Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dunciad - NYSED Style

Full House of Dunces : Katie Campos, education reform advocate, Eva Moskowitz, CEO of "$uccess" Charter Network, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, and  Jim Manly, Principal of Harlem "$uccess" Academy Deuce. Satan can also be seen in the reflected shadows on the ceiling.
photo courtesy of :

The New York State Department of Education is doing their best impression of Ignatius Reilly in his teaching gig at the community college. Having postured and threatened districts from Tonawanda to New Paltz that they'd better have their APPR's turned in on time we're turning the corner into October and only 8 districts have been approved by the otherwise engaged slackers at NYSED. To this end they are advertising for temps to come help correct the papers as it were. The gig pays $50.00 an hour and applicants must have a  master's degree and 5 years of classroom experience to become part of the team.

Imagine the Commissioner of State Education, John King's application being kicked back as he lacks the teaching experience and his major domo, former star employee of Plutocrats for Ed Reform, Katie Campos, likewise being turned away for the job as she lacks both the master's and the teaching chops. What ? you say, The Commissioner of State Education doesn't have 5 years of teaching experience? Well, no, not exactly. Neither of them are fit to evaluate the APPR's from the various districts around the state yet the Buffalo News proudly bleated that Campos was heavily involved in the creation of the absurd set of hoops set up by the state that none of her buddies in Charterville will be obliged to jump through. So a charter school groupie with a Sam Hoyt courtesy card in her car visor can be hired to take the number two seat in State Ed. sans one hour of teaching experience or the requisite Master's.  She is put to work creating a Byzantine system of mousetraps, pitfalls  and tarpits that public school teachers and administrators must all obey to the letter. Yet her fellow charterfolk. you know, members of the Chablis and Brie "reformer" class are exempt from the entire mess.  I would love to hear the charter talking point that fills in the blank when they are asked about this invidious practice but I think by now we've heard enough of their equivocating gas that we could fill in the blanks without any help.

Suffice it to say Nepotism and duncery have a home in Albany and among the "reformer" class. 


  1. Rumor has it that some of our suburban counterparts have refused to waste their time on producing SLO's until their APPR's are approved. Those types of decisions are coming from administrators who refuse to take time from running schools effectively to doing wasteful pre-and post testing. Those administrators have seen the "man behind the curtain" aspect of this APPR nonsense and are correctly saying to to taking time away from children to please the Katie Campos's in Albany. Of course, Buffalo will instead "hop to" anything the SED knuckleheads dish out, going so far as to create expensive departments with Directors and large staffs to make sure that SED's silly ideas are followed slavishly. Hmmmm,,,,,,,

  2. SLO's leave students and teachers SOL. A fourth grader friend of my daughter came home crying b/c of the math pre-assessment.

  3. I am a 3rd grade teacher in a suburban district. We have already had to give a math inventory that was about 10 pages long to assess prior knowledge and 2 weeks later a math quarterly benchmark assessment that was 7 pages long. Students were stressed, the material was very difficult because they hadn't learned it yet. To make matters worse, we were told not to assist them. As a result, we told them to do their best to figure the problems out and leave them blank if they couldn't. Kids are stressed, staff is stressed, veteran teachers feel like 1st year teachers. Too many new initiatives all at once: new math program, APPR, mass layoffs at the end of last year (everywhere except administration), taking attendance 4 times/day-it's crazy. We are not helping the kids with this craziness and we hate it. This is not what we became teachers for.

  4. Isn't it a sad joke that Dr.King,Sec.Duncan, the Chameleons,
    K.Compost, only 3 of the Regents, none of the "authors of NCLB and RttT ,are eligible to apply for those $50.00 an hour jobs sorting papers for the "Kingdumb"?
    None has the 5 years of teaching K-12 required. I'll bet the Commish will grant some "waivers"... ( gotta get a barf-bag now !)

    Hopefully, they start realizing the extent of the losses of both human and financial capital due to their poor planning and worthless requirements.

    Administrators and teachers are also overwhelmed by the vast amount of paperwork. I wonder... does Pearson also own forests and papermills? Somebody is making a lot of money that should go to the schools, because of this krap. Ugh!

  5. How about Donn Esmonde's article today? I guess he knows all about everything...for certain.
    Steve P. must have sold him a "bill of bads".

  6. To Peg.....I agree about Donn....I have always been a fan, but not so much sad! And he should know better.....his wife is a teacher!

  7. One of the biggest problems with the media is the fact that they will not question anything with the "reform" label slapped on it. Donn and others at the News are so quick to label the BTF as obstructionists that they allow the agenda of King, Campos, ReformEd, and now the Chameleons to pass with little or no scrutiny. (Did Donn or Mary P ever question the less than 24 hours notice for the "public" hearing the Chameleons held this summer? NO) They are also so worried about King John withholding money, that they think any of us should be willing to jump through whatever hoop they set up for us - move 50% of the teachers, factor scores of absent students into evaluations, drown in the quagmire of APPRs and SLOs, test kids to death, basically agree to all their "reform" policies (written by those with little or NO teaching experience) - do it all for money. Meanwhile this "reform" is costing districts big time - in trainings (to learn how to jump through the hoops) and layers of more administrators (to hold the hoops). We have to follow CTU in getting the communities involved and exposing this "reform" for what it is and what it isn't. Don't ever expect the News to do it, the anti-BTF sentiment is so strong there, they'll never question the "reformers", never dig deeper, never "follow the money" to see who will really gain from their agenda.

  8. I don't think that The News has a "journalist" on its staff. Everyone seems to be an "opinionist": ( if there is such a word...if not, I just invented it :) There is no depth in their writing. It is mostly "fluff" because it takes time to find out what is behind the "fluff" that attempts to pass for journalim these days.
    The only people doing in- depth studies are the lobbyists.
    We need money to hire some of our own.
    On second thought, we need a "foundation" to hire our own. The billionaire guys are running everything. Aarrgh!

    Karen, Mouse, Mous, and all "Rock"...Your comments cheer me up because " somebody gets it!"..You... and of course, Sean . Thanks.

  9. Anonymous, so glad to hear you chime in. Sometimes it seems like only urban teachers are the ones getting the short end of this NYSED/"reformer" stick but your story is so valuable as it show everyone that we are ALL in the crosshairs and ALL of our kids are being targeted by these soulless morons who don't know anything but think they have the answers for everyone. Thanks for checking in, stay tuned.

  10. Peg and karen I addressed The Don of Elmwood Hispsters two days in a row, I think he deserves as much, thanks for your vigilance.