Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bloomberg's Abuse is Killing Teachers

I just watched this documentary on Netflix.  If you haven't seen it already, find it and watch it.  I now realize why I feel so much better physically and mentally than I did two weeks ago.

Abusive administrators are literally destroying our minds and bodies.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chapter 4 of Jude's Story: FOUNDATIONS

Continued from Chapter 3:  THREATS AND COVERUP

I'll give you a quick review of Jude's Story which I started back in October.  Jude reported to her principal that some of the questions on her students' 4th grade math test might have been incorrectly graded.  The Principal asked the Assistant Principal to carry out an investigation, and it was found that all of the 4th grade math tests had been graded incorrectly and that many students had received lower grades than they should have.  Not only that, but the sixth grade math tests had the same problem.  In retaliation, one of the other 4th grade teachers threatened to turn the parents against Jude.  Jude went to her UFT rep, who refused to help her.

As I mentioned in Chapter 1 ,  Jude had achieved the American Dream in spite of being raised in the projects of the South Bronx.

Graduated from Bronx High School of Science
Bachelors degree from Hunter College
Masters degree from Lehman College
Highly Respected Teacher in the New York City Board of Eduction--tenured, vested
Homeowner on Long Island
Married with three children
Active and respected in her church and community

If you start to describe your own life, you will soon find that you are really describing the groups to which you belong.  The structure of your life rests on the foundations that are your groups.
"Oh no it doesn't," you might say.  "It rests on my strengths, my abilities, and my hard work."

I agree.  But the choices you made on how to apply your strengths, abilities, and hard work gave you admission to certain groups.  Those groups support your lifestyle.

You had no choice on the family group you were born into.  For the first eighteen years or so of your life your parents determined your sibling group, your extended family group, your neighborhood group, your peer group, your school group, your social class group, your religious group, etc.

Parents have a lot of power in our lives.  They are the original foundations.

But then you came of age, moved out, and started to build your own lifestyle.  Your choices, your foundations:   To graduate from high school or not.  To get married or not.  To  go to college or not.  To get this degree or that degree.  To join this club or that club.  To live here or live there.  To buy or to rent.  To save or to spend.  To have one child, many children, or none. 

These are the foundations that you establish.

Depending on the number of foundations you have, and the quality of those foundations, you can survive many serious assaults by nature or by man.  It's very, very hard to survive bad times on your own.  If you find yourself dependent on the charity of strangers, you  have seen the pillars of your life crumple around you.

"Isn't this Jude's Story?"  You might ask.  "Why are you talking about me"?  Instead of rambling on about 'you this you that', talk about her."

If you belong to one of Jude's groups.  I'm talking about you when I talk about her.  It's a cautionary tale.  But unlike most cautionary tales, it's not about an individual that messed up.  It's about groups that failed under pressure.

So, I'm talking about you if:

You're black.
You're a woman.
You're a wife.
You're a mother.
You're a religious person.
You're a teacher.
You're a homeowner.

I have already warned you that this story is about a woman who has been assaulted over and over.  As I tell her story, I will remind you again and again that she could be you and you could be her.  


Thursday, November 25, 2010

And The Earth Just Keeps Turning

No matter what we do, or what is done to us, Earth just keeps turning.

Check out the time lapse of star trails I found through  PetaPixel.

Earth Science teachers, this may be useful for teaching Earth Motions if you can somehow squeeze it into the workshop model.  Not something I have to worry about anymore.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Killer Coke, Cathie Black, and NYC Kids

 I hate to admit it, but I hadn't heard about the campaign to boycott Coca-Cola because of the company "allegedly turning a blind eye as eight employees of Coke bottlers in Colombia were killed and scores more were threatened or jailed on trumped-up terrorism charges over the past decade".  By the way, that quote was taken from a January, 2006 article published in Bloomberg Businessweek called "Killer Coke" or Innocent Abroad?  

I purposely quoted the Bloomberg article and not other sources, so that no one can say he knew nothing of Cathie Black's link to the "Killer Coke" controversy.

However there are other sources that are extremely interesting and informative.

Read about Cathie Black and the rest of the members of the Board of Directors.

Read details about Coke's alleged crimes in Colombia other countries.

In case you decide to boycott Coke yourself, read about its other products (you won't boycott Coke by drinking Sprite).

Are you feeling sorry for Cathie Black?  After all, you might say, an allegation isn't a guilty verdict, is it?

Isn't it?

If you're a Rubber Room detainee, it is.

Only a Handful

"There are 80,000 plus teachers and only a handful of us get brought up on 3020-a charges."

I have heard this argument several times when I ask why Unity allowed the Rubber Rooms to happen in the first place.  I read it most recently in one of the comments on Chaz's blog.

I object not only to the statement itself, but to all of its hidden implications.

"You're only a handful, so you must be guilty of something.  You're only a handful so there are more important places to concentrate our resources.  You're only a handful so you're just not that important to the rest of us."

Ok.  Let's look at what you mean by handful.  I have been given the ratio of 800 bad teachers to 80,000 good teachers.  Now, granted there may have been only 800 if you look at a frozen instant in time, but the Rubber Room was a revolving door.  As soon as one teacher left, two replaced him.  During the Rubber Room heyday there were thousands of teachers who passed through the Rubber Room.  There were thousands of others who retired rather than be sent there.

But just for fun.  Let's take a snapshot view (Bloomburgers love to take snapshot views, don't they?)  At any one moment there were about 800 Reassigned Teachers as opposed to 80,000 Regularly Assigned Teachers.

Let's see:  That's a ratio of  800 to 80,000 or only 1 to 100. One Rubber Room Teacher for every one hundred Regular Teachers.  Only a handful.

Now let's put that handful in perspective.

How many people were killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers?  2,606 to be exact.  That's a lot of people.  We're building a big memorial in New York City to honor them.  But what is that number compared to the 8,000,000 people who live in the five boroughs? 

Let's see:  That's a ratio of 2,606 to 8,000,000 or  One to Three Thousand.  Approximately one Twin Towers victim for every 3,000 New Yorkers.  Would we call that only a handful?  I don't think so.

Do you resent the comparison?  After all, I'm not dead.  I'm alive and well, and sipping my morning coffee as I write my blog.  And what was that you said?  I'm not innocent like they were?  They were just doing their jobs when wham!!!!!! their building got hit by an airplane, while  I, a bad, incompetent, abusive, insubordinate, blah, blah, blah teacher was taken out of the classroom and paid for sitting in a chair doing nothing for one year, nine months and two weeks?

So it's not about ratios, is it?  It's the subtext hidden behind the statement:  "It's only a handful".

Do we accept the handful?  Is one of them also one of us?  Or are they beyond the pale, marked as "other", isolated, blamed, demonized?

Ratios don't matter.  Group identify does.

The Bloomburger Bullies came from outside the group and established themselves as the ones who had the right to decide who belonged in the Good Teacher Group and who didn't.  Most of them had less education and less experience than the teachers they marked as "Bad".

Those of us who were sorted out into the Rubber Rooms were not killed, but our lives will never be the same, because the experience changes you forever.
I can't be made whole (a legal term meaning the compensation of a party for a loss sustained).  You can't take back the years of mobbing, bullying, professional and personal assassination, defamation, and degradation.  You can't undo the shaming and the shunning. You might as well try to bring back the Twin Tower dead as to try to bring back the teacher I was before Bloomburger Perry walked into my, yes MY school and into MY neighborhood.

I'm not ashamed, and I'm not afraid.  I like it out here beyond the pale.  I'm free.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Profiling Psycho Principal

In my last post I published a letter from Principal Perry.

However, as a trained Perry profiler, I am going to include in red letters what she left lurking between the lines.

Here's the profiled version of her letter.

Dear Ms. Untamed (You bitch),

I have been advised that you are retiring, (you sent me an email on November 15, but I didn't acknowledge it then, and I'm hoping you didn't keep a copy so that I can accuse you of retiring without proper notification) but we do not have the necessary paperwork (do you really expect me to tell you what the necessary paperwork is?).  Therefore, (so you actually thought you could get away from me without charges, did you?  Yeh, yeh, yehhhh)   I have scheduled an appointment for you to meet with me in my office on November 19, 2010 at 3 p.m. (Hopefully the Rubber Room has made you brain dead enough so that you'll actually show up).  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the report of the Special Commissioner of Investigation (Yes, the report that took one year, nine months and 14 days to fabricate) which concludes that you made inappropriate statements to a student (Inappropriate?  That's all that idiot Hayden Sands could come up with?  I told him to get the kids to say you ABUSED them.  Can't those stupid, @#X^%$#&^%*&^^ get anything right?) and you did attempt (I love putting "did" in front of verbs.  It's sounds so biblical) to tamper with both a verbal abuse and corporal punishment investigation.  (It's all your fault the parents came in wanting to know why I had forced their children to write false statements about you and then told them not to talk about it with anyone--especially not their parents.  They never would have found out about it if you hadn't done home visits to those kids who threatened to frame you for child abuse if you told their parents about their misbehavior.) 

Because this conference may lead to disciplinary action, you may bring a union representative.  (Yes, I know.  As a retiree you don't have a union representative anymore, and I have no right to call you in, but, dammit, you're not going to get off so easy after all the work it took to frame you.)

Sincerely, (I'll get you, you bitch)

Principal  (That's right, Leadership Academy Principal, never taught in a classroom, so what? If Bloomy doesn't care, why should you?) Perry

Friday, November 19, 2010

Retirement Good Wishes From Principal P.

As you all know, I was instructed by the UFT to contact my payroll secretary for all aspects of my timekeeping including the filing of my final entitlement form.  At first, the payroll secretary and the principal said that they were not responsible.  But it appears that they are.  

So then, I put in my retirement papers on November 15 at  9:00 AM with a final retirement date of November 17.  On November 15  I also notified Principal P. and the Director of Human Resources at my job site that I was retiring as of November 17.  "As of November 17" means that at 12:01 AM on November 17, 2010, I would no longer be working for  Bloomberg's Department of Education--I asked about that. Technically I could have retired as of November 16, but I wanted to make sure that I was giving more than the minimum notice (one business day).

Today I checked my doe email, which is, surprisingly, still functioning.  My payroll secretary had called asking for proof of my retirement.  I found this love note from Principal P., who I think deserves to be baptized with a new name (my invention).  Principal P. will now be known as Principal Perry until I choose to give her correct name.

November 17, 2010,  7:04 PM

Hello Ms. Untamed,

I do understand that you are trying to retire but since we are not in receipt of the proper paperwork, please find attached  a summons to disciplinary meeting. The meeting is scheduled for  Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3 p.m.

Thank  you

Principal Perry
IS 666
My Neighborhood, Queens NY


Moriah Untamed
IS 666
File # 123456

Dear Ms. Untamed,

I have been advised that you are retiring but we do not have the necessary paperwork. Therefore, I have scheduled an appointment for you to meet with me in my office on November 19, 2010 at 3 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the report of the Special Commissioner of Investigation which concludes that you made inappropriate statements to a student and you did attempt to tamper with both a verbal abuse and corporal punishment investigation.

Because this conference may lead to disciplinary action, you may bring a union representative.


Principal Perry

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teacher Writer

I have retired from sitting in the Rubber Room doing nothing.  However, I am still a teacher.  You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the teaching out of the teacher.  Yesterday was my first day as a full-time writer who tells the individual stories of teachers who have been persecuted under Bloomberg's Teacher Witch Hunt.

I am particularly interested in stories involving a child who has been encouraged by administrators and/or investigators to give false testimony against a teacher. 

As a teacher, I know that the story is a powerful format.  People remember facts from stories better than they would if the facts had been presented in essay or journalistic form. 

As a writer, I am a novice, but I'm not asking to be paid while I learn like some people I won't mention.  The stories that I will be writing will be offered under Creative Commons.  That means that you can use them, and even retell them in your own words, as long as you acknowledge their source. 

I want these stories told over and over again.  I want books written, plays produced, movies made for many years to come. 

If you want me to help tell your story, you can contact me by leaving a comment on this blog marked "Please do not publish".  Comments don't appear automatically after you write them.  I read them first to filter the spam.  You can also send an e-mail to  You do not have to be a teacher to contact me. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retired Without Charges

As the clock strikes 8:00 AM

I sit at my home computer
From Rubber Room II.
I have better things to do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sign the Petition against hiring a Substandard Chancellor

Signing a waiver means that we don't get a Chancellor who is up to the standards that the state has already decided should be met by a Chancellor.   That was already done for Klein and where did that get us?

I got the info from  Accountable Talk who got it from  NYC Public SchoolParents.  The goal is 1000 signatures.  Let's make it 100,000.

"Please sign the NYC Kids PAC petition, to urge the Commissioner to deny her a waiver. As soon as you sign it, the petition automatically sends an email in your name to the Commissioner Steiner, to the Board of Regents, and your state legislators,. Even if you have signed other petitions, please sign this one now, since it has an immediate impact."

Petitions by|Start a Petition »

Sunday, November 7, 2010

For the Sake of the Children: Let's Clearly Identify the Bad Guys.

Copied and Pasted from Counterpunch:

When Corporations are the Government


It was Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist, James Carville, who in 1992 created the election slogan: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” For the 2010 Congressional campaigns, the slogan should have been: “It’s Corporate Crime and Control, Stupid.”

But notwithstanding the latest corporate crime wave, the devastating fallout on workers, investors and taxpayers from the greed and corruption of Wall Street, and the abandonment of American workers by U.S. corporations in favor of repressive regimes abroad, the Democrats have failed to focus voter anger on the corporate supremacists. 

The giant corporate control of our country is so vast that people who call themselves anything politically—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independents or anarchist—should be banding together against the reckless Big Business steamroller.

Conservatives need to remember the sharply critical cautions against misbehaving or over-reaching businesses and commercialism by Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Friedrich Hayek and other famous conservative intellectuals. All knew that the commercial instinct and drive know few boundaries to the relentless stomping or destruction of the basic civic values for any civilized society.

When eighty percent of the Americans polled believe ‘America is in decline,’ they are reflecting in part the decline of real household income and the shattered bargaining power of American workers up against global companies.

The U.S. won World War II. Germany lost and was devastated. Yet note this remarkable headline in the October 27th Washington Post: “A Bargain for BMW means jobs for 1,000 in S. Carolina: Workers line up for $15 an hour—half of what German counterparts make.”

The German plant is backed by South Carolina taxpayer subsidies and is not unionized. Newly hired workers at General Motors and Chrysler, recently bailed out by taxpayers, are paid $14 an hour before deductions. The auto companies used to be in the upper tier of high paying manufacturing jobs. Now the U.S. is a low-wage country compared to some countries in Western Europe and the trend here is continuing downward.

Workers in their fifties at the BMW plant, subsidizing their lower wages with their tax dollars, aren’t openly complaining, according to the Post. Not surprising, since the alternative in a falling economy is unemployment or a fast food job at $8 per hour.

It is not as if we weren’t forewarned by our illustrious political forebears Fasten your seat belts; here are some examples:

Thomas Jefferson—“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

Abraham Lincoln in 1864—“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. …corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” (1864)

Theodore Roosevelt—“The citizens of the United States must control the mighty commercial forces which they themselves call into being.”

Woodrow Wilson—“Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt—“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

Dwight Eisenhower, farewell address—“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

And, lastly, a literary insight:

Theodore Dreiser—“The government has ceased to function, the corporations are the government.”

Are you, dear reader, the same now as you were when you began reading this column?

Ralph Nader is the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, a novel.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who Is The Timekeeper?

Today I made the attempt, as the Union suggested, to find out if I had a Payroll Secretary, or Timekeeper as I found they are now called. First I asked The Deputy Director of Human Resources where I work and he told me in no uncertain terms that they do not handle my payroll at all.  They were told that it was my school payroll secretary.

I then called Human Resources at the DOE.  They confirmed that the Payroll Secretary of the school where I last worked as a teacher was definitely the person who was keeping my time sheets and who would eventually file Form OP44 so that I can get paid for the days that I have in C.A. R. (the left over sick days ).

So then I made the attempt to call the Payroll Secretary from my old school armed with what I had been told by the DOE Human Resources people.  She acknowledged that she had received a timesheet from Cybershift and she had put it in my file.  I asked her for a copy of my timesheets for this school year and for the exact number of days I have in C.A.R.  I don't think she has any information on me after the day I left the school--April 6, 2009.  She promised to get back to me.

I also made the attempt to access my DOE e-mail account.  It had been shut down by parties unknown.  Not only that, but someone actually deleted the email from Cypershift that contained my timesheet form September.  It took me all morning to open the account again.

If you ask me what my job is now, I'd have to say I spend all my time dealing with the crap that the DOE is throwing at me--dodging what I can, and cleaning up when I can't duck fast enough.

I will continue to make the attempt to find out how many days I have in C.A.R. and then I can figure out when I can retire--with the help of my payroll secretary.