ATRs, the unrepresented -- no elected representatives in the UFT

"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected.
"To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another."
Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Another appreciation of the widely appreciated Eric Chasanoff

The passing of Eric Chasanoff (Chaz School Days) was a sobering event for myself and many NYC teachers. We relied on him for reporting accurate, timely, information about NYC education policy, incompetent and corrupt supervisors, and the Absent Teacher Reserve. He was one of a few bloggers that gave us a voice, when our union told us we "were lucky to have jobs". I remember meeting him the first time more than ten years ago, while being an ATR on regular rotations. Having been sent to a now defunct Queens HS, I was told to sit in the boiler room until I was called to cover a class. For a few days, I sat in glorious solitude beside the depression era boiler, until one morning I found an interloper had intruded my sanctuary....he event had the chutzpah to take my seat on the decrepit couch! He introduced himself only as Eric, an ATR earth science teacher. We began talking about our pariah status; he explained how "Fair Student Funding" was a major reason for the debacle, and how Bloomberg's "Leadership Academy" trained sapling pedagogues with no "institutional memory" to become cogs in the new business model. Our stories unfolded in similar fashion, as we were both science teachers from large community high schools in Queens. I asked him if he read "Chaz School Days", as I found it informative; he laughed and said ""Read it? I'm Chaz!...I write the damn thing. Thanks for reading my blog!" That was Eric, never grandstanding or grabbing headlines. In fact, I doubt most Principals even knew he was rotating through their school. Rest in peace Eric, you have guided many of us... WJP

Monday, May 11, 2020

Rest in peace, Eric Chasanoff

Baruch Dayan Emes ("G-d is the True Judge"). I am overwhelmed with grief at this terrible news. Eric was a caring and knowledgeable educator, whose talents were squandered by the irresponsible cretins at the DOE. Moreover, he was our Navigator, providing a steady hand and a guiding pathway through the dark waters of the criminal enterprise known as the DOE and its henchmen at the UFT. He comforted those newly accused of deeds they never did, statements they never made, and helped them formulate a survival plan. He had access to information from the DOE and UFT that others did not, and generously shared it with others in a clear and concise manner. Even after he retired, he continued to provide invaluable guidance about retirement and pensions. Eric's blog here was always my first stop in the morning, coffee in hand, learning the latest about how far the school system had fallen under the blundering aegis of first Bloomberg and then De Blasio and just shaking my head in disbelief and disgust. Eric, you took upon yourself a tremendous responsibility in laying bare the lies of the DOE and UFT and you carried it off brilliantly. Yours will be a hard act indeed to follow. I hope that your family will derive comfort on their tremendous loss and that you rest in peace eternal. Rest in peace, Eric Chasanoff, 1951-2020, teachers' advocate.