Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dozens of U.S. Cities, No Dec. 23 School --Only Other Open Major NE School District--Philly, Just for P.D.

     *Big cities w/o Dec. 23 school listed    *MORE petition for making Monday Dec. 23 a vacation day
UFT President for Eternity, Michael Mulgrew, uses the excuse that the curious December 23, 2019 New York City school schedule is handed down from Albany.

QUESTION: Mulgrew has such clout in Albany? Then why can he not get accomplished democratic autonomy for New York City? We have no home rule. We are a petty fief of the state. Maybe Mulgrew and the UNITY clan like it this way: a little number of players can negotiate with each other in secret, unlike locales school districts that putting the decision on whether to open December 23 up an open public discussion. This fiasco shows the failure of having mayoral control where major decisions impacting the schools are addressed behind closed doors.

It will be pretty awkward and difficult leading classes and getting work accomplished, when all the news and other media will be mentioning vacations having begun over the weekend. Students exposed to this will be mighty jealous and embittered. Of all the days school will feel like confinement, this will be it.

Other big cities, unlike New York City, closed on December 23:
Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix (break begins on Dec. 20), San Antonio, San Diego.
Philadelphia will be open on Dec. 23 --only for professional development.

Other Northeast cities with populations over 100,000, closed on Dec. 23, these districts have already released their 2019-2020 school year calendars:
Washington, DC, Boston, Baltimore,
Worcester, Providence, Springfield (Dec. 20 is a p.d. day), Rochester, YonkersStamford, Allentown, Cambridge, Lowell (Dec. 20: 'Holiday Vacation Begins at the Close of Day'), Manchester, NH (Dec. 20: early release for elementary schools), Waterbury, CT, Lakewood, NJ.

And others:
New Bedford, MA ('from the close of school on Dec. 20'), Brockton, MA, Quincy, MA 

Exceptions:
Woodbridge, NJ (4 hour day, Dec. 23)

To be determined:
Newark, Jersey City, Buffalo, Syracuse, Paterson, Edison, Elizabeth,
Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford

PLEASE CLICK TO SIGN THE PETITION TO CHANCELLOR CARRANZA TO REMOVE DECEMBER 23 FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SCHOOLS SCHEDULE, AS NEARLY EVERY OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS DONE.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Mulgrew Gives 'Blame NY State' As Its Excuse for Dec. 23 School Day --So Why Do Other Cities Take Dec. 23 Off Their Calendars?

Michael Mulgrew's [Unity Caucus leadership] has negotiated away Monday December 23, 2019 as a functioning school day --in spite of the precedence of no school sessions for four previous instances of December 23 on Mondays.
President Mulgrew gave the excuse that the calendar constraints are dictated by New York State.

Yet, the districts in New York State that have so far released their 2019-2020 school calendars have all December 23 treated as part of Holiday Break.
So, NYC Is the only school system in New York yet to schedule 12/23/19 as a school day. In descending order of population. (Cities that have not issued their calendars are not listed.)
Since all known calendars exclude Dec. 23 why does NYC have school that day?

Yonkers: December 23 is off.
Clarkstown [Spring Valley is partly in the Clarkstown district]: December 23 is off. 
Long Beach: December 23 is off.
Harrison: December 23 is off.
Lindenhurst: December 23 is off.
Glen Cove: December 23 is off.
Rockville Centre: December 23 is off.
Garden City: December 23 is off.
West Hempstead: December 23 is off.
Lynbrook: December 23 is off.
Mamaroneck: December 23 is off.
Mineola: December 23 is off.
Scarsdale: December 23 is off.
Massapequa: December 23 is off.
Blind Brook-Rye: December 23 is off.
Babylon: December 23 is off.
Patchogue-Medford: December 23 is off.
Dobbs Ferry: December 23 is off.
Great Neck: December 23 is off.
Half Hollow Hills [Dix Hills, Melville, parts of Deer Park, East Farmingdale, West Hills]: December 23 is off.
Hastings-on-Hudson: December 23 is off.
Northport &  East Northport: December 23 is off.
East Williston: December 23 is off.
Pleasantville: December 23 is off.
New Paltz: December 23 is off.
Warwick Valley: December 23 is off.
Tuckahoe: December 23 is off.
Malone: December 23 is off.
Hilton: December 23 is off.
Elmsford: December 23 is off.
Ardsley: December 23 is off.
Gouverneur: December 23 is off.

SIGN THE PETITION: ASK NYC DOE CHANCELLOR RICHARD CARRANZA TO REMOVE DEC. 23 FROM THE 2019-2020 CALENDAR:

Make Monday, December 23rd a vacation day for NYC schools!

 



Sunday, October 14, 2018

Apartment prices in Brooklyn Have Risen Over 6% - So, How Does a 2% Teachers Pay Raise Cut It?

The United Federation of Teachers is rushing through with approval of a new UFT-DOE contract. It released the details Friday afternoon and the delegates voted on it that night. It contains only a two percent raise when it would start in February 14, 2019. But teachers in New York City are facing costs increases far greater than that. Younger teachers, a large proportion of the teaching workforce are facing an even greater burden.

The contract contains increases after the first 2 percent increase of 2.5 percent, and then 3 percent. However, there are several months of no increase in pay. So, over the life of the contract, until Sept. 13, 2022, the increase is actually just 1.94 percent annually.

Housing costs have been increasing at far greater rates than the 2, 2.5, 3 percent increases. Curbed in summer of last year reported that rental prices in New York City, in the bottom fifth tier of rents, had increased 4.9 percent since 2010. Overall rents increased between December 2009 and June 2017 at an annual rate of 3.9 percent.
High rent rates are forcing renters to put increasing percentages of their income into rent, squeezing out payment to other essentials needed for a sound financial future.
“As New Yorkers—particularly the lowest earners—are forced to dedicate more of their monthly income toward rent, it becomes extremely difficult to save for necessities like healthcare and education, or a down payment on a home.” --StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long.
For those teachers actually able to enter the apartment buyers' market, increases are even steeper. Apartment prices in Brooklyn rose 68.1 percent from 2006 to 2016, an annual increase of 6.81 percent, more than three times the rate of inflation, the Brick site reported in February 2017. Prices for the same period for Manhattan apartments rose 63.8 percent, for an annual average of 6.38 percent.

Greater strain on millenial teachers

Newer teachers are paying back loans on tuition rates that have grown at higher percentages than an oft cited current 2.2 percent interest rate. Of course, rates vary from teacher to teacher, by which college they attended and by what the tuition was while they attended, but it is important to contrast that 2.2 figure against overall averages.

The DOE prefers to recruit its newer teachers from the more elite schools. The tuition increase at the top 50 private institutions for the 2017 to 2018 academic year was average of 3.6 percent.  As USA Today noted, several institutions increased their tuition (forming the higher end of that average) at even higher rates. Lehigh University raised tuition by five percent in that year. Cal Tech increased its rate by 4.94 percent.

In fact, across the board, college tuition rates rise at rates higher than the general inflation rate. One former administrator noted that colleges raise rates by measuring tuitions against Higher Education Price Index (HEPI). Tom Lindsey added, "Between 1985 and 2011, average tuition nationwide increased 498 percent—more than four times the rate of general inflation (114 percent) as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)."

All in all, younger teachers are paying back college loans that are greater burdens --even adjusted for inflation-- than amounts paid by teachers entering the teaching profession ten or twenty years ago. Teachers need to demand more from the UFT and the DOE.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The NYC Department of Education Demonstrates that DeBlasio Opposes Human Employment

BILL DE BLASIO HATES THE HIRING OF HUMANS

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the modern economy is the orientation to hire as few humans as ever possible.

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio demonstrates this with his Department of Education's site. All aspects of the Department of Education human resources telephone number 718-935-4000 are oriented toward steering callers away from the phone number and steering number and toward online systems. At the beginning of the telephone contact a long and insistent toned voice encourages the caller to use any system other than the actual system.

DeBlasio stands in solidarity with the principle of not hiring people. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MAST'S Notorious Principal is History - Is this the Beginning of a DOE Housecleaning?

Jose Cruz, the principal at Math and Science Technology High School who gave 'Ineffective's to his nearly entire staff, is out. He had a penchant for driving so many teachers out that a few semesters he began with incomplete staff so much that about a third of students' programs read "vacancy." Teachers knew that if they were assigned there they could kiss their career good-bye, because they would end the year with a grossly tainted record.

Cruz was so notorious for his terrorizing staff that he ranked worst in rankings of Queens high schools, as noted in the Chaz School Daze blog.  His reputation was such that teachers would not apply to his school and no one showed interest in working at his school when his administrators went to the Department of Education job fairs.

He was the target of a few negative news articles in the New York tabloids. And yet, his connections in the Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) union and in the association of Dominican-American administrators, ADASA, he was protected. So, amidst heavy staff turnover, repeat scandals and tanking test scores he was protected.

So, is the canning of Cruz the beginning of a much needed housecleaning, as has often been called for by the blogs?  Was his ouster the result of mounting complaints and investigations or was it the result of the Tweed finally cleaning house after media exposure of several terribly incompetent and unprofessional administrators in the Bronx and Queens? We would hope that his ouster was the result of the latter, but don't hold your breath.

If there is any justice the United Federation of Teachers will push to have the 3020(a) proceedings against teachers under Cruz halted, so that the teachers may be given fair hearings. Who knows how many careers were ruined because of Cruz's sadistic ratings?
At least his staff can rest easily this weekend.

Thinking of Joining the National Student Walkout? Be Careful

Yes, of course, nearly all of us are not just horrified by the slaughter of 17 students and staff at the Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Florida, but are also appalled by the stranglehold that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has on our politics.

BUT, please be advised that the NYC DoE will be ready to pounce on you with a letter in your file, and worse, if your admins don't like you, if you are not attending to your classroom. And besides, there could be some students that don't want to participate, and they need their education, as a right.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

De Blasio Remains Steadfast vs. Detectors After the Second Largest Public School Shooting in History

17 people died yesterday in the high school in Parkland, Florida.

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio still opposes additional metal detectors in the schools. Many schools with violence (though unreported violence, so we'll never know) have no metal detectors.

Yet:
From the Daily News, July 21, 2016, slipped, during summer: Modifications of the city's school discipline code:
create the city's first formal protocols for adding and removing metal detectors from schools


After the school stabbing last fall in the Bronx, parents asked, where were the detectors?
Yet, a few weeks later the mayor balked at more metal detectors in the schools.
After yesterday's mass shooting in Florida, teachers, students, parents, administrators must wonder, why are metal detectors seen only exceptionally in the schools?

NYC school community, how safe do you feel, knowing that the choice is only in De Blasio's control, under mayoral control, and there is no truly public forum for the public to have democratic input on this vital safety issue?