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madfloridian

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,339

About Me

Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.

Journal Archives

Yes, NY tenured teachers can be fired. NY Education Code actually lists reasons for firing...

after a due process hearing.

to DUer dsc for this link below.

Section 1 refers to how teachers can gain tenure which is simply due process. They have a probationary period of 3 years, just what Florida teachers had before tenure was abolished here in 2011.

Part 2 refers to how teachers who are tenured can lose their jobs.

N.Y. EDN. LAW § 3012 : NY Code - Section 3012: Tenure: certain school districts

Part 2 begins in the middle of a very long paragraph.

2. At the expiration of the probationary term of a person appointed
for such term, subject to the conditions of this section, the
superintendent of schools shall make a written report to the board of
education or the trustees of a common school district recommending for
appointment on tenure those persons who have been found competent,
efficient and satisfactory, consistent with any applicable rules of the
board of regents adopted pursuant to section three thousand twelve-b of
this article. Such persons, and all others employed in the teaching
service of the schools of such union free school district, common school
district and/or school district employing fewer than eight teachers, who
have served the probationary period as provided in this section, shall
hold their respective positions during good behavior and efficient and
competent service, and shall not be removed except for any of the
following causes, after a hearing, as provided by section three thousand
twenty-a of such law: (a) insubordination, immoral character or conduct
unbecoming a teacher; (b) inefficiency, incompetency, physical or mental
disability, or neglect of duty; (c) failure to maintain certification as
required by this chapter and by the regulations of the commissioner.


Removed "after a hearing" for:

Insubordination
Immoral character
Conduct unbecoming a teacher
Inefficiency
Incompetency
Physical or mental disability
Neglect of duty
Failure to maintain certification

Campbell Brown recently went on the attack against teachers on tenure in New York by announcing an anti-tenure lawsuit

In one of her interviews she said that "Tenure is permanent lifetime employment."

If I am reading the education code above correctly, that is simply not true.






Teachers accused of "sexist" attacks on Campbell Brown. They mentioned her hubby Dan Senor...

a failed Iraq war architect and member of Michelle Rhee's Students First. He is also tied to Campbell Brown's lawsuit against NY teachers.

That is in no way "sexist". This is a power play against teachers and their rights of due process earned through their unions through the years.

Who is doing the accusing? Fox Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers, the same one who said that just because the DLC was shutting down it did not mean that liberals were winning. More on that below.

Here is her attack on teachers' unions.

Teachers union launches sexist attack against Campbell Brown

The “war on women” isn’t just for Republicans. Left-wing organizations in New York City have launched their own misogynist crusade against former CNN anchor turned education advocate Campbell Brown.

Brown is running the Partnership for Educational Justice, which she founded to challenge teacher tenure and other rules that protect underperforming teachers.

For this, she has been on the receiving end of a sexist assault by the American Federation of Teachers and opponents of education reform. AFT President Randi Weingarten took to Twitter to accuse Brown of not being balanced in her approach to school reform because “she’s married to Romney adviser Dan Senor.”

To Weingarten, women are not people with thoughts of their own. No, they’re empty vessels who do their husband’s bidding.


That to put it nicely is a bunch of BS. Yes, teachers' union are not feeling friendly toward Campbell Brown...but there is nothing "sexist" about it. It's the fact that she is going after their rights of due process by a lawsuit with much power and money behind it.

Her husband's position on the board of a group which has one of its members as the lead plaintiff in Campbell's lawsuit is not "sexist"....it is accurate. They did not even disclose that Keoni Wright was the lead plaintiff. So in my mind the two groups are working together.

So who is Kirsten Powers and what did she write in 2011 when the DLC shut it doors? She attacked liberals and pointed out that the DLC was being replaced by The Third Way.

The Democratic Leadership Council may be shutting down, but the progressives haven't won. Centrism is alive and well in the think tank Third Way, whose advice on health care and the economy has swayed the White House.

Reports of the death of centrism in the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated.

Monday’s news that the Democratic Leadership Council is folding after three decades was greeted with glee by those on the left who see it as evidence that centrism has gasped its last breath.

....The truth is, the DLC’s position as the leading centrist Democratic think tank was long ago overtaken by a group called Third Way, which has been growing more influential by the day.


Teachers' unions have every right to be upset at the influx of celebrities with financial backing trying to take over public schools and get rid of career teachers.

The boot camp death of Martin Lee Anderson, Florida, 2006. No one found guilty.

I noticed in kpete's post about a sign being held by France Francois that she had been among the protestors when Martin Lee Anderson was killed on his first day at boot camp in Florida.

He was killed by the guards who were to protect him with a trained nurse standing by.

Through the years he has been forgotten mostly, so good for Ms Francois for protesting his death.


Francois said the sentiment behind the sign is rooted to her days as a student at Florida State University when she protested the death of Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old boy who died after being beaten by boot camp personnel. After months of silence from authorities over his death, Francois, along with other students from Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University and Florida State University staged a 34-hour sit-in at then- governor Jeb Bush's office, in Tallahassee, Fla.

More about his death at the hands of guards while a nurse watched.

The boot camp guards and nurse who killed Martin Lee Anderson will have to live with their actions.

.."A state court jury acquitted the guards and nurse of manslaughter on Oct. 12, 2007. Federal authorities then began investigating whether the boy’s civil rights were violated.

The Justice Department said in a news release that investigators did not have enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. Prosecutors would have had to prove that the boot camp employees’ intent was willful — the highest standard imposed by the law, the release said.

The video showed the seven men punching Anderson and using knee strikes against him. It also showed them pushing ammonia capsules into his nose and dragging his limp body around the camp’s yard. The nurse did not appear to intervene during the incident.


The sequence of events was quick.

At 6:30 in the morning on June 5, 2006, Martin Lee Anderson is admitted to boot camp.

At 9:06 am the use of force begins.

At 9:45 am the paramedics take Martin Lee Anderson

At 1:00 pm he was transported by air to Pensacola to the hospital where he died the next day.

The guards who beat him were just acquitted as was the nurse who stood by.


When he was buried the St. Pete Times noted that both sides wore crosses around their necks.

Anderson trial tells two tales of a town

The jurors, the accused, the courtroom so divided you could label one side "guilty" and the other "not guilty" like guests at a wedding - all went still when the video played.

....Folks on both sides wore crosses around their necks - God was on their side, maybe, or they just needed him to get through this.

The guards - Dickens, McFadden, Helms, Enfinger, Garrett, Hauck and Walsh - each stood to look into the faces of the jury as their attorneys introduced them. They are husbands, fathers, retired military, working stiffs. They did not look like evil men who set out one morning to kill a boy. Which makes the jury's job that much more complicated.

How small a town is Panama City? Just across the street from the courthouse where the guards and nurse are being tried sits the camp. Shut down like the rest in Florida after the video made national news, it sits abandoned, razor-wire gates rusty.



A few blocks over is the cemetery, the grass too high, fence sagging. He is there, flanked by stone angels, not a hero, not a monster, just gone.

What will the jury call what happened to Martin Lee Anderson? Sad comes to mind. And sorry. And wrong.


Mork meets the Fonz and Laverne. Tears in my eyes from laughter. Video.



Read how Robin Williams saved his debut on 'Happy Days'

Before Robin Williams took the world by storm in Mork & Mindy, he dipped a toe in the fame pool during what should have been a one-time stint on Happy Days.

Even as a newbie, Williams made an indelible impression on the entertainment community. So much so that Williams was able to turn what was supposed “to be the biggest piece of s–t in the history of the show” into a “brilliant” episode, filmmaker Brian Levant, who joined Happy Days as a writer-producer in its fifth season, told E! News.

“It was Robin Williams’ literal birth as an entertainer,” Levant says of the episode. “He was an unqualified genius in that rehearsal and the cast of Happy Days was tremendously generous ceding the stage to him and everybody walked out of that show saying ‘spin-off, spin-off, spin-off.’ And we walked upstairs and wrote a bunch of great stuff.”

Henry Winkler remembers it like this:

Midway through shooting the episode, the Fonz told Matt Lauer, “a young, very quiet, very delicate man” arrived on set. “All of a sudden, all you see are sparks.” And, “unless you were in the ground, you knew that you were in the presence of greatness. That’s not talking because now we’re making a tribute; that is the honest truth. This man was from another plane. His imagination flew out of him, out of every pore like a torrent.”

Russell Brand: Robin Williams’ divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world

Such a moving piece from Russell Brand at The Guardian UK. Not that familiar with Brand, but very impressed by his moving words.

Russell Brand: Robin Williams’ divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world

I'd been thinking about Robin Williams a bit recently. His manager Larry Bresner told me that when Robin was asked by a German journalist on a press junket why the Germans had a reputation for humourlessness that Williams replied, “Because you killed all the funny people.”

Robin Williams was exciting to me because he seemed to be sat upon a geyser of comedy. Like he didn’t manufacture it laboriously within but had only to open a valve and it would come bursting through in effervescent jets. He was plugged into the mains of comedy.

I was aware too that this burbling and manic man-child that I watched on the box on my Nan’s front room floor with a Mork action figure (I wish I still had that, he came in a plastic egg) struggled with mental illness and addiction. The chaotic clarity that lashed like an electric cable, that razzed and sparked with amoral, puckish wonder was in fact harvested madness. A refinement of an energy that could turn as easily to destruction as creativity.

....Robin Williams could have tapped anyone in the western world on the shoulder and told them he felt down and they would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him. He must have known that. He must have known his wife and kids loved him, that his mates all thought he was great, that millions of strangers the world over held him in their hearts, a hilarious stranger that we could rely on to anarchically interrupt, the all-encompassing sadness of the world.

....What I might do is watch Mrs Doubtfire. Or Dead Poets Society or Good Will Hunting and I might be nice to people, mindful today how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire.


It's been a year of much loss and sadness. It's hard for me to write when things feel so personal. I think Russell Brand is right....he must have known all the love and appreciation was out there. It had to matter greatly, though it wasn't enough in the end.

NARAL Undercover Audio: Intimidation Tactics of Texas Anti-Abortion Group. Tracking license plates?

From You Tube today. This is the most chilling kind of intimidation, and it's legal.

Published on Aug 12, 2014

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas released a video containing audio from “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. The video reveals the methods anti-abortion activists currently employ to physically intimidate women from accessing safe and legal abortion care in Texas. The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloguing the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.



Keoni Wright, plaintiff in Campbell Brown's lawsuit, is a member of Michelle Rhee's Students First.

Also Campbell's hubby, Dan Senor, is on the board of Rhee's NY Students First. I guess Michelle Rhee is wearing another big smile right about now.

Seems her Students First is playing some big roles in attacking teachers' right to due process before being fired.

I did not realize Keoni Wright, who is suing on behalf of his twin daughters, was a member of that group also.

Teachers Too Hard to Fire, Lawsuit

Kaylah and Kyler Wright are New Yorkers, first-graders, and twins. But while Kaylah excelled in reading last year, Kyler lagged behind. Their father, John Keoni Wright, blames Kyler’s teacher and he’s suing, but not the teacher—the state of New York. The lawsuit alleges the state’s teacher job protection laws shield incompetence.

Wright is a member of the StudentFirstNY, a non-profit supporting charter schools and opposing teacher tenure. He was joined Monday by six more parents filing a lawsuit spearheaded by a former TV personality Campbell Brown and her new organization Partnership for Educational Justice.

....The lawsuit cites a 2009 survey saying almost half of the state’s school districts, excluding New York City, wanted to launch a disciplinary action against a teacher, but didn’t.

Yet it fails to mention that the majority of such districts refrained from taking disciplinary action because the teacher in question resigned or retired.
One in three reported the process was too expensive or cumbersome.

In the past two years over 800 city teachers faced disciplinary action—about 500 were solved with the rest still pending. Only 40 teachers were terminated, but about half of the 500 resolved cases were settled, often with the teacher leaving or retiring, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Keoni Wright is the plaintiff speaking in this video:



He seems to equate giving homework and providing textbooks out of the teacher's own pocket as being an effective teachers. There is so much more to it than that.

This WP column seemed to have the same understanding of the video as I did.

A strange definition of a ‘bad’ teacher

During the interview with Louis, Wright discussed the education his young twin daughters are receiving at a New York public school, saying that one of them had a really good teacher and the other wasn’t so lucky. How did the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit explain this dichotomy? vWell, it turns out, he said, that one daughter received homework packets from her teacher while the other daughter didn’t. Why? After talking to the offending teacher, he said he discovered the following:

She didn’t have the supply, you know they were waiting for stuff to come. Meanwhile this other teacher was using her own money to buy these books to have supplies for her regular kids and an extra set for me.

Translation: The good teacher was spending her own money to buy supplies the school system should have provided to teachers in a timely fashion. The bad teacher didn’t.

Translation: The good teacher was giving homework to young kids. The bad teacher wasn’t.




Good teacher, bad teacher? Proper criteria? Hear from one Campbell Brown plaintiff.

The lawsuit by Campbell Brown and plaintiffs assumes that tenure protects "bad" teachers. I knew of teachers who lost tenure, but it was done without a lot of publicity. If it were a serious charge, then that teacher would be out of the classroom at once. Less serious charges might be handled with the teacher voluntarily resigning.

The parent judges the two teachers as to whether they give homework and provide the books. He then admits that the books were not in yet, the teacher did not have the materials yet. This method of judging assumes that all teachers have the personal resources to provide materials that the school district should be providing.

I always provided what I could, but no way I could provide textbooks. That gets very costly. This was kindergarten level. Still debate about how much homework is appropriate. How can a teacher by judged by the supplies that she provides?

He mentions that one compliments the child, the other doesn't. That argument has some merit, but not really that much.

Are these the proper criteria to use to put teachers jobs on the firing line?



They speak of data that proves that due process rights of teachers hurt students. Is there really data that proves that?

Is this what NY teachers are facing now? Being judged by criteria like this? My sympathy to them.

Where are the teachers' voices? Why is Campbell Brown getting so much air time? I only see teachers' arguments presented on forums and twitter.



Again Tampa's Fox 13 News attacks Gov. Rick Scott. Great to see Fox do this again.

This video appears to have just been posted today. It warms my heart to see Fox call out Rick Scott instead of praising him.



Several weeks ago I posted how the same Fox News station called him out on his non-answering of questions.



Posted by madfloridian | Fri Aug 8, 2014, 11:02 PM (9 replies)

Whoopi uses View, 2+ mil viewers, to attack teacher due process. Teacher/admin fights back.

Looks like the average viewership of The View is about 2.82 million weekly.

That's a very huge voice she has there. The View appears to have taken up Campbell Brown's campaign to end due process rights for New York teachers.

That gives Campbell's project a tremendous free and powerful voice.

Whoopi's attack on due process for teachers:



A teacher/administrator responds to her, and he points out that he has only a very tiny voice. So true.



Thank you educator Keith Reeves for your effort. Teachers do indeed have a very teeny tiny microphone.

The reformers have the billions.
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