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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dmytro Fedkowskyj on why he voted "No" on the 23 school closings

Here is the statement made by Dmytro Fedkowskyj,  Queens representative on the Panel for Educational Policy, before voting against the 23 school closings and numerous co-locations.  The vote was 9-4, with the 8 mayoral appointees plus the Staten Island rep Diane Perrugia, voting lockstep in favor of each proposal by the DOE, and the borough representatives from the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens voting no.  Perrugia voted with the mayor every time except for the proposal to close the one school on Staten Island, PS 14, in which case she voted no.
Students prepare and dream about their futures. Parents do what they can to help their children succeed.   
photo: Anna Gustafson
Our Principals and Teachers dedicate themselves to their school communities in order to make their student dreams come true, but all too often their pleas for support to fix, not close their schools fall on deaf ears...these proposals confuse parents and decimate school communities...and something has to change.
Some of the schools on the agenda today were schools created by this administration, which means past proposals didn't support and achieve their objectives.  The problems weren't quantified and unless a different approach is taken it will likely happen again and again...These decisions will again leave much doubt by every school community that it's the right choice.  
It’s no secret that some of our schools need more help than others, and I'm of the opinion that other measures should always be implemented before a final decision is made to close or phase-out a school.
These other measures are rarely ever implemented by the DOE because they claim these measures will take too long to obtain positive results. Well I say too bad...tackle the issues at hand and avoid the one size fits all quick fix.
Let our hardworking administrations and teachers develop their practices and initiatives so they can continue to provide a sense of consistent support and dedication to our students.   
When school grades drop from year to year, which ultimately drives the basis for these decisions, there needs to be DOE oversight and intervention at that time...not two years later when that dreadful last visit occurs by the DOE.  
The magic fix doesn't exist. It takes time and energy since our children learn at different levels. I have full faith in our principals and teachers because we have the best of the best teaching our kids and I would ask the panel not support the proposals for phase-out and give these schools the time and resources they need to be successful.
--Dmytro Fedkowskyj,  Panel for Educational Policy, Queens Representative

The Backward Policy Implementation of the NYC Department of Education With Leave Kleinberg With a Legacy Not Worth Bragging About

School closings not exactly open-and-shut cases

Last Updated:8:08 AM, February 11, 2012
Posted:2:08 AM, February 11, 2012
School closing? No problem — help is now on the way!
After voting to shutter 23 struggling schools, the city’s Department of Education is only now launching what it refers to as “targeted action plans” to help the schools improve, The Post has learned.
The oddly-timed postmortem aid comes in the wake of a slew of complaints from parents, student and teachers that the city didn’t offer the high-needs schools enough support before pulling the plug.
“Giving a school an improvement plan after you’ve decided to close it is sort of a slap in the face to the entire school community,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. “That to me sounds like they’re now trying to respond to the accusation that they haven’t helped schools.”
The existence of the action plans was first revealed in documents the DOE posted online late Wednesday, one day before the closure votes.
The documents — a legally-mandated response to public comments on the proposed closures — suggested the city had already implemented the plans.
“Struggling schools have targeted action plans developed by their networks. These identify concrete action steps, benchmarks, and year-end goals aimed at immediately improving student achievement,” the DOE wrote in response to questions about what support the city had provided the schools.
It wasn’t until The Post asked the DOE for a copy of the plans that officials hastily posted revised documents that made it clear none of the fixes had started yet.
A DOE spokesman said the documents were revised because someone in the administration noticed that the statements about the program were confusing.
He could not provide details on when the targeted action plans would launch , nor at which schools .
Schools chancellor Dennis Walcott said he wasn’t familiar with the language in the documents but insisted struggling schools had been getting support all along.
“I’m not sure and I won’t get into the word ‘targeted’ but our networks are always out there working with our schools, helping develop plans to make sure they’re getting stronger — and unfortunately there are cases where those schools don’t get stronger,” he said.
Tanya King, PTA secretary at the shuttering Academy for Business and Community Development in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said it didn’t make sense for the city to wait until after the closure vote before offering schools additional support.
“It’s too late for them to give us that program now,” said King, whose grandson attends the sixth-through-12th grade school.
“We haven’t even had a 12th grade graduation yet,” she added. “It’s not right. Those kids are devastated.”

Read more:

Alan Rosenfeld Retires

That Alan finally retired is not the news here. The news is that in the media throughout the US, coast-to-coast, this man was a letch, a creep, a user of public money and a despicable person who needed to be fired 10 years ago, but the NYC BOE simply couldnt do it.

I know Alan quite well, and I must say he is a character!!! He was the person of interest at 25 Chapel street whenever anyone was charged, because  he is an Attorney and an employee of the NYC public school system. The fact of the matter is that the BOE Attorney at the 3020-a could not prove anything against Alan - how do you prove "oogling"? and the girls did not testify. So, this means, folks, that the allegations are just that!!!! The BOE loves making a leap of faith, as does NYSUT and the UFT, that if there is an allegation, it must be true.
Alan loved the fight that the BOE was having over the fact that they, not Alan, blotched this case up, and he reaped the rewards of a process that was ruined years ago by people with agendas that have nothing to do with due process, preponderance of evidence, truth and justice. He told me that he wanted to leave on his own terms, and he did just that. "They" hate him for it.

Jeff Kaufman, former UFT board member, wrote this on Norm Scott's blog:

The media and some of its critics look to who botched up Alan's case. The fact is that the case was not botched up...there never was a case. The junior high school that Alan was dean in shared space with a high school and the high school principal didn't like Alan on the floor. He was was loud and strict to his students. After Alan was to be appointed an Assistant Principal the high school principal attempted to set him up and made the allegations that included oggling and such. He was placed in the rubber room and his AP appointment pulled. After his initial rubber room stint and his hearing which was mostly dismissed "because they couldn't prove anything" (in my book not a technical or procedural reason) he was reassigned to another school where he taught for six months! He began to inquire about his AP appointment and that is when he was sent, once again to the rubber room where he stayed until his retirement.

Alan's case is not DOE bungling. It is the case of person who, despite the incredible pressure by the DOE, the UFT and the media, stood his ground because there was a tenure system in place. Let's not forget we are all one allegation away from being brought up on charges but fortunately we have a system that provides what every job in our democratic society should provide, some level of due process to prevent baseless allegations from depriving us of our livelihood.

Alan Rosenfeld, dean of the New York City Department of Education's ‘rubber room’ retires

Teacher finally out after 10 YEARS without a class

After collecting his paycheck for a decade without ever setting foot in the classroom, former teacher Alan Rosenfeld retired last week, city officials said Friday.

Rosenfeld, who earned $100,049 a year and gained notoriety as the city’s longest serving member of the so-called rubber room, is now eligible for a pension estimated to be worth more than $80,000 a year.
Though the city closed the suspension centers for teachers in 2010, there are still half a dozen teachers that the city can’t fire but has deemed a risk to kids.
Instead, the problem teachers are permanently reassigned to the agency’s central or field offices to do administrative work, officials said.
Rosenfeld, 66, who taught typing at Intermediate School 347 in Queens, was originally brought up on charges of making inappropriate comments to female students in 2001.
When a city judge made the decision not to fire Rosenfeld, then-Schools Chancellor Klein decided not to send him back to the classroom.
At one point, Rosenfeld, who is also a lawyer, was investigated for working on his real estate business on city time while he was in the rubber room.
No new charges were eve brought against him after that investigation, officials said Friday.