It's teacher hunting season!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bank Street Conference on Helping Schools, Not Closing Them

This last weekend, Saturday, September 24, 2011:
Rachel Cromidas, "Event aims to teach city to help schools instead of closing them" Sept. 23, 2011 at GothamSchools.
The city official in charge of closing schools and the union chief who has sued to keep schools open are both set to speak at a conference tomorrow about what can be done to help schools without shuttering them.

The conference, “Effective Alternatives to School Closings: Transforming Struggling Schools in NYC,” was organized by the Coalition for Educational Justice, the Alliance for Quality Education, and the Urban Youth Collaborative, all advocacy organizations. The event is meant to send a message to city policymakers that there are ways to reform failing schools without shutting them down, according to Ronnette Summers, a parent and CEJ member who helped organize it.

The city Department of Education has closed 117 schools since 2002 and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said this week that he plans to close additional schools, particularly middle schools, that do not meet the department’s standards.

“Every year there’s more and more schools on the closing list and that seems to be the only reform strategy that the Department of Education uses to improve schools,” Summers said. “People in places where they know [closure] is not working felt that it was important to bring it to New York City to let them see that there’s other ways to improve schools.”

Click to this link, to get full article, and six page Scribd document.

UPDATE: Comptroller Nixes No-Bid NYS Contract w/ Murdoch Firm; Will Steiner Get Penalty?

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli cancelled the no-bid $27 million contract that the New York State Department of Education made with Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Communications. The contract came just weeks after New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein left the New York City Department of Education to work on Murdoch's News Corporation. The contract was to have enabled schools to track student and teacher data. The Daily News' article on the story. Former New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner, who inspired some of us a year or two back with his recognition that European teachers pride themselves in their knowledge of their subject, has had his slip-ups. Last year he signed off on the wacky idea of Cathy Black as New York City Schools Chancellor.

Latest on Steiner: He is caught in a conflict of interest scandal in benefiting from a corporate-paid junket to London, England, United Kingdom. Soon after Steiner's London trip, Pearson found itself in a $32 million dollar deal with New York State. From the New York Daily News:
A State Education Department commissioner took a roughly $2,000 junket financed by the charity of a learning firm that later won a $32 million state contract. Then-Commissioner David Steiner traveled to London in June 2010 for a conference held by the Council of Chief State School Officers - which reimbursed him for his expenses. Ultimately, the foundation connected to education firm Pearson gave money to the council to foot the conference's bill. Six months later, the state contracted with Pearson to develop new math and reading tests. "It doesn't take long for people to connect the dots," said Jack Jennings of the Washington think tank Center on Education Policy.
Read Rachel Monahan's story in the New York Daily News.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

UFT Gives In: Schedules Mass ATR Meetings; Scheduling SNAFUs

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has conceded to demands for Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) teachers to have more voice.
However, some developments suggest that the UFT is dampening potential groundswell factors.
First, the meeting was to be a single one (see this flyer at Ed Notes), at the Brooklyn Marriott building offices of the Brooklyn UFT. But a single site could see too much agitation for Unity to manage. (Classroom management anyone?)
The UFT split the meetings into successive nights: October 3 in the Bronx, October 4 in Brooklyn, October 5 in Staten Island, October 6 in Queens and October 11 in Manhattan.
(See the poster at the UFT website.)
Should the UFT reconsider siting important meetings at its Bronx offices? That site is close to major highways, but otherwise it is difficult to access: it is only near the 6 train and the buses that go to Westchester Square, Bx 4, 4A, 8, 21, 31, 40, 42.
And most important of all, when were the meeting schedulers last teachers themselves? Have they forgotten that the first Mondays of the month are routinely the days of faculty conferences? ATRs leaving after the school bell on Monday, October 3 could get written up for missing the faculty conference. Besides, won't teachers already tired from the faculty conference be a little too burned out to attend another meeting?

Great John Liu DOE Audits: School Space Estimates --w/ UPDATE; Use of ATRs

New York City Comptroller John Liu has made some important audits in the past few weeks, as regard to the New York City Department of Education's measurement of the use of school space (lest we use the word, "assessment") and the city's use of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR).

First was the audit of the use of ATRs.
See Phylissa Cramer's "Comptroller’s audit criticizes city’s handling of ATR pool" at Gotham Schools.
Quick summary, from lede of the story:
The Department of Education could potentially be doing more to help teachers whose positions have been eliminated find new jobs.

That’s one conclusion of an audit conducted by Comptroller John Liu of the DOE’s efforts to help members of the Absent Teacher Reserve, the pool of teachers whose jobs were lost to budget cuts, enrollment changes, or school closures. The audit concluded that the vast majority of ATRs — 95 percent — are working full-time in teaching jobs, but that the department doesn’t maintain data sufficient to conclude whether its efforts to help the teachers find permanent positions are paying off.

Then, there was his audit of the New York City Department of Education "Blue Book" estimates of the use of school space. As the Daily News explains, "The book is used to help determine what neighborhoods need more school buildings as well as space-sharing arrangements."
Gotham News reported:
To evaluate the city’s success at ensuring accurate Blue Book data [calculations of school space use], Liu’s office analyzed entries for 23 schools and found that space assessments for 10 percent of all rooms were incorrect in a way that affected the school’s overall capacity.

The quick summary (from Gotham Schools) of his findings:
The newest audit examines the city’s “Blue Book,” which contains space estimates for each school building. The DOE and the School Construction Authority use the Blue Book to guide how many students can be placed in a school, and how many schools can fit into a building. Critics, including members of the City Council, say Blue Book numbers don’t always reflect reality — for example, suggesting that an additional class could fit into an art room — and that decisions based on them can leave schools crunched for space.

This story has some relevance to teachers, since it relates to how much space the city allots to schools and the measure of capacity utilization. Under utilization is one of several measures by which the city justifies closing or scaling back some schools' operation or student enrollment.
See the full Phyllisa Cramer story at Gotham News.

See the full Rachel Monahan story at the New York Daily News.

Mr. Data Mayor (Bloomberg) really is the fraud when it comes to numbers and managing resources in the New York City schools. He just can't anything right.
New from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) website is: UFT survey finds nearly 7,000 oversize classes as NYC school year opens: An estimated 250,000 students spending all or part of each day in overcrowded classrooms"
The number of classroom teachers has fallen as class sizes have risen. Based on the system’s records, this fall there were 73,784 classroom teachers, compared with 76,127 in 2010; 77,784 in 2009 and 80,649 in 2008.
. . . .
Because arbitrators’ rulings are enforceable in court, the system generally lowers class sizes as hearing dates approach. However, because the hearings are scheduled over a number of weeks, some large classes remain so for weeks; the contract also permits certain exceptions, meaning that some classes remain oversize the entire semester.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Does Thompson Think that the UFT is the Wimpiest Municipal Union of Them All?

A very interesting nugget appeared on the inner page continuation of an article in the September 2, 2011 edition of the Chief-Leader."

Former New York City Comptroller and 2009 sacrificial lamb Democratic Party nominee against Mayor Michael Bloomberg, William Thompson appeared at a public panel on the state of New York City public education, along with a variety of figures in New York City education. Representing the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) was Vice-President Leo Casey.

On the topic of a new contract between the UFT and the New York City Department of Education, Thompson was more pessimistic about the prospects of a contract under Bloomberg than was Casey.
Let's sit down, let's work out issues before us . . . there's no reason why we can't [talk in the course of negotiating a contract].

There is not going to be a contract under the Bloomberg administration.
He added:
The attitudes of other municipal unions are, we'll wait for the next [Mayor].

From this exchange, one can easily suspect that the other municipal unions are reading the city's behavior viz. a viz. municipal unions. And they are being savvy and refraining from negotiations that would include colossal givebacks, let alone making conciliatory comments toward the mayor. (And wasn't it a mistake for the UFT to avoid endorsing Thompson inn 2009?)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jury Selection in 2009 Bloomberg Campaign Aide's Trial Begins Monday

From Queens Campaigner, September 15, 2011, "Jury selection set to start Monday in theft case against Haggerty" -[on Bloomberg election aide]
Queens Campaigner 9/15 article, by Joseph Gargiulo:
Jury selection was expected to begin Monday in the trial of Forest Hills Republican political operative and Bloomberg campaign volunteer John Haggerty, who is accused of stealing $1.1 million of the mayor’s money for a phony poll watching operation.
When Mayor Michael Bloomberg was running for a third term in 2009, he donated $1.1 million to the state Independence Party that was then funneled to Haggerty, which prosecutors say was supposed to be earmarked for poll watching on Election Day.
But prosecutors claim Haggerty, a Forest Hills resident and a widely known Republican operative, did not use the funds for those purposes and instead used the money to buy out his brother’s share of their father’s Forest Hills Gardens home.
Haggerty is facing larceny charges and jury selection was scheduled for Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Haggerty’s lawyers contend he did not do anything illegal in how he used the funds from Bloomberg.
Haggerty and his brother, Bart, are in a longstanding feud with Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa and have tried to wrest control of the county party from Ragusa and his allies.

And now for the John Eligon, New York Times report, Monday, January 12, 2011 on judge's decision against New York City Mayor Bloomberg, and the background on this political corruption trial.
With Ruling, Mayor’s Spending May Enter Trial of Former Aide
A Manhattan judge on Monday refused to bar defense lawyers from exploring Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s campaign spending habits in the trial of one of his former political consultants.
Justice Ronald A. Zweibel of State Supreme Court did, however, say he would decide the relevance of particular evidence as the trial of the consultant, John F. Haggerty Jr., proceeded.

The ruling sets the stage for what could be interesting and revealing political theater, as Mr. Haggerty’s lawyers have hinted at plans to expose what they say were efforts by Mr. Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign to keep certain information secret. Jury selection is now scheduled to begin next week.

Prosecutors have accused Mr. Haggerty of stealing more than $1 million from Mr. Bloomberg by promising to provide ballot security for that price, even though he had no intention of doing so. Based on Mr. Haggerty’s false representations, Mr. Bloomberg contributed $1.2 million to the state’s Independence Party, most of which went to Mr. Haggerty for ballot security that he never performed, prosecutors said.

But defense lawyers have said Mr. Bloomberg knew that once he gave money to the Independence Party, he no longer legally controlled it. So, the lawyers argued, Mr. Bloomberg was not relying on representations by Mr. Haggerty when he decided to give money to the Independence Party for ballot security.

Read the rest of the original John Eligon article in the Times on the John Haggerty trial. Haggerty the straw-man patsy for corruption in Bloomberg's third term campaign?

NY State Releases Persistently Dangerous Schools List, Many in Bronx, Brooklyn

Thanks to Channel 12 News, here is the site for New York State's list of "Persistently Dangerous Schools."

Bronx (3), Brooklyn (2) and Harlem (2) schools predominate in the city. Middle schools appear much more than high schools. Then, more frequent than high schools are schools that are K through 5 or 8 schools (e.g., PS 194 Countee Cullen (Harlem, Manhattan), PS 12 (Weeksville, Brooklyn) and PS 11 (Highbridge, Bronx))

Yet, upstate rural towns predominate for the rest of New York State. A suburban exception to this list is Greenburgh Eleven Elementary in Dobbs Ferry. And this list includes schools carried over from previous years' lists. Schools from the older list includes schools in some very rural areas, e.g., Little Flower School in Wading River on the Long Island Sound in northeastern Suffolk County.

New York Times Explains School Numbering System

Wondering about the numbering system in the naming of New York City public schools?
Anna Phillips in the New York Times wrote "Naming a Public School in New York? It Isn’t as Simple as 1, 2, 3" to explain it for you. (September 7, 2011.)
In the beginning, there was Public School 1. Then it got messy.
There are actually four P.S. 1’s in New York City: That first school, established in 1806 and later named for Alfred E. Smith (Manhattan); the Courtlandt School (the Bronx); the Bergen (Brooklyn); and the Tottenville (Staten Island). Plus, of course, the P.S. 1 in Long Island City, Queens, which now houses a contemporary-art museum. There are also three P.S. 2’s, three P.S. 3’s and four P.S. 4’s.

In a system of 1,700 schools, the numbering can be dizzying. For children starting at Public School 8 this week, they might be traveling to Washington Heights — or Brooklyn Heights, or two other places. And if teachers are assigned to work at Public School 75 on the Upper West Side, they should not necessarily assume that it opened before Public School 76, about a mile north, or that it bears any relationship to the P.S. 75 that was on the Lower East Side many years earlier.

The fact that the numbers are repeated across boroughs is, in part, because the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island originally had their own school systems. But over the decades, as the city has closed, moved and razed school buildings — and, recently, opened lots of new ones — the sequential numbering of schools has disappeared.

“You start out with a deck of cards with all of the suits in order, and over the course of a century the deck has been shuffled so many times that it doesn’t have meaning anymore,” said Stephan F. Brumberg, a historian of education at Brooklyn College.

Today, the Education Department uses an allocation code management system to do the work. When a new school is created, a computer assigns it a number, careful not to repeat within a borough; that code is sent to the state for approval.

Except when it is not. Shimon Waronker, the Orthodox Jew who founded the New American Academy in Crown Heights last year, was given No. 748. He had previously run Middle School 22. He pointed out to the chancellor that 748 plus 22 is 770, the address (and nickname) of world Lubavitcher headquarters, and they decided New American would be Public School 770 instead.

Other cities seem not to have this problem. Atlanta and Washington use names, not numbers. Schools in Baltimore are numbered, but people generally say their children attend Westside Elementary, not P.S. 24. And the only numbered schools in Los Angeles are the ones labeled for the streets they are on, like the 28th Street School — something that helps alleviate confusion.

Back when the first public schools began in New York, the numbers really meant something. Those who like order will appreciate that Manhattan’s P.S. 1 is truly the first public school on the island, though it has moved buildings.

The school opened 205 years ago in a “small apartment,” then moved into a schoolhouse on Henry Street on the Lower East Side, according to a history of the New York public schools, written in 1905 by Archie Emerson Palmer, secretary of the Board of Education. Created by a private charity, it was known as “New York Free School No. 1.”

Click here to read the rest of the article at the Times website.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sign MoveOn petition to save St. Mark's Bookshop from Cooper Union

From their letter:

Dear New York City MoveOn member,

The St. Mark's Bookshop has a long tradition in the Lower East Side and serves an admirable and increasingly rare function. But St. Mark's is struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31 3rd Ave. A significant rent concession by Cooper Union could save this irreplaceable neighborhood institution.

That's why I created a petition to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on, which says:

The St. Mark's Bookshop, a vital Lower East Side cultural institution, needs a rent low enough to survive. Join the Cooper Square Committee petitioning Cooper Union, the bookstore's landlord, to give St. Mark's Bookshop a lower rent.

Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9/11 Anniversary: Never Forget: Giuliani, Whitman, Bloomberg, Other GOP Betrayed First Responders' Health

As some may have noticed earlier this month, the British journal, "The Lancet," released a study, reporting that Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighters that served duty at "the pit" or Ground Zero of the footprint of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers developed cancer at a rate of 19 percent greater than the rate for the population of New York firefighters who did not work at Ground Zero.

With the fires and dust clouds that remained at the pit for months and at streets in a one-quarter mile radius from the site for days, the air was sickening to encounter for a few minutes.

On the fifth-year anniversary of the airplanes's terror attacks collision into the Twin Towers, the New York Times reported on what was in the air after the buildings collapsed ("the film" refers to "Dust to Dust," a documentary on the health problems that the air posed to workers in the Ground Zero area):

In addition to more than 400 tons of asbestos, this film counts 90,000 tons of jet fuel containing benzene; mercury from more than a half-million fluorescent lights; 200,000 pounds of lead and cadmium from computers; crystalline silica from 420,000 tons of concrete, plasterboard and glass; and perhaps as much as two million pounds of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the diesel-fueled fires. Some of those substances are carcinogens; others can cause kidney, liver, heart and nervous-system damage.

It doesn't take a graduate degree in any field of science to realize that this stuff would be dangerous to breathe and that health problems would create fatalities beyond the original roughly 3,000 to die on the original September 11.

MSNBC ran a story, also on the 2006 anniversary, “Most 9/11 recovery workers suffered lung ills: 70 percent of WTC responders developed symptoms, major study shows“ which is still available in video online.

(Will the James Zadroga Fund administrators now include cancer coverage to Ground Zero workers, after their denial this summer? --"Anger voiced at NYC meeting on 9/11 victim fund")

*Then Mayor Rudy Giuliani told New Yorkers that "The air is safe as far as we can tell, with respect to chemical and biological agents."
*Then Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd-Whitman said that
the air was safe to breathe and that people in the area were not "exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances."
*Never forget the opposition of Congressional Republicans to the James Zadroga bill to give health expense aid to Ground Zero workers.
*Then there's current mayor Michael Bloomberg, who banned religious leaders and organized prayer at the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
*And he banned firefighters from the 9/11/11 commemoration ceremony. Read CNN report, "First responders decry exclusion from 9/11 ceremony" on the same.

Bloomberg had sought to limit local monies for the sickly first responders. From Jan. 21, 2007 reporting on mayor Bloomberg's legal struggles to limit city payouts to those sickened at Ground Zero:
Mayor Bloomberg is calling for an emergency halt to a judge's orders that the city start paying sick World Trade Center workers, The Post has learned.

Lawyers for the city have asked an appellate court to stop Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein from forging ahead with settlements and trials for 9/11 responders seeking compensation for respiratory illness, cancer and other diseases ....

Hellerstein has refused to delay the case while the Bloomberg administration appeals his earlier ruling that the city does not enjoy blanket immunity from such suits under a state disaster act.

NY Times Unmasks Computerized Education Fraud

Education deformers are zealously touting the virtues of computerized learning, eliminating expensive teachers, bunching up classes and having students "learn from" machines.

The New York Times ran a long piece last Sunday, in which they cite experts who have researched the efficacy of computerized learning. The results are stagnant or declined performance.

Click to read the article, "Grading the Digital School: In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores" in "The New York Times," September 3, 2011.

In an era of budget cutting, why are we spending millions on computerized education while teachers must dip into their own funds for things such as pencils and notebooks for the students?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NY1 Poll: NYers Give NYC DOE Chancellor Walcott a C Rating

On Wednesday night, September 7, 2011, NY1 released results of a NY1/Marist Poll on the New York City Department of Education.

The leading news from the poll on the performance of the DOE is that a plurality of polled New Yorkers give low marks to Schools chancellor Dennis Walcott:
A new NY1/Marist poll finds 46 percent of respondents say Walcott is doing a fair or poor job, 28 percent are not sure or have not heard of him and 26 percent say he is doing an excellent or good job.

Read the full story on

And follow this link for the pdf file of the results of the poll itself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Only 34% of NYers Approve of Bloomberg Education Performance

Recent news, to be published in Wednesday, September 7, 2011 New York Times,
in a CBS News/ New York Times poll of 1,027 New York City residents, only 34 percent approve of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's performance in shaping New York City schools. The 34 percent figure represents a historic low for the mayor, since a peak of 67 percent approval in October 2005 and June 2006 CBS/ New York Times polls.

Sharon Otterman and Alisson Kopicki report in "New Yorkers Say Mayor Has Not Improved Schools" that most of the polled New Yorkers say that the Department of Education schools have declined or stagnated since Mayor Bloomberg took control of the school system nine years ago.

One of the mayor's trademark trends has been breaking apart schools and housing multiple schools in one building. When questioned about the latter trend, 48 percent said that housing multiple schools in one building was a bad idea, and 39 percent said that the practice was a good idea.

The leading concerns of polled residents were in this order: funding, easing overcrowding and teacher quality.

Ironically, when the subset of parents of schoolchildren were polled about their satisfaction with the choice of their child's school, 67 percent said that they were satisfied.

Here is the online link for the New York Times survey of New Yorkers' opinions about the New York City school system.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bloomberg in Hot Water for WifeBeatGate Cover-Up (re Deputy Mayor / Manhattan Institute Big)

The news outlets have been all over the story:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg covered up for NEARLY AN ENTIRE MONTH the fact that Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith's resignation was occasioned by his arrest on the charge of assaulting his wife. Mike's silence has him in unflattering news in a range of high profile media outlets. Boy, the media love affair and fealty to the New York city-state prince has wither
Mayor still defiant Bigthink columnist blasts Times for soft coverage

(We would like to bring up that he is chairman emeritus of a division of the rightist free-market Manhattan Institute, has a named appointment at Harvard --Daniel Paul Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana. The same Wikipedia biography reference indicates that he is an ed profiteer: he has been a Partner of Knowledge Universe.)

Thursday "The New York Daily News" reported that Bloomie hid from the media (Jonathan Lemire and Reuven Blau):
Under furious attack about his coverup of a top deputy's domestic violence arrest, Mayor Bloomberg abruptly canceled his radio show Friday morning to avoid being grilled.

WOR radio's John Gambling is mad at the formerly teflon mayor, The Daily News' Reuven Blau reports.

WNYC radio which has had innumerable appearances of ed deformers such as Eva Moskowitz and Geoffrey Canada, has the WifeBeatGate story as its lead story today as of 2:00 PM:
The lead story's page headlines, "Bloomberg Defends Decision to Withhold Disclosure of Deputy Mayor's Arrest." (Arun Venugopal)
WNYC's story began:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg refused to apologize on Sunday for not disclosing that Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith had been arrested before he resigned.

The administration had initially said Goldsmith had left to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Last week, it was revealed Goldsmith had been arrested in Washington, D.C., in late July on domestic violence charges. reports that "City Columnists Bash Bloomberg Over Goldsmith" --David Freedlander reporting.

At link to "Bloomberg Under Fire Following Goldsmith Scandal" By: Michael Herzenberg.

Lindsay Beyerstein, blogger at criticized "The New York Times" for writing that she said was an attempt to "normalize" him. (The following quote begins with the Times excerpt.)
"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s management style has its hallmarks: unwavering loyalty to aides and a deep distaste for exposing private lives to public scrutiny."
That's Michael Barbaro's lead in the New York Times this evening. The lead sets us up to believe this story is about Bloomberg's "management style," his "unwavering loyalty," and his distaste for exposing "private lives" to public scrutiny. Makes him sound like a pretty good guy, right?

Aside from sagacious critics such as Beyerstein, let's see how long the media keep this story going until it shifts over to his next self-congratulatory executive announcement.

NYSUT (NY state teachers' union) wins in court decision on tests and evaluations

New York State's teachers union (New York State United Teachers, NYSUT) scored a victory on August 24, 2011 in a New York State-level court decision.
The New York City based "Chief" reported in the September 2, 2011 issue ("Exceeded Terms of NYSUT Deal: Judge Blocks State Bid to Up Teacher Test Liability) that school districts can count student test scores at the level of 40 percent of the teacher's evaluation only if the union approves.

Democratic New York State governor Andrew Cuomo opposed teachers on this one. ("Union, state battle over teacher evaluations," in "Rochester Democrat and Chronicle") He pushed for teachers to be evaluated with 40 percent of their evaluations based on students' test scores.

The over-riding principle was the collective bargaining process. The state union sued New York State in June over the evaluation formula, arguing that Cuomo was attempting to "circumvent collective bargaining." Cuomo's 40 percent formula went against the original state and teachers' union agreement that the student test scores would only use those scores for 20 percent of a teacher's evaluation. The New York State Board of Regents decided that local school districts would have the choice on using these test evaluations.

(No reaction yet from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg or city's United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew on this one.)

For more, pick up a copy of "The Chief" at the newsstand or read it at your local public library.

Protest and Rally Against Egregious School Staff Layoffs: Weds Sept. 7

Protest and Rally Against Egregious School Staff Layoffs: Weds Sept. 7, 4PM

September 2, 2011

Mona Davids, New York City Parents Union, (917) 340-8987

Protest and Rally Against Egregious School Staff Layoffs

Who: Coalition of parents, teachers, labor and community leaders including the New York City Parents Union, Local 327-DC 37, United Federation of Teachers, Coalition for Public Education, Grassroots Education Movement, Class Size Matters, The Mothers' Agenda New York, NYCORE, Teachers Unite, Independent Community of Educators, New York Charter Parents Association and

When: Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time: 4:00PM

What: Protest & Rally Against Egregious School Staff Layoffs

Where: New York City Department of Education, 52 Chambers Street

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Window on Weingarten's, Mulgrew's treatment of UFT reporter Jim Callaghan

In the course of reading GothamSchool's review of Steven Brill's "Class Warfare," we read some testimony into the context of the United Federation of Teacher's firing of Jim Callaghan. This summer is the one-year anniversary of the dismissal of one very intrepid reporter for the UFT's "New York Teacher", a reporter who was distinguished in tackling many important, unaddressed issues in New York City schools and teachers' rights. (Readers will remember that Callaghan's articles were removed from the New York Teacher online archive.)

What follows are key quotes from the discussion at the GothamSchools site. (Minor format edits, added):
For her own personal and political reasons, Weingarten  allowed the rubber roomers to languish for years because she refused to  file grievances when Bloomberg and Klein violated the contract which calls for the D.O.E. to file charges within six months. Everything else she and Mulgrew say is rubbish- they are the Vichy leaders of the UFT After much fanfare, she ditched the rubber roomers , preventing writers at the Weingarten Times (formerly known as the NY Teacher) from doing dozens of exposes. what happened to the three people [writers] assigned to the rubber rooms?
-I was fired in August 2010- in the middle of trying to organize a union for union writers which Mulgrew said would happen over his dead body---  after 13 years at the union during which time Weingarten called me: the conscience of the union; her ace investigative reporter; one of the best historians in New York; her co-revolutionary. -Betsy Combier was fired in June 2010.-Ron Issac spends his days whining that he has nothing to do- at $70,000 per year plus his DOE pension). Issac told Weingarten this three years ago- I was there -yet she defended her tyrannical  editor Deidre McFadyen in harassing Ron and myself. ..why would Weingarten hire someone and then give him no work?
Clearly, Weingarten wasn't serious about  justice for the rubber roomers. It was one big farce. Not one suggestion- out of dozens---  I made to her, and staff directors Ellie Engler, LeRoy Barr and Garry Sprung was ever followed up. Weingarten  had Barr remove me from a rubber room while I was in the middle of a story that the security guards were shaking down our members.  Her Brooklyn Borough Rep Howie Schoor was sending copies of my emails I sent to him - I have them- to D.O.E.! I did one major rubber room story in October, 2007- and that was it for almost three more years! Is that the mark of a serious union leader?
Of course, Weingarten was distracted. She was also busy cleaning up her own mess by hiring Combier after she filed freedom of information requests for the time records for one of Weingarten's closest friends in the union. D.O.E. sent copies of the FOIL [Freedom of Information Law] requests to Weingarten. Within weeks, Adam Ross, lawyer for the UFT, was writing to Combier - I have the letters- offering her a job... Her confidentiality agreement is bigger than a Manhattan phone book. Prior to her hiring, I was told in writing that I was not allowed to even talk to Combier! 
As for Klein, Weingarten talked to me on the steps  at PS 45 in Staten Island  the day after the story broke that Klein was keeping "files" on her and others. I told her to FOIL them. She never did. Why?  And she told me that Klein had previously leaked her personnel file to Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice, who was writing a  story challenging the way she qualified for a D.O.E.  pension.
Much later, she emailed me that David Hickey, the CFO of the union whose main job is harassing UFT workers, (except his "favorites" )  accused me of leaking her pension file to Barrett- which I had no access to! In a sarcastic tone,  she emailed me that she knew I would never do that.....her email- which I have- said Barrett obtained her file "illegally," but she refused to ask for a [Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard J.] Condon inquiry or to refer it to the District Attorney. I demanded that Hickey put up or shut up and then Randi accused me of being "defensive."
She also accused Barrett of "sneaking around"- in broad daylight-  her country  house in Amagannset talking to her neighbors; she claimed she was going to "out" her- a preposterous notion. In retrospect, what she clearly was worried about was that she was claiming to  be "working" at her country house which is how she collected $160,000 in unused vacation and sick time over a 24 year period- breaking Cal Ripken's record with plenty to spare.
The deal in the Communications Department, always with a wink and a nod, was to make sure she always got one fax  for every day  she was out there so she could claim she was working!  We all laughed- wouldn't we all like to be working from home in Amagansett. (Always a good hearted soul, Weingarten refused  to allow her editor  to work from home after she gave birth.) Weingarten  always had tools-legal ones and media- to defend herself, especially with the Klein "private files" but never did. After all this, woud'nt you too invite your tormentor to your 50th birthday party where UFT vendors were "encouraged" to buy ads in the Journal that made her sound like Norma Rae, Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Jones all wrapped into one body? Well, there was Klein at the bash, yukkng it up with his supposed enemies! and why would she always sussssshhh the 3,000 UFT members  at The Spring Conference when Klein was booed and hissed? Instead of truly fighting Bloomberg and Klein  she was  guilty of the larger moral crime-  denying so many members [rubber roomers] the right to representation. She was as much a part of the cover up of corruption at DOE as anyone.................only Mulgrew, her hand picked fake tough guy - is worse.
There are so many cover ups to write about- including one where I had-and have-  a tape of a Klein confidante violating the HIPPA law by telling a writer on the phone and in an email that a teacher was  crazy and had been deemed so by D.O.E. doctors. Weingarten took that out of the lead of my story and told me to lose the tape. I also have the original  email -for when Weingarten starts her "woe is me" persona. Weingarten also emailed a UFT official that "maybe this is the time for (the Klein confidante)  her to step up," meaning to play ball when the union wanted jobs for their cronies. Weingarten saved her ass from being fired and expected her quo for the quid. Stay tuned, lots more about how Weingarten and Mulgrew have thrown teachers over the side, including with the "PIP Plus" sell out  , where teachers are being fired by the boat load- with the union leaders as part of the shanda [scandal]. Oh, in case we forget, she scurried out of town after lying to her Unity Caucus members that Bloomberg (using public funds as a bribe) promised her  an eight per cent raise over two years but only if we knifed Bill Thompson in the 2009 mayoral race.  We did knife  him and it's two years later and no contract! 
Jim Callaghan

Yes it's the real Jim Callaghan.... There are'nt enough cemeteries in this town to dig up all the bodies of corruption, malfeasance, nepotism, shady deals, booze fests and collaborationists who cheat the members so they can advance themselves, family members, mistresses, boyfriends, girlfriends.... Some literary agents have told me I might have to make it fiction because no one will believe it......
The day after I was fired, Mulgrew offered me a bribe-----he would use the members dues to silence me if I signed a non-disparagement agreement in return for free health insurance for life.....if I live to be 100, that would have cost the members $540,000! All so I would keep quiet and betray the members who paid my salary for 13 years to fight for them with D.O.E. and corrupt union officials like Mulgrew and Weingarten...the bribe was offered on Friday morning, august 13, after Mulgrew the fake tough guy found out I was going on Fox News that afternoon.....I told him to shove his hush money... the question for reporters and union members is what mulgrew fears so much that he would attempt to bribe me? Unless I wind up like Ted Maritas----- Google him,------ the rest of the country will find out how bad Weingarten and Mulgrew [are] and how sadistic their mostly white $190,000 per year enforcers are... I am open to suggestions for my book title....

It was hardly everything.......I would guess there are another 350 pages more........I left with 48 boxes of emails, reports, thank you notes from uft officials, including the founders of the union, hundreds of notebooks full of stories of teachers who were railroaded by Weingarten and Mulgrew and abandoned by so called journalists like deidre mcfadyen and Larry miraldi who went along with the UFT cover-ups of how our members were being sent to the end of their stellar careers....I left with logs and journals I kept and notations in my calendar of every major scam going on...

I was told to investigate PAVE academy which took over space in P.S. 15 in Red Hook.....Mulgrew then told me he was pulling the plug on my story because Bloomberg called him in a rage, telling him that the father of PAVE'S founder was a close friend of his named Julian Robertson, a billionaire hedge fund manager listed by Forbes as the 155th richest man in America, one spot ahead of David Rockefeller.... PAVE hadn't filed their 990 forms with the IRS but Bloomberg gave the school $35 million----our money----so the kid could build a new school in an under-utilized district....

[The main skeleton that was in the Klein files on Weingarten was that Weingarten actually had the very limited classroom experience of three years for a union president. The skeleton is here The above passages sound wild to outsiders, but awareness of the system shows that these things are going on in the DOE and the UFT.]