Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Regents Officially Cancelled This June

The NYSED has officially cancelled the high school Regents exams on Tuesday and we give school districts flexibility how to evaluate teachers Here.  For high achieving students this is not a problem since they took all their Regents before their senior year but for many New York City students they still must take their Regents exams in their senior year and cancelling the Regents obviously affects low achieving studentsdisproportionally, especially minority students.

It now appears that if schools open at all, it wouldn't be to Mid May at the earliest. My best guess is that schools will probably open after Memorial day weekend.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Zoom Gets Zapped By The DOE

Many high school teachers uses Zoom to connect with their classroom students.  They use zoom for it's simplicity and the ease of use for all involved.  Moreover, Zoom can be connected by cellphone as well.  However, the DOE zapped Zoom because it claims that it violates student and teacher privacy issues and can be hacked.  This is the very same DOE who saw no problem to give charter schools and outside data gathering organizations student personal data without parent approval, so they can use that information to their advantage.

The DOE needs to make things more difficult for both students and teachers rather then come up with a simplified plan to make remote learning easier.

In New York City the coronavirus infected is now 67,551 with the death total raised to 2,450 or 3.6% while the State numbers are 122,031 and the death rate is 4,159 and a mortality rate of 3.4%

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Work Seven Days And Get Four CAR Days, How Is That Fair?

It appears the Mayor and the Chancellor have agreed on compensation.  For the seven day Easter/Passover vacation, the City will give everybody four CAR days.   If the teachers are teaching remote learning all those days then why aren't they getting seven CAR days?

Obviously, if UFT members would vote on the compensation deal it would be rejected overwhelmingly.  However, our union leadership has no intention to let the members vote and embarrass the City.  In return for the four CAR days the teachers give up their entire Easter vacation, including Thursday and Friday April 9th and 10th.

Will the UFT sue the City for additional compensation?  Maybe and maybe not, we'll see.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Mayor De Blasio Failed The City

Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to close down New York City and it took Governor Andrew Cuomo to do so.  First, the Mayor didn't want the schools closed and even forced teachers to show up in potential cronavirus contaminated school buildings the next week.  Second, he refused to close Broadway shows and the Governor had to shut the shows down.  Third, the Mayor tried to keep playgrounds open and the Governor allowed the Mayor to supervise but after a couple of days the Governor authorized the closure of all NYC playgrounds.

As of Thursday night the people infected by the coronavirus in New York City is 57,159 while the deaths ire 1,867, that is a 3.3% mortality rate.   New York State had 102,863 and deaths of 2,935 or a fatality rate of 2.9%

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Hello Coronavirus, Goodbye Easter Vacation

Governor Andrew Cuomo cancelled Easter vacation for schools throughout New York State and now New York City teachers only will get April 9th (Holy Thursday) and April 10th (Good Friday) off.  The next week will be some form of professional development that will be negotiated between our union and the DOE. This is effectively a 2% pay cut due to the extra days added to the school calendar.

More bad news, the New York City death toll due to the coronavirus is now 1,096 and the total infected is 41,771.  The death rate is now 2.6% of the total infected in New York City. This is an increase from 2.4% yesterday and that is a concern. Read the New York Post article Here.

New York State has 83,712 people infected by the coronavirus as of Wednesday morning and 1,941 deaths which is a 2.3% mortality rate.

Monday, March 30, 2020

How Many Students Are Participating In Remote Learning?

The DOE is hastily trying to give every student a laptop to participate in the Google classroom remote learning program.  However, many students have not received a laptop to participate in the remote learning program.  It was bad enough that the DOE, rather than spending the allotted time during professional development over the winter months to make sure every teacher was trained, wasted their time with the DOE's useless "flavor of the day" items that bored most teachers to death.

The result was that teachers and other staff were unnecessarily exposed to the coronavirus the next week as they were told to report for remote learning training, despite many schools already had staff sickened by the coronavirus. .  Anecdotal evidence by teachers that only 50% of the students are participating in remote learning.  Of course the better schools have a much higher percentage while the struggling schools have lower percentages of students participating ib remote learning. Hopefully, the percentages will increase over the following weeks as school teachers and administrators push parents to force their children to take remote learning seriously but there is no guarantee that it will happen.

The reasons for students not participating are many:

1. No  laptop.
2. Lack of or inadequate internet service.
3. Too many students in one apartment
4. Parent indifference.
5, Student refusal to participate.
6. Family distractions.

I see that remote learning will only increase the academic achievement gap between high achieving schools and struggling schools.

Note:  The New York City cronavirus infection rate has increased to 38,087 and the death rate to 914 , or a 2.4% mortality rate as of Monday morning.  For New York State the coronavirus infection rate is 66,497 and the death rate is 1,218 or a mortality rate of 1.8%/

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Did The Mayor And Chancellor Put NYC Students And Staff At Risk?

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Mayor and Chancellor has put students and staff at risk by first delaying closing the schools a week earlier then they did.  then forcing school staff to come in the next week when the coronavirus was exploding throughout the City.  The DOE refused to close Brooklyn Tech, despite five staff members experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.  Moreover, two principals at a Brownsville high school were already hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms but the building staff was required to attend senseless training sessions the next week at the building,  Even in my wife's school, three staff members have been diagnosed with the coronavirus but because they could not be tested until last week, the entire staff can be potentially affected to the coronavirus.

The DOE claimed that they would only close schools if there were "confirmed case" of coronavirus.  Of course, at that stage in early March, the City had few testing kits for co4onavirus, therefore, the DOE kept these potentially affected schools open, possibly affecting many students and staff to the highly contagious contravirus.Now the Mayor told the press that he expects to open the schools on April 20 after telling the very same press that the coronavirus will last till the sunnier months.

As of Saturday morning the NYC death rate has skyrocketed with 517 deaths and 29,158 infected with the coronavirus. A 1.8% mortality rate.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the peak of the coronavirus in New York State will occur in three weeks on or about April 16th, based upon his expert's estimation.

Note:  Read the New York Post article about a pregnant teacher who was tested and still the DOE refused to close her school, In addition. how this Bronx school administrators threatened staff with termination if they told students one of their teachers had the coronavirus.