Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Carranza Is Not Insane (and Not Racist Either)

I've got some issues with Chancellor Carranza. I'm not at all sure I'll like his discipline plan. My main issue is that he's left the Ghost of Michael Bloomberg to fester in Tweed. This makes my job as chapter leader tougher. There's that department called "legal" that tells principals to do any golly gosh darn thing they feel like. Contract, shmontract.

You want to put a letter in file for something that happened over three months ago? Go ahead. One of our stooges will rule at step two the incident was not an occurrence. Member asked for a letter to be removed from file? Just say you'll take it out, then put it back a week later. Who's gonna know? You want to give teachers with six periods a C6 assignment? Go ahead. No one really cares about stuff like that anyway. Chapter leader objects? Screw him.

This is problematic. The fact is, the city simply overrules virtually every single step two grievance. Thus the arbitrators are overloaded with crap. That's likely why they regularly make decisions even imbeciles would deem beneath them. If you are employed by the DOE and the UFT, you have to try and please both. So grey areas fall to the DOE. I'd argue that the arbitrators don't understand English, but it's more likely they understand exactly how they're gonna keep getting that 1400 bucks a day. I'd like to see Carranza take a new broom and sweep clean. I'd like him to utterly exorcise the Ghost of Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, there are four white people who think they're losing their jobs due to their skin color. I don't believe for one millisecond that Richard Carranza hires or fires based on skin color. He was very kind to me when I applied to be Deputy Chancellor, or whatever it was that Milady Baez used to do. He made sure I got an application even though I was totally unqualified. (I mean, sure I'd like to have a job sitting around a desk, doing whatever people who sit around desks do, but there was no way I was going to go to principal school to do that.) If I'm not mistaken Baez is Latina, so it isn't only white people getting bumped around.

I've seen Carranza speak several times. Once, I even got to ask him a question at UFT Executive Board. He's articulate and intelligent. He's got a great memory, dropping statistics into his speeches with neither notes nor references. I see no hint of hatred in him. He speaks well of teachers and teaching, and I love that he came to the UFT Spring Conference and led a mariachi band of NYC students. I was wary of him when he first came in, calling him the mariachi chancellor, but that was before I heard him speak.

I barely recall who was chancellor before Joel Klein. Carmen Fariña was great if you thought raging blizzards were beautiful days as long as Macy's was open. For my money, Carranza is the first chancellor in decades to whom I can award the coveted NYC Educator rating of Not Insane. Racists don't qualify.

I can't say the same for the DOE in general. I don't know whether or not it's racist, but it's certainly toxic. There's no way Bloomie's Looneys can fix teacher morale.

Q--What do you call four fired or demoted Bloomberg administrators?

A--A good start.
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