Thursday, November 12, 2020


We said it's time to shut the NYC school buildings down yesterday while COVID-19 is on the rise. Waiting for the almost inevitable 7 day average positivity rate to be 3% before closing buildings could very well needlessly cost lives. We are in the second wave of this pandemic. Contrary to the NY Times, COVID-19 is spreading in 3/4 empty NYC schools. This is from the NYC government on COVID-19 in NYC schools.

Red dots represent schools closed due to multipleCOVID-19 cases in those school buildings.

For those who prefer raw numbers to dots: 

The UFT position is for teachers keep windows open for ventilation and to bundle up as the temperature falls. From Michael Mulgrew:

Bring in fresh air: How wide or how many windows should be open will differ with each room design and the comfort level of the occupants. In general, if your classroom or office has operable windows, keep the windows and doors open. All windows do not necessarily have to be wide open, especially when it is raining, snowing or extremely cold outside. Windows should be open as wide as is comfortable for the occupants. Also, dress in layers and bring additional warm clothes for yourself. Be sure to also remind students (and the parents of younger students) about the importance of dressing warmly for school.

Here is some advice for teachers from Teegan Burke on Twitter:

We need a real union and we also need members willing to put the pressure on the mayor to close school buildings before more students and staff become ill. I will say it yet again that my advice is to stay home if you don't think it is safe. Don't worry about your CAR. We'll figure out later about getting days back.

Reality Based Educator gets the last word:


Anonymous said...

You know what's lovely - we have to be the one's monitoring lunch, dismissing students. Isn't it enough we show up to work? My admin. literally sit in their office all day with the door closed. We have to stand in freezing classrooms while they cozy up at their desk. They rarely step out and have told us to call their extension instead. Why do we have to be the sacrificial lamb? There are no observations occurring - maybe they should get to work out in the trenches so they can earn their pay.

Both of my parents are high risk. And while my parents and I have contracted COVID back in the Spring, we don't know whether there is a chance of getting it again. And my sister has still not contracted it and I don't want her to get sick.

If they are too scared to leave their office you best believe that I don't allow myself to stress about work or bring home any work after contract time. No, no, no.

There is a pandemic happening. The only thing that I will allow myself to stress about is: my family and myself. I don't give this permission to stress me out.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio and Cuomo have an ongoing rivalry.

Cuomo recklessly allowed the death of thousands of nursing home patients by returning Covid
infected residents to their nursing homes.

So now De Blasio wants to top Cuomo's gruesome legacy by showing that he is the more macho politician.

De Blasio is setting this up so that thousands of teachers and city employees get sick and die by failing to close the school buildings.

With that result, De Blasio can then claim that he, not Cuomo, is the KING of COVID DEATHS.

Anonymous said...

Everything about NYC’s school system is dishonest. The Ny Times today writes that schools should be kept open, but restaurants may have to. Another ( opinion) article ponders the question, how dishonest are students? I had to laugh because it came to the conclusion most students will follow an honor code and not cheat. There’s is no need for any NYC teacher, parent or student to worry about cheating in NY public schools - it has automatically been built into the very framework of the DOE. It is the lie on which every facet that it house of cards rests on. Eventually it will collapse - perhaps today as that cold wind cyclones around your freezing room while you try to chase the squirrels off your desk.

Shelley said...

The hotel industry in NYC is in crisis. Four out of five properties pooled together into huge commercial mortgage bonds, that's $4 billion, can't make current payments are their mortgage loans. This is only the hotels, the commercial RE market and thus the commercial mortgage bond market for commercial properties in NYC is in big trouble after years of overbuilding and the collapse from Covid. Pfizer's vaccine won't change this. Biden won't. Cuomo can't. De Blasio can't even get arrested. Over 300 hotels will not survive. They can be converted to schools. Good, solid schools that won't have all the problems old schools have. We all know that too many of our schools are broken, old, unsafe. Long before we had Covid we had schools that are so broken, so old, so costly to maintain that call for razing them and building new ones. Here is an opportunity to use the leverage of the City to take on these newly constructed buildings and convert them into schools.

How would this get done? The buildings, technically belong to the bond holders, who, of course, don't want a bunch of hotels in their portfolios. They want a cashflow, they want to get paid timely principal and interest. The City, with the states support and approval can issue debt to buy out the loans, at a discount, and repurpose the buildings for kids.

Does UFT even talk to DeBlasio or Cuomo about this stuff? We all know that Randi sucked up to the slime in Trump's team (Bannon & Co.) to get in on private equity investments to overbuild cities with hotels and commercial properties and to use her leverage with the buildings trades, she's currently smearing Sanders who wants to be Labor Secretary and promoted her boy Walsh in Boston, as she elbows here way into a job with Biden as Ed Sec, but does UFT even talk about this kind of thing? Do they talk about anything but selling out our members for a no layoffs promise?

Anonymous said...

Here is what gets me about the likes of Shapiro and other newspaper writers who do not work in a school and get information from city hall is that the kids don’t eat the food, a lot of them live good lives and the families know how to use the internet. I do mostly lunch duties and breakfast duty each day and I see maybe one to two kids take a lunch and barely touch it. They throw it out because the food sucks.

The kids can circumvent internet censors to download fortnite and porn, but they can’t figure out how to attach a google assignment document? Yeah. Ok.

And how dare these writers talk down about gyms or indoor dining. People in those industries are people, too, and work hard.

I’ll say it. Indoor dining and gyms are more important to our economy than schools. In schools, those students and families that want an education will get one. They will learn remotely and figure it out. Those families and students that show up, text on their phone all day and so no work will not get an education. This will happen in person or remotely. And guess what? Carranza will put heat on principals to move them from grade to grade and tell The NY Times how great he is doing and on goes this thing of ours.

The issue is not shutting down businesses. The issue is mask enforcement. Let the NYPD build relationships and enforce masks. Crowd size is a key also.

Let’s not shut businesses again. Also, if cuomo had a set on him, he would remove this useless mayor.

Shelley said...

There is no plan, anywhere in the world, not in Europe, where the Virus is surging, not in Latin America where populist leaders are still popular, more popular in many cases than they were before Covid, after allowing the virus to rip while keeping the economy open, and where death rates are the highest in the world, not in the US or in NYC or NY State to lockdown business or shut down the economy. And economies are open and functioning, the recovery is better than even the most optimistic, super pro-business (Kudlow & Co.) economists predicted. There are huge problems. Piles of debt, unemployment, underemployment, industries deep underwater, like the cruise companies and airlines restaurants, bars and tourism, banks with heavy debt burdens of underperforming and defaulted loans and so on. Some economies, like Spain, are in deep trouble because of the structure of their economies and how Covid shuts down large swaths of it, and NYC, not the state, is a bit like Spain, but there is no shut down or lockdown of economies as was done in March. None. People are travelling, not as much, but they are, manufacturing is operating, not at full capacity, portions of the economy are being scaled back and yes some services will need to be shut, but that is not shutting down the economy. I'm working are you? So are millions of people who are working remote or are on a hybrid or blended shift schedule, working and earning money and spending it and saving it. That's the economy now and it is very much open for business. In the US lots of businesses will go under because that is how it always works in the US when the economy tanks, we weed out the weak businesses and the strong get bigger and stronger. We have our share of Zobies, propped up by the Fed's liquidity tsunami, but not like in Europe. In any event, lessons learned from the first lockdown and new learned knowledge about the Virus and how it spreads makes all talk of lockdown and shut down and keep it open nothing more than propaganda.
I know it sucks that we have locked down fun. That's what we've done, brick and mortar retail shopping, recreation, parties ...etc. but countries are using curfews and targeted shutdowns and schedules not locking down the economy.

Anonymous said...

There are currently about 1600 people in hospitals STATEWIDE with covid-19 with a population of 19 million. 99.7% of people who get infected recover.
Have we all lost our minds?
Scrape your knee, cut off your leg. Smart.

Anonymous said...

I believe DeBlasio’s dubious plan all along was to try to open schools as a very risky gamble —at least until Thanksgiving and then return to all remote till at least the Spring term. But apparently, his scheme has been a failure as more and more kids have opted to go full remote, the Covid safety protocols and scheduled random testing have not been adhered to, and the predicted second wave has been here since early October and about to spread even more throughout the metro area. What is Mulgrew doing? He seems to have been a willing partner of DeBlasio’s dangerous game plan and he must up the plate this time without any further delay —0as another looming health disaster is at the doorstep of every school building for all staff, students and their families.

waitingforsupport said...

Precisely. If they are keeping safe. You keep safe. No heroics. Do your best (safely of course) and when you step out of the school building after work...leave all sh#$ in the school building until you arrive the next morning. They don't pay you enough to occupy space in your head. You said up to be a CLASSROOM 8-3 teacher and not a 24 hour "teacher concierge".
Stay safe

Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me what the protocol is if a student tests positive in a classroom. I cover a classroom twice a week and found out today one student is positive. admin hasnt said anything yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody,

Joe here,

Let me get this straight, the most powerful union in the country says this...If the mayor wants to close schools, we support him. That's it? Why not just tell the schools to open the windows? The virus is raging.

Why not...
All teachers are staying home...PERIOD.

Or, if the UFT won't say that...How about...
Fuck you Mr. Mayor, WE are not showing up, let the principals and APs teach the students, there are so few showing up anyway.

Why not explain why the most robust testing program in the country has only been able to get 15% consent forms filled out by parents. So, most are not getting tested in buildings, asymptomatic spread is happening, and nobody cares. And the sheep keep attending. I wonder why we keep getting abused and laughed at. Keep working with a virus out of control, taking trains and buses, freezing your asses off, wearing jackets, hats, masks, scarves and gloves while talking to a computer where students don't even have their cameras on so they are almost surely not even listening to you. And then give fake grades. Congrats. You've created the future minimum wage workers.

I'm home. You do what you like. I'm getting an average of 4-5 students per period. Back to CNBC. Good luck everybody.

Joe said...

Joe again,

The protocol is that you pray you didn't catch it and pray you don't kill your family. Other than that, there are no rules, just like students can pass without ever showing up. The DOE doesn't care, neither does your pathetic union. Save the $62 per check like I do.

Moose said...

Where is my man Joe? Love his comments as they are so true. Maybe he's at the Indoor Driving Range :).

The lack of a plan (as pointed out by Shelly) is disastrous on all fronts. I read in The NY Post yesterday that Biden would shut the country down WITH wages for workers for 4-6 weeks. Considering the lack of a plan from really anyone in a position of authority, it would be nice to have something put in place.

As a Never Trump Republican, I do NOT want to make this political. If things are closing down, curfews are being put into place, and we cannot function as a normal society, I am in for ANY plan that can get us back to normal. We are still functioning as a 50 state "Do whatever the hell you want" country. Stay healthy, wear a mask, and go about your day.

It's nice to post in class while the kids watch a video by another teacher. Have to love the hypocrisy of keeping kids off of screen time, yet they are doing a lot of that while being in school.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, 9:56 the protocol as established by UFT leadership and the rank and file is to suck it up, shut your mouth and do as you’re told. Oh yeah and keep paying union dues and vote for who they say.

annon said...

9:26:00 AM Have you lost yours? No one can answer this question (so don't try to), but if we have NOT socially distanced and masked do you think maybe the numbers would have been higher. Duh.

Joe said...

Joe here,

I'm here, watching Outnumbered on Fox News and Halftime Report on CNBC. DOW up 286. Haven't seen a student yet today. Probably my fault, because the students can never be at fault. The 6th year of high school is probably the charm for them. Remember, I failed them for no reason. Of course, attendance, classwork, timeliness and HW would be the no reason. Guidance said I have to give them opportunity. I said they are no shows. They will have opportunity when they re-take the class.

Anonymous said...

Looks like schools will be closed "as soon as Monday" so today might be the last day.

TJL said...

The agreement is the agreement and if we end up remote due to going over the threshold, it is what it is. However, why is the City (and Mulgrew) threatening to lock teachers out of buildings on less than 24 hours notice? How and where am I supposed to teach? I can't carry my teaching library home today on the train. I don't own a smartboard or have a soundproofed home office. Is the City going to eliminate the live teaching requirement?

Anonymous said...

And the NY Times, Post and Daily News -all reporting that DeBlasio May pull the plug on all in person learning as early as Monday, November 16 —due to surges in Covid cases.

Anonymous said...

TJL—if there are other adults allowed in buildings and the DOE does allow onsite teaching with no students present—then you have my blessing to travel on the train to your soundproofed classroom and teaching library —By the way—what do you teach?

Joe said...

Joe here,

Home office?
Are your students all leaving cameras on? If not, omit is like they aren't listening or paying attention anyway. What is your expected remote attendance? 5%? 10%? Where do you teach?

You show videos on youtube...Maybe talk for 5 minutes. Then tell students there is no attendance policy and there are no deadlines for work. Carranza said so.