Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why Aren't Bloomberg And Walcott Blamed For This?

We always hear how great Mayor Bloomberg was for the school system, how much better things were after his 12 years of reign than before he took over.

Then you get this kind of story from the Post that sounds very much like a school from the "bad-old days":

Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say.

The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day.

“The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.

The school nurse has no office equipped with a sink, refrigerator or cot.

The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”

No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes.

A classroom that includes learning-disabled kids doesn’t have the required special-ed co-teacher.

About 40 kindergartners have no room in the three-story brick building. They sit all day in dilapidated trailers that reek of “animal urine,” a parent said; rats and squirrels noisily scamper in the walls and ceiling.


“This school is a complete s- -thole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.

PS 106 families hope their cries for attention bring newly installed Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa to the rescue, saying they can’t recall any prior DOE leader visiting the remote school.

She would find it sinking, they say.

The isolated building sits a block and a half from the beach, surrounded by vacant, weed-choked lots, the road behind it strewn with trash bags and broken TVs.

The floods of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 wrecked a hangar-like annex, called the Early Childhood Academy, which housed pre-K, kindergarten and first and second grades. It has not been repaired.

Two kindergarten classes moved into “temporary classroom units” in the yard. The other children moved into the main building, forcing some classes to squeeze into small offices and storage rooms. The pre-K class sits in the auditorium, but has to move to the cafeteria during the movies.

Kids in several grades said that last week they watched “Fat Albert,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Monsters, Inc.,” but did not relish the downtime.

“I like gym. I like to draw,” said Charm Russell, 10, who added her peers are too restless and bored to watch the screen. “They’re always making noise, and there’s nothing entertaining going on. No art, no gym, no music class.”

More alarming, the teachers have gotten no curricula since Sandy. Last February, the DOE announced several new options, including “Go Math” for grades K-5, and “ReadyGen” or the state Education Department’s “Core Knowledge” for English language arts. The books cover the Common Core standards, skills that kids should master at each level.

But five months into the school year, PS 106 classes still don’t have the books or teacher’s guides.
“They have no reading program, no math program,” a source said, adding Sills blames outside administrators for not sending materials.

Teachers muddle through by printing out worksheets they find online, buying their own copy paper.
The DOE gave no explanation for the missing curricula but said it’s “working with the school to provide students with physical education.”

A spokesman denied the trailers are rat-infested.

Staffers won’t speak up or even file a grievance with their union because Sills will retaliate, a source said.

The Post says the principal is often a no-show, runs the school through fear and retaliation in any case, so even when she's there, things aren't running so well.

Somehow this whole article never mentions either Mayor Bloomberg or Chancellor Walcott, the two people in charge of the school system during the time this school was damaged by Sandy and seemingly never recovered.

It's as if the principal of the school is the only person responsible for the mess, or maybe some nameless bureaucrats at the DOE, but certainly not Bloomberg and Walcott.

Oh, no - the school system is so much better because of those two gentlemen (as well as Chancellor Klein) and you never hear stories about horror schools where incompetent or corrupt principals run them like medieval fiefdoms, ruling through fear and intimidation, all the while stealing time or money or both from the system.

Except when you get stories like the one in today's Post, of course - one's that somehow manage to avoid mentioning the people in charge of the system during the time of the malfeasance.

Imagine if you will, five years hence, the Post publishes an article like this about a horror school somewhere in the system.

What are the chances de Blasio and Farina are not named and blamed in that article as the perpetrators of the horrors?


  1. Bloomberg's entire idiotic policy was based on the principal as CEO and teachers being solely responsible for everything and anything that effected their school -- including the effects of natural disasters such as Sandy. If the principal has a problem they can turn to their handy Network, no ? So what's the problem ?

    1. I suspect if this had been relished real estate, they would have been all over this school and this principal. But as people in both the Rockaways and Far Rockaways have said, Bloomberg often forgot they were part of NYC.

  2. As an ATR I've seen this in many schools. This isn't an isolated incident. It's pervasive. I noticed this is in the Rockaways. I wonder if the same pattern is going on in District 2 or 26.
    I agree with Raging Horse. It's about all the power to the principal. But it's also about funding schools on the cheap.
    So this is what we see, school to school:
    school libraries are closed and are used as meeting rooms,
    school labs and music rooms are shut down and used as regular classrooms.
    While lots of money is wasted putting 4 to 6 schools in one building, social workers and guidance counselors are put in rotation, literacy and math coach positions are eliminated and they are put in rotation, teachers are put in rotation.
    What de Blasio and Farina should do is commit staff to do a comprehensive, school by school accounting of class schedules and see how much this outrage is replicated across the city.

  3. This is despicable.. .someone needs to also put a lot of the blame on Superintendent of district 27 Michelle Lloyd Bey on this... its her district. Why is she letting this happen?