Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Grade For Chancellor Carmen Farina Is a "D" For Disappointing.

The New York Daily News interviewed some respected people who have a say in education, ranging from Ernest Logan, the President of the CSA (principals and assistant principals), Mona Davids, President of New York City Parents Union, and two highly respected college professors David Bloomfield and Pedro Noguera.  Absent from this list was an actual classroom teacher.  Therefore, here is my grade of Chancellor Carmen Farina's first semester in charge of the New York City schools.

First, Carmen Farina came in with high expectations that things will change for the better for the classroom. She was a long-term educator, not like the Chancellors under the Michael Bloomberg administration.  She rose up the ranks from teacher to principal to Superintendent, to Deputy Chancellor and knew the system.  However, there were some dark marks on her record.  For example she removed or encouraged 80% of her staff to leave her school as Principal.  She was a vocal advocate of the failed "balanced literacy" program and as Deputy Chancellor supported many of Chancellor's Joel Klein's policies.  She only retired when Mr Klein promoted Eric Nadelstern, her subordinate to a position above her.  Despite, these concerns, I and many others believed that a new day was coming and that with the progressive Bill de Blasio as Mayor, things will change for the better.  However, Chancellor Carmen Farina's first semester has been, to say the least, very disappointing.

Classroom Environment:.
Probably the most important aspect is what changes have occurred in the classroom since Carmen Farina took control of the DOE.  Unfortunately, the hostile classroom environment experienced little improvement for the teachers in it.  For the teachers in the trenches the change at the top has not translated into classroom improvements. The obscene amount of paperwork and data mining requirements remain unchanged, while the "gotcha mentality" still is evident as teachers are stressed to meet the Danielson rubric requirements.

Class Size:
Class size will remain unacceptably high for the next school year as Mayor Bill de Blasio's claim to reduce class sizes takes a back seat to the pre kindergarten and after school programs.  In fact, the New York Post claims class sizes are higher than when Mayor Bloomberg took office. New York City has the largest class sizes in the State and that is not expected to change under Chancellor Carmen Farina.

School Budget:
Shockingly, Chancellor Carmen Farina has frozen the already tight and inadequate school budgets for the next year.  Combine that with the continuation of the "fair student funding" will force principals to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their schools.  How on Earth can she expect student academic improvements when most schools will forced to hire teachers who need a steep learning curve themselves?  The result will be the students will suffer academically from these inexperienced teachers simply because its what's best for the Principal's budget.

Failure to Clean House:
Chancellor Carmen Farina has retained most of the Bloomberg DOE and it showed in the recently
negotiated UFT/DOE contract.  The Bloomberg policy to demonize the ATR became even more focused by the imposing of a "caste system" that makes the ATR second class citizens.  Moreover, ATRs who were disciplined will be not offered interviews for provisional positions and are now the "untouchables".  With the continued excessing, (John Adams 28, Flushing 24) more and more teachers will be joining the ATR pool and over 160 million dollars will be wasted by the DOE simply to satisfy their ideological policy.

Protecting Poor Administrators:
The old double standard has continued under Chancllor Carmen Farina as vindictive and abusive principals are kept in their schools to wreak havoc on students and staff, while good teachers are harassed and removed under frivolous charges.  While she has changed the requirements to become a Principal.  There are too many Leadership Academy principals in the system who have little or no classroom experience and need to be removed.

DOE Bloated Bureaucracy:
The infamous bloated DOE bureaucracy is still going strong with very few changes evident.  There still are 300+ lawyers and accountability personal that still consume millions of precious education dollars.  Furthermore, the useless and money sucking Children First Networks are still in existence despite claims that they would be eliminated.

Overall, my grade for Chancellor Carmen Farina is "D" for disappointing.


Pissedoffteacher said...

How about F for FAILURE or for the FRAUD she perpetuates on today's teachers and students.

Anonymous said...

How about D for DEMENTIA, which she so obviously suffers from? Or DUH, which just about sums up her grasp of what's really what.

"It's a beautiful day!"

Says NO ONE during a blizzard.

Philip Nobile said...

R for Reassigned. The Chancellor has been unprofessionally silent on the huge cloud of Regents tampering hanging over 73 high schools currently under investigation by OSI. But what else is new? She behaved exactly like this when she was Region 8 Super in Brooklyn and Deputy Chancellor with Joel (Not My Problem) Klein.

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

Nothing is going to change. I have had union people say, "you'll see, give it time". I call BS! There have been any number of things they could have done, from the first day that would not have cost Tweed a dime, and they have not done any of them. FarinCott started with a trip to Macy's, and has continued EVERY BloomKlein policy, with public and open consent from WeinGrew.

Want another way the could have said, hey we respect our teachers. Go back to the way regents exams should be graded. You know, the way those exemplary charter schools, which are exemplary in every way except in reality get to do it, their own kids in their own building. That didn't happen either. Of course all of that money had to be wasted, but hey, student first...always, right?

Philip Nobile said...

To: Teach My class
There is a stimulating conversation about Regents grading on today
topped by pic of Tisch. It may change your mind about returning to the criminal cheating orgies of in-house scoring.

Anonymous said...

We'll see change when the DOE starts letting go of the hundreds of attorneys there.

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

Mr. Noble, I understand where you are coming from, but either go back to grading in house, or everyone, including charters does it in "grading centers". I would say that the charters have as much incentive to cheat as "regular" schools.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone calculated the graduation rate for success academy moskowitch school. The press did not peep a word of this but the fact is that the first graduating class for moskowitch cohort started with 74 students and they graduated 32 this JUne. On my calculator thats a 43 percent graduation rate but don't tell the daily news or post they are hmmmm hmmmmmm quiet and not a peep from any where!!! The press is so corrupt its really scary and shameful.

Philip Nobile said...

To Teach My Class:
The charter exception cannot last. Regrettably, Eva and the gang have been granted a pass to cheat. That's my next project. Do you know how this happened? I'll check today with my DR. Surely, you remember Randi's and Mulgrew's fetish for test security.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that in the interview with the Daily News she (Farina) stated that she was considering going back to creating classes for principals to teach them how to write letters to the file on teachers that will pass the lawyers scrutiny in order to make it easier to remove "bad teachers?" If anyone really thinks things are going to get better, I have a bridge to sell in Brooklyn. Hello!! THE DOE CHANCELLOR JUST SAID SHE IS GOING TO "TEACH" PRINCIPALS HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO THE FILE AGAINST TEACHERS TO HELP GET THEM REMOVED!!! Really!!!! Hope your principal really likes you. And this is our hope for the future with this new administration.

Anonymous said...

And, Anonymous 11:15, we have a UNION who is actively in CAHOOTS with the DOE to allow them to do just that--get rid of teachers. After all, they will have all those Pre-K teachers and aides being hired now to take the place of ATRs and other veteran teachers being railroaded out to suck dues out of. Good luck to all those new hires in getting anything for their dues.

But the new Supreme Court decision about not being forced to belong to a union sure had the NEA scuttling. I heard them on the radio this morning bleating about "more of a necessity to organize than ever", blah blah blah. Boy, they certainly were dancing to a please-please-please don't leave us tune rather than their usual arrogant "You'll take what we're willing to give you and you'll be happy about it" ditty. Sure. They and the perfidious UFT might now have to actually do something for their members, or the members can walk with their money intact.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, you are absurdly generous ( probably a by product of your years with the DOE). Ms. Farina deserves a big fat F. My major problem with her is the fair student funding that insures no ATRs will be hired for anything other than leave replacements or Wings Academy.

Bronx ATR said...

As I've said before, this contract will signal the beginning of the end for the UFT. With the creation of a caste system and diminished rights- they have ignorantly opened the door for Campbell Brown, while also increasing the level of animosity felt by veteran teachers. If given the opportunity I will gladly opt out of the union, not because of the money, but because the UFT is not representing me
(and seem to be staffed with those who are only concerned with their own self interest).

Anonymous said...

And just what is the gain of fighting every actual or suspected leniency on the scoring and what is the net accomplishment of withholding a H.S. diploma from someone who falls short a couple of points of the 65 cut score on the Regents exam?
Many students will not have the motivation to study and keep returning for another round at the test.

Anonymous said...

I give the confused old bat an S for SENILE.

Francesco Portelos said...

Thanks for sharing this Chaz. I just received the NY Teacher and like always, it's happy times. A new tone?

I'm working on a department by department breakdown of who she has kept. will be planning more rallies outside schools and offices this fall.

Anonymous said...

I am a substitute teacher, and honestly I am extremely disappointed in her. To see how teachers are treated by these ass hole principal, who think they are invincible is appalling. I would never want to teach in such an environment. In addition whoever creates those regents exam are absolute criminals. My friend proctored several regents exams this year. And she expressed how many students were unfamiliar with the terms on the Earth Science Regents. Farina is ugly just like her system... They are pretensive about student improvement. Let's see what happens with Common Core Exam next year. These exam are not made for students who attend school in the hood to succeed. Another issue, is schools who deliberately have Alzheimer's when it comes to paying subs. I know of someone who hasn't been paid since last year, she attended a grievance hearing and has not received any word about that days pay up until now. And in addition some schools who were short on their budget would not pay their subs June salary until next school year. What pissed me off is the Reasonable Assurance Letter which everyone had to sign to renew for next school year. Utter bullshit. The damn school system sucks! IT SUCKS!

Harmiclir said...

Either she's afraid to clean out Tweed or has been told by her BDB minders not to clean out Tweed.

There is the heart of the problem, together with her apparent timidity and small bore ideas about change.

She needs to go back into retirement and we need an energetic Chancellor with the willingness to take on Tweed and think beyond the tiny, incremental changes that she can manage only sequentially. Big mistake for BDB if this was the best he could do when he had people with national reputations opposing the reformers...

Unknown said...

I knew immediately who she is when she did nothing about the arbitrary ATR observations. Stopping them immediately was the right thing to do.

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