Two years ago, they gave me a band program, though I do not teach under a band license. That's because to everyone in the DoE music is music, whether it's orchestra, band, or chorus. Any musician knows how really different the singing thing is from the instrument thing — like about a lifetime to learn how to do either one.
This year they've gone further astray, cut music altogether in my school, and asked me to teach health. I guess they figured that since I've had children of my own, that I seem to be keeping myself well enough, and that I've personally experienced every stage of life but old age, I must know something about health and healthiness. But, that doesn't make it legal under state law.
Mind you, for people who like total immersion, it's not at all bad to teach a whole program like health out of license. Delving into how the body really works and a whole range of other physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, and environmental topics is all good stuff and worth spending many hours on. I'm not begrudging any of that, but it sure does cut into my political work.
Which means that if I come across something that needs to be circulated widely, I'm happy to do it.
A few days ago Betsy Combier (NYC Rubber Room Reporter) drew attention to an article posted last week by Howard Wexler called: New York Labor and Employment Law Report.
It's important to read all of it, but here's an excerpt:
"Earlier this year, Governor David Paterson signed into law Chapter 103 of the Laws of 2010 which, among other things, drastically alters the way classroom teachers and building principals are evaluated and the procedures for disciplining tenured teachers. These changes will take effect over the course of the next several years. Many key provisions were effective on July 1, 2010. . . .This ed-deform movement is like building a bloody pyramid.
The most widely publicized aspect of the new legislation is Section 3012 c of the Education Law (“3012-c”), which contains the new comprehensive Annual Professional Performance Review (“APPR”) system for teachers and principals. For the 2011-2012 school year, the new APPR system applies only to evaluations of teachers in the common branch subjects or English Language Arts, and Math in grades four through eight, as well as building principals. The new APPR system will apply to all teachers and principals effective in the 2012-2013 school year. . . ."
Stone by well-crafted stone, they put every piece of their agenda in place, not stopping for a moment to think of all the lives devastated in the making of such a gargantuan monument to self-aggrandizement, putrid values, and obscene wealth.