Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Superintendents, The Weakest Link In The NYC Public Schools.

One of the very few improvements Chancellor Carmen Farina implemented was eliminating the useless and money sucking Children First Networks (CFN) and replaced their function back where it belonged with the Superintendents.  The idea was that principals could no longer play one CFN against another and do as they pleased like hiring uncertified teachers for Regents classes and making sure parent voices were not heard if the CFN was geographically located in another Borough.   The idea of giving back the responsibility to the Superintendents was a sound one in practice since principals could no longer do as they pleased and get no pushback from above.  However, this policy only worked if the Superintendent was an excellent educator with good instincts that did what's right for the children of the schools under their jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, under Chancellor Carmen Farina, far too many of the Superintendents were selected not based on their educational ability but on cronyism, favoritism, and political connections.  In fact, some Superintendents needed a  waiver since they never achieved either the ten year teaching experience and at least three years as a school Principal required for the position.  In fact, the Chancellor retained 34 of the 42 Bloomberg Era superintendents or 77% of these questionable leaders.  Add that to the Chancellor retaining 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers and you can see what's wrong with the DOE. Worse, these superintendents continued committed educational malfeasance  by allowing unsavory and vindictive principals to continue to harass staff and hire and use uncertified teachers for Regents courses in the subject area.

Just take a look at some of these Superintendents?  Amiee Horowitz, the Superintendent of the Renewal schools that oversaw the hiring of a whole staff of "newbies" instead of recruiting the "highly effective" teachers that Chancellor Carmen Farina claimed that the DOE was going to employ at Automotive High School,  The result?  The school which now will be merged with another failing school.  Moreover, she ignored Regents cheating and academic fraud instead of exposing it.

Let's not forget Superintendent  Juan Mendez who has put in far too many questionable principals under his administration.  and is under federal lawsuit for racial bias. Here.

There are many more superintendents with questionable educational ability but you get the picture.  Until a new Chancellor is appointed and Carmen Farina finally retires for good, the weakest link will continue to be the superintendents appointed by the Chancellor who herself saw nothing, did nothing, and said nothing when she was Superintendent in Brooklyn during the Cobble Hill Regents cheating scandal.


Anonymous said...

What about the superintendents who (when they were principals) have been brought up on multiple charges, fined, etc, but got promoted, anyway. Yep, they exist, too.

Anonymous said...

Farina is the weakest link. Things are worse in many ways, other than she doesn't publically kick Mulgrew's ass the way Klein did. Other than that, she is Klein and all Klein's henchmen are still in their positions destroying careers and making believe the kids of NYC are being taught. She needs to go and those 400 principals she admitted to as well.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew married Emma Camacho Mendez! So, there was no sex activity in the wood shop at the NYC high school?

Anonymous said...

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew is telling his union he's staying put and has shrugged off charges in a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled teacher that says Mulgrew was caught having sex with a guidance counselor in a wood shop at a Brooklyn high school and the city and union covered it up.

The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed by math teacher Andrew Ostrowsky. The teacher, from Frank Sinatra High School in Queens, reportedly believes he is being targeted for firing.

Mulgrew -- a Staten Islander who has held the reins of the city's teachers' union for the past three years -- is accused in the federal lawsuit of having sex with the guidance counselor in William E. Grady High School in 2005, when both were employed there.

The suit also charges that the United Federation of Teachers offered labor concessions to City Hall in an attempt to cover up the alleged Mulgrew tryst.

But in a letter to UFT members, Mulgrew, 47, of Oakwood, who became president in 2009, called the claims "absurd" and "without ... proof."

National United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who headed the union here at the time of the alleged incident, said the charges are "utterly baseless in fact."

The suit names Mulgrew, the UFT, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Ostrowsky's suit, which identifies the guidance counselor as Emelina Camacho-Mendez, alleges that Ms. Weingarten, who was grooming Mulgrew to take over for her, buckled on union demands to keep things hush-hush.

Ms. Camacho-Mendez is currently a full-time union employee.

UFT borough representative Emil Pietromonaco declined comment but forwarded an e-mail Mulgrew sent to members that says, in part: "The UFT has been sued in federal court in a lawsuit that charges, among other things, that the New York state Legislature, Mayor Bloomberg, the schools chancellor and the union have been engaged in a multi-year secret pact to reduce the rights of teachers. The lawsuit names myself ... Weingarten and features false and absurd claims of a wide-ranging conspiracy and personal misconduct without stating any actual proof of either."

Mulgrew called the suit "frivolous" and "unworthy of serious consideration," adding: "When an organization like ours strongly defends the public schools, their students and its members, our opponents will seize on any opportunity to make teachers and their union a target."

During an appearance on the Island yesterday, Walcott deflected questions about the suit, saying: "I understand there's pending litigation, and I'm mentioned in that litigation, so I can't comment at this particular point."

Mulgrew is up for re-election as president next year.

A one-time carpenter, Mulgrew began his teaching career as a substitute in Brooklyn in 1990. He worked his way up through the ranks of the UFT, holding the posts of vice president for career and technical education high schools and chief operating officer before becoming president.

Anonymous said...

You reference the Cobble Hill cheating scandal. That was a scandal all right but only because of the actions of Louis Scarcella, rogue cop turned OSI investigator, who, prodded by disgraced teacher, and recently fired serial liar, Philip Nobile, authored an error filled report that led to the firing of an honest administrator, and, when the truth emerged, the firing of Scarcella himself. Nobile slouched on for several years as a shunned ATR, but he was finally fired by DOE recently for failing to report his arrest and conviction in New Jersey on a charge of harassing the very administrator whose career he had previously helped Scarcella to destroy.

Perhaps not the best example.

Anonymous said...

The same corruption.

Philip Nobile said...

How corrupt and cowardly are Chancellor Fariña and her high level collaborators in the DOE and SCI regarding the brazen f/u cover-up of Regents cheating at Cobble Hill? Ask me. I am the teacher who originally blew the whistle on the scrubbing orgy at the school she supervised in 2002-2004 and who exposed her fake amnesiac interview with OSI and subsequent perjurious testimony at SCI. For the obscene details I urge Chaz readers to check out "The Carmen Fariña Nobody Knows."

Showing consciousness of guilt, Fariña ignored my request for comment. So I followed up my written j'accuse by challenging her in the flesh at an April 2015 PEP meeting: "I come here tonight to implore you to terminate me for conduct unbecoming a teacher. Why would you do that? Because I have accused you of participating in a high level cover-up of my Regents cheating allegations at Cobble Hill and then lying about your role to both OSI and SCI." I continued the disruption saying: "Nor will you ever seek to terminate me because you could not survive discovery or my cross-examination at the hearing. Better for you to cling to SCI’s corrupt exoneration ... ."

My prediction proved correct. Fariña was too scared to charge me. As for my long hoped for 3020-a wherein I could upend SCI's criminal whitewash of the Chancellor et al. in a legal forum under oath, the UFT is currently hiring counsel to sue the DOE for my day in court in a related harassment case involving former Cobble Hill AP Theresa Capra whose tampering was slamdunked by OSI before SCI covered up her crimes. Fariña's lawyers have recently withdrawn the bad faith harassment charges against me and denied me a once scheduled hearing.

To Farina and her shady apologist Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon I say, Please restore my 3020-a and allow an independent arbitrator to decide
where the truth lies. What do you have to lose, if your hands are clean?

Philip Nobile said...

To Anonymous (always anonymous) 10:58:

I know you mean well, but you are misinformed. The DOE has not fired me. In fact, Farina's lawyers have specifically declined to fire me: "The Department of Education will not consent to restoring the Nobile matter to the trial calendar," stated an ATU attorney in a December 7 email.

Serial liar? Says who? SCI cited my name more than 600 times in its corrupt 67-page report exonerating Capra, Farina, et al., but never once accused me (or the four eyewitness teachers who backed me up) of lying about Cobble Hill's crime spree.

Re my credibility, I refer you to the retraction in The Chief (Jan. 4, 2008): "A story in the July 6 [2007] edition erroneously stated that Department of Education Commissioner of Special Investigations Richard J. Condon concluded that Teacher Philip Nobile lied when he accused an Assistant Principal and Principal at Cobble Hill High School of American Studies of playing roles in a cheating scandal."

The "honest administrator" you salute (AP Theresa Capra) was fired from her post-Cobble Hill job on Long Island for covering up her suspension in NYC. (New York Times, July 6, 2005)

N.B.: I was never arrested in New Jersey, never spoke to a Jersey cop, and informed my ATR supervisor Bryant Harris, a friendly former middle school AP, of Capra's hometown municipal court guilty verdict on my alleged harassment.

Finally, at my request, NYSED's Bureau of Assessment analyzed Capra's 97-7 65 bulge in the June 2003 Social Studies Regents and concluded in my favor: "In our judgment the aggregation of scores assigned in the 65-69 range [97] as compared to the 60-64 range [7] for students of the Cobble Hill School of American Studies on both Regents examinations, goes beyond any dispersion, magnitude or directionality that is likely to be attributable to chance."

Cobble Hill was a classic instance of the dirty little secret of inflating Regents grades that deserves a Truth Commission that will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Hey Philip. I heard you were either fired or resigned to avoid a 3020 hearing over the arrest. Your comments here make it sound like you're still working. What gives?

Philip Nobile said...

Still on payroll, reporting to 131 Livingston St. in Brooklyn.

Unknown said...

Frankly speaking, I don’t really understand how that could happen. Superintendents should be educated people with a certain teaching experience. I think that it’s important to choose different superintendents and to get the things in order. It’s wrong that superintendents are the weakest link. Needless to say that the quality of the education is on the first place and it’s a key factor. Thus, it’s important to make changes and find real professionals. I think that teachers who’d like to become superintendents should inspect resume writers NYC and order professional resume writings.

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