Tuesday, November 17, 2009

David Pakter Has Advice for Whistle Blowers

After the Lehman HS whistle blower blow-up a few weeks ago (see links below), where teachers supposedly slipped proof of the principal tampering with grades, I was contacted by some of the Lehman whistle blowers for advice (and a lawyer.)

To know one's surprise, Tweed announced they would investigate the teachers who blew the whistle. They went to the press because they had notified Joel Klein last March and an investigation was supposedly begun, but they hadn't heard anything for 5 months and figured it went nowhere.

I think they seem to be in the clear, but I consulted with whistle blower supremo David Pakter.

He responded with this essay, posted at Under Assault, who also posted a photo of one of the plastic plants Pakter bought for the school, one of the charges against him in his endless 3020a hearings (which are wrapping up with two dates in December) after the DOE has spend an enormous amount of money trying to get rid of him. I was at the hearing when the school supervisors testified and they made the tree sound like a giant redwood. When Pakter told us he bought 3 of these at Home Dept and carried them to the school in a shopping bag, I fell off my chair.

It would have been much cheaper to just place Pakter in charge of putting together arts programs all over the city if they wanted him away from kids - you know, giving out $200 watches from a company you own to kids earning over 90 on their report cards is seditious., even though it dovetails perfectly with the market-based ed deformers.

Here is an excerpt:

So what else is new. Cheating went on in every school I ever taught in and at the High School where I taught for twenty five years, mark altering / "improving"/ "updating" - was raised to a virtual "art".

I wonder if Principals demand Kickbacks for all the gallons of "white-out" they order every June to ensure that their graduation totals will look even better and rosier than the previous year's stellar "improvement".

As for using a "Passing" Regents grade as an excuse to ignore a Failing Class Grade score- how the heck do you think they come up with those "regents scores".

At my former school, and I am sure many would not be surprised to learn, at 99 % of the NYC High Schools, all Regents Scores are referred to as a student's "Raw Regents Score". That is to say- the actual grade the student earned on the actual Regents Examination.


I have my own advice for whistle blowers. DON'T DO IT! Unless you have a crew of people with you. Expect to be more of a target yourself than the people you are blowing the whistle on. One area I disagree with Pakter's essay. That is his assumption it is the newer teachers who whistle blow. In my experience, it is the people with years in the system who have the understanding to know when to blow the whistle. It usually takes years to build up the anger and passion to be willing to risk your career.

Ed Notes Lehman stories
Education Notes Online: Lehman HS, School for

What Did Klein Know About

Lehman Story Gets Legs

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