Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Real Face of Ed Reform in NYC - Oops! or EEPs!

Want to see the real face of the "reform" movement in NYC? Try reading through some of these pieces without gagging. I'm not sure what's worse. What BloomKlein are doing or the happy face the UFT is putting on things.

The Full Horror of the ATR Situation in NYC
There's probably no issue that illustrates the BloomKlein commitment to pushing their ideology over education than the ATR (Absentee Teacher Reserve) situation. The open market concept, which the UFT has signed onto, has created a chaotic situation with every man and woman and school for themselves. Why hire 4000 new teachers when you have a reserve of over 1000 experienced teachers waiting for work? IDEOLOGY! That the UFT concurs - don't get me started.

Start off by reading Jamaica HS chapter leader James Eterno's account on the ICE blog of the conditions at his school, where there are overcrowded classes while Absentee Teacher Reserves are kept out of classrooms. James reviews the wonderful news the mouthpiece of the UFT, the NY Teacher, is reporting on the opening of the schools.

UFT Once Again Joins Happy Talk on School System

The same story is being played out all over the city where ATR's are kept out of classrooms while colleagues teach overcrowded classes.

At Lafayette high school:
There are 18 atrs at Lafayette HS plus 2 counselors and 3 paras w/o regular assignments.

At Tilden HS:
There are over 20+ ATR's at Tilden HS. All teaching duties have been taken away from us. The classes are crowded and an extra class was given to a health teacher on a per session basis. Our office was taken away and made into a book room just to make us feel uncomfortable and the locks were also changed. They told us we could move into another office which already had four teachers in it and was too small too begin with. We keep hearing that we be out of the school by Friday (9/19 and sent to another school as an ATR and ATR's from another school will take our place. Whose brilliant plan is this? And what is the UFT doing about this? They told me to go on the Mass Market Transfer. Brilliant!

A commenter said: These stories are insane.

Yoav Gonen in the NY Post confirms the dire ATR situation.

I can't locate the story about 38 kindergarten kids in a Staten Island classroom. And how about throwing standardized tests at those 5 year olds? Just collateral damage in the EEP reform movement.

It is almost impossible to keep up with the enormous body of work the prolific Leonie Haimson produces. One day, when someone writes the history of the BloomKlein stewardship of the NYC school system, if they don't shrink away in horror, will find some of this stuff incredibly useful. I'm including excerpts from each piece but make sure to click on the links for the full stories at Norm's Notes to get all the gory details.


Congrats to Bronx BP Carrion for speaking the truth. Despite the widespread attempt to make it seem like there were few problems this year, the problems of overcrowding, lack of placements, and poor transportation appear rampant. According to his new report,

“...we have seen that there is a systemic problem in the way that the Department of Education approaches, and plans for the new school year. A systemic problem that has not gone away despite all the changes the Department has undertaken; a problem that if allowed to persist,will continue to leave countless New York families out in the cold, waiting for their children to receive the quality education they have been promised, and deserve."

Regents and State Ed demand real accountability from NYC DOE on Class Size!

Today, the State Education Department and the Regents announced that despite being provided with millions of dollars in additional state aid last year, dollars that should have been used to reduce class size, in nearly 54% of NYC schools, class sizes and/or student-teacher ratio increased. In seventy NYC schools that received $100,000 or more to specifically reduce class size, both class size and student-teacher ratio increased. Those seventy schools alone account for nearly $20 million in wasted funds.

Leonie Haimson Questions Jim Dwyer on F Grade at PS 8

Does this school report card have important information about the school, or is it merely an artifact of an absurd evaluation system?

The latter. In addition to all the other statistical problems – basing 85% of the grade on the results of two high stakes exams, with the gains/losses up to 80% random -- the tests themselves are not “equated” or aligned to make the sort of cross year comparisons that Liebman uses them for.

Check out eduwonkette – actually today’s EdWeek commentator is Aaron Pallas, prof. of sociology at Columbia Univ, named Skoolboy: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/eduwonkette/2008/09/let_the_spin_begin

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