Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, April 3, 2015

Carmen Arroyo: Teachers Must Sacrifice Their Families In Order To Keep Their Jobs

Assembly Members who passed the odious Cuomo Deform Budget this week said a lot of stupid, self-serving words during the debate over the budget, but the winner of "Who Said The Most Insulting Statement About Teachers?" goes to Carmen Arroyo:

“Those teachers that are responsible and are doing their job, those teachers that sacrifice their families and themselves for the children they serve are going to be protected.  Those that are not good, better get a job at McDonalds.” — Carmen E. Arroyo, 84th District


Those teachers that sacrifice their families and themselves for their jobs will be protected, those who do not should work in McDonalds.

So says Carmen Arroyo.

I've heard education reformers say a lot of insulting things over the years about teachers and teaching, but I don't think anything I have ever heard anything from a deformer that quite matches what Arroyo said this week for sheer heartlessness and thoughtlessness.

Teachers must sacrifice their families for their jobs?

What are we, Christ figures?

I know it's Good Friday and all, but what the hell is this idea that the only way we can expect job protections is if we "sacrifice" our families and ourselves in the service of our students?

Is Ms. Arroyo aware that teachers are already giving above and beyond the call of duty for their students?

I work very hard at my job and I would do almost anything to help my students succeed.

Over the years, I have helped students with their financial aid, I have helped students with their taxes, I have gone to colleges to advocate for students over a variety of matters, from getting "independent status" because their homophobic parents had thrown them out onto the street and wouldn't provide financial information for the FAFSA form to trying to find them housing because they were forced to live with a sibling and her boyfriend who were using the apartment for prostitution.

I have worked tirelessly every year to write as many college recommendations and scholarship letters as I can, despite the increased volume of compliance paperwork that has come with the new evaluation system.  I have spent hundreds of hours on the phone over the years with colleges trying to help students fix some problem that has arisen over their admissions applications or financial aid.

When former students have reached out to me with various problems, from issues with their jobs to concerns they have had over health, I have taken the time and the energy to try and resolve their problems and if I couldn't do that, I have tried to steer these former students to the individuals or entities that could.

In addition, I have "sacrificed" my lunch period or prep period countless times when a student has needed help with something, whether it be tutoring for a Regents exam or counseling over a matter dealing with their families, friends or growing up.  I am always available to talk to students, no matter how frenzied my workday is, because my job is to help my students as best I can with the talents, skills and knowledge that I have.

I do all of this while teaching five classes every semester, a total of 340 students a year, attending two focus groups a week, doing the PD that's forced on us and mostly soul-sucking and worthless, attending department meetings, lesson planning, and reading and grading student work.

When I come home at night, I am physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted from my job, and this exhaustion grows worse by the year, not because I am getting older but because the job is getting harder.

And much of the difficulty that has been added to my teaching job is nothing more than compliance work that doesn't help either me or my students.

For example, it doesn't make me a better teacher to have to document every bloody thing I plan to do in all three of my preps on three different daily lesson plans in case an administrator comes in for a drive-by observation. 

It does take extra mental and emotional energy to do it, however - mental and emotional energy that would be better used helping my students but alas, that gets harder to do in the Era of Reform.

Given all of this, you can imagine how insulted I feel when I see some thoughtless statement from some politician like Carmen Arroyo saying I must "sacrifice" my family and myself in order to keep my job.

I am already sacrificing much of myself for my students, but apparently that's not good enough for Ms. Arroyo.

She wants me to sacrifice my family too.

You should call Ms. Arroyo and ask her if she's sacrificing her family for her constituents.

After all, if teachers are expected to sacrifice their families for their students, the least Ms. Arroyo's constituents can expect is for her to sacrifice her family for them.

While you're at it, let her know what you think about her disdain for teachers.

Here's her contact info:

District Office
384 East 149 Street, Suite 301
Bronx, NY 10455

Albany Office
LOB 734
Albany, NY 12248


  1. Given the outrageous and mean spirited unethical laws she is saying an essential truth from her "heavy heart" that has capitulated to a warped ideology. This perversion of justice goes
    to endangering your personal health and safety to keep your job.

    1. Yes, apparently risking our health and the well-being of our families is now a job expectation.

  2. Truth is stranger than fiction, as they say. Unbelievable. Outrageous.

    Yes, and also tax breaks for those who buy yachts. And, no increase in the minimum wage.

    What next?

    -John Ogozalek

  3. So we can either be teachers or work at McDonald's. She has a high opinion of our skills.

  4. You need to send this to the NY Post. People don't have any clue what we do on a daily basis. I was so mentally and physically drained yesterday I passed out on my couch for a good part of the afternoon.

    Every time I thought I've heard it all, another idiot opens his mouth about education.

    1. The post should publish her rap sheet! This woman is a joke. The last person who should be passing judgement on what she feels teachers should be doing.

    2. The POST hates teachers. They'll say we're not good enough to make egg McMuffins

  5. Not surprising given her record.
    Bronx talking about Carmen Arroyo and her mysterious $30,000 ‘casino gambling’ win | NY Daily News July 17, 2013

  6. We are governed by morons.

    Read the excerpt below from a column written by Long Island principal Carol Burris. She is an articulate foe of much of what has been imposed upon us in recent years.

    The day after the vote, still not understanding what she voted on, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon wrote in an e-mail to a constituent:

    The budget adopted by the Senate and Assembly and signed by the Governor no longer links teacher performance evaluations to standardized test scores and outside evaluators. That is a step in the right direction because these have no connection to schools or the dynamics that make for good teaching and good schools. Instead teacher evaluations – which are already a matter of law – will be done according to a mix of factors. These include local assessments and multiple measures of learning, albeit not the universe of those I would have preferred.”

    Ms. Simon, please read the bill.

  7. I have already sent direct e-mails to various senators and Assembly members. I do not hold anything back. Forget the letters, send them e-mails. Most of these idiots get the e-mails right on their phones. Tell them you are going to join with others and do everything humanly possible to see that they are ousted. Express your outrage at their disgraceful vote. Do not be nice. Be angry, which is what we are.

  8. Great post (as always). I've added a few more thought on this topic here:

  9. Working at McDonalds is actually better than teaching now.

  10. She is taking us back to Abraham and Issac with Cuomo and the Hedge funders as Yahweh....Who is the god of thine idolatry Carmen?

  11. Imagine how many burgers she'd be slamming down if I did work there. Fatass.

  12. Well, at least she's consistent, showing complete disrespect for workers by doing what she could do to ensure that the people working at McDonald's won't see an increase in the minimum wage. Hope her office gets inundated with a plague of Happy Meals.

  13. Here is the message I sent to her:

    Ms. Arroyo,
    When I first read your comments about "bad" teachers getting jobs at McDonald's I must admit I was quite offended. However, after reading a bit of your bio and learning that you earned a certificate in bookkeeping and secretary work from the prestigious Sixto Febus Business School (well-known as the Harvard for bookkeepers), I feel much better knowing that you are immensely qualified to evaluate the work of professional educators (or at least to decide how it is done).
    As a responsible teacher who does his job, I feel safe knowing that you will "protect" me. I am a bit unsure, however, what I need to do to qualify as "sacrificing" my family. Would I need to cut my children and offer their blood in a goblet to you or Governor Cuomo or some of his hedge-fund buddies? Please let me know what level of sacrifice would suffice, as with this new evaluation system, I am sure I will eventually need your protection.
    As I'm sure you are aware from your vast experience in the secretary/bookkeeping profession, the "value-added" method of assigning teachers numerical ratings based on computer-predicted test scores has been proven to be completely useless and unreliable. Simply pulling names out of a hat would be about as accurate (and much cheaper). Perhaps you can suggest using the name-from-a-hat method during your next education pow-wow. You don't even have to credit me with the idea (just tell them you learned about it back in your Sixto days).

    As far as switching careers from education to fry cook, I'm not sure I see the connection. However, I must trust your judgement as you have proven to be such an intelligent and well-thought person. One question though; will the fact that I have only 14 years of teaching experience, merely 30 credits above a Masters Degree and earned a GPA of only 3.9 leave me as under qualified to assemble Happy Meals? If so, maybe I can run for political office. Clearly the standards for that gig are pretty low.

    Respectfully (not really)

    Gary Malone
    NYC Public School teacher

    1. I hope you sent a copy of this directly to her. Awesome!

  14. Well said Gary.....Here is what I wrote to "ASS"emblywoman Arroyo

    Dear Assemblywoman Arroyo,

    Democrats, both locally and on the fed level, have turned their backs on teachers, students and parents. Therefore, it is with a "heavy heart" that I announce my withdrawal from the Democratic Party. I will actively engage in campaign activities against politicians who voted yes on this bill. Additionally, I will be sharing the names of those who voted yes on the NYS Budget bill with family and friends so that they are also made aware of the gross lack of ethics, morals and the undermining of democratic values I witnessed while watching the budget debates. I know that many of my colleagues share my sentiment and will be following suit.

    I also want to address the unmitigated gall you expressed with regards to your comment "Teachers who fail to get effective can go work at McDonalds." I am deeply offended by this comment on many levels, but will only address two. First, as an elected politician your lack of diplomacy begs me to question your continued ability to govern effectively as it seems you have a serious problem with filtering your thinking. Secondly, as per your biography, you formed an organization to "empower Puerto Rican/Hispanic women of all socio-economic classes throughout the state". You have failed this Puerto Rican woman and I was embarrassed for you as I watched you rage before members of the Assembly. With that said, come next election when, hopefully you will loss your seat remember this....McDonald's hires senior citizens as well...


    Debra Faulmino

    1. Your point is very well taken. For how many years have Teachers' Unions blindly backed almost solely the Democrat party in this State? You reap what you sow. By sitting back and voting nit foe principals but instead a Party. A party which often esposes ideals opposite to our Founding Pricipals you have fostered an environment that will eat its own. Once the money starts running out the first to go will be the "useful idiots". Which you can tell by Carmen Arroyo statements alone, is how they view you.

      Now if others can wake up and stop voting solely for a party l, you might be surprised how quickly we can start to finally repair the damage boring for a single party has done.

      In the next elections we need to vote against encumbants in both parties that voted for this budget.

  15. How do I GET OUT of COPE?

  16. Ironically, when we sacrifice our families, our children will then become the students who are most needy - due to lack of parent involvement... Interesting... typical... stupid.