Sunday, November 07, 2010

EMAIL no. 4 Nov.6, 2010 from JW

Hello, good day.

This email focuses on a Special Ed report given at a UFT meeting last week by Lisa Mendel.  I wrote a similar one a couple of years ago, but there are new things, so I thought it needed updating.

I think I may have to write another email by tomorrow, because there's been a Del. Assembly and some other things to talk about, but truly: the Ed Deform tsunami is wearing even the activists down, especially — like in New Orleans — when the people you might have thought were on your side really are not. I'm talking about the UFT.

                     Best regards,




There's a rumor in the listservs that the UFT is going to agree to a 3-year contract with 2% each year. 

Ednotes talks about Diane Ravitch possibly derailing Superman for an Oscar.

Sign the petition:  "Our Teachers are Not Test Scores"  at Time Out from

ATRs:  My district rep said it's hard to get info from the DoE on what's happening with ATRs, because they keep changing the info about them, and their duties. This is one real big area where the UFT is not wielding a big enough stick. [JW: They could, though, if they'd stop collaborating.]

Observations:  Why the UFT isn't objecting to observations on people teaching out of license is really inexplicable.  The DoE comes at us like a truck, and the union makes sure the road is resurfaced.


TRCs (RRs)

Now that the so-called RRs are closed, they can send you to work or spend time in various places but not out of your borough. A district rep told us they're assigning people to work at the Construction Authority.  An interesting post on this subject entitled The UFT Dies By Its' Own Hand appeared Thurs. on the NYC Rubber Room Reporter, from which this extract:  

The April 15 agreement signed by Mike Mulgrew and Joel Klein is a fake, published to keep the public quiet about how $millions of dollars of public money are being spent on an absurd process of removing employees from the New York public school system that is not based on fact or law. 

Indeed, the day of the announcement I received a call at home from the principal of a rubber room (each of the 8 'rubber rooms' had a 'principal' who watched over the room(s) at that location for the NYC DOE) at 8:15AM and he told me to get to a rubber room quickly, as the UFT was making an announcement about closing the rooms. Not one representative of the UFT told me about this agreement or the press conference announcing the so-called "end of the rubber rooms" (which everyone knew was not true). This was strange as I was specifically hired to work with the members placed into re-assignment centers ( as well as still working in their schools). Later that day we had our monthly meeting at the UFT with all the reps., liaisons from all the rubber rooms and district offices, and Co-Staff Director (and Secretary of the Unity Caucus) Leroy Barr told me that he "forgot" to tell me about the agreement, sorry. 

So, what did I do then? I read the agreement and was alarmed  enough to start asking questions about how the rights of members to due process were protected. I was told that I was a great advocate, but the UFT didnt need me anymore. Bye.

They were right. The UFT does not need, nor do they want, someone helping members if it means going against the NYC Board of Education in any way. I think its time to look more closely at the people who take members' dues out of every paycheck. Full disclosure: I am not bitter at all that I no longer work at the UFT, thus I will write about the staff as information, not as revenge. I write what I see. I will start profiling staff members on this blog very soon.


The state wants to schedule it for Jan 11th instead of during Regents week, Jan 25-28. The UFT wants to collect documentation/testimony why Jan. 11th is not a good idea (like schools having to cover teachers to mark them) and send this stuff to Leo Casey (HS V.P.). We were told he seemed to have gotten it partially fixed back in June 08 when the state tried to schedule the first Integrated Algebra Regents for a same day turnover.  In any case, the scantron for the ELA short answers will go directly to the state.



Operating out of Aminda Gentile's office, Lisa Mendel receives notices of Special Ed violations through the UFT website.  She says she's the only one who knows you're reporting something, and within one week she'll respond to your complaint. Initially she'll make contact with the District Network Leader to let them resolve it. If after two weeks they haven't, she reports the violation to the State.  

       [JW:  Do not tell me that you will be anonymous in this process.  Somewhere along the line, they'll be able to peg you.]

Examples of typical Spec Ed. complaints.

         You have more than 12:1:1 or 15:1 kids in your class
         A 1:1 para is not being supplied
         A student is not getting speech, OT, or PT as stipulated on the IEP
         Mandated SETSS (Sp.Ed Teacher Support Service) is not being given
         CTT issues

When filing a complaint, you'll need to supply the name and OSIS of the student. She says she's been legally given the right  to look at any OSIS no. and IEP in the city because she's acting as a liaison. 
She also explained that for at the secondary level, spec. ed teachers of self-contained subject classes need to be "highly qualified" (or "HOUSSED") in that subject (e.g., ELA, Sci.).  You need 100 pts. to be "highly qualified."  50 of them can be awarded for majoring in the subject at the undergrad level; 10 pts are given for attending workshops; 10 pts more for attending faculty conferences; etc.    

By the way, the reverse is not true:  if you are a regular ed teacher, you cannot be HOUSSED in special ed.  In fact, Mendel stressed that self-contained classes being taught by regular ed teachers are totally illegal.  The UFT's position is that teachers should be strong against violations, but I think to some extent they have their collective heads in the sand.  Does one report the violation and perhaps cost people their jobs in the school?

Another violation that I believe is happening in many places is that when spec. ed students graduate from one level school to another (e.g., MS to HS), they are being automatically placed into the larger class size without re-evaluation. I was told by an administrator in my school that there "is no such thing" as 12:1 in HSS, so that MSS students coming into HSS get put in 15:1 automatically. No such thing, says Mendel. First of all, there is 12:1 in HSS, and not conforming to what is on the IEP that the kid walks in the door with — regardless of the new school or new level — is a violation.  What's needed is to re-evaluate the student.  [JW: and of course make the kid's needs conform to what the school can supply! Parents probably won't much notice the little "adjustment."  LOL.]  

Present at the IEP meeting should be the general ed teacher, the special ed teacher and the parent.  Nobody should be signing anything if they weren't at that meeting.  If let's say a special ed teacher arranges an IEP meeting according to when they themselves are available, then asks a general ed teacher to be taken out of class to attend, that teacher MUST BE COVERED -- and the "first-time" coverage rules do NOT apply. If you are asked to do this kind of coverage, you must (according to an arbitration decision) be covered. The special ed teacher setting up IEP meetings should clarify with the principal if they have the right to authorize coverages: the principal may not want to spend money on them.

Mendel mentioned that small adjustments to the IEP can be done without a real meeting.  If the reg ed and spec. ed teacher think a small change would benefit or at least be acceptable to the child, they can call the parent to ask permission without holding the meeting. 

         NOTE:   A spec. ed CL just wrote me:  "A change in an iep without a meeting can only be made
     after an annual review and parent must sign a form."

Alternative placement paras can be used for the whole class. 

Mendel explained the Phase I initiative, whereby 268 schools this year (25-30 in each of the 10 networks) are taking a close look at the special ed kids in their schools to see what can be changed/fixed.  Phase II will start in Sept 2011 and will include all schools in the city.  From then on, schools must keep their home-zoned kids; in other words, you can't exclude a student because you don't have a particular service for them, you have to create that service.  

She gave us some information about SESIS (Sp. Ed. Student Info System). The DoE is moving to a state IEP sometime next year — unless, she says, "We can stop it." I don't know what she meant by that "We":  the UFT — which hasn't been able to stop anything in recent memory — or the generic "we" (the city).  

In any case, the UFT describes the situation this way on its website:

"The DOE began rolling out a new special education data management system on a pilotbasis in 90 schools in May 2010. SESIS . . . will eventually capture and integrate all  of the information now held in CAP and SEC. Of more interest to members, SESIS  includes online versions of a variety of special education forms currently found in the appendix to the Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) as well as a new online ... IEP.     The format of the new IEP will be quite different from the one that has been in use for over a decade. In general, it tracks the model New York State IEP  which all school districts will be required to use  in the 2011-12 school year."

Looking at this website, I'm not at all sure what is being rolled out now and what will be rolled out in 2011: 

"MAXIMUS and the Department of Education have already begun to develop SESIS, and the system will be installed in selected schools in the fall of 2009 and rolled out in stages through the spring of 2011. The contract with MAXIMUS is for $54.9 million over five years. The Department of Education expects to spend an additional $23.7 million in internal costs during that time. Approximately 80 percent of the total cost will be covered with capital funding." 

        [JW: Quite clear is that this amounts to another corporate contract.]

NOTE:   The same spec. ed CL as above wrote me: "I am the official liaison for this delightfully horrid change. Myself and my school psychologist have been keeping a journal of  time we spend on the phone calling and waiting for answers from the SESIS Help  desk.  Lots  of time although not so much for me now. Problems to expect - the teachers have not really been given sufficient training so I have to sit with  them, at least the first time they go on the site to create an appointment letter and then the IEP. Many bugs to be fixed. And the teachers who are not computer literate (They DO exist) have a really hard time. My principal has allowed me a few per session hours to work with some of the teachers but it's not enough. ANd it's painful to watch them peck on the computer, I have entered some of the info for them. Anyway, this system will do away with the clerical worker jobs, the courier jobs, and eventually even the psych. supervisors. Big Brother watches everything you do on SESIS. It tracks compliance. It will save a lot of trees, however as everything will be paperless. Enjoy it!" 

If you want Lisa Mendel to give this same kind of presentation to your chapter, call Danielle — 212 598-9546. There's a waiting list, but they have time starting January.

Much information about Spec. Ed. can be found on under the "Teaching" tab, then go to Students with Disablities.  All of it is linked to the Board of Ed website. 



For a quick read on Progress Reports, here's what the indefatiguable Leonie Haimson had to say in the past couple of weeks: 

The DoE is insisting we all become acquainted with the data systems, so I decided to give it shot. You can get PDFs of individual School Progress Reports, Surveys and Quality Reviews by finding a school at the bottom of the DoE main page, clicking the link "Statistics" in the little box that's superimposed over the map.  You can also get Progress Report info and files from this website. There's a Scoring Guide for the Survey and other stuff at this site.  

Regarding the Surveys, BOTTOM LINE is:  Be careful using anything and everything in these reports. Admittedly, I did not go through all these with a fine-toothed comb, but for example:

Obfuscation #1: on p.2, you'll see the "response rates" for Parents, Students and Teachers.  I could not find where response rate is defined, but presumably it means the numbers of responses returned — whether they be completed, partially filled out, or blank.  

Obfuscation #2:  p.2 does not give the numbers of Parents, Students or Teachers who exist at the school at the time the survey was created. Did guidance counselors, social workers and pscyhologists take the surveys and fall under the "Teacher" category?  If not, why weren't their opinions sought out?   

Minor obfuscation #3: can be found on p. 2 in the little chart announcing the percentages who took the survey online. That percentage may be quite high (100% at my school), but as colorful as that little graph is, no one should confuse the percentage of online submissions with the number of teachers taking the survey at all (which, I said was, in our case, only 39%). 

Giggle #1: on p.2 there's a chart that shows the difference between the percentages of teachers responding to this disgraceful survey in the past 3 years. In our school it went down from 84% (2008) to 81% (20089) to 39% (2010). 
         Possible explanation:  A couple of years ago, they made us do the surveys online at a faculty conference. But even then when the response rate was 84%, that meant 16% of teachers obviously didn't press SEND or were absent that day.  
         Giggle #2 (and Obfuscation #4):  Lo and behold, our "School Environment" rating on the 2010 School Progress Report went up by 2 points this year.  Clearly if the whole school is not made to do the survey online at a faculty conference and — HYPOTHETICALLY (of course) — the well-liked teachers are encouraged to fill it out, chances are the scores will go up. The 61% disgruntled, apathetic, and politically opposed teachers who do not take the survey at all are not represented in the results. 

Obfuscation #5:  The Scoring Guide says: "To calculate scores for each question on the Survey Report, response percentages are calculated by dividing the number of respondents selecting each choice by the total number of respondents who answered that particular question. "  Which makes the whole thing more ridiculous still. If someone feels a question is too ambiguous to answer or is disinclined to answer it for whatever reason, the question is left blank and not counted. By using percentages rather than actual numbers of responses, you can never get a real picture of what's going on. 

Giggle: #3:  on p.15 of the survey where it asks teachers if they feel supported, check out what percentages agree that they're supported by the Principal, the APs, and Other Teachers.  
        In our case, it was 62%, 78%, and 94%, respectively.  Apart from the fact that only 39% of teachers are responding at all — which shows a great deal of apathy or disgust with the entire process — and apart from the fact that we can't tell from this untransparent data how many responded to that particular question, the 94% figure might be an indication of who's doing all the elephant's share of "being supportive" at our school.

I'm not suggesting anyone wastes two hours with these documents like I just did. They are nothing but a tool that can be used for political agendas. The way they've been designed has little to do with the what's going on in our schools. 



There was some talk in here about what happens when the ATR agreement ends, but payment arrangements for the ATR salaries will continue.  The Nov.2008  side agreement: 
12:  This agreement will expire on December 1, 2010 although paragraphs 4, 5 & 6 will continue to apply to hiring done on or prior to that date, according to the specific terms set forth above. 
4 .   When a centrally-funded ATR is hired to fill a regular position in a school (other than the school from which the ATR was excessed), on or after November 1st of the calendar year in which they were excessed, central DOE will pay the difference between the actual salary of the teacher and a starting teacher salary, and then, in subsequent years, will continue to pay the difference between the actual salary and the subsequent steps on the salary scale (for example, in year 2, the difference between actual salary and step 2A on the salary scale). This subsidy will terminate once the excessed employee has been in the position 8 years.       
5. Until November 15, 2010 a school that hires a centrally-funded ATR to fill a regular position (other than a school from which the ATR was excessed) on or after November 1st of the calendar year in which they were excessed, in addition to being charged in accordance with ¶4 above, central DOE will credit the hiring school's budget one-half of the starting teacher salary that would  otherwise be paid by the school under 4 above.           
6. After November 1, principals can offer to hire centrally-funded ATRs for the balance of the school year on a provisional basis whereby ATRs accepting this offer can be excessed, regardless of seniority, at the end of the school year in which they are hired, or can opt to be placed in excess again at that time. If the ATR is not excessed again at the end of the school year, and does not opt to be placed in excess at that time, the ATR will become a regularly-appointed pedagogue at the school. The subsidies provided for in ¶4 & ¶5 above will not apply to ATRs hired provisionally pursuant to this paragraph, but will apply should such an ATR become a regularly-appointed pedagogue at the school. 

From the CL Weekly:

                    "Please remind your members that during this once-a-year “open enrollment” transfer period for health coverage, Nov. 1 to 30, they can now go online both to review their current coverage information and to change that coverage. Access is through the Employee Self-Service System, as the city’s Health Benefits Administration advised members by email. Login instructions are in the email. Those unable to access the system can fax their changes directly to the Department of Education at 718-935-5125. Note that this is the last year faxes or paper copies will be accepted. Tell members they should not give forms to their payroll secretary; they must submit the forms themselves. Remember, the deadline for submission is Nov. 30. The changes are effective January 2011. Members can access the Welfare Fund’s website to view the comparison chart of the New York City health plans. Please note that the “Young Adult Age 26 Coverage” will become available in July 2011 for the NYC health plans."



Also from the CL Weekly. I never got this debit card or used one so I can't speak about yea or nay about it: 

               "Direct deposits of your Teacher’s Choice money are scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 9. Those members who are new hires and those who did not receive a debit card in previous years will be issued a new debit card with the Dec. 15 payroll. Those who received a debit card last year or the year before should make sure to activate your current debit card prior to Dec. 1. Otherwise, existing funding on the card will expire and cannot be replenished; plus, the card will be canceled, and you will not be issued a new card until after the holidays. All debit cards issued last year or the year before will be replenished on Dec. 15.  If you have any questions about the debit card, please call the Office of Special Projects at 718-935-3304. If you have lost or destroyed last year’s card, you must contact the Chase Customer Service's toll-free number at 866-795-3890 for a replacement card. You are entitled to one free replacement every year."                 
In response to a question on a listserv I sent around last time: "Did Randi and BloomKlein break the law when they negotiated a Tier 5 pension for NYC teachers?  In 1973 Albany enacted a law stripping counties, cities, towns and the like fo the ability to negotiate pension benefits with unionized public workers. City teachers have accepted a less generous Tier 5 for new hires, and the legislature honored he accord Bloomberg reached with them. But th erest of the workforce only has four tiers."

And the response at that time:  "That agreement also reduced our Fixed A to 7% while CSA and other unions are still at 8-1/2%."

Marian Swerdlow responded now : "Technically, they did not negotiate the actual change.  The union and management agreed to work together to get the legislation passed.  Only the state legislature can change the pension rules.  And they did.  The NYS legislature agreed to the new tier for new hires.  I guess that's what the writer means by "the legislature honored the accord."  They passed it into law.  So, no law was broken.  ) - :"

[[  Email no. 4 Part II - Nov.7, 2010 ]]

Hello, good afternoon,

Apart from obvious typos, here are the errata in Email no.4, which I sent yesterday:   

         1.  The ATR side agreement was Nov. (not Feb.) of 2008.

         2.  I should have written "fine-toothed (not tooth) comb."  (Darn this English language. It's like palying Gotcha.)

Lots of additions to that email, so I had to continue with this Part B.  

I'd like to shout out to teacher, outspoken ed activist, and GEM member Brian Jones for getting what looks like his picture on the UFT website on the Teaching tab. 



SPECIAL ED FACTOIDS:  CONTINUED from Email no.4  . . . .

Someone wrote me these additions to "SPECIAL ED FACTOIDS":  "A change in an iep without a meeting can only be made after an annual review and parent must sign a form"       

 and      "I am the official liaison for this delightfully horrid change. Myself and my school psychologist have been keeping a journal of  time we spend on the phone calling and waiting for answers from the SESIS Help  desk.  Lots  of time although not so much for me now. Problems to expect - the teachers have not really been given sufficient training so I have to sit with  them, at least the first time they go on the site to create an appointment letter and then the IEP. Many bugs to be fixed. And the teachers who are not computer literate (They DO exist) have a really hard time. My principal has allowed me a few per session hours to work with some of the teachers but it's not enough. ANd it's painful to watch them peck on the computer, I have entered some of the info for them. Anyway, this system will do away with the clerical worker jobs, the courier jobs, and eventually even the psych. supervisors. Big Brother watches everything you do on SESIS. It tracks compliance. It will save a lot of trees, however as everything will be paperless. Enjoy it!" 

Apart from these comments, I left out a few things from Email no.4, and then I'm done with this whole subject for a while.

1. COPIES OF THE IEP:   Lisa Mendel reminds us that that Chapter 408 of some law or other says that:  "Each general education teacher, special ed, and related service provider who is resonsible for implementing the student's IEP is provided a paper or electronic copy of the IEP prior to implementation of such IEP."  The logic is there, of course, but implementation of this de-forestation project is unrealistic, esp. in the biggest schools. Paras have ongoing access to review the IEPs.  Some schools house the IEPs in an office and tell you to get them yourselves. Illegal.  Particularly illegal, the way I see it, is when paras, aides, and other special ed staff help you interpret IEPs that you're supposed to go and fetch yourself, since the documents are supposed to be confidential. 

2. SETSS is NOT a credit-bearing class, as much as some principals probably want it to be to get their cohorts through the system.
Also interesting in a Klein memorandum (May 2003) is that CTT postings are local (i.e., in the school only), but SETSS vacancies "must be posted int he school first and then in the superintendency" if you can't find any "qualified regularly appointed applicants in the school." 

3.  CTT classes are 34 kids max, with no more than 40% of the register spec. ed students.  But, 40% of 34 is 13.6 kids. Pt II, sec. 8 of the DoE's Standard Operating Manual for sp. ed (Sept 2008, 297 pages long, online here) says:  "Because of a change in NYS Regulation, Collaborative Team Teaching classes will be referred to as 'Integrated Co-Teaching Services.' This is a change in name only, with the one exception being that the maximum number of students with disabilities in a class is 12."  So not 13-and-a-half kids, but 12 max. 

4. VARIANCES in spec. ed operations:  Also in the documentation Mendel provided:  some variances are allowed on a case-by-case basis, but not without state (SED) approval. In other words, don't put the student in the illegal situation while you're waiting for SED approval.

5. HOUSSING:  You don't have to be a "highly qualified" (i.e., HOUSSED) spec. ed teacher to do CTT, since the regular ed subject teacher is in the room.   

6. ONLINE RESOURCES:  Many of the stipulations Lisa talked about in her presenttion can be found online at the the UFT webpage Students with Disablities.  Here's the links for easy reference:
Here are some other links supplied by a Bronx CL attending the same meeting:

7. TO FILE A COMPLAINT (but think 10 times before you do):    File a Special Education Complaint



From Steve Koss:

" . . . The Milo Beckman story was presented on ABC and can be found at [this] HuffPost link .Be sure to watch the video clip -- it's worth the three minutes just to see a NYC public school student who knows how to think, gather data, and analyze it."

Marjorie Stamberg remarks:  "But is there a writing teacher on the planet who hasn't known this "secret" for years?  I believe the NY Times has published studies on this, not just for the SATs, but for all the standardized "5 paragraph essays" where 6 or more paragraphs earn you a lot more points going in."


The dist rep included a printout of this article on "cyber-bullying."

I had my first experience of electronic misdeeds a couple of weeks ago, when a boy whose cellphone had never been taken away (though he uses it all the time) took a video of a cockroach on the shirt of the boy sitting in front of him in my class. (Now that I think of it, maybe it was a bedbug.)  Big joke, hah hah.  Unfortunately, he captured me teaching in the background. I reported it. One AP handled it by speaking with mom immediately and warning the device would be confiscated if it was seen again. Another AP contacted mom and warned again. Alas, the boy was in classroom with the same device for the rest of the week, and forever onwards after that, receiving and making texts. I am convinced other students are taping and videoing us all the time, and I am equally convinced admin has thrown in the towel on this.  Does it need one of us to file a lawsuit to stop this?


DA Notes (Oct. 20)   

I was hoping someone else would do these, but here's what I wrote down:

Mulgrew first spoke on teacher bashing.  He saw Superman and though it was "lazy filmmaking" and dated, saying there was a $60 million PRT campaign behind it. It debuted at about the same as what he calls "MSNBC Teacher Bashing Week", and all the Oprah appearances and United Way's panel deiscussions around the country. 

On the Teacher Data Reports, he said: "If we ever get to a reliable value-added system, it would be good for kids."  He said the UFT is engaged in this work, to develop a tool that will help kids." [JW: many people in the union, particularly in the opposition caucuses, are opposed to MM's collaboration on this issue.]  
     He said that earlier that day, the chancellor reneged on his obligtion and promise NOT to release the reports to the press.  They're due to be released on Friday, Oct. 22nd, but the UFT will file a restraining order because according to Mulgrew:  NO value-added system is good enough anywhere in the country. NYC's is highly complicated and uses unreliable formulas. The DoE has lied about the test scores:  Harvard analyzed the test scores and said they were "invalid" and "unreliable", so we already have an "invalid and unreliable formula." Also, he said 13 of 20 teachers who looked at the reports said they were not their kids or their classes. MM's messge:  
            1. We want parents to get reliable info, 
            2. The teachers who volunteered to be part of this study went out on a limb to help develop this tool, 
            3. We need to tell parents that they DID go out on a limb and the city of NY is betraying each and every one of them.

Klein is releasing these results, according to Mulgrew, because he doesn't wnt anyone talking about the new of the corrupt test scores. The ELA and Math tests in grades 4-8 affect a little under 12,000 teachers — the scores would be released for all these teachers, not just the ones who volunteered for the pilot. The UFT is setting up a hotline with experts on the TDR.  The press will say the UFT doesn't want to get info out to the parents. Klein's strategy is to set parents against teachers, and we can't let members come into harm's way for volunteering.
           [JW: But Mulgrew signed onto this value-added evaluation project in the first place and encouraged teachers to join it.  Do not tell me that the union hadn't already been sidelined, belittled, and beaten down enoughby this chancellor for Mulgrew to have been justified in taking an entirely different position on this issue — one that did not involve COLLABORATION with these people. In fact, he still wants to play with them, continuing:] 

                MM: "We want to be part of things that are new."  
                       "We do not want to be shunned."
                       "We can turn this into:  We want to change, but you betrayed us!"

[NOTE: The release is now on hold pending a court hearing on Nov. 24th.  In that link, there's a picture of Marjorie Stamberg, whom I frequently quote in these emails.]

MM said Klein is working with speed on certain FOILS, but not on others.  

He talked about the upcoming elections, which is all moot now, but he did say that they were endorsing anyone for governor, they WERE endorsing Schneiderman and DiNapoli, and Avella.

MM reminded us that we do not have a new evaluation system in place. Legislation was passed to develop it, but it doesn't go in automatically until 2011. It must be negotiated before it's installed.

He said the CEC's presentation on test scores has lots of spin, and we must blow up their crap at the meetings.

He talked about daycare workers as a bargaining unit, but I didn't catch it except that they have to sign up 26,000 in four months.

Another report on this DA over on the ICEblog.



Because we're dealing with a lot of needy children who will cross boundaries. We are also dealing with administrators who have little experience dealing with kids and parents, so to not know how to weigh accusations against reality.  
Simple example: Student said teacher "cursed".  Teacher did not "curse," but used an Celtic word that is no longer used in formal conversations.  Teacher also explained the difference between a "curse" and such Celtic words that have fallen out of common discourse this century. Some administrators know the difference, some do not.
      In any case, this post by Chaz has some interesting information, also in the comments section. 



I will continue to mention these very important ones until things change in my school:

Chapter Leaders who do not do these (among many other) things are taking the our money and running.

I didn't know while I was writing this that Ednotes had something similar in his latest post.  Scroll down to the section on chapter meetings (excerpt below) and see how much work is involved when you do the job right: 

Chapter meetings and the newsletter 
The key instruments of organizing was the newsletter and focusing on holding productive UFT meetings, which I moved from a split lunch period to a regular once a month on a Friday before school. I got food paid for from my chapter leader stipend and the meetings became breakfast and were well-attended. [contd at length]



James Eterno, CL of Jamaica HS, writes why they are a joke. Excerpt:

"This problem could be easily resolved by putting an absolute cap in the contract but the UFT won’t even demand this kind of modest class size reduction. The DOE agreed to lower class sizes to around 25 in the high schools to settle the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit but they won't even enforce an absolute cap of 34 on their principals. Of course, DOE will still always blame the teachers when things go wrong in a school."



Someone bothered to come to the DA and hand out flyers on the Killer Coke, saying we should support the campaign against the company's "widespread human rights and environmental abuses". So I pass on this link to the campaign.  Products to boycott: Coca-Cola, Femsa, Dasani, Fanta, Minute Maid, Nestea, Sprite, Powerade, Owalla, Tecate, Sol, and Dos Equis.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JW just emailed an updated "Email no.4, part II" with erratas and more information.