Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Mayor's Poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Fails To Live Up To His Promise To Take Action Against Cheating Principals - What Else Is New?
Chancellor Dennis Walcott has once again failed to live up to his promise to change the culture of the DOE by allowing a high school Principal to stay on payroll and not face 3020-a termination charges of cheating. It was only a month ago that in a response to a question about cheating that the Mayor's poodle said the following "falsifying information will not be tolerated". I guess he meant teachers not administrators. Just another example of the DOE "double standard" when disciplining teachers and administrators.
The story begins with the so-called super principal, Dr. Janet Saraceno taking over over the "B" rated Lehman High School to straighten out the financial irregularities under the departed former Principal, Roibert Leder in January of 2008. Under her three year tenure the school grade deteriorated from a "B" to an "F" while she received a $25,000 bonus on top of her $143,000 salary. Unbelievable. During this time many of the teachers were complaining about changed grades without their knowledge or approval, credit recovery afternoon courses that didn't exist, unearned credit, and failure to report violent incidents. Reluctantly, the DOE asked their investigative unit, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to investigate the charges. In what was a snail-like investigative process (I guess the DOE was hoping it would just go away), OSI finally released the report two years later. The report was vague and seemed to ignore or minimize many of the allegations, especially the validity of PM classes and the credit recovery that some students received. However, the OSI investigation substantiated that the Principal did illegally change 30 student grades from failing to passing it is a violation of both New York State and DOE policy. Interestingly, the OSI report made no recommendation about what punishment Dr. Saraceno should receive and the report was issued on a Friday afternoon in the summer as if to reduce the outcry on the OSI report. While I cannot prove that Tweed's hands were all over the report's findings. It would appear the snail like pace of the investigation, the reluctance to remove the Principal while the investigation was ongoing, and the issuance of the report on a Friday afternoon in the summer strongly supports it.
The Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, claimed it was "poor judgement"and not only refused to either terminate Dr. Saracena or put her through a 3020-a hearing but actually promoted her to become an instructional leader at Tweed. In other words here is a Principal that saw her school grade drop from a "B" to an "F", violated education policy, and was implicated in a bogus credit recovery program to artificially raise graduation rates and instead of being terminated, the Chancellor promotes her with only taking back the $25,000 bonus. Can you image if this was a teacher who improperly changed grades, what the charges would be? You guessed it cheating and that teacher would have been removed from the classroom and charged under the 3020-a for termination. Even the New York Post columnist, Michael Goodwin, has commented on this travesty, Here.
Yes under the Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, nothing has changed and the DOE's "double standard" between teachers and administrators is still going strong.