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Saturday, February 15, 2014

SNOWGATE: First, the Lies, Then The Lies

NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina looks a little unhappy as she struggles with her soon-to-be-public anger and frustration with reporters, parents and teachers who will just not stop throwing darts at her for keeping the schools open during the latest snowstorm on February 13, 2014.

Carmen does not like people who expose her inner corruption and arrogance, or who dare to challenge her and not be afraid of the ever-present threats to life and family.

Just wait.

SNOWGATE is only the first scandal.

After Storm, 100% Attendance Is Not 100% Accurate

De Blasio: Keeping New York City schools open was right decision

Kids in NYC Have to Go to School on Thursday, Or Declare Their Own Snow Day

On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a hazardous travel advisory for Thursday and Friday, warning New Yorkers that the latest round of the never-ending Snowpocalypse will make the morning and evening commute "extremely difficult." "If you do not need to drive, you will help yourself and everyone else by staying off the roads," said De Blasio. "Take mass transit and leave extra time — it will be slow-going for everyone tomorrow." That sounds like the prelude to a school-closing announcement, but the Department of Education said classes are still on for tomorrow – though last time, more than half of all students just didn't show up.
There's only been one snow day so far in De Blasio's New York, and many parents were angry that school remained open during the last big storm. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't," Carmen Farina, the New York City Schools Chancellor, told ABC New York, adding that many kids only get a hot meal at school, and no one will be home to care for them. "Parents have to go to work. You didn't hear of any businesses in the city of New York closed down. Macy's was open. So if people can go shopping and go to work, then kids can go to school," Farina said.
The federal government has already closed its offices in the D.C. area for Thursday, and on Twitter many are calling for Netflix to make the snow day even sweeter by posting season two of House of Cards a day early. Netflix has yet to respond, but it does seem like something they'd do. In that case, it's going to be a particularly rough day for the many NYC schoolchildren desperate to see what Frank Underwood does next.

NYC Schools Chief Carmen Farina Channels Cathie Black and Keeps All Schools Open During The Blizzard Saying "It's A Beautiful Day" - After all, Macy's is Open

We all remember the short - 3 month - Chancellorship of Cathie Black, right? Let's hope we can remove Carmen Farina in less time.

My 2 cents.

The Case Against Carmen Farina, Former Bloomberg/Diana Lam Partner in Crime

A Question For Carmen Farina, NYC Chancellor: Where is the Money?


The Carmen Farina Chronicles: NY Times Starts The Carmen Spin

Betsy Combier

oh - here is the NYC DOE announcement on their website:

Chancellor Fariña Announces All Student After-School and PSAL Activities Are Cancelled

Schools Are Open
Due to inclement weather conditions, all student after-school and PSAL activities are cancelled today, Thursday, February 13, 2014. Schools are open. Families with busing questions should contact the Office of Pupil Transportation at 718-392-8855. Parents, as always, should exercise their own judgment with regard to their children. Safety is a top priority for the Department.

and here is a study done by Harvard University which concludes that students do not fall behind when there are snow days:

School administrators may want to be even more aggressive in calling for weather-related closures. A new study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor Joshua Goodman finds that snow days do not impact student learning. In fact, he finds, keeping schools open during a storm is more detrimental to learning than a closure.
The findings are “consistent with a model in which the central challenge of teaching is coordination of students,” Goodman writes. “With slack time in the schedule, the time lost to closure can be regained. Student absences, however, force teachers to expend time getting students on the same page as their classmates.”
Goodman, a former school teacher, began his study at the behest of the Massachusetts Department of Education, which wanted to know more about the impact of snow days on student achievement. He examined reams of data in grades three through 10 from 2003 to 2010. One conclusion — that snow days are less detrimental to student performance than other absences — can be explained by the fact that school districts typically plan for weather-related disruptions and tack on extra days in the schedule to compensate. They do not, however, typically schedule make-up days for other student absences.
The lesson for administrators might be considered somewhat counterintuitive. “They need to consider the downside when deciding not to declare a snow day during a storm — the fact that many kids will miss school regardless, either because of transportation issues or parental discretion. And because those absences typically aren’t made up in the school calendar, those kids can fall behind.”
Goodman, an assistant professor of public policy, teaches empirical methods and the economics of education. His research interests include labor and public economics, with a particular focus on education policy.

Cathie Black speaks after being appointed New York City Schools Chancellor while her predecessor
Joel Klein (left) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg look on. The appointment of Black, who had a troubled
three-month tenure, is seen as one of Bloomberg's worst missteps.
 Clueless schools chief: ‘It’s a beautiful day’
, Feb. 13, 2014


Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina cluelessly defended the decision to keep schools open during Thursday’s lethal Nor’easter – incredibly saying “it’s a beautiful day out there,” as snow and freezing rain fell outside.
“It has totally stopped snowing. It’s absolutely a beautiful day out there right now,” she said at a morning news conference in Brooklyn with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Asked to elaborate, Farina said, “Coming down the stairs, the most obvious thing is it stopped snowing. The second thing, it’s getting warmer – which means that theoretically the snow will start melting.”
She also said that because people were out and about, it must be nicer out.
“I guess the other thing, in looking out the window … there’s a lot of people on the streets,” she said before cracking a flippant joke.
“Obviously it’s not as nice as it is where my husband is in South Beach, but it’s a lot better than it was before.” ” she said, as she and de Blasio burst out laughing.
“It’s getting warmer … theoretically, the snow will start melting,” Farina added.

De Blasio and Farina then haughtily defended their call Wednesday night at 10:33 p.m. to keep schools open – at the same time forecasters were predicting up to 10 inches of snow in the city.
 “Unlike some cities, we don’t shut down in the face of adversity. I’m going to make decisions based on the information we have,” de Blasio boasted.
“There is the illusion you can have perfect information and perfect decisions,” de Blasio said.
“We made the right decision.”
But their comments did little to mollify parents, teachers and students who took to social media to harshly criticize their decision to keep schools open.

“Why the public school system is open today in these conditions is astounding. Putting the lives of teachers, administrators, and most importantly, children, in danger by telling them to travel in this weather is incomprehensible.

Chancellor Farina and the DOE staff: you have some serious explaining to do,” said James Hong on the Department of Education’s Facebook page, which had hundreds of negative comments.

School attendance was down to 45%, according to the Department of Education.

The mayor also said Farina was spot on when she said earlier that it is important for the schools to be open because for many kids it’s the only place they can get a decent meal — a comment that angered many parents.

“We have a huge number of parents, their kids getting to school means their children will have a good meal, in some cases two meals,” the mayor said. “A lot of parents get frustrated” if school is closed, he said.

“The bottom line is, we made a decision that was right,” de Blasio stubbornly insisted.

“The facts on the ground speak for themselves. Throughout the city public transportation has been running. the precipitation levels were such that we could sustain school opening today. it’s our job to do … it’s out job to make the city function,” he said.

The mayor also took a veiled shot at the National Weather Service, suggesting they low-balled their predictions.

“We don’t second guess the National Weather Service. The low end suggested 2 or 3 inches by this morning. The high end estimate was more problematic, but not enough to close schools,” he said.

The effort was too much for TV personality and weatherman Al Roker, who tweeted a response – from the Olympics in Sochi.

“How dare @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools throw NWS under the school bus. Forecast was on time and on the money,” Roker wrote.

Forecasters had predicted anywhere from 6 to 10 inches of snow for the city – and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning, the highest level of alert.

Asked how much snow there would have to be before schools were closed, de Blasio replied, “If you guaranteed me a foot of snow between midnight and 6 a.m., I guarantee you schools would be closed.”

Farina also callously declared that students who were absent from school Thursday would not be given a pass for taking the day off.

“At the course of a whole day, you can still get to school,” she said.

The mayor and Farina also pointed out that city students have the entire week off next week, and that they were loath to give them another day off Thursday for fear that students would backslide.

NYC Mayor And Schools Chancellor Blasted For Keeping Schools Open During Snow Storm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña came under fire for their decision to keep public schools open amid a heavy snow storm Thursday morning.
During a press conference updating New Yorkers on the city's response, Fariña went as far as to say "it is absolutely a beautiful day out there right now."
The remark prompted raised eyebrows, with many urging de Blasio to take responsibility for what they believed was a poor judgment call. "Today Show" host Al Roker took to Twitter to chide officials:
De Blasio addressed the criticism during the update, saying it's a "different thing to run the city than to give the weather on TV."
The city announced the decision to keep schools open late Wednesday evening.
The city's teachers union was also among the mayor's critics.
"I understand the desire to keep schools open. The only thing that trumps that is safety," United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement. "Having students, parents and staff traveling in these conditions was unwarranted. It was a mistake to open schools today."

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