Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Today's DOE: Don't Let Your Right Hand Know What Your Left Hand Do

These are extraordinary times, and they're rendered more so by the incredible lack of communication from Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza. The chancellor sends us preposterous flowery emails telling us how much he cares, while callously tossing us into a program that neither he nor the mayor has remotely thought out (no pun intended).

Even as the NY Times writes articles about things every working teacher knew last week, their well-heeled, Ivy-educated writers haven't yet discovered that de Blasio has not yet figured out who's going to teach remotely while teachers meet 12 of their students live in classrooms. In fairness, Times reporters can't be expected to step down from their pedestals for every single development. That, evidently, is the province of Post and News reporters,who aren't highfalutin' enough to ignore what's in front of their faces.

Meanwhile, here on earth, principals need to plan who is and is not going to be showing up. I have an accommodation, and the last time I spoke to my principal, he hadn't been notified. Yesterday, speaking with my AP, I was able to identify seven members of her department, myself included, who'd been granted accommodations. This was in addition to those she already knew of. It's funny that the people whose job it is to run things, specifically including informing administrators who they have to work with and in what capacity, can barely be bothered doing so.

Since I'm not classy enough to rely on the Times and hope for the best, I have to look to the Post to let me know things like this--In one week 40,000 more students applied for remote learning. That's about a 15% increase. And mind you, this is coming from people who haven't previously applied at all. What's going to happen when families find out the magical co-teachers Carranza and de Blasio are depending on to do double duty do not, in fact, exist? 

Unfortunately for the mayor and chancellor, there are a whole lot of New Yorkers who rely on sources other than the Times for information. Not only that, but there are still tens of thousands of working teachers, and even if the Times doesn't know any of us, a whole lot of New Yorkers do. Word of mouth is going to really hurt Tweed's plans to conceal the fact that there simply are not enough of us to pull this thing off.

Going back to my school, if I'm able to identify seven members of my department that the city hasn't told us about, how many are in other departments? How many are there citywide? How many had to wait for notes from their doctors, and how many are getting new notes to address the objections the city posted when rejecting their first applications? 

I doubt the city's number of 15% accommodations is going to hold up. I don't know everyone, but I know people who've submitted applications as recently as last week. It's not easy to get into seeing a doctor these days. You have to wait outside, sometimes, before they will let you in. They need to sanitize absolutely everything so it's safe, and even then the people who work in the offices are wearing heavy duty PPE, the kind that the city is unlikely to provide you while you're doing an instructional lunch. or some equally preposterous exercise.

I've been chapter leader at a very large school for 12 years. The DOE has wasted a great deal of my time. They have a legal department full of people who appear to read Archie Comics rather than the Collective  Bargaining Agreement. None of them know the rules and I've yet to encounter a time when they disagreed and my UFT sources weren't correct.

They've now taken lack of communication to a new level. Carranza and de Blasio know their hybrid plan is totally unworkable and have chosen to plod ahead with it regardless. They know who has and has not been granted accommodations and choose not to share that information with principals who desperately need it. 

This is the most incompetent and inept city administration I've ever seen. They could give Trump a run for his money (if only we could see his tax returns and find out whether or not he really has any).

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