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.