Posts from Arthur Goldstein
January 11, 2011
Incoming Schools Chancellor Cathie Black visited overcrowded Francis Lewis High School a few weeks ago. She came with her entourage from Brooklyn, and was therefore an hour late. She stayed only 40 minutes, as she needed to run off somewhere else. Admittedly, I lack the organizational skills of a publishing executive (let alone someone about (more…)
December 20, 2010
I’ve been a teacher for 26 years. I don’t much agree with Mayor Bloomberg, and I’m not altogether sanguine over Cathie Black’s prospects as chancellor. Truth be told, I’ve disagreed with UFT leadership from time to time as well. But you’d think we’d all find common ground somewhere.
For example, there are bedbugs — we’re against (more…)
November 24, 2010
Every year in New York State, there’s an entire week in January devoted to giving Regents exams. Kids can study, prepare, and take tests, or if they’re really lucky, get a week off. Meanwhile, their teachers proctor, grade exams, and take care of whatever has to be done before the kids return.
This year things are different. One (more…)
October 22, 2010
Poor Miss Crabtree. She’s getting married, and she has to leave her job. Such things happened back in the day, before anyone thought of equal rights for women, tenure, or indoor plumbing.
Nowadays we no longer insist teachers take chastity vows, remain unmarried, fill the inkwells, clean the coal boilers, or do whatever else they did (more…)
September 29, 2010
Francis Lewis High School can be a tough place. We’re the most overcrowded school in New York City, and kids have only four minutes to make it from one class to another. In the case of my students, they have to make it all the way to the back of the building, then out almost (more…)
August 6, 2010
Teachers are panicked. I’m panicked. With the state’s new teacher evaluation system, I figure I have three years before I can be fired for factors beyond my control.
Next year I’ll be rated as usual. That shouldn’t be a problem — administrators who’ve judged me by what they’ve seen in my classroom have been pretty good to (more…)
July 14, 2010
It’s been a busy week for Bill Gates. While the NEA featured brilliant Diane Ravitch as its most prominent guest, AFT President Randi Weingarten and company chose Gates, who’s done many remarkable things.
I’m not an education expert like Gates, so I’ll comment only on a TED talk he gave last year that’s available online. My experience is limited (more…)
June 28, 2010
Years ago, the technical guru in our school was a guy who sat in an office running the school computer. No one knew what the school computer did, but all seemed well, and the guy pretty much never bothered anyone. Several times a year, he gave professional development sessions, and whatever he was demonstrating never (more…)
June 18, 2010
Every year, I fill out a form specifying which courses I want to teach and what time schedule I would like. Each September, I sit down with my department coordinator, and she calmly and methodically persuades me to do whatever she wants me to, whenever she wants me to.
Two years ago, she asked me to (more…)
June 11, 2010
Education is on a roller coaster recently, with unexpected twists and turns seemingly improvised on the spot by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. First, 4,400 teachers were going to receive pink slips. Then, the mayor unilaterally declared teachers would receive no raises for two years, and that layoffs would thereby be averted.
His declaration spat in the face (more…)