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Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Mayor's Incompetence and the Chancellor's Neglect and Lack of Skills Leave Parents On Their Own For September

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
According to parents, many NYC Department of Education teachers are not doing their jobs remotely and kids are just getting written assignments without any live teaching.

And according to UFT President Michael Mulgrew (UFT= United Federation of Teachers, the teachers' union), teachers will not be going back anytime soon:

Teachers will return in the fall if...
The city’s teachers union boss explains the COVID protection conditions for going back to school
By Michael Mulgrew, 
June 26, 2020

This leaves parents, students, staff and employees wondering what will happen when September rolls in. This is not good. We are seeing two powerful men (Michael Mulgrew + NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza) battling for the $34 Billion dollars handed to the NYC DOE last year. It's always about money. Remember that.

This is the beginning of the end for the patterns and practice of the NYC DOE for the past two decades since Mayoral control took over, and changes were made to the UFT contract in 2005 (an example: in 2005 Randi Weingarten removed from the teachers' collective bargaining agreement the right to grieve letters to file). 

This is a good thing. In my opinion, the incompetence of Bill de Blasio points to the very obvious need to undo Mayoral control, elect all the members of the school board (the Panel For Educational Policy), and give parents once again the right to be heard and not pushed aside as trash.

Parents and teachers are not the only people who are frustrated with NYC's Mayor Bill:

Wiley Norvell (right), City Hall communications director, and Freddi Goldstein, the mayor’s
press secretary (Twitter)

City Hall ‘demoralized’ by de Blasio as staffers jump ship

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

by Harry Siegel, NY Daily News, July 3, 2020

“We’re full steam ahead,” says the mayor.

“Schools will be opening in September. Each school will have a maximum number of kids that can be in that school with social distancing, using every conceivable space in that school” so that at least “some schools will be able to have all of their kids.”

But then the governor’s office says that “all such decisions are made by state government and not local government,” and that “the public should not be confused.” Confusingly, he hasn’t said a thing about his own policy — just that he alone has the power to make it.

And the teachers union says that “new federal funds, now being held up in Washington, are the only possible way New York City will be able to invest in the protective measures and staff required for schools to safely re-open in September — even on a limited basis.”

The union also says, more quietly, to teachers that they aren’t required to do synchronous instruction (you know, actual classroom teaching).

And Trump says, “I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

Man proposes and God disposes, of course, but no one is seriously proposing much here. The federal government hasn’t given any real guidance to the states. New York State hasn’t given any real guidance to local governments. (As Errol Louis noted: “New Jersey has a 104-page plan for reopening schools. New York has the usual petty power-play BS from Albany. And no plan.”) The city hasn’t offered any guidance to parents that they have any reason to trust.

Sure, Trump is a jackass and a menace, and yes, the fish stinks from the head. But “leaders” at every level of government keep talking about how they’re going to get things going again, without clearly defined rules and guidance. Everyone keeps outsourcing responsibility, so that it falls on parents to figure things out for themselves.

As The News noted, de Blasio has continued to put off hard budget choices even as tax revenue has plummeted. If Washington leaves a big hole in Albany’s budget, as it well might, there’s little doubt that Cuomo will pass that hole on to the city and the rest of the state’s local governments. Everyone keeps passing the buck, while talking about their leadership.

Hours after de Blasio’s big talk about reopening on Thursday, UFT boss Michael Mulgrew told NY1′s Jillian Jorgensen that City Hall “has refused to engage on any sort of how-to plan” about reopening schools. He added that for the mayor “to just pop up today and say ‘I’m opening schools’ is not going to give any comfort whatsoever.”

It was one thing to close schools through June in April, but quite another to have no plan for September in July. There’s still no evidence that Zoom school works for students. There’s no question that it’s been a disaster for working parents, and children with special needs, and a huge obstacle to restarting the economy or anything else.

The first four examples of child neglect provided by New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services are “failure to support a child’s educational need…failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter, failure to provide medical or mental health care…and leaving a child alone who is not developmentally able to be left alone without adequate supervision.”

With the CARES Act unemployment benefit due to end later this month and New York City’s eviction courts back open again, many parents are facing a terrible choice between breaking the second rule of neglect, or breaking the first, third and fourth. Who wants to choose between supporting their children and neglecting them?

For parents who have the luxury of working from home, the same fundamental dynamic applies. Who can afford to lose their job — and their health insurance — now?

If you leave a 7-year-old in their room all day, every day, that’s child neglect. It’s also what the government is effectively telling parents to do.