Sunday, May 22, 2016
Is This Hometown Hero Principal Really One? I Don't Think So.
The New York Daily News is starting their bogus hometown hero series again and while some educators are really heroes, quite a few selections are highly questionable. A case in point is the latest nominee, Principal Shawn Rux of MS 53, the Brian Piccolo school in Far Rockaway Queens. Principal Rux has been in charge of this low-performing school since the 2011 school year and the graduates from his middle school have fared poorly on State tests and the majority of his students end up in the worst performing high schools in the Borough.
If you read the "puff piece" in the Daily News on Principal Shawn Rux you would be led to believe he is turning the school around. However, when you look at the academic metrics you find that the school is still failing miserably. It has only 6% of the students passing the State English test and 5% passing the State Math test. This is little or no improvement since he first took over the school that ranks among the lowest achieving middle school in Queens. The Daily News points out that he has reduced suspensions significantly but that goes for most all schools because of the new DOE policy that limits student suspensions. Moreover, he tries to bribe students with something called "Rux Bux" for high grades and good behavior. Is bribing students an academic strategy? Since when is it school policy to offer rewards for appropriate behavior and grades that most of the world expect of their children? If I gave my students cookies and snacks for high grades and good behavior, would I be brought up on charges by DOE legal for discrimination? Moreover, what message am I sending the students?
When you look at the school's snapshot you find some very disturbing information about the teaching staff. First, 52% of the teaching staff has less than 3 years experience, meaning that the vast majority of the staff are not tenured! Moreover, the Principal has a staff trust factor of 76% compared to the City average of 86%. This mean that the inexperienced teaching staff does not completely trust the Principal's decisions and that also shows up in the staff giving the Principal a lower than average "effective leadership" rating. Finally, the constant teacher turnover at the school makes the school environment somewhat unstable and oppressive that is evident in the school's failing academic achievement and the poor ratings the teaching staff received in their quality review of "developing".
Is Principal Shawn Rux a "Hometown Hero"? I certainly don't believe so since I see no significant improvement in the school's academic achievement and bribing students to do the right thing is a real zero in my book.
In other news, the New York Post reported today that Principal Emmanuel Polancio of MS 80 in the Bronx is back in the news again. This time for trying to push a middle aged female teacher (51 years old) out of his school in favor of younger Hispanic teachers. According to the teacher being targeted by Principal Polancio, he has nicknamed the teacher "Shrek". The teacher has now filed a lawsuit against Mr. Polancio in Manhattan Supreme Court for $2 million dollars. This appears to be a "pattern and practice" of Mr. Polancio as you can see Here. He is below average when it comes to "trust" and "effective leadership" and you can find his poor academic results on his school's snapshot.
Principal Emmanuel Polancio is also known as "El Siki" in his inappropriate sexually charged video that makes him a poor role model for impressionable young teenagers. Yet he is still a Principal.
You can see my post Here.
Note: If you read my previous post on Principal Emmanuel Polancio the DOE was going to investigate his behavior. Obviously, they quietly buried it since he is still Principal. The complete "El Siki" video can be found on this link