Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Didn't Chancellor Carmen Farina Remove Principal Marcella Sills From PS 106?






















In her first real test to show that as Chancellor, Carmen Farina would change the dysfunctional DOE, she has failed the test in not removing Principal Marcella Sills from PS 106, pending an investigation on the very serious accusations made against her. It appears that the Chancellor has glossed over the allegations as she sent a Deputy to observe the school on Monday and made no changes but to offer support to the school. The least the Chancellor should have done was to reassign the Principal to either her network (CFN 05) or the Superintendent's Office.  Instead the Chancellor has decided to leave the accused Principal in charge of the school and that's unfortunate.

The Chancellor's lack of action smacks as "business as usual" at the DOE where the Principal is presumed innocent and is protected by the higher ups, despite the seriousness of the accusations.  By keeping the Principal in charge of the school it causes a "chilling effect" for the school staff.  What staff member is going to complain about the Principal while she's still in charge?  Not many, if any, since they automatically becomes a target for the Principal to rate "ineffective" or come up with trumped up misconduct charges.

What the Chancellor should have done is one, remove the Principal until the investigation against her is finished. Two, have the Special Commissioner of Investigations (SCI)  investigate the attendance and financial allegations against the Principal, and three, personally interview all the "higher ups" about what they knew and what, if any action was taken when confronted with the allegations against Marcella Sills.  That includes the Superintendent, the Network, and Tweed.

Maybe I will be proven wrong and Chancellor Carmen Farina will "do the right thing" and eventually remove the Principal for cause.  However, more importantly, what will the Chancellor do with the DOE "higher ups" who protected Ms. Sills and ignored or refused to take action on the allegations against her.  I was really hoping that Carmen Farina would "clean house at the DOE".  Instead there are no resignations and she is playing the Four Tops song called "Its The Same Old Song" when it comes to the dysfunctional DOE and that's a shame.


33 comments:

Bronx Teacher said...

Another case of stealing time ignored by DOE http://www.southbronxschool.com/2013/07/cover-up-at-is-162-in-bronx-lets-ask.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

I have an idea: Maybe the UFT could open up one of it's numerous bank accounts and hire a private investigator to track where and when this principal comes to school. SCI tracks teachers that they think are skipping out on duties. Why can't we do the same?

Me said...

I wonder if you would have said the same thing if it was a teacher who acted the same way. Ms sills may eventually get what she deserves but you cant just go firing people without all the evidence.

The uft has backed worse cases and they usually end up in settling terms for early retirement. I expect the same to occur

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you would have said the same thing if it was a teacher who acted the same way. Ms sills may eventually get what she deserves but you cant just go firing people without all the evidence.

The uft has backed worse cases and they usually end up in settling terms for early retirement. I expect the same to occur

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to agree with you!!!!

Anonymous said...

They've allowed worse principals then her to remain until the investigation concludes. They've had principals nailed on serious charges, and they usually stay on that job for awhile.

Could be up to a year- so, yes...it's biz as usual.

Anonymous said...

That picture of FariƱa with your caption above should be on the cover of tomorrow's NY Post. It says it all. In fact, if you have a connection with Susan Edelman, you should forward it to her Chaz. Then again, by now she must be aware that everyone knows she's a softie and really botched this. Pathetic indeed.

Tamar Flower said...

It is only 2 weeks into the job. If anyone thinks there will be major changes into 2 weeks of the new administrative change, I think people really think about it.

If things will be changed this year, it will probably done gradually and intermittently to not mess with the current school year. I anticipate more of the 'bigger' changes will come next year when they can begin anew. I think part of new changes will be re-organizing districts back to community schools and re-interviewing superintendents for their jobs.

As for any investigations, according to the Post today, investigations and audits are being done on the school to find out what happened to the missing resources and money. I think once Marcella Sills realized she was busted, she tried to act like all was okay and put on the pony show yesterday. So the chancellor office is playing it cool until they know exactly how to proceed.

Marcella Sills was accompanied to and from school with her attorney. She knows she is in a s#$t load of trouble.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz,
Not for nothing, but give her a chance to do her job(Farina). I'm a regular reader and contributor to your blog, but I must say enough already with the Sills story. She's not the only one (delusional,incompetent, nutcase) out there. There are other stories that need attention,i.e. DeBlasio and charters. I also believe something should be said about the ATR advisory committee.

Chaz said...

Anon 7:10

Yhe "no-brainer" would be to reassign her as the DOE does with teachers accused of major misconduct. She had the authority to do this and failed.

Anon 5:52

Correct but that was with the Bloomberg Chancellors not the new Chancellor who should have done the right thing.

Anon 5:28

The teacher would have been swiftly removed by the DOE to protect the children and so should a Principal. There can't be a "double standard".

Anonymous said...

Teachers who are sneaking away from work or are abusing sick days are indeed spied on by SCI. (For better or worse) If they are abusing the system they deserve what they have coming to them. This principal deserves the same treatment. People who pull this kind of crap get no sympathy from me. They are scum just like the cops that just got busted for scamming their disability pensions. When principals, teachers, or cops, abuse a system that is in place for all of us, it puts all of our benefits at risk. Of course people are innocent until proven guilty. It would not take much proof to show that this principal was missing massive amounts of work. Uncouth teachers do the same and should be held responsible for their unprofessional behavior. Oh yeah, I am not some conservative pundit or stooge. I am a PUBLIC school teacher with almost 20 years on the job.

Anonymous said...

As bad as Shael is, I'd prefer that the new DOE look at Minerva Zanca. She's still the principal of Pan American HS. She made headlines last summer after an AP testified that she made racist remarks.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/nyc-principal-racist-minerva-zanca_n_3573684.html
http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/07/nyc-principals-comments-that-black-teachers-are-gorillas-with-nappy-hair-incite-protest/comment-page-1/
http://thegrio.com/2013/07/11/nyc-principal-allegedly-referred-to-black-teacher-as-gorilla/
http://news.yahoo.com/nyc-principal-allegedly-called-black-teachers-nappy-headed-125006272.html
Then again the DOE's always has come down hard on teachers, yet treat the principals with kid gloves.

Anonymous said...

She's got a badass Commando Candy Red BMW X5. Stop drooling over her luxurious materialistic items. You pathetic teachers drive 10 year old Chevy's with no heat. You're all just jealous of her $7,000.00 fur.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Chaz is absolutely correct: given that this arose at the beginning of her tenure, Farina had an one-time-only opportunity to send a message throughput the school system that the school would be supported, while the Principal would be removed while these serious charges are investigated.

In Assessment #1, the Chancellor is rated Ineffective.

Anonymous said...

The ole nyc gotham schools website is now officially a charter school site as most of the headlines and stories are pro charter and many other charter related issues. The site has been redesigned and is a complete mess and one who use to frequent the site realizes that basically no one is on the site anymore as there are very few comments. SO, the chaz site now is the mainstay for education as you can see the increase in comments

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz,
Just a mention that's a little off topic. At Morris HS in the Bronx (a huge 5 school campus) there is no librarian. (I'm sure there are many librarian ATRs out there.) None of the schools want to pay for one, so the library remains locked. This kind of nonsense taken on a city wide scale is as egregious as the Sills story.

Anonymous said...

The gaul of fat ass chris christy to say that the school day needs to be longer and the school year as well. Again, we have a corrupt, fat ass lawyer dictating what education policy should be. The balls on this fat ass to suggest that the system is "antiquated" is disturbing because here is a corrupt fat ass who was busted but still has the gaul to state anti teacher education crap that he has been spewing for years. Hey fat ass, get out of town you corrupt fat ass

Anonymous said...

Same thing at JFK high school in the Bronx! Over 5 thousand kids and the library is locked tight- no access to anyone allowed. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

How can the city expect kids to read if they're denied access to the school's library. In Morris the kids walk around with cell phones, but are denied access to books! When the library was left open (without a librarian) students were found having sex in the side rooms. Hire a librarian!

Anonymous said...

Here is a good one for all. As an ATR i was at several high schools in the bronx and all of them had NO library. However, I have met at least 20 or more ATR librarians who travel from school to school every week and all of them are saddened by what bloomshit has done to our precious libraries and librarians!! Thats right people, schools have no libraries but the city has dozens of librarians rotating around the city for nothing!!!! And people want to know why bloomshit was a PR machine only and never made any of the schools better. Mr. Diblasio, Ms. Farina, if you are reading this please get our ATR professionals back into the schools so that we can have libraries, guidance counselors and teachers to lower class size....Ahhh geez, bloomberg was so BAD......OMG

OTE admin said...

"Removal" is not firing. This principal needs to be fired, period. Teachers in this country have been fired for the most petty or nonexistent of reasons, like yours truly. Scum like Sills need to be sent packing. This is what happens when you have a public entity that operates on the patronage system. What will happen is this rotten principal will merely be moved to another job or to the central office.

Chaz said...

OTE admin

All educators must be assumed innocent and that includes Marcella Sills. However, she should have been removed so not to intimidate staff when SCI starts their investigation.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's so uptight. This entire system is like fairyland. Hundreds, if not thousands of administrators of all levels, are in the wrong positions. The title of AP or Principal or Superintendent or Network Leader or Deputy, etc, are mostly held by unqualified personnel. The leadership at all levels is atrocious. Some speak English very poorly. Some can't stand in front of a class of 34 and teach 5 times a day. Others can't spell and are consistently sending out improper memos that are embarrassing. Some speak other languages in front of you. Most lie about their budgets. Most don't post positions, just fill positions with friends.
The days of a "quality" administrator are very long gone. The new breed are not classy at all. These new administrators would have a tough time being hired as substitutes when I began my career as a teacher. Now, they're all in charge. What a damn shame. You can't become an administrator in my town without approval from the board and community. There is serious input from parents and community leaders. A "network" doesn't pick a random person (who's a friend and will retain the network's services as the deal breaker). Three no such thing. My family lives in a district. We have real parents and real input. There are no embarrassing administrators. There are no ridiculous titles that are made up. There are no consultant groups earning millions to share xerox copied material at a fake professional development staff meeting. We don't hire people from other countries to try to tell us how to teach or what we're doing wrong. We run the show. There's a real PTA and a real link between school and neighborhood. The kids from my town go to their zoned school. There's no crap to destroy neighborhoods by opening up the floodgates like NYC or Yonkers.
The sad state of these pathetic schools is a result of the higher leadership that strangled and reduced local schools to zeros. The funniest thing is that if you look at the progress reports for the new schools replacing the local neighborhood community schools, they're even worse with regents passing rates of below 40% in plenty of the regents exams. A total and complete mess.
Well, I do make a 6 figure salary and it really is funny to watch these administrators try to run a school. I really can't complain. I'm more upset about the lack of brainpower that exists amongst administrators. It's very watered down. Instead of 15, maybe 20 high schools per borough, you now have over 100 in each (except Staten Island). What a joke! I think I'll call out tomorrow. We don't have a payroll secretary so there's a good chance it won't be counted as a sick day. Ah haa!

Anonymous said...

What needs to happen is that the board of examiners needs to return. Prior to the early 90s aps and principals needed to pass very rigourous exams before they could be placed in there respective positions. Now you have anyone who can become a principal. Most of these people have no business a teacher much less being a principal. With the return of testing at least there will be some level of competancy.

Anonymous said...

We might work at the same school. Haha. A few years back, a principal in one if the small schools at my campus moved on. The great network brought in a clueless female principal who was a friend. In return for the principalship, she agreed to retain him and that particular network for years to come. That's the truth and you know it's really how this whole network game with the principals really work. It's just one of many examples.

Anonymous said...

It's too late. There's an abundance of AP's and Principals. There's even plenty of ATR AP's and ATR Principals. These people are guaranteed jobs. You just can't get rid of people. I mean it's not like they're teachers. LOL

I noticed that... said...

So a principal can steal time, be excessively late, and show overt dereliction of her duties of providing an adequate education for the children in her charge and the double-standard mentality of keeping her stays in affect as a status quo.

Yet, teachers who have out ill for less than 10 days in a school year receive a letter for their files.

So justice for my colleagues is still delayed and denied in Tweedom.

Chaz said...

Its called a "double standard".

Anonymous said...

She was not removed because the higher ups were given direct instructions to not touch any Leadership Academy principal - no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Personally know people at the school. What you have read "IS" true. Reporting time should be 7:30 AM for her and she has "NEVER" been there at that time and this has been going on over 5 years. It is true there is no nurses office, it is true there is a destroyed building sitting there which no one has done anything about or cares to, so teachers are all on top of one another in a small main building. Some teachers don't have an equipt classroom with the basics of essentials that most schools now have these days in the 21st century. You know like books for all subjects, an actual blackboard or white board to write on and the Smartboards which almost all schools have now and this one does not. There is brush weeds near and around the building with garbage all over. What you read in the NY Post "IS" true.

Teaching Under Assault said...

Librarians and Reading Specialists. Two titles which have all but disappeared from the DOE landscape. I guess the kids just read THAT well now. Someone should look into how many ATRs are licensed in Reading and Library Science. It's a sin that these specialized teachers are riding the ATR merry-go-round while libraries are shuttered and no one get remedial reading from a qualified teacher.

Unknown said...

http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/mediarelations/NewsandSpeeches/2013-2014/School+open+12214.htm

This is horrible. Two feet of snow and she still refuses to close schools. Most kids have no choice but to hurt their attendance records because of this. Those who don't will be in danger.

Anonymous said...

Marcella Sills was removed. It took a month, but it happened. They did the right thing which was to investigate before acting. I just hope the removal has stuck since the February headline saying so.