Friday, November 29, 2019

Annual GoldenTurkey Award 2019

The annual golden turkey award goes to two people.  Chancellor Richard Carranza for his ill-advised integration policy that is simply a joke and his bumbling administration who can't seem to get it right when it comes to the New York City public schools.  The second person is Mayor Bill de Blasio who ran and failed to even garner 1% of voters for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Chancellor Carranza has some good qualities, like he is not anti-teacher and is trying to get ATRs permanent positions.  However, he has failed to eliminate the ATR pool, refused to eliminate fair student funding and reduce class sizes. He also resorts to the old trick to claim that an increased graduation rate means academic improvement.

Furthermore, his racial favoritism has resulted in lawsuits by white females against his administration and for the most part, his integration policy for schools is a failure.

Mayor Bill de Blasio failure to garner support for President and his refusal to eliminate many of the Bloomberg era education policies make him a worthy recipient of the golden turkey award. Large class sizes, unenforced student misconduct issues, and lack of a full school funding has not been resolved,

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Chalkbeat Ignores Some Of Bloomberg's Education Legacy

I read Chalkbeat's article on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's educational legacy and felt it did not adequately identify the negatives associated with his policies on the New York City public schools.

For example, Chalkbeat did not identify school based fair student funding that discriminated against senior teachers or his creation of the ATR pool that cost the DOE over 150 million dollars annually. In addition, Bloomberg's policies also resulted in the destruction of neighborhood schools by closing many of the large comprehensive high schools and allowing principals to artificially raise graduation rates by allowing failing students to take loads of "credit recovery" courses that had no academic value.  Let's not forget how he supported charter schools by giving rhem school space and funds while starving the public schools of resources.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg the racial/income academic achievement gap actually widened! and how he refused to give teachers a raise that he gave most everybody else as he igbored the City's collective bargaining policy.

The legacy of the Bloomberg education policy resulted in the DOE and classroom teachers treated each other as the enemy and his disrespect for public school teachers is legendary.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Michael Bloomberg Officialy Joins The Democratic Presidential Race

After weeks of speculation, Michael Bloomberg has officially joined the Democratic Presidential race.  By announcing his candidacy, it shows the Michael Bloomberg is quite unhappy with the present candidates, especially Joe Biden.

Obviously, Michael Bloomberg was dissatisfied with the sharp left turn by the Democratic party and saw even the moderates shifting to the left and felt none of the top contenders will beat his hated foe, Donald Trump.  

Just to remind my readers that Michael Bloomberg is anti-public school teacher and is a strong supporter of charter schools.  The present ATR pool was the result of Michael Bloomberg and he was responsible for closing 162 schools and eliminated the high school teacher cafeterias.  Finally it was under Michael Bloomberg that fair studxent funding was introduced that discrimanates against senior teachers and shortchanged school budgets.

Look at my posts on Michael Bloomberg Here.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Comparing Tier VI To Tier IV Pension

New Action, a UFT caucus has started a petition to improve Tier VI and I hope they succeed. Here is my post comparing Tier IV to Tier VI pensions.

Pity The Tier VI Teacher.

A new school year has started in September and approximately 5,000 "newbie" teachers will be under the Tier VI pension plan.   These newbies are replacing retiring Tier IV teachers, with their more generous pension plan.  The question is how long will these newbies  last?  With Charlotte Dainelson, inept administration, and lax student discipline rules, many of these "newbies" will end up quitting.  At best, maybe 50% of the "newbies" will be still in the classroom.  Moreover, 80% will no longer be teaching in the school they started in.  Finally, only 33% will make it to vesting for a pension and less to receive retiree health benefits.

Below summarizes the comparison between the two tiers.

Tier IV.
Vesting for a pension, between 5 to 10 years.
Teacher contribution 3% first 10 years , then 0% beyond ten years.
Highest three consecutive years for determining the pension.
Five to ten years to receive retiree health benefits.
Multiplier, 1.67% per year for less than 20 years,  2% between 20 to 30 years.
1.5% per year for years beyond 30 years of service.
Age Reduction Factor, 0.73 to 0.94 from 55 to 61.

Tier VI.
Vesting for a pension, ten years.
Teacher contribution 4.5% to 6%, depending on salary. 
Highest five consecutive years for determining pension.
Fifteen years to receive retiree health benefits.
Multiplier, 1.67% per year for the first 20 years. 2% for 20 years or more.
Age reduction factor, 0.48 to 0.94% from 55 to 62.  

To show how unlikely these Tier VI teachers will make it to full retirement, please play my Tier VI retirement game Here

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Senior Teachers Still Targeted

Chancellor Richard Carranza is the first Chancellor since Rudy Crew that is not antagonistic toward teachers.  However, despite substantiate changes at the DOE, the majority at Tweed are still holdovers from the Bloomberg years and are responsible for the policies that still govern the schools.

While some people believe that the Chancellor has indicated that he wants to make things better for teachers, just look how the DOE targets senior teachers. As Chancellor he could instantly eliminate the policies that encourage the targeting of senior teachers.  School based fair student funding that discriminates against senior teachers and having DOE Central responsible for teacher salaries and not the schools..   He can also penalize principals who refuse to hire from the ATR pool before being allowed to hire "newbies".

Time will tell if the Chancellor will use his authority to eliminate the Bloomberg ideology that still permeates throughout the DOE ans have the DOE collaborate with teachers rather than viewed as the enemy as they are presently.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Suspensions Drop In NYC Schools But They Are As Unsafe As Ever

The suspension rate has dropped lasr year, primarily due to the De Blasio administrator making it more difficult for principals to suspend misbehaving students and s reduction in arrests for drug possession and other low level criminal activity.

Last school year there were 32,801 suspensions, a 39% decrease from the previous five years.  However, it was not because students were better behaved but mostly because it became more difficult for principals to suspend students. In fact, principals are limited to a 20 day suspension!

While there are significantly less suspensions, the schools are still as unsafe as ever as otherwise suspended students are given a slap on the wrist and will continue to disrupt classes and cause chaos in the schools.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

DOE Ignores Academic Fraud

Councilman Robert Holden has asked the federal government to investigate the ramped grade fraud at the New York City schools.  The clearly frustrated Councilman has tried to convince DOE officials, including Chancellor Richard Carranza to seriously investigate the academic fraud but was ignored.  I have written many posts on the widespread academic fraud and you can find those posts under "academic fraud". 

Why doesn't the DOE investigate or punish schools for academic fraud?   Simple, the DOE rather have a higher graduation rate and an illusion that academic progress is being made when the truth is far different. The DOE allows schools to cheat by ignoring the use of easy credits, blended learning, and allowing principals to require that teachers pass as much as 85% of their students.

Will the Federal government investigate the academic fraud?  I doubt it but if they do, it will be easy to prove.  Read James Eterno's ICEUFT blog for the actual letter to the U.S. Attorney..

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Time For Charter Schools To Dump Unwanted Students

On October 31st, school funding for the year is based on student enrollment as of that date.  Once November sets in, the school funding is set.  Its in November that charter schools will start to expel unwanted students and dump them into the public school system since the money is already allocated to the school..

Because of a quirk in how schools are funded, charter schools will do everything possible to retain all their students up to October 31st to get their funding.  However, after that date, charter schools will start to push out misbehaving and or academically challenged students to the public schools.  That also includes Special Education and English Language Learners who need extra services.

Obviously, New York State's school funding must be changed so as to discourage student dumping that the charter school get away with and still retain the funding as if that student is still in the charter school.. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The New York Post's Misleading Editorial

The New York Post has an editorial that blames the De Blasio administration for keeping alleged misbehaving teachers on the payroll indefinitely.  The problem is that some of those teachers cited in the article were put in their predicament by ex Chancellor Joel Klein, a decade before Bill de Blasio became Mayor of New York City, but don't let the facts get in the way of an editorial.

Furthermore, the statistics used in the editorial is like comparing apples with oranges. The 2012-13 school year showed that 13% of educators charged under 3020-a were terminated.  While only 6% were terminated in the 2018-19 school year.  The problem with the comparison is that the 3020-a hearings take six months or longer for the arbitrator to write up the decision.  Therefore, many of the 2018-19 3020-a cases have not been completed until this year and are not included in the 2018-19 statistics.

Finally, with a more teacher friendly Chancellor in Richard Carranza, the DOE has been more careful in charging teachers under 3020-a (227 compared to 443 in 2012-13) and that is the reason why there are fewer (47%)  educators charged under 3020-a from the last year of the Bloomberg era..

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Highlights Of The Chicago Teachers Contract

The Chicago teachers will average a 3.2% raise for five years with the first three years getting a 3% raise and the last two year gettingg a 3.5% raise.  Moreover, for teachers who have 14 or more years in service, they will be getting a bump in their pay s cale which can average another 3% raise.

There will be hard class size caps and all schools will have a school nurse and social worker.

There are more improvements, like more sick days that can be banked and frozen health insurance premiums.  The contract summary can be found in the article Here

Friday, November 01, 2019

Warren Leads As Biden Fades In Tight Iowa Race

It appears that Joseph Biden's money troubles and the negative press due to his son has seen him drop to fourth in the tight Iowa poll for the Democratic Presidential elections.

By contrast, Elizabeth Warren leads at 22%, followed closely by Bernie Sanders at 19%, Peter Buttigieg at 18%, and Joseph Biden at 17%.  The rest of the Democratic field is polling at 4% of less and it looks like a four person race to be Donald Trump's opponent in the Presidential primary.

The New York Times has has an article that fully explains the Iowa poll and can be found-in today's paper.