Saturday, September 22, 2007


ABOMINATION: extreme disgust and hatred : LOATHING

While in temple on this Yom Kippur, praying for forgiveness for my sins, one stood out more than any others this year
For the abominations we committed.
Reading this, I couldn't help but think about the abominations heaped upon the children and the teachers of NYC this year by our wonderful mayor and school chancellor. Here is a list of things I think these two should be repenting for and should be trying to correct:

For the abomination of class size so large that students can not receive the help they are entitled to.

For the abomination of giving guidance counselors case loads so large that students must wait weeks to get an appointment and sometimes even longer to get into the correct class.

For the abomination of classes that meet in rooms that have been split into two with walls that are not sound proof so that every sound from the adjacent room is heard in their classroom making hearing and learning hard.

For the abomination of classes in these rooms having seating arrangements that make it impossible for kids at either end to see the blackboard.

For the abominations of making kids stand in classrooms or sit on floors to do their work.

For the abomination of making teachers sit on the floor in the hallways to receive extra help from their teachers.

For the abomination of forcing kids to sit in tin can trailers without working air conditioners (and possibly no heat) or windows that open.

For the abomination of forcing kids to be in a room without a working thermostat so the room is either too hot or too cold.

For the abomination of forcing kids and teachers to pass a fetid pool of water to get to class every day.

For the abomination of not giving teachers a proper work space, computers and telephones.

For the abomination of bathrooms without soap, towels and in some cases running water.

For the abomination of having experienced, good teachers wandering the halls as an ATR, instead of putting them in a classroom where they can do some good.
Klein and Bloomberg: prayer will not help absolve you of these sins. Actions will.


mathmom said...

Sounds like a horrible situation. You and your students have a lot of obstacles to overcome in addition to teaching/learning the material. I'm impressed that you seem to succeed more often than you fail.

But, I do have to say that I don't think it's quite in the spirit of Yom Kippur to concentrate on and point out the sins of others. :-O

Anonymous said...

Great post!
How did fasting go for you? I did well, although I found it hard to concentrate on my prayers all day. In stead my mind drifted of to my school to do list. I hope it didn't affect the sincerity of my prayers :-)

17 (really 15) more years said...

Too bad neither of them have a conscience - they probably don't even realize they have sins to atone for.

Pissed Off said...

The sins of these two are hurting so many that I feel no qualms about talking about them now.

Pissed Off said...

I forgot to add: The abomination of putting schools on toxic sites. Thsi one should have been on the top of the list.

Ms. Tsouris said...

Mathmom, the sin would be more in NOT addressing their sins. PO'd is just articulating, in a very timely and eloquent way, what many of us professionals are feeling. A hijacking is a crime, not a "reform". This administration has pirated an educational system and produced a cash cow for several huge education/testing corporations while getting rid of senior teachers who at one time were respected and were educational leaders. In the meantime, the press practices the sin of omission; they omit the abominations that have been occurring since the inception of this regime and the creation of the DOE. We are victims of a paternalistic, anti intellectual, anti critical thinking,fascist administration and the union is the stooge. They have recreated hell on earth for teachers known as the rubber room. It feels as though we are the only true advocates for education, and have only one another. We have the earnest hope that this administration gets justly punished for the crime and corruption it engages in and calls it reform.

JW said...

When you say "We have the earnest hope that this administration gets justly punished for the crime and corruption it engages in...."

You and I both know they won't get punished.
Remeber the axiom: S.... rises.

But SOCIETY will. When entire segments of the population can't do math or write well, when people don't know a darn thing about history or civilization or social movements, when bridges collapse and healthcare makes too many mistakes, when education administrators won't be able to (and in some cases already can't) write a complete grammatical sentence - that's when the punishment will come. To ALL of us. We'll be reduced to a tiny "educated" class and vast populace of know-nothings and can't-do-anythings.

Please: I'm not being elitist. We see what's happening all around us, we keep teaching whatever way we can.

But, the pedagogies they're forcing us down our throats, their accommodation of and reliance on barrages of tests (fraudulent and faulty as they are), their blah-blah-blah about how much change is taking place is all a vast cloak. The dagger they've shoved into society's gut is keeping the majority dumbed down and without basic skills.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Sadly, your list of abominations committed by the system against teachers and students is long. May the day come when the list is only a distant memory. Amen

windhover said...

AMEN, BRAVO, HURRAY FOR YOU!!! Thank you for being the one who sees the emperor is not wearing any clothes!!! Send your blog to randi, klein, and bloomberg--give THEM an education!!!