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.