Category Archives: Education

Politically incorrect opinions on the education system of New York City as well as politically incorrect opinions on educational issues in the United States of America. Education is important and stupidity involving education in general is contagious.

How to Not Get Screwed When Buying a New Car

How to Not Get Screwed When Buying a New Card
I love cars! From my earliest childhood memories of playing with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to speaking with my father about cars there is just something about cars that I love that words cannot express. To be 100% transparent I don’t know why. Perhaps its in our DNA? The sad fact is that most of us will bite the bullet and purchase a new car and get screwed along the way. Statistically speaking a person purchases a new car every 7 years so most of us, except for myself can be considered an expert in the new car buying field.

The only one way to know how not get screwed when buying a new car, or car in general, is to get screwed and learn from the mistake. I no longer get screwed when buying a new car as I have learned from my mistakes and have decided to share my education with you so you too will know hot to not get screwed when buying a new car. I hope you are coming across this post and have yet to purchase you’re first new car but even if you have purchased a new car in the past I hope that this post helps you as well as you were probably screwed when you purchased your new car.

IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CARS!

The first step is to identify the cars that you want and CAN AFFORD. We all have different wants and needs when deciding on the car we want but only you know the ideal vehicle for you. Concerns such as fuel economy, insurance rates, reliability and cost of ownership way heavily on you. You need to think long and hard about the ideal, in your price range, vehicle for you. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES!

TEST DRIVE AND ONLY TEST DRIVE!

Once you’ve identified your ideal cars the second step is to test drive those vehicles. I cannot stress this enough…..the second step is to test drive the cars not to purchase a car. Purchasing a car can be a very emotional decision and you don’t want to test drive a new car and buy it WITHOUT DRIVING THEM ALL! The sales people are going to try to get you to buy as that is what they do but don’t be a sucker. Act as if you’re going to buy but at the end of the test drive tell the sales person that you like the car but need some time. The salesperson is going to be aggressive and try to get you to buy by asking such things as “What don’t you like about the car?” or “Is there any good reason that you can give me as to why you can’t cut a deal with me today?” This is easy for me but may be difficult for you. Simple state “I’m shopping and need to know what car I like most before I can cut a deal. I don’t know if I like this car the most since I haven’t driven anything else on my list so if this is the car for me you’ll see me again.” You’re going to act as if you’re ready to buy as sales people don’t want to waste their time on the test drive if you’re not a real prospect. You’re one and only goal at this point is to test drive the car. NOTHING MORE. JUST TEST DRIVE AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT TEST DRIVE! Even if you have test driven other cars DO NOT DISCLOSE THIS FACT!

MAKE YOUR SELECTION

At this point you’ve narrowed down your choices and have test driven all the cars that meet your criteria. It’s now time for you to make your selection. “I’m going to buy the Honda Accord Sport.”

DO NOT SETTLE!

You’ve made your selection. You KNOW the COLOR, MODEL and OPTIONS you want. Do not settle for anything less. There is no worse feeling than driving your brand new car that you’ll be making payments on for the next 5 to 6 years only to say to yourself “I should have taken the moon roof” or “I should have bought the red one.” It’s the salespersons job to sell what he or she has in stock but DO NOT SETTLE! Besides there is no need to settle as I’ll tell you why.

GETTING THE BEST DEAL

You now know the car you want, the color, the model and all the options. You’re now going to get the price you want. How? Thankfully there is something available that wasn’t available in the past and that something is TrueCar.com. You’re going to go to TrueCar.com and enter the exact car that you want and get as many true car certificates you want as to “lock in your savings.” All the dealers are going to contact you and attempt to schedule an appointment for you to come in. All you have to say is “Give me the final price, out the door with tax, title, tags & DELIVERY FEE and I’ll get back to you.

THE DELIVERY FEE?

Paying a delivery fee on a car is 100% a total scam. Many new car dealers will quote you a price that may be $200 less than your best quote but the dealer may be omitting the mandatory $500 delivery fee. The delivery fee is simply the new car dealer charging you for the cost for the dealership to have the vehicle delivered to the dealership from the manufacturer. Think about this logically. If you’re going to purchase new living room furniture are your going to pay for the cost of that the furniture store should have incurred when they had the furniture delivered as add on fee or should the delivery fee already be factored into the final sales price? The answer is FACTORED INTO THE FINAL SALES PRICE!

PRICE SHOPPING

At this point you’ve spoken to all the TrueCar.com dealers and have the price with tax, title, tags and delivery fee included. Now its time to make a few calls. Obviously not all the car dealers in you area are TrueCar.com dealers so locate as many dealers within your location range as you want but when you call ASK FOR AND ONLY SPEAK TO THE NEW CAR MANAGER! Give the manager all the details of your car as in “I’m in the process of trying to locate a 2016 Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon Limited with sunroof, leather interior, navigation and EyeSight. Do you have one in stock?” If the dealer you’ve contacted has the vehicle in stock ask what is the best price you can give me with tax, title, tags and delivery fee included out the door?” Now for an aside…

GAP INSURANCE OR NO GAP INSURANCE?”

You may need gap insurance when your purchase your new car. Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe and what the car is worth in the event of theft or total loss. You need to factor what the depreciation is on your new car as well as what you’ll owe on the car throughout the forthcoming years. For example, when I purchased my new car I put very little down and knew that as soon as I drove off the lot that withing the year I would be upside down on my car meaning that in the event of theft or total loss my insurance company was going to pay less that what I owed on the car so I know I needed gap insurance. However, when my wife purchased her new car she put down almost half or 50% of the final sales price. Factoring in that her car has a low level of depreciation and that she puts little to no mileage on her car it would have made no sense to purchase gap insurance. Gap insurance normally costs between $400 to $600 so you can easily obtain it on your own or obtain it from the dealer as long as it’s in that $400 to $600 price range. Now for another aside…….

FINANCING!

Most if not all of you are going to finance your vehicle. However, DO NOT GO TO GET YOUR NEW CAR WITHOUT HAVING FINANCING IN PLACE! New car dealers or most car dealers for the matter will attempt to sell you on payment but you won’t have to deal with the back and forth haggle with the car dealers finance department as you’ll already have financing in place. Do a quick Google search for new car finance rates and apply for a new car loan with the bank you do your banking with. An interest rate withing proximity is not going to break the bank. For example, there is little difference between a new car loan of 3.25% and 3.75%. For example, if you’re financing $25,000 for 5 years (60 months) a rate of 3.25% would give you a payment of $452 whereas a rate of 3.75% would give you a payment of $458 or a $6 dollar a month difference. With financing in place your in the drivers seat! LOL!!

TIME TO GET YOUR DUCKS LINED UP

At this point you have the car you want with the color and all the bells and whistles at the right price waiting for you at the dealership with pre-approved financing in place. Call the dealer and get the VIN #. Call your insurance company, get proof of coverage and forward the proof of coverage to the dealership. Call the dealership to confirm receipt of the insurance coverage and ask what time the car will be prepped and ready for you to drive off in.

ARRIVING AT THE DEALERSHIP

Arrive at the new car dealership and announce “I’m here to pick up my car.” You should go straight to the finance department or better yet meet with the new car manager who will ask “If we can meet or beat the interest rate on your car loan would you have an issue with allowing us to provide financing?” At this point it’s up to you as to whether your choose to allow the dealership to match your rate and earn a few $$$ for the referral, slightly beat the rate or state “I’m good at am ready to drive off.” If you decide to allow them to match or try to beat your rate you’ll spend a few minutes filling out a finance application.

THE FINAL DEAL

You’ll be sitting in the finance department and asked to sign a ton of documents. Before you sign anything ask “What is the out the door price you have on those papers?” If the price is anything other than what was discussed and agreed upon you have a few options. You can ask “Why the difference?” negotiate (You shouldn’t have to!) or simply WALK RIGHT OUT! Hopefully everything will be in order and you can drive off in your brand new car but if everything is not in order don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s simply a matter of a few more phone calls before you’re driving off and smiling ear to ear.

The bottom line is that purchasing a new car should be a great experience but purchasing a new car is usually not. The dealership is in business to sell as many cars as the can at the highest possible profit margin whereas you’re trying to purchase a new car without getting screwed. The new car dealership has the advantage as this is what they do all day, every day for as long as their in business. You on the other hand may be purchasing a new car for the first time or for the second time in anywhere between 5-8 years. The dealership normally has the advantage but not this time as you were lucky to come across this how not get screwed when buying a new car post on this blog.

If you have questions or need some help feel free to reach out via the contact for on this blog. Hopefully you are smiling ear to ear as you drive off in the new car you can afford while not having settled while the dealership you purchased the car from states “WOW, I’m glad those type of people are few and far between!”

This Message Should Be Played at Every School in the Country!

Listen to This!!

“Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work – Press 2

To complain about what we do – Press 3

To swear at staff members – Press 4

To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you – Press 5

If you want us to raise your child – Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year – Press 8

To complain about bus transportation – Press 9

To complain about school lunches – Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!

If you want this in another language, move to a country that speaks it. ”

Well said……..

Cathie Black is Chancellor of NYC Schools?!!!

No wonder the New York City school system is going down the crapper and will continue to do so with the appointment of Cathie Black as Chancellor of NYC Schools.

With the impending departure of super failure, accomplished absolutely nothing, business background a-hole Joel Klein the obvious choice for Mayor Douche was to appoint a woman who has never attended a NYC school, sends her children to private school and has no educational expertise or experience. WTF!!!????

Now just imagine appointing a NYC commissioner of police who was never a police officer or a FDNY chief who was never a firefighter. Doesn’t make much sense does it? So the failure of a mayor, spend millions on my campaign and barely win after over turning term limits appoints a fucking publisher?! Better yet, she gets a waiver from the state education commissioner for having no background in education because she’s qualified? Sorry but being a publisher does not qualify a person to run NYC Schools. Why not appoint a guy who owns a 10 Dunkin Donuts Franchises because he’s good with numbers?

A group of parents filed a lawsuit over the appointment and a civil rights lawyer filed a petition in Supreme Court in Albany but the end result will be that Cathie Black is Chancellor! As a parent I’m super pissed that this woman was appointed and furious that all efforts to remove her will fail.

Fucking ridiculous!

NYC Charter Schools Equals Public School Elimination

A Charter Schools is simply a school of choice. Parents choose the Charter School that has a curriculum that they feel would be good for the child and the teachers and administration have more say than provided in traditional public school. I feel that educational options are always a good thing but in the City of New York, charter schools are being utilized as an attempt to take over the entire NYC public school system.

NYC has been closing “failing schools” at an alarming rate. “Failing schools” are considered failing schools based upon nothing more than test scores and in the case of high school’s graduation rates. However, funding or lack thereof, individualized student performance; attendance and parental involvement are ignored.

Charter Schools provides New York City with the ability to treat Charter School teachers as a regular private company employee. Why is this important? New York is an at will employment state. An employer can fire an employee at any time with or without cause as the employee also has the ability to quit at anytime with or without notice. A teacher in a Charter School is not a member of the United Federation of Teachers and as a result can be terminated by administration at anytime whereas a public school teacher as a member of the United Federation of Teachers cannot.

It’s no secret that Charter Schools in most cases share space with public schools and in the event a public school is closed as a failing school a new public school will not be created. Rather the building will be given to a Charter School or divided amongst different Charter Schools. But as union members, New York City teachers cannot be fired right? Wrong, in the event a fiscal emergency is declared the City of New York can fire teachers. As of the writing of this blog post, the city is preparing to eliminate 8,500 teachers. Where will these teachers go as the City of New York will not be hiring public school teachers? Oh yeah, Charter Schools will be hiring.

Now let’s take it a step further. Failing schools are failing schools more often than not due to special needs students, students that do not attend and students whose parents are not actively involved in the education of their children. Where are these students going to go? They’ll simply be enrolled at performing schools where these students will potentially turn the performing schools into a non- performing aka “failing schools.” The school is failing and now needs to be closed but that’s okay, the city will just open a charter school in it’s place.

This will of course not happen overnight but the ball is in motion, The city attempted to close 5 failing schools in favor of Charter Schools but the parents and teachers of those communities fought the decision and won. The schools will remain open but for how long?

I like like Charter Schools and feel that they are a valuable alternative to both public and private schools. However, Charter Schools need to occupy their own space, construct their own buildings and stay separate and apart from public schools. Charter Schools should remain an alternative and not a replacement . The city of New York of course prefers Charter Schools as it gives them what they want. Complete and total control over the educational system of the City of New York with the added benefit of doing what they’ve always wanted to do; Eliminate the United Federation of Teachers and break the union.

Merit Pay for Teachers in New York City

For those of you not familiar with the term merit pay, it’s simply a way for teachers to receive financial incentive for students excelling in their educational studies. So what exactly is the issue? Don’t private and public companies alike provide financial incentives to their employees for a job well done? Providing financial incentives for a job well done works just fine in most cases, but would be a disaster and not fair for teachers in the New York City School system.

So why is it that merit pay does not work and should not be implemented in the New York City school system? First, the City of New York would like to base merit pay solely on the ability of the students to pass the year end city and state exams. Makes sense in that the year end exams are supposed to gauge whether the teacher did his or her job. However, the year end exams are meant to show whether the student is now currently on grade level. So what’s the problem? The city does now want to take into account if the child started on grade level to begin with. For example, if a child beginning 3rd grade is currently reading on a 1st grade level and fails the 3rd grade exam it does not mean the teacher did not do his or her job. Technically the teacher would have needed to reinforce all material of the 1st grade level, get the child to read on a 2nd grade level, reinforce that material and then begin teaching the child 3rd grade material. Yes the student may have failed the year end reading examinations but can also mean that the teacher simply ran out of time.

Second, if a child enters third grade on a 1st grade reading level it does not mean the 1st and 2nd grade teachers failed to do his or her job. Teachers can only teach those who are willing to be taught. If a child doesn’t comes to class, doodles in his or her books and does not complete homework assignments, is that truly the fault of the teacher? Not in my opinion. It’s the fault of the child’s parent(s). If a teacher writes a letter home, makes phone calls to the students home and receives no response from the parent what is the teacher to do? Should the teacher also raise the child and make home visits? A teacher’s job is to teach and a parent’s job is to raise their children. If a parent is not taking an active role in their children’s education and chooses to ignore the teacher then why should the teacher be held accountable for the educational performance of that child?

Third, teachers in higher income areas whose students have actively involved parents will have more students that pass the year end city and state examinations. The teachers in those schools will receive merit pay while the teachers in lower income areas that have little to no parental involvement will not. This will lead to teachers trying to transfer from their schools to “higher performing” schools. Of course, most teachers would not be able to transfer and will continue their careers working twice as hard while continuing to receive less pay. Technically if you are working twice as hard as someone shouldn’t you be compensated more for your work?

I’m in favor for people receiving additional compensation for a job well done but there is currently no effective way for merit pay to be given to teachers of New York City. There are too many variables that need to be taken into consideration and accounted for that is separate and independent of test scores and raw data. Until the City of New York can effectively gauge and grade each student’s parent on their involvement or non involvement in the education of their child merit pay will never work.