Monday, May 20, 2019

Is Chancellor Richard Carranza A Racist?



























Susan Edelman of the New York Post writes many insightful articles and is my favorite columnist.  However, I must disagree with her latest article which she seems to side with four White female DOE administrators who are planning to file a lawsuit that Chancellor Richard Carranza is a racist

One must look in the history of the DOE and see that many of the high level administrators were selected during the Bloomberg/Klein era.  These administrators were mostly Black and White, with very few Hispanics and Asians..   When Carmen Farina became Chancellor she failed to "clean house". and kept 80% of the Bloomberg era administrators in place.  This made sense since Carmen Farina was part of the "old gang" as a Deputy Chancellor under Chancellor Joel Klein before being pushed out by Joel Klein in favor of Eric Nadelstern.

For example she kept her close friend and incompetent Superintendent Amiee Horowitz, despite her repeated failures.  She also kept Dorita Gibson as a Deputy Chancellor, despite her sickness and couldn't perform her duties. Carmen Farina was part of the problem and not the solution to cleaning up the DOE.

If I was the Chancellor and decided to clean house, many of the people that I would ask to retire, resign, or be demoted would be the Black and White high level administrators and replace them with a more diverse talent pool.  That means that there would be less Black and White administrators and more Hispanic and Asian administrators.

Chancellor Carranza is not anti-white as the article seems to insinuate but simply a changing of the guard from the Bloomberg era administrators to what the present administration represents.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

DOE Paid 303 Million Dollars To Settle Special Education Lawsuits






























The DOE practice of "penny wise and dollar foolish" policies has resulted in the City paying out 303 million dollars to settle Special Education lawsuits.  It appears the DOE practice of  "Education on the cheap" has resulted in a 185% rise in payouts since Bill de Blasio took office back in 2014 and a 8% rise since last year.

According to the Education committee of the City Council 22% of the estimated 250,000 students with an IEP do not receive their required services.  Parents are frustrated with the DOE's inability and or unwillingness to provide the Special Education services required by federal law.  The result was an uptick of lawsuits that the City needed to settle.

I suspect that the DOE's Fair Student Funding is a major contributing factor as principals, subject to tight school budgets, try to save funds by withholding needed services for their Special Education students. Moreover, the high administrative costs for paying for the bloated Central Bureaucracy at the DOE also is a problem.  Finally, the lack of accountability at Tweed immunizes the managers to escape consequences when their decisions hurt the child.

Will anything change?  I highly doubt it.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Hypocracy Of The Chancellor And His First Deputy





Chancellor Richard Carranza has pushed for integrating schools by eliminating the screened and specialized schools, especially for the middle schools.  However, it appears that his First Deputy Chancellor, Cheryl Watson-Harris was able to get her two children into selective middle schools, despite the fact that the admissions window for the two schools had closed.

Acceding to Susan Edelman article, Ms. Watson-Harris children were enrolled late and it appears the DOE has different rules for well-connected people.  Ms. Watson-Harris being a Deputy Chancellor, was able to place her two middle school children into schools that were closed to other parents. A real double standard, common with the DOE.

Unlike most parents, the DOE gave Ms. Harris-Watson a "placement exemption request" for her two middle school children.  It just goes to prove that the Chancellor and his DOE minions have different rules for their administrators and are hypocrites.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The DOE's ATR Incentive Program Is A Joke.

























We have a new Chancellor, Richard Carranza and he has claimed he will change the ideology at the DOE.  Presently, he has done little to achieve it.  School based Fair Student Funding (FSF) continues to discriminate against veteran teachers.  Most of the Bloomberg era policymakers at Tweed are still in place, and the ATR situation continues unabated.

The ATR incentive program has been a joke.  It has proven ineffective as few ATRs have achieved permanent positions unless, the ATR is a bilingual special education certification or an ATR is willing to go to the Bronx.

The ATR incentive program allows schools to hire an ATR for a vacancy and not pay the ATR's salary for the first year.  The second year the school only pays half of the ATR's salary and the third year the school pays 75% of the ATR's salary.  However, in the fourth year the school is responsible for the entire ATR salary and if it's a small school the ATR's full salary will mean a significant increase in the school's budget expenses.

Further complicating the problem is if the school hires an ATR for a vacancy provisionally and gets an effective rating.  The school must select the ATR to permanently fill the position, unless the Principal convinces the DOE that there are exceptionally circumstances of why the ATR shouldn't be selected.

Finally, the DOE has offered ATRs $50,000 to either retire or resign since the DOE's FSF and their inadequate incentive program has not reduced the ATR pool as there are still 1,000 ATRs in the pool.

If the DOE wants to significantly reduce the ATR pool then they should go back to the incentive program they had for 2010 where the ATRs hired to fill a school vacancy where only charged to the school as a "newbie teacher".  The school would then then be charged for the ATR's salary as if  the ATR started at step 1-A, then 1-B, 2-A and so on.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Why Doesn't Michael Mulgrew Go After Vindictive School Principals?





























Michael Mulgrew took over the UFT Presidency from Randi Weingarten and one of the few changes he did was to stop the UFT from going after vindictive principals.  Under Randi Weingarten, the teacher paer would publish articles on selected principals that need improvement, they were called PINI principals.  Once Micheal Mulgrew took over, those articles disappeared. 

Moreover, when parents, staff, and students picketed school policies, the UFT leadership was nowhere to be found.  Its been ten years since the UFT leadership has participated in a walkout and that was William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens and run by Namia Dwarka, who still continues to run her school despite all the articles written about her, Here, Here, and Here.

Why doesn't UFT President Michael Mulgrew support parents, staff, and students, who protest vindictive principals?  The answer is that he rather keep good relations with the CSA, the union that school principals are part of then the membership that elected him.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Why Is Forest Hills High School Principal, Ben Sherman, Still In Charge?



























Despite all the uproar and staff vote of no confidence, Principal Ben Sherman, is still in charge of Forest Hills High School.  He walks the halls, observes teachers, and runs the school as he pleases, despite the bad publicity and calls by parents, staff, and students for his ouster.

Now I hear that his eleven Assistant Principals voted 11-0 of no confidence joining the Forest Hills High School staff in how they feel about Principal Ben Sherman.

Despite the no confidence votes, the DOE continues to keep Ben Sherman in his position as Principal of the high school.  The question is why?


Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Queens High Schools Students Should Avoid






























The 2md Round of 2019 high school student vacancies are now available and you can see the complete list   What is quite obvious is that the most student vacancies are in schools with a 90% or more Black and Hispanic student population.  Moreover, these high schools are academically struggling and many students are subject to poverty.  In addition, these schools have high ELL and Sp Ed populations as well as having high teacher turnover.  Finally, some high schools refused to show vacancies by claiming they are continuing to recruit students. To check other years from 2015 to 2018 you can find them Here, Here, Here, and Here.

This is the list of Queens High Schools with the most student vacancies in the 2nd round.


School..............................................Vacancies

Long Island City.......................................505
John Adams.............................................395
Grover Cleveland.....................................350 
 Flushing.................................................245
Newtown................................................195 
Hillcrest.................................................180
August Martin.........................................170
Martin Van Buren....................................165
Humanities And Arts...............................165

William Cullen Bryant..............................145
Mathematics, Science, and Tech..............100
Pathways Collegiate Prep Academy..........95
George Washington Carver......................95
Excelsior Preparatory ............................90
HS of Law Enforcement...........................80
International HS For Health Sciences.......60 
Queens Preparatory Academy.................60  
Rockaway Park.......................................60
Rockaway Collegiate..............................60
Fredrick Douglas Academy VI.................60
Benjamin Franklin.................................50
Richmond Hill........................................50



If you look at the list you can see many of the schools are in Southeast Queens and the now disbanded Renewal Schools.

It needs to be noted that these vacancies are the minimum available since the DOE list stops at 40 vacancies.  Some of these schools might have double or even triple the amount of vacancies listed on the DOE website.

Read my other posts that list the Queens high schools that students avoid 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.. Here, Here,  Here, and Here.