Notes from In-house exile: Feeling the End of Touching…

Notes from In-house exile: Feeling the End of Touching…

(4) March 21, 2020

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not”–Dylan Thomas

I’ve reduced intimacy to the constant warm feelings of two hands, covered with warm soapy water, engaged in the act of hand-washing (these days you do what you can). As an educator I guess I have always been able to transform some challenging situation into an exercise of practical problem solving. And with the inept and callous efforts by the leader of this nation, I could imagine seeing the end of my life without ever hugging another person again.

One of my former students who is now an educator and is presently working with a class size of one; and by the way is doing a great job with her child’s preschool remote learning class, posted: “Anybody want a 3 yr. old?” … I wanted so bad to say “Yes, me!”. A plague can separate us from our call-to-service; for alas I have a house with a children’s book library, educational toys, puzzles and games, but I am missing a three year old. I know her mother will probably say: “Yeah right, I’ll give him one day with a three year old and…” (But what I want to know Akilah; is why none of you’ll told me about this D-Nice party thing; I could have brought my flashlight—inside SSCHS joke!:-)

It also just occurred to me once again after (ELA skill) comparing and contrasting the White House and NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press briefings; that as a nation we are in serious trouble. But then there is a kind-of-good trouble that I have striven to always get myself into. Andrew Cuomo is like that crazy (good crazy): “I can’t let these folks destroy my children” principal, working in a public school system that is structured to destroy certain children. You can’t wait, you can’t fool around, because your children can’t wait. You must speak the truth, even if it makes people uncomfortable, and act audaciously even as those same people want to maintain the status qua. It is probably a matter of taking matters into your own hands; and then when necessary bend, twist, ‘reinterpret’ and sometimes break rules that work well for some kids, but don’t work well for your students. The only chance a Black and Latino child, or any poor and/or politically disfranchised child of any color, ethnicity or religion will have to succeed, is to have a ‘crazy’ educator take up their cause.

I turn everything no matter how bad, into a reading project. I guess in the midst of any tragedy we must all find some individual small space of a peace process that will help us to cope. It might sound morbid to some, but I just completed my second plague (Covid-19) related reading (Edgar Allan Poe’s: “The Mask of the Red Death”). The great myth that the plague destroys, is that we can somehow separate ourselves from the pain and suffering of others.

There is an equality of aspirational dreaming for all children, regardless of race or economic status. I learned that as a superintendent visiting PreK and Kindergarten classrooms, where all of the children will enthusiastically give you a list of things they want to grow up to be: dancer, police officer, doctor, fireman, nurse, teacher, astronaut, air plane pilot… Often multiple professions in one lifetime! And then they move up in the school system and lose large parts of those dreams at every new grade level (especially Black and Latino boys). Public schools should be dream builders, not dream destroyers. And yet we can make sure our entitled kids receive a quality education (and not lose their dreams); and deny that same level of quality education to the children of ‘others’.

But the Plague introduces a kind of terrible equality; those children denied a quality education (and thus an end to their dreaming); will later be the adults who will bring the plague of their lost dreams onto the heads of the children of privilege; for in a social-economic plague there is no separate place to hide.

Notes from In-house exile: When Battles Are Lost…

Notes from In-house exile: When Battles Are Lost…

(3) March 20, 2020

I am reading Antony Beevor’s: The Battle of Arnhem; but reading these days is different. I can usually get immersed in a book and be totally lost to the world. This is a skill I first mastered back in my elementary school days when the Brooklyn Public Library (Grand Army Plaza branch) served as my unofficial after-school childcare provider until my mother came home from work. Reading was like dreaming, and every day I could experience a different dream: dinosaurs, WW-2 fighter planes, space travel, whales, science fiction…. I could escape and be anywhere and everywhere in time, place or space. My love of reading was so great that my mother ordered me (back then children actually obeyed their parents) to make sure I did my homework before I “started doing that reading!” I did my home work fast, because it was the only thing that stood between me and my reading for fun time. And so, every day as a member of the latchkey kid club, between milk and cookies, I would read until 5:PM and then dare the dangerous Brooklyn streets with arms full of books to take home to continue my dreaming.

But today reading Beevor’s book I find for the first time that it’s hard to keep my mind in the 1940’s. There is something about the existential urgency of the Covid-19 plague; and how we are all at some level participants in its story of isolation, illness and death. A plague is inescapable, even for those of us who could always find refuge from life’s storms in books. Covid-19 is a persistent uninvited guest in our minds; it won’t leave us alone even if we are, as I am at this moment, alone. Thinking as I am reading ‘Arnhem’ (I guess using that ELA reading skill of: “What does this passage remind you of?”) about how the strategic thinking ability and the leadership quality of Generalship so influences the outcome of a battle (again ELA referencing Carl von Clausewitz’s book: On War).

In all of Beevor’s books (e.g. Stalingrad), it does not matter how strategically smart the German command was (and they had an excellent class of highly studied and experienced military leaders, as well as a highly competent group of military scientist, engineers and technicians); their effectiveness would always be ultimately undermined by the immoral and deranged German nation’s leader, Adolph Hitler. Humanity is indeed fortunate that Hitler’s narcissistic and self-absorbed personality constantly got in the way of the decisions of his best military experts. But when a country is fighting a war against a virus pandemic, having an ethically challenge psycho-pathological leader, leads that nation to death and destruction; alas the delusional leader (whether they were only a corporal in the last war; or used faux ‘bone spurs’ to avoid going to war completely) always assumes that they are the best and most capable of experts; after all, did not the snarling and hateful frothing ‘wisdom’ of the masses place them in power?

One of the ideas that motivated my first book: Report to the Principal’s Office is this idea (something I learned as a superintendent) that there is no other more powerful singular force in a school building then it’s principal. An ineffective principal can cause even the potentially best school to under-perform; while a highly effective principal can efficaciously cause a school with the potential to terribly under-perform, to actually over-perform its potential! The quality of leadership matters so much.

And so, how on earth, in a time of great national suffering, collective fear and despondency, did we as a country fall so far down; so as to go from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to Trumps racist ‘Kung-Flu’ rants? Well, they can’t blame this one on Black folks!

“10 Black Students Got Into N.Y.C.’s Top High School”– But what does that mean?

3/20/2020 –NY Times;This Year, Only 10 Black Students Got Into N.Y.C.’s Top High School :https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/nyregion/nyc-schools-numbers-black-students-diversity-specialized.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

“Asian students make up a majority of the schools’ enrollment.”

Just Great, what we really needed now, along with the daily POTUS racist insults press briefings; another nonsensically contrived reason to be angry with Asians.

At some point (and I’ll just keep saying this until they put me in the retired superintendent’s rubber room), a significant segment of NYC’s Black and Latino citizenry will come to understand that no test-prep program, regardless of its good intentions and accessibility, can substitute for actual K-8 learning concepts and skills mastery. I have practically run out of metaphors like: giving a nursing certification exam to someone who has not spent a day in a nursing program; giving the Bar exam to people who did not attend law school; giving free shoe shines to people who don’t have shoes. I am not sure what more I can say at this point!

Test-prep is an excellent ‘technical’ and study tool that can absolutely raise the potential score of anyone who engages it. But as a Saturday Princeton Review SAT prep-course coach once warned my students: “I will help you to get a higher score on the exam, but you must continue to study hard!” What she did not say that is also true, is that you must bring ‘something’ to the test-prep process; and fortunately for my students (as the SAT coach offered as a compliment to them at the end of the course), they brought an everyday experience of being exposed to rigorous formal and informal standards based learning activities. Our finals, midterms and weekly classroom exams consisted of questions directly (word for word) lifted from past State Regents Exams, while inviting standards (and above) rigor in non-standardized testing courses. We were accused by some liberals of ‘teaching to the test’; when in fact we were providing our students with the same level of quality instruction their children enjoyed, we were teaching and learning to the standards. That’s how you get Black and Latino children to do well on standardized exams; you actually teach them to the level of standards that the exam will test. You can’t do well on an 8th grade exam, by ‘prepping’ in middle school; the real rigorous learning (aka test-prep) for that exam starts in Kindergarten and consistently continues every year until the 8th grade.

“Some of the schools’ relatively few black and Hispanic students have said they often feel isolated in their classrooms and hallways because of their race.”

Over the next few months we will hear the ‘integration’, ‘segregation’ and ‘diversity’ bell distractedly rung over and over again. Asian-American students will (because of adolescent psychology) feel that they did something wrong, when they have done exactly what the adult society has told them to do— and that is to study hard, sacrifice some ‘fun time’ and apply themselves. They will also be made to feel like ‘outsiders’ in their own city; Black and Latino people (remember “stop and frisk” and “gentrification”) should know how painful that feels, and therefore should be the last ones to engage in that ugly ‘outsidering’ and ‘blame-game’ behavior.

“This year, as last year, only one black student got into Staten Island Technical High School.”

Sadly, this same NY Times article could be used year after year, for the last (and frighteningly next) ten years, all that is needed is to simply change the dates. This is the low-expectations (Black and Latino brains are less than capable) story-line that will continue to reappear until (1) Black and Latino communities push their leaders; many of whom are tied at the waist (or by the neck) to the Teacher’s Union (UFT), and force (by political and active protest) the NYCDOE to provide their children with a quality K-8 education that test-prep programs could truly enhance; and secondly, to expand Gifted and Talented programs to the presently chronically undeserved Black and Latino elementary students who are on or above grade level. It has been demonstrated that many of these Black and Latino non-G&T classes elementary school students are so smart and capable, that they could even pass high school Regents exams; and so where are their G&T programs? (2) I love Public Education, but no community should depend on any public school system to adequately, let alone fully educate their children; especially if you are not part of the ‘entitled class’; something many Asian-American parents seem to get. (3) The beauty of NYC’s size is that a student who really should not go to a specialized high school (for a host of reasons); could possibly have a rich choice of safe and academically strong high school options. There was a time in the not too distant past, when not applying or getting into specialized high school was not a big deal and did not mean future career options death. Restore and strengthened a high school (independent of local school boards) division that lost so many of its accomplished and experienced administrators by way of Mayor Bloomberg’s destructive educational “school-reform” blunders.

“Black and Hispanic enrollment in the schools has plummeted over the last two decades in particular; Brooklyn Technical High School was 51 percent black in 1982, and 6 percent black in 2016. Only 79 black students got into Brooklyn Tech this year, down from 95 last year.”

Finally, disenfranchised communities need an intensive parallel educational system consisting of: An academically rich and culturally confirming pre-school start e.g. Little Sun People; after-school, weekends, school breaks and summer learning enrichment/enhancement programs; these activities should include a standardized test-prep component. Just sending your child to public school every day won’t work. For what part of: “Your children are not a priority”, is missing from your understanding of the public school education problem.

Michael A. Johnson has served as a NYC public school teacher, principal, school district superintendent and as an adjunct professor of education at St. John’s University. His book on school leadership is titled: “Report to the Principal’s Office: Tools for Building Successful High School Administrative Leadership.” [http://reporttotheprincipalsoffice.net/]

Notes from In-house exile. So many thoughts in one solitary walk around the block…

Notes from In-house exile. So many thoughts in one solitary walk around the block…

(2) March 19, 2020

Prison must be terribly psychologically damaging place…Now let me state up front that I can in no way compare my self-imposed house-isolation to being in prison. After all, I have a steady retirement income, food that I eat when I want, I have music, books, cable TV, films on video, a computer with internet access, a daily Yoga practice, 5-6 hours of writing/per day routine, phone access to friends, family, former students and colleagues; I have dozens of ‘hobbies’ e.g. organizing my large but neglected stamp collection; and so, to be honest I am in no way suffering having to stay home all day. But putting aside whether an incarcerated person is or is not guilty. I am wondering if we must ask ourselves if we are truly ‘rehabilitating’ for the purpose of reintegration of these individuals; or, are we further (and more deeply) damaging human beings who will return to our society so severely emotionally wounded and employable unprepared, that their ability to effectively integrate back into the society will range from extremely difficult to impossible.

Yesterday I gave myself an outside “vacation” (I live in a low populated area and so I did not encounter anyone else, which was one of my objectives) to walk around the block. This after being inside for more than 3 weeks; which means that if I have Covid-19 and don’t know it, I won’t infect others. I sheltered in place very early as soon as I algebraically and biologically mapped the virus —this, for all of my former students who did not believe that Biology and Algebra were ‘useful’ subjects to learn! I also suspected before being told, that all of my medical “onset” illnesses probably would put me in a ‘high risk’ category— I have an advantage in gathering and sorting out all of the Covid-19 information because I am and educator, and specifically a STEM* educator. Our nation however, lost so much precious time, and is still doing so, by being led by ignorance personify; and he (Trump) continues even in the midst of this plague to mischaracterize and mislead through racist unhelpful misinformation; a virus as should be clear by now is not a citizen of any particular nation or people, but I digress…

Back to my walk around the block. It was the most amazingly wonderful liberating experience. The sun massaged my memory such that I felt like that excited Crown Heights kid entering the wonderful Grand Army Plaza portal of Prospect Park. In Prospect Park my friends and I could safely run, yell, play “Army”, “Explorers”, fly our kites and sail our homemade boats in the (we imagined) rapid streams of the ‘untamed’ wilderness.
But I also thought during my much too short meditation-journey around the block, about all of my students who own businesses, those who work in corrections, sanitation, the post office, transit, EMT-EMS, police and fire departments, and the many STEM, Social service professional, and the many who are working professionals in medical facilities all over this nation; there are so many others who are at their post serving humanity and risking their own personal safety and health; they will always be my heroes; and each step I take as I walk around the block I dedicate a prayer for them, their coworkers and colleagues…

#ifpossiblestayhome

*Science,Technology,Engineering and Mathematics

Notes from In-house exile. On re-reading Albert Camus’s novel The Plague

Notes from In-house exile. On re-reading Albert Camus’s novel The Plague

(1) March 17, 2020

What else is this “locked-down” high-risk senior citizen to do except read! A nation has chosen, yes chosen, perhaps the most unsuitable individual possible to lead this country in a national crisis. (And don’t bother me with the Hillary’s ‘popular votes’ story; enough people saw his putrid personality as their only hope that racism and bigotry could be made great, again); the 2008 election should not have even been close. It’s amazing (but not surprising) that in all of Trump’s Corona-virus presentations, he so mirrors the virus’s disconnection from, and indifference to human feelings; he can’t even summon up the most basic scripted words of compassion and inspiration; it seems that the plague can only take humanity, but it can’t create one.
A plague (like Trump, bail reform and “stop and frisk”) is a revealer and explainer of personal values. Mean people in the midst of a plague will horde their kindness, and others will become wonderfully heroic. This in many ways, is the same way a blank sheet of paper (or screen) confronts a writer, a blank canvas challenging a painter… A plague, any plague, invites and requires a personal individual response, based on the internal qualities of those upon whom the plague imposes its ugly ever-presence; we can neither hide from the plague, nor hide who we are in the plague. Our unique authorship assignment is our choice of who we choose to be in response to the plague; it will not make us something different, only point out and amplify who we truly are when no plague is present; it will only make us better if “better” is already settled and seeded in our spirits. Surely stifle and crush any good in us that is not anchored in serious truth and personal authenticity. The plague will severely test the truly brave and lose. Will we mirror the plague’s detached coldness in our own unique characteristic way? Or, do we become bravely bold in affirming the best and most heroic values any person can summon. Our ‘humanness’ is both our strength and our weakness. This is the hard part, the desire to be selfish; to narrowly define “family”; finding it hard to find the true meaning of “turning the other cheek”; compelling oneself to be compassionate and forgiving; to not find joy in the lost joy of others… to be, what a virus cannot be… to be fully human.

When will public school administrators stop calling the police on Black elementary school children?

“Police Officer Arrest Crying 6-Year-Old Girl For Having School Tantrum: During the clip, the girl can be heard sobbing and begging the officers not to place the handcuffs on her wrists and to ‘please let me go’.”

And so, when will public school administrators stop calling the police on Black elementary school children?
Continue reading

“Constitutional Right to Literacy” Lawsuits: Another one of public education’s well-intentioned but terribly flawed and distracting pursuits.

“Constitutional Right to Literacy” lawsuits are one of many public education’s ‘wasting time’ things that we do; like distractedly chasing social integration. A wrongly predicated idea that black behinds must sit next to white behinds in order for Black minds to perform well academically. How about doing something really daring and dangerous; why not try to racially integrate and distribute the quality of instruction that the nation’s entitled and privileged public school kids enjoy!

Let’s Start…Raise your right hand…Do you swear to tell the whole truth (or just half of it)?

To the best of their physical capability:

(1) Should every elementary school child leave their public elementary school having mastered the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum learning standards for the elementary grades; and be totally prepared to engage the middle school ELA learning standards? (short basic version for non-professional educators): Can they read an elementary reader by the 6th grade?) Yes__ or No__

(2) At the end of every public middle school student’s time in their middle school, should they have mastered the middle school’s ELA learning standards, and be totally prepared to fully engage (able to read high school course materials) with the ELA requirements they will face in high school? (short basic version: are they able to read a high school textbook by the 8th grade?) Yes__ or No__

(3) Any student who graduates from a public high school, must be ELA ‘ready’ to read, speak and write competently for a successful adult employment job, a Career Technical Education (CTE) apprenticeship program, a career in the military or federal, state or local civil service employment; and they should not be forced (to waste money and time) and the college’s time by being forced to essentially take a “13th” year of high school ELA courses? (short basic version: Can they read a CTE construction trades or college level textbook, or the questions on a civil service exam?) Yes__ or No__

Everyone’s answer to all of the above three questions should be: Yes! Yes! and Yes! But if your answer is “NO” to any of the three aforementioned questions, which essentially means “No” to all three (that’s another topic for another post!), then you could probably save yourself a lot of time and grief if you stop reading this posting right now; because you are definitely not going to like where I am heading!

But if you are still with me, here is the problem… Who does or does not get adequately educated in our nation’s schools is a political, and not an educational decision. Trust me, I think by now that we have a good handle on how to teach a child how to read (do math, science, history, etc.); we even know how to accomplish that ‘feat’ if when we start the process, the children (and/or their families) speak little or no English…

The previously laid out three (elem., middle and high) school level learning objectives should not need to be legislated or legally established into existence. They are, wait on it, what public schooling is actually supposed to do; which it does do, for a ‘selective’ group of students (I did say no half-truths!) Legislating and legally forcing a government/public agency to fully fill its stated mission obligation, suggest to that agency that there are ‘other options’ available to not fulfill its mission. It’s sort of what we principals tell ‘newbie’ teachers: “Any option or choice outside of your authority and decision making, that you give to students; be prepared to not be shocked if your students select that option or choice, no matter how educationally self-harming their decision is to their safety, educational well-being and success!”

Imagine for a moment that hospitals had to be forced legislatively to not try to kill the majority of patients who come to them for medical assistance; what if firefighters had to be taken to court because they refused to put out any house fires; and the US military services would require a law that would legally compel them to defend the nation! Can the goal of getting the courts (as was the case with NYC) to force more money the school system’s way be accomplished; sure, but just ‘more money’ for ‘more money’ sake is not a good academic improvement and achievement strategy; alas, we can’t keep throwing good (taxpayers) money at bad education and expect something positive to happen!

The fundamental problem that so many parents face when trying to get their child a fundamentally sound basic and good education; is that the system itself is not structured to provide it. And when ‘nullifying’ the mission statement is the driving operational philosophy of an organization, then simply feeding it more money is not the best ‘fixing’ and improvement agent. In fact, the present legislative and statutory profile of public education insures that it won’t work for most students because the existing laws, statutes, workplace rules and regulations are structured for adult employment success, comfort and enjoyment, not student academic success.

There are just too many children (in Detroit, Chicago, NYC, etc.) who are doomed educationally by virtue of their zip code (aka race, finances and ethnicity). If these students are exposed to one or more years of ineffective, incompetent, low-expectations, lacking in compassion and efficacy school administrators and/or teachers*, they will suffer very difficult to reverse educational harm. Therefore, the systemic solution and power to ‘fully educate’ those children is already in the hands of local, state and federal legislators and executives. Also in their (elected officials) hands, is the power to provide the type of serious funding that Title-1 (poor) schools need in order to effectively and properly address the social, economic, health and ‘hurdles-to-learning’ needs that most of our students bring to school each day; without the necessary support these students don’t have a fair chance at learning how to read or learn anything else for that matter while they are in school.

What we can’t continue to do is what we always do, and that is throwing a lot of good taxpayers money ($773 million in the case of NYC) at bad tried and truly failed before educational enrichment practices, and expecting something magically different to happen, and then act shocked when it doesn’t!

And so perhaps, instead of trying to get your state or federal judges to make laws like: “the department of sanitation should collect and dispose of our garbage”; and, “air traffic controllers should keep planes a safe distance from each other”! Maybe the solution to ‘fixing’ a broken public education system, is to hold your local, state and federal elected officials and executives accountable; after all, they already have all of the powerful tools they need to solve the problem!

*it was recently reported in one NYC paper that the NYC Department of Education ‘carries’ (as in keeps on the payroll) a boat load of unassigned tenured teachers, for close to a cost of $100 million dollars; but in fairness to the present Chancellor, this is a very, very old practice that even predates my 1990’s NYC principal years.

You may also want to look at:
On Education: If you are waiting on a judge… https://www.ourtimepress.com/on-education-if-you-are-waiting-on-a-judge-to-rule-that-your-child-should-be-able-to-read-write-effectively-by-the-12th-grade-well/

Michael A. Johnson has served as a NYC public school teacher, principal, school district superintendent and as an adjunct professor of education at St. John’s University. His book on school leadership is titled: “Report to the Principal’s Office: Tools for Building Successful High School Administrative Leadership.” [http://reporttotheprincipalsoffice.net/]

Eight Grade Algebra Gives Students an Important College/Career STEM* Start

Eight Grade Algebra Gives Students an Important College/Career STEM* Start

“Entire Bronx Success Academy class aces statewide math exam”: https://nypost.com/2019/07/01/entire-bronx-success-academy-class-aces-statewide-math-exam/

Deng Xiaoping the former architect of China’s present ‘market-economic’ system once said: “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice.” And so I am not engaging in the traditional vs. charter school battle here. For sure, I am extremely happy for these young people and their teacher. My focus is on something that many of us have been saying for many years. (I talk about this in my book) And that is the advantage that many students have in this nation over less-advantaged (but equally capable) students when they enter high school; and this is because the advantaged children have taken a high school level Algebra 1 course in the 8th grade. The first advantage is that these students are able to take Algebra 1 under very favorable and less-stressful middle school conditions (1) Adults don’t realize this, and most 9th grade students don’t articulate it, but transitioning into a high school setting creates various levels of stress for most students (e.g. new teachers, less ‘nurturing’ environment, the school’s size, they move from ‘top to bottom dog’, etc.).(2) Offering Algebra 1 in the 8th grade means that this course could be offered in an extended format (e.g. double periods, after-school, weekends, etc.) and a ‘comfortably familiar’ place, without competing with a full-program of ‘tough’ high school courses. In fact, we proved at the Science Skills Center pre-high school after-school program, that even earlier then 8th grade students, who are not facing extremely challenging courses in their regular school can focus large amounts of their intellectual powers (and do well) on a high school course and standardized exam for which they have been prepared. And on that note, (3) As was the case with Ms.Karina Mateo the Algebra 1 teacher for this great class, it is very easy to convince pre-high school students to take on the course as a mission of self-empowerment; especially when it is hinted that “people” don’t expect them to succeed. They very much want the ‘bragging rights’ to say to every high school kid they know and the entire world: “I conquered a high school course!” They will approach the mastery of the content material as if it was a personal and group challenge. (4) An additional important benefit is that these 8th grade Algebra-1 high achieving students are perfectly on track to take a regular high school or AP calculus course. This will then place them in an excellent position to not only do well in high school physics, but to also be prepared to hold their own in any post-high school college STEM major course.

We have known for many years that Algebra-1 is the ‘great gate-keeper’ either into or away from a STEM college career. But the ‘gate’ shuts early and often for some students. The problem is that students cannot take, let alone do well in Algebra-1 if they don’t receive a first-rate pre-Algebra arithmetic experience. And in my view the ‘planned’ real segregation of thousands of very capable Black and Latino students from access to a quality pre-Algebra mathematics experience (especially when it is offered in a gifted and talented program), is the real and explicit “bias” and ‘racism’ that should be addressed and eradicated by the NYCDOE.
The only hope for these children is if the Black and Latino communities focus, organize, agitate, and force their leaders to act as if they were not rhetorically hypnotized into only wanting a few specialized high schools symbolic integration seats for a few kids of color; but instead demand the removal of the real (and not meaningless ‘made-for-dramatic-effect’) discrimination barriers that prevent Black and Latino children from receiving a first-class K-8 mathematics education. We know the NYC mayor can quote Che Guevara, now let’s see if we can get him to follow the words of Jaime (Stand and Deliver) Escalante!

“If we expect kids to be losers they will be losers; if we expect them to be winners they will be winners. They rise, or fall, to the level of the expectations of those around them, especially their parents and their teachers.”— Jaime Escalante

Michael A. Johnson has served as a NYC public school teacher, principal, school district superintendent and as an adjunct professor of education at St. John’s University. His book on school leadership is titled: “Report to the Principal’s Office: Tools for Building Successful High School Administrative Leadership.” [http://reporttotheprincipalsoffice.net/]

*STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

The Most Racially Progressive any NYC Teacher can be is to be Effective.

The Most Racially Progressive any NYC Teacher can be is to be Effective

“As a principal, I’ve met teachers I wouldn’t want anywhere near my kids, and then there were many great and wonderful teachers who I’d hire 100 times over, regardless of that teacher’s race or nationality. Black students can’t wait for America to get its “racial act” together; they need a quality instructional experience, immediately. I often tell school administrators…” Read the full article at: Our Time Press:http://www.ourtimepress.com/the-most-racially-progressive-any-nyc-teacher-can-be-is-to-be-effective/