Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chancellor Carmen Farina Continues The DOE's Education On The Cheap Policy.

Chancellor Carmen Farina has informed principals that there will be no increased funding to their tight budgets for the next school year as she continues the Bloomberg Era funding that has seen the average school budget reduced by 14% since 2008.  The Chancellor's decision not to increase school budgets is very disappointing in light of the City's improved economy and the additional education funds coming from New York State.

The City has reported over a $4 billion dollar budget surplus for this and next year while the State has earmarked an additional $730 million dollars for education the next school year.  Unfortunately,  the Chancellor has decided that none of the extra education funding will go to the classroom.  Instead the Chancellor claims the money will go for pre-kindergarten, arts, and after school programs.  Principals were hoping that the extra funding would go to the schools to reduce class sizes, add teachers and other staff, or to provide extra programs but the Chancellor's decision means its business as usual at the DOE.

The failure of Cahancellor Carmen Farina to increase school budgets can be directly traced to her refusal to "clean house" at the DOE, the continuation of the useless and money-sucking Children First Networks, and her continued use of the badly flawed and biased "fair student funding" program that forces principals to hire the"cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their students.

Chancellor Carmen Farina has been a major disappointment for not giving the schools a much needed increase in their tight budgets and her failure to reduce the bloated DOE bureaucracy. The result is the continuation of the Bloomberg Era's "education on the cheap" policies that has resulted in flat student academic achievement and an ever widening racial/income academic achievement gap.


Anonymous said...

"It's a beautiful day" really needs to clean house.
If you want to check out a crazy, nasty witch - check out Iris Blige. She's at the Roosevelt campus, Fordham HS of the Arts. The staff there are in two camps -her spies and the petrified. I was there a couple of months ago and told there's no union rep- the last one was put in an actual closet and eventually removed. These are the people our union are allowing to deem "unprofessional behavior"? The petrified whisper all conversations and the spies won't talk to you at all,unless it's something nasty. The most hostile working environment I've been in all year (and that's saying something).

Philip Nobile said...

Your ongoing posts on the disappointing start of Farina chancellorship are highly effective: don’t stop. My quarrel with her goes to her indifference to and thus encouragement of principal and teacher cheating.

For example, the Daily News reported on Tuesday that the results of last June’s English Regents exams indicated tampering on a very wide scale:

“A stunning 373 schools out of 490 saw their passing rates drop after new guidelines barred teachers from grading tests administered at their own school. … At 73 schools the passing rate plummeted by more than 20 percentage points. At Harlem Renaissance High School 69% of students passed English in 2012. In 2013, only 37% passed.”

Oddly, the story carried no comment from the DOE. And so far, Farina has been silent on this crime spree.

Last November, I sat down with OSI Deputy Director Chris Dalton and urged him to compare in-house v. extramural Regents scores from year to year to identify schools with cliff-diving drops in pass rates. Dalton brushed off the suggestion, saying that he did not have the manpower. When I recommended that OSI grant immunity to teachers, but not principals, to spill the beans on the DOE’s worst kept secret, he said that OSI did not grant immunity.

For more on Farina’s bad record re Regents cheating, see Chaz’s link under my name in his May 26 post below.

jed said...


Recall that she was the principal of PS6. In the wealthiest neighborhood in the world.

What she doesn't get: Class size DOES matter, High Schools, Teachers Have Rights.

Her remarks to Leonie Haimson at the Dist. 2 meeting were patronizing. In response to Leonie's concerns that, despite all the hype from BdB about class size, they will remain too large. What's the Chancellor's response? There is such a thing, you know, as "too small a class size". Unbelievable! As if we currently have classes down to 20!

I spoke with a retired principal last night who told me of the story when she was a superintendent and wanted to send Brooklyn Tech over the counter students! She had to be informed that it was a "test school". Her world was elementary.

Perhaps this explains her obsession with learning boards and print rich. Also, Workshop Model.

Lastly, I personally recall the teachers at her school at PS 6, where she was principal, fearing her. I worked at the time for a national education non-profit, the new de-funked Teachers Network. The UFT, if it was interested, will get no help on reigning in bully principals.

John Elfrank-Dana
UFT Chapter Leader
Murry Bergtraum High School

jed said...

The drop is scores I believe was because of the new rubric. Your assumption, without evidence, of teacher cheating shows a teacher -bashing agenda.

Anonymous said...

Want to see a spectacular drop in regents scores when comparing on campus grading vs. off campus grading? Check out the Queens HS for Teaching. Someone's going to be in deep doo-doo when the Post picks up on this.

Philip Nobile said...

Jed, where have you been all these years? Regents tampering was a hallowed criminal tradition in city high schools when teachers scored their own students’ exams. You never heard of “scrubbing,” never read the exposés, don’t believe that Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics dictum that “teacher cheating is rarely looked for, hardly ever detected, and just about never punished” applies to the DOE? We’re worse than Atlanta but nobody in power in New York City or state dares to take a serious look at the corrosive corruption of false Regents grading of the recent past, let alone the insidious pass quotas set by unethical principals in the present.

Anonymous said...

Hey, no one's got a patch on good ol' Forest Hills High School. Any regents in a certain subject with scores of 61-64 were handed to the AP's special pet teacher--the one who would readily witness against a colleague, even if she wasn't even in school that day to see or hear anything. And abra-cadabra, that regent score would magically turn into a 65. If there were to be a survey of how many regents scores of 65 in that subject there were during the years that AP was AP, I am sure it would be astounding.

Anonymous said...

Taking a poll.....will chaz next story be about

A- carmen farina
B- fair student funding
C- mistreatment of atrs
D- all of the above

Move on already. Every blog is the same at this point.. Any new info or opinions?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Philip, teachers did all they could to get failing Regents and RCTs up to passing grades.

On the Math RCT, 39 questions or more correct out of 60 was required to be considered a passing grade.

A very well-respected teacher told a story, at a party, that a certain high school student had taken the Math RCT three times and still hadn't passed. The fourth time he/she took it, he/she had 38 questions right out of 60.

The teacher told all in attendance that another failure wouldn't have been helpful to the student, so the teacher erased one of the incorrect multiple-choices and changed it to the correct answer.

That happened in the days before students were told to make an "X" in ink through the penciled-in multiple-choice answers on the scan sheet.

And Math Regents marking?

A joke!

For Integrated Algebra, the State always came up with a bizarre scoring conversion chart where generally 30 points out of a maximum possible 87 points (called the "Raw Score") was equated to a passing grade (the "Scale Score") of 65 (rather than become a failing grade of 34 out of 100):

Teachers made a superhuman effort to get Raw Scores of 26 through 29 up to 30, so that the Scale Score would be considered passing, in cases where the students had made an effort in answering Parts II, III, and IV (the non-multiple-choice questions).

But, sometimes, the students had written so little on Parts II, III, and IV, that it was impossible to inflate the scores beyond the State's extremely generous built-in grade inflation policy.

Chaz said...

Anon 11:47

I guess you would be happy if I wrote about how wonderful and happy we are because our union loves us. Not happening.

Too bad you have nothing of importance to comment on.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:47, chaz's blog is the most informative blog out there and many of us eagerly read his posts. If you bothered to read his post last week he gave us very important information on our pension system.

You are being unfair to him and a disservice to all teachers by trying to put him down. You are no different then the DOE or our out of touch union leadership.

John Elfrank-Dana said...

Scrubbing... yes I remember. Done more by admins or under their directions too. Still not enough of that going on in my estimation to explain the level of this drop.

Anonymous said...

Class size does matter. Why do sine schools have 20 kids is a class and others have 34? It doesn't seem fair. I am an ATR in District Six and I am amazed at how differently each school is run.

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