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Saturday, June 25, 2011

A sample of 311 acknowledgements of parents' calls on the budget cuts


Before the city budget cut deal was announced yesterday, I asked parents to call 311 to oppose the Mayor's proposed cuts that would eliminate 6100 teaching positions, and to send me the record of the comments that 311 operators email them. (In the end, the deal announced last night means we will have no layoffs but probably lose about 2600 teachers through attrition.)  Here are a sample:
_________________________________________
Message:
CLR STS, PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENT OF 2 CHILDREN THAT ARE IN NYC DOE SYSTEM, SHE DOES NOT WANT SEE ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS LAID OFF.
PARENT FEELS LAYING OFF 6000 TEACHERS COULD BE A HUGE LOST TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS!
PARENT FEELS, THE MAYOR CAN FIND A BETTER WAY REARRANGE THE CITY BUDGET, THAN CUTTING DOE EMPLOYEES.
PARENT FEELS THIS IS ALSO DISCRIMINATORY TOWARDS WOMEN BECAUSE MOST OF THE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS ARE FEMALE! 
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Message: 
CALLER HAVE 2 CHILDREN IN CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL. CLASSES ARE WAY TOO BIG. CHILDREN ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL. THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH GOOD WORK TO DO BECAUSE THE TEACHER DOESN'T HAVE TIME TO GRADE ALL THE STUDENT'S WORK. CALLER STATES THAT LAYING OFF TEACHERS WOULD MAKE THINGS EVEN WORSE.
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Message:
CALLER WISHES TO EXPRESS HER OBJECTION TO PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS IN REGARDS TO LAYING OFF 6,000 TEACHERS AS THIS WILL PUT CHILDREN OF THE CITY IN JEOPARDY.
CALLER STATES SHE UNDERSTANDS THERE IS A 6 BILLION DOLLARS IN A "RAINY DAY FUND" THAT SHOULD BE USED TO PAY FOR SERVICES SUCH AS EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE.
SHE ALSO WANTS THE MAYOR TO REMEMBER WHY HE IS MAYOR OF THE CITY AND WHAT HIS ROLE IS AS A PUBLIC SERVANT. HE IS HERE TO SERVE ALL CITIZENS NOT JUST A HANDFUL.
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Message:
CALLER STATES: THE MAYOR WILL BE RUINING PUBLIC SCHOOLS IF HE GOES THROUGH WITH THE LAY OFF. SHE WILL HOLD HIM PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE AND THIS WILL BE HIS LEGACY.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is June 25. A child in P.S. 24 in the Bronx 3 or 4 weeks ago passed the practice ELA tests, which predict that she would pass the actual tests. Her parents spend more than $1,000 on a theater summer camp for the child who has "gifted-n-talented" musical aptitude. The camp is to start on July 5. Yesterday, June 24, PS 24 sends a machine-signed note that the girl failed the language part of the ELA and is mandated to go to summer school, which starts on July 5-Aug 9. On Aug 9, the child must pass the language part of the "No Child Left Behind" ELA test or be held back from the fifth grade. So: the Einsteins who run New York and the U.S. set it up so that a 10-year-old believes that she will go to fifth grade with her peers next fall and this summer will receive one-on-one singing and dancing lessons while also singing and acting in two musicals. Because PS 24 didn't tell her parents until yesterday, they must now tell the child that her dream camp is cancelled and she must study all summer and that she likely will be ridiculed by her peers this fall if she fails at studying hard when her heart is somewhere else. Great! Let's shaft our 10-year-olds in a misplaced attempt to turn all children into productive workers who can do math and write, even if they have perfect pitch and memorize melodies and lyrics at first glance. Donna Connelly, the principal at PS 24, should be fired as should the little girl's teacher. Her parents told that teacher over and over to challenge their little girl and give her more homework and send it home with her. No, the teacher never complied. Was she stupid, lying, or rebellious? No matter. A 10-year-old, a future entertainer in the U.S. when Americans are going to need entertainment as their health and retirements disappear, was handled like a gulag prisoner.
If "a new consciousness [ever emerges] in the United States, [as] expressed eloquently by author and activist Pearl S. Buck: 'If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all,'" it will be too late for that poor 10-year-old. Get lost Donna Connelly, NY politicians and federal lunatic so-called congresspersons

Anonymous said...

It is worse than you think!The score is based on only one part of the ELA exam she took.It is possible when all results are in the child might have passed the exam. Last year some children were forced to go to summer school who really passed while others who really failed did not find out until summer school was over and were sent to the next grade. The test is given too late in the year,too subjective in the marking and in many cases not really indicative of the child's actually ability. By the way a fortune is spent on the predictive exam which almost everyone passes.
Out mayor has killed our school system with his overemphasis on test results and is only adding more tests to be used to judge teachers and their students.
I feel very sorry for this child and many others caught in a terrible situation set up by politicians who know nothing about education. If you can afford private school please save your child from this educational nightmare.

Susan said...

To Anonymous and any other parents in this predicament --

Don't cancel the camp yet. Request a copy of the ELA test and the child's answer sheet immediately. Compare them both to the practice tests, on which this girl did well. If they are significantly different, appeal to your district superintendent and the head of whatever learning group your school belongs to. A "portfolio" of the students work is supposed to be considered in cases like these, which would include her ELA practice tests.

Also check to see if the student skipped any lines on the answer sheet, which would put the answers that follow in the wrong places.

Or did SED change the tests again without letting schools and teachers know?

There is too much human error involved in these tests to assume anything.

Finally, if they insist on the ELA test being re-taken, see if the student can instead be tutored while she attends camp instead of attending summer school.

Susan

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that child's situation, anon @ June 25, 2011 8:22 PM. Interestingly, it turns out that the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation has opened a case on Principal Connelly for alleged hiring improprieties and misuse of donated funds. Stay tuned.

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