Friday, April 20, 2018

Is The DOE Really Collaborating With Teachers?

and that they have a good relationship with the teachers union and teachers in general.  The truth is the classroom teacher finds the DOE the enemy and for good reason.

First, the DOE continues to impose Fair Student Funding on schools that penalize schools who hire veteran teachers and forced principals to"hire the cheapest rather than the best teachers for their school".

Second, the DOE only funds the schools at 90% of their fair funding.  While the bloated bureaucracy continues to eat up precious funds.

Third, the DOE continues to target veteran teachers through the 3020-a process as the numbers are as high as in the Bloomberg era.anti-teacher  Danielson program to evaluate teachers and insists on four observation per year.

Rather then the DOE being a correlative partner, they are considered the enemy of the classroom teacher and for good reason.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Chancellor Carranza's Idea Of An Effective School.

Chancellor Richard Carranza visited Staten Island and told the local media his six key components that makes an effective school.  They are as follows:
  1. Strong leadership
  2. Excellent teachers.
  3. Strong and varied curriculum.
  4. School and classroom organization.
  5. Social and emotional learning.
  6. Parent outreach and empowerment.
While I agree with the new Chancellor on all but one item.   However, let's see if he practices what he is preaching by removing the far too many bad and incompetent principals in the system.  When Carmen Farina was appointed Chancellor she mentioned that there were 400 principals that need to be removed.  How many did she actually remove?  About a handful. Let's see if the new Chancellor actually removes the weak leadership that are common in the New York City Public School system.

When it comes to excellent teachers, since the Guliani era the word"excellent" means inexpensive and untenured teachers.   Memo to the Chancellor, there are many excellent teachers in the ATR pool aand many veteran teachers will transfer if it wasn't for DOE hiring policy that penalizes principals  who hire veteran teachers,  The Fair Student Funding formula needs to be eliminated before the word "excellent" means what it should mean.

Eliminate or severely reduce "credit recovery" courses.  Stop imposing scholarship requirements, and make the courses "college and career" ready. Only 3 out of every 10 students are ready for the adult world.

If social and emotional learning means restorative justice instead of a suspension or does it mean giving out "warning cards" instead of being arrested, then I am skeptical.

To the Chancellor, its one thing to say what is needed, its another thing to get the bloated Bureaucracy at the DOE to implement those changes.  You can read what the new Chancellor proposed Here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Academic Fraud Is Pervasive In The NYC Public School System.

One of the challenges the new Chancellor must address and correct is the "academic fraud" issue.  While graduation rates keep going up, the "college and career readiness" rates are abysmally low, with 3 out of every 4 high school graduates are  subject to no credit remedial course work and many employers complain that the high school graduates are found lacking in academic skills to do the job properly.

The academic fraud is due to DOE pressure on schools to raise their graduation rate "by any means possible".  That includes "credit recovery" programs that lack any rigor or even an instructor!, scholarship quotas that require up to 85% of the students in the classroom to pass, and Principal pressure to pass failing students or get a negative evaluation.

In yesterday's New York Post there was an Opinion piece by a retired teacher who worked at John Dewey High School and described how the DOE stubbornly refused to take action against the Principal for her "easy pass" program that skyrocketed the graduation rate but hurt students academically.  You can read it Here.

Academic fraud is pervasive throughout the school system and is a running joke.  Until and unless the new Chancellor addresses the academic fraud issue, all other changes will not alter the educational landscape where students graduate unprepared for the real world.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Governor Cuomo Rescues The Unions From Janus


The New York State budget supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo has tucked away in it two new pro union items.  First and foremost is the right for the union to eliminate union benefits, other than salary and basic health benefits from members who "opt out" paying union dues.  You can read it Here

For example for teachers the disciplinary 3020-a hearings for educators will require the educator to pay for private lawyers rather than be represented by NYSUT attorneys.  Moreover, welfare benefits can be withheld, depending if it's contractual.  Finally, internal investigations might require the educator to hire a private lawyer to  represent them rather than be supplied by a union official when interviewed by investigators.

The other item tucked into the budget is that union dues are fully deductible by the State.  Obviously Governor Cuomo is appealing for union support and wants to put in the past his pro charter school stance, the underfunded .education budget,  and the punitive teacher evaluation system he rammed through despite teacher oppositionLet's not forget his support for education deformer John King as NYSED ChancellorOnce he is reelected look for the Governor to change his pro union position once again.

I guess most of us will still be paying union dues even after the Janus decision. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The New Chancellor Questions The Renewal Program

Less than a month on the job, Chancellor Richard Carranza has already questioned the Renewal Program and the ever changing criteria used to determine if a Renewal school closes or stays open.
According to the new Chancellor, everybody he speaks to have a different idea what the goals are.  Welcom3e to the DOE Mr. Carranza, where up is down and down is up.

The reason the new Chancellor is confused about the goals of the Renewal program is that most Renewal schools are overseen by failed administrators who were removed from their schools for various reasons.  The overall supervising superintendent was Ammie Horowitz who has been refereed many times in this blog.

If the Chancellor wants to change the Renewal program he must do the following:

  • Attract academically proficient students.
  • Reduce the high teacher turnover.
  • Encourage experienced teachers to apply.
  • Reduce the bloated Renewal program administration.
  • Stop making it a dumping ground for failed administrators.
Then and only then will the Renewal Schools have a real chance to escape the Renewal program.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Education Reform Organizations Are Losing Control Of Our Education System

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the education reform organizations nave been chasing the holy grail that would eliminate the student academic achievement gap,  The education reformers  came up with many ideas on how to eliminate the student achievement gap.  At first they proposed smaller class sizes, more resources, and quality teachers, even if that meant paying them more.   However, these ideas failed to significantly narrow the student academic achievement gap.  Therefore, the education deformer started to blame the public school system, especially the unionized teachers for the student academic achievement gap.

The education deformer organizations were led by the likes of Bill Gates, Eli Board, and Sam Walton who bribed pseudo-educators like Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, and  Arnie Duncan to implement programs that put the blame on teachers when they failed

For example the Obama-Duncan Race to the Top program forced States to implement a teacher evaluation  system that linked student growth to teacher effectiveness.  It hardly mattered that  a study by the American Statistical Society showed that any one teacher had only between 1% to 14% impact on their student's growth,  Many states used a percentage of between 40% and 50%,  In fact, the student growth formula used was "junk Science" and in New York State a court found it to be true.

As the education deformer organizations could not close the student academic achievement gap, they proposed merit pay, elimination of tenure, limited collective bargaining rights, and the right to fire "ineffective" weakening their due process rights.  Instead of being allies to the public school system the education deformer groups became the enemy by supporting and funding charter schools, online schools, as well as private and parochial schools.  They supported the school choice program that allowed any child to get a voucher and apply to any school.

The heyday of the education deformer movement was betweent 2006-15, when Arnie Duncan headed the Federal Department of Education and most States had education deformers  in charge of the State education systems.  Because President Barack Obama supported the education deformer education policy and the States desperately needed the Race to the top funds during the great recession, quite a few states implemented an education reform agenda,  The result was vastly disappointing.  The student academic achievement gap was as wide as ever,  Moreover, the unrelenting attack on teachers throughout the nation made college graduates flee the profession and widespread teacher shortages are a  contining resulted from the unrelenting attacks on teachers.

I believe the pendulum is starting to swing the other wayas the education deformer orgabnizations are slowlly losing power and teachers are  standing up for a livable wage.  Example West Virgina.

The day of the education deformer organizations controlling the public schools have come and passed and even more of these deformer organizations will dissappear as many of the educatin deformer groups have become anti-public education and care more about saving money then giving the child a good education,

Sunday, March 25, 2018

DOE ContinuesTo Award Bogus High School Diplomas.

In the New York Post today there is an article on the New  York State Department of Education audit of the "credit recovery" courses used by Brooklyn's John Dewey High School.  These credit recovery courses were nicknamed by the students as "easy pass".

The NYSED audit, which took years to complete looked at the "credit recovery" courses from 2012 to 2015 and found the following:
  • Students not eligible to take the credit recovery courses were allowed to, despite teacher complaints.
  • Most credit recovery courses had  no actual teacher, just a packet.
  •  77% of the credit recovery courses had no certified teacher,
  • 75% of the students were wrongly awarded a diploma due to the bogus creit recovery courses.
  • One rookie teacher was responsible for 52 credit recovery courses in one semester.
While the Principal was removed and the DOE went through the motion to fire her using the 3020-a process.  The DOE sabotaged its own case by not allowing  officials to appear at the hearing that would have showed the DOE rubber stamped the "easy pass" system.  The result the ex Principal, Kathleen ­Elvin, now has cushy $169,916 job as a supervisor in the DOE’s Office of Safety Youth Development.  You can read my article Here.

This is just another example how the DOE rather issue bogus high school diplomas rather than give the students the education they deserve.