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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NY POST Says Get Rid of Carmen Farina, Bill

Shades of Cathie Black!!!

Betsy Combier
Carmen Farina: The Problem With Her Being Chancellor of the NYC School System Is.......

Francesco Portelos suggests a clean-up of the "old regime"

Carmen Farina and Bill de Blasio

Fire Carmen Fariña — or be complicit in rampant school fraud

Does Mayor de Blasio support systemic fraud in the city’s schools?
If not, he’ll fire his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. Pronto.
As The Post has been reporting, the schools under Fariña are perpetrating rank deception — against students, parents and city taxpayers.
Melissa Mejia is only the latest, most powerful example.
Mejia, 18, complained in Sunday’s Post about passing her Government class at William Cullen Bryant HS and so “earning” her diploma, even though she rarely showed up for the class, didn’t hand in her homework and missed the final.
She was cheated of the education she was owed. And she knew it.
The next day, her teacher, Andrea McHale, told The Post: “If we don’t meet our academic goals, we are deemed failures as teachers. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us as teachers.”
In today’s Post, a Bryant math teacher, Mary Bozoyan, says there “absolutely” is such pressure, and calls Mejia a “hero” for exposing the truth.
And Bryant teacher Peter Maliarakis speaks to how that pressure builds. “The state, the city, the mayor, the chancellor all look good with an inflated passing rate,” he notes.
He says Bryant’s principal, Namita Dwarka, “has quotas in place where we have to pass a certain number of kids to make her look good — whatever percentage [the Department of Education] expects from her.” And Dwarka “is obligated to fulfill those mandates if she wants to keep her job.”
Fariña’s DOE pressures principals to produce high passing rates — but not to get those rates by actually teaching the kids.
In fact, these scandals are just an extension of official policy.
Rather than rely mainly on test scores, grades and other clear measures to see if a student is ready to advance, Fariña OK’d “a comprehensive evaluation of student work using multiple measures.”
That gives teachers and staff plenty of room to find excuses to pass kids along, no matter how little they’ve learned.
It’s called “social promotion,” an old practice that does kids no favors. It sends students like Mejia into the working world or college without the skills they need to thrive. Inevitably, many (particularly poor, minority kids) can’t cope.
Team Bloomberg clamped down on social promotion. But Fariña & Co. brought it back.
Why? To protect teachers and staff — and Fariña herself — from getting caught out as they fail to educate kids properly.
It adds up to endemic fraud — perhaps criminal fraud. It certainly merits some real investigation — not just by the school system’s investigator but by a DA or the state attorney general.
Heck, call in US Attorney Preet Bharara, who’s famous for attacking New York corruption — a category that surely must include rampant fraud in the schools. (The schools get plenty of federal funding, which is enough to give him jurisdiction.)
This corruption is particularly perverse when mayoral control leaves City Hall responsible for the schools’ performance.
If voters see the schools failing to educate kids, they can vote the mayor out of office. But if schools fake doing a good job — cooking up high pass rates — many voters won’t see the failure.
The bottom line: Fariña & Co. don’t want to improve the schools if it means demanding more of the adults — teachers and staff. Yet they also don’t want the blame for the massive failure rampant throughout the system.
So they lie, fudge, cheat. And kids suffer.
If Mayor de Blasio doesn’t fire the key culprit — Carmen Fariña — then he must approve of this crime against the public. In which case he doesn’t deserve control of the schools.

Carmen Fariña’s fake fix for New York’s worthless diplomas
Carmen Farina and Bill de Blasio

Education Dept. failed to report hundreds of violent incidents at city schools: audit

By Ben Chapman
Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 10:04 PM

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli released a report showing that the city Education Department failed to report 400 incidents at public schools.

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli released a report showing that the city Education Department failed to report 400 incidents at public schools.

The city Education Department failed to report hundreds of violent incidents at public schools as required by law, according to a new audit released Wednesday by state Controller Thomas DiNapoli.
The state-mandated SAVE Act requires officials to report violent and disruptive incidents so that officials can intervene at city schools if their safety is threatened.
“Every child has a fundamental right to an education in a safe environment,” DiNapoli said Wednesday.
The city failed to report a whopping 400 incidents at 10 city schools across the five boroughs that were included in the 2011-13 audit, DiNapoli said.
Of the incidents the city failed to report, 126 were defined as violent, including assaults, sexual offenses and weapons possession, officials said.
City Education Department officials disputed the findings, saying the controller’s office misclassified the incidents.
The controller also determined that students ditched class without permission on 184 occasions during the same period, officials said.
Alarms to combat the problem will be installed on 21,000 doors inside 1,200 schools at a cost of $5.5 million by 2016, officials said.

Fariña’s commitment to ‘success’ is failing our students

Bob McManus
‘Raising the success rate of our students is the only goal,” said Carmen Fariña the day then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced that she would head New York City’s 1.1 million-student public-school system.
One way or another, she might’ve added.
Because Susan Edelman, Carl Campanile and other Post reporters keep digging up flagrant proof of fraud at school after school.
Whether it’s the rigging of Regents test scores at Automotive HS in Brooklyn or retroactively “rescoring” test outcomes at Richmond Hills HS in Queens, or giving flunking students “online credit” at Flushing HS in Queens, or flat-out handing a pass to a student who didn’t even bother to attend class at William Cullen Bryant HS in Queens, it all adds up to the same thing.
Carmen Fariña is dedicated to the appearance of success, if not its achievement.
Fariña’s direct, personal culpability in the test-fixing shenanigans that Edelman and Campanile have so ably reported over the past several weeks no doubt is minimal.
But responsibility for the scandal is hers, and Mayor de Blasio’s, and they must answer for it.
Fat chance that either will recognize it, though.
That’s because each is totally invested in public education the way it used to be, before Mayor Mike Bloomberg bludgeoned Albany into granting him substantial — if not total — operational control of the system.
Reform followed — glacially, perhaps, and incompletely.
But it was real.
From 2005 to 2013, the city’s four-year-high-school graduation rate jumped by more than 40 percent, while its dropout rate halved — imperfect metrics, perhaps, but telling nevertheless.
And when Albany toughened its performance tests four years ago, scores in New York City dropped — but not nearly as sharply as in other urban school systems in the state.
Nevertheless, de Blasio & Co. have never missed an opportunity to criticize the Bloomberg reforms — and to promise to reverse them.
That’s because those reforms profoundly threaten the chief impediment to positive public-school change in New York City: the United Federation of Teachers.
Bloomberg championed teacher accountability, as measured by student performance, as well as alternatives to the old ways — in particular, charter schools.
Fariña, whose grandmotherly public demeanor masks startling private bluntness, is coy about accountability — promising to “take the temperature down around testing.”
Translation: We want no part of accountability testing.
Neither is she interested in charter schools — except to throttle their growth.
That’s to be expected from someone with more than four decades invested in the old ways — a former teacher who worked her way through the ranks all the way to a brief stint as a deputy schools chancellor in the Bloomberg years.
That the Bloomberg gig was a bad fit regarding reform is underscored by Fariña’s long policy association with bitterly anti-reform activist Diane Ravitch — said to wield substantial influence at the Department of Education now.
Then there is UFT President Michael Mulgrew’s enthusiasm for Fariña. “Carmen is a real educator. She has a deep knowledge of schools and our system and is on record criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s focus on high-stakes testing,” he said at her appointment. “We look forward to working with her.”
So far, the association has been a winner for the union, which quickly secured a multiyear contract so lavish the raises alone won’t fully be paid for until 2020.
The mayor, of course, is mainly responsible for that lopsided contract. But it was just ducky with Fariña, the ostensible manager who got no management reforms whatsoever in return for the pay hikes.
But why would she want them? Who needs management prerogatives when the union is running the show anyway?
De Blasio is still smoldering at his rough treatment by Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature last month — especially over Albany’s refusal to grant him full, unfettered control over the schools.
So far, the mayor has done little to earn that sort of power — again, essentially aligning himself with the UFT and other anti-reform elements.
Nothing dramatizes that more than his hiring of Carmen Fariña in the first place — just as nothing will demonstrate his continuing unfitness to run the schools more clearly than permitting her to sweep the fraudulent-graduation scandals off into a corner.
It may not seem so to de Blasio, but he has another credibility crisis on his hands.

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