Thursday, January 21, 2010

Assembly won't lift limit on charter schools

From the Daily News:

New York's Race to the Top never got out of the starting gate.

Bickering state lawmakers could not agree on a plan to lift the cap on charter schools by Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. deadline to apply for up to $700 million in federal education money.

"It's dead," Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Catherine Nolan declared moments before the deadline passed.

Gov. Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg called the failure a "sad day for the children" and said it torpedoed the state's chances of winning substantial federal money.

"It is unthinkable that after being advised to make specific changes to enhance our application, the legislative leaders could not come to an agreement," Paterson and Bloomberg said in a joint statement.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) blamed Bloomberg and city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein for the Legislature's inaction.

"Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein were willing to sacrifice the creation of 200 more charter schools rather than accept any limitation on their unchecked power to ignore the voices of parents and displace traditional public schools from existing classroom space," Silver said.

From the NY Times:

The bill favored by the leaders of the Senate and Assembly would have raised the limit on the number of charter schools in the state to 400 from 200, but added restrictions on how they are created and run. Giving voice to complaints that the mayor and his schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, were championing charter schools at the expense of traditional schools, the bill would have stripped the city of the power to recommend the creation of charter schools, leaving that authority with the state Board of Regents. The bill also would have prevented charter schools from moving into traditional public school buildings unless parents of the public school students approved.

The plan favored by the governor and the mayor would have raised the limit on the number of charter schools to 460. That bill also omitted most of the Legislature’s proposed restrictions.

The delay forced the state into a nerve-racking waiting game. The signed application needed to be federal officials’ hands in Washington by 4:30 p.m. The distance between New York State’s Washington office and the federal Department of Education offices is about two miles.

At about 4 p.m., the governor instructed the state’s Washington office to go ahead. Two state employees took the application in a cab and handed it in at 4:10 p.m., the governor’s office said.

Missing the deadline would have meant forfeiting round one of the competition and waiting until round two; applications for that round are due in June. But legislators gave no indication of if or when they would take up the charter school bill again.


Anonymous said...

Leave it to the politicians...
enough said

NYC Educator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says....

Way too much government - just another way they can continue to rob the "PEOPLE". Way to go Cathy Nolan !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The charter schools were producing results such as higher test scores and better attendance by expanding their work days, earlier openings/later closings and sometimes even additional days. Anyone remember last September when the schools reopened and the public (Union teachers)school teachers actually BLOCKED the charter school pupils and teachers from entering the buildings they shared? Here the Federal Government "conditionally" sends money for the charter school program to expand yet sets a time limit for the "expansion" to be "approved" by both NY City AND NY State. A TriFecta for the teachers and their union. Has anyone here seen the TV ads for the UFT? It's called "Buzzwords" and YOU paid for it taxpayer!!! And the charade that these dolts put on...really, a waiting taxi? How dramatic. That's Show Biz!
"Cathy" Nolan, YOU are a fraud but so is the NY City, NY State AND the Federal government. Don't TRUST these people with your kids.

Anonymous said...

Good it's about time someone in Albany had some balls.

Last Anonymous:

Charter schools are not the answer. Get that through your skull.

Anonymous said...

Our State Pols squandered fund windfall because they are morons.

I have to point out the old party king-makers in the back rooms of both Dem & Rep parties are to blame in putting forth candidates that simply have no buisness being in office.

In my area for example Rep Joe Crowley anointed and backed Sen Monserratte for office. Find your pols benefactor and he/she is the cause for picking the candidate that is screwing you!

Anonymous said...

they run charter schools like corporations, so I guess the CEOs will start to make 1000 times what the teachers do? Smell like another union busting tactic to me, has nothing to do with bettering our kids....

Anonymous said...

"they run charter schools like corporations, so I guess the CEOs will start to make 1000 times what the teachers do? Smell like another union busting tactic to me, has nothing to do with bettering our kids...."

Absolutely! The people in charge right now can't STAND that they are not able to fire people on whims as they did in the business world.
With Randi Weingarten(former UFT prez) they've succeeded about halfway in busting the union. They just want to finish the job.
Why do you think they are hellbent on closing one school after the other, even ones that received an A grade? It's just another way of ridding the system of experienced, tenured teachers and replacing them with rookies.
Would you want your kid going to school with an entire staff that has less than 5 years experience?
Trust me, new teachers are NEVER good despite what they themselves may believe. It takes YEARS to become a good teacher.
Unfortunately for us, BloomKlein don't understand that.

Klink Cannoli said...

The Charter School fight is really ugly. First hand experience. It always comes down to power and funding issues between the State Edu agencies/Teacher's Union (sorry primadonna) and proponents of a "free market" school paradigm. It's really not about the children. Very depressing.

Anonymous said...

Funny, no one at all levels of government ever has a problem in

spending taxpayers money on development even if we cannot afford it,

or finding excuses to look the other way as illegal immigrants overwhelm communities.

Anonymous said...

primadona its even worse than that- do a search for no childleft behind act, there's some INSANE provision (if true) that schools will lose state funding if something like 97% or 98% of students do not get passing grades. If the school does not, it will be turned over to one of 3 corporations that are part of this charter program. I forget the yr it takes effect, 2013 or 2014, but if you know any teachers you should def tell them to do research about this- I am not an expert...

kingb said...

f*ck the UFT and f*ck shelly silver

sad day indeed for New York

Klink Cannoli said...

Anon wrote:
"they run charter schools like corporations..."

That's not an entirely accurate picture. From an administrative point of view, some of the same principles found in any business are applied just like they should be in any public school administration. This will ensure you have qualified admins and workers for your positions, down to the Janitor at prevailing wages.

Teachers: The focus of a Charter School is to stay in business to provide its core service, education. It is in the school's best interest to attain the teaching staff that it feels will meet their educational aims. In my experience this has been all about measurable academic gains set by State Edu parameters. The Executive Director or Principal sets the tone for what kind of employee (Teacher) is of value for his/her goal. When a Charter School performs well, it can better attract talented teachers. Teachers that perform well will be rewarded. Those that don't, do not continue.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's all very good in theory. But you're forgetting one thing: a school's success depends largely on the student population and not the "quality" of teachers in that building. And what exactly makes a teacher exceptional? Intelligence? Good managerial skills? Good disciplinarian? Great with kids? Test scores? This has been the million dollar question for ages. Do you think the teachers at Bronx High School of Science should be congratulating themselves on their students high performance?
I agree with you having better teachers helps but it's not the whole picture.

Klink Cannoli said...


Let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I am not a professional educator. My statements come from the observations I've made and from a point of view of an insider who's briefly worked in a Queens Charter School as an IT Director and as an IT Manager in a collegiate setting with a stipend to tutor teachers and students.

Theories aren't of any help if they just stay as theories. However, as far as what I've mentioned so far, it appears I've seen those theories work as they intended. Both good and bad aspects. The goal being keeping teachers that add to the philosophy of the institution and provide results to that aim.

-"a school's success depends largely on the student population and not the "quality" of teachers in that building. "

I'm not so sure I entirely agree with that statement. I will conceded that student population disparities plays a significant role in how an institute faces it's challenges to provide its service, but I wouldn't say it defines its success. Currently NY Charter Schools define their success largely by increasing academic statistics. Math and Language test scores. Bet it right or wrong. When a student body partially consists of, let's say very poor readers, language specialists are hired to deal with that specific task.

-"And what exactly makes a teacher exceptional? "
That definition is suited for the Principal and Assistant Principals. I can't answer that. But you have on several occasions on this site and why I hold your opinion in such high regard as an experienced educator. Your past laments of public administrators are very cogent.

-"I agree with you having better teachers helps but it's not the whole picture."
Absolutely. I've heard this from Assistant Principals as well. Parent involvement in their children's education has been sited as a major factor. Resources are another.

Anonymous said...


So what if we privatized ALL schools in NYC. Do you think the schools would improve? My guess is no. Because by saying charter schools are the answer is like saying there is something profoundly wrong with our public schools. When for the most part there isn't. We just have tough students and/or parents to contend with. Fix the kids and you will fix the schools.

Patrick Sweeney said...

Real parental choice in education will improve education.

The performance of pupils will improve where parents can choose the right school for their child.

Charter schools are much more free than their public equivalents to determine what works and what doesn't work.

Charter schools empower parents.

Klink Cannoli said...


-"So what if we privatized ALL schools in NYC. Do you think the schools would improve?"

I think privatizing schools will have the results reflective of a free market. Some will fail, some will excel and others will be moderate. The positives to this paradigm is in the aspect of reducing fund waste and creating an atmosphere of competition.

-"Because by saying charter schools are the answer is like saying there is something profoundly wrong with our public schools. When for the most part there isn't. ...Fix the kids and you will fix the schools."

It may be the answer to a system that operates more efficiently. Bear in mind no system is perfect. Now that we have institutions to use as comparisons (Private vs. Public), we can objectively judge which one works better.

To be frank, I've heard you on more than one occasion rail against the public school system. Are you now saying the public system is working and it's the children's fault? What's broken with the children?

Anonymous said...

Oh Klink, what am I ever going to do with you? lol

There are two things right now that are seriously wrong with the public school system.
The first, which we have no control over, is the students. Most of the students(and their parents) in the city, particularly in middle and high schools do NOT prioritize education in their lives. They don't need to. They will begin having babies at 16 and collect welfare for the rest of their lives. School? Why do you need school for that?
The second, is the people in charge have no business being in charge. These people are putting MORE people in charge of our school buildings who also shouldn't be there. Recipe for disaster if you ask me.
The system would work much better if those two variables were different. Is the system perfect? Of course not. But why dismantle it? Why not improve it - really improve it.
What's broken about the children you ask? Their parents. When I worked in Brooklyn, I can't even tell you how many days kids would come crying in the morning that their belly hurt. Do you know why their belly was hurting? Because they were hungry. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of stories.

The other day we discussed Prep. Now I really don't remember any teacher there that stood out as a top "quality" teacher. They were good but it was the SCHOOL and its high standards for admission that made Prep what it was. I remember if you didn't put Prep as a first choice you could forget about going there.
Something has to be done about the parents and their attitude towards education. Many see our schools as a babysitting service.

citationneeded said...

Klink Cannoli said...

Just be gentle, primadonna, that's all I ask. *snorts*

Thank you oh so much for point one. And please forgive me for bating you to reveal those thoughts. The same thoughts in which I emphatically agree. The burden of raising children to be upstanding citizens should not be on the school system. Those are parental duties. Extremely important ones. The "problem" children are a direct result of poor parenting, in my view. No feel good social theories dung. Although I think Salvatore would disagree. We're entering psycho-social issues here, so I won't harp. I think that issue falls squarely on the recent disintegration of the family social structure.

Your second point about Administrators...
We're in agreement again. I know it doesn't make for a good heated debate, but what can I say. Administrators need to know their craft before they can administer. That's just basic logic. A confession.. The Charter School I worked for had not one member on the Board of Trusties that had an educators background. How scary is that? However, they did well on producing upward moving state language and math test results as well as a having decent PTO involvement.

So what's the difference between these two systems which would favor one over the other with the understanding both have to deal with the same problems? A person such as myself will say "free market" will yield better results as well as curbing financial waste through fair competition forces. And I believe this is related to a more natural and honest way of dealing with human nature. A balance must be attained to play off the the positive and negative aspects of social human interactions.

About Prep... I can say there were hand full of teachers that touched me (not that way) and brought out something in me that I can say effected my learning in a positive way. Some lessons or enlightening experiences are still with me today. Mr A in Art (surprised?), Mr. C in Music, Mr. G in Statistics and Ms. D. in World Religions are a few. But that's me. You're coming from a different perspective. You're an educator yourself. The glasses you wear are shaded a certain tint.

Admission policies play a role. And this is were competition comes in again. In Prep's case, a student needs to want to go. Aside from having the grades. That makes a big difference in their attitude towards wanting to learn and do well. I'm sure that's evident to you. Then of course there's this simple fact that parents are paying bucks to send their kids there. You bet they'll be on top of their investment. You also mentioned the SCHOOL itself as a reason for being what it was. Ask yourself what were the specifics of the school that made it what it was. It has to be tangible to have any meaning.

Anonymous said...

But Klink "free market" and "competition" are terms that apply to business. Schools and kids are not products that can be created and sold.
Why should schools compete with one another? To attain what goal? A school should provide the best education it can using the best curriculums it can taking into consideration the student population, funding etc..
Why my school should need to compete with the school 5 blocks away is baffling to me.

Do you see what I'm saying?

You are almost beginning to sound like the mayor and his vision for our schools.

You mentioned that charter school you worked at with no educators on the board. Now how can these folks make sound decisions for the benefit of the school?

Sometimes I truly wish Bloombutt would let me run the schools. I'll bet I could do a better job. The progress would be slow but it would be REAL.

Anonymous said...

Charter schools are the next big scam. School privatization is not the answer. First, NYC and NYS are not out of the running for Race to the Top(RTTT) funds. Everyone from Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Patterson, Joel Klein and other politicians are outright lying when they say New York's chances are dead to receive funds. The charter school provision in the RTTT application acounts for only 40 points out of a possible 500 points awarded. That's only 8 percent. For Bloomberg and others to say NYS chances are dead is akin to yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire.
Second, charter schools play by very different rules in comparison to NYS public schools. Charter schools do not have to follow the same compulsory education laws that public schools are REQUIRED to. Go to any charter school's website and look at a daily schedule. Core subject such as Social Studies, Science and Foreign Languages have been highly minimized or totally eliminated in favor of extra Math and English courses. If public school students were taking Math and English course for an additional 8-10 hours a week, their Math and ELA test scores would skyrocket as well.
Third, charter schools carefully screen the children they accept to attend their schools. The majority of children who choose to attend a charter school are already excelling in public schools. It is a fallacy that charter schools take the most impoverished and neglected students in NYS.
Do some research and you'll find even more disturbing facts concerning charter schools and how they operate. I didn't even touch on special education students, who by the way are society's most neglected students, and the financial compensation given to those who run, start and support charter schools.

Klink Cannoli said...

"But Klink "free market" and "competition" are terms that apply to business."

Those terms apply to much more than just business. Actually, free market, competition are subsets of a unifying principle. Freedom.

I may not be making my case very well. But I can point you to someone that can communicate this principle far better than I can. Please watch Milton Friedman's "Free To Choose" series. Specifically the section that deals with education. If you want to see how it's related to other social issues, watch the rest of the series. The ones aired in 1980. Try to keep an open mind about it.

My Charter... The BoT didn't operate very effectively from an academic policy point of view, in my opinion. Again, I'm not an educator really. And it suffered from a musical chairs syndrome with its members. The BoT is only one aspect of the whole. The Principals play their part. Admins, teachers, supporting staff and the PTO all together make the thing work. And work fairly well comparatively. I mentioned my experience of the Charter's BoT as a confession. My point was to show no system is perfect because we aren't perfect.

-"Sometimes I truly wish Bloombutt would let me run the schools. I'll bet I could do a better job. The progress would be slow but it would be REAL."

That's music to my ears, primadonna. If you and like minded educators brought that feeling to action, shit would be flying. Remember I said you gave me hope? There it is.

Anonymous said...

wanted at n.y.c. public schools:
more condoms for K-6 grade.
more homosexual sex education teachers.
more (gun and knife ) metal detectors at doors.
more unnecessary busing. eg. P.S.130 Q.
more trees and benches,

instead of ball fields in playground.
lock more playgrounds,24/ Q.
more social engineering.

increase per/pupil cost from $19,000 /yr to$30,000.

neglected spec.educ. pupil cost from $50,000 to $100,000.
transfer 3-4 grade pupils to high school buildings.

send english speaking pupils to Cuba for MARXIST bi-lingual ed.

Klink Cannoli said...

The brave Anon above:
"Do some research and you'll find even more disturbing facts concerning charter schools and how they operate."

I don't have to, I was directly involved in one. First hand experience. Primadonna is directly involved in the public school system and an experienced professional. Here you have the rare opportunity to listen to both sides of the issue from opposing philosophies and to positively contribute. But you don't.

All the little factoids you state are basically political bullshit, pardon my French. It adds nothing to a serious conversation to perhaps find a solution to the real issues. You are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...


You'll have to forgive me but I still don't see the correlation between schools and the "free market". I tried to watch Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" video but like in my Economics classes in college, I went spontaneously deaf. lol Not on purpose I swear! I guess that's what happens when I don't understand something. :)

What happened in your charter school doesn't surprise me - the musical chairs part. It's that inconsistency that will be the further downfall of our schools. Schools CANNOT be a revolving door of educators! Schools need stability and training teachers and even administrators takes many, many years.

For example, if you need a lawyer would you want someone who just graduated law school to take your case? Need a contractor? Would you want someone just starting out? NO! You want experience!

The school system was doing fine. They just needed to work on the cronyism and develop a new method of ridding the system of substandard, incompetent teachers. Instead what Bloomshit and Kleinturd have done is rid the system of wonderful, experienced, talented people. Damage done.

Babs said...

Anonymous said: "they run charter schools like corporations, so I guess the CEOs will start to make 1000 times what the teachers do? Smell like another union busting tactic to me, has nothing to do with bettering our kids...."

Students enrolled in charters are in small classes with other motivated kids - public school students on the otherhand are most often in overcrowded and underfunded classrooms with EVERYONE i.e. those with disabilities and with those who were "expelled" from charter schools.

They are focused on students who are the LIKLIEST to succeed or to produce the highest test scores - unlike the Public School system that focuses on students' needs.

My concern is that they serve too often to segregate as do the private schools.

The more positive side of this is that a charter school can shelter a student who would be in a more vulnerable situation at a public school. If an neighborhood is noted to have particularily high crime - enrolling in a charter school offers a temporary solution for the student and parents.

There is a need for charters - but they certainly should not outnumber the public schools.

I fear teachers will be grossly underpaid under the charter school system and that they will be told what to teach by those who contribute the most funds to the schools.

The Brave Anon said...

I have read your post and primmadonna's. You both make insightful remarks.
In regard to your comments about my post, first what's a factoid? Everything I posted was 100% true. Not my opinion or of anyone else. The FACTS I posted are exactly what is needed for serious conversations concerning the state of education in our city and state.Here's the link for the Race to the Top application. You can clearly see in section F2 how little value charter schools play in securing RTTT funds. Another fact(oid).
Second, I have been an educator for the past ten years in the NYC DOE. Prior to this I was a small business owner, the backbone of our economy. So please don't preach to me about having a rare opportunity to listen to both sides of the public school-charter school debate.
Being a small business owner for some time,I also have a pretty good feel for the free market system. Since you believe in the free market system, please answer this question: Why do management companies charge/accept exorbitant fees, which in most cases are over 7 figures, to run a handful of charter schools? How is that economically justifiable? Executives at these management companies make double or even more than Joel Klein.
Listen, there is no perfect solution, but there are certainly are wrong solutions. Charter schools, in my opinion are clearly not the answer. Look how well privatizing the military has gone for this country.

Klink Cannoli said...

The Brave Anon,

Thank you. Now you have a name and your posts become not an impersonal slur of rattling stats and obscure acronyms, but a person with perhaps something to say.

I may owe you an apology for being flippant and a bit rude about your academic experience. Although I still don't know what you did for 10 years in academia. Understand with this medium there leaves a lot to be desired for communication by prattlers. I'm sorry, but your approach gave that stench. And it's offensive and insulting. It's not conducive for a discussion. That's just knowing how to speak with people. Not at them. What you wrote and I took objection to was a basically an attack. And I responded proportionally.

Your question...
-"Why do management companies charge/accept exorbitant fees, which in most cases are over 7 figures, to run a handful of charter schools? How is that economically justifiable?"

Because the market bears the demand for it and the management companies provide the needed services (supply). Take the cost of managing one charter school, multiply that by the number of charter schools your example management company services. Now use that aggregate cost and compare it to a comparable public school system branch management aggregate cost. There would be the answer for you. The way you posed the question as an argument about cost efficiencies isn't cogent. Using charged adjectives like exorbitant doesn't help your argument either. Let's drop the emotion out of this.

You feel strongly that Charter Schools are clearly not the answer. Where are your rational and logical explanations as to why they are not compared to the public school system? All I've heard you state are relative stats and emotive political jargon.

Look at the big picture and not the small crumbs.

The Brave Anon said...


I appreciate the apology. For the last 10 years,and counting, I have been working as a Middle School Guidance Counselor. Because of this, it is hard for me, or any other person who works in education not to show emotion when talking about this topic. I don't believe that all I have been posting is political jargon and relative stats.
As I stated earlier, because charter schools do not have to follow NYS compulsory education laws, it puts them at a distinct advantage when compared to public schools when measuring progress. This would not bother me so much if the mayor, chancellor and media acknowledged this instead of spreading, what i believe is propaganda. Herein lies my emotion.
I should clarify or correct my last post. I am not against charter schools per se. What I am against is the unlevel playing field that charter schools haveand exploit. And by exploit, I mean use to denigrate traditional public schools when comparing gains in testing. I know that you worked in a charter school, so you're aware that the curriculum is very different than that of a traditional public school. In an earlier post, I stated that most charters have much more instruction in the areas of ELA and Math. Because of NCLB, standardized testing has become the only way we measure educational success in our school system. This is the unfair advantage I have been talking about. If public schools were exempt from state laws and regulations, it would be a different story.
Klink, you seem like a rational person. Can you acknowledge this advantage enjoyed by charters or do you disagree?

georgetheatheist said...

Primadonna (the former Italian 'girl') said:

"Most of the students...will begin having babies at 16 and collect welfare for the rest of their lives."


What the public school system needs are more people like the late Frank Mickens (Boys & Girls HS) and the late Howard Hurwitz (LIC HS)

Patrick Sweeney said...

The heart of BA's argument: "As I stated earlier, because charter schools do not have to follow NYS compulsory education laws, it puts them at a distinct advantage when compared to public schools when measuring progress."

Hey! Is that the fault of charter schools? And if this really is a problem, is the remedy to kill charter schools?

Real parental choice is the key to improving education.

School choice is liberating: A good school (public or private) will attract good pupils. Bad schools will close -- as they should.

Anonymous said...

I posted early on this thread re: busting unions- you guys have gone off the rails(while I appreciate the insider info as I'm an outsider). Think big picture, forget the minutiae. All the profits get kicked up to the executives, the teachers' wages suck (wouldnt you be on edge knowing you can get let go at anytime w/o a union rep taking on your case? How can on-edge teachers do a good job at educating? enlighten me?), no more pension, etc. You wanna teach in NYC for $15 an hr? Good luck finding motivated teachers!
and to Patrick- it aint about parental choice- you arent picking a 401k plan. If students are lazy, then the schools performance will reflect that. I went to one of the few great public HS in NYC and we probably coulda taught ourselves b/c we were motivated. The students made the school great, not the teachers, so stop blaming teachers who simply have too many lazy students...

Anonymous said...

How can on-edge teachers do a good job at educatain you ask??
The answer they can't. Welcome to the world of the 80,000 teachers in this city. We are so worried about pissing off our principal or a.p. we don't even want to teach any more, just get through our day. It's become just a job, nothing more.

I realize you are talking about charter schools. The only difference between us as far as working at our schools is we supposedly have a "union" representing us. Except sometimes I feel like they are making deals with the administrators behind closed doors. In fact they'll encourage us to not make any problems because we'll be the losers. Make no mistake, there is no more union.

georgetheatheist said...

Bitch-bitch-bitch. This is all a broken record. Bitching about the school system. Going back to the days of 110 Livingston Street. [Yawn] Same old issues, just a new contingent of teachers, students, and administrators. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Put your 20 years in and then scram. Or start your own school. Hey! An entrepreneurial opportunity! I'm self-employed and teach privately on the side. Glad I left the system in the late '70's (Budget cuts due to "Ford to City. Drop Dead". Lemonade from the lemon.

Anonymous said...

That's what Bloomberg gets for helping to push the GOP out and pushing certain dems into office. You made your bed, now lie in it!

Anonymous said...

No george, the issues are quite different.

Never before were the schools under mayoral control.
Never before were schools being run like a business.
Never before were people in charge that lacked pedogogical experience.
Never before was there such a high emphasis placed on scores.
Never before was there a universal "curriculum" shoved down everyone's throat without input.
Never before has there been such a conspiracy to "get" the teachers.
Never before have parents been so ignored and disregarded.
Never before has the morale been soooooo bad.
So no, the issues are not the same.

Hai capito?

georgetheatheist said...

"Never before has the morale been sooooooo bad."

Yes it has. I heard it day in and day out in the teachers' cafeteria back when. People just like to bitch and moan.

PS Diane Ravitch hasn't croaked yet? Amazing, she's outlasted the Energizer Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

Heard she divorced her husband and found her lesbian side.

BTW the woman is freaking brilliant when it comes to education.
Klein isn't fit to wipe her boots.

georgetheatheist said...

Read her book "The Great School Wars: A History of the New York City Public Schools."

There is nothing NEW under the sun.

Anonymous said...

And you're wrong about the bitching..

Way back in your day, the Stone Ages(haha), you bitched about the kids, maybe an idiot principal here and there, parents, etc... the usual teacher gripes.

It's different now.

Why don't you try subbing and see for yourself? Since you're self-employed, take a day off and report back to me.

Go ahead. I dare you.

Klink Cannoli said...

The Brave Anon,

-"...Guidance Counselor. Because of this, it is hard for me, or any other person who works in education not to show emotion when talking about this topic."

In my initial post, I mentioned the ugliness of the Charter-Public battle. It's frothed with emotion. Never productive in any reasoned discussion. You most honestly and admirably made this actualization. As a Guidance Counselor you must understand the term narcissism, in the Freudian sense. Yes? At the root cause of these emotional attachments are the fears of a perceived threat to the individual. In this case, ones livelihood in the Public system and all it offers the egoist. If you're honest with yourself, that's what it is. It's not about the children's education anymore. Is it? Are you an intrinsically bad person? Probably not. Are you irrational? Potentially. Are you looking out for yourself. Most likely. This mindset has no business in speaking to the issues.

" you're aware that the curriculum is very different than that of a traditional public school." "...most charters have much more instruction in the areas of ELA and Math." "This is the unfair advantage..."

Patrick Sweeney has made supporting remarks to this issue and I suppose I should parrot mine.
I'm actually not aware. I claim ignorance to those specifics and so take your word as being fact. However, as a very valid point in comparing a specific difference in each curriculum set, what does this detail propose to support in the Public academic enterprise? What you've shown us here is that a cookie cutter Public system has profound limitations in this respect. This is not about having a fair advantage or creating a level playing field. This is about which paradigm works better in educating children. I believe you made a very pertinent point for reasoning why a freer curriculum is advantageous in private education philosophy.

Let me get back to narcissism as it's related to more comments being posted and it sums up the bigger picture, I think.
If I can make a rather unpleasant conjecture. Bloomberg and Klein may very well be on a crusade to castrate the omnipotent UTF. Depending on ones interpretation of the Constitution, this can be seen as something horridly abominable to the progressive collective or conversely, a return to the basic principles of societal governance accentuating Individualism. Which system has historically shown to be most beneficial to the civilization of man? The proof should be incontrovertible to the nonsectarian mind. Georgetheatheist has made his peace as I will make mine. It's time for you to make this peace as well. For yourselves and for educating our children.

georgetheatheist said...

My last half year as a HS teacher, after 5 years with full-time programs was working as a substitute. (Up at 6:30AM waiting for the phone call to fill in somewhere.) Subbing sucks as opposed to being an appointed teacher. Why do it now? Human nature doesn't change. The kids ranged then from nincompoops, to geniuses, to wiseasses. Same range before and the same range today.

Shaddup u feis. Do your JOB or get out. Bloomberg and Klein are just re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic. The problem is the Titanic refuses to sink.

Anonymous said...

"Subbing sucks as opposed to being an appointed teacher. Why do it now? Human nature doesn't change."

I double dare you.

georgetheatheist said...

You call in sick and I'll sub for your classes. The principal will see I'm doing a better job than you.

georgetheatheist said...


Anonymous said...

"You call in sick and I'll sub for your classes. The principal will see I'm doing a better job than you."

They'll eat you alive.

georgetheatheist said...

Here's a trick I employed while subbing. When I, the new sub, showed up, the first thing the student's would ask was "Where's Mr. -or Mrs.- so-and so?". That was the first thing they asked. Now, if I answered, he or she was sick, or went to the dentist, or had jury duty, the kids knew that I was "only a sub" and the class was goof-off time. But, I was too brilliant for these dopes. I answered: "I don't know where Mr. (or Mrs.) So-and-so was, AND [now here's where I had them] there's a good possibility that he (or she) may not come back". Notice the conditional "may". Indeed the absent teacher might get hit by a bus, or fall down a manhole, or whatever. But the little darlings could not understand the conditional mood. They interpreted my answer as: "he (or she) IS not coming back. I razzled-dazzled them further by saying: "And there is a possibility that I might be your new teacher." Indeed, the future always has to be written. See? No lying. Just an adroit use of the language.
I employed this technique with my great thespian skills over and over and it worked like a charm. One time, the absent teacher came to see me with one of the darlings in tow and she demanded to know why I had, during her absence, told the student that she, the teacher, was not coming back. I explained to her exactly what I said. That I, as a sub, had to maintain order and this was my m.o. You should have seen the egg on her face.

I ate THEM alive.

georgetheatheist said...

And better be careful, or I will eat you alive.

Anonymous said...

Even I'll admit that was a very good tactic. Not the most ethical, but sometimes ethics needs to be thrown out the window in teaching.
Whatever works, works.

Eat me alive?

I'm way too bitter for you.

Anonymous said...


georgetheatheist said...

How was it unethical? I was stating a potentiality. Pass the tactic onto your colleagues.