Tuesday, November 23, 2021

DOE--High Standards for Teachers, None for Themselves

It's tough to estimate the stupidity of the DOE. Every time you think they've hit a new low, they do something new and unexpected. You may have thought the Trump administration was the most inept and inane bunch of lunatics you've ever seen, but they were finished after four years. The DOE just keeps barreling ahead, with no end in sight.

I'm now embarrassed to admit that I supported de Blasio from the beginning during his first run. UFT originally supported some guy who had told the NY Daily News that we shouldn't get the raises NYPD and FDNY had gotten under Bloomberg. The city couldn't afford them for us. This was they guy who ran against Bloomberg term 3, and we didn't take sides during that election. (Too bad, because we may have been able to avoid not only four more years of Bloomberg, but also antagonizing that guy, though he seemed to be lacking a moral compass. Of course, so did we.)

De Blasio, much to my chagrin, left Bloomberg's DOE entirely intact. For years I went to step 2 grievance hearings that we lost no matter how ridiculous administration's case was. And now, in their infinite wisdom, they've introduced a 42 question checklist for each student. There is no "cannot comment" option on any of these questions. You have to give detailed answers for each student. Now if I were an elementary teacher, seeing these students all day, I may have been able to give accurate answers. As it is, I gave it my best guesses and called it a day (a long one, after answering all those questions).

If the DOE thinks they will glean useful information from these surveys, I've overestimated their intelligence, not an easy thing to do. Personally, I doubt these surveys will even be looked at, let alone acted upon. But we shall see.

Meanwhile, here on earth, the DOE has decided it is no longer going to offer COVID tests to vaccinated staff members. Evidently the DOE has determined breakthrough infections do not exist in New York City, or more likely has simply chosen to ignore them. And why not? Learning about actual infections would screw up Mayor de Blasio's all-important COVID stats. Our ostensibly liberal mayor has taken a page from Donald Trump and determined it's not the COVID that's the issue, but rather the testing. If there is less testing, there will be less COVID, full stop.

The fact is the city's COVID testing was already ridiculous. The goal was to test 10% of the population. However, the tested population was entirely self-selected and no one was compelled to actually take the test. So any student who didn't have permission to be tested, was not. And any student or staff who had symptoms, but didn't want to know about that bad old COVID, could simply ignore it, go to school, and infect everyone else. 

Now, in another stroke of genius, de Blasio has decided he doesn't want to hear about infected adults, so he's stopped allowing them to be tested. It's perfect for him. Even with infections on the rise, they aren't on the rise as much, because adults are not tested. Let's ignore the recent surge in infections, pretend we don't need to check carefully, and screw erring on the side of caution! Bill de Blasio wants to be governor, and if people need to get sick and die to make that more likely, well, so be it. 

Our job is to be role models. You'd think the people who run the DOE should lead by example. Think again. Those of us familiar with the DOE know exactly what to expect. Like Donald Trump, they blame everyone else, mostly UFT, and take no personal responsibility. That's the way it's always been, and incoming Eric Adams, bought and paid for by Eva Moskowitz's BFFs, is highly unlikely to change that. For my money, he'll make it worse.

But I'd be more than pleased to see him prove me wrong.

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