|It's essential to children and teenagers to interact with both peers and authority figures, but not at the expense of people's lives. (Photo credit: Stephan Jeremiah)|
Ideally, the best scenario would be for all children to return to their classes and interact personally with teachers and friends. This cannot happen safely now or in September. It is unfortunate that adequate planning has not been done to provide effective remote learning programs, despite excellent teachers' best efforts.
Online curricula, attendance data, and grading/assessments are confusing, useless, or not applied. We don't know how many students are actually doing any work and we don't have accurate numbers of teachers who are doing live teaching. Let's give teachers a chance to learn the latest techniques for on-line teaching, and let's honor their concerns about the health and safety of students, staff, and themselves. The lives of teachers, staff, and students must take precedence over any other concerns.
If you work for the NYC DOE and you are interested in applying for accommodations and or remote teaching, go to these links:
I think that all full-time general education teachers should refuse to go into a classroom until all safety measures are clearly in place. Strict guidelines for the safety and welfare of guidance counselors, therapists, and special education staff and educators at all levels should be put into place so that children who need these services get them.
These actions can all be placed into the category of "accommodation" which is now and has been in recent times, falsified, not complied with, or delayed in many schools throughout New York City. Let's put a stop to fudging the books to look good.
A basic problem is that there is no effective leadership, and I emphasize the word "effective". Mayoral control guarantees this, as Bill de Blasio has shown all too well.The NYC Department of Education right now is a disaster, both in terms of financial as well as employee accountability. Student violence is rampant, and personnel decisions are made on the basis of who you know rather than merit, and yes, what race you are.
I work in the area of educator discipline, and I know how unfair, political, arbitrary and capricious the process for discontinuing and/or terminating tenured or untenured educators really is, and I write about it because I do not work for the DOE.
Richard Carranza was chosen for political reasons, not because he was or is a magic bullet to erase the inequalities within the public school system in New York City. He is way out of his league here, as is our Mayor.
Step number one for providing "effective" management in times of COVID-19 is the re-design of the supply chain/allocation of money and resources. For instance, student funding is based on "seat time", i.e., the actual bodies filling chairs in each classroom. This needs to be reviewed and changed to fit the present circumstances.
We also need to get rid of excessive administrators whose responsibilities are duplicative of others at the same level and create two new positions at the top of the DOE:
Most important is putting in place new consequences for proven non-compliance. Anyone, at any level, who does not comply with agreed-upon statutes and guidelines is punished except in exceptional circumstances. As the public wants the punishment equal to the crime, mediate outcomes with a panel of people, not just one person. This panel must give a decision within a limited time-frame, 30-60 days.
Arthur - you say that it would be "inconvenient" if you got sick and died from COVID-19. Here's where I differ with you, it would be a catastrophe. A single death from this horrible disease is a disaster. Keep doing what you are doing, we need to hear from you.
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|Students attending large, overcrowded schools like Francis Lewis HS (above), may only be able to meet in classrooms once a week — which is insufficient for their education.NY Post/Chad Rachman|