Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stuyvesant's Matt Polazzo Wins the Lottery!

Some of you may remember our old pal Matt Polazzo. He was the genius who suggested that the we tear up the union contract and allow "bad" teachers to be fired at will. Of course, Mr. Polazzo teaches at Stuyvesant, the city's top high school, so the odds him ever being classified as "bad" are practically nil. Nevertheless, he courageously offered his colleagues as cannon fodder for the Klein regime, without expecting  anything for himself, except perhaps the opportunity to go on teaching the top students in the city, while shitting on teachers who have to take on all comers.

I'd pretty much forgotten about this blot on education, until his name came up today unexpectedly. You see, he's won the lottery! No, not the Mega Millions, but something much more precious: he won his daughter a spot in a charter school run by fellow union basher Eva Moskowitz.

What an amazing coincidence! Matt Polazzo, one of Joel Klein's favorite ass-kissers, somehow gets his daughter a spot in a school run by Eva Moskowitz, who was famously at the top of Klein's speed dial. I mean, what are the odds?

A suspicious person might think that maybe this whole lottery thing was rigged, given how closely related these folks are. It must be a million to one shot that Polazzo, whose brown lips were firmly fastened to Klein's sphincter, got a spot in a school run by Moskowitz, who had to have Klein's lips separated from her own ass with a derrick. Seems hard to believe, eh?

And then, add in the fact that Polazzo just happened to be on hand to suck up to Moskowitz for the reporters at the Daily News.

Of course, we all know that charters are 100% on the up and up, and they would never show preferential treatment to someone who sucked up to them. Charters would never cherry-pick their students, or kick out students who don't perform, or accept less than their fair share of ELL or special ed students, so we can be confident that this lottery was legit.

Maybe, if Matt plays his cards right, he can win the lottery again, and end up a principal in one of Moskowitz's  schools. It's a long shot, but hey, who knows? He's been pretty lucky so far.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fair Hearings--Even for Teachers?

Check out Arthur Goldstein's great piece on the phony debate over "predator" teachers. What the city would like is to deprive teachers of due process and tenure, and they are starting by targeting teachers accused of sexual misconduct.

Mr. Goldstein points out that no one wants predators in the classroom, but that everyone--yes, even teachers--deserves a fair hearing.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow Me On Twitter!

I've been getting more active on Twitter lately, especially in light of Campbell Brown's assault on due process. If you'd like to follow me--and who wouldn't?--my Twitter name is @accountabletalk. I promise to stick it to the ed deformers, and you're invited to watch!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Alleged Perv Walks

For an excellent point of view on the Randi Weingarten/Campbell Brown duel on Twitter, you should read NYC Educator's piece on the dust-up. If you haven't been following it, what happened, briefly, was this:

Campbell Brown, formerly of CNN, wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, basically accusing teachers unions of protecting sexual predators. Randi Weingarten jumped into the fray to defend teachers, claiming that even teachers who are accused of sexual infractions are entitled to due process, and can certainly be removed if arrested or if an arbitrator rules the against a teacher. Ms. Brown claims that due process is "protecting" sexual predators, and that teachers should be summarily fired if accused in order to protect children.

One issue that came up in the debate is that Campbell Brown failed to disclose in her piece that her husband, Dan Senor, is on the board of StudentsFirstNY--an organization run by Michelle Rhee.

A cynic might believe that Ms. Brown has an agenda here because of her conflict of interest, but she eventually came clean and admitted that she should have disclosed her close ties to such an staunchly anti-teacher group.

So, who is right? Normally, I would side with Randi on this one, as I believe everyone deserves due process. But recently I heard a case of perverted behavior with a child that can not be ignored in a discussion such as this. This kind of sick behavior must be punished, and I am sure Ms. Brown and Ms. Rhee would agree.

The case involves a teacher who allegedly groped a 16 year old girl. The police recorded a phone call from this teacher apologizing to the girl for what happened. The case was investigated by the police, who declined to prosecute. In the end, the teacher reportedly paid a settlement to the girl to end the matter. As bad as this case was, yet another accusation surfaced against this teacher. A student again complained of inappropriate behavior by this teacher, although she later recanted. Nevertheless, in light of the first settlement paid, coupled with a subsequent allegation of similar misconduct, we should in this case agree with Michelle Rhee and Campbell Brown that this teacher needs to lose his job and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near young girls.

Oh, wait. My bad. It wasn't a teacher against whom these allegations were leveled. It was a politician, namely Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento.

The husband of Michelle Rhee.

I'm sure that any moment now, we can expect Michelle Rhee and Campbell Brown to call for the ouster of Kevin Johnson as mayor. After all, although none of the charges were substantiated and no charges filed, I'm sure they would agree that we can't allow a little thing like due process stand in the way of protecting our children.

Right, Michelle and Campbell?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Note to Lori Wheal: Teaching is its own Career Path

Lori Wheal, member of Asshats for Education (A4E), regaled us today with the sorrowful tale of why she is leaving the classroom. In typical Asshat style, she tells her tale of woe while informing us--repeatedly--what a wonderful teacher she is and what a shame it is to lose her. She tells us she is a great teacher "by all measures". She lumps herself in with the "irreplaceable" teachers the city loses every year. She talks about being in the Master Teacher program, and refers to herself as a Master Teacher at every conceivable opportunity. No, really. She uses the title on LinkedIn and on Twitter. She even got NY1 to refer to her that way.

I don't know Ms. Wheal at all, but I do know that people who feel the need to toot their own horns all the time are usually the weakest and most insecure teachers.

So what's causing Ms. Wheal to leave and put the entire NYC school system in jeopardy of imminent collapse? Well, she was (as you may have heard) a Master Teacher at a turnaround school, and now that position has been eliminated because those schools will not be closed. This has left poor Master Teacher Wheal hopeless, as her precious "career ladder" has been yanked out from under her. Clearly, she has no option but to leave the system, because despite her Master Teacher credentials, she no longer has any intention of teaching children and wants to turn to education policy.

Maybe there's a way to introduce Master Teacher Wheal to Ruben Brosbe, another Asshat who had no trouble telling everyone else how to teach but headed for the hills when there was real teaching to be done.

I've got news for the boo-hoo-ing Asshats like Master Teacher Wheal: Teaching is its own career path. If you have gone into teaching because you hope one day to run a school district, you are in the wrong profession. If telling other teachers how wonderful you are is more important to you than getting in front of kids and doing the day in, day out work of actually educating children, you are in the wrong profession.

I may not know as much as Master Teacher Wheal; after all, I have only been teaching for more than twice as long as she has. But I do know that getting a gig in a turnaround school with a nifty title doesn't make you a master teacher.

What makes you a master teacher is dedication to those children in the classroom. It's sticking it out even when the going gets tough. It's being dedicated to teaching as a career and not looking at it as a stepping stone to greater things for your own advancement. It's knowing that every year in the classroom teaches you something you can use the next year, and the next.

If you go into education with the view that being a classroom teacher is the bottom rung of the ladder, you are a disgrace to the profession and you should leave.

That means you, Master Teacher Wheal.

Don't let the door hit you on the asshat on the way out.