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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Carranza's Book For New Teachers and The Essay "Dear White Teacher"



  So now, according to the NY POST, the NYC Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza is marketing a book with an essay for white teachers with the message:

"Don't be afraid to discipline black students"
Indeed, the NYPOST followed up by talking with Essay author Chrysanthius Lathan about her essay, and she is quoted as saying:
"Essay author Chrysanthius Lathan blasts white teachers who she says routinely send minority students to “teachers of color” for discipline — because they’re scared of being called racist."
In my opinion, Portland Oregon is a very different place than New York City, and what Ms. Lathan says is irrelevant to what is happening here in the Big Apple.
We know that teachers of ANY color or race are randomly selected to be charged with misconduct, discontinued, or railroaded into "ineffective ratings" because he or she disciplines a kid of ANY color. The sad truth is, NYC public schools are segregated, and all the students who attend - at least middle or upper grade students - know this. They see it. "White" kids get benefits that "black" children don't. Except for discipline. Any child of any color who assaults a teacher or peer will get maybe a short suspension, but that is it. The NYC DOE does not allow any teacher (unless this person is "liked" by someone higher up) to discipline ANY child.
But disciplining a black student is in a category all on its' own. Any teacher who tries it will be punished. One of the teachers I worked with at his 3020-a was assaulted by a student who was a well-known bully and gang member at the school. He was "allowed" to terrorize and harm anyone, including members of staff. My client did the right thing: he filed a police report, then reported the incident to the principal. He was charged with assaulting the student instead of the other way around, and another charge was revealing the boy's picture to the police.

We have looked at more than 1000 teacher tenure hearings and 3020-a Specifications, completed more than 107 arbitrations, and read and analyzed the cases of educators at all levels, content areas and licenses, looking for patterns and practices. The Department's secret policies are to never discipline any child, and to go after the educator/staff member who spoke up about an incident - even if this individual was completely innocent of any involvement.
The NY POST wrote:
"And, obviously, educators need to know that their superiors, all the way to the top, will back them up as long as they’re doing their job."
As it stands right now, we know that Superiors do not support a teacher, paraprofessional, or any other staff member, charged with misconduct because they must rely on the investigations which are done, allegedly, at the school level. (Our opinion: no one does an investigation within the Department). This is DOE policy. The only way the Superintendents get involved is if they put a call in to the investigator/principal/administrator saying that they want the process to stop (because they are related to the educator, or for political reasons).


See the story of Eileen Ghastin:
The Partnership of Bully Power and Media Can Convict a Teacher at 3020-a 
Betsy Combier, betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Chancellor Richard Carranza


 New NYC teachers given book with essay titled ‘Dear White Teacher’
 By Carl Campanile, Selim Algar and Bruce Golding, Sept. 3, 2019

A cadre of newly hired teachers will report to city schools this week following orientation sessions where they were given a book that includes an essay titled “Dear White Teacher,” The Post has learned.
But unlike the Department of Education’s controversial “implicit bias” training — which, among other lessons, tells teachers that “racial equity” requires favoring black students over whites — the essay’s message is that white instructors should stop being afraid to discipline black students.

Essay author Chrysanthius Lathan blasts white teachers who she says routinely send minority students to “teachers of color” for discipline — because they’re scared of being called racist.

“My strength in the classroom does not come from my racial identity, and neither does yours,” wrote Lathan, a former teacher in Portland, Oregon, who now works as an educational consultant.

“It comes from the way we treat — and what we expect from — kids and families. It is time for you to take back the power in your classroom.”

Lathan also gives blunt advice to the white teachers she says “live in fear of their good faith actions being labeled as racist.”

Essay author Chrysanthius Lathan blasts white teachers who she says routinely send minority students to “teachers of color” for discipline — because they’re scared of being called racist.

“My strength in the classroom does not come from my racial identity, and neither does yours,” wrote Lathan, a former teacher in Portland, Oregon, who now works as an educational consultant.

“It comes from the way we treat — and what we expect from — kids and families. It is time for you to take back the power in your classroom.”

Lathan also gives blunt advice to the white teachers she says “live in fear of their good faith actions being labeled as racist.”

“You need to find that bone in your body that tends to recoil when it comes time to deal with people of color —- and purposely straighten it back out,” she wrote.

By contrast, the $23 million, “implicit bias” training mandated by schools Chancellor Richard Carranza included consultant Darnisa Amante’s justification that a middle-class black student would “have less access and less opportunities” over the course of a lifetime than a poor white classmate, according to sources who heard her say it.

A veteran Queens teacher said DOE educators were getting “a lot of mixed messages.”

“On the one hand, we’re told that we have these implicit biases that we need to work on to get rid of,” the teacher said.

“And on the other hand, certain teachers are told that race is incredibly important in everything we do. It’s like: don’t focus on race, but focus on race.”

“Dear White Teacher” is among more than 50 essays in “The New Teacher Book,” a 324-page manual published by Rethinking Schools, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit.

Copies of the $24.95 paperback were included in some of the tote bags given to the 2,700 new teachers who attended two days of orientation last week ahead of Thursday’s start of the 2019-20 school year.

Several readings take aim at traditional measures of learning, with titles including “Time to Get Off the Testing Train,” “Beyond Test Scores” and “My Dirty Little Secret: I Don’t Grade Student Papers.”

There are also repeated attacks on charter schools — which purportedly pose a “fundamental threat to the hope of sustaining a multicultural democracy” — and sections that urge new teachers to get involved in their unions and join activist groups.

A veteran city educator who took part in last week’s orientation sessions was outraged that the book was distributed, saying it was “of no practical use.”

A DOE spokesman said the book contained “valuable strategies for new teachers and received positive reviews from several leading educators,” but also maintained that “its views represent the book’s authors, not the DOE.”

De Blasio and Carranza should heed the wisdom of ‘Dear White Teacher’
 NYPOST Editorial Board, September 3, 2019
Included in a book for new teachers this year at orientation is an essay entitled “Dear White Teacher,” written by a veteran black 8th-grade educator named Chrysanthius Lathan. She says that far too many white teachers send students to her for discipline, because “many whites live in fear of their good faith actions being labeled as racist.”

Hmm. Now why would a New York City teacher fear that in 2019? Maybe because they’re getting regular training in how they are all racist, and if they don’t see it then they’re simply full of “implicit bias.”

Perhaps because Chancellor Richard Carranza seems unable to talk about anything except race, and how the entire system is racist, biased and so on. And because Mayor Bill de Blasio (when he’s in town, anyway) backs him up every step of the way.
And because the Department of Education continues to push ever-weaker discipline codes, and ever more reliance on penalty-free “restorative justice,” in a tail-chasing effort to make discipline statistics more racially balanced. Why wouldn’t teachers be scared to run a disciplined classroom?

You have to wonder if “Dear White Teacher” slipped through without Carranza’s notice, since it offers a grounded, sensible and realistic look not just at racial issues, but at the basics of teaching itself. You need to be fair and you need to be involved, Lathan says, and white teachers shouldn’t be afraid of giving time-outs to students of color.

“My strength in the classroom does not come from my racial identity, and neither does yours,” she sums up at the end. “It comes from the way we treat — and what we expect from — kids and families. It is time for you to take back the power in your classroom.”

Absolutely: Classroom control is the threshold skill of teaching; if you’re not in charge, you can’t do anything.

Lathan was inspired to write after realizing that (too) many white teachers in her Portland, Ore., school were overrelying on her for help in communicating to black parents.

She was fine being a source of “advice and understanding regarding students and families of color” — but not on being relied upon solely. So she had a chat with some of her regular discipline cases, who told her the other teachers were “scared of us and our parents, too,” whereas “You’re not scared of us. We’re scared of you, though … scared in a good way. We’re scared to disappoint you.”

“Students spoke of my familiar demeanor and tone, my classroom routines, my allowance of personal space when needed, my low tolerance for work avoidance or refusal, my refusal to kick students out but instead expecting them to work hard, my classroom environment of respect for one another, and so on. All of this sounded like what any good teacher would do.”

Indeed — even if each teacher has to find his or her own effective balance of firmness, empathy, charisma and so on when it comes to winning students’ respect.

You have to wonder if Carranza and de Blasio believe, as Lathan does: “There’s no doubt that we need more teachers of color in our schools, but we also have to deal with the situation that exists today.”

Having seen white teachers “freeze” all too often, she offers some tips along with her “take back the power in your classroom” demand. And new teachers in every school can certainly use more specific advice from veteran educators of all colors.

And, obviously, educators need to know that their superiors, all the way to the top, will back them up as long as they’re doing their job.

Don’t undermine teachers. Let them do that job.

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