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Monday, February 8, 2016

Winning 3020-a, and The New York City Department of Education "Investigators" - or Not

Hi -
I decided to re-post my articles about the "investigators"  published in 2009 and 2010, because I think I gave a pretty good summary of the writing then available about Richard Condon and his Agency, the Special Commissioner of Investigation.

All the "well-known" political 'friends' in the world will never, I mean not ever, convince me that Dickie (that's what Rose Gill Hearn called him) and his people are independent of the New York City Department of Education, or fair.



The receptionist at the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigations, Richard Condon. Condon's staff takes up almost the entire 20th floor at 80 Maiden Lane in Manhattan.

Winning Your 3020-a: the Investigators

From the desk of Betsy Combier:

The information below is posted as part of a series on the 3020-a process collected by me over five years which I hope that teachers and school personnel who work in the New York City public school system will find helpful. I write to expose wrong-doing wherever it occurs in order to hold those people who harm others accountable for his/her actions. Why? To stop dishonesty, fraud, corruption, and deliberate and malicious acts that destroy innocent lives. To those who are guilty: you should accept reasonable punishment, then move on. You are the only person who knows all the facts.

As a teacher advocate I have a single goal: to help every person obtain a just/fair resolution to his/her case based upon the evidence and circumstances. Thus every case is unique, and finding justice involves putting many pieces together, such as: who said what to whom, when, where, and why; and what documentation is there that is relevant to the goal that is sought?

The most important part of any  investigation is the information gathered to prove/disprove the charge(s), how this information is retrieved, and who says what. If you are the charged person, get to work right now on your investigation/fact gathering for your defense. Call your UFT borough office and get your personnel file, copy what you dont have...because when you start your 3020-a, your commendations and "S" ratings may be missing.

It is simply not true that any OSI or SCI "investigator" is fair and independent. This is an urban myth. If you want to see an amazingly clear example of this, read my article on Glenn Storman, and especially the Report of District Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck. Another Judge who sees the bias in the NYC BOE 3020-a process is New York State Supreme Court Judge Alice Schlesinger, who wrote an interesting decision against Arbitrator Howard Edelman and in favor of teacher Teddy Smith.

What is investigative journalism? On Wikipedia's site is posted the following"

Investigative journalism requires the scrutiny of details, fact-finding, and physical effort. An investigative journalist must have an analytical and incisive mind with strong self-motivation to carry on when all doors are closed, when facts are being covered up or falsified and so on. You must be able to think on your feet.

Some of the means reporters can use for their fact-finding:

*studying neglected sources, such as archives, phone records, address books, tax *records and license records
*talking to neighbors
*using subscription research sources such as LexisNexis, Westlaw (especially for PERB decisions)
*anonymous sources (for example whistleblowers)
*going undercover

Investigative journalism can be contrasted with analytical reporting. According to De Burgh (Investigative Journalism: Context and Practice, Hugo de Burgh (ed), Routledge, London and New York, 2000) analytical journalism takes the data available and reconfigures it, helping us to ask questions about the situation or statement or see it in a different way, whereas investigative journalists go further and also want to know whether the situation presented to us is the reality.

As you can imagine, this involves time and effort. The New York City Board of Education has neither the time nor the desire to put any effort into finding out [1] whether or not the removal of a person from his/her school is a threat to the budget, current political mandates or educational policies; [2] and/or the allegations of wrongdoing are actually based upon facts and reality. Most often the removal of a good or excellent teacher or school employee (not at the Assistant Principal or Principal level)is a result of a Principal wanting to "look good" to the Powers Higher Up, who in turn want Principals and APs to get rid of an outspoken person. This unfortunate soul may have a conscience and cannot stand by while some education/federal/state/city law is being violated in the school or, is simply not able to be "controlled" and may be a danger in the future to the continuation of secret wrongs being done by school administrators. Tenured teachers have everything to worry about in the current NYC BOE, because the subagencies of the BOE, namely Special Commissioner of Investigation and the Office of Investigations are not paid to do investigations, but are paid to prove a school employee guilty of whatever charges have been preferred by the Teacher Performance Unit (the TPU). If you are an "at will" non-tenured employee, your fate will be to be discontinued/terminated for trumped-up charges or for no reasons at all, and your options to fight this are few, due to New York State Employment Laws. Read my articles on "Investigating the Investigators" as well as on the Gotcha Squad to get an overall view of how the so-called "investigators" working for the NYC BOE have joined up with the ATU and the Corporation Counsel to retaliate against anyone who dares to fight them.

Since 2002 when Mike Bloomberg took office, the New York City Board of Education has violated the rights of teachers,counselors and staff to due process, fair hearings and just decisions in cases brought to 3020-A proceedings by alleging crimes of verbal or corporal punishment and/or incompetence without any investigation. One of the first witnesses brought in to testify against a tenured teacher at a 3020-a hearing is an "investigator" from either the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI office at 80 Maiden Lane in Manhattan, or from the Office of Special Investigations at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn. Sometimes the "investigator" is from another NYC BOE subagency, the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) now run under the ineffective leadership of Mecca Santana. Not one of these NYC BOE agencies are independent of the NYC BOE, and all the salaries of all employees in these agencies are 100% paid by the NYC Education Admin., just like Joel Klein, Michael Best, the Deputy Chancellors, etc. Go to my article ""News To Use", then click "SeeThroughNY", then "Payrolls", "City of New York"; keep the Branch/Major Category as "New York City", put into box two "Agency/Area, "Education Admin, Department", then in the boxes below type in the last name and the first name of the "investigator" who interviewed you. When you put in the name Condon, Richard this is what you get:

Last, First Agency Pay Basis Rate
Condon, Richard Education Admin, Department of Annual $179,168

Below are a few of the teachers who have been targetted by the NYC BOE "investigators" and have been successful in proving to their investigators that there is no investigation going on as defined above by wikipedia or in any other form. You should use this information at your 3020-a, if an OSI or SCI "investigator" is scheduled to testify against you. These "investigators" are part of the process of getting a teacher terminated, and sometimes testify to this. I call their attitude the "arrogance of immunity" - they have become arrogant about how often they have been successful at punishing the innocent or guilty, without doing any investigation and knowing or caring about the facts or evidence surrounding the matter. Below are some of the stories I have posted on my website about this process of finding a person guilty before he/she can prove his/her innocence:

Retaliation Against All Whistleblowers is the Name of the Illegal Game in New York City(7/24/2005)
David Pakter, a NYC Teacher and Whistleblower of the NYC Board of Education's Corrupt Practices, Sues in Federal Court
Editorial: The New York City Department of Education is a Sham and Mike Bloomberg is the Flim-Flam Man
Two Reports, "Investigating The Investigators", and 'The Gill Commission Report' (1990) Dont Improve New York City Public Schools
New York City Teacher Theodore "Teddy" Smith and the Perfect Storm of Injustice

There can be no just end to any procedure if there are no relevant and documented facts upon which to base the resolution reached.

When you are given the form letter with your "probable cause" that lists your crimes, this is your call to action. Remember that the probable cause letter is a form pulled off of a shelf at the Administrative Trials Unit by an Attorney assigned to find something bad about you in order to get you terminated at the 3020-a. The late-night letter sent by Darlene Miller, Principal of the Museum School, to Teddy Smith (the teacher who supposedly threatened to 'kill' his 3020-a arbitrator Jack Tillem)stating that she had found probable cause for the charges - of threatening the arbitrator - without ever speaking with him or asking him whether or not the charges were true. In fact, at Teddy's new 3020-a hearing a few days ago, SCI "investigator" Michael Humphries (who, I found out, is paid $55,000/year by the NYC BOE) testified that in the Condon report it said Teddy was not credible when he (Teddy) denied threatening Tillem, but no one ever asked Teddy whether or not this was true. Humphries added, "but we were going to ask him..." In the Condon report, p. 12 under Conclusion and Recommendations, it says that the Attorney's accounts of Smith's threats were "entirely credible" while "Smith's denials are the complete opposite". Yet no one, at any time, asked Teddy if he had said anything threatening to anyone.

Elizabeth Green wrote about hiding investigations and getting 600 pages pursuant to a FOIL request. What is interesting is that Elizabeth Green obviously has not looked into the difference between these two NYC BOE subagencies, (and will not ask me or anyone else she doesnt like, for this information). SCI is supposed to handle - but again, only those cases not politically connected - issues of sexual misconduct and financial misappropriations; OSI creates charges out of allegations of corporal punishment and discrimination. Michael Kondos of OSI told me that OSI never investigates verbal abuse of any kind.

The Principal, therefore, both writes the allegations of verbal abuse AND investigates the truth (or not) of the allegations which he/she originally charged. Neither agency looks at the evidence other than to "prove" the charges against the teacher, if the Principal makes the allegation to them.

If a parent makes a complaint about a Principal or AP, both agencies - and the OEO under Ms. Santana - will conclude that the allegations are 'unsubstantiated'. Then, documents are prepared to harm the mandated reporter or the reporter's child(ren) for making the allegation against an administrator. The victim will not know anything about this until he/she has been re-assigned, or his/her child had grades changed, failed a subject, etc. The BOE tries its best to sideline anyone's best efforts to stop the retaliation which always follows speaking out against an administrator or policy.

The missing SCI reports are notable for what they don’t include
by Elizabeth Green, Gotham Schools
LINK

I just picked up the 600 pages of reports on wrongdoing and misconduct by city school employees that got sent to Chancellor Joel Klein in 2007 and 2008, but never surfaced publicly. The Post highlighted some of the contents: a Stuyvesant librarian’s unauthorized field trips to a Quiz Bowl, a substitute teacher who showed students a movie in which he appeared with a semi-naked woman.

But the biggest story is what is not in this file: Any investigations into top or even mid-level Department of Education officials, or any evidence of educators fudging student performance data to make their school look better.

The absence is matched by a similar drought among those investigations that have been publicized. The development suggests one of two conclusions. On one hand, the new reports could disprove critics’ concerns that growing pressure to produce higher test scores and graduate more students has led some educators to cheat. They could also squash the speculation that the Special Commissioner of Investigations, Richard Condon, somehow managed to cover up looks into higher-profile targets. On the other hand, the cynical conclusion is that high-level misbehavior and cheating are happening with little intervention from an office whose purpose is to investigate schools for misconduct.

We’ll have to keep digging to figure out where the truth lies. There’s another office inside the Department of Education, the Office of Special Investigations, that has its own set of investigators. It’s possible that OSI, to which SCI sometimes forwards tips, is taking the bulk of these more salacious (and damning) allegations. What you can see in the SCI letters, which we obtained by a FOIL request, is a sense of what the office does investigate. Most of the cases report on school staff (usually not teachers) sleeping with students and staff finagling money from the school that they hadn’t earned. But there’s also an interesting report from May 2008, when investigators nabbed a Manhattan math teacher for sharing confidential student records with another teacher, without the consent of his principal.

The teacher, Carlos Grajales, said he was using the records to help assign students to a new algebra class, according to the report sent to Klein. “Grajales believed that if he conducted a comparison of the Math proficiency of the students, then he could properly identify the students who did not belong in the class,” the report says.

That means the worst-case scenario is that when teachers complain about principals and guidance counselors fudging results to make their school look better, no investigation happens. But when a teacher tries to use data to improve the educational situation for his/her students, he/she gets in trouble.

The investigation into a top school official that you never read
Posted By Elizabeth Green On December 5, 2008 @ 11:54 am

The big news of the day is this story in today’s Daily News [2] and Times [3], about Christopher Cerf, a deputy schools chancellor who is one of Joel Klein’s closest aides. The News reports that investigators last year concluded that Cerf had violated city law, by improperly using his position to extract a $60,000 donation from a company on contract with the city at the time, Edison Schools. The donation would have gone to a charity on whose board Cerf sat and which he told investigators he was trying to save. Ultimately, after being questioned by investigators, Cerf decided not to pursue the donation.

The violation is noteworthy, especially given the other conflict-of-interest imbroglio Cerf was wrapped up in at the time: After coming under fire for holding substantial stock in the same company, Edison, which he had been president of before coming to the department, Cerf released his holdings in the stock — but only 24 hours before being publicly questioned about it. [4]

But it will become even more noteworthy in the days ahead because of this: The report was never publicly released. It’s only surfacing now because of a Freedom of Information Law request originally filed by Leonie Haimson, the executive director of Class Size Matters (and no friend of the Department of Education’s, to be sure). And even this copy — which I have and am trying to upload for everyone else to see — is heavily redacted, as you can see above.

The result is not only resurrected questions about Cerf’s propriety, but bigger questions about how sufficiently the Department of Education is held accountable. The DOE claims its current structure has more accountability than ever before, since, if the public isn’t happy with the schools and their officials, they can vote out the mayor who runs them. But advocates charge that the current structure allows school officials to hide from scrutiny. This report provides them some new ammunition.

The DOE is arguing that the investigation is not relevant because, according to Cerf, it “exonerated” him. Here’s what Cerf told the Times:

“If you’re asking me do I have any regrets, I will tell you absolutely not,” Mr. Cerf said. “I did absolutely what I was supposed to do. I disclosed everything; the Conflicts of Interest Board gave it the back of its hand.”

“Raising money for a not for profit, tell me, what’s wrong with that?” he added.

“There is nothing here other than an investigation that exonerated me. The only real story here is that I was put through a rather tortuous experience.”

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://gothamschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/picture-6.png

[2] Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2008/12/04/2008-12-04_schools_big_eyed_by_conflict_board.html

[3] Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/education/05cerf.html?ref=nyregion

[4] Cerf released his holdings in the stock — but only 24 hours before being publicly questioned about it.: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/nyregion/09edison.html

Richard Condon: Unauthorized Psychoanalysis
By James C. McIntosh, M.D., Black Star News, September 19th, 2007
LINK



First of a seven-part series

You cannot understand the mind of Richard J. Condon, Special Commissioner of Investigation For The New York City Public Schools until, you firstly get past the inflated, euphemistic and extremely misleading title of his office and secondly, until you know who is his boss. Condon is not special and his mind is not a special mind. He is not really a commissioner and he does not think as a commissioner thinks. He is certainly neither for the New York City Schools nor is he a part of the Department of Education. He is not an educator. He is simply a Cop of the extremely ordinary variety. His mind is the mind of a cop of the extremely ordinary variety. He knows, even if you don’t, who is his boss and who is not. He knows, even if you do not, what his boss wants and doesn’t want. Lastly he knows how and which people to bop in the head to achieve what his boss wants and that’s all any cop, no matter what you call him, needs to know.

Yet by law, the un-special and extremely ordinary Condon has special even super powers. He can examine or remove any record in the public school system. He can investigate any complaint, rumor or suspicion of improper or unethical behavior in the NYC School System. He can even initiate investigations without probable cause. He can issue reports that are covered in the media as if they are judge’s decisions rather than simple cop reports. He can literally force the removal of any employee of the New York City School system from the Chancellor on down. Only in America could a little cop boy from Staten Island grow up to wield such power. Condon is clearly a beneficiary of the only Affirmative Action that survives in North America; the white kind.

Affirmative Action For A Trojan Horse

Condon’s Affirmative Action began with meeting and hanging out with the right people. According to former mayor, Edward I. Koch, as quoted by David Dunlap in the New York Times, October 24, 1989, Condon met Edward Koch in Greenwich Village in 1965 while Koch was walking with Allen Ginsberg the poet and Ginsberg’s companion, Peter Orlovsky. Koch is quoted to say that he was amazed to discover that Condon already “knew Ginsberg and he knew his poetry.” Koch is further quoted to say that he, then invited Condon “into a coffee shop” with him, Peter and Allen. Koch apparently remembered this extremely ordinary cop for a long time because in the very last nine weeks of Koch’s term of office, 24 years later, he appointed Condon as the New York City Commissioner of Police for what Condon hoped would be a five year term. Wisely, the next mayor, David Dinkins, wasted no time getting rid of, Koch’s “Trojan Horse” and in January 1990 replaced Condon with an educated Black man named Dr. Lee Brown.

Impersonating A Lawyer Again: Bloomberg Changes Rules.

Ironically, the post Condon now holds was created by the same Black man, who rejected and humiliated him, Mayor David Dinkins. Condon is immensely unqualified for this post, especially as it was originally designed. Dinkins’ Executive order 11 of June 28, 1990, which established this position, specifically states that the Deputy Commissioner (The title didn’t get inflated to Special Commissioner until 1992) should be an attorney “in good standing with the bar of the State of New York”.

It further states that this Special Commissioner should be independent of the Board of Education (Department of Education) but under the auspices of the Commissioner of The Department of Investigation. This oversight by the Commissioner of Investigation is still true today. In keeping with these standards, the first Special (Deputy) Commissioner that Dinkins Appointed, Dr. Ed Stancik was not only an attorney in good standing with the bar, but a scholar, a former prosecutor and former Managing Editor for the Law Review at Columbia University Law School.

It wasn’t until 12 years later, on June 18, 2002, that Michael Bloomberg issued his own Executive Order 15, which lowered the job’s standards by removing the requirement for admission to the bar. Bloomberg thereby also removed one of the safeguards against unethical behavior. Did he do this just so Condon could “assume” the position? It appears so.

For on the same day of the issuance of Executive order 15 lowering the requirements for the position, Bloomberg issued a press release announcing Condon’s appointment as Special Commissioner. Bloomberg’s executive order reshaped the position functionally from prosecutor to cop leaving “5 years of law enforcement experience” as the only pre-requisite for the job.

Technically, an experienced Kmart guard who had the good fortune to double date with the right couple at the right coffee shop would also now qualify for the job; that is, providing he or she has the temerity and lack of ethics to impersonate a lawyer.

Countering The Conspiracy To Un-employ White Men

With his career birthed by Koch, buried by Dinkins exhumed by Bloomberg, Richard J. Condon was with the stroke of a pen, empowered to bring New York City style policing to the Department of Education. To Date Condon has been a one man wrecking crew for educated Blacks of the type that deep sixed his career in 1990.

In an orgy of undoing, selective perception and selective prosecution, Condon has gotten rid of the very best Black educators, especially the few Black men educators in the system. His victims have included Dr. Lee McCaskill the principal of Brooklyn Tech who was getting record numbers of Black males to successfully complete Advanced Placement courses and who was getting 95 percent of the Black boys at his school to graduate, Dr. Walter Turnbull, the Founder of internationally acclaimed Boys Choir of Harlem and Director of Academy associated with it, and most recently Mr. Shango Blake the Middle school principal of Junior High School 109 in District 29 of Queens, who had taken his school from the lowest performing in the district to the highest performing in the District during his four year tenure.

Ex Post Fictional - Who To Be Unkind To

The kind of folks upon whom Condon’s boss has unleashed him, are the very kind of people with whom Condon has a score to settle—educated Black men of achievement especially any that might have the first name Lee.

When each of these educated Black men of achievement was bopped in the head by Condon, predictably, many people complained. However, they typically directed their complaints to Joel Klein, the Chancellor of the NYC Department of Education, under the mistaken idea that Klein is Condon’s boss.

Condon is not an educator; he is a cop. If Black People don’t know he is a cop, for them he is an undercover cop. So who is his boss? Klein is demonstrably not Condon’s boss. Condon could literally tell Klein or any of Klein’s subordinates to go stand in the corner and he or she would have to do it.

Executive Order 11 makes obstruction of the Special Commissioner grounds for removal from the system. Klein, on the other hand, can’t touch Condon’s subordinates. When Condon’s Deputy Regina Loughran came under harsh criticism for allegedly mishandling, prior to Condon’s arrival, a number of child molestation cases, Klein’s opinion was not a factor. One of Condon’s first demonstrations of his power was protecting her from all critics. Conversely, against Klein’s wishes, Condon bopped the head of Klein’s handpicked Deputy, Diana Lam as soon as she got into office.

Condon charged that she had used her position to help her husband to get a job. (Her husband presumably gets his java from a different shop than Condon and Koch.) Klein could not protect her or her husband. To insure that Klein never forgets the power dynamic, Condon serves periodic reminders as to who is not boss.

Most recently Condon reversed a disciplinary matter handled totally within Klein’s department regarding school administrators in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill School. The administrators had been accused of helping students cheat.

So You Want To Play Hardball; I’ll Revoke Your Whistle Blower Status

Although this case was handled by Klein and his subordinates two years ago, Condon, for reasons only he has to know, reviewed and reversed the findings. Condon then blasted Klein’s investigator and wrote a scathing report that attempts to discredit the alleged eyewitness, a teacher named Philip Nobile that had supported Klein’s investigator’s decision. In Condon's report he boldly placed a harbinger of things to come for Mr. Nobile who refused to change his story for Condon.

Condon warns in his report, referring to Nobile, “We have determined that he did not meet the statutory requirements to obtain whistleblower status. Nobile did not report his allegations of cheating and of a cover-up to one of the enumerated agencies in the whistleblower law.” Translation: “Technically, Mr. Klein, this witness blew the wrong whistle to the wrong tune to the wrong people so you, any of your subordinates or I can retaliate against this witness with impunity and I recommend that we do so.”

Predictably an altogether new investigation charging corporal punishment has been initiated against Nobile, the pesky eyewitness. Corporal punishment is Condon’s standby charge to levy against opponents when the findings in a case haven’t gone his way.

In the Shango Blake Case when his investigation of financial misappropriation revealed no actual stealing, Condon attached an allegation of corporal punishment to his findings on the financial matters. Even though all the eyewitnesses to the alleged punishment said no such corporal punishment occurred, Condon wrote that it occurred and recommended punishment for them--the witnesses.

Cop Heaven

The eyewitnesses in the cases Condon encounters are particularly vulnerable to intimidation by Condon because they typically work for the Department of Education.

Executive order 11 allows Condon to investigate anyone working for the Department of Education for virtually any suspicion, including Condon’s own self initiated suspicions, presumably as many times as he becomes suspicious.

Should a member of the Department of Education disagree with Condon, Condon needs only to work himself up into a suspicion of that person. He then can investigate until he finds some more things about which to become suspicious.

He can repeat that process over and over until ultimately he can bop that person in the head. He doesn’t need probable cause to go in. He doesn’t have to worry about disbarment because he is only impersonating a lawyer.

He doesn’t have to worry about the cost of his cases since the Department of Investigation does not have to foot the bill. Executive Order 11 specifies that the Department of Education has to pay for his investigations, no matter how costly and presumably no matter how frivolous or unwarranted the charge. Condon has deep pockets and a full arsenal of Cop tricks learned over the course of a 50 year Cop career and people don’t even know he’s a cop. Condon is in Cop Heaven. If he is in Cop Heaven, then who is his boss? Be Careful; this is a trick question.

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Allegations of assault upon a student have been levied on Derrick Townsend, assistant principal of PS 154 in the Bronx
LINK

Nothing better illustrates the double standard of how teachers and administrators are treated when it comes to charges of either physical or verbal abuse than the PS 154x story where people have been trying to tell the DOE about the actions of the school administration.

This story is very ironic in the light of my old teaching buddy Kathy Blythe about to "celebrate" her 2nd anniversay in the rubber room for sitting a child who tried to run out of the room in her seat (see (Tales From the Rubber Room: The Kathy Blythe Story,
Principal Parrots Leadership Academy Lingo...)

The principal incited the parent to call the cops and 5 showed up to arrest Kathy who was taken in hand cuffs from the school after 22 years of teaching there. Later, the cop in charge said it was all clearly bullshit. The backdrop was that kathy had run for chapter leader and lost by 1 vote, so this was clearly retaliation for union activity. The union did nothing, of course.

So compare what happened to Kathy and how AP Derrick Townshend has been treated. An Ed Notes stringer reports from the scene of the crime:

A 9 year old female student has charged that on February 13, 2009, Derrick Townsend had dragged her by the arm and leg for up to ten minutes leaving bruises and scratches on her arm. This came after the girl reported to Mr Townsend that a boy had roughed her up during recess. Originally Mr Townsend had called the girl a "drama queen" in front of the girl's third grade class and when the girl became upset Mr Townsend yanked her out of her chair, and a struggle ensued in the classroom and the hallway. Two teachers and up to fifty students witnessed the assault.

This assault was reported immediately to the Office of Special Investigation and Ms Irizarry, but since Ms Irizarry was in Florida at the time, Mr Townsend initially headed the investigation and collected all witness statements.

Linda Amill-Irizarry conducted a full investigation upon her return and found the assault upon the 9 year old girl unsubstantiated after an interview with witnesses. Later this was found to be incorrect since Ms Irizarry never interviewed any witnesses. Ms Irizarry later claimed that all witness statement appear to have been misplaced and that no further review is warranted.

This is not the first time this school year on in Mr Townsend's tenure as assistant principal at PS 154 that Mr Townsend has had allegations of assault at PS 154. It has been alleged that Mr Townsend dragged an 11 year old student approximately 150 feet and tore the boy's shirt in the process; dragged a special needs kindergarten student 40 feet in the hallway; pulled another boy by the arm when he refused to heed Mr Townsend's commands that he come with him, twisting the boy's arm in the process; and dragging another student in the school yard. As of the date when the girl was dragged OSI was still "looking into" these matters.

After FOX 5 News, Telemundo 47 News, News12 Bronx, and the New York Post reported the assault on the 9 year old girl, Mr Townsend is still assigned to PS 154.

The mother of the 9 year old girl was repeatedly rebuffed in her efforts to meet with Ms Irizarry and now has made a decision that criminal charges will be filed against Mr Townsend. These are expected to be filed early this week.

1:25 PM, March 22, 2009
Anonymous said...

Maria Cavallo-Best, AP of PS 3 Staten Island, dragged a student from the his class. When father called and complained that his son was hurt. Best tried to lay the blame on two classroom teachers who did not have any physical contact with the student. Eventually Best owned up to her action. Want to know what happened to her? Nothing was done by the administration and OSI.

Next: The arbitrators

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"School of No" Principal Marcella Sills is Fired After 3020-a Arbitration

Congratulations to New York Post reporter Sue Edelman, who published the first article about the crimes against kids at PS106 by the Principal, Marcella Sills, and got the ball rolling for Sills to be charged at 3020-a arbitration. Arbitrator David Reilly, a no-nonsense guy I have been in hearings with several times, fighting for my clients, did the right thing and fired Sills.

PS 106 Principal Marcella Sills' Bizarre Disregard For the Students in Her Building is Slammed By Investigators Who Recommend She Be Fired ASAP


New ‘School of No’ principal drawing ire of teachers


Media leads the way. I love it.

Thanks Sue!!!

Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice

Marcella Sills

City finally fires ‘School of No’ principal

, NY POST
The hooky-playing ex-principal of PS 106 in Far Rockaway has been fired for cheating 
city taxpayers as well as her students.

Decision of Arbitrator David Reilly

Marcella Sills, 50, got the ax on Jan. 22 when hearing officer David Reilly found her guilty of “extreme misconduct,” including excessive lateness, failing to report her absences while collecting full pay and benefits, and causing the city Department of Education “widespread negative publicity.”
Sills, who made $128,000 a year, was tardy at least 178 times between September 2012 and January 2013. Sills said she was late because she cared for her sick mother. But she never documented her absences and “knowingly received unwarranted compensation and thereby committed a theft of time,” Reilly found.
Sills was removed from the school in February 2014 and from the payroll in 2014 pending her administrative trial.
In January 2014, The Post dubbed PS 106 the “School of No” because it had no books for the Common Core curriculum, no gym or art classes, no nurse’s office and no special-ed teachers. Kids ushered into the auditorium saw “more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” whistleblowers said.
“Ms. Sills’ conduct was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unbecoming of her position,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye.

My time at the ‘School of No’




Principal Marcella Sills (right) of PS 106 in Queens should be fired and banned from working for
the DOE, a scathing department report states.

Why was nothing done at PS 106? Because the city and union wouldn’t listen

Last week, after an investigation into her alleged habit of skipping school, the Department of Education finally moved to remove Principal Marcella Sills from PS 106 in the Rockaways.

But why was this “School of No” allowed to perpetuate atrocities for nine years?

Why did it take an exposé in The New York Post to not only unseat a bad principal, but get students much-needed books — and stop them from watching movies instead of getting gym or art classes?

As a teacher who worked there for many years, I can tell you that it wasn’t because the city wasn’t warned. The children of PS 106 were failed by administrators, government lawmakers and union officials — a host of top people who couldn’t be bothered to care.

When I started there in 2003, PS 106 was truly a secret treasure. It was a small school with a solid core, tucked away on the beach.

I was the special-education teacher; the work load was tremendous, but I loved it and took pride for moving children to higher levels simply by teaching.

Principal Arthur Strauss would meet and discuss programs and entrusted teachers with educational decisions made in the best interest of children. In 2004, PS 106 was a school of recognition, achieving English language arts and math scores of 3 and 4 (exceeds standards) in all the testing grades 3-5.

We were recognized as a School of Excellence in 2004. It was truly a marvelous accomplishment — the students loved to read and write! Those were the days.

After Strauss left, Marcella Sills became principal in 2005 — a product of the city’s “leadership academy.”

Deterioration was rapid. You were either a friend of Sills or an enemy, and if she didn’t like you, she’d rip you apart in reviews.

Sills opened state exam booklets earlier than allowed and asked teachers to discuss how to read a passage to help students better understand it, which was cheating. When told it was illegal, she had a fit.

Then, of course, there was what the investigation found last week — frequently showing up late for work, sometimes not showing up at all.

Retaliation was common. When a teacher signed her name to a letter sent to officials expressing her concerns about educational practices that are adversely affecting children in our school, she was reprimanded for more than one hour by two supervisors from the Department of Education. Teachers learned to remain anonymous.

Letters began to flood the district office, superintendent’s office, mayor’s office, chancellor’s office, UFT and the special commissioner of investigation just three months after Sills took the leadership position. But rather than addressing our concerns and dealing with the cause, the staff was reprimanded and scolded for not signing individual names. Now see why! Sills strategically targeted and harassed staff.

Meetings, letters, e-mails, reports to the teachers union . . . all proved to be futile. Every letter, every complaint reiterated her absence, lateness, inappropriate interaction with children, parents, staff, even falsification of reviews.

Sills was never held accountable.

What happened of course is that anyone who could left PS 106.

The transfer rate of staff members soared to 60%.

Then the students left. Parents transferred their children to other public schools and charter schools to escape what they saw as an institution that the city had given up on.

Enrollment declined from more than 600 students to just 250.

A year after Hurricane Sandy, Sills blamed the school’s troubles on the storm. But its problems started long before Sandy and stayed around long after.

To show just how clueless and uncaring the administration was — in December 2013, PS 106 received a glowing report. At the time, there was no mandated gym, no special-education teacher (I had left and wasn’t replaced), no books, no art and no extended-day services!

PS 106 received millions in extra school funding to help low-income kids. Where did the money go? It didn’t go to pay for teachers who left and weren’t replaced. It didn’t go to the payroll secretary Sills didn’t have so no one kept track of her absences.

It certainly didn’t go to help the children of Far Rockaway.

Thanks to The Post for finally getting results and Chancellor Carmen Fariña and the mayor’s office for ending this reign of abusive leadership.

But the question remains how the people who were supposed to care remained deaf for so long. Why do families and teachers flee public schools? They flee when they feel powerless. They flee because of what happened at PS 106.
Patricia Walsh, a graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University, taught for 27 years, and was a special education teacher at PS 106 from 2003 to 2009.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

NYC Department of Education Senior Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson Says She "Continues The NYC DOE Work on The Rights of All Children to an Equitable and Excellent Education"

I dont like puff pieces.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published an Opinion by recently-convicted scammer NYC Department of Education Senior Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson which can only be seen as a desperate plea by Ms. Gibson to have the public forgive her for her crimes:
Dorita Gibson

Dorita Gibson and 11 Other Top NYC Department of Education Administrators Spent Money Not Theirs To Spend


Why do I call what she did a crime? Well, first of all, I can, because that is my opinion of her reckless, intentional and unethical spending of public money. My money. Your money.

Second, not only can I say what she was found guilty of is a crime, but I say that she is part of the pattern and practice of those who work for - or are appointed to work for - the NYC Department of Education to scam, lie and cheat the parents and children in our nation's largest public school system.



There is no accountability, and Carmen Farina has been committing crimes against the children of NYC at least since 2000, when I asked where the $225,000 in Annenberg Challenge For the Arts money was, as a parent at PS 6 (Carmen was Principal):



I submitted a written report of my findings to Annenberg, and suggested that all grants given to schools have built-in accountability/monitoring processes to prevent exactly what happened at PS 6 and PS 198.

Carmen and Dorita need to go, be removed, retire (Carmen=again), or get other jobs not involving the spending of public money. They can't seem to stop their urge to purge the public bank.

Hello, Bill? Are you listening yet?

Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter

Dorita Gibson at Tweed, NYC DOE Headquarters

OPINION: Continuing our work to create 

schools that reflect our diverse city

By Dorita Gibson, Senior Deputy Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu

In celebration of Black History Month,
I want to highlight an important right that every child across every neighborhood in New York City deserves —  the right to an equitable and excellent education. We must continue to invest in significant, necessary changes to ensure that no student, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, is denied that right.  
The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that there is one. That’s what the students at Brooklyn Technical High School accomplished by speaking up about racially based incidents, including unfair treatment and discriminatory comments that were taking place. Students vocalized their concerns, and as a result, administrators at the school and staff at the New York City Department of Education (DOE) listened to them, acknowledged their issues and set in motion steps to ensure that corrective measures are taken. Through engagement, led by Brooklyn Tech Principal Randy Asher in partnership with District 13 Superintendent Karen Watts and Central DOE support staff, a plan has been put in place and is being implemented.  
The DOE does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have acknowledged a problem and have educators on the ground working with the school community every day to address it. We know that this is by no means a new issue, but it is an important one in our schools and communities. When this happens, it needs to be candidly acknowledged, categorically repudiated and directly addressed. This means that we will continue to have tough conversations and work to unravel these complex issues. As a life-long educator, I know there is nothing more important than ensuring all students are empowered to learn in supportive, inclusive and trusting environments.
Our Equity and Access programs expand opportunities for historically underserved school communities and provide a variety of resources to ensure students and adults can get the information, tools and training they need to better prepare for success in school and beyond. Respect for All Week, Feb. 9-12, provides us with additional opportunities to highlight and build upon ongoing diversity programs and instruction, ensuring that we are teaching all of our students the importance of respect and inclusion.
Students learn from interacting and collaborating with classmates of diverse backgrounds. Through Respect for All, we encourage school communities to come together, celebrate their differences and open their minds to other cultures, ideas and beliefs; and in doing so, gain a better understanding of those around them. 
We know we can do more. We must ensure that each child, regardless of where they live across the city, is receiving the education they deserve.  It is going to take commitment, a comprehensive approach and community participation to build consensus to create an equity-based system and provoke real change that results in truly expanding educational opportunities for all. Our Community School Initiative is one of many steps being taken toward reaching this goal. 
We will continue to confront the issue of disparity, and broaden opportunities for all students.  As educators, it is our duty to teach future generations to be inclusive and respectful of other people and ideas. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we must and we will do more for our students.
February 5, 2016 - 1:41pm


Thursday, February 4, 2016

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James Sues The NYC Department of Education for Denying Special Education Children Their Services and Accommodations


Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate

New York City's public advocate says school system fails to adequately serve students with disabilities

LINK
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James contends in a lawsuit that the city's Department of Education fails to track the needs of students with disabilities, which has resulted in a severe lack of services for these children and a major loss in Medicaid revenue for the city.

The lawsuit seeks a judicial inquiry that will compel the school system to disclose a plan to remedy the deficiencies in the schools' Special Education Student Information System (SESIS).

The public advocate's office says SESIS was developed in 2009 and has cost the city $130 million.

The intent of SESIS is to produce and track data about the Individual Education Programs (IEP) of students with disabilities and ensure compliance with federal and state reporting requirements. James contends that research and analysis conducted by her office shows that SESIS has not accomplished what it was intended to do.

James says the failure to collect proper data has led to a lack of services for children with disabilities and has deprived New York City of at hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid revenue.

“Failure of this system has not only let down our most vulnerable children, but also cheated our taxpayers,” says James. The school system "has failed our children with disabilities for decades—ignoring pleas of parents, students, and teachers—so we are taking them to court. We will never stop fighting for our children in need to get every opportunity they deserve.”

Letitia James, New York Public Advocate, Sues Education Dept. Over Schools’ Disability Services

Elizabeth Harris, NYTIMES, Feb. 2, 2016

LINK 

Public Advocate Letitia James has sued the New York CityEducation Department, saying a $130 million computer system meant to track services for students with disabilities was a failure.

Because of the system’s shortcomings, the lawsuit said, children have been deprived of necessary assistance and the city has lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaidreimbursements.

There are more than 200,000 students in the city’s public schools with individualized education plans, known as I.E.P.s, which entitle them to special education services like speech therapy. The computer system, called the Special Education Student Information System, was developed in 2009 as a way to keep track of them, a replacement for a system that relied on paper.

The system was intended to track the services students were eligible to receive and to create records that could be used to get the city reimbursed. But Ms. James, a Democrat, said it had been plagued with difficulties since its inception.

According to papers filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday, the system is prone to malfunctions, including deleting saved student data. It also “does not appear to be capable of producing citywide data about I.E.P.s, including how many children are receiving” special education services.

Ms. James said, “The failure of the program is resulting in a lack of services for our most vulnerable children, and we’re basically cheating taxpayers of rightful funding from the state and federal government.”

“Everyone is telling me they’re aware of it and correcting it,” she said of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. “But I’ve heard that before.”

In 2014, the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, a Democrat,found the city had failed to recoup $356 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements for special education services for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 fiscal years.

In an email on Tuesday, Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department, said, “We’ll review the suit once we are served.”

A spokesman for the Education Department pointed to several steps the agency had taken to help its special education students, including hiring more than 300 new occupational therapists and opening more programs tailored to children with autism.

But the city is facing other criticism over the way it handles the needs of students with disabilities.

In December, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, sent a letter to the Education Department saying that 83 percent of the city’s elementary schools were not “fully accessible” to people with disabilities, a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Last month, the city rejected Mr. Bharara’s finding, saying the letter “inaccurately characterizes the number and geographic distribution of accessible schools.” When taken as a whole, the city argued, its elementary schools “provide full program accessibility for all elementary students.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Win For Transparency

Every small step counts.

So, dont lose hope, even though New York State is a murky swampland on all fronts, politically, socially, ethically. The "official" legally sanctioned lack of accountability has been secretly approved by our State legislature for too long. Shame on us.

Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com

Tim Hoefer

Empire Center Wins in MTA Fight

The state Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Empire Center for Public Policy have reached an out-of-court settlement in which the MTA acknowledges its failure to respond “in a timely manner” to the Center’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.
The MTA agreed to pay the legal costs and fees incurred by the Empire Center when the Center sued the agency to obtain 2014 payroll records.  The payroll data are posted and updated annually atSeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
“This settlement is another big win for the public’s right to know how their money is spent,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center.  “It sends a clear message to every New York government agency that no one is above the law, and that agencies must respond to FOIL requests in a timely manner.”
The Empire Center is a non-partisan, non-profit independent think tank based in Albany.

What They Make, 2014-15

County and Municipal Payrolls in NYS


Monday, February 1, 2016

New York City Chancellors: Too Much Power and Corruption

With the old/new news that Carmen Farina is up to her old tricks, I thought that I would post Wikipedia's history of NYC Chancellors. See below. Quite a bunch, totally unaccountable for their actions. I think it is way past the time to get rid of the Mayor appointing the Chancellor, and we need to have a citywide vote on both the schools job and the NYC Board of Education, brought back under new rules of accountability but VOTED in, not appointed.

See this post as well. These people are in charge of the process known as the rubber rooms, and The Gotcha Squad. These people, in charge of $25 million+ and a network of padded pockets underneath, are extremely dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of kids, especially under the inept political-media-industrial complex Mayor Bill de Blasio works for.
Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
NYC Current Chancellor Carmen Farina

Fariña’s failures prove that de Blasio can’t be trusted

Carmen Farina and Mayor Bill de Blasio
Who will control New York City public schools on July 1?
The question has become a referendum on Mayor de Blasio’s leadership. De Blasio requested permanent mayoral control of the schools last year. In June, an unimpressed state Legislature renewed it for a single year.
De Blasio was essentially on probation.
At an Albany budget hearing last week, de Blasio floated a seven-year extension — ensuring his control through a second term — when this year’s renewal runs out. A still-skeptical Senate
Majority Leader John Flanagan responded that he “supports mayoral control .
.. but not at any price.”
Flanagan and his Republican colleagues are put off by de Blasio’s antagonism toward charter schools. They’ve also called for more scrutiny of the city’s education spending.
De Blasio, then, hasn’t earned a longer leash. Why not?
A primary reason is his handpicked schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña.
Fariña is a celebrated educator, but good educators are not necessarily good leaders. She may be comfortable in a classroom, but she’s clearly in over her head when it comes to running a system with a million students. Here are her main weaknesses:
Vision. Her piloting of the system is opaque and sloppy. Her central idea is a “capacity framework” that “fundamentally changes” schools through values such as “honor[ing] the fact that students are more than just a test score” and “bring[ing] together the strengths of schools and their communities.”
She’s got progressive jargon, not a strategy.
Competence. Her oversight of low-performing Renewal Schools has been ruinous. Her team wasn’t even able to release the Renewal plan until two months after the program was scheduled to start. Nor did she publish academic targets for the schools until more than a year into the program, and only after Chalkbeat reported that she had refused to release them. And it soon became clear why.
Goals touted as “rigorous” turned out to be absurdly easy to meet — for example, giving schools three years to meet targets designed for one year. Fariña validated low expectations and failure for disadvantaged students while making it more likely that the initiative — and administration — will appear successful when goals are met.
A year and a half in, the only achievement that Fariña has been willing to cite is a decline in chronic absenteeism.
Rigor. Meanwhile, Fariña reinstituted the centralized command-and-control structure of the past — shifting authority away from principals and back to superintendents who report to her — ending a decade of gains in school autonomy and accountability.
Fariña doesn’t rely on evidence in making these decisions. She requires Renewal schools to use her favored reading program even after a study found poor students performed better using a different program.
She dismissed four-year randomized trials showing that the Bloomberg-era small schools produced large student gains as merely “one view of things.” She suggested that charters push out low-performing students before state tests and then refused to provide evidence or to retract.
Urgency. Nearly 80 percent of city high-school graduates attending community college require remedial coursework. About 10,000 Hispanic and 7,000 black students who should have graduated in 2015 — roughly one-third of each cohort — either dropped out or are still in school with diminishing odds of success.
Fariña echoes a time when education was even less organized to serve the interests of children, a feeling driven home by a recent report in The Post that at least one old-fashioned “rubber room” — in which teachers accused of misconduct spend their time, on full pay — has resumed operation in Queens under her watch.
Of course, Fariña was hired in the first place because she was willing to maintain common cause with the teachers union and lend her credibility to City Hall-driven initiatives like pre-K.
Appointing Fariña was a safe political choice for the mayor — at the time. Now he needs to get serious.
Facing an oppositional governor and Republican caucus in Albany, a union president publicly predicting failure and mayoral control ending in six months — not to mention the potential for a humiliating state takeover of city schools under a new receivership law — de Blasio must show results, and fast.
Will he be enough of his own man to bring in a big thinker, someone who knows what citywide improvement looks like and can convince people it’s possible?
With due respect for her service, that person is not Carmen Fariña.
Campbell Brown is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The 74, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news site covering education in America.


New York City Schools Chancellor
The New York City Schools Chancellor is chairperson of the New York City Board of Education (Panel for Educational Policy) and leader of the New York City Department of Education, the agency that handles New York City's public schools. The Chancellor's formal title is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. The current Chancellor is Carmen Fariña.
Contents
   
·         4References
·         5Further reading
History of position under city Board of Education[edit]
While searching for a permanent Superintendent of Schools in 1970 for Nathan Brown, the Board of Education named Irving Anker to serve as Acting Superintendent until the position was filled. The Board had approached, and been turned down by, such notables as Ralph Bunche, Ramsey Clark, Arthur J. Goldberg and Sargent Shriver, before choosing Harvey B. Scribner, who had been Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Education and superintendent of the Teaneck Public Schools, where he oversaw the implementation of a voluntary school integration program.[1]
Citing what he called a "confidence gap" with the Board of Education, Scribner announced in December 1972 that he would leave his post as Chancellor when his three-year contract ended on June 30, 1973.[2] Before going on a terminal vacation starting on April 1, 1973, Chancellor Scribner named Anker, then Deputy Chancellor, to serve as Acting Chancellor.[3] Anker was then named permanent Chancellor in June 1973.[4]
After taking office in January 1978 as Mayor of New York, Ed Koch forced out Anker as Chancellor in favor of Frank Macchiarola, a key Koch advisor who had been a vice president of the CUNY Graduate Center and deputy director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for New York City; Anker would serve until his contract ended on June 30, 1978.[5]
Alvarado was named as Chancellor in April 1983, the city's first Hispanic Chancellor.[6] Alvarado resigned as School Chancellor in May 1984 in the wake of professional misconduct charges, including allegations that he had borrowed $80,000 from employees in coercive fashion. Nathan Quinones was selected as Chancellor, having served in the position on an interim basis after Alvarado placed himself on leave two months earlier.[7]
Quinones was pressured to resign in 1987, in the face of criticism for his management of the district and its finances, with mayoral candidate Carol Bellamy saying that he "consistently failed to provide the leadership or sound management we need".[8]
Harold O. Levy was the last Chancellor to be selected directly by the Board of Education, serving during the final years of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the early part of the Bloomberg administration.
History of position under Mayoral control[edit]
Joel Klein was named as Chancellor in July 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the first to be named in the reorganized system in which the Mayor of New York was given direct control of the Board of Education.[9]
In November 2010, Cathie Black was named as the first female Chancellor by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[10] Because of her lack of educational experience and administrative licensing, Black required a waiver from the Commissioner of Education of the State of New York, who at that time was David M. Steiner, in order to take office.[11] The waiver was issued, and Black took office on January 3, 2011.[12]
List of New York City Schools Chancellors[edit]
Individuals who have led the New York City school system include:[13]
·         Carmen Fariña 2014–Present
·         Dennis Walcott 2011–2013
·         Cathie Black 2011
·         Joel Klein 2002-2010
·         Harold O. Levy 2000-2002
·         Dr. Rudy Crew 1995-1999
·         Ramon C. Cortines 1993-1995
·         Dr. Harvey Garner (Interim) July - August 1993
·         Dr. Joseph A. Fernandez 1990-1993
·         Bernard Mecklowitz 1989
·         Dr. Richard Green 1988-1989
·         Dr. Charles I. Schonhaut 1988
·         Nathan Quinones 1984-1987
·         Anthony J. Alvarado 1983-1984
·         Richard F. Halverson 1983
·         Frank Macchiarola 1978-1983
·         Harvey B. Scribner 1970-1973
·         Irving Anker 1970, 1973–1978
·         Nathan Brown 1969-1970
·         Calvin E. Gross 1963-1965
·         Bernard E. Donovon 1962-1963, 1965–1969
·         John J. Theobald 1958-1962
·         William Jansen 1947-1958
·         John E. Wade 1942-1947
·         Harold G. Campbell 1934-1942
·         William J. O’Shea 1924-1934
·         William L. Ettinger 1918-1924

·         William H. Maxwell 1898-1918

The U.S. celebrates those who steal, extort or violate the integrity of their office:
Image result for Anthony Alvarado
Anthony Alvarado

MAN IN THE NEWS; AN INNOVATIVE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR: ANTHONY JOHN ALVARADO


A month ago Anthony J. Alvarado did not believe he had the slightest chance of becoming the head of the largest public school system in the country. Yesterday the Board of Education selected him as Schools Chancellor, and celebrations erupted in Mr. Alvarado's East Harlem office, where he has served as school superintendent of District 4 for the last decade.
Mr. Alvarado, who will be 41 years old in June, has won his share of accolades for the innovations he has brought to the schools of East Harlem, where most of his 14,000 students are black or Hispanic.
He has created schools within schools, so-called mini-schools. These schools focus on a particular area, such as dance, music or art. Mr. Alvarado says his mini-schools have become so successful they attract children from outside District 4.
In 1981, Mr. Alvarado received a $5,000 tax-free prize from the Fund for the City of New York, which honors city officials it considers outstanding achievers. The number of children who could read at or above grade level in the district rose from 25 percent in 1979 to 48 percent in 1982, a leap that led educators to heap praise upon Mr. Alvarado's leadership abilities.
In redesigning District 4, Mr. Alvarado, who is Hispanic, has realigned the leadership of his schools, placing many Hispanic teachers in supervisory posts. This has led to charges of discrimination against him and his school board.
In 1975, the State Division of Human Rights held that Mr. Alvarado and his school board had discriminated against Samuel Peyer, who is white and was then the acting principal of Public School 171. Mr.Alvarado had replaced Mr. Peyer with Elsa Lurie, a native of Puerto Rico. Mr. Peyer sued, and the state eventually ordered that Mr. Peyer be reinstated.
''I was given back pay and my seniority,'' said Mr. Peyer, who is now the principal of Public School 124 in South Ozone Park, Queens. Other Complaints Cited
Ted Elsberg, the president of the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, the supervisors' union, said there had been other discrimination complaints by assistant principals and principals in District 4.
''We have acted on these complaints,'' he said. ''We have had our differences with Superintendent Alvarado in the past, but we look forward to having a good working relationship with him.''
In 1977, Irving Anker, then the Schools Chancellor, said Mr. Alvarado had too many highly paid supervisors in his district.Mr. Alvarado defended his hiring practices, saying they were a necessary part of the district's philosophy of creating smaller schools for students whose educational needs had been neglected in the past. He maintained that he was not spending more money than other district superintendents. In recent years, however, he has gone over his budget.
Mr. Alvarado said his guiding philosophy in running a school district was ''to increase the expectation of success'' for pupils and teachers alike. Sense of Accomplishment
He says that the way to rebuild the school system with its nearly one million students is to instill a sense of accomplishment among students and teachers. He has pledged to help restore the vitality of the city's high schools, which are supervised by the central Board of Education and not by the city's 32 school districts.
Anthony John Alvarado was born in the South Bronx on June 10, 1942, the son of a factory worker. He attended St. Anselm's Catholic School, Fordham Preparatory School and Fordham College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1960. He later was awarded a Master of Arts degree in English from Fordham University and has also taken education courses at Hunter College.
He began his career as a teacher in the public schools in 1965 and with the exception of a brief stint at the City University, has remained in the system.
He taught English, first as a substitute teacher in the Bronx, and then for one year at James Monroe High School in the Bronx. He quickly rose through a series of administrative posts, first at the board's headquarters in Brooklyn and then in District 9 in the South Bronx. He became the superintendent of District 4, on Oct. 1, 1973. Wife Is Community Liaison Aide
He is married to Ellen Kirshbaum, who once headed Distict 4's East Harlem Performing Arts School. She now works as a community liaison for the district, she said yesterday.
The Alvarados live in a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with their children, Rachel, 4 1/2, and Emily, 18 months old. Mr. Alvarado has two daughters from a previous marriage, Maria, 13, and Gloria, 11.
Miss Kirshbaum said yesterday that with two careers, theirs is an ''egalitarian household.'' They divide responsibilities and her husband often does the marketing. On occasion, Mr. Alvarado plays a little racquetball, she said.
Mostly, he likes to read in his spare time, she said. ''He is an avid, unbelievably fast reader,'' Miss Kirshbaum said. ''He has been studying the Civil War for a long, long time.''