2010-06-11 / Columnists

School Scope

Rumblings
Commentary By Norman Scott

Norman Scott Norman Scott It may turn out to be a minor quake, the equivalent of two rocks rubbing against each other, or something much bigger. It started at PS 24K in Sunset Park where teachers decided to picket on the morning of June 4. The Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) that I work with started to promote the idea and other schools began to pick it up. By June 4 over 20 were participating, focused on the budget cuts, the on again, off again Bloomberg game with layoffs and other issues of importance to the schools. GEM produced a toolkit for schools to use: a press release, a flier, a petition and signs.

The week before a group of us gathered in Prospect Park for a sign-making party. Someone said it is a shame that all the schools can’t get together. “Let’s go to Tweed after school,” someone said. And we did. Maybe a hundred people but this was not a manipulated rally. There are reports and videos (and a list of schools) for the individual schools and the Tweed rally on the GEM blog: http://grassrootseducationmovement.blogspot.com/

On Seniority

When The Indypendent’s John Tarleton asked me to do an article in defense of seniority, I started tossing in all the things I wanted to say, starting with a complete history of Joel Klein’s use of the issue, from his early years to claim the “best” – senior teachers – were not in the schools most in need because of the UFT transfer policies – to the fair funding formula that made senior teachers an economic liability to the schools. The bullshit the Ed deformers throw around would fertilize a small nation. Shill, baby, shill! When I stopped writing I had 2200 words, well over double the space John had given me.

John was the editor on the piece and we had a few very long conversations that revealed the complexities of the seniority issue. I found it a very rigorous exercise to go through a process like that with someone who was very astute but not tuned into all the details that boil up when you start drilling. John took my scattered thinking (see the recent front page article in the Times on the distractions of the Internet to see why) and focused things in a way that makes sense, to such an extent that I hesitate to take total credit for the article.

The article is at http://www.indypendent.org/2010/06/03/teaching-underassault/ Bloomberg Machine to Run City Until 2225 – at the very least

Term limits? Don’ need no stinkin’ term limits. Last week’s NY Times puff profile on Bloomberg’s mate Diana Taylor is practically an announcement that she will run for mayor when his term is over. And when her term is over, Emma will be ready. Add the Unity Caucus lifetime control of the UFT with designated successors and, you see, we do live in a monarchy. Long live the king (and queen).

No thorns in Cactus Flower

I did the video of the Rockaway Theatre Company’s current production of Cactus Flower last Saturday night and the RTC keeps topping itself. In a play that takes perfect comic timing to pull off, the RTC players have perfect comic timing. Every single performance is of the highest quality. The set design is stunning. And the direction by Susan Corning is as stunning as every other thing she does at the RTC. Three performances left to see a play that costs as much as many movies today. You are crazy if you are spending hundred of bucks going to Broadway and miss this Broadway quality play for fifteen bucks.

Guess the School?

This comment was left on my blog.

Guess the school and win a prize.

When? When will this nonsense stop? On June 2, 2010, there was a ‘Code Blue’ at PS ____ and principal — — was not in the building. What does it takes to remove this crook? She showed up at 2:35PM after she was called about the ‘Code Blue.’ She did not drive her car when she finally showed up at 2:35PM because of course she was pretending that she was already at work. Liar, she is late every day. Who is she supervising when she shows up for work at 2:35PM? She is blatantly stealing time. Check with the teachers in the building she has been on time on no more than four occasions this school year. If the NYCDOE is lucky she shows up by 11:30AM. She has the acting assistant principal, math coach, IEP teacher, senior school aide, Core Knowledge facilitator, and parent coordinator covering for her.

Superintendent Michele Lloyd-Bey, you must be aware of this blatant theft of time by now. What do you intend to do about it? I must remind you that you are also paid by taxpayers’ dollars. Does this scoundrel have secrets for you? Why aren’t you doing your job? We all know she is incompetent but you can relief her of her position because she blatantly steals time. She has not earned her pension or sick time. Who is keeping tabs? Certainly not a particular OSI investigator. I wonder what his hours are? He ‘investigates’ at PS —— - late evenings when the principal shows up.

The mayor and school chancellor should be investigating the principal of PS ——and the superintendent for district 27. They should not be allowed to collect their paychecks. One for theft of time and the other for negligence. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people of Far Rockaway pay taxes and deserve better for their children. Who cares for the poor? Wake up people in authority and get rid of the crooks running this school.

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