Monday, June 03, 2019


We were cc'ed on this email that a courageous teacher sent to Chancellor Richard Carranza. We are printing it with permission from the writer. UFT higher-ups including Michael Mulgrew were also copied.

Mr. Chancellor:

You have stated many times that it is always children first.  Well, in order for numbers to be where they are, as in, the highest graduation rates ever, we have students graduating high school unable to formulate a sentence.  One look at a written piece, on any subject, would indicate that.  In a single sentence, I may see 20 errors.

 But that's okay, that student, and every other student must pass, and must graduate.  No-shows pass, 1st grade reading and writing levels pass, it just doesn't matter.  My school has a grad rate above 90%.  It is a fraud.  

I was wondering if this is a shock to any of you.  The high grad rate goes along with the other fraud, the low suspension rate.  As if student behavior has gotten better in recent years.  No, it is a watering down of the discipline code, a principal playing with his numbers, and of course a lack of UFT help or care.   

If you are so concerned, have you ever charted where the students are four years after graduation?  Were they able to finish college?  Graduate?  Get a decent job?  Since they have an "easy pass" in HS, that is what they expect in college.  Since they do no HW in HS, that is what they expect in college.  Since they can do make-up work in June to make up for ten months of garbage, that is the pattern.  A student can miss 110 days of class and do a packet to make it all up?  Wow, I wish that was available to me.  I thought there were standards.  The teacher does her job, and then in June, all those 40's turn into 65's. How this is allowed to go on boggles my mind, but it is going on all over the city.  
Keep touting the fake graduation rate, it shows how little all of you actually care about the student and well being of the teacher.  The teacher works hard developing plans, tests and policy, but it all doesn't matter.  This is a "PASS" by any means society.  This job makes teachers into liars.  Every, or most typed in grades are no reflection of student work or knowledge.  How can a student who can't write a sentence in English get an 85?  I guess we all know that if we all graded truthfully, the 85% grad rate would turn into 45%.  
I very much doubt there will be much of a reply. In the olden days, if someone wrote to the Chancellor or UFT President, one would at least get an answer.

Is the academic fraud as widespread as this teacher believes? Personally, I see a system that is huge and has for the most part been out of control since Joel Klein made principals CEOs of their schools. That culture has not changed drastically since that time (Chancellor Carranza hasn't gotten rid of the lawyers and cleared out the anti-teacher Office of Labor Relations; he added more superintendents). While it is difficult to make sweeping generalizations when there are over 1,800 schools, the bottom line for principals still would seem to be to make their statistics look good by any means necessary and then they can do whatever they want without much, if any, UFT resistance. 

Speaking of the UFT, this comment on our LaGuardia High School post from our colleague Bronx ATR says a great deal about why there is so little UFT resistance. The comment is a response to a call for veteran teachers to educate new teachers on the value of being involved in the union:
The DOE closed most teacher cafeterias, and some schools don’t even have a teacher’s lounge. Many vets were turned into ATRs and those that weren’t have a target on their backs. Divide and conquer is the DOE’s policy and it happens to coincide with the UFT’s - apathy. An apathetic workforce that creates little work for the organization that it highly overpays. Keep the workforce passive, let the school leaders do as they wish, pass everyone, don’t complain about anything or anyone, keep your head down, keep paying those union dues and make believe everything is great. Under no circumstance should you think for yourself or have the audacity to question a principal or ask for assistance from the UFT. That is why teacher complaints are immediately emailed to the principal with those teachers’ names. It instills fear, stops all complaints and silences trouble makers.


Anonymous said...

This is not outrageous and is quite honestly very accurate about the climate in the nyc public schools. What to do? WIll things ever change? Go to any school in nyc and walk through the halls during class time. I feel bad for teachers who you can see chasing students around, being yelled out without yelling back, kicking of classroom doors without any consequences except for "jonnie stop kicking the door". Its insane.

Also, as one walks the halls you will see students walking in and out of classrooms, some with a pass some not. Students do not ask for permission to leave the classroom they just walk in and then 15-20 minutes later walk back in the classroom.

Unless things change, bring back vet teachers, change discipline code among some, without any changes our schools are becoming holding pens for the security guards and inmates of this city.

Anonymous said...

Veteran teachers are too expensive, so they are made targets.

Anonymous said...

What about Carranza's increasingly cynical attitude toward white staff?

There is the report that a DOE school in Manhattan clearly said in an online ad that it was seeking teachers of color (and by extension, then, whites need not apply).

5:02, watch teachers become bigger targets.

This outrage needs greater attention.

Anonymous said...

What about student atrocities in terms of behavior?

Anonymous said...

The UFT talking about Trump hurting worker rights as there is an anti-white article in the NY Post everyday, based on hiring discrimination put forward by the Chancellor. This is hilarious.

Verified account

5h5 hours ago
"And as the administration has pulled back from protecting the rights, safety and economic welfare of workers, it has sought to undermine state regulators and to prevent workers from protecting their own interest through collective bargaining."

Anonymous said...

According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is “illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job” due to race, color, religion, sex or other characteristics. So, the DOE writes they are looking for teachers of color. And the uft does nothing.

Anonymous said...

It appears that a Principal in Community District 1 sent out a want-ad by that asked that only minority teachers need to apply for vacancies in the District.

The Principal, Irene Sanchez of PS 15, sent this racial targeted want ad and his was an apparent violation of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is “illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job” due to race, color, religion, sex or other characteristics.

The DOE had the Principal remove the want-ad the next day when the New York Post was given the want-ad.

Since the apparent racist want-ad by the Principal was removed under DOE pressure, what penalty will the DOE impose on Principal Irene Sanchez? If she was a teacher, I have no doubt she would be subject to 3020-a charges and probably be fired. However, my guess is that the Principal will simply get a reprimand, if that.

I will be very interested to see who Principal Irene Sanchez of PS 15 hires for the next school year. If no White teachers are hired then the UFT should use their resources and force the DOE to take corrective actions against the Principal

Anonymous said...

Massive grade fraud in our schools and no one cares!