Tag Archive: NYC

Magic and Love

Much has changed since I last posted, and I’ve been lax, idling on spending the rare few moments that it would take to do. Grr.

I have to revisit posts, but I don’t know if I mentioned this school I’ve been at quite frequently. I call it ‘The School of Magic and Love.’ And it really is such- Magic in what happens daily, and love for what it feels like to be there.
At this school, everything is done damned near right as far as school organization (structure and functional day to day existence.) Mr. APorg has it down pack and he runs a tight ship, where everyone knows what they should be doing, and seemingly no one- students and teachers alike are afraid to ask. The Head AP, Mr. Guiding Hand- he hovers, and is seemingly omni present but never in a way that is overbearing or as if he is looking for a way to say “Gotcha.” I have only heard one teacher make a valid complaint about either of them, and wel, the oly thing I can think in regards to that is to say that sometimes we all deal with bureaucracy

Slowly, I’m getting the staffs personalities down. I only want to smack one, and that quite possibly s because I can’t figure it her age so that I can tell how much I want to hit her. She makes chatter chatter, chatter, Penelope (Kirsten Wiig) on SNL style. All the other teachers come and go; all havd been very polite or at the very least, they haven’t rudely stared over me. And even if they don’t know my name, they have seen my fave and proffer a smile- perhaps generic but at least in earnst. And th office support staff never walks by without saying hi.

But what makes the real magic and love are the students. They may not always come ready, but damn they get around to learning. Even the freshman work hard to finish things early to get a sense of revision. This is not a screened school where students test into. And even though District uh and who have first or preferential status in regards to being selected- there are probably more students from Harlem, The Heights, Fordham (from the Bronx) and parts of Brooklyn. I almost confiscated a girls phone because it was out, and thought she was goofing off- but she said to me “I wrote a daft of my paper, the way you showed me on my phone on the way back to The Heights yesterday.” And indeed there on her phone was a paper that she drafted ion her long way home.

Let me reiterate- it is the inquisitive nature of the students, who are that right mixture of mature while still being in high school. They are never too hood too saved by the bell, and I’ve not seen play fighting or any bullying. They all somewhat get along, and don’t mind helping out or working with other members of their family.

More on this school, when its not 3 am, But everyday there Is….

Fuckng amazing.

-Chester Kent


Spring Break Falls Upon

Despite a judge’s injunction, and common sense to compel him, Governor Cuomo still did not give NYC the $240 million that he had previously promised to withhold. Ridiculous. FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

Exactly how does he think withholding that money will help children? It is not their or typical rank and file union members fault that the UFT and city can’t come to an agreement. These political games they are playing won’t help little Ty’jon, Xiao or Mariama score well on their Common Core Assessments. It most certainly won’t compel teachers to want to work harder. The entire thing sounds like that Michael Jackson song where he sings that “they don’t really care about us.”

240 million means so much to not just struggling schools but to any school. In rough estimates, think of the vital things that could be bought with that money.

  • At a salary of 58,00 which would be a pay raise due to inflation or more rigorous state teacher exams, you could hire 4,138 New teachers, if not that then even half that amount of teachers could be pulled out of the ATR pool, which houses salaried teachers who have no home school because their programs (Art, Music, Business, etc…) has been cut out of the school they had previously been working at budget. Those classes could be restored and those excessed teachers could be staffed and back on the job doing what they are already being paid for. Again, consider-
  • At $87.00 a piece, (non taxed) that could buy $2,758,620.68 Pearson textbooks, which also include additional companion websites for each subject specific to that book.
    I thought about doing more research to break down how many more things that could be funded such as hours of Professional Development, deans to maintain discipline, working smartboards, or even whiteboards. Maybe Gifted and talented programs could be re-instituted at schools where the best students (Note: I qualify “best” as not necessarily smartest, or brightest but the students who are ready to learn) [those students] have to sit there in a chaotic room where little Johnny Doesn’t Give a Fuck needs more specialized attention. On a daily basis he detracts from everyone else’s right to access to hard working and talented teachers, who have a calling to a profession that is never just a job. We all deal with difficult people, but all children have slight differences and learning those nuances are hard enough, and that’s not even including Julie Wanna Curse Me Amigo Out. Most teachers just didn’t have dreams that could prepare to have to fight to teach somebody something. I’ve met little Johnny Doesn’t Give a fuck and he needs something different

    (note: I don’t mean “differentiated-” that any competent teacher strives to and does do) than every kid in the room whose saying “sit the fuck down and let him teach”. And I let them since it would be unprofessional for me to do that.

    Withholding that fund age…..It’s criminal and reeks of uncaring, and cruelty. Why do more with less when it doesn’t have to be that way. We would lock a parent up with the blink of an eye, if they put a plate of food out but said to their kids, “you can’t eat because I’m mad at your uncle that you never see.”. Those children and any parental rights would be ripped away and they would be punished to the fullest extent of the law for every single facet of child abuse laws.

    What Cuomo has done is child abuse. He should be punished accordingly.

    [chester kent]


  • Starting 2013, students in NYS will have three pathways to graduate besides the traditional diploma. Currently students have to pass the English regents, earth science or living environment for science, math a and global a and b (as the history requirement.). Students will now additionally be able to choose from a cte diploma (which is for career and technical engineering) and a modified regents with less global history. The reasoning behind this is that “a one size fits all education doesn’t work.”
    Seriously? Really? Tell me something new. How do these new diploma options address the needs of sped students or even students who just need reasonable accommodations? How do these new diplomas address the fact that these tests are not reflective of the experiences of students in urban environments?
    I don’t see this being anything other than a blip in news. Or maybe a distractor from other recent education stories which haven’t put state testing in a nice light.
    I worry that the sped kids and 504 kids will be steered into the CTE courses. Not that that’s a bad idea for some kids, but generally these things end up being wholesale discounting of scores of children who just needed extra help.