Thursday, May 24, 2018


PS 25 in Brooklyn is a high achieving low enrollment school that Carmen Farina had the Panel for Educational Policy close on February 28 to make space for Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy Charter schools.

The parents fought back and sued the DOE claiming that the Department of Education did not tell anyone how well the school is doing. They are among the highest achieving schools in the city. The suit also claims the city is ending a zoned school without following the law.

From their Memo of Law:
“Entirely eliminating a zoned school and without replacing it with another zoned school, leaving the families in this neighborhood without any zoned school that their children have the right to attend, as occurred in this instance, is the most radical change in zoning lines that can be conceived.”

Chancellor Richard Carranza could reverse course and save this school as parent activist Leonie Haimson is requesting in her Washington Post Open Letter to the Chancellor.

Here is an excerpt:
Chancellor Carranza: On Tuesday in hearings before the New York City Council, you spoke eloquently about how the city should be celebrating our successful public schools, rather than allowing others to denigrate them. In particular, you noted that you had seen some great teaching in Bed-Stuy schools. If you are serious about this, you should rescind the decision to close this school and instead celebrate its accomplishments.

The secret to PS 25's success is class sizes between 10 and 18. The city  looks like it is totally  afraid of this information being dispersed everywhere.

Under mayoral dictatorship of the schools, I don't see Chancellor Carranza having the ultimate authority to reverse course on PS 25 but one never knows. Maybe a judge will do it. Good luck in court PS 25.

There is one other fact about this year's expanded school closing list that is very troubling that I discovered in reading the city's answer to the lawsuit. Kids are being displaced this spring from closing elementary schools all over the city.

From the city's response from to the PS 25 lawsuit on page 15:
As of today’s date, parents and guardians of approximately 3,000 students – from closing schools – entering grades 1-5 do not know which school their children will be attending this fKall.  

Many Absent Teacher Reserves will be added to the ATR pool. Sad news indeed and totally unnecessary. The waste of money and talent continues at the DOE. Only the names change. Then again, maybe Carranza will bring some sanity to the system.

UPDATE: The Parents actually won yesterday in court.

From the NYC Public School Parents Blog:

Today in court, we won our temporary  restraining order to keep PS 25 open!

Judge Katherine Levine of the Kings County Supreme Court issued a decision from the bench that unless she has an epiphany in the next two weeks, the school will remain open next year and she will decide the complex legal merits of the case more carefully over the next few months.

The Chancellor and Mayor should back down here. I wonder if they will stand up to Eva.

Congratulations to this school community on their win, even if it is only temporary right now.


Anonymous said...

James, here’s the correct URL to the Washington Post article:

Can you also post the Verified Petition?

There’s a technical defect in DOE’s Verified Answer as the notarization is missing the specific date.

Anonymous said...

Just realized that the Verified Petition was posted at the bottom of this page:

Anonymous said...

Fair Student Funding guarantees these veteran displaced staffs will remain ATRs for the remainder of their careers. What's closing near me? Clinton HS, Rincon HS, Wildlife HS, all veteran staffs. That's just the few I know. I know teachers at all of those schools that are horrified at the prospect of becoming a ghost. Then there's 99.9% of provisionally placed ATRs that will be not be hired permanently and cut loose to go back haunting. Mulgrew, do something if you want our dues.

Anonymous said...

What do the group of 300 have to say about excessing and ATRs? What is going on in the contract negotiations? Why are we the union members not hearing about what the union is doing?

How does new chancellor feel about the ATR situation?

Right now anyone can become an ATR!

Anonymous said...

Going on year 10 as an atr.

Please. Please. Please. Keep me an atr another decade.

Being an atr at age 30 saved my career.

Making 100 k to babysit. Yes please.

Extra coverage at 40 a pop. Ok!

No stress. Principals treating me like they don’t care about me. Where do I sign?

Anonymous said...

You’re full of shit.

Anonymous said...

You better hope if you are an ATR you aren’t placed in my school. I’ll crave my initials on your ass.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to be a real teacher anymore?

Anonymous said...

Carve. Not crave.

Anonymous said...

As long as the initials are correct, who cares! I have to agree however, the person who wrote they want to be an ATR for two decades isn’t an ATR or a rare, extremely demented person.

James Eterno said...

I was an ATR and felt down for much of the time and it was only three months before I got my own classes again and felt at least like a teacher again, even if it was only provisional. I don't know how anyone would want that ATR position.

I fixed the link and updated the posting as the parents won. Great news.

Anonymous said...

The fact that we stay in this profession makes us all demented in some way.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is the atr who loves it. Here’s what I did today. I showed a movie and took classes into the yard. By the way, one was a paid coverage. Also, the AP told me to show the movie.

Ps, are you sure you are of sound mind? You can’t even get carve and crave correct. Haha.

In case you don’t get it, I’m screwing w you.

Yes, I do hate this job. It’s boring and the money is too good to quit, but not enough to make you comfortable.

Also, serious question, who will pay me 100 k to do no work?

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew likes to see veteran teachers being targeted and harassed. He did not do anything for many experienced teachers in the city.

Anonymous said...

The Chancellor is aware of the experiences teachers brought on bogus charges without a vote by the PEP.

Anonymous said...

Making someone an ATR is another way to discriminate and harassed teachers into retirement. The UFT is well aware that the DOE prefers less qualified fellow teachers.

Anonymous said...

The ATR position is different in every school. I know it sucks in other schools but in my school it really is not so bad. The only con is that they have to cover different classes everyday. Which some people might see as a pro. They do get treated very poorly by the students. But then again, so do the teachers who are not ATRs. So, I count this as a neutral.

The pros are that they do not have any paperwork to do. They do not have to: project plan, unit plan, lesson plan, write student goals, write instructional adjustments for lessons, write out student improvement plans, communicate with parents, grade papers, use Skedula, keep student portfolios, write feedback, or do bulletin boards. They do not have any work to take home. They have no observations. They are in the building for 6 hours and 50 minutes and they are done for the day. They do not have a circular 6 assignment. Although they have to be in the school building, they do not have to attend meetings. They are not on grade teams, department teams, curriculum teams, inquiry teams, data teams, book study teams, leadership teams, discipline teams, safety committees, instructional leads, AP for All teams, Sp. Ed teams, or professional development teams.

I currently put in about 60 - 70 hours a week to get all my work done. I am tired. Making $100,000 for being a body in a school for 25 - 30 hours a week and having weekend and vacations with no school work, doesn't sound so bad to me.

James Eterno said...

If your union followed the contract, you would not be doing much of that stuff either 8:30. I don't know that project plan, student goals,student portfolios, instructional adjustments for students or any of those teams are contractually required. If administration tried to impose any of that in the schools I worked at, there would have been an immediate teacher rebellion.

You said ATRs do not get observed. Most have a field supervisor who observes them in classes where ATR might not even know kids or subject. It can be impossible to be satisfactory. Try that.

Anonymous said...

The observation process is manipulated to continue to harass and push out experienced teachers.