Saturday, November 29, 2014

When It Comes To College Readiness, Race Matters.

One of the third rails of education policy is the inclusion of race in evaluating academic achievement.  Politicians and the media will look the other way or ignore the inconvenient truth that a school's racial composition is an important parameter in the academic outcomes of the students of that school.  Better to blame teachers and their tenure than to actually investigate the data to determine the cause of poor student academic outcomes. Therefore, I took the DOE's "High School Quality Snapshot"  for the 2013-14 school year of all the Queens High Schools and compared their racial composition with their "college readiness" percentages and found that race does matter.  I used the "college readiness" percentage since its more difficult for schools but not impossible to manipulate as the other parameters are. For some reason the way the City calculates "college readiness" is different from the State and is higher than what the State calculates as college ready.

To simplify the comparisons I placed schools in five categories.  These categories are Majority of Asians and Whites, Diverse (no majority by any races), Majority Hispanics, Majority Black and schools that were 80% or more Black.  Admittedly, one can find fault in how I selected the categories but this seemed the most appropriate way to determine if the racial composition of the schools correlated with the "college readiness" percentages listed for each high school school in the DOE snapshot.

The results were very disturbing as the data showed that the schools who had the highest "college readiness" percentages had a majority of Asian and White students while the lowest percentage of "college ready" students were in schools that had a black population of 80% or greater.  The table below and the graph above summarizes my findings.

Majority                                        College Readiness

>80% Black.............................................12%

Not surprisingly, the screened and specialized schools showed the highest "college readiness" percentages and they usually have a majority of Asian and White students.  However, even if you eliminated those schools from the data, the majority Asian and White schools still had a "college readiness" percentage of  55%, significantly higher than the diverse category, where no majority exists and includes some screened and audition schools as well.  The lowest college ready scores listed by the DOE snapshot are all found in primarily black schools.  Listed below are the schools with the lowest "college readiness" percentages.

School                                             College Readiness

Business Computer Applications....................4%
Humanities and Arts...................................5%
Rockaway Park..........................................6%
August Martin...........................................6%
Fredrick Douglas Academy VI.......................7%
Law Government and Community Service........9%

Blaming teachers, administrators, and schools for the poor academic outcomes is not only wrong but misguided. The DOE snapshot clearly shows that schools with high percentages of Black students are associated with low "college readiness" percentages which strongly indicates that its the social-economic factors that affect student academic outcomes, like poverty, community, and family.   When one looks at the DOE "High School Quality Snapshot" the racial composition of the school strongly correlates with the "college readiness" and academic outcomes of the school's student population.  In this case race matters.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Winners Of The 2014 Golden Turkey Award.

This year saw tremendous competition for the Golden Turkey Award.  There's  State Education commissioner John T. King, a past winner, who rolled out the Common Core and teacher evaluation requirements in a confusing and unworkable way that even Governor Andrew Cuomo backed away from it.  Then there's the Board of Regents that approved a charter school in Rochester proposed by a 22 year old who was home schooled and received dubious online degrees,  only to resign when it was exposed.  Then there's Campbell Brown, always a contender as well as the Governor. However, these two individuals won, head over heels, the Golden Turkey Award for 2014.   They are UFT President Michael (don't call me mike) Mulgrew and Chancellor Carmen Farina.

Michael Mulgrew gets the Golden Turkey Award for two disgraceful actions he has taken in 2014. the The first was a vastly inferior contract that has split his members into two groups, winners and the losers.  In addition, the ATRs were given second class citizenship and reduced "due process" rights.  Worse, was his defense of the Common Core standards where he claimed he will "punch anyone in the face" if they attack his Common Core which many of his members and many parents oppose.   Finally, under his leadership, the union has become increasingly disconnected with the members as his political philosophy is more important than what is best for the members as he required the union to co-sponsor and fund the divisive Al; Sharpton lead march in Staten Island.

Carmen Farina became Chancellor amid great hopes that she would change the political philosophy that resulted in antagonism between the DOE and the schools.  Instead, she has only made some minor changes and retained the Bloomberg 300 in policy making positions.  Who can forget during the worst snowstorm of the year she unwisely kept schools open and had her Cathie Black moment when she said this infamous statement.  "its a beautiful day" when it was snowing, and sleeting.  Moreover, she has failed to reduce class sizes, eliminate the useless and money sucking Children First Networks, or reduce the obscene amount of paperwork required by Tweed.  Finally, she has not improved the hostile classroom environment or "gotcha mentality" that exists at Tweed.  To say the least, Carmen Farina gas been a major disappointment.

Past winners of my golden turkey award are here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Its Quantity And Not Quality When It Comes To Hiring Teachers In The NYC Public Schools.

With the unexpected wave of retirements, the NYC public school system had to hire 6,000 new teachers.  You would think that many schools would be thrilled to replace their retiring teachers with experienced teachers since it would not significantly affect their budget.  Guess again, the schools, rather than during what's best for their students, instead saw an opportunity to hire novice teachers and in some cases getting two for the salary of the retiring teacher. Meaning quantity over quality at the expense of the academic outcomes of the school's students.  In other cases the principals reduced their staff salaries and used the additional funds for their own pet projects.

Unfortunately,  the NYCDOE is famous for its "education on the cheap" policies when it comes to funding schools and the classrooms.  To ensure that schools suffer from tight budgetary constraints, the DOE imposed the "fair student funding" formula on them that forces principals to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for their students. Is it any wonder that student academic achievement has shown little or no gains and the racial/income achievement gap is as wide as ever?

Novice teachers suffer from a steep learning curve, in acquiring effective teaching techniques, fully understanding the curriculum, developing classroom management skills, and staying power as 50% of the "newbies" leave the classroom within five years and 80% leave the school they started in.  What a waste of money in training and time when only 20% of the "newbies" will be in the school by the time they get tenure and are considered "quality teachers".  Moreover, how unfair is it to subject the students as guinea pigs to untested teachers who may or may not even last the school year?

Too bad the mass media choices to ignore the DOE's "education on the cheap" policies that hurt student academic achievement but loves to demonize the teaching profession, especially ATRs.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Family Values

During last week's cold snap an eighth grade child, I will call her Clara, did not show up to school or attend her after school program. Later that night, the coldest night of the new school year, with temperatures dropping into the low 20's and windchills in the single digits, the teacher was giving out free turkeys for Thanksgiving at the school and who shows up?  Clara, with her mother and little sister in tow.  The teacher asked Clara's mother why Clara was not in school that day, the mother responded in a calm voice "because it was too cold and I kept Clara home".

Here is the problem,  Clara is a struggling student and is in danger of not moving up to high school as she is academically behind her peers.  The teacher told me that Clara has learning difficulties and instructions must be kept simple and short.  Clara has difficulty in completing tasks and cannot do complicated learning assignments.  As you might expect, she gets frustrated and exhibits behavioral issues due to her inability to complete or fully understand her assignments.

Clara lives with her grandmother and her mother has given most of the responsibility of raising Clara to the grandmother..  To the teacher's knowledge there is no father or male authority figure in her family.  Worse, when the weather is bad, Clara fails to show up to school.  What is going to happen when winter is here to stay?

That brings me back to Clara's mother.  How can a parent allow their child to miss school simply because its cold?  More importantly, why doesn't the City hold this parent responsible for educational neglect?   Yet, this parent, when offered a free turkey, took Clara and her little sister on the coldest night of the school year to school so that she can get the turkey.  What kind of message is that sending to Clara and her younger sister?

Education reformers like to blame poor student academic achievement on bad teachers and schools.  However, when these children are raised by dysfunctional families that lack parental supports and role models, they end up coming to school educationally, emotionally, and physically damaged.  Moreover, many of these children experience deep poverty feel unsafe and food insecure, yet that are deliberately ignored by the education reformers. That's why the ex-Chancellor Joel Klein's statement that   "poverty is no excuse" rings hallow when faced with the damaging reality of how poverty and the dysfunctional family affects student academic achievement.

No matter how one looks at it, getting families back together and providing them support is the most important factor in improving student academic achievement.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Small Schools That Replaced The Large Comprehensive Schools Are A Failure.

During the Bloomberg years, the city came up with the bright idea, advocated by Bill Gates and then abandoned as not the answer, that closing the large comprehensive schools in poor communities and replacing them with smaller schools will improve student academic achievement.  These small schools will show an improved graduation rate and "college and career readiness" rates.  Well the graduation rates did improve, thanks to "credit recovery", Principal pressure, student exclusionary practices, and questionable grading policies.  However, the "college and career readiness" rates cannot be manipulated and these rates clearly show how much a failure these small schools have been when improving academic achievement.

Lets look at the 2013-14 school year "college and career readiness" scores of the small schools that replaced the large comprehensive schools in Queens.  The citywide average "college and career readiness" rates is 32% while the average in Queens is 36%.

Andrew Jackson High School Campus:

Business Computer Application and Enterpriseship........4%
Law, Government And Community Service..................9%
Humanities and Arts Magnet School..........................5%
Math, Science Research Technology Magnet..............19%

Franklin K. Lane Campus:

Brooklyn Lab School...............................................11%
Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep....................................11%

Far Rockaway Complex:

Fredrick Douglas Academy VI....................................7%
Information, Research And Technology........................8%
Academy of Medical Technology................................21%

Springfield Gardens Campus:

Queens Preparatory Academy..................................18%
George Washington Carver......................................30%
Excelsior  Preparatory High School............................21%
Preparatory Academy For Writers.............................31%

Since the Beach Channel and Jamaica high schools have closed this year, the small schools that inhabit the campuses are new and were given extra funding and allowed to exclude "high needs students" from the schools to ensure that they succeed.  Therefore, they were not included in this post until there is a real track record for them.

The relatively high "college and career readiness" scores of the small schools at the Springfield Gardens complex will rapidly drop as the data reflect the last year of the new small school exclusion policy that kept low achieving students from being accepted to the schools which is no longer the case.

For comparison what were the "college and career readiness" rates of the large comprehensive high schools that the Bloomberg administration tried to close but failed to get court approval?

August Martin........................................................6%
Grover Cleveland...................................................17%
John Adams..........................................................12%
Long Island City....................................................29%
Richmond Hill........................................................11%
William Cullen Bryant .............................................33%
The average "college and career readiness" scores of the eight large comprehensive Queens high schools, slated for closure but spared by the courts is approximately 18% while the small schools created at the four closed large comprehensive high schools averaged only 14%.

If one uses the "college and career readiness" scores, its obvious that the small schools carved out of the closed large comprehensive high schools have not shown any real academic improvements.  In fact, that might be even worse once the small schools have a longer track record and cannot exclude "high needs students" as the Campus Magnet schools (Andrew Jackson Campus) have shown..

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Field Supervisor From Hell.

This is a true story that has happened this school year.  I have kept the names of the teacher and field supervisor out of this post to protect the ATR from retaliation.

The story starts innocently enough.  The field supervisor, a retired middle school principal from the Bronx, formally observed the teacher in her contact area (Biology) and gave her a "satisfactory rating".  End of story?  Not quite.

A month later the field supervisor showed up for an informal observation while the teacher was assigned to cover a foreign language class.  The ATR was given work by the absent teacher to hand out to the class.  She handed out the work and walked around the room to make sure the students were on task.  While she is not a foreign language teacher she did offer assistance to students who seemed to be struggling with the assignment.  The ATR took attendance and because some students arrived quite late to class, the ATR took the time to take attendance again to ensure accuracy.

At the end of the class the field supervisor told the ATR that her classroom pedagogy was "unsatifactory".  Why you ask?  Here's why according to the field supervisor.

First, he wanted the teacher to expand the teacher directed assignment beyond the material given to the students to complete, despite the ATR having no real knowledge of the subject.

Second, the field supervisor complained that some of the students were not on task and were talking.  Really?  How unrealistic is it for an ATR who has never seen these students before, expect them to exibit perfect behavior.

Third, The field supervisor claimed the lesson was disjointed.  However, the lesson came from the absent teacher and not the ATR.  How can he blame the ATR for somebody else's lesson?

Fourth, taking attendance twice was a waste of time.

Finally, the field supervisor saw no common core or rigor in the lesson.  Really?   Didn't the lesson come from the absent teacher?  What was the ATR to do, ignore the lesson and risk being insubordinate or follow the school's direction and hand out the absent teacher's assignment?  Moreover, the ATR is a Science teacher and how can she add common core based rigor in a subject she has little knowledge of?

This abuse of the observation process by the field supervisors must stop and the ATRs should only be observed in their content specialty.  Being observed in a subject that the ATR is unfamiliar with is wrong and harmful which must be stopped by the union.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Mutual Consent Provision Does Not Apply To ATRs.

One of the changes in the DOE hiring process was the "mutual consent" provision that our union unwisely allowed back in the infamous 2005 contract.  The "mutual consent" provision allows principals to determine who to hire for their schools and can refuse any teacher sent by the DOE for any or no reason whatsoever.  In other words the Principal must consent to have a teacher assigned to their school and can remove the provisionally appointed teacher whenever they want, be it one day or at the end of the school year.

However, when the it comes to the ATR rights, there's no consent as the ATR is "forced placed" against their wishes.  What happened to "mutual consent" when it comes to the ATRs?  If an ATR refuses a provisional appoinment or leave replacement they are assumed to have voluntarily resigned.  No ATR consent is necessary nor is one required.  You take it or else you lose your job.

Already the DOE tried to "force place:" me in a Middle School.  Thankfully, since I am a licensed High School teacher the union was able to cite a violation of the contract to get the DOE to rescind the "forced placement".  However, this very same school is setting up mandatory interviews and making high school teachers do demo lessons when these interviews are not mandatory!  The union must be proactive and put a stop to this abuse at once.

If the Chancellor wants "mutual consent" then the consent must be mutual for both sides and ATRs should have the right to refuse an assignment if the fit is not right. That's only fair.

Monday, November 17, 2014

South Bronx School Will Be On The Radio Tomorrow.

South Bronx schools, awaiting his 3020-a hearing, will be on WFAS 1230 tomorrow morning.  I'm sure he will talk about his upcoming 3020-a hearing and the DOE charges they hope to terminate him with.

This case is interesting since his Principal had apparently written an email back in the summer of 2012 to her assistant principal discussing how to charge the satisfactory rated teacher with incompetence in the next year.  Yes, the following year and that, to me, is premeditation!  You can see the email Here. One would think that the 3020-a arbitrator will not look kindly at the DOE's case once the Principal's incriminating email is put into evidence and hopefully allow South Bronx to continue teaching.

If you have the time South Bronx's radio interview will be at 6:35 to 7:20 am tomorrow morning.  Please listen. If you cannot get the station on the radio then its streamed live.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The DOE Bureaucratic Machine Is Broken And Only A Complete Overhaul Will Fix It.

Educators have known for years that the DOE is dysfunctional and broken and is need of a complete overhaul.  There was a momentary hope that the new De Blasio administration would appoint a Chancellor who would sweep out the Bloomberg era policy makers.  However, the new Mayor appointed Carmen Farina who has been a major disappointment, to say the least.  She has retained the Bloomberg 300 and even promoted Bloomberg era holdovers such as Kathleen Grimm, known as the "Grim Reaper". for her part in closing many of the large comprehensive high schools in the city.

To many of the schools, little has changed, with frozen budgets, the continuation oi the useless and
money sucking "Children First Networks", and the top down management from the bloated bureaucracy, full of high salaried managers and high priced consultants.  The disappointing Chancellor has not reduced the obscene number of people in the accountability and legal departments that exploded during the Bloomberg years   Moreover, her failure to eliminate the perverse "fair student funding": formula that has resulted in principals having to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school and to allow for the continuation of the ATR pool have added to her disappointing tenure as Chancellor.  Finally, in an effort to squeeze every dollar out of an already tight school budget, she has failed to reduce class sizes or hire the proper amount of school staff, be it teachers, guidance counselors, and librarians at the expense of their students' academic achievement.

Unfortunately, Chancellor Carmen Farina's tenure has resulted in little change from the Bloomberg years and the DOE remains bloated, dysfunctional, and lacks transparency.  Furthermore, the excessive paperwork required by the DOE for their mindless data mining projects continues and the hostile classroom environment still exists to this day. Until the DOE's bloated bureaucracy is  completely overhauled, don't expect any real change in the classroom and student academic achievement.

update:  The DOE has finally taken its first steps in eliminating the useless technology called ARIS.  A $95 million dollar failure in which only 16% of teachers and 3% of the parents actually bothered to use the system.  This was Joel Klein's baby and the DOE kept it despite its obvious  failure.  An added bonus is that Joel Klein's company Amplify, will also lose their contract to service ARIS that has cost over $10 million dollars since 2012.  The Daily News article is Here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Its Time For ATRs To Have Their Own Chapter.

Before the signing of the new contract, the UFT said the reason there was no need for a Chapter for ATRs was that the ATR was transitional and temporary and that once Mayor Bloomberg was gone the ATR situation would be resolved.  However, instead of the ATR crisis being resolved, under the new contract the ATRs are now a separate class of educators and in too many cases, are no longer temporary or transitional. Now, the ATRs have different rules when it comes to interviews and discipline and are afforded  reduced "due process rights".

For example if an ATR misses two mandatory interviews or not show up to work for two days, they will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.  Moreover, if an ATR shouts in the halls or refuses an administrator's order to do more than one circular six chore, the ATR is accused of "problematic behavior" and if two consecutive principals say so, the ATR is terminated after an expedited one day 3020-a hearing, or the DOE so hopes is the case.  Finally, the UFT and DOE have agreed to allow field supervisors to give "unsatisfactory observations"  to ATRs who are not teaching in their subject area and have faced a class for the first time that day.  Therefore, it's necessary for the ATRs to have one of their own to represent the ATRs at the Executive Board,  Delegate Assembly, and at Chapter Leader meetings.

As of November 11, 2014,  the Absent Teacher Reserve Alliance (ATRA) was formed to push for such ATR representation at the UFT.  This group is open to all and includes all of the different caucuses, ICE, New Action, MORE, Solidarity, and yes even "Unity". The elected President of the ATR Alliance is James Eterno, a past Presidential candidate for the UFT and one of the most knowledgeable UFT members when it comes to member contract rights.  Mr Eterno will meet with a committee of five elected Borough  representatives to discuss issues concerning ATRs and the ATR process and advocate for fair treatment for all ATRs.  Furthermore, the ATR Alliance (ATRA) will give guidance, advice, and prepare grievances for any ATR who has been wronged by the school or field administrators.

All ATRs past, present, and future are encouraged to join the ATR Alliance and give us a voice in protecting our rights as educators.  More information on how to join and who to contact will be published in this, the UFTICE blog, and DTOE Blog as well as other NYC education blogs.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How Some Schools Manipulate The Graduation Rate.

During the Bloomberg era, high schools quickly realized that it was politically important for the administration to show improved graduation rates and in fact the graduation rates did improve.  However, it had little to do with improved student academic achievement.  The improved graduation rates were manipulated by the school administration by using tricks that hid the lack of real academic success.  The schools used phony "credit recovery courses" that not only lacked rigor but gave out essentially free credits.  Moreover, principals were known to pressure teachers to change failing grades to passing and if the teacher refused, they did it anyway.  Finally, many students who had poor attendance records were deemed to have "dropped out" and were no longer included in the graduation rate.

Because of the abuses in the "credit recovery program" and scrutiny in the dropout rate, schools were unable to manipulate the graduation rate.  But wait, the schools found a new method to increase their graduation rate and that is to encourage under credited students to transfer out to alternative schools and get them off their books.  How common is it?  Well the new Principal of Boys and Girls high school has already pushed 30 students out of his school and into into the transfer school in the building. With a student body of 729 students, that's 4% that will no longer be counted in the school's graduation rate. A Bronx Principal admitted that he removed 100 students in four months to improve the graduation rate because that is what Tweed wanted to see.  How many other schools are doing this?  I bet quite a few.

This is just another way of showing improved results when the reality is that there's no real academic achievement occurring at these schools.

Children last....always!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

More Experienced Teachers Headed To The ATR Pool.

The DOE and union have agreed to use a version of the "turnaround model" at two struggling high schools.  Automotive and Boys and Girls High Schools. Starting in January, a hiring committee will be formed and interview all the teachers of the two schools.  The likely outcome is that a good 50% or more of the teachers, most of them highly experienced, will find themselves without a classroom position and in the ATR pool for the 2015-16 school year.   In fact, unlike the 18D process, the two schools do not have to hire back any of the present  teachers if they do not want to.

If the Bloomberg inspired "turnaround model" the DOE tried to impose on 24 schools back in 2012 is any guide, then look for the two schools to jettison most of their highly experienced teachers, keeping a select few as mentors for the expected influx of inexpensive and unproven  "newbie teachers" they will hire to replace the banished veterans.

The result will be an influx of hundred or more veteran teachers added to the ATR pool who will find it difficult to obtain a new appointment because of their salaries.  Interestingly, these teachers without an appointment will not be subject to the rotation system, field supervision,  or the tier two ATR discipline process.  However,make no mistake, they will be ATRs.   Of course, the union  leadership will claim that the 18D like process was fair and the best teachers were selected.  However, our union leadership is so disconnected from the membership that they would tell you its a sunny day when its raining out. 

Will a newbie dominated teaching staff really result in improved academic improvement with the present student body?  If you believe that than I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you or maybe you also believe in the tooth fairy?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

In This School Its Technology Over Quality Teachers.

In a highly regarded large comprehensive high school in Northeastern Queens, a Principal is practicing his own version of "education on the cheap".  In my opinion he is using precious school funds to upgrade technology while paying for it by scrimping on teacher quality in a school known for having highly experienced teachers.  In the long run this can only hurt the academic outcomes of his school's students.

The Principal is a big fan of technology, the more technology, the better.  He is installing all his classrooms with expensive state of the art technology.  That might be all fine and good if there were dedicated funds for such a project.  However, under "fair student funding" all the funds supplied to the school can be spent in any way the Principal pleases.  Therefore, many principals "rob Peter to pay Paul" to fund their pet projects and this Principal is no exception.  How is the Principal paying foir this lavish upgrade of technology at the school?  You guessed it, its at the expense of hiring quality teachers for his school's students.

Since he took over as Principal two years ago, his hiring pattern is to select "newbie teachers", right out of college to fill most of the positions in his schools.  Few experienced teachers were hired and none of them could be considered highly experienced.  As for ATRs?  They need not apply since he has let it be known that ATRs are not appropriate for his school.  Moreover, to limit the amount of teachers the school needs to hire, he encourages teachers to pick up a "sixth period" and if its in a shortage area better yet since DOE Central actually picks up the tab for the extra class.  Interestingly, he has told at least two people that he only wants to hire the best teachers not just good teachers.  Somehow his deeds don't seem to match his words.

For example, this year his Science department was in need of a Chemistry teacher to fill in as a leave replacement.  Instead of interviewing the Chemistry teachers in the ATR pool, the school hired an unknown  substitute teacher to fill the leave replacement.  Unfortunately for the students, this teacher proved to be terrible and the students complained about him.  Now almost two months later the teacher finally decided he didn't want to be at the school and resigned before he could do any more damage to his Regents Chemistry classes.  The result is that these students are behind their peers academically and all the Chemistry teachers were forced to pick up an extra Chemistry class, whether they wanted to or not.

The DOE must be proud of this Principal as he follows their "education on the cheap" policies of Tweed at the expense of his school's student academic achievement. 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Citywide ATR Meeting Next Tuesday - Please Attend.

There will be a very important organizing meeting for citywide ATRs on Tuesday, November 11th (Veterans Day).  The organizing meeting will be held at 5pm at a hall at 87-22, 52nd Avenue in Elmhurst Queens.  The hall has a parking lot and the M and R trains stop at Grand Avenue, one block from the meeting hall.  Issues will be the establishment of a functioning ATR Chapter, possible nomination of Borough representatives and a leadership committee for coordinating issues affecting the ATRs.  The ATR organizing meeting invites all UFT caucuses and non-members to participate in its formation.  Please attend!

For members and potential members of the Solidarity caucus there will be a meeting at the same location starting at 2pm  We will be discussing the bylaws and our policy statement, among many other important issues.

Attached is a map showing the location of the building.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Principals Love The Chancellor But For Teachers It Continues To Be A Living Hell.

The New York Daily News had an article how principals are very satisfied with Chancellor Carmen Farina.  The only negatives are the budgeting process and her failure to eliminate the money sucking and useless "children First Networks" and that's not surprising since she has always been pro Principal.  However, when it comes to the classroom teacher, nothing has changed under the disappointing Chancellor..

Carmen Farina has failed to remove the 300 Bloomberg holdovers from policy making positions and even promoted Kathleen Grimm, known as the grim reaper for her major role in closing many of the large high schools, to Deputy Chancellor.  Since Carmen Farina took over at Chancellor, there has been no change in the classroom environment.  Class sizes have not been reduced and is the highest in the State, unnecessary paperwork has not been eliminated as promised and in many schools, Principals give out a sixth period class to save on teacher salaries. Moreover, the "fair student funding" encourages principals to hire "newbie teachers" while highly experienced teachers languish in the ATR pool.  Finally, she shockingly froze school budgets while DOE central increased their own budget.

Is it any wonder that student academic achievement and the income/racial achievement gap has remained unacceptably flat?  Maybe if Chancellor Carmen Farina significantly reduced class size, supplied more resources to the schools and eliminated the "fair student funding" that forces principals to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" and get rid of the bloated accountability and legal departments at the DOE, then just maybe we will see some real student academic progress not the "smoke and mirrors" and fuzzy math that has been the trademark of the Bloomberg DOE and continues with the disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina.