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How can I write about Carranza’s latest mistake when they come so fast?

July 31, 2020 am31 1:53 am

The DoE has an idea of what schools should do when there’s a COVID case.

I wasn’t going to write about that. I was going to write about blended learning (‘hybrid schemes”) and remote learning. I was going to compare them. I was going to explain that there was almost no advantage to hybrid, and many disadvantages. I was going to beg, please let us move onto planning remote teaching, let us plan, let us figure out how to do better than the spring, let the schedulers make schedules that work… I was going to demand again that Michael Mulgrew walk back these dumb, counterproductive words: “We believe a blended learning model, with students in class on some days and remote on others, balances our safety concerns with the need to bring students back.”

But no, I’m not going there. Not today. Richard Carranza had other ideas.

He was supposed to have a meeting with principals about the calendar. We don’t have a calendar yet for the year. We don’t even know the first day. September 10? 17? 21? 24? 28? October 1? October 5? I should be selling boxes. Could still do it, since he moved his morning meeting to 4 in the afternoon, and then skipped the calendar issue altogether. 

Carranza talked about whaat to do if there were a COVID case. He described a quarantine procedure for elementary schools.

He didn’t actually say elementary schools. But he described described small groups of students, with one teacher. He never addressed high schools.

In a high school where kids change classes, if there is a case, the whole school is exposed.

In a high school where they keep the kids in small groups that don’t move, but the teachers change (this is not normal, but the DoE has implied that they might encourage it???  I really don’t know.) if one group were exposed, that would lead to quarantining ten kids and seven or eight teachers. Think of the mini-school with 500 – 600  kids and 30 – 40 teachers – how do they function with a quarter of the teachers quarantined?

But it doesn’t matter. He was not talking about high schools. He made a huge policy announcement, and he forgot about a third of the schools.

All of New York City should be worried. In Carranza’s rush to implement de Blasio’s political-motivated policy, he makes mistake after mistake, passes responsibility to the schools, and prepares to blame the principals.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    July 31, 2020 am31 11:31 am 11:31 am

    As I wrote to Mulgrew yesterday, the guidance for positive cases is insane. There is no requirement that classes where there are suspected positive cases shut down. There is no procedure for requiring students who appear to have COVID symptoms to show a negative test before participating in school activities again. Priority testing is allowed for teachers, but teachers may be in contact with confirmed cases for days while students wait for test results to come back, which is especially likely with the asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic spread of COVID by teenagers. Whether or not there are unrelated cases in buildings or not will he left to contact tracers to figure out, instead of just having a central registry of suspected and confirmed cases administered by the DOE.

    The DOE’s guidance is incomplete, poorly conceived, and dangerous for teachers, students, and their families. I believe that we have a moral duty as chapter leaders to ensure that no one goes back to school until these unsafe conditions are addressed.

    • July 31, 2020 am31 11:59 am 11:59 am

      None of this makes sense, if the goal is to make schools function safely.

      All of it makes sense, if the goal is to be able to say at a news conference that schools are open, and if the secondary goal is to have a patsy to blame (principal) when things go wrong.

      de Blasio is not a partner to work with. de Blasio is a monster to be stopped.

  2. James Eterno permalink
    July 31, 2020 pm31 1:00 pm 1:00 pm

    Wouldn’t this include middle schools too which operate with subject classes too?

    • July 31, 2020 pm31 1:06 pm 1:06 pm

      Some middle schools keep classes together (803, 601, etc) and some program like high schools. You are correct, this would also be true for those middle schools that program like high schools… however, I’ve heard that at least a few are switching to 803, 601, etc for this crisis.

  3. Joe permalink
    August 1, 2020 am31 5:11 am 5:11 am

    I really believe this was a press conference where political terms such as ‘conceivable’, ‘living document’, or ‘things are fluid’ were meant to ‘keep the civilian population calm.’

    Politicians love using vague terms. It makes the public happy and keeps the public off of their backs.

    At the end of the day, the city does not want any deaths or an outbreak.

    I can’t see us starting in a building at all

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