped the students from completing their tests and took them to lunch The Principal contacted OGC who accused the teacher of test cheating and failure to follow instructions. This resulted in 3020-a charges against the teacher.
There was no cheating and at worst, the teacher should have given a counseling memo not a 3020-a charge. However, with the Bloomberg era ideology that still dominates at the DOE, veteran teachers are targeted and this is just one case among many.
Sunday, April 07, 2019
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) had hoped that by eliminating the time limit and to make the high-stakes tests shorter, more students would take the tests. However, when it came to Long Island, a hotbed of the "opt out" movement, almost half of the students (45%) refused to take the State English Language Arts test.
On Long Island the demographics continues to show that the mainly White, middle class school districts have the highest "opt out" rates, while the majority poor and minority (Blacks and Latinos) school districts have the lowest "opt out" rates. Interestingly, the high income and East Asian school districts in Nassau County also has relatively low "opt out" rates. This is probably because East Asian parents support testing and send their children to after-school academic programs and Saturday school.
The table below shows the top school districts with the highest "opt out" rates.
School District............................"Opt Out"
By contrast, here are the school districts with the lowest "opt out" rates.
School District............................"Opt Out"
Other school districts with low "opt out" rates are Central Islip and Elmont but did not report their numbers.
Thursday, April 04, 2019
Another UFT election is approaching and the pseudo-education group called Educators For Excellence (E4E) has, once again, decided not to run a slate of mandates, fearing how little support they would receive.
For people unfamiliar with E4E, this is a so called teacher education group that is simply a front for education deformers. E4E gets their funding from Bill Gates, and other anti-teacher union education reform organizations who's only purpose is to destroy teacher unions and make teaching a temporary position.
New York City has between 50 and 100 E4E members and less who are full time members. One of the reasons that E4E does not field candidates is they know how unpopular their organization is and would be embarrassed by their potentially low vote totals. Apparently, there is one exception to E4E's failure to join the UFT election. His name is Michael Loeb, a Chapter Leader in one of those E4E schools in the Bronx that are dominated by Teach For America "newbies". Mr. Loeb a national board member of E4E is running under the UFT Inspire heading and I will be interested on how many votes he receives.
While one blogger may be impressed by Mr, Loeb's tone. I'm not, and let me remind people of what Mr. Loeb and E4E stands for:
- Supports anti-teachers union organizations.
- Supports the firing of all ATR after two hiring seasons in a school year.
- Supports converting our pensions to a less reliable contribution fund..
- Supported Michael Bloomberg's elimination of "Last in, first out".
- Supports merit pay.
- Supports Fair Student Funding that discriminates against veteran teachers.
- Supports "mutual consent" that gives principals sole power to hire teachers.
E4E is a cancer in the UFT body and nothing about the organization's white paper on the UFT's 2014 contract changes my opinion. For more information about E4E read them Here and Here.
Monday, April 01, 2019
Teachers were hoping that Chancellor Richard Carranza would eliminate the "double standard", when disciplining principals. After a couple Principal dismissals that reached the newspapers, the Chancellor has continues the DOE's long standing double standard. Just ask the Forest Hills High School staff who see Principal Ben Sherman day after day, walking the halls and Namia Dwarka who still in charge at Bryant High School.,
In today's New York Post, we see another example of the DOE's double standard when it comes to principals. In this case it's a male Assistant Principal who experienced alleged sexual harassment by his female Principal, Ana Zambrano-Burakov at Arts and Business High School in Queens.
According to the Assistant Principal, he was subject to unwanted and inappropriate touching, hugging, and forced kisses by the Principal. Furthermore, the Assistant Principal claimed that when he filed a complaint with the DOE back in 2015, the Principal retaliated by getting SCI involved and they found that the Assistant Principal had traveled overseas (Nicaragua?) while on legitimate sick leave. Consequently, the DOE filed 3020-a charges for theft of services but the independent arbitrator give the Assistant Principal a slap on the wrist, with a $1,000 fine that tells me that his reason to go overseas was probably medically related and is now an ATR Assistant Principal.
What happened to the Principal? Nothing, nothing at all and she is still the Principal at the school.