Monday, November 19, 2007

Incompetently Yours from Bloomberg and Klein

One thing people expected from entremanures like Bloomberg was some level of competence. People working in the schools have seen so little evidence that many are pining for the good old days of corrupt local school boards where at least you knew who was stealing from you. As for competence, the local yokels actually knew how to massage the bureacracy to make things work.

The next time the national press like Newsweek wants to write glowing reports on the competence of BloomKlein and the miracles they have wrought, they should check this story out as a prime example of how incompetently these "business" model people are running things. And while they're here, they should jump to the story in today's NY Post on further distortions in the grad rate at the much heralded small schools, where diplomas are granted based on passing rates of 55 instead of the more difficult 65.

Melvyn Meer from the Queens Community Board 11 Education Committee reports

I went to an official SLT "training" this morning. It was something of a fiasco.

Scheduled from 10 am to 12:30, it began at 10:15 and ended at 10:55.

Almost all that happened was that there was an outline handout that was also flashed on a screen. A lady read it, slowly, and it was almost over. I'm certain almost everyone in the audience knew this oh so basic material of the outline before going to this "training".

After the reading there were to be questions and an Asst. Principal from a middle school rose as if to ask a question. But what she said was that all the teachers from her team, as well as herself were there, and the school went to the expense of hiring substitutes for them so that they could attend. Her point was that for the considerable expense and effort the "training" was ridiculous--
only 40 minutes and the reading of a rather elementary outline.

I guess she expected to get some sympathy from a DoE attorney who was there as a back-up knowledgeable resource. Instead she got the bad news that it was a violation of State law for principals and teachers to be attending that meeting during the official school day.

Well, there must have been many others, for the room broke out in uncontrolled and furiously noisy argument all over the place and the meeting was, effectively, over.

I suggest that if you have to go to the training, bring something to read.


  1. Posted on nycednewsparent blog:


    As someone who pushed VERY hard at the "parent engagement" task force
    for mandatory training (indeed, it was MY idea to condition receipt of
    the stipend on attendance at such training), I am very distraught (but
    not altogether surprised) at your report.

    Please give me more details as to what transpired (e.g., who was the DOE
    attorney & the length and contents of the handout). With your
    permission, I want to forward your report as well as your reply to

    This is not what I spent spring and summer afternoons working for. If
    Tweed can't or won't do adequate training, I would very much like to see
    it done by parents, teachers and administrators who have the capacity
    and motivation to get the job done.
    Jim Devor, Acting President ANYCEC

  2. Posted on nycednewsparent blog:

    Re Required SLT Training...I got a flyer in my district for Mandatory Training between 5-7 PM.

    First, I wrote back to this person in my district and told them according to chacs regs posted on the internet dated 2 /3/04 nothing is Mandatory.

    Second, it also says in Chancellors Regs that meeting dates are to be convenient to the parent population.

    I got no response back from them, Ha!

    Regards, Linda

  3. I went to the same "mandatory" SLT training last Wednesday night in Brooklyn at PS 20. It was scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30. There were approximately 15 people, including another teacher from my school, my principal and the AP. It started late. The two women who ran the meeting started by thanking the principals who showed up (there were 2). She then thanked the "lovely " parents who came. Someone said something about AP's, so she thanked them , too. (Are you waiting for me to add that she thanked the teachers who came??? Keep waiting) They did not have a projector to play the power point presentation so it was read to us quickly with adequate fluency. It was in the auditorium. I raised my hand to ask a question when she was done reading . A principal called out a question so she was answered first. Then, everyone got up to leave. I persisted and did ask my question "What changes were going to be made to the Chancellor's Regulation A-655" She did not know but she reassured me that we would be receiving more training soon. Wow, what a relief. I can't wait.

  4. No one on our SLT got advanced notice of this required
    SLT training.
    One of the parents on our team who is also on the CEC got the flier at the CEC meeting. They did not give
    her the flier, she had to insist that she get it.
    Of course, all but 1 of the traing sessions had passed.
    And the 1 remaining session was the next day.

  5. From NYCEducation News list:

    Well I found out that there was "training" in District 22. It lasted about 15 minutes, they were read to and "the highlight was they got to take home a pamphlet." "The whole thing was a joke". And this was the district that was a trail blazer in School Leadership. One of the districts that Harry Spence used to model the plan.

    Once again, the DOE took something that was a real concern to parent leaders, with the possibility of allowing real participation and made a farce out of it. Now they can say they offered training. A far cry from the 2 - 3 hours sessions we use to hold.

    Dorothy Giglio

    Co President James Madison HS PTA
    Former Chairperson District 22 Presidents Council
    Former President Region 6 HS Presidents Council


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