Saturday, January 29, 2011

two positions

I am happy to tell you that IS 318 won the NYC Junior High Championship, and that Danny Feng tied for first with 5/5. I don't know more than that because I was at the simultaneous IS 318 tournament.

NY's mayor, Mike Bloomberg, announced the likelihood of more teacher layoffs next year.
from the NY Post:
Here are three scenarios of state budget cuts and how many teacher layoffs those cuts would translate into under the current “last in, first out” policy:

$500 million in cuts:
* 7,972 layoffs, or 11% of workforce

$750 million in cuts:
* 11,726 layoffs, or 16% of workforce

$1 billion in cuts:
* 15,265 layoffs, or 20% of workforce. (This would include everyone who has been hired in the last five years, i.e. me.)

* City financial plan also recommends eliminating 6,166 teaching positions
* Under doomsday scenario, Bloomberg said, city could lose 21,000 teachers through layoffs and attrition
* There are currently about 75,000 teachers

I don't know exactly how they get from 15,265 to 21,000, but wow either way. This would mean class sizes of 40 or 45. I need a larger room. The thing is, when classes get that big, it's not a small drop in learning. You have so many kids in the classroom that you spend all your time managing behavior, dealing with kids who knock each other's pieces over/kick each other and you spend no time on teaching. I'm getting used to the idea that it's never as bad as they say it's going to be, but there really isn't much left to cut.
anyhow, chess problems:
1. Brian Arthur was white here. What should he play?
2. He actually played 22. Rf3 Rxc2 23. Bxc2 Qa5! How should he continue here?

3. Carlos took on h2: 15...Bxh2 16. Kh1. What should he play next?
4. The game actually continued 16...Bd6 17. Nb5  Play for black?


1. Brian has mate in 6 with 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Qg4+ Kh8 24. Qe4.

2. After 22. Rf3 Rxc2 23. Bxc2 Qa5, Brian found the only winning line, 24. Qxh6 gxh6 25. Bxf6+ Kg8 26. Rg3+ Qg5 27. Bxg5. Unfortunately, he had some trouble winning the piece up ending. :)

3. He should continue 16..Ng4! 17. Be1 Rxb2!

4. 17. Nb5 allows black to simply take the knight, 17...cxb5, as white's queen is then attacked.


Anonymous said...

The taxpayers cannot be bled any more!

Anonymous said...

I hope that the cuts don't turn out to be that bad.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for your championship! I am sorry to hear about the impending layoffs. Maybe things will turn around before next year.

Anonymous said...

Either we as a nation believe that public education is a good and necessary thing, or we don't. If we do, we need to pay whatever it costs to do it right. If we don't, close all the schools on June 30. This "Let's see how much we can get away with cutting out of the system before teachers start setting themselves on fire in public like Chinese factory workers" course we're pursuing now is some bullshit that needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

Posit: It is immoral to subject anyone else's children to an educational environment that you would not consider adequate for your own.

Leon Akpalu said...

@ anjiaoshi:

Anonymous said...

I love the talk of 'immoral' when the issue is a massive centralized government appropriating the labor value of the productive to fund an inefficient and (thanks to the union) corrupt 'educational' system.

Yes, let's not be immoral. Let's have the government spend more of other people's money!

Anonymous said...

"Yes, let's not be immoral. Let's have the government spend more of other people's money!"

You know, that's your problem: You can't just say higher taxes and more spending are a bad thing. They have to be "immoral." What's immoral about them? Nothing. You wanna argue that they're a bad idea, go ahead. But saying they're "immoral" makes no sense. None. It's the kind of thing that conservatives do to turn their arguments into theological ones (that you can't really dispute because it's alll about what someone "believes in") rather than empirical ones (which you would lose).

Rick Massimo

Anonymous said...

I love the talk of 'immoral' when the issue is a massive centralized government appropriating the labor value of the productive to fund an inefficient and (thanks to the union) corrupt 'educational' system.

I call bullshit on you, Mr. Scaredy Anonymous. "Massive centralized government appropriating the labor value of the productive," my eye. You know who's the most productive in this country? The factory workers. The cashiers. The gas station attendants. The vegetable pickers. And, yes, the teachers. And if anyone's appropriating their labor value, it's their bosses, and their bosses' bosses, and the stockholders who did nothing but buy a share in a company from someone else who took the actual investment risk, and all the bankers and payday lenders and health insurance companies who bleed us dry.

You want corrupt, look at Goldman Sachs, which just tripled its CEO's salary for no good reason except that he's the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Productive? Pfft. Goldman Sachs produces nothing. Its entire business model consists of skimming off the top of other people's financial transactions.

There's nothing inherently corrupt about a union except in the tiny brains of people who are offended when those they think are nobodies insist on being recognized as somebodies. United, we bargain; divided, we beg. Teachers should not have to be beggars.

Anonymous said...

What's immoral about taking the fruit of someone's labor under threat of force? Gee, enlightened progressive, I have no idea. The only things that are immoral are keeping gay people from serving in the military, having to pay for your own health care, and the existence of Sarah Palin. Right?

As for amateur Marxist anjiaoshi, if the government only stole from Goldman Sachs (instead of actually enabling them) then perhaps you'd have a point.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I'm with anijoshi. And in particular, I think dumping the consequences of your spending problem on children is immoral.

Anonymous said...

If the government "stole" from Goldman Sachs instead of enabling it, I wouldn't have a complaint.

Only where you say "stole," I would say, "put an end to its parasitism on the U.S. economy," or maybe, "demanded a reasonable share of frankly staggering profits, made (not necessarily earned) thanks entirely to the security of a stable system of law and contracts which can only be created by government, in order to promote the common good of the general public, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, which the right wing worships without having actually understood, much as it does the Bible."

Dwight D. Eisenhower was "Marxist" by your ignorant definition, Anonymous Poltroon.

Anonymous said...

"taking the fruit of someone's labor under threat of force"

I must admit, I'm intrigued by how you're able to get on the Internet given that you must live in a hut in the woods without any electricity, roads, heat, snow removal, store-bought food or anything else that is created or regulated by the government with the fruits of your labor that have been taken from you under threat of force.

Not to mention I wonder how you have the time to make these postings, given that you have to spend hours a day keeping watch over your house since you don't use police or fire departments, all of which are financed by the government with the money that they take from you under threat of force.

And I'm amazed that without education - well, no, obviously you didn't partake any of that.

Rick Massimo

Anonymous said...

I live in Ohio, which has an above
average group of junior chess players. Here are the top 4 middle
school ratings in Ohio: 1657, 1620, 1617, and 1614. IS 318, at the
time of the 2010 National Grade Levels had ELEVEN students with higher ratings than all middle school players in Ohio.

Given the amazing job your coaching
staff has done developing national championship teams, it is next to criminal that Elizabeth could lose her job due to budget cuts. Elizabeth deserves so much better
than to worry about job security.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

thank you so much!