Monday, December 29, 2008

A new word game

I found a new word game to keep me occupied while I ignore the state of our great education system.
Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Military Recruitment in our Schools

So just a quick question. If you opted out of military recruitment when your child attended Cardozo High School and your child graduates, does the DOE give that information to the recruiters anyway? Middle one just had a phone call from the US Army saying that they have his phone number as a recent graduate of Cardozo High School. Now, how do I prove that the DOE gave that information out and do I now have to call Cardozo and lay down the law. This is crap. He is gone and still I have to deal with the multitude of red tape to get his name off of some list I did not want him on in the first place.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hi there,

Wee one has been sick since summer. It started with a cold, the a nice hacking wet cough, ended up with pneumonia.The pneumonia lasted a bit, he was treated with cold medicines, cough medicines, inhalers, pills. He has been treated as an asthma patient, an allergy patient, and now an asthma patient. He has been to his doctor and now a pediatric pulmonary doctor. He is now using a compressed nebulizer system. The boy is a champ. He had a flu shot the other day. He did not want it (like he had a choice) but he took well.He has already missed 7 days of school. So with all of that happening and the two other kids I have been a bit preoccupied. Not enough though that I have not been paying attention to what has been occurring.
I hear things have been great. The custodial budget has been cut. We have been promised that schools will remain clean. With no money for supplies and custodians only having half a cleaner I can see that happening. By the way what the hell is half a cleaner? Is that half a person, or a half assed job?
School budgets have been slashed. In this elite district this is disastrous. We already run our schools without art programs and if a school has to get rid of big money items ie: a teacher (I am no advocate for getting rid of a teacher) lets see how that will go. A teacher may not be excessed. Great idea. So we have to get rid of a teacher anyway so lets get rid of that F status teacher. So there goes gym, computer, library, music, art you get the picture.
We could also wait for the high salaried teacher to retire or just make their lives miserable until they do. Hey. I have a great candidate for retirement, but I digress.
Those are the budget cuts as of now. But next year you have to cut another $75,000 out of your already meager budget. So now our example school, does not have gym, art, library, music and computer.
What is left to cut Joel, Mike? Can I please have an answer to your absurdity?
And people, do you truly believe Obama was actually going to choose Joel as his Education Secretary? Come on, really? I will tell you I did sign all the Joel is a big effin asshat petitions that went around, because I just had to.
Now talking about "entrenched" interests. When you give birth to 3 children who HAVE and DO attend public schools come back to me and tell me again, just who does have a true entrenched interest. Entrenched, what is this anyway war? Oh, wait, it has become a war.
Tell me again, why was last years rally canceled? Randi, can you hear me?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Too Cute

reminds me of wee one, he even had the same shirt

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I love word games. Crossword puzzles, even the occasional math puzzle.
Being that I love word games I spend time when I have with the game text twist. Wee one comes to talk to me a lot when I am choosing my words and 8 out of 10 times he gives me the answer to the six letter word before I can come up with it. That boy sure is smart.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Whoever thought up extended day

my child will no longer be attending extended day because
1) I went to pick him up early and he was running across the stage in the audiotorium
2) he told me he cleans the classroom.
3) he does nothing.
Great management of time.
Just a question though, do you think they learn more when the teacher has to bring the children down the stairs, release the other chldren in the classroom and then bring said extended day children back to the classroom. Is that why extended day ends at 3;17 and a half?
a half are you effin kidding me?

Chancellor Announces Arts in Schools

Psst, Joel, yeah you. I hear that Arts in Schools are doing just great. You big fat liar. I see your pants and they are on fire. The report that apparently (yes I did read it) arts education in ALL ART DISCIPLINES have increased. Yeah really, have they Joel, have they. Lets see. I have said it a few times in this blog but my sons school does not have art at all, and I know his is not the only one, because unlike you I talk to parents, and I listen to them. You got rid of Project Arts. Remember that program the one that provided schools with a budget to bring Arts into the schools. Without Project Arts schools don't have the budgetary funds to enrich the children with a well rounded art program. Which increases a child's learning.
Let me ask you this Joel, like you care, but just how to you pick and choose which school is deserving of an arts education? As far as I see it ALL schools should receive an arts education. After all this is New York City. You know the city that has Broadway, Off Broadway, Galleries and hmmm some of the greatest Museums in the country. If you can hit your friends up for stupid yes stupid ways to invest their monies to help education. Well it doesn't really help education but you see it as helping. Cough Leadership Academy cough.
Since you have been in control schools have gone from worse to just the same. There have been no major improvements that I can see.All the lying and fake reports you put out are only fooling the uninformed. The people that don't have a child in the system.
Stop lying already Joel no one is buying it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


pardon the interruption, but my bitchometer has been broken. I have been annoyed by the shenanigans over at the DOE but my snarkiness has been held down while I have been pondering the following:
Wee one's schools funding or budget has been slashed (like his is the only one), with about a dollar left for toilet paper. With the loss of the funding we now have lost our art program. Yipee now more time for test prep. Which we all know is all important since not only are students going to be graded, so are teachers. Nice job there Randi.
The DOE has decided to cut budgets, freeze spending unless you work at Tweed. Uh just how the bleep does that work? That is like me, my hours were cut at work, because we all know that Real Estate rocks right now. But the silver lining in this all is I got a hefty pay raise and my salary has not changed one iota. Uh, wait, that only happens in the world of Mayor Mike and Uncle Joel (or Lehman executives, and I am neither).
So, since budgets have been cut and spending has been curtailed the geniuses over at Tweed thought it would be grand for CEC's to take out of their measly budgets, raises for the AA's. They can't pay out if the DOE budget since it has to look like spending is down. Hey just like the graduation rates are up and so are test scores. Oh and while you are giving the raise you also have to pay for the incidentals. Nice little scheme you have going there,. Tell me how do I sign up?
Next item:
Term limits. It seems to me a few years back there was this little referendum on the ballot to ask New Yorkers to vote on term limits. You7 know to see if we wanted them, and by golly we did. But all of a sudden Dictator Cesar Bloomberg and his billionaire friends ( the same or different) who have Charter schools, etc. decided Mike still needs to be be Mayor because they have not lined their pockets with enough tax breaks or whatever else they have been taking from us mere peons. So the City Council things this is a great idea. Screw us and our voice. Seems to be the same scenario that is being run over at the DOE. Just remember to sit down and shut up is the new motto.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Commission on School Governance

Please make a trip over to NYCPublicSchoolParents, and read Steve Koss assessment of the Final Report on School Governance. I agree with him 100%. I have only read the beginning of the report, I will finish it today, but so far I have not seen any true changes that they want to make.

Monday, September 29, 2008

100 Books

borrowed from this blog:

I am shocked to see that I read more than I intially thought, Mostly in middle school and high school. Now I am going to try to read the rest.
"The Big Read is a USA National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

Look at the list and bold those you have read.
Italicize those you intend to read.
Underline (or color) the books you LOVE .
Share this list in your blog, too, if you like."

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Seriously? All of them?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Umm..this is part of the Narnia Chronicles)(I actually read it to my oldest son when he was in the 4th grade
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (Loved Saturday, hated the movie of this one)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Another double-mention)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (en Francais!)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Mayor Bloomberg announced that in these trying times more money needs to be cut from the already meager budget of NYC Public Schools.
I am scratching my head trying to figure out just where my school that is underfunded as it is will be cutting this money from. I guess we could get rid of a teacher or two or three. You see where that is going. Our class sizes are not big enough yet. Wee one has 28 children in his class. I guess that is a good size compared to other schools so I should really just shut it.
Now parents, educators, administrators need to start writing more grants to beg for money for their schools since programs are going to have to go.
Last night there was a fundraiser for the Susan and Tony Bennett Exploring the Arts
for Public Schools a whopping $1.2 million was raised. Bravo to them for seeing the need for Public Schools having an arts program. Now let me get to the inequity of having to beg for this money. My school in the "Elite" District has had a hard time trying to receive this money. I used to be one of the grant beggars umm I mean liaison for the school. I would call great programs asking what the criteria was for attaining certain art programs to come to our school. The answer I would inevitably get was "I am sorry but your school is not needy enough." I would always say but we are a public school funded the same way as the other NYC Public Schools. The response I would ALWAYS get was we were not impoverished enough. We did not receive Title 1 monies etc.
So then you wonder why we as a PTA have to raise money to purchase a teacher for an art program, or an extra aide, or text books or whatever our Principal can not get out of her meager budget.
Are our children not as eligible for the same art programs? They are after all in a Public School and we do pay the same taxes as other Public School parents.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Find the State

Try and see if you know where the State goes

Play Games at AddictingGames

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When does a street become dangerous

I know of a few schools in my area that have requested crossing guards, because the streets are heavily used. Heavy traffic, dangerous conditions for adults crossing but not deemed so for children. I wonder if they use the same excuse for Queens Boulevard?
How many children need to be mowed down before eyes are opened.
School buses have been taken away for some children due to budgetary restraints, or that is the excuse the DOE uses. So instead, children are expected to cross main intersections by themselves to travel back and forth to school. According to the DOE a main intersection near my house has been downgraded to country road. Okay well it was not but we were told that it is not a high traffic area. Well lets wee if it is not a high traffic area how is it that I as an adult have to run across this said street to get across it before the light changes, or that their are two traffic camera's positioned to catch motorists blowing the light. From what I heard it makes mega money a year close to a cool million a year. Damn if that is not a high traffic area I don't know what is.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yesterday morning I was watching Meet The Press. Well actually I was changing channels and Tom Brokaw asked Rudy Giuliani about Barack Obama wanting to enact sex ed bill for kindergarten students. There is a whole uproar about teaching our precious students about sex. A sex education bill for our kindergarten students. Giuliani goes on about how the bill was not passed. Hooray now our students are safe, but are they?
I know here in NYC there is a sex education mandate for New York City Schools and our students, and that when my son was in kindergarten it was enacted for the first year. No notice went out to us that our children were going to be taught this it was by word of mouth. The curriculum was on the DOE website, not sure if it is now though.
I try not to get into politics because to tell you the truth it makes me crazy the lies that are told and how to decipher them.
I just love how they are speaking about this sex ed thing like it is not already being taught and that we should all be afraid of big bad Obama because he wants to teach our children about sex. What hypocrisy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What a difference a year makes

Last year wee one had a teacher that at times can be very mean. If she likes your child, your child will do fine. If from day one your child rubs her the wrong way, well you had better watch out because all holy hell will break loose and your child will have a bad year.
It goes on year, after year, after year.
Mr. Pissed Off and I had a meeting at the very beginning of last year when we noticed a gigantic behaviour change in our child and we knew why. Remember I have been at that school for awhile.
Last year at dismissal if my last name was not being bellowed, it was one of two other parents who had a child that pissed off Mrs. I need better medication or need to retire.
So the difference this year wee one has a mellow teacher, very mellow the kind that teaches your child. He bounced out of school yesterday with a big toothless grin. Mrs. Mellow wanted to get my attention so she waved gently for me to come to her. A nice wave with a big smile, no screaming my name so the whole damn school could hear it.
She told me that wee one forgot a homework assignment. I thanked her and told her it would not happen again but in his defense he was ill the night before. Her response, in such a sweet voice. Oh that is okay, next time just write me a note.
Last year it would have been that I was the crappiest parent in the world and wee one was the devil's spawn.
To say that I was dissatisfied with last years learning experience and my normally bright child tanked on his E-Class last year compared to the past years of being the highest scoring child in his classes has nothing at all to do with the fact that screaming at a 7 year old all bleeping day does not teach them a damn thing but to shut you out.
For the life of me I am still scratching my head trying to figure out if they know I am such a bitch why the powers that be would decide that they needed to piss me the f*** off.
I was nice and quiet about all this last year because I know that they read this blog. I don't care anymore. He is my last child in the system and I am going to make sure that the rest of his days go smoothly. He is bright and is going to stay that way.
Have a great year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I had 10 million dollars to spare

I too would open a charter school. It seems these days anyone with a few bucks to spare can open up a charter regardless of how much experience they have. All it takes is name recognition and the ear of the Mayor.
Way back when oldest guy and middle one were in elementary school I said I wish I had money to spare to donate a large chunk of money to the school so we could have all the services that were denied to our small school because enrollment was low. One of the things I did not want was to squeeze more children into our small school. You know like charters do.
If I had $10 million to spare and I truly wanted to "educate" children I would find an alternative building to place them in. Unfortunately I am an idealist and I don't get how charters get away with this year after year. I know that there are parents out there who think that charters are the best thing that happened to their little mop heads since the invention of sliced bread. I wonder how they feel after little Johnny is thrown out of the charter because they just don't make the cut. That is something that is not ever published in the bias rah rah Bloomberg is the great education Mayor press.
Now if anyone can open up a charter school how about a group of parents and a group of handpicked teachers. Who has better experience on how a school should be run? Not the Mayor of Klein. No matter how much they change the stats in there favor they sure as hell haven't really done such a great job. I haven't noticed any change in the schools. Except that my school lost a lot of money. With that and another volatile issue. Now my freaking PTA has to whore themselves more asking for more money so we can purchase what we lost. I think that it is disgusting that we have to dig deep into our pockets and give our money to a PUBLIC school. I do pay taxes and plenty of them. So far the only thing that has not been taxed on me is the air I breathe, or at least not yet.
It is against DOE policy for parents to pay for a teacher, but the DOE plays dumb to it. I remember when that parents can not pay for a teacher policy came in effect. I was there when it happened. Rudy Crew was the Chancellor. So when the letter from my PTA comes out any day now and asks me for a large donation I am going to be pissed again but I will roll up my pennies and give it because we really need that copy paper, and of course an art teacher.
If I had $10 million I would open the Pissed Off Mom school and make sure that every one of the 300+ children that attended wee one's school had a well rounded education with UNION teachers.

5 days into the school year

and wee one has already had his first little foray with throwing up. Lovely. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that during extended day he was cleaning desks?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

McCain accepts the nomination

Love the comments about what schools need.
More competition

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Putting Children First

Well school has begun. A new year, and a new year of DOE spin. The literature I received welcoming me back says it all. New York City Public Schools. Putting Children First.
Hmmm lets see, putting children first by announcing 18 new charter schools to squeeze into schools at the expense of others. So what children are first in those 18 schools? The charter children who had better make the cut or the squeezed in children who are now shoved into an overcrowded class.
Putting children first. How is it that when your principal knows year after year that there are some teachers that how do we put this nicely. Emasculate your child because he/she does not fit into her cookie cutter approach to teaching makes them feel less than the child they are. So by the end of the year your child has not learned a thing and has to be detoxed the whole summer and taught to be whole again. And believe me I am not the only parent who feels this way, and I am not the only parent from last year who has had to do this.
Children first, when a brand spanking new school is built and 2 days into the school year the school is so overcrowded that they are turning children away from their neighborhood school.
When the Mayor and his minions think that they are doing an A one job, decide that they need to form a non profit company to lobby to keep Mayoral Control of schools. Like we did not know that was coming down the pike. I mean how could the Mayor and his little friends keep their little gravy train of "tax write-offs", wait not tax write off doing the right thing for the children, after all they are first.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Education Equality Project

The new "project" brought to you by Al Sharpton and Joel Klein.
I know this has been in the works and I have been on vacation.
There have been plenty of questions that have been posed by many over the past month about this project.
If it is indeed being funded by private monies, why are those private people not wanting the little people "us" knowing who they are?
Why name it Education Equality Project? Isn't education supposed to be equal for all anyway? Whether or not the children attend a public or charter school? I would say private but then again we are well aware that private schools are on a whole other playing field. At least the playing field is not on Randall's Island, but I digress.
So I received an email the other day with a media advisory from the Education Equality Project that in Denver the "project" as I will call it will call on the Democratic Party to endorse the Project’s Statement of Principles.
I find the statement of Principles to be ironic at best. With Joel Klein as a founder of the project and saying that the system is broke is that his way of admitting that even after everything he tried to do as Chancellor that they system still has not helped the neediest students?
He does spin scores to his advantage we all know that.
While we all still try to figure out just what the "Project" is really trying to achieve with all their fancy posturing, isn't it just amazing that the proud announcement of additional charter schools were revealed.
How about we just stop making up all these new "initiatives" already and just unmask yourselves as the great privatize of the public schools so we can all just go home already.
The new school year is just a mere few days away. Is a new rally in the plans yet?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The phone rings, I pick it up to be greeted by Cardozo's automated phone call welcoming me back to the school year. Thank you very much for the welcome back but I hope in a few more weeks my phone number will be omitted from your computer.
Things never change.
Back in the stone age when I graduated from Martin Van Buren High and was already in college my lovely parents received a notice from the dean that I had stop attending school. It was already 6 months into the school year. I guess things never change even with the advent of computers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I wish someone would have reminded me that just because you wore your new sneakers once, does not mean that you can do a two mile run in them the next day. They sure are not broken in and I have a big gigantic callus on my foot now. Not like it is going to stop me from my weekly Wednesday 10 mile walk. You can find me hobbling along somewhere in Queens.

By the way I am down 33 pounds. Yeah for me!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Reading

I was wandering the local Private Schools for wee one, because I just won the lotto didn't you hear. Pissed Off Mom wins the lotto tells the Public School to kiss her ass. Just kidding I did not win lotto, but the system still can kiss my ass.
Did you know that this one nameless school teaches 3rd grade students how to build a house, and then landscape at the same time in their botany class. Where did we go wrong?

Another thing look at the list below for the mandatory summer reading list for High School students and tell me, please which of these books are our students asked to read? Just wondering ?

Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.
A Separate Place by J. Knowles
Kon Tiki by T. Heyerdahl
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by B. Smith
Laughing Boy by O. LaFarge
Annie John by J. Kincaid
My Antonia by W. Cather
Back from Tomorrow by G. Ritchie
The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by A. McCall Smith
The Chosen by C. Potok
Of Mice and Men by J. Steinbeck
The Good Earth by P.S. Buck
Profiles in Courage by J. Kennedy
Growing Up by R. Baker
Story of My Life by H. Keller
The Human Comedy by W. Saroyan
Travels With Charlie by J. Steinbeck
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by M. Craven
Wurthering Heights by E. Bronte
Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.
At Risk by A. Hoffman
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Memaday
Black Boy by R. Wright
Into Thin Air by J. Krakauer
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Ironweed by W. Kennedy
The Color Purple by A. Walker
Jane Eyre by C. Bronte
The Daughter of Fortune by I. Allenhoe
Kaffir Boy by M. Mathebane
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by A. Tyler
The Kitchen God's Wife by A. Tan
Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson
The Kite Runner by K. Hosseini
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories by E. A. Poe
Lovely Bones by A. Sebold
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
The Mists of Avalon by M. Bradley
Go Tell It On the Mountain by J. Baldwin
Scarlett Letter by N. Hawthorne

The Tao of Pooh by B. Huff
Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.
The Andromeda Strain by M. Crichton
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by V. Hugo
Angela’s Ashes by F. McCourt
The Joy Luck Club by A. Tan
Bean Trees by B. Kingsolver
Main Street by S. Lewis
Bell Jar by S. Plath
The Name of the Rose by U. Eco
Beloved by T. Morrison
Native Son by R. Wright
Cannery Row by J. Steinbeck
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by K. Kesey
Don Quixote by Cervante
Reviving Ophelia by M. Pipher
Ethan Frome by E. Wharton
Silent Spring by R. Carson
For Whom The Bell Tolls by E. Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Z.N. Hurston
Grendel by J. Gardner
Tracks by L. Erdrich
Henderson the Rain King by S. Bellow
Zen in the Art of Archery by E. Herrigel
Seniors MUST read four (4) books – Either Anna Karenina, OR Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy, two (2) books from the following list and one (1) individual selection.
1984 by G. Orwell
The Fixer by B. Malamus
100 Years of Solitude by G. Marquez
Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
And There Was Light by J. Lusseyran
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Autobiography of Malcolm X by M.X
Handmaid’s Tale by M. Atwood
Brave New World by A. Huxley
Heart of Darkness by J. Conrad
Brideshead Revisited by E. Waugh
Humboldt’s Gift by S. Bellow
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by S. Hawking
Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog
The Brothers Karamazov by F. Dostoevsky
Love in the Time of Cholera by G. Marquez
The Cancer Ward by A. Solzhenitsyn
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by J. Joyce
Cat’s Cradle by K. Vonnegut
Prayer for Owen Meany by J. Irving
Cider House Rules by J. Irving
A Room of One’s Own by V. Woolf
A Confederacy of Dunces by J. Kennedy Toole
Song of Solomon by T. Morrison
A Doll’s House & Hedda Gabler by H. Ibsen
The Stand by S. King
A Farewell to Arms by E. Hemingway
Woman Warrior by M. H. Kingston

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Madness by R. Pirsig

Monday, August 11, 2008

A conversation at enrichment

When I drop my wee one off at the local enrichment center, I usually hang around and wait for him to finish, or if highly motivated I do my power walk. Lately though I have been waiting for him.
The last two weeks I have had an ongoing conversation with two other parents about the state of education in NYC. It started with how long our children have been attending enrichment and do you think it has helped. Out of the 2 other parents wee one has been going the longest. I believe it has helped him understand the concept of math better and I am happy and will continue to send him under his continuous protests.
All of us agree that that the reason we are sending our children to the program is so they can have a leg up. We all agree that class size is to large and that teachers just don't have the time to give our child the individual attention that they deserve.
This past Saturday when I dropped off wee one, one of the two parents said that he has been looking into private schools since he felt that the curriculum in his local school is not well rounded and is only to teach his child how to pass a test. He wanted to know why a private school could have a well rounded and diverse education and not our public schools. The school he visited teaches languages to the children in early grades and also lets the child be an individual instead of some cookie cutter all children can learn at the same pace type of education. He also asked when were Bloomberg and Klein going to figure out that they are all wrong in their corporate way of trying to run the schools and that our children were not little worker bees but real people. I told him that they really don't care what we have to think, what our children need, or how our educators know how to teach them because no matter what happens they will always find a positive spin on it.
So while more and more parents become disenfranchised Bloomberg just shrugs, just one less student to educate. But I do understand that we need a new sports stadium.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Time

I love summer. No school, no rushing, life is easy.
As easy as it could be with 3 children at home and you are at work and then what you come home to, if you do go home.
Wee one and I have been busy. Him going to his enrichment classes. Which he abhors, like I really care. He is learning multiplication and to me that is all that matters.
His reward for all his hard work. Hitting the museums with me. Okay well we just started the museum circuit. He gets to pick. His first choice was the American Museum of Natural History. I forgot my camera which I could just kick myself. He had a great time and since it poured over on Saturday it was a wonderful place to spend the day. He is still talking about his favorite parts of the museum.
Wee one made up his list of things we should visit if we were a tourist. His words. He picked the tourist route because as we were walking from Times Square to Rockefeller Center we could not get past the throngs of tourists. I just grabbed his hand and showed him how a true New Yorker gets around tourists. As we passed St. Patricks and a gigantic wedding party was letting out and the tourists were standing with mouths agape, I was muttering damn tourists and snaked in between them he has decided he wants to be a tourist in his own city.
Our next stop is the Empire State Building and then the Met. I will try to remember to bring the camera, so I can bore you, err I mean share some pictures with you
Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Final Report

As promised:
You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20, and always listen to your instinct?
When it was middle one's turn for high school we decided being that he was intelligent and a student that we would let him suffer umm I mean be educated at the local overcrowded high school.
It was our one and only choice on the application form of the 12 High Schools you could choose.
He did not want to attend the school but being that we were just bankrupted by our oldest child high school experience we had no choice. Well we did, but we ignored that alarm in our heads. Plus Cardozo is one of those top high schools ON PAPER at least.
For those of you who has had a wonderful experience with your child there well bully for you. I am not bitter, much.
I will admit I was not an overly involved parent at the school. I am an overly involved parent in other ways that is for sure. In fact in some circles I have been called pit bull, pain in the ass, and bitch. Sticks and stones.
Okay so on to the final report.
Every school has great teachers and teachers that should go. It seems my child had a lot of those that should have gone. He did have some great teachers who inspired him. At graduation his global teacher told him he was going to be missed by many.
Okay so here we go.
I did a post about how last year the guidance counselor called me with a month left to school to tell me my child was absent 58 days. That was going to be my final report.
About how a school is so damn overcrowded that a child can go missing for 58 days and no one would notice, or seem to give a flying bleep. It turns out he was not absent 58 days it was a clerical error. More like a royal DOE f up.
If a school has close to 4,000 students why is only one filthy bathroom allowed to be utilized? So if your child has a bad case of whatever they have, Cramps, the shits etc should they soil their pants? Sure they should who cares anyway. I had to get the kid a note about his problem. Kind of embarrassing for him, but then again teenagers are disposable and what the hell if you take your child out of the school it is just one less on the roll call.
Now I understand as a teacher at the grand old DOE institutions you are saddled with loads of kids and you probably are overwhelmed with you student load. I am not asking for letters telling me about my child's progress etc. That is what report cards and a big stick waving in your child's face are all about. Okay I kid with the stick I never use force on the child. For goodness sakes he is a good foot taller than me. I could never reach his head. But you need to know your child and what they are capable of.
Unfortunately mistakes happen. BUT please do not give me a phone call 3 days before graduation to tell me that my son has failed Astronomy and won't be graduating. Luckily for the guidance counselor who called my house at 8p.m. on the Wednesday before graduation reached my husband and not me.
Guess what it was another bleeping error. It was not my child according to the phone call we got the next day.
There were many more of these glaring errors.
Like my child trying to see the guidance counselor time and time again to work out a problem he was having that he needed Saturday tutoring. Unfortunately for him the only free period he had did not coordinate with the guidance's counselors time and they never had a chance to meet. Him being himself tried to work it out by himself and did not tell me until two weeks after the deadline and they refused to take him into the Saturday tutoring for regent tutoring. What the hell we don't want the kids to pass them anyway. We all know that Joel will fudge the numbers anyway.

So it is over. We are already saving money so wee one can bypass Cardozo. Middle one will remind me forever how we as parents failed him.

By the way a conversation I had with another parent, her child was graduating also. Her: I am so glad to be out of Cardozo.
me: us too.
my husband: I will give you 50,000 reasons why we are happy.
her: The Principal
my husband: no, that is how much it cost us to send our oldest to private school.
bystander: holy cow
my husband:pitiful isn't it?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


My computer crapped out again. So we are building a new one.

Wee One's camp closed before it even opened so he is at the mercy of his brothers. You know you really can't tell parents a week before school closes that you need to find a new camp. He is on a wait list for a camp that won't bankrupt us. In the meantime he is happy to be like his brothers and not have to do anything. His words not mine.

Wee one got a report card that I feel is undeserved. His former teacher has a problem. It is called burn out. Retire already dammit, and do the kids a bleeping favor, or get some better medication. To the people in that school who know who I am, don't leave any hate on this blog. I am not going to back down, this time.

Middle one is out of Cardozo. I had to go pick up his diploma and report card on Friday, since we buried my grandfather on Thursday.
Excuse me for not knowing how to find his guidance counselor. I walked in asked for the guidance office and the guards just pointed which way to go. If I was a bloodhound it would have been easy for me to find it, but since I am a grieving parent I did not know.
Yeah, okay so it is the first office but I did not know, being that I had never had to see a guidance counselor in all the years he was there.
And to the teacher, aide, person who I approached in the hall to ask a question. Good ignoring technique, I bet you were surprised as hell when I got loud with you.

I will be back with a post about wee one's teacher and why I feel his report card was graded unfairly. And no, I am not a typical parent thinking my child is brilliant when he is not.

A quick observation and you tell me.
A conversation we had in mid May.
Mom why is it bad luck if a mirror breaks, or is that superstition?
It is superstition, but tell me why you think it is superstition?
Him: I bet it was because mirrors were expensive.
Me: good thought
Did you know when mommy was little your uncle and I had a black cat. You know what they say about people who have black cats.
Him: oh that makes a lot of sense because middle one says you are a real witch.

smart and quick

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Grandfather

My grandfather passed away this morning. He was 91.
He worked since he was in the third grade to help support his family. Sold newspapers under the Manhattan Bridge.
He loved to tell stories. Most of them were hard to understand and to tell you the truth I still don't get them, but I would love to hear one right now.
Pissed Off want to hear a short story?
Once upon a time there was a chicken
The chicken drank wine, the wine was red and the chicken dropped dead.
Right now I can hear my grandmother saying
shut up Patrick that is a stupid story, and my grandfather saying aww Maggie come on it is cute, as he picked up his glass of red wine and drank.
So here is to you grandpa, up in the sky drinking your red wine and my grandmother saying to you, welcome home.

He is survived by 5 great grandsons and two grandchildren who will miss him greatly.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Guess who

Whew! Finally the computer is up and running again. We had a trojan that dumped our system files on by one. Good thing my husband was savvy enough to get it running again without us losing one single file. Yippee!

The end of the school year is here finally. I am so burnt out, and I need a vacation. I mean being a parent and all these backdoor deals that were made this year to further erode the demeanor of teacher's and parents, my brain can't take to much more of this. Ha! Ha!, just kidding. Now more underhanded deals are going to be made in the next two months while they think we are asleep.

My middle guy graduates from Benjamin Cardozo tomorrow. I can not express to you how much I am glad to be the hell out of there. Well I bet not any more than my son. He hated the place. Complained almost every single day how the school was filthy, overcrowded, and just a very unfriendly place.
He said the only thing that saved him was that he was big and could see over peoples head in the hallways and everyone basically knew who he was. He is pretty memorable. I said it to my husband when I went to visit middle one at work and saw him coming up the block to meet me.
That boy is a walking redwood.

Little one also needs a break. He is a wee guy and is born in December. He is also tall and his appearance and vocabulary and overall brilliance (sorry the boy is brilliant), makes people forget that he is not "emotionally" ready for his grade. His academics are but his maturity level is not there yet.
He has had a hard year, but I have noticed that damn he is smart. Tutoring rocks!!! I bet he would not be as advanced as he is if I did not demand that he get tutoring to have him excel.

Still having a hard time understanding division by subtraction thingie, that is not only confusing the shit out of me, but other parents as well. Yes we do talk to each other while we are waiting for dismissal, not just wondering what the hell is taking you so long to dismiss our kids. Oh wait, we do that too.

Which leads me to my other bitch fest. While I was listening and reading about the new DOE bungles and crap fest of stupidity, I had no place to spew.
So why in the hell are we outsourcing jobs to firms to help OUR children be placed in middle schools, pre-K's and next year Kindergarten. Oh, oh, I know, I it because you took away our district offices, our Regions, our control. Is it?

By making parent's dangle on your string while we waited to find out what middle school our child was to attend did not cause grief at all. Having to bring siblings attend different schools next year is not going to be a problem either. That was a good plan though Joel. I have to admit it, it was a great plan to disenfranchise parents and make the middle class flee from your schools in record numbers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whew the heat wave is over

I just about melted from the heat and like a good parent I sent my children to roast in school. I don't get why school districts in Philadelphia, New Jersey and other states sent their precious cargo (students) home, but here in the wilted Apple our children are not considered. Joel were you baking in a school?
When I picked wee one up yesterday his face was as red as his shirt. I know I could have kept him home but I work right around corner from his school so I can just run over there to get him if needed.
It does not surprise me one bit that schools were open it is all about the money, can you make it any more obvious.
I have a new ass hat meter for bonehead moves by the DOE.
This one gets 4 out of 5 ass hats.

My computer is toast

Yesterday my computer decided to die. Not sure what happened but when wee one put it on it started to physically dump files. My husband the IT guy is in the process of figuring it all out. That means I am stuck using my work computer or prying the laptop that I bought middle one out of his thick meaty hands.
I am a bit miffed because it means I lost all my ITunes stuff. I backed up some but not all. I do have a life, 3 kids and all.
Oh well things happen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Schools filthy

Today's daily news reports that the also in the budget cuts we are going to lose approximately 600 cleaners from schools. So glad that gigantor is graduating from High School, because his school is absolutely filthy now. There are roughly 4,000 students in his school lets say 50% of them are boys. For those 2,000 students they get to use one bathroom. ONE. It is always dirty.
He told me and so have his friends that they rather hold it in the whole day then use the bathroom.
Wee one was absent from school an excessive amount this year. I am sure it was around 30 days. I have received 5 there is lice in the school letters, one for chicken pox and one for some obscure disease. He was constantly out with fevers, coughs, stomach viruses, strep you get the point. He was not the only one. As soon as I heard some child in his class was ill, I told we one remember clean your hands, no fingers in the mouth etc. But no matter what precaution I took my child got sick.
I have an idea lets fire all the cleaners and ask parents to clean the schools, give them tax breaks. I know you like to give us tax breaks Mike so you can make big budget cuts and tell us the economy is bad. I want you to take my $500 tax break rebate check and put it back into education after all I am a stakeholder in your corporation, you know the schools that you run that way, only you tell the parents to shut up.

The first cut is the deepest...

I had a conversation with little one's Principal , it was brief, but it concerned the new budget cuts. I have told you it is a small school and any cut is too much of a cut. Actually no school should receive a cut but this one is deep. Since we lost so much in the last cut we truly could not afford another one. Not like Klein cares. I asked her so what are we losing. She said that she was happy that the classes would stay intact, and good news is we have 40 incoming Kindergarten students. She also said that the first thing that would go is our F status teacher, the children would no longer be able to access the library. Hmm a school, and no library. That is okay though the kids don't need to learn how to love literature, it only broadens their horizons and we can't have that now, can we?
She also said that we would lose art programs, we don't need those either, since we all know that art is stupid anyway. You can't test the kids on art, well at least not yet.
The other evening at the PTA meeting the budget cuts were presented again and one thing that she told the parents was that we were good except for the same points above. Then she went on to say that a few of our children will be showcased at the big Art Fair that Joel has been touting as wow look at us we have these great students and teachers that have the arts.
When I got the email telling me about this art fair I just looked at it and said to myself, damn Joel you are such a hypocrite. You want us to believe that our schools are well rounded but I am sure that you don't know that the PA's. and PTA's have to whore ourselves to get those art programs to be a mainstay in our schools, and you know what else you big asshat (love that word) the economy is not only bad for the school budget, but it is also bad for us parents that don't have two nickels, or with this economy pennies to rub together. Stop funneling money from Mikey's friends into hair brained schemes like hmmm the Leadership Academy, fire Alvarez and Marsal, and all your consultants. Ask them to fund programs like the Arts, ask them while you are at the Met, or Lincoln Center, or Carnegie Hall. While you are at it ask them to also fund After school programs, tutoring and mentoring to high risk kids. Then and maybe then we can salvage what is left of our public schools, before they all go into the toilet

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Contract for Excellence hearings rescheduled again

For goodness sakes Joel can you be more transparent? Apparently you think that we are all stupid and are unaware that you keep rescheduling the hearings because you really care what we have to say.
Why don't you just schedule the hearings in August when we are all away.
As it is now we are all getting ready for the end of the school year, making sure are children are going to be taken care of while we toil away to make ends meet.
Its the just same old, same old....maybe just now you think we won't notice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Best Schools Will Suffer

Since the administration has not done enough damage to our schools they now see fit to penalize our schools for doing well also. Only to penalize students who perform well, for well, performing well. Oh the horrors. Another robbing Peter to pay Paul scheme is how I see it. The Chancellor constantly lays his blame for why things are going to be changed on other people. The state, the failing children, the well performing children, the ATR's, the Union, but never on himself and the Mayor for not knowing what the hell they are doing.
He also goes on to say that there is "Fair Student Funding"
Now how is it fair to take away from children. Oh that is right there is a recession going on, we can't take the money from the Sanitation, and the Police and the firemen now can't we. Hey Joel, stop with the threats already. We did not ask you to take money away from anyone we just ask that you educate our children. To make a budget and stick with it. Don't tell us that we might give you this, but if things get worse we might take it away. Give with one hand take with the other. Be a Chancellor for a change and fight for the children instead of being a ventriloquist for the Mayor. We know who is pulling your strings, and it is not in the interest of the children.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

58 days

Last year about this time, I had a phone call from middle ones high school.
It was at 7:45 in the morning, a time when I running around crazed attempting to get everyone out of the house on time.
The conversation went like this.
Hello is this Mrs. Pissed Off?
yes, this is guidance counselor at big assed not informed high school calling to inform you that your child was absent from school 58 days this year.
me: are you kidding me? He has not.
GC: well yes he has, according to these records from the DOE he has been absent 58 days.
me: are you trying to tell me that you are now in May calling me to tell me my child has not been attending school, when I am telling you that he has.
GC: well yes, maybe you are not aware of what your child is doing.
me: I am aware and hmm lets see let me ask him where he has been for 58 days because he is right here and I was just about to leave to drive him to your big school, but let him be late so we can say he has been absent 70 days.
GC: well not all children will tell you.
me: are you trying to say my child is a liar, and I am some type of crappy parent.
GC: well yes (I swear she did)
that is when I started yelling at her telling her to google my name before she made accusations.
to the point where my husband got angry and decided to take middle one to school and straighten this out.
Now the children scan their ID cards to get into the building. My husband asked for a print out of his scans. It was proven that middle one was not absent from school for 58 days and that it was some type of screw up at the DOE, because schools or at least this school does not do attendance the DOE takes the records and then informs the school who the delinquents are at the end of the year.
He got an apology for the misunderstanding but no apology for me and the crappy parent remark which was denied. So apparently I am a crappy parent and a liar to boot.
Good Riddance.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Its a low down dirty shame....

when 3rd graders have to beg, that is right beg, the Mayor to restore budget cuts to schools.

When PTA's have to plan fundraiser, after fundraiser, to continue art programs, music programs, gym, build libraries in their schools and Professional Development for teachers.

It is a shame that Mayoral Control has done not one thing to improve education for our children.

All he did was make the bureaucracy larger, by dismantling checks and balances for the system. With a school system as large as this one peeling the layers off the onion for better terms did nothing but give parents no voice, no Superintendent, nor region to turn to. No support for our Principal’s which also means no support to schools as a whole.

Little by little, year by year, another right was stripped away from us. It all started with the mass firing of the "Board" of Education, that was run by people that did not sway to the whim of the Mayor (my apologies to Patrick who is the sole voice, I believe for parents), wiped away local school boards and replacing them with another group (CEC's) which ultimately have absolutely no power to change a thing. Sure they know what is going on, and they draft up resolutions, even file “arguments” against your decisions (that in itself is a shame that it has to come to that) but in the end has anything truly changed.
The Chancellor sits on his throne and plays with his blackberry at every single meeting that he attends. His hand is continuously moving over that blackberry, which leads me to believe he is texting the Mayor. And then you wonder what the cellphone ban is all about? ( big shrug)

The Union, I believe does not support teachers the way they should. The teacher’s days are longer, U ratings, rubber rooms, larger class sizes, a high number of grievances, ATR’s, F-Status I don’t think I need to go on.

Schools’ have been closed, but reopened again with new staff and students, which makes surrounding schools have a new problem, which leads to those schools ending up (according to the fiefdom) no good also and we close that one, and the next one, and so on and so on. Until every single High School is taken over by robots, that allow camera’s into the schools to record students, and teachers every move. Have morning raid’s to confiscate cellphones, and frisk the students, all in the manner of keeping order. I mean we can’t have children recording what is happening in the school and posting it on You-tube before dismissal.

And when we are not closing school’s we are taking “existing” schools that are working wonders, (Julia Richmond Complex), and then decide that this “architecturally” beautiful school needs to be given to Hunter College because they lack space. So Joel are one students needs greater than the other students needs? I mean, are you going to cram those students into an existing high school and then make the children already attending, have larger class size to sacrifice for the “chosen” ones.
For those of you who say class size does not matter? Well you have no idea what you are talking about. I am sure you have heard of this little report in Tennessee that proves it does work. But you would not know that because I am sure that your, precious darling had an education at some fancy overpriced “Private” Prep school being tutored in Latin, while our students are lucky to get Spanish as their main choice.
All you have to do, is read a bit into the archives and read what small class size did for
my children, who were continually screwed over by the BOE and now my little one is getting the shaft from the DOE. Nothing has changed fellows.
Only thing that has changed is I am older, wiser, and have more patience than I did before, so this time I am not giving up, no matter how many times I say why do I bother.

The other day it came to me like a big ray of sunshine over my head (okay I lied about that part, sarcasm rears its ugly little head), I wonder if I did not give up 10 years ago while I was fighting for my oldest son on almost a daily basis for 2 years for him to be given mandated help that was issued in his IEP, I was constantly ignored.
I wonder if I kept up with it and helped would things have been different? Would the system be changed? Probably not, but I know this now, I am not giving up until, okay maybe long after, too, Mayoral Control is done, gone, adios, don’t let the door hit you on the ass.

My middle one, the Senior, is counting the days until he is out of ‘Doza, me too, I sure hated that place, maybe even more that him. I do have a great screw up story from that school and it will be in my final report.

Which leads me to my last point;
When my oldest boy graduated from his fancy schmancy $15,000 a year private school. The Principal told a story about two brothers, one that was given the fancy education, and the one that was not given the same chance. Both brother’s worked hard and graduated high school and were accepted to the same Graduate school.. The moral was supposed to be you have to make the best out of the situation you are handed. That no matter what if you work hard you too can achieve your star status at the same fancy Graduate school too.

You know what, hogwash. Yes you do have to work hard to achieve your dreams, but the inequities between the Private and Public Schools are vast, believe me I know children in some of those fancy schools and I see what they are learning, compared to what “our children” are learning. This might be just me, but I see our children at a huge disadvantage, our curriculum is inferior compared to a Private Schools. I am not saying we don’t have a talented teacher pool, because we do, but not enough emphasis is placed on teaching but more on making sure the children are aware on how to pass a test. Like a good worker bee.

How many more months until 2009? Hmm that gives me an idea, a count down until how many days Mayoral control ends sticker on my blog.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My real age

I took this test that Norm over at EdNotes had on the link to on his blog, to calculate your real age. I am a sucker for those type of tests.
Now when middle one tells me to start acting my age, I can tell him that the life expectancy test told me that I am 29.8 years old and I am going to live until I am 91.2 years old. I guess what they say, acting and living like you are young will make you live longer. Or a good bitch never dies. I am not sure which one is true maybe both

The Blame Game

Joel and Randi blame each other for the budget cuts reports today's Daily News.
What a big surprise, when all else fails lets blame each other.
When another school gets closed lets blame the teachers.
When ATR's supposedly can't get hired, lets blame the union.
Not the fact that the new Children's First school based budget that allows a Principal (and who could blame them) to save money by hiring a spanking new, fresh out of college, no experience, less than half the cost, to free up up monies, for umm maybe an art program, teacher.
Johnny performed less than anticipated on his high stake test lets blame the teacher, but hey Susie got a higher mark lets congratulate the Principal, but make sure we take some money away from their school for pulling up the grade.
The system is broken, Mayoral control has made it worse and the best that Randi and Joel can do is blame each other for the failures. It is so sad.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I am going to hell in a handbasket

Yesterday was wee one's first Communion. We had a pew set up all for our family. This was not done in the past. We were also the third pew from the front of the church. Good and Bad. Good because we could see wee one, bad because the priest could see us.
The Communion was going along well. Wee one was sitting still holding his hands in prayer, the Priest blesses the children with holy water, he takes it well. Does not move sits still, being good. Now it is time for the masses to be blessed and the Priest walks down the aisle of the church annointing one and all, and then it happens, the holy water hits my oldest in the eye, he is sitting next to my middle one, who is sitting next to me. My oldest whispers loudly to my middle one, I am blind it burns it burns. Where my middle one who is a good boy unlike his mother and brother says ssshhh and I burst out in laughter. Big fits of laughter. My oldest looks at me and says what am I going to do that was my good eye. Where I laugh even louder and my body is shaking in fits of laughter and I told him to shut it, that it is now confirmed I am going to hell and I will save a seat for him because there is no way I am going to be roasting in hell without him because he started it.

Now that the Communion is done and the Graduation plans have taken hold I will be focusing back onto the education part of this blog. As soon as middle on graduates I have a nice little post that has been stewing, cooking, roasting in my head.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My new favorite song

I found this song by listening to a station on my Itunes. It is something that I do everytime I sit at the computer. Put the headphones on, crank up the Itunes and look for some new music.
Unfortuntely Youtube won't let me embed it so you have to click to listen. I have to say the video makes the whole song. So now you also know I like the alternative stuff. Some people just never grow up and I am one of them.

Monday, April 21, 2008


The school year is almost over and just waiting on what is going to be thrown at us in the last hours. Another big school closing, math now is going to be taught the old way. Math A thrown out the window but Algebra is in. Huh? I hope we still have those old text books in the basement with years of dust on them to hand the students.
I have been not paying to much attention to what is going on, but on Friday my neighbor a retired High School Science teacher from a big overcrowded high school in Queens asked me if I knew what was happening at Jamaica High School? I told her that indeed I did and that it was not the first high school that has been closed due to the name of progress. She was just appalled, and then relieved that she was no longer a teacher.

Being that the school year is almost over and spring is upon us the Pissed Off Family has been knee deep in activities. Middle one is getting ready for graduation. We are still looking for the perfect suit, well suited for a giant. It sure is not going to be an easy task but I am up for it whenever he is.
I can't tell you how happy I am that he will be out of high school.
I know I told you how my niece is in the process of choosing a high school. Her first choice was Talent Unlimited, second Frank Sinatra. I told her parents that they should go with the small Private Prep Private school. Well they chose that school after hearing my horror stories.
We told her if we had to do it all over again, no matter how great a student middle one is, and we thought he would be fine, we were wrong. He did not do fine, he did okay but he just skated along when he could have done much better. I blame him as well as the situation.

Wee one is getting geared for his First Communion. He has to make a banner, in between doing a report for communion and another report for his second grade class.
The report is cool to the fact that his father and I have to drag his little behind to the 5 boroughs and take pictures with him so he can learn geography.
We took him to the Bronx Zoo yesterday and all he wanted to be was outside. He made us pretty miserable. He was not looking at anything until we let him climb some big rocks and chase a peacock. I have video, it is so cute him chasing that peacock until the peacock got a little upset and turned on him. You should have seen his face it was like a scene from a horror movie. Which cracked me up to no end, and made him laugh. When he got home he could not wait to let his brother watch it and they made up a little screen play for the video. Hey who said school is not educational.
While we were driving to the zoo wee one was also practicing his song for the International Day music portion. He sang all the way going and back. He said he wanted to make sure he was all practiced. Dedication I tell you. This coming from a child who refused to sing in music, go figure.

I can't believe I am saying this but bring on the summer I am tired.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

When the military recruiter calls-

The phone rang last night and my son answered thinking it was a friend.
No name just a cell number.
He picks up the phone and the person on the other end asks for him.
He says its me who is this?
He said this is Mr. X from the Marines what are you planning on doing with your future?
My son, being that he is my son, replies. that he is going to school to be an interpretive dancer, and he and his life partner just signed a lease on an apartment in the city with his parents blessing. The recruiter asked him how he was planning on paying for his education,
My son, not missing a beat, replied, pimping my ho's. Well he did not but he said I have a scholarship.
The recruiter then went on to ask him if he was really going to be a dancer because the file they had on him (yeah that is what I said, file what file)
described him as 6'6" and about 300lbs. He said that would be wrong I am 350lbs. He said that he was gong to school for acting and his major would be veterinarian but if the Marines needed a vet to call him in about 10 years.

This is why I love my sons, they keep me on my toes with the insane sense of sarcasm.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Public vs Private Schools

On Easter my sister in law was asking me some questions about public High Schools.
Her daughter who has always attended private school, would like to attend a Public High School. One for the arts. She has been accepted to a few of them, but on the same hand she was also accepted to fine Private High Schools.
So we grabbed middle guys laptop and I showed her how to navigate through the DOE's portal and how to access statistics etc. One school as I was reading the current Quality Review of the school I began to cackle. That is correct cackle. The Quality Review of the school as a whole was written that the school was data driven, and that they use data to access on how to further help the children to achieve their goals. I hope you are not drinking because I am sure you probably spewed your drink by now.
It went on to how wonderful the ARIS computer has helped the Principal and the staff to identify the needs to the children in our new data driven goals.
So by now I was laughing so hard I had to apologize to my sister in law and I gave her this piece of advice, after I told my brother in law to come into the room.
I told her if she had the money to send her daughter to the Private School the one that teaches Latin, why in the world would she even be considering Public. Where my High School Senior chimed in Public School blows.

No money for schools

I wonder if the budget is so tight and we need to cut money to the education, the foundation that educates our children, how was money found to give a 9% raise to the Cambridge Educators that rate our schools with Quality Reviews. Quality Reviews that are largely ignored by Klein when it comes to rating our schools on the report cards?
I am still befuddled on to why we needed to hire a firm from across the pond when I am sure that there are people from fine institutions in this country that could do the same. Another attempt of outsourcing. I say we outsource our Chancellor too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Do schools get cleaned anymore?

Just wondering because my son is constantly ill. Not just him but his classmates also.
So far this year he has had bronchitis, constant coughs, fevers, a rash that lasted forever, the flu, a stomach virus that lasted 3 days, and now he has a fever and a cough, and he said it is hard to swallow. The doctor said it is a virus. He has been absent a total of 20 times this year.
Now if he was in a high school I am sure I would have to go up there and scream that he was not cutting. But being that he has a brother in high school and we all know that children like to share germs my other son has also been stricken with the same illnesses as wee one. All except the rash that was not contagious.
So I wonder besides the fact that children do share germs are the classrooms sanitized on a regular basis? Or have we forgotten all about the virus that claimed lives at the beginning of the school year?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I am angry

that could be a good thing or a bad thing. It is also the reason why I haven't posted in a while.
I am sick of the continual crap coming out of the Department of Education. The fact that they Dynamic Duo are experimenting on our children with new initiatives and cutting money from the budget and making snide remarks that the schools really are being over funded so taking crumbs away won't make a difference.
I am ill at the thought of the 8th grade retention policy that was put forth without any public input. Not like public input was ever listened to by these two butt heads.
When Klein speaks about education reforms I want to throw up. Kind of like whenever I see Bush talk about anything (the economy does suck you jackass) I get physically ill and just want to smack that snarky look off his face.
Oops I digress again.
I was around and had a 3rd grader when the first 3rd grade retention policy was thrown at us. With no extra money to fund the program and no extra resource room teachers, tutors, after school programs, what exactly are we supposed to do with our children that need that help. Just let them fail take away the self esteem. We all know that they won't be able to make that touted Charter School because the Charter Schools don't want them.
Now our new governor for however long he will be there since sex is such a crazed topic this day. Oh sex oh I quiver giggle. The fact that it is all over the news and I needed to kind of explain to my 7 year old what a prostitute was. I guess though that was better than when middle one was 7 and I he asked me what a blow job was, Monica Lewinsky.
Anyway since sex is the topic of the day, Paterson came out and said he would like to help education downstate (us), but without taxing the wealthy for it, but you know what I think Charter Schools are the answer, yeah that's the ticket. More Charters, private solution with public monies.
Hey you know what Paterson this is my idea, how about you do more charter schools, private solution with PRIVATE MONIES. Why the hell should I finance a Charter School that I don't believe in. One that only wants to dismantle the union. Oh that's right who needs a stinkin union anyway. Otherwise who will protect our wonderful teachers. Oops I forgot we don't care about the teachers. They suck anyway. It is all their fault that our children is stupid. That is right I wrote that wrong for a reason. I know why you all want our teachers gone, you don't care about educating the public. We need more lower wage earners. I don't know why because their are no more manufacturing jobs. Unless retail is the way to go.
As for the Parent Surveys you sent out again. I noticed that all the questions were the same. So since the questions were the same I just tossed mine in the trash. I don't feel like you really give a shit what I have to say anyway.
So once again I have some advice for you. Get rid of the surveys and all those other useless functions at the DOE that should free up some money. Do we really need the Office of Parent Engagement. It is not like you really want to engage the parents anyway.
Stop taking money out of our schools already. You can't close them all for failing yet. I know that is the grand scheme.
Oh and please stop asking your clueless friends to tout you on what a wonderful job you are doing Brownie errrr I mean Joel. When was the last time Barbara Walters had a child in a public school or has been in one for that matter. I challenge all these big mouths that say they are your friends to spend a month in a low performing school and then come back and tell me what a great job you are doing.
Rant over.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Some changes

I know, I know I am quiet again. Having three kids and having to chauffeur them here there and everywhere I have not had the time to come here. I will be back probably tomorrow with some new thoughts.
Parent Surveys are out and all that bullshit that was preached to us, about listening to parents and teachers concerns for the new survey is just that, bull. I see Klein's nose getting bigger every time he speaks. My surveys are going to be sent back blank just like last years. I might email Klein though and ask him to stop wasting our time with lies and have Bloomberg ask his friends to donate money to programs that work instead of asking parents stupid questions that you will mangle into data that is driven from your mucking up the facts.

My middle guy read a speech last week for a high school event. He was up with about 10 other children from other schools. He got cut first round and was very disappointed but he will live. He is also shooting a movie with some friends for school and they are on a tight schedule so I have to live around that too.

My older guy doesn't live with me anymore, but that does not mean that he doesn't drop over here at the drop of a hat to get something ummm I mean make me do something for him. Being he is a student, and has two jobs.
Also the IRS Blows, that boy has to pay income tax to the state because he supposedly makes to much money. You know since he has to pay the state I only see it fitting that the state gives him more money for his education.

I am now down 18 big pounds. Wahoo for me. I am on this new detox diet where you can't eat
dairy, eggs, white flour, refined sugar or yeast. I dare you to try this diet, it was a real pain in the ass the first week and after about 3 days I was craving big hunks of cheese. Today is the second week of it. I am eating sugar because you go try to find a cereal that does not have any. I did find two but they taste like bark. I am used to the bark taste now though.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why Mayoral Control Needs to End (updated)

Lets tell the public we are giving them what they want.
Small Schools= In the press release we will say we are creating more schools but not tell the public just where they are going to be. What we will do is shove the small school into an already overcrowded school thus creating the illusion of small schools. Give some students relief at the expense of the others. Same rule of thumb applies to charters.

Test Scores= Lets tell the public that scores are up, by eliminating certain groups from the average. We won't tell anyone we did that but in our big power point presentation we will tell them things are great and when confronted with the facts we will lie and make up data.

Parent Surveys= We will at great expense hand out surveys to parents asking them just what they think of the schools their children attend. Then we shall lump together categories so it looks like parents want more test prep and additional testing, instead of small class size which was overwhelmingly chosen as the number ONE priority choice of parents.

Friends in High Places= lets ask our friends to donate to the cause. Ask them for money for our schemes (experiments) give them a large tax write off and a pat on the back.

$80 Million= Wow look we have $80 million dollars you know what we can do with this to increase student achievement. I have the greatest thing Joel look it is a computer lets call it ARIS. Principals and teachers will go into training to learn how to input all this data so we can track what students are doing. What help they might need.
We don't need to put it in the classroom at all. Then we can use the data to get rid of teachers and principals by saying that they are not helping the students.
We won't tell the public how stupid this idea is. How Principals have complaints about not being able to access the system, how passwords don't work, how Principals are calling to complain that it is not working and that we just send them more support.

Children First= Lets call this initiative Children First so it looks like we love children. Then in the middle of the school year we will yank money from the budget and tell Principals to suck it up and don't complain about it otherwise the parents might become riled up. After all it is an insignificant cut and is not going to hurt.

When questioned= go on the defensive and tell parents to shut up and belittle them further by saying that they don't know what they are talking about because we are educators er I mean lawyers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Getting in Shape

I am feeling better, but being sick the way I was and taking off some weight got me started on a new regimen. That and the fact that my oldest said hey I joined a gym and I need some psycho to motivate me, want to join with me? Yes, I am very competitive but I did not join with him since the gym was so far away from me and I know I would find an excuse not to go. So this is what I did instead. I started a home gym, and have started to walk again. So on Saturday I dropped wee one off at tutoring and decided to walk while I had to wait for him. So I-Pod in pocket, cell phone in pocket I took off. Next thing I know wee one's half hour is up and I am about 2 miles away from my target. I called the house for someone to go get him and I kept going. 5 miles later I turned around. All I have to say is I thought for sure I would be in intense pain but nope. Which now has me off to Mapmyrun looking for new routes.

So now we are down 15 pounds. Wahoo! I am so energized.
Even if the kids are off this week and I know each and every day I come home from work I have a big gigantic mess to clean. I don't care because I am going to be grabbing those walking shoes and off to my new run.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Driving the middle class out

I have become convinced, oh what the hell I knew it and so did you, that the Kleinberg administration has decided that middle class has no place sending their offspring to public schools.
They have done everything in their power to ruin our schools.
The budget cuts are just another example. I would have liked to see them just tell the employees over at Tweed hey guess what we are strapped for cash how about we give all of you a 1.5% pay cut until things blow over.
Schools are now forced to cut spending and of course what is the first thing out the door?
Only by what I have heard (I am waiting on some documentation), Regent Prep, Art Programs, Afterschool Enrichment programs. Hey Joel, I have a question. How can our children score well without prep. Oh that is right we don't teach to the test. Well this will just show you what happens when you don't teach to the test.
Next question I have is this.
What the hell is with the new open Kindergarten enrollment? Have you people not learned the mistake with open enrollment of High Schools. I understand that you are trying to level the learning field but by overcrowding schools that sure is not going to be the answer.
I know how about you just litter open fields with trailers to teach our students instead I understand they are cheap. Just like your hair brained schemes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hey, its me

Remember me? I used to blog here.
Things for me are really hectic. I have been working on something since
the Christmas break that has taken up a big chunk of my time.
That and the fact I have three children and a husband, a mother that is like a child and work I have not had the time to blog, or come up with any other coherent thought that is worth writing.
Hopefully this other thing will wrap up soon and I will be back full force.
Not only that but I have been sick. The kind of stress related stomach issue sick. Lost 10 pounds though so I guess it has been a blessing.

I have a thought on the new 5 year Captial Plan. Lets fix all the school first that have electrical problems. You know those schools that if they put a printer and a copy machine on at the same time blow fuses. Yeah those schools.
I mean otherwise how do you think you are going to do full year schools without air conditioners. Not that you really care about the comfort of the students, just as long as they perform like little circus monkeys.

See you soon

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bone Head Move of the Year

In the bone head move of the year and wow it is still January. School Principals were told that they need to cut $70,000 from the school budget immediately. Do these people never learn I smell the same fiasco as the school bus crisis last year.
So while the Bloomberg administration continues to play games with our school children what does this mean to PUBLIC education as a whole. I tell you what it means it means we are doomed. As teachers rights are being taken away,( rubber room) parents being told to shut up and children well who gives a crap about them anyway. I know that the dynamic duo doesn't. Now I know I might take some grief for this but what the hell I am a big girl I can take it. Why in the hell are we giving homeowners money back when there is no money to stimulate a faulting economy. I know that money is going to do jack for me.
I wonder what that means for wee one's small school. I wonder just where in the hell my Principal is going to find in her bare bones budget to cut some more fat out of it. Oh I know there is no fat but the dynamic butt heads, wait strike that duo think we do.
Hey how about we cancel lunch that is a waste of money, how about gym we don't need fit children. How about we put a snapple machine in the schools. What that has been done already.
You know what Mike how about you just do what you want and privatize the system faster than you already are. We all know that is where you are going anyway.
Just give all the schools an F now because with this new slap in our face I don't see any schools grades going up.
Hey now I know how about we just cut every stupid test that you're administration wants to give that should free up some money to invest back into the system.
Do any of your big wig friends need a tax break ask them to give some money to the schools. I know you already ask them to fund your hair brained schemes for test scores, attendance and dentist visits. How about asking them to invest in true education reforms instead of that Charter (union busting) schemes.
Mike you truly make me ill and I have to tell you I have been pretty sick lately.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Path to Success

Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday his new 8th grade retention policy. Path to Success my ass. The Path to Success is not to leave back a student but help him or her while they are in the 8th grade to pass. That is hard to achieve though when your school's budget has been cut to shreds, and their are not enough resources to educate the child. Oh there are teachers in the classroom but there are also 32-36 other students in the class and they too might need help.

They also announced this plan but they also announced that they will bring it to the Panel for Education Panel. But why bother is this not a deal that has already been struck. What do you want to just watch Patrick pop a vein for your amusement, and watch Joel play with his blackberry in his show of ennui.

There is also to be the education tour, oh wait no not tour what is it called.....wait..... be right back.....oh that is right "conducting public engagement meetings", because our voice is CRUCIAL
in making sure this policy works.

Yeah right, my voice you don't care what I have to say, you only care that I listen to what you want.

I listen to what my children want you know the Playstation 2, the X-Box, the oh you get the idea, I listen and then I tell them why it won't work and we compromise they don't get it and they are saying how I am mean. Kind of the same thing isn't it.

I am tired of the two dunderheads making up new policy first, and then bringing it to the people who are supposed to vote for it first. Like the SLT regulations not being brought up to the CEC's.
The toxic schools being built without telling parents that their children are sitting on hazardous material. Which defeats the purpose of learning. You can not really learn when you are sick from the fumes coming out of your building. Oh that is right there are no harmful fumes or so say the DOE and their crack team of air quality specialists.

What is it going to take, that every single time a policy that is detrimental to our children is passed through without parental input we sue. Who has the time and energy to do this?
I know the lawyer in Klein knows parents don't.

The Path to Success is not paved in retaining a student. One TEST does not make the student.
You two should go back to school a nice Public High School, I say lets see ummm yeah Richmond Hill High School go sit in a trailer in the middle of a heat wave, when the toilet is not working, and the air conditioner is broken, in the middle of a lightning storm.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another tale of woe

Yesterday's New York Times ran an article about Richmond Hill High School and their over capicity issue (article).
This situation has been happening again and again as the Dynamic Duo close schools and students are forced to be educated elsewhere, further making a bad situation worse. For children to have a lunch period at 8:59 is ridiculous at best. Why can't we just call it what it is breakfast.
This administration has not helped our education system but has debased it and lied time and time again on how well our students are fairing. I am surprised they haven't used the line yet "How am I doin' ".
It is time to fight back and take back or schools because the only thing in my eyes that I see is our Mayor and his "friends" making big tax breaks in trying to privatize the system. Charter school anyone???

Friday, January 11, 2008

Howdy do.....

My home computer is being tempermental.
Last night I tried to post two things and it froze up on me.
I am having loads of issues with blogger, some blogs freeze up my computer and others I have no problem.
With that said my very patient husband has to go get cracking on fixing it.
See you soon I hope.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Restore Parent Power

stolen from the NYCPublicSchoolParents blog:

Just do it: (to all apologies to Nike for stealing their saying)

On Dec. 31, Marie Pollicino, a parent and Community Education Council member from Queens, filed a class action complaint with the State Education Department on behalf of all NYC public school parents. Her petition says that the new regulations adopted by DOE that strip away the rights and responsibilities of School Leadership Teams to decide on school-based budgets and Comprehensive Education plans are unlawful and unwarranted, and should be reversed.
She also points out that the process of amending these regs was contrary to state law by not involving CECs or any other official parent group, and she asked for a stay, so that the previous regulations that provided real decision-making authority to SLTs should be retained until the Commissioner determines the propriety of the amendments.
Her petition is posted here; it makes a very compelling case. It follows an earlier letter to the Commissioner from the NY State Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan, who made several of the same points.
Given more resources and authority delegated to the school level, and the huge pressure put on principals by this administration to raise test scores and spend nearly all their discretionary funds on data analysis and test prep, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, it is more crucial than ever before that parents be able to provide a countervailing force to see that resources are invested properly – on reducing class size and improving learning conditions in our classrooms.
This regulation is yet another insidious way in which the administration is systematically trying to strip any ability for parents to have a voice in the way their children are educated.
Please contact the Commissioner Richard Mills, with a copy of your email to the Regents, Assembly Member Nolan, City Council Member Robert Jackson, Chancellor Klein and the Mayor, as well as your own elected reps in the Legislature and City Council – whose emails you can easily gather by plugging in your address here. A sample message along with email addresses is below; feel free to add anything relevant to your situation or that of your child.
To:;;CC:;;; nolanc@ (and your state and city council reps)
Dear Commissioner Mills and the Board of Regents:
I urge you to support the class action petition by Marie Pollicino of the District 26 Community Education Council, on behalf of all NYC parents, and reverse the unauthorized and illegal action of the NYC Department of Education to eliminate the authority of School Leadership Teams to collectively determine each school’s budget and Comprehensive Education Plan. This amendment to the regulations governing the rights and responsibilities of SLTs would remove the ability of parents to help determine the spending priorities of their children’s schools, and was done without consulting Community Education Councils and/or any official parent group, contrary to state law and regulation.
I urge you to restore the regulation to its previous version, which properly recognized the rights of parents to be full partners along with the principal and staff in decision-making at the school level.
Yours, [Name, home address, school, and leadership position if any.]

Horray for Mark Weprin

Mark thank you so much for denouncing the tests at the press conference at P.S. 46 yesterday. It is about time that someone has decided to let it be known the disgust of all parents.
By the way Joel shame on you for not inviting CEC members of District 26 to your little press conference. It is another slap in the face to parents.

Also I would like to know how you can say that schools are not teaching to the test when one of the schools own students admitted it.

My own son the college junior told me that he does not understand why they keep touting that there is not teaching to the test because that is all he remembered in his formative years. Teachers telling him pay attention this will be on the state test. What he really said is they scared the crap out of him that they needed to pay attention to the tutoring or they won't pass the test.

Update about yesterday

My new favorite word asshat. I used it a lot today.

Yes indeed the school in question is Benjamin Cardozo High School.

The question I have is this. Even if this invasion was planned weeks ahead, why was it not cancelled due to the severity of cold temps. Since more are scheduled could we not inconvenience the children on another day, or maybe that was the point. Who knows.

I do think that parents need to start calling our elected officials and ask the questions that were posed by Steve Koss. How much is this costing. What has been confiscated, what is the attendance rate for the day.

Parents need to stop squabbling between each other and band together. The DOE knows that we are not united. That's right we are not. It is time to put aside our stupid squabbles about who does what, and who should be doing such and such and just get over yourselves. Be adults and fight for the good, or before you know it even our rights will be taken away.
oops what I am I saying our rights are being taken away.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

This just in.....

my son called me about 10 mintues ago to inform me that his school is now formally a prison. He said when he arrived there were police surrounding the building and scanning was happening. He said that he turned around knowing full well that he was going to be stopped. The police officer stopped him and said "Hey where do you think you are going?", his reply ummm the college is over there. Glad he is almost 7 feet tall with a full beard that I almost made him shave off over the break.
Yeah that's right my child walked away with my permission and called me with his cell the one he has to hide under a rock before entering the building, the only reason he will be staying at this school is he graduates this year, otherwise I would be all over there in a minute pulling his big giant behind out of there. Enough is enough already. This is a place of EDUCATION, not demoralizing your students and staff. You big asshats.