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Thursday, October 31, 2019

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza and His "Toxic Whiteness" Social Justice

NYC DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza
From Betsy Combier:

The New York City Department of Education Mayor-appointed Chancellor Richard Carranza has shown himself to be, in our opinion, a vindictive, prejudiced and angry man who is deliberately allowing his agency to belittle, insult, or demean white employees.

Now four DOE Executives of the Department are suing him over what they call racial discrimination.
Even if these four employees lose their case, there is obviously something going on which reeks of misuse of public funds. And we are talking about the salaries of Mr. Carranza and his cronies while he treats white execs differently than those who are not white.

I am a taxpayer, and excuse me for saying this but how dare you get paid to discriminate with my tax money?? I would shut up quickly if my tax money/public funds went to cleaning up the lead in the water of NYC's public schools, especially in the areas where the kids are mostly minority (the group supposedly favored by you); if you followed the mandate to make class sizes smaller; if you made sure that every child has the books, online accounts and other resources needed to succeed; and countless other expenditures that do not go into or near your pocket. Oh, and let's not forget the sham Special Education policies that do not give children with 'differences' in thinking, moving, or whatever, what they need, mandated by Federal Law.

We also have the disturbing letter sent to the US Department of Justice in Washington DC in 2003 by NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's General Counsel, Michael Cardozo, requesting that the DOJ allow Bloomberg to remove the vote for school board members from citizens in NYC who are mostly Black or Hispanic, and don't  vote anyway. This is the Mayoral control disaster that we have never supported, posted on Parentadvocates.org:

Here is the submission (broken into random sections) by Michael Cardozo, NYC Corporation Counsel, dated Oct. 31, 2003, that violates the Constitutional rights of citizens of New York City from June 30, 2003-4 until June 30, 2009:

Michael Cardozo's introduction to his submission which removes the constitutional rights of NYC citizens
Pages index -11
Pages 12-25
Pages 26-41
Pages 42-58
Pages 59-80

It seems that Bloomberg believes that ordinary citizens do not know who to vote for, and maybe even what to vote for, so he wanted all figurehead education executives to be appointed so he could "guide" them into doing what he, the benevolent autocrat, "knew" would be best for all the citizens.

I don't know how many "ordinary citizens" like me called Mr. Rich at the DOJ to protest, but I certainly did. I told him that I objected to having no vote for school board members, and told him to reject the request by Bloomberg and Cardozo. He told me he would call me back.

He of course never did.

Thank you for listening.

See also:

Final proof de Blasio has done nothing to improve NYC schools

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza and His "Toxic Whiteness" Campaign Inside The Department of Education

 
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza accused of demoting admins because they were white
 
Bombshell suit claims Carranza’s ‘toxic’ whiteness purge cost DOE execs their jobs
 
NYC schools chancellor is accused of branding 'whiteness' as 'toxic' and pushing out white administrators in favor of less qualified people of color
 
NYC schools chief sued for hostile environment against whites, accused of demoting admins for skin color to curb ‘toxic whiteness’
 
Chancellor Carranza is Criticized For Deplorable Conditions at School For Special Needs Kids
 
NYC DOE Chancellor Carranza Rules With Hate

 Betsy Combier, betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials


 Fourth white DOE executive sues over racial discrimination

by Susan Edelman and Selim Algar, NY POST, October 1, 2019

 Leslie Chislett became the fourth plaintiff to accuse Carranza of creating an atmosphere in which white DOE employees are “swiftly and irrevocably silenced, sidelined and punished” if they object to being stereotyped by their minority colleagues.

Chislett’s Manhattan Supreme Court suit says her treatment included a May meeting where co-workers stood up in succession to bash her for being incapable of “doing the work” of racial equity.

She’s seeking $10 million dollars in damages from the DOE and Carranza for allegedly violating the city Human Rights Law against racial discrimination, and another $10 million from Carranza personally if he’s “determined not to have individual liability” under the City Code.

Chislett, 60, who lives in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, formerly spearheaded the DOE’s AP for All program, an initiative hailed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as one of his administration’s signature education policy triumphs.

According to her suit, the DOE has been plunged into a state of racially fixated dysfunction where whites who object have been cast as irredeemable racists incapable of leadership and deserving of belittlement.

“Unfortunately, under Chancellor Carranza’s leadership, something has gone very wrong with the Equity and Excellence agenda,” Chislett said in a statement obtained by The Post.

After joining the DOE in 2007, Chislett was tapped to help lead the AP for All initiative in 2017 as executive director of Advanced Academic Access.
Leslie Chislett
A former city schools administrator filed a $20 million discrimination suit against the Department of Education and Chancellor Richard Carranza on Monday, claiming she was relentlessly demeaned and forced from her job for being white.

But while the program consistently met its benchmarks under her stewardship, Chislett said she was targeted for harassment and denunciation because of her race.

All DOE employees, Chislett said, currently find themselves immersed in racial “training” sessions where notions like “excellence and perfectionism” are decried as by-products of “white supremacy.”

During a January session, a DOE-sanctioned speaker explained that “equity would only be satisfied if children of color are privileged over Caucasian children in the classroom,” the suit states.

At a May 2018 gathering, speakers from an organization called Border Crossers explained to participants that “values of white culture are supremacist,” court papers state.

At a June 2018 presentation entitled “Beyond Diversity,” senior DOE executive Ruby Ababio-Fernandez told her audience that “there is white toxicity in the air and we all breathe it in” and that the thrust of her address was to “interrogate whiteness.”

When Chislett objected to the non-stop racial content, she was “marked as not willing to do the work of diversity,” the complaint argues.

On June 27, 2018, Carranza told assembled staffers at DOE headquarters to “get on board with this equity platform or leave,” the suit states.

The proclamation was a “totalitarian threat to his employees salaries and financial future that Carranza used to silence Caucasian DOE employees impact by his discriminatory actions for no other reason than their race,” according to court papers.

Chislett is being represented by lawyer Davida Perry, who also filed a $90 million discrimination suit on behalf of DOE employees Lois Herrera, Jaye Murray and Laura Feijoo in May.

Chislett said she frequently clashed with underling Deonca Renee, and once quizzed her for not being present at a meeting she was supposed to conduct.

Renee shot back that she “does not begin her day until 9:15” and later told Chislett “how dare you approach me out of your white privilege.”

The suit states that Renee soon began publicly excoriating Chislett at meetings and questioned her ability to serve in a leadership capacity.

At a February meeting held by DOE racial consultant Darnisa Amante, Renee targeted Chislett’s commitment to the cause, according to the suit.

“I wonder if members of our leadership team are defending their own comfort,” she said.

Despite this internal discord, Chislett said the AP for All initiative was thriving to the point that Carranza and de Blasio held a celebratory press conference.

But when it came time to appear in front of the cameras, Chislett wasn’t invited, the suit states.

Chislett’s complaints were met with either indifference or retributive hostility, according to court papers. She was eventually stripped of managerial duties and went from supervising 15 staffers to none, according to her suit.

Fearing that she would soon be excised entirely, Chislett hired an attorney in April — a move that intensified the resentment towards her, the suit states.

That month, members of her division were told that there would be additional racial training — and that participants had to begin their conversations with the statement “as a black woman or as a white woman,” papers state.

At another meeting that same month, the DOE’s Executive Director of Educational Equity, Paul Forbes, said that he was unconcerned by mounting scrutiny of the department’s practices “because this chancellor truly has our back.”

 Chislett reached her limit at a May inquisition helmed by Ababio-Fernandez where she was singled out as a dangerous dissident who “should just go.”

“Sitting among us there are those that don’t believe,” Ababio-Fernandez told roughly 50 people.

With that, Chislett said she was castigated in ritual fashion.

Ababio-Fernandez “permitted other members of [the Office of Equity and Access] to stand up in protest of Chislett, one-by-one stating names of children in their life that motivated them to pursue equity work and that they were protecting from people like Chislett,” the suit states.

During the same meeting, “numerous members of the team were permitted to literally stand and berate Chislett, in her workplace, and openly shame her by saying ‘You are not willing to do the work,’ despite her contributions to AP for All’s accomplishment of its goals.”

Chislett left the meeting in tears and eventually quit the DOE in September after taking medical leave.

In a prepared statement, DOE spokesman Will Mantell said: “We reject these allegations of ‘reverse racism.’”

“We’re focused on serving kids and families, and we’ll continue to foster a supportive environment for all our employees. We’ll continue our work towards equity and excellence for all students, and we’ll review the lawsuit,” Mantell added.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Students Stay Home, Don't Do Homework, and Graduate Early With Full Credit....This is the Department of Education

I can't wait for our teen population to see the news that they don't have to go to class, and our malls and arcades are going to be full every day, all day. Truant officers are going to be upset. What do we do with these folk, Chancellor Carranza? You just wiped away a whole segment of the city's workforce.

Does anyone wonder why many colleges are setting up NYC Graduates with remedial classes to accommodate their lack of knowledge?

Oh, wait - our teens already know that they don't have to fill the seat every day. I wonder what college they will get into.

On September 21, 2019 the NY POST did a story on Maspeth students who rarely went to class, never did homework, and graduated:

I was always stoned, drunk and skipping class — so they let me graduate early: Maspeth alum

In other words, this seat time policy must get get rubbed out of the DOE policy manual real quick, no one is being helped by this ridiculous rule.

Thomas Creighton
And, who's this guy Thomas Creighton, and why is he allowing himself to be the poster do-nothing student of year? Are he and his mom anticipating a movie/book offer? TV Series?

Just askin'.

Betsy Combier
proud mother to four children who attended school every day
betsy.combier@gmail.com

 

 

 NYC students can graduate without attending school in absence policy loophole

 
Going to class is not required to receive a city diploma.
It’s not widely advertised, but under Department of Education rules, students cannot be denied credit or graduation “based on lack of seat time alone.”
Under state law, school districts may adopt a “minimum attendance standard.” New York City does not. While city schools must take attendance, kids can still  pass or be promoted even if chronically absent, which is missing more than 10 percent of days.
Instead, students who “meet class expectations” must receive credit, and “are not required to make up the exact hours of missed class time,” the DOE says.  NYC students need 44 credits to graduate.
The loose policy — each school defines it’s own “expectations” — leaves room for dishonest educators to let truants skate by with minimal make-up work in English, math and other core subjects, experts say.
Maspeth High School, currently under investigation by the Queens District Attorney’s office and the DOE, has exploited this loophole by giving “worksheets” to teens who have missed months of classes. Expectations are low.
“If students hand in anything, whether it’s correct or not, you have to pass them,” said one of multiple Maspeth whistleblowers who described pressure by administrators to pass kids who do not earn it.
One class-cutter filled in work sheets with “random nonsense” but still received a passing grade and credit, his teacher said.
Another teacher sarcastically titled a student’s make-up assignment: “I was absent the entire year and need to learn everything to pass the Regents’ packet.” It was spotted in the school’s trash.
Four Maspeth students marked absent for four to five months straight this year graduated after showing up once a week to turn in worksheets to a dean. They all received Regents diplomas and were invited to join the June commencement ceremony, records show.
Ex-student Thomas Creighton told The Post he spent 11th- and 12th grades drunk or stoned, and blew off his studies. Finally, he said, the school gave him “a few work sheets” to complete in a week. He had a pal fill them in, and received a diploma six months early. When his worried parents asked to see his work, the school had nothing to show, but insisted Thomas earned a passing 65 in all classes.
The alleged abuses at Maspeth — which touts a 99 percent graduation rate — are extreme, but teachers at other high schools witness similar shortcuts.
“It’s going on all over the city,” said a teacher who recently left DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.
“If the student comes in at the end of the year in June and asks for makeup work, we have to provide it — even if they never attended.
Teachers get no guidance on what to include, the staffer said. “There are no standards for what a make-up packet has to look like — nothing.”
Kids who do come to class and work hard “know there’s something wrong when people they haven’t seen all year move through the grades with them or receive credit. It sets a very low bar for all students.”
At Forest Hills High School in Queens, failing teens get a last chance to pass by showing up for “academic boot camp.” The teens sit in a classroom several hours a day for five days at the end of the school year.
“They could skip class most of the year and not deserve a grade, but as a result of attending one week and doing work sheets, they could get credit for an entire year’s class,” a Forest Hills teacher said.
The teacher sent students to boot camp, but did not provide any work for them — and did not grade their work — so doesn’t know whether the students learned anything.
“I think it’s fraudulent,” the teacher said.
After The Post and other media exposed a massive grade-fixing scheme called “Project Graduation” at Dewey High School in Brooklyn, a 2015 DOE probe confirmed that students lacking credits were put in bogus classes and given work “packets” without instruction by certified teachers, as required by law. Kids dubbed it “Easy Pass,” but were robbed of an education, a state audit found.
In 2011, then-state Education Commissioner John King asked the state Board of Regents to consider letting students earn credit “through competency-based activities, not seat time.” Classes consist of 180 minutes of instruction per week.
King did not return a request for comment. A state Education Department spokeswoman said no action was taken, but confirms that students who lack class attendance can still earn credits by showing “mastery” or “proficiency,” regardless of attendance.
Under old DOE Chancellor’s regulations, promotion decisions were based on a “comprehensive assessment,” including whether a student had 90 percent attendance. The attendance part was dropped in 2009, officials said.
DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson said students who miss class “are given opportunities to make up the work to demonstrate mastery of content.”
But it’s up to each school to define mastery and decide how rigorous the make-up work should be.
That leaves the door wide open for abuse, said Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield.
“The DOE is responsible for quality control, but the city seems complicit in these practices as a way to raise the graduation rate,” Bloomfield said.  “The repeated scandals are the worst kind of Groundhog Day.”
In 2015, ex-Chancellor Carmen FariƱa announced a $5 million “Regulatory Task Force on Academic Policy” to guard against grade-fixing and credit fraud after a series of schemes were exposed in The Post. The panel last filed a brief two-page report in June 2017, and the DOE gave no update.
The DOE’s Filson denied that guidelines are lax.
“All instruction must meet rigorous standards and we have a strict academic policy citywide to ensure our students are challenged and meet their full potential.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Francesco Portelos' Poison - Threats To Principals




“Issues at Your School” – An email no NYC principal wants to receive
Turning the tables. That’s what progressive caucus UFT Solidarity began to do when members contact us that they are under warrantless attack. For almost a decade NYC DOE administrators had unfettered power to destroy careers. Problem with a teacher who grieves contractual violations or want to get rid of a pesky chapter leader? No problem. All a principal had to do was start building a paper trail of trumped up charges and fraudulent observations. Sometimes a simple phone call to the DOE’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) would do the trick. The teacher would be removed for months or years without knowing why they were removed. That’s if they were tenured. If not, the would be discontinued and out in a few days. The union? The UFT has been absent in thwarting attacks against members and sometimes is actually involved in helping the members get railroaded See [UPDATED] Bizarre Behavior Coming from Queens UFT Office.
 
So what is a member under attack to do? Well, luckily we live in the age of technology and have come up with some tools to fight back. This is how it works, and it does work. (Not all the time but it’s getting better.)
 
At UFT Solidarity, we have collaborated on an email we send to administrators who are bullying and harassing our members. The email is written in a way where we let the administrator know that the members in their school and not sitting ducks and will have support. We let the administrator know that we are educating their staff on how to fight back and encourage them to support and not continue their attacks. What we hope, or assume, happens is that that the administrator sends it to their superintendent and DOE lawyers. In turn we hope that the superintendent and lawyers respond to the administrator with something like this:

“Oh no. We have seen these before and it can get ugly. Expect there to be Freedom of Information Law requests on your records such as time cards, financial records and emails. They even obtain video surveillance footage. Your staff is probably already secretly recording you. Expect stories of you to be

added to social media with comments being added by staff, students and parents. You will be added to their Administrator’s in Need of Improvement (ANOI) list online if you have not been already.uftsolidarity.org/anoi. Expect them to launch investigations on anything you have done that violates a chancellor’s regulation, policy or law. Investigators will be coming. Finally, expect a group of their members and your staff and students, albeit small, to be outside your school with flyers and signs. If you have not bought a Costco size bottle of Tylenol, then we suggest you do that.”
At least that is what we hope the lawyers tell the administrator and they second guess their future actions.
The Email:
——-

Principal X,



Unfortunately your school has come to the attention of our teacher advocacy group. Apparently there are allegations of harassment and unwarranted attacks on educators at your school. As you could imagine, an atmosphere of workplace bullying and harassment is not conducive to a nurturing learning environment for our students.
Just as a courtesy, we are letting you know that we are educating your staff members with information on how to defend their careers so they may continue to instruct and nurture students to their fullest potential. Those tools can be in the form of legally audio recording, using the Freedom of Information Law to obtain information necessary to prove their allegations against you, organizing rallies and creating various social media articles.
Perhaps your best recourse would be to speak with the superintendent, your senior field counsel and Borough Support Center representative, to figure out ways to support educators rather than treading on their careers.
Thank you. Sincerely,
UFT Solidarity
“Building a stronger union.”

——————-
If you don’t believe me, then you can perform an internet search on many of the administrators we have listed on our ANOI list. You can ask Principal Micheaux and AP Martinez of the Bronx. Ask Principal Adonna McFarland or Principal Namita Dwarka. Our list is over 100. Namita Dwarka and her school has been on the cover of the NY Post the last three days. The brave people responsible are UFT Solidarity members and supporters who have been following our playbook.
Also see our campaign page as our team and platform are growing. For this reason I have not been able to blog
much here. My time has been spent building and organizing with great educator activists and enjoying time with my family. My sleeves are rolled up and we are ready to increase our work this September. Our ATR Alliance group is also growing and becoming more knowledgeable. A similar letter is being drafted for ATR Field Supervisors.


As we delve deeper into the UFT 2016 campaign season, expect more push back in more schools. We will bring positive change one way or another. Improving the classroom settings will improve the classroom learning.
UFT Solidarity - "Building a Stronger Union." UFTSolidarity.org






Saturday, October 5, 2019

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza and His "Toxic Whiteness" Campaign Inside The Department of Education

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza
From the desk of Betsy Combier:

Throughout the New York City public school system and all its' constituents is a progressively angry discussion about NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza's "race war" against 'Whites'. See my previous post, Carranza's Book For New Teachers and The Essay "Dear White Teacher"

Anyone who has had children in the public schools of NYC can see that schools are segregated.

I have been a teacher and parent advocate for more than 20 years, with 4 children going through the NYC DOE, and I have seen the gap between "good" schools and "bad" schools. My standards are: the level of safety for all students; school management of discipline; school administration of policies of respect for all; and rigorous teaching and creative learning opportunities. Full disclosure - two of my children went to Stuyvesant High School, another, La Guardia High School ("the FAME school"), and the fourth attended NEST+M - all of my children went to "good" schools as described above. But it took a lot of work, research, and creative thinking to find the right place for each of them.

In my opinion, the NYC DOE has not shown any ability or care in rolling out strategies for implementing policies of any kind. Everything the DOE does seems to be governed by politics and vendors selling the flavor-of-the-month textbooks or curricula which are purchased at fraudulent prices both above and below the table at DOE headquarters.

In blunt terms, NYC DOE policy is focused on political, and not educational, outcomes and Chancellor Carranza's focus is anything other than what is best for the children enrolled in NYC schools. He fits his policies to his needs (which seems to be a "children last" program) and not what the very diverse population of kids in NYC public schools want or need.

In the past year Chancellor Carranza has been attempting a minority-based coup where he replaces white DOE Deputies with people of minority backgrounds. He is being sued by several Superintendents.

Even if he claims he is not doing what is claimed in this lawsuit, the language of intent to discriminate is flowing through the DOE and the press is taking note, as can be seen in the article re-posted below published in the NY POST on October 1, 2019. Jackie Cody, a member of Community Education Council 22, seems to be buying into Carranza's poison.

Betsy Combier, betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Carranza accused of ‘pitting parents against each other’ along racial lines
by Selim Algar, NYPOST, September 30, 2019

An African American member of a volunteer schools advisory board referred to Asians as “yellow folks” during a group email exchange with more than 100 people — leading one recipient to blame the “toxic racial environment” created by Chancellor Richard Carranza.

“The tone comes from the top,” fumed Lucas Liu, a member of the Community Education Council 3, which covers the Upper West Side and part of Harlem.

“I think this is representative of the environment Carranza has created. It’s a toxic racial environment pitting parents against each other.”

He also said that Carranza “has successfully intimidated white families into not speaking up by playing the race card, but failed to achieve the same success with Asian families.”

Carranza has repeatedly stirred controversy through a series of moves intended to increase diversity in the city’s schools and change the curriculum in favor of “culturally responsive sustaining education.”

Jackie Cody

Liu, who is Asian, saw red on Friday when Jackie Cody of Community Education Council 22 in southeast Brooklyn sent out a message in favor of eliminating the city’s specialized high school exams and “gifted and talented” programs.

“To be blunt, certain Whites and certain Yellow folks on this list serv continue to focus on a very narrow view and misunderstanding that what they’re advocating for is damaging to White and Yellow children as well!” wrote Cody, who is African American.

“You see, perhaps if we bring to the forefront that 90% of white and 85% of yellow children are not accepted into Specialized High Schools nor G&T Programs, there’d be a better acknowledgment and understanding of the need to gut this system.”

 In response, Liu fired off a message expressing outrage at Cody’s choice of words.

“Thank you Jackie. Your use of a racial slur … speaks for itself,” he wrote.

 The back-and-forth led the administrators of the “Yahoo Groups” list to announce on Saturday that they were changing its protocols so that only a handful of moderators would be able to send messages to the entire group.

“Some of the threads have become deeply offensive and toxic for many members,” wrote Shino Tanikawa and NeQuan McLean, both members of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s School Diversity Advisory Group.

“While we asked that members reply only to the sender and NOT to the listserve, this rule has not been followed diligently.”

Liu said Monday that “the term ‘yellow’ is clearly a derogatory term.”

“I don’t know if she deliberately put this out there in that way,” he said.

“But I would say that there are some terms you don’t use no matter what, and ‘yellow’ is one of them.”

Cody insisted she meant no offense, saying, “I had no intent like that at all.”

“We are split up into colors these days. Black people are black, brown people are brown, white people are white,” she said.

“My only purpose was trying to get people to understand that every child is gifted and talented. Once you really authentically understand that, things will be seen in a different perspective.”

Department of Education spokesman Will Mantell said in an email, “This was an unacceptable comment made by one parent on a message board, and it has nothing to do with the Chancellor.”

Additional reporting by Bruce Golding

Additional reading:
$90 million lawsuit: 'Toxic' whiteness purge at NYC

Bombshell suit claims Carranza’s ‘toxic’ whiteness purge cost DOE execs their jobs