Saturday, July 07, 2018

Maspeth High School, Just Say No To Any Vacancy. .




























Back in 2012 I had the displeasure of being assigned to Maspeth High School for a month.  What were my observations of the school at that time?  Here is what I found.
  • The entire staff was composed of "newbies".
  • Few lasted to achieve tenure at the school.
  • Teachers had to wear name tags  to differentiate between staff and students.
  • Staff was unfriendly and forced to do extra unpaid periods. 
  • Students complained  about not having experienced teachers.
  • Administration will write up ATRs for any violations of the contract.
  • All students had to to take four years of Latin to keep out "undesirable"" students.
  • Chapter leaders lasted only one year as they were targeted by the Administration. 
The post I published about Maspeth High School back in 2016 can be found Here.
 Have things changed at Maspeth High School?  Nope.  Here is what a teacher wrote about the school in the Organizer.

  •  Is the staff friendly?  No
  • Most of the staff is not tenured.
  • Many teachers hired are right out of college,
  • Staff must do unpaid work.
  • Administration uses Danielson as a weapon.

The administration regularly violates the contract in Maspeth, teachers are NOT paid per session for "required" activities outside the school day such as mentoring meetings, chaperoning events, etc. A large majority of the staff are extremely young and untenured and will simply do as told even if it violates their rights. There are very few veteran staff in this building...wonder why... If you are older, tenured, and more vocal about your rights, administration will target you in any way possible. Veteran teachers need not apply.

 All teachers are regularly given four in a row teaching schedules and are expected to comply without protest. Of course the untenured newbies will do it and kiss ass to the admin for the sake of their job, but everyone else who dares to question it will become a target.
The school boasts a 100% graduation rate but the secret is that teachers cannot fail students. If you try to fail a student, admin will have their buddy buddy staff come into your classroom, yell and try to intimidate you into passing said students. Forget it if the student has an IEP. If you *dare* fail a student, you will not hear the end of it, and will be sat down by administration and their cronies in an effort to make you pass the student. Since its a well known thing that teachers cannot fail students (dubbed the "Maspeth Minimum"), students know that they could do no work all semester, and then ask for a packet of makeup work in the last marking period to get a passing grade in the course. This ultimately works against the teachers, because students will not listen to you when you tell them they are failing the course, or that they are in danger of failing the state exams (i.e. regents). Therefore, students who should have failed the course all year, passed, and then when they sat down for the exams in June, they had not a clue what to do and failed, because they were used to being handed 65's for minimal efforts. 

Teachers should beware of this school on the Open Market, they have high turnover but it is kept on the down low because of their inflated numbers that look great on paper. Much of what occurs in this school is toxic. The principal is like a mythical beast, you hear of him, but you never see him. Seniors in this school have no idea who he is since he never leaves his office. Instead of him being present, he has his 25 year old little suck up 2nd and 3rd year teachers who think they're masters acting like they run the place and DISRESPECTING staff whom are more experienced than they are!

Administration has their friends who act like spies and will look for anything and everything to get you, then run back to their admin friends and get you in trouble. many schools have problems with just administration, this school has problems with BOTH staff and administration. When people are pitted against one another, and teachers who have been in the DOE for many years are being suddenly given ineffective ratings after years of effectives and highly effectives because they happened to "say something about the wrong person" or ruffle someones feathers the wrong way, that is truly a toxic environment. 

Stay away from Maspeth High School. You can see "My Do Not Apply" list Here.


21 comments:

Shady said...

Never heard of this school but thank you for the info. YES, YES, YES - STAY away from this school. Situation sounds horrible. I also did some research and found out the school mascot is an argonaut. What the hell is an argonaut? It is a small floating octopus, the female of which has webbed arms like sails and secretes a thin, coiled, papery shell in which the eggs are laid.

Based on the school mascot alone I would refuse working at this school.

Anonymous said...

"Danielson is used as a weapon". Sounds quite familiar to ALL teachers throughout NYC.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like 65% of the schools I’ve been in as an ATR. The UFT has a deal with the CSA not to publicly target their members. Hence, no list of out of control admin or push back unless it come from within the school itself AND the media picks up on it. The UFT won’t even protect their Chapter Leaders - which tells CLs they better get in bed, literally or figuratively, with the administration.

Anonymous said...

Imagine being sent to that school or one worse than it for an entire year as an ATR. We have no say. That happened to me and the UFT refused to help me get out of there. If they want my money they have to start earning it.

Anonymous said...

I considered applying to this school, but chose not to when I saw their website. I would have been the oldest teacher there and I'm only in my 40s. They have pictures of the teachers grouped by their respective departments on their website. Everyone looks happy and cheerful, but looks can certainly be deceiving. All this information I read is no surprise when you have an untenured staff.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, are you aware of other schools in the other four boroughs that must be avoided as well?

Anonymous said...

At my school the admins have picked a couple of teachers and publicly groomed them to be lapdogs. The favored ones strut around the school and literally tell the rest of us what to do. They are untouchable and get top Danielson's ratings, even though they are mediocre.

Those teachers who know their rights and push back are literally driven out. At least one untenured teacher is fired each year to sow fear among us. Turnover is high, though not catastrophic, because it's not a ghetto school and the kids are at least not so bad.

The admins, though - wow.

Anonymous said...

One of the new teachers, in the cesspool I was in for most of the year, asked me if he was supposed to get paid for teaching a sixth period during his professional period - because he was told it was part of his obligation and as such not for extra pay. I told him he should be getting paid. He had been teaching the class for several months when he first asked me. He went and asked for his pay and was promptly removed from the sixth class and told he wouldn't be paid. He then became persona non grata. He started getting written up for trivial nonsense. He didn't have tenure and eventually ended up volunteering for everything at no pay in order to get back in the principal's good graces and not be discontinued. He agonizingly achieved it and was warned not to ever talk to ATRs , like me, as we are all crazy, lazy, full of bitter misinformation and can easily brain wash enthusiastic teachers. He mentioned 'even Carmen warned of it'. This crap is happening in almost every school. Ever wonder about those new teachers that refuse? They are discontinued and lose their NYC and NYS teaching license. The UFT does nothing to help them. They protect the worst principals. The purpose of Fairt Student Funding is to segregate and marginalize veteran staff. What good is it to have a contract and rules if the UFT won't enforce them and help all teachers?

Anonymous said...

@4:40 Of course Chaz is aware of other schools in the other four boroughs that must be avoided. In this case he was mentioning this particular school. If you know of others please share but do not assume Chaz has never heard of schools in other boroughs. Come on now?

Anonymous said...

@7:10 Stop teasing us. What school is it?

Anonymous said...

8:40am: You make a great point about UFT CLs not being backed up by union!

How are CLs trained theses days?

Members need CLs who know the contract, give members solid advice, and help us navigate through tough situations!

Anonymous said...

Can Chaz post a list of schools that bring teaches up on charges of 30/20a.
Then we can Look into if it’s a bad school.

Anonymous said...

One of my former students was actually a Latin teacher at Maspeth. He has since moved on to his alma mater- Townsend Harris (class of 2006). As for me, I'll probably die in the one and only school I've ever worked in.

Anonymous said...

I know some high schools in Queens to avoid:
Bryant - psycho principal
LIC - renewal school
Cleveland - going down - possibly heading towards renewal
Forest Hills - crazy principal
Flushing - complete mess

Shady said...

UFT Chapter Leaders need to be trained. Too many are now untenured & extremely weak. UFT needs to put money into training UFT reps and union people. I am 1000 percent strong pro-union and I have never once bashed unions. However, too many times union people give out wrong and false information. This needs to stop but it won't. Unless you record them it is your word vs their word. Too many times who are they going to believe the union guy they know or a member they barely know?

At a disciplinary conference earlier this year I had to ask the principal to please get my UFT rep some tissues and a cup of water. The CL was hyperventilating, sweating and shaking. My principal ended up calling 911 and my disciplinary conference had to be postponed. Now, I wasn't sure if the CL was acting and this was a ploy and wasn't sure if CL was trained by the UFT to do this nonsense but I honestly was petrified the CL might not survive the night. I had to hold the CL's hand and say "stay calm and get a hold of yourself - I am the one the principal is discipling, you jackass." The CL did return to school a few days later and was okay. I ended up with my 20th file letter of my career which I was not happy receiving so late in my career. I had planned on getting my 20th file letter a year or two earlier but it was delayed. Oh well, can't always hit my milestones and targets on time. My mom even told me I did not walk until I was 12 months.

Shady said...

@3:00 a.m. - Shady, are you serious? You would not go work at a school because of their mascot? Get a life.

I worked 2 years at Boys and Girls High School. Our mascot was a kangaroo and the principal would wear it and hop up and down the hallways observing us with Horror-witz, super Alcoft and other incompetent renewal team members. It was a comedy routine full of tragedy. One would say do this and another one would contradict the first and tell us to do the complete opposite. I pretended not to speak English praying for a 3rd 3020(a). Figured I'd go into my 3020(a) totally confused and speaking perfect English.

Carmen now works with Horror-witz helping and assisting the co-located schools. How in the world did Horror-witz ever survive the DOE? How many schools were closed because of this horror-show? 600 million a year was spent on renewals and not one person has been indicted. In any other country there would be riots.

Maybe this is the reason new chancellor cleaned house with the deputy chancellors. Elizabeth Rose, Dorito Gibson and Laura have been missing.

Shady - please do not write me back. I do not want to engage in a conversation with you. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:56AM
If there were any veteran educators in Maspeth, they would be brought up on 3020a charges, I heard through the grapevine that 7 teachers in Maspeth were discontinued in the past 2 years.

Anonymous said...

This is the case: teaching is now a source of stress because of the admins whose basic posture is let us use you like a slave or we will harass you out.

Tenure, as we all know now, does not mean what it did before the last contract. Now even with tenure they can railroad you on trumped up charges and the burden of proof is now on YOU to prove you are not incompetent.

Before the principals had to prove it with so much documentation it wasn't worth it for them. So many teachers I know all have the same thought, and we discuss in our small clandestine groups all the time: "How can we survive the X number of years we have to go before we reach 55 and we no longer care what the admins try to do to us?"

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys really crack me up! Shady sounds like someone who will understand my brief point. I'm not going to elaborate and go into it but I've been working at a Renewal school for the past two school years. It was the best move I made as a seasoned veteran teacher. That's all I'm writing. Trust me on this!

Anonymous said...

For many years teachers are complaining about what’s happening.
When you guys are actually gonna do something about it, I’m ready.
I will read the same post about all the problems for the next 10 years.
.

Anonymous said...

You have heard correctly. Vindictive as can be.