Mayor Bill de Blaio announced earlier in the week the appointment of Aimee Horowitz as the new Executive Superintendent of the School Renewal Program. While the Mayor and other politicians gave Ms. Horowitz glowing acclaim, there is another, darker side to Aimee Horowitz.
Back in 2013, Aimee Horowitz was Superintendent of District 20 and participated in the discontinuance of a untenured teacher who had tried to inform the Superintendent of Regents cheating at her Brooklyn High School. While a Superintendent's job is to discontinue teachers without tenure that don't measure up, this one was different. This teacher was a whistle blower and was being retaliated against. The teacher had cc'd the Superintendent on the letters she wrote to the Principal detailing the Regents cheating she observed and reported to the Assistant Principal. Yet, the teacher was never contacted by Aimee Horowitz, despite the seriousness of the accusations. You can read the teacher's story Here.
To make matters worse, the untenured teacher was told by the Principal that the Superintendent was not only going to discontinue the teacher but would recommend to the State to go after her license for "professional misconduct". I guess for being a whistle blower. In fact, in the discontinuance letter signed by Aimee Horowitz to the teacher, the Superintendent wrote that she will recommend a C-31 which is a license revocation action which was apparently dropped right before the Office of Appeals and Review hearing when the DOE knew they could not prove there was any teacher misconduct. Interestingly, SCI become involved after the NY Post published an article on the case and did do an investigation which substantiated that Regents cheating did occur. However, the report has not been issued or even completed and nobody knows who was found to have participated in the Regents cheating scandal. However, the administrators are still in their positions at the high school. By the way, SCI failed to interview the untenured teacher which is quite puzzling since she was the one who blew the whistle on the Regents cheating in the first place.
The untenured teacher filed an Article 78 and had a process server give a subpena to Superintendent Aimee Horowitz. Instead of being a professional and accept the subpena, she had a "hissy fit" and refused to accept the subpena from the server and had to be restrained by her assistant. The subpena had to be mailed to her.
You would think as a Superintendent, when a Regents cheating complaint was mailed to your office, you would have at least interviewed the teacher to determine the seriousness of the allegation and see what action needs to be taken. Instead Superintendent Horowitz chose to let the Principal handle it. Yes, the very same Principal that might have been complicit in the Regents cheating scandal. When a high UFT official spoke to the Superintendent about the teacher and the charges , Aimee Horowitz allegedly told the UFT official that its her job to support her principals and their decisions. Obviously, the truth is not as important to Aimee Horowitz then closing ranks to protect her principals at the expense of the students and staff at the schools she supervised.
To me, a true professional would investigate the accusations, fairly evaluate complaints and take action when deemed necessary. Unfortunately, Aimee Horowitz appears lacking in that expertize. However, it didn't stop her from being promoted. Now that she is in charge of the NYC Renewal schools, I feel sorry for the staff, especially the teachers. It appears that cronyism still rules at the DOE at the expense of competence and the losers are the NYC schools.