Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Carl Heastie Acknowledges Even A "Super Teacher" Can't Break The Ravages Of Poverty, Mental Illness, Outside Issues

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie suggested to the Times-Union that success in school may be a little more complex than "It's the teacher's fault!":

In a wide-ranging interview with the Times Union editorial board on Monday, Heastie said it's high time lawmakers and others looked at students' lives inside and outside the classroom when it comes to addressing education.

"I really think that we shouldn't be looking at education alone anymore or mental health alone anymore or poverty alone anymore. I think that we have to look at the total family structure and see why it is that students are going into school not prepared for these challenges," the speaker said. "And I think a lot of it has to do with what's going on at home and their neighborhoods. Even super teacher may not be able to get through to a student whose life outside of school has issues."


"It's anti-poverty legislation, mental health, social services, minimum wage, all of these things that can change the outcome and plights of families," he said.

Heastie's allied with the teachers unions, so it's not a surprise that what he said to the Times-Union sounds like it could have been said by Randi Weingarten or Michael Mulgrew as they pushed for community schools that offer social and health services to students.

Nonetheless it is good to have one of the three men in the room state this publicly, though you can bet the other two men in the room (Cuomo, Flanagan) won't acknowledge any such thing.

Not that Heavy Heart Carl will do anything about it - last legislative session was heavy on the "Blame The Teachers/Blame The Schools" items, with standardized tests now counting for 50% of a teacher's evaluation, tenure gutted by two consecutive "ineffective" ratings, and the state getting receivership powers over "struggling" and "persistently struggling" schools.

The governor and his education reform donor pals wanted that legislative and that's exactly what they got it.

The only thing Heastie and his Assembly Heavy Hearts held on were Cuomo's beloved school voucher program that would have allowed him to steal even more money from public schools and give it to private schools.

As it is, Cuomo still managed to steer hundreds of millions of extra dollars the way of the private school sector and of course none of the new "accountability measures" for public schools count for charters.

So what Heastie says about taking a holistic approach to education, that's nice to hear, but in reality, it will have no bearing on our teaching or students' learning.

This coming school year will be another "Blame The Teachers/Blame The Schools" year thanks to Governor Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Heavy Heart Heastie.


  1. I love it!!!! When I hear the term "Community School" and see the banners inside various schools that read we are a "Community School", I can't help but laugh my ass off. There is NOTHING about a school in NYC that is "Community". I've been saying this for years! How can you be a community school when over 50% of the students are not from the "COMMUNITY". ?? How?? I live in Harrison, Westchester County. My kids go to the "Community" school because they live in the "Community". When we go shopping, we see other parents from the "Community" and talk about "Community" stuff. The stores in our community support the school because they know we will shop there. We even meet teachers sometimes at the local Dunkin Donuts or wherever, because they're part of the "Community".
    The DOE should stop LYING about "Community" schools. There's no community. Kids are coming an hour away in both directions to my school in Manhattan. These kids aren't from the community and there's no parents meeting each other in the "Community" and there's no stores "Supporting" our community school, etc. What bullshit. It's a disgrace to see the word "Community" in a school that brings kids from 25 different communities. How do you have a community school? You bring back ZONING! The kids go to the school in their zone. Then, you build a community. You don't like your community school? Then fuckin move to a better community! You don't have the money to move? Get another job like we all did! My kids' education in Harrison was worth my extra job plus my wife's extra income. We sacrificed.
    A community school with 25 communities inside is a TOTAL JOKE AND ITS NOT WORKING. You can make a poor neighborhood community school Great by chipping in and making fantastic in the community. Just because Boys & Girls HS in Brooklyn is in a shit neighborhood, doesn't mean it has to be a shit school. The "Community" can help and there can be Real Support.
    But the "Community Banners" look nice in my school so this is what it is. "We Are A Proud Member of Community Schools". Hahahaaaahaha!!!!!!!!!
    What a freakin' JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. One of the greatest posts I've read. We are a community school but no one lives in the community that the school is in. You're right. So funny.

  2. Heavy Heart Heastie can keep his musings to himself as far as I am concerned.

    Abigail Shure

  3. Heastie co-signed the instruments of our demise. It's easy to be holistic now.

    It's easy to say that the guy you just put in the electric chair had some good qualities.

    Its having the balls to say it BEFORE that counts.

    The victors always have latitude on their side AFTER the victory. It's part of the whole spoils thing.

    It's insulting that Heastie said this. His name is part of legislation that is going to HARM the lives of teachers in his state. The legislation passed with "heavy hearts" earlier this year is a broad piece of a mechanism DESIGNED to move a group of people (us) from the middle class to financial insecurity. It was designed to begin moving teachers out of their careers via a system that manufactures bad ratings. The stress alone that this is causing among teachers is criminal, let alone the actual damage that will be done.

    Heastie should avoid talking, at all, about anything regarding education OUT OF EMBARASSMENT over what he did....unless of course he starts screaming loudly to reverse every inch of what was done in January.