Sunday, September 24, 2017

Public Schools Explode as Politicians Sell Out to Moskowitz

My jaw falls to the floor every time I read of the demands of the Moskowitz Brigade. Thousands of letters are directed at Mayor Bill de Blasio because Moskowitz needs more space. Moskowitz just wrote a book trashing people who dared disagree with the Moskowitz Mission. Her supporters, so-called Families for Excellent Schools, spout racist comments and commit acts that are ethically dubious, at best, and that means nothing.

In fact, 550,000 students in NYC attend school under overcrowded conditions. I don't have to look far to see how that works. My home school runs at 200% capacity and currently holds almost 4700 students, more than ever. The city had an agreement with us that we made eight years ago and violates it with abandon. We were supposed to carefully check the credentials of students applying to our bursting-at-the-seams school, but now the city lets anyone with an affidavit saying they live there attend.

What does that mean for us and the students attending our school? For one thing, it means chronically oversized classes. I have to go twice a year to protest them, but the UFT Contract has holes in it so big a Mac Truck could drive through them. How long do classes remain oversized? In our school, forever.

The last time I counted, there were 101 oversized classes in my school. That's better than the 260 I counted the previous week, but far from what we're allowed. That number, in case I haven't been clear, is zero. That's the number at which we serve students best. That's the number at which teachers perform the best they can under our agreement.

We have a cafeteria that's standing room only. We have students sitting on filthy mats instead of real tables. I have never seen our student cafeteria so overcrowded. Our students now get gym only on alternating days. And by "gym," I don't mean gymnasium. A whole lot of our students are scheduled outside. This means that the two days a week they are scheduled for gym are subject to weather conditions. Raining? Too bad for you. Freezing? Your "gym" is closed.

Last September some moron arbitrator ruled that teachers in my school with oversized classes could get one day off from their building assignment. DOE lawyers and administrators probably did a happy dance. They could have as many oversized classes as they liked and paid nothing for it. And hey, if the oversized classroom teachers were special ed., they still had to write their IEPs. Maybe their C6 was tutoring. What a great idea to offer even less support to students already in oversized classes. That arbitrator really earned that $1600 a day.

Moskowitz Academies don't need no stinking rules. You want them to sign some agreement before they run pre-K. Screw you. We'll take the money, but we don't follow no rules. You think it's abusive when we make students pee their pants doing test prep? Go to hell, Chancellor's regulations don't apply to us. You don't like racist comments from our leaders? Piss off. Rules are for the little people.

How do they get away with this? Bill de Blasio ran as the anti-Bloomberg. But charters give millions to pols, including Governor Andrew Cuomo. In 2014, bought-and-paid-for pols made a law that charters could not only expand as much as they wanted, but also the city would be compelled to pay their rent. You see, charters can pay Moskowitz half a million a year, they can raise millions from gazillionaires, they can move entire networks to Albany on school days, they can make up their own rules, but they can't pay rent. That's beyond the pale.

Due to Cuomo's insane law, about which I don't recall UFT leadership raising a peep at the time, Eva can do any damn thing she wants. Meanwhile, my students are stuck learning outside, in closets, in bizarre spaces, and who knows what comes next. Until each and every public school student is taken care of, Moskowitz ought not to get another dime.

Of course I don't write the rules. The people who do are paid off by Eva's BFFs. That's what we call democracy in America circa 2017.
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