Archive for February, 2015

Linda Hill: An Opportunity For Farina To Exorcise the Lingering Presence of Bloomberg

February 28, 2015
Linda Hill

Linda Hill

Until very recently Linda Hill, principal of Dreyfus Intermediate School on Staten Island , was known, when at all, as the chief tormentor of teacher Francesco Portelos, whose career and reputation she tried and failed to destroy, even if she did cause the man an enormous amount of hardship. Portelos’ offense was to point out to the powers that be that Hill was ripping off the public by claiming to be doing two jobs at the same time in different places: an impossibility. For his courage, Portelos was rubber roomed, investigated endlessly by the Office of Special Investigation (OSI), eventually vindicated but nonetheless, crazily, fined $10, 000.
He has also been proven right. The same OSI that hounded Portelos has confirmed that Hill was doing precisely what Portelos said she was doing.

Not that it matters at all in the strange universe of the Department of Education, made all the more strange, and strangely corrupt, during the reign of Michael R. Bloomberg. Indeed, during the darkness of the Bloomberg years, in which experienced principals were given buyouts and newly minted Leadership Academy replacements were urged to think of themselves as CEO’s, their primary function was apparently to hound, demoralize and degrade teachers as much as possible.
Think of a corporate mini version of Mao’s Great Leap Forward which produced the Great Chinese Famine. Bloomberg’s maneuver, in turn, created a different kind of famine but a famine nonetheless. As a bonus, principals who proved incompetent, insane, sadistic or criminal were not fired but merely shifted to another school or warehoused at Tweed where they continued to collect their significant salaries. I know. I had one who managed to fill all four of those categories and the last I heard she’s still collecting Disgraced Former Principal Dole. As with the mafia or the IRA or the Ivy League, once you were admitted into the club it was very, very hard to be tossed out.

The New York Post, which shamelessly cheerleaded for all things Bloomberg during his twelve nightmare years as absolute ruler of New York City schools, has attempted to somehow link Hill’s criminal behavior with current Chancellor Carmen Farina’s tenure; this despite the fact that Hill’s $55, 000 worth of thievery was done under the watch of Bloomberg’s trio of preposterous non-educator Chancellors of Education, Joel Klein, Cathy Black and Dennis Walcott.

That said, OSI’s confirmation of Hill’s criminality merits an immediate and appropriate response from Farina, namely Hill’s firing (at the very least) and (as much as I know it will never happen) a public apology to Portelos for the hell he’s been put through.

Failure to do so will not merely make a mockery of justice but it will make a mockery of Farina, and billboard what every Leadership Academy scandal reiterates: the ghost of Mike Bloomberg is still very much present.

This is an opportunity. I hope, for the good of all, that Farina uses it and uses it well. But, sadly, I am not holding my breath.

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Reflections on the Cup and Saucer, Edward Hopper, Tom Waits and Community

February 21, 2015

cup and sacuer Unknown

Strange how sometimes the mere encounter of certain things – songs, aromas, buildings — can affect one so deeply, conjuring up right hook emotions, fueling locomotives of memory and desire, transporting you hither thither and yon toward all manner of known and unknown destinations. Even though I haven’t actually dined there for years and was never what you could call a habitué, I undergo some version or other of the above phenomena just about every time I stroll past the Cup and Saucer Luncheonette on Canal Street and see it still standing, still open, still operating much the same way it has been since before, well… punks roamed the earth.
The Cup and Saucer, you understand, is a greasy spoon, and one of the first order. It is not a faux greasy spoon designed by yuppies for other yuppies seeking the greasy spoon ascetic, but with food more suited to their sophisticated palettes and a cliental that looks, thinks, smells and earns like they do. No. The Cup and Saucer is the real deal, the thing-in itself, the noumenon, at once authentic and delightfully unconscious of its authenticity, frequented by people who tend to look as if they belong in an Edward Hopper painting or else walked off the set of one of those great and gritty 70’s New York movies like “The Panic In Needle Park.” (I, myself, found comfort there during my time doing graduate work at the Edgar Allen Poe School of Serious Drinking when, after a night of mystery and indulgence, paradise could be found in a plate of the Cup and Saucer’s greasy bacon and eggs. ) Such people are becoming increasingly hard to find in my neighborhood and such establishments, once as prevalent in Manhattan as a mailbox, are fast going the way of the woolly behemoth.
I understand I am witnessing a vanishing.

hopper

I have no idea how or why but somehow the Cup and Saucer has survived; no small thing in the uber -Darwinian world of Manhattan real estate. Of that I am glad, even as I know it is living on borrowed time, for the place has resonance for me as I suspect it has for many.
I cannot see the Cup and Saucer without thinking of both the paintings of Hopper and the songs of Tom Waits. I cannot, in turn, think of Hopper or Waits without thinking of my late and beloved eldest brother Eddie who, many years ago, introduced me to both and in doing so enlarged and deepened my adolescent universe. I cannot think of Eddie without often experiencing an oceanic sense of loss and a kind of vertigo of sorrow that finds me bumping into things or stepping in puddles or reaching for rosary beads which are no longer there. Finally, I cannot experience such sorrow without being reminded of how quickly our days here pass, how little we know of what we are doing here; of our sublime fragility; of how suddenly we leave, leaving others who love us and who we love behind as we enter into silence.

tome waits

So somehow, against my will, the Cup and Saucer has become important to me, which is to say, it has become symbolic to me, and symbols are very powerful and necessary things indeed.
That being so, I cannot pass the Cup and Saucer without wrestling with other more mundane but just as disturbing realities as well, none more so than the rapidity of change that has become an across-the –board-norm of 21st century urban existence – that much the more in NYC. With precious few exceptions – a tailor here, a pizzeria there – the Lower East Side neighborhood I moved into 14 years ago no longer exists except geographically. Quirky independent or family businesses and neighbors have almost all been driven out by ever more insane rents, or left in disgust when the place was given over to ephemeral restaurants catering to Wall Street big shots or bars catering to NYU frat boys who confuse our doorways for public urinals. Even more gone is the spirit of the artists of every conceivable medium who found cheap dwellings here that allowed them to pursue their muses and, whatever you thought of their work, added to our culture and made things interesting. God knows where they have gone, but gone they are, and such misfits and marchers to different drummers will not be back in my lifetime. And that is a loss that is incalculable.

None of this, of course, is new in New York and change is both necessary and healthy. Change, in point of fact, is the only constant of the city since Peter Minuet first swindled the Lenape out of their tree ridden island. “Expect poison from standing water,” wrote Blake. What is new is the speed and the scale and the dislocating effects of such upheaval as well as the uniformity of so much of what replaces it. Somewhere in his voluminous entries, 19th c New York diarist George Templeton Strong laments that New York neighborhoods change so utterly that every 40 years or so, a native could return and find one wholly unrecognizable.
The vanishing Strong lamented now seems to occur every four months or so and, sadly, tends to produce places and people that are all too easily recognizable. Such a situation has definite if difficult to locate side effects for those of us — and there are more and more of us all the time – who are forced to live under such conditions or flee.
Such conditions set a kind of guerilla war of environment against the psyche: a war of the primal human need for continuity and some level of stability and the post -postmodern super capitalistic culture that eviscerates both, even as apologists for the Efficiency Market Hypothesis (which brought the world to the brink of economic catastrophe in 2008) continue to preach it is all for the good.
And all is for the good if you happen to incarnate the abstraction called The Economy. All is very, very good, indeed. Fabulous even. If, on the other hand, you are but a lowly sensate human, such perpetual change can tend to leave you feeling invisible, utterly inconsequential, and meaningless. Indeed, it feels like an attack of the most impersonal kind by the most impersonal forces, and as such, is terrifying. What’s more, the human heart and psyche have demands of their own, impervious to the “hidden hand” of the free market, (or any other hand that is not human or divine for that matter) and when these demands are not met, life begins to feel…well, crazy.
As it happens, I was a boy when I first encountered the abject horror of human craziness. It came in the form of my best friend’s mother who, during our boyhood, was painfully, mercilessly, mentally ill. When things were very bad for her she hallucinated people changing shapes and forms and identities right in front of her eyes. In those horrible moments of everything and everyone shifting, the poor woman would sometimes scream.
It took me years to understand something of what she must have felt like; took me years to understand that we need stable markers in this life, be they psychological, spiritual, moral or geographical, or some combination of them all, which somehow reinforce each other. When they would start shifting, I’d feel like screaming.
I find myself remembering my friend’s poor pained mother all too often these days when I am walking through my neighborhood and it is not a pleasant feeling.

Nor is it easy to define. Whatever the feeling is, it is not nostalgia. I have no longing for some bullshit rosy past and even if I did, I might well be sated (with enough alcohol) by the post-post modern phenomenon of faux-reality-brand-new-very old-bar, often times of the faux-Irish-faux-lineage. You know, the bar that opened last week but is designed to look and feel like it’s been there for a century or so with a name (“The Fifth Ward”, perhaps) to conjure up the wild days and nights when Jimmy Walker ran Gotham.

Nor, alternatively, am I jonezing for the “convenience” of having a CVS or a 7-11 or Starbucks or Citibank on my corner to save me the trouble of walking two blocks to the next CVS or 7-11 or Starbucks or Citibank in a city that feels increasingly as interchangeable as any airport.
Not good.
Not good and, I fear, spiritually dangerous.
There is, I believe, something ineffable, immeasurable, profoundly human and absolutely necessary about forging or finding a connection, however subtle and tenuous, with the place where one lives. It is precisely that connection that allows for the formation of true community. Conversely, I cannot help but feel that there is a danger, also ineffable, immeasurable and profoundly human, when such connections are either not made or severed. Such changes change you and not, I fear, for the better. You cannot love what you do not know and you cannot know what you do not feel a connection to. And where there is no connection there can be no community.

Someday, and I suspect that day will come soon, I will stroll down Canal Street and find the Cup and Saucer to be no more. It will be replaced by either a bank or an enterprise that will have no interest whatsoever in its current clientele ( who will remind no one of Tom Waits or Edward Hopper ) or it will be a pile of rubble making way for luxury condos for the children of the mega rich as described in “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty. The workers of the Cup and Saucer as well as the regulars they served will be scattered to the winds searching for a place to go.

That day will spell the end of the greasy spoons of the Lower East Side and almost certainly the last use of the word”luncheonette.” For me it will be one very poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of both time and our times and the pressing need to look elsewhere for a place to call home for me and mine.

cup interior images

Nicholas Kristof ‘s Grand Epiphany: Unions (At least in the Private Sector) Should Not Be Eviscerated

February 20, 2015

kkristof-circular-thumbStandard-v2

I suppose in a political climate as demented and one dimensional as ours, one in which the Democrat president of the United States has been insidiously union busting since the day he entered office, one in which the Democrat governor of New York is actively union busting and talking about the public schools system as a monopoly, one in which
Governors’ Scott Walker of Wisconsin and billionaire Bruce Rainer of Illinois are succeeding in bringing their states back to the glorious 19th century, one should be grateful for any public utterance that does not portray unions as a collection of thugs and cigarette-smoking child molesters or parasites. I suppose my gratitude should be that much greater when such an utterance appears as a kind of mea culpa in as influential a publication as the New York Times. Furthermore, I suppose one should applaud that much the more any one who has the courage to publically admit they there were wrong as has the Time’s Nicholas Kristof in admitting his ignorance in regards to an issue as enormous and far-reaching as the presence of unions. This, even if in his admittance Kristof continues to reference deceptive mercenary blowhards like Stephen Brill, a man who has written so damningly of phantom public school teachers , and continues to point to demagogues like New York’s Police Benevolence Association (PBA) Patrick Lynch as representative of union leadership across the board.

That he would resort to lowlife’s like Brill as a source and Lynch as a model billboards Nicholas Kristof’s appalling ignorance of and distance from the subject of unions. Such ignorance and distance does, however, help explain Kristof’s decade long cheer-leading of union busting vehicles such as charters schools even as he fails to mention the protections he enjoys as a member of the Writer’s Guild, as do all writers employed by the New York Times. Such ignorance of and distance from the realities of unionism also explains Kristof’s paltry reasons for his qualified change of heart.

Kristof begins,” Like many Americans, I’ve been wary of labor unions.” Kristof’s wariness is the natural result of over three decades of ceaseless anti-union pro-corporate, fact free propaganda of exactly the same kind Kristof himself has, up to now, repeatedly and self righteously spewed. But Kristof still misses the much larger point. Like all Americans – every single one of us – Kristof has benefited from the mere presence of labors unions, regardless of his personal membership or lack there of.
It is a fact that the presence of unions forces the fruits of labor to be more fairly distributed and labor rights not merely to be created but to be recognized and respected. Kristof makes a reference to this later in his article when he writes: “Or look at American history. The peak years for unions were the 1940s and ’50s, which were also some of the fastest-growing years for the United States ever — and with broadly shared prosperity. Historically, the periods when union membership were highest were those when inequality was least.”
And again: They “unions” are pushing for a higher national minimum wage, even though that would directly benefit mostly nonunionized workers.”

These are, of course, facts that are well known to any one who has ever taken a course Labor History 101 or read a decent history of the United States. If we had an education system run by educators, these facts would also be known to every high school student in the nation. While new to the likes of Nicholas Kristof, the cumulative effects of unions have been known to and hated by industrialists and corporatists since the first union was formed, a truth of which that neo-liberals and millionaires wishing to be billionaires dare not speak. It is also a truth that 99% of Americans, many of those who would benefit the greatest from the presence of unions, either don’t know or, for suicidal ideological reasons, reject. And in this rejection lay their complete and utter immiseration,
a reality that their contemptuous masters — think of the relationship between the Tea and the Koch brothers — have long ago set in motion.

Remarkably, (or maybe not ) Nicholas Kristof also fails to even mention what has inexorably risen in the void created by the systematic destruction of unions: namely oligarchy. Indeed, an oligarchy that makes a daily and demoralizing mock of our pretense to democracy.
“To understand the rising inequality, you have to understand the devastation in the labor movement,” says Jake Rosenfeld, a labor expert at the University of Washington and the author of “What Unions No Longer Do.”
“All the focus on labor’s flaws can distract us from the bigger picture,” Rosenfeld writes. “For generations now the labor movement has stood as the most prominent and effective voice for economic justice.”

Instead, Nicholas Kristof puts forth the preposterous claim that “Union bosses” (note: not union “leaders” ) and the 1% are on equal ground in terms of power and the ability to destroy with absolute impunity.
“One of the things you learn as a journalist is that when there’s no accountability, we humans are capable of tremendous avarice and venality. That’s true of union bosses — and of corporate tycoons”.

Let me be clear here: Unions, like all human institutions, are inherently imperfect and, yes, at times corrupt and in need of reform. Still to compare union corruption and its effects to what has been wrought by corporations or politicians in Washington D.C. or Wall Street is obscene. Unions are not responsible for depleting the earth of its resources bringing about an ecological catastrophe we may not be able to stop, let alone reverse. Unions are not responsible for invading countries under false pretenses and murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Unions are not guilty of the pilfering of trillions of dollars from pension funds and implementing a myriad of sleazy schemes designed to rip off the trusting and that brought the world economy to the brink of catastrophe in 2008.
No. The people responsible for these atroctites or who cheer leaded these atroctites are the very same who are doing all they can to destroy the remnants of unionism here and around the world.

And they are doing so, of course, in the name of fairness and freedom.

Finally, in words that reek of self-congratulation, Kristof comes to understand what enlightened people as far back as the 19th century understood was their only road to dignity, social justice and a decent wage.
“This isn’t something you often hear a columnist say, but I’ll say it again: I was wrong. At least in the private sector, we should strengthen unions, not try to eviscerate them. “

How nice of Nicholas Kristof to arrive at that conclusion that unions should not be “eviscerated.” But note well, my fellow public school teachers, Kristof’s stipulating that the non-evisceration be limited “to the private sector ” which, in the all out war against all public institutions, should strikes us as particularly weasel-like and ominous.

Such words, in an article that ostensibly defends unions, could only bring comfort to the likes of Obama, Cuomo, Walker, Rainer and all their patrons who know that the first step to a “Right To Work” or union free nation is the evisceration of public unions.

Nicholas Kristof is not our friend.

When is a “Grassroots” Organization a Front ?

February 18, 2015

logo-transparent

This morning I woke up to find an email from the tireless and venerable Norm Scott of EdNotes Online. Under the headline, The Public Education Beat Down Express Goes On, the ever vigilant Norm posted the following notices:
12 p.m.—Families for Excellent Schools holds a press conference with Senator Ruben Diaz Jr. and other Bronx elected officials to call for action on failing schools. Girls Prep Bronx Elementary, 681 Kelly Street, Bronx.
6 p.m.—StudentsFirstNY holds a town hall meeting in support of Cuomo’s education agenda, headlined by Assemblyman Karim Camara. Medgar Evers College, Founders Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn.

Both Families for Excellent Schools and StudentsFirst NY are, like all of the education reform campaign, pure products of the ever strengthening, ever consolidating, ever more triumphant American oligarchy and nothing more than disguised vehicles for their political agendas. This is to say, not one of the hundreds of such groups that have proliferated over the past decade, would exist for five minutes without constant and massive infusions of money, lots of it re-directed taxes, from their oligarchic creators and directors. We are dealing here with people so rich that millions are almost meaningless and whose ruthlessness, sense of entitlement, and narcissism knows no bounds. The only thing they know how to do is to dominate by any means they can. Non-profits, they have discovered, are one of the many vehicles they utilize in their push for privatization. Hence, the steady rise of thenon profit education reform industrial complex. Or, as they like to call themselves, the “grassroots” movement.

Both Families for Excellent Schools and StudentsFirstNY target poor and poorly educated families and aim to manipulate them, in the name of promoting better schools, into turning against the public schools system and, ultimately, against the remains of social contract itself . The end game is to find the poor embracing and promoting the privatization of all aspects of American life. As “non-profits,” Families for Excellent Schools and StudentsFirst NY exist partly by legally diverting taxes that would go to public coffers thereby draining vital funding from the very public institutions they are attempting to politically undermine.
Quite the two headed nickel.

This, needless to say, is not how they view themselves.
“Families for Excellent Schools, “ claims their website, “ (FES) is a grassroots movement of public school families. We advocate to create and sustain excellent schools.”
(Note: Mercedes Schneider’s excellent work on uncovering Families for Excellent Schools “non-profit “ weaselry.)

And:
“StudentsFirstNY is New York’s leading voice for students who depend on public education for the skills they need to succeed, but who are too often failed by a system that puts special interests, rather than the interests of children, first.”
Despite their billionaire and corporate backing and thinly disguised privatization agendas, such groups and their followers use the word “grassroots” to define themselves as often as possible. Meanwhile, the public at large, if they are aware of who is bankrolling such groups at all, hardly seem troubled by this.
The corporate press, ever eager to please their masters, has been especially derelict on their non-reporting on the genesis, bankrolling and propagation of such groups as Families for Excellent Schools as has the government in granting them non profit status willy nilly as if they actually are grassroots organizations.
That this farce goes on in broad daylight, aided and abetted by the US government, is but one of the many demoralizing aspects of being a teacher in an age of extreme political and intellectual degeneracy and expediency and yet another example of how the mega rich are being allowed to rewrite the narrative of this nation.

What does the tacit agreement to ignore the obvious charade about such increasingly powerful organization tell us about what has happened to the American soul in the past 30 or so years ?
In even a moderately honest culture, in fact, organizations such as Families for Excellent Schools would be seen for what they are and called what they are: not grass roots movements but fronts.

It’s not that Americans and the American government are not familiar with the concept of fronts. Read history and you will find that all throughout the Cold War, Americans were repeatedly warned by the government, by the press, by the clergy, of the insidious danger of what were generically called “communist fronts.” The words were used as a smear and an attack on any group that was not mindlessly patriotic. Nonetheless, there were, in fact, organizations that in some cases were funded by Moscow, and not unlike Families for Excellent Schools or StudentsFirstNY, hired young, smiling faces to pass themselves off as indigenous as the buffalo and as all American as the Georgia peach. During the endless reign of J. Edgar Hoover, many non–communist affiliated groups were also tossed into the same soup and many lives ruined. Of course, all civil rights organizations, even as they were firmly rooted in the church, were absurdly labeled so and ruthlessly hounded and harassed.
Politically and morally there was and there is good reason to expose fronts — all fronts, whatever the political affiliation. Whatever your political sympathies, there is something intrinsically sleazy, unethical and even sinister about a front.

fronts

Or there should be.

Is not the purpose of a front to deceive, to pass itself off as something it is not so as to scam credulous people of good will? Are fronts not a con-job riddled with hidden agendas? Of course, they are. Fronts are bad faith incorporated.

And yet, even while multiplying like malignant cells, even as the massive money behind “education reform” has produced more fronts than one can keep up with, even though widely acknowledged as “astroturf”, all seem to have somehow escaped the moral condemnation and political scrutiny that was visited to no end on their predecessors in the front game. They just keep coming and coming and coming. And why shouldn’t they ? The people behind these scams have been allowed to amass the wealth of nations; an accumulation of capital that no democracy can long withstand before being utterly perverted.

Are billionaire and corporate based deception and bad faith somehow higher than their communist based counterparts of the past ? Even as billionaires and corporatism have done infinitely more to wreck and undermine our anemic democracy, deplete the earth, poison our food and debase our culture, than communists ever did? Even as they attempt to use non- profits and ‘grassroots “ groups to foment a kind of civil war intended, ultimately, to dismantle all progressive legislation of the past century? Even as they have made our political system a sick joke growing more anemic by the month? What can be said about this strange, silent metamorphosis of a mechanism like a front from something to be shunned and condemned to something to be celebrated by our elected officials who happily pose with these smiling shysters and con artists even as I write? Have we become so internally corporatized and ideologically colonized that we as a people can scarcely see the difference between a legitimate non-profit and a rank front, even as the ever multiplying fronts makes continued inroads into undermining a public trust as vital as the school system?

What, really, is the difference between a “grass root ” shams likes Families For Excellent Schools and StudentsFirstNY and a front ? What, that is, except our subservience to who is bankrolling them ?

The Daily News: Carmen Farina Loses Her Mind Under Mulgrew Voodoo

February 10, 2015
The Helplessly Seduced

The Helplessly Seduced

For the past decade American public school teachers have been attacked like no legal profession in our history. None. The attacks have been particularly prevalent of late in New York due to the extraordinary ultra right wing proposals of Governor Andrew Cuomo, he who has vowed to break “the last monopoly,” formally known as the public school system. Indeed, one can scarcely pick up a newspaper these days, especially in New York, and not find some ignorant editorial or columnist pontificating about the pernicious state of American public school education, the treachery of teacher unions and the wisdom of Cuomo’s proposals: this despite the fact that the latter is nothing more than a litany of repeatedly failed or wholly discredited whims and notions — on steroids.

No matter. None of this stuff has anything to do with education anyway so…

Central to them all is the myth of the un-fire-able bad teacher who, for the sake of the nation, must be fired but can’t be. ( For a truly insidious example of this see the November 2014 Time Magazine.)

Alas! Where is Ronald Reagan with his jet black hair on his bold white horse when we need him?

No need to despair: We now have Andrew Cuomo in Albany who has moved further to the right on this stuff than Reagan ever dared.

Firing teachers has become the idee fixe of both reformers and their pals in media who, through constantly echoing this idiocy, are doing their best to insure it seeps into the skulls of the overworked and exhausted masses in a process not unlike osmosis.
This is one of the ways in which perception management works.
It might be working.

If one is to remain relatively sane under such ceaseless attacks, it is by both fighting back and finding humor in them wherever one can, even of the dark variety which invariably it is. It was dark humor, I’ve been told by friends who have survived totalitarian regimes of both the left and right, that allowed them to persevere under the constant absurdity, cruelty and indignity of related propaganda campaigns. Sometimes it’s impossible to find such humor and sometimes it’s just there, like an unexpected gift at your door. Yesterday’s Daily News editorial attacking nothing less than the “impotence” of New York City Chancellor of Education Carmen Farina who, like all knowledgable and actual educators, is dead set against Cuomo’s proposals, was one such gift.

The editorial board of the News, not an educator among them, is or pretends to be both mystified and horrified by Farina’s complete rejection of Cuomo’s wisdom, a wisdom that centers on almost completely avoiding the realities of education and focusing almost entirely on creating reasons to fire teachers, while making the as-yet-to-be-fired teachers as miserable, demoralized and powerless as possible. In short, it is slightly veiled union busting. Very slightly. After all, the man did vow to “break the last monopoly.” Under the pretense of “reforming” the public school system, Cuomo is attempting to systemically degrade the profession of teaching beyond recognition, to the place where no sane person with any choice whatsoever would ever even consider entering it and most who foolishly do will soon enough be out of it. Farina, a life long educator — indeed, the only New York City chancellor to be an educator in 12 eternal years — knows this well and, more, knows how reckless if not outright insane Cuomo’s proposals are. More: she knows what they will do — what they must do — to the students and schools who are served by such a system. The News, alas, is clueless.

Or pretends to be.

“All this isn’t just deeply depressing, it’s especially ironic,” they write. “As a principal and district superintendent, Farina became famous for turning around schools by giving bad teachers walking papers.”

What happened, they wonder, to make this former teacher-firing dynamo so wimpy and irresponsible that, in no time at all, she has degenerated “apparently to the poisonous point of giving failing educators a pass?”

What happened, The News insinuates, can be discerned in a profile in Sunday’s New York Times which ” reveals how cozy Mayor de Blasio’s Department of Education, led by Fariña, is getting with teachers union boss Michael Mulgrew.”

Hmmmmmmm. “Cozy.”

What happened, we are left to deduce, is that Farina, a 70 year old grandmother, was evidently the victim of some kind of mystical Irish super whammy voodoo by evil Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT, and under his diabolical spell the woman has completely lost her values, her ethics, indeed, her entire sense of reality. In the process she has completely sold out the children of New York City whom she vowed to educate. How else to explain how this once child protecting educator has become little more than an adult protecting Mulgrew zombie ?

The Vile Seducer

The Vile Seducer

How else to explain her bizarre and “dumb” rejection of Cuomo’s “smart” proposals?

Further evidence of Farina’s descent into Mulgrew- induced madness is cited in the letter signed by Mulgrew and Farina and sent out to the 1200 NYC school principals obliging them to cease harassing teachers by collecting their lesson plans. Of this the News writes thunderously: “Two unnamed high school principals “chafed” upon reading the directive.

That’s right, two principals. Of 18,31. So what if that’s even less than 1% of the 1% who own 40% of the nations’ wealth, many of who have bankrolling “education reformers” like Cuomo for years. So what if they were unnamed. So are the editors who wrote the editorial. That alone doesn’t make them wrong. And, like Campbell Brown, don’t they need to protect themselves against the wrath of uber-violent teachers? And you better believe those two principals were seriously chafing.
And why wouldn’t the two principals chafe, coming to terms with the chilling realization that it is perhaps only the editorial board of the News, Governor Cuomo, Meryl Tish, Wall Street, President Obama, the richest people and the most powerful politicians on earth and themselves who are trying so desperately to hold adults accountable and stand up for the kids against the ungodly and evidently irresistible maneuvers of Michael Mulgrew and the teachers’ union ?

Thus Spake The Daily News: “Over to you, Governor.”