Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The New York City Department of Education Is Falling Apart As The Truth About E-Learning and Other Alleged Successes Show Failure

Mayor Bill de Blasio listens as Deputy Schools Chancellor Cheryl
 Watson-Harris speaks to parents last year.
Photo:Robert Mecea
We believe what is happening at the NYC Department of Education is Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Richard Carranza as Chancellor for political reasons, and now is paying the price. Mr. Carranza then hired his friends and colleagues on the basis of enabling the Mayor to look good while declaring false facts about his achievements.

I urge you to read the fabulous Opinion piece by Karol Markowicz in the May 28, 2020 NY POST:

Richard Carranza is obsessed with destroying good schools

I think Ms. Markowicz is spot on. But this issue is not new. The political appointments for CEO positions at the NYC Department of Education has a long history in NYC, as well as elsewhere around the US. These positions are high-paying jobs with fabulous opportunities for grabbing and using public funds. I'm not naming anyone, I'm just saying that $34 Billion dollars a year can persuade a person that a few thousand dollars here or there that ends up in your own house or pocket is part of your public service. Just sayin'.

False facts or no facts enable political forces to make money on bogus textbooks and curriculums which are unproven assets to student learning. For this reason (and others), many teachers leave the profession every year. No one is happy with the lack of transparency and accountability except the people who are using these to hide behind.

Richard Carranza may have been promised a wealth of benefits if he went along with this. Carranza in turn misled his Deputies in encouraging them to promote public policy, even if false, instead of private concerns for actual educational benefit to the children of New York City. His recent pictures show a very unhappy man.

His Deputies are leaving:

Cheryl Watson-Harris (see NYPOST article below)
Dr. Mark Spencer

Josh Wallack was called out for allowing his child to be in a screened school, just like Cheryl Watson-Harris' children. He can't be happy with that.

David Hay was exposed for being a miscreant. 

The City told the NY Post that they have too much of a backload of people to vet for positions in NYC that they cannot do a thorough job. That, I'm sure, doesn't make anyone feel good that the children - and adults - in NYC are safe from criminals.

We support the firing of Chancellor Carranza immediately, and an appointment of a new Chancellor who must be voted on by the general public, not appointed. 

Betsy Combier
Editor, ADVOCATZ blog
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

Richard Carranza deputy poised for top job in Georgia after bogus NYC test score claims
by Susan Edelman, NYPOST, June 7, 2020

Chancellor Richard Carranza’s second-in-command is poised to get a top job in Georgia after claiming bogus achievements in NYC, critics say.
Cheryl Watson-Harris
Cheryl Watson-Harris, Carranza’s first deputy chancellor, has been named the finalist to become superintendent of DeKalb County schools’ 99,000 students, which includes suburban Atlanta.
Her cover letter in recently applying to Sarasota, Fla., Watson Harris boasted:
“Under the leadership of my team the city has seen record gains in proficiency rates in both ELA and math.”
Fred Smith, a former DOE test analyst, said the gains were neither record-breaking nor impressive.
“It’s an overstatement,” Smith told The Post. “For her not to know this is a spurious achievement on her part, to claim credit for that, it’s ridiculous.”
Carranza — who has written a letter of recommendation for Watson-Harris, named her his No. 2 in July 2018. The only state exams in math and English for grades 3 to 8 administered during Watson-Harris’ tenure as first deputy chancellor were given in the spring of 2019.
Data showed only 47.4 percent of students scored at proficient levels in English and 45.6 percent in math. Those scores rose by .7 percent in English and 2.9 percent in math.
They were not “record gains.” In 2018, citywide scores rose by 4.9 percent in math and 6.1 percent in English  Those gains occurred after the state reduced the testing from three days to two.
In 2016, average scores increased by 1.2 percent in math and 7.6 percent in ELA after the state gave students unlimited time to complete the exams.

State officials have repeatedly warned that comparisons over time are unreliable due to multiple changes.
But the DOE trumpeted its progress.
“This administration has invested in leaders and policies that get results — our ELA and math scores have risen steadily year after year, including under Cheryl’s leadership,” said spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.
In her resume, Watson-Harris also claims credit for numerous DOE initiatives and achievements, including an “overhaul of the Turn Around Program,” a reference to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Renewal program for struggling schools.
De Blasio ended the program in February 2019. After four years and nearly $800 million in extra costs, the results were disappointing, he conceded.
Watson-Harris oversaw a less-defined new strategy of “putting the right investments in place to quickly identify and respond to students’ and schools’ needs, with a focus on equity,” Barbot said.
More than 140  elementary and middle schools had at least one grade where more than 90 percent of kids flunked their state exams in 2019, The  Post found.
City scores on the more reliable  National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP — given to a sampling of 4th and 8th graders every two years in math and English — have remained flat and even dropped in 4th-grade math.
Watson-Harris’ NYC annual salary is $242,102. The current DeKalb County superintendent was promoted in April and received a pay increase to $350,000, but plans to retire at the end of June.