Friday, March 29, 2013

What Is A Doenut?

Folks who read this blog tend to call me doenuts. Folks who read it and know me call me John Doenuts. While they're both cute and cheeky ways to address me, the fact is that addressing me as doenuts sort of misses the point.

The label doenuts isn't intended to be a reflection of me. Rather, it's intended to reflect anything that is crazy and silly about the  comings and goings of the New York City Department of Education. For instance:

 This history lesson about public opinion during the Vietnam war has long been lauded as a model for excellence in a high school social studies classroom. It does everything an excellent lesson should do: It displays excellent planning, excellent student-driven teaching  and models authentic assessment. The teacher is world class, the lesson is world class and the video has been studied by teachers and future teachers for support with perfecting their craft. Yet when measured against one of the sub-domains of New York City's 'Danielson rubric', this very teacher in this very lesson is ineffective, or developing with regard to her questioning techniques.

Excellent time honored teaching seen as poor and ineffective? That's a doenut.


The Mayor's confession at MIT that he'd like to double the size of our classes, because good teaching can overcome large class sizes!

Education mayor suggesting to put 1.1 million school children in jeopardy because he A) Wanted to make headlines or B) Doesn't know what the sam hill he's talking about with regard to education? Yeah. That's a doenut.


Chancellor Klein insisting that it's totally cool to release teacher's names and test score numbers, that it's alright if those test scores didn't reveal good data and that it's completely acceptable to ask the press to FOIL this information so that it didn't appear as though he wanted to do it.

To be clear: When your boss hates you so much that he wants all of your names in the newspaper, that's a doenut. And it won't ever be anything but.


Cathy Black. (doenut), the Fair Funding Formula (doenut) creation of at ATR pool (doenut) or pretty much anything related to how Francesco Portelos is being treated by our employer (doenut)

Taken as whole, given the true nature of their random zaniness (and the totally true zaniness of their random nature), these instances comprise what I like to think of as doenuts (crazy things that happen in the NYCDOE). Ergo, this blog: A collection of thoughts spotlighting some of those crazy things that happen in New York City's public schools. 

So, you see, I'm not doenuts. This blog is about them. 

And I'm so disappointed that I actually had to explain that!


  1. I can forgive me....for storing your number as the name of th blog...but I, of course...knew exactly what it meant. This is very some people definitely need an explanation.

  2. It was very clear what "Doenuts" means and the identification of those who are labeled "Doenuts".

    Here's another "Doenuts": principals who graduated from the Leadership Academy but never taught a day in their life, but are given the power to evaluate teachers.

  3. Wow!

    I got it. I will admit I had to read ot twice to get the D-O-E NUTS a couple of yesrs ago.

    I left teaching at the DOE because they are nuts. I worked short of 10 years coming from corporate technology with many skills. I must say I was shocked at the lack of skills many teachers had, so I'm not surprised you have a few that didn't get it. It does say a lot about the system. The administration is worse. Principals and APs and now the CFN "consultants" demonsrrate the ignorance and lack of skills at the top.

    I'm sorry you had to explain it. Reflections of the state of ignorance in the U.S. Remember the society does not value education(critical thinkers). It values consumerism, arms possession, and vacuous slogans. That's why you had to explain it.