Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yet Another Flushing High School Principal Leaves The Troubled School.

The once prestigious Flushing high school has continued to academically deteriorate in the last few years and has become a dumping ground for "high needs" students throughout the borough.   As a teacher there in 2011-12 I can personally attest to the problems at the school.  The school was once slated to close but survived when the courts ruled against Mayor Bloomberg.  Instead, like many of the schools that survived the axe, the Department of Education decided on a slow strangulation policy instead. Flushing high school now shares its building with two new small schools and have reduced freshman and sophomore classes.  The result has been a major excessing of teachers in the last two years.  Last year the average department excessed an astonishing four teachers from the school and over twenty teachers overall.  During this time the school has had three diffwerent principals i n the last three years and a new Principal will take the helm this year making it four principals in four years.

The latest casualty is the infamous James Brown.  No not the singer but the Principal who was hired to lead troubled Flushing high school  by then Chancellor Dennis Walcott, despite being found guilty in court by a jury of his peers for harassing a female subordinate who also accused him of sexual misconduct .  Yes, he was found guilty and left the Baldwin school system and was hired by the Walcott Administration to be Principal of Flushing high school despite the Chancellor's long stated zero tolerance policy on alleged sexual misconduct.  You can read the entire James Brown story on my blog Here.  Moreover, during his troubled year as Principal he tried to artificially raise passing grades by putting in a grading system that was in violation of State regulations only to be exposed and subject to ridicule, before being forced to abandon it.

It was only a little over two years ago when another questionable Principal was removed due to the police finding drugs in his car during a traffic stop.  He now works at the DOE in another capacity.  His story can be found Here.  In between Mr Brown and Mr. Hudson the DOE hand-picked Principal alienated so many of her staff, that she fled the DOE entirely and know works in a school district upstate after only one year at the helm.

How can a school be successful when the very leaders the DOE selects for the school have serious character issues, lack extensive classroom experience, and are selected on who they know and not on their academic credentials.  Until the DOE puts the very best in roles of leadership, no school will be able to show real academic improvement and Flushing high school is a prime example of the academic neglect by the DOE as they have failed to put a real educator, with high academic standards as a role model for staff and students alike.


Anonymous said...

I meet principals all over the Bronx who are in their 20s. Many have little or no teaching experience. They go through to McDonald's manager program (leadership academy) and are deemed worthy by the DOE. These people have no noble, altruistic ideal of helping others. They become principals for money, only. Is it any wonder these guys are getting caught (literally) with their pants down. Sexual misconduct, crystal meth(!) - no big deal. The DOE and media have the nerve to talk about taking away teacher tenure- these principals have no tenure and obviously can do whatever they want without worry. Imagine if a teacher did any of those things. By the way, Randi Weingarten, on NPR, made some unbelievable comments AGAINST teacher tenure. It's time that bitch goes.

Anonymous said...

who is the new principal there?

Unknown said...

Chaz is it possible Farina hasn't cleaned house because there are simply not enough quality principals to replace the no character, inept ones? Who would replace them?

Chaz said...

Good point, In my travels, I see few principals that have earned the respect of their staff. Most are young, with little classroom experience, and does what's best for them and not for the students.

OTE admin said...

This guy should apply at Washoe County School District in Nevada. Apparently if you are a principal and you have committed sexual misconduct with subordinates, you can get a slap on the wrist and be demoted to teacher, and, after a couple of years, move right back into administration.

Parents at Incline High School haven't raised a stink about their new "site administrator," at least not yet.

One link:

Background info:

Anonymous said...

Yet these principals are armed with the New Teacher Evaluation plan which can be wielded anyway an admin wants to create the desired effect. See the example below:

From Diane Ravitch's Blog on the Non sense of the New Teacher Evaluation Plan...

Educators in Néw York are trying to make sense of the state’s evaluation system. The formula is supposed to consist of observations (60%); state scores (20%); and local assessments (20%). Yet the results don’t line up with common sense or common knowledge.

Some principals seem to be giving higher observation scores to teachers they want to protect because they believe they are valuable and don’t want to lose them

“In Scarsdale, regarded as one of the best school systems in the country, no teacher has been rated “highly effective” in classroom observations. It is the only district in the Lower Hudson Valley with that strict an evaluation. In Pleasantville, 99 percent of the teachers are rated as “highly effective” in the same category.”

Charlotte Danielson, whose rubric is the basis forest teacher evaluation systems, called these results “laughable.”

“Pleasantville schools Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter defended her district’s classroom observation scores, which use the Danielson model — saying the state’s “flawed” model had forced districts to scale or bump up the scores so “effective” teachers don’t end up with a rating of “developing.”

What is truly laughable is the effort to turn the art and craft of teaching into a scaled metric, like weighing apples at the supermarket. What is essentially a matter of human judgment, based on experience and wisdom, cannot be measured and graded. Its results will always be flawed, and the very act of measuring the unmeasurable will change teacher behavior to conform to the scale. If all we want is higher scores, this might be a good way to get them. If we want inspired teaching, it is not.

Bronx ATR said...

Farina doesn't want to replace the incompetent principals, she wants to replace the competent teachers! The DOE is currently working on scripted lesson plans that are to be followed verbatim by the delivery person. " I'm not a teacher, but I play one from 8 to 3". That combined with the fast food managers that are currently principals will be the coup de grace for the teaching profession.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but i have had enough of the bantering. It is not the teachers and it is not the principals. There are both good and bad alike on each side of the fence.

The true poison to this system is the UFT. They have created this divide between teachers and administrators. 10 years ago schools were a place of collaboration between teachers and administration. That is no longer the case with what the UFT has continued to push at their chapter leader meetings and their priorities at negotiations.

Here is just one examplef from a friend of mine. The school just got a new chapter leader after it was found that the previous chapter leader was holding private meetings with only a small select staff members. They held votes knowing they would control the outcome wuthout informing all members to vote. This year with a new chapter leader the entire staff, administration, and new chapter leader wanted to revote on the SBO. We were told that the UFT would not allow this vote to happen even though it is what everyone wanted.

I thought the union is supposed to have their employees in mind when making decisions. The truth is they have their own agenda and they are the ones dividing schools.