Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another DOE Scam - TAPCO - Theatre Arts Production Co. School Revealed


leonie haimson said...
Instead of all these anonymous comments, please email me at leonie@att.net; and I promise I will keep your name confidential.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 2011 - CONTACT LEONIE HAIMSON - THIS IS REALLY HER.

This comment has been passed around from the http://jd2718.wordpress.com/ blog:
New comment on your post "Do Not Apply"
Author : Bronx Teacher

I find it interesting that TAPCo was discussed on this forum.  Somehow, the Theatre Arts Production Co. School was rated the number 1 school in the NYC-DOE report cards this past month.  When the principal announced it, students fell over laughing.  The reality is that Principal Passarella knows how to cook the books and play the system.  I'm sure she's not the only one doing it, she's just the best at it.  The report card grades various stages of academic progress ... such as the number of credits each grade student has obtained.

This is interesting because TAPCo has an almost 100% graduation rate ... funny, cause students who dropped out even graduated.  Let's see how this works:

- teachers are not allowed to fail students.  No F's or 55's on report cards.  Any 55 is changed to an NC (No Credit).    Teachers are to give students EVERY opportunity to remove the NC ... such as copying work from friends, cheating, lying, etc.
- teachers who do not comply and continue to fail students are terminated and removed from the school ... even if it's mid semester.  Administration will just change the failing grades to passing ones.
- therefore, TAPCO does not have any failing students and thus, every student is on track for graduation.
- students are also given bogus credits for classes they never took ... such as Phys Ed and Foreign Language.
- most TAPCo students "earn" up to 14-16 credits a year, far above the 11 required for graduation.  They are given full credit for taking an Arts class once a week, a Theatre class once a week, Phys Ed classes which don't exist, Foreign Language class once a week with a "phantom" teacher who is out on disability.
- Regents passing grades are a joke as well ... especially in ELA and US/World History.  The rubrics are vague, and the grading teachers give out 4's and 5's like candy.  A cursory review of the essays indicate that most of these students can barely string together a legitimate sentence.  Meanwhile, teachers are giving them 5's.
- the latest insult to teachers is the development of the Inquiry Team ... or more-so, the Inquisition Team.  This is a group of the principal's favorites who use their position on the team to intimidate other teachers.  They are led by an angry, bitter little woman named Mrs. Acosta.  Acosta does not teach any classes, but goes around criticizing people's classrooms.  Her fake smile is very transparent.  She has used her "power" against teachers who have spoken up against her or disagree with her.  Her role is to report back to the principal any dissension among the teachers.
- it's interesting how the number 1 school in the City has a teacher turnover rate of about 45%.  Don't be surprised if that number is exceeded next year.  But it's ok ... Principal Passarella knows there are plenty of teachers out there who will do anything and everything for a job.

Steve Koss on the NYCEdNews listserve commented:




I just this evening picked up this story while browsing Norm Scott's Education Notes blog site (www.ednotesonline.blogspot.com); seems he picked it up from another blog called JD2718 (http://jd2718.wordpress.com ). It's not surprising, but it’s still truly a must read story for its explicit and detailed confirmation of what we all know is happening.

My challenge to Cathie Black: THIS above is, by the "management system" you are inheriting from Joel Klein, the number-one-scoring (by inference, the best-achieving) high school in NYC. Although no one at Tweed will ever admit it, we all know that this sort of "playing the system" is rampant across the entire city system, and the report card system is worse than a joke, since some parents may actually believe it is legitimate.  Given your extensive management skills and experience and your superstar reputation, not to mention your newly acquired, in-depth knowledge of schools and public education, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS SCHOOL AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIX THE UNDERLYING PROBLEMS CREATED BY YOUR PREDECESSOR'S FATALLY FLAWED "MANAGEMENT SYSTEM"? 

178 comments:

  1. This is an out rage, how do they exspect for students to learn and pass test. oh, I get it because they want us to be considered a passing nation. How do you give a passing grade to a student who did not work hard for it.Who are they to tell a teacher what to do when that teacher knows which students are really passing the class. This NC is a trick and degrading because this student would not have to work as hard as those you deserve the grade. Yet, what student would give up this opportunity to just copy or write down a couple of notes to pass. How would this help them when they get to college and work in the real world. I'am disgusied with this scam. Parents wake up make your children learn and not take what looks like the easy way out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate.

    The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. So any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this.

    If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave.



    Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.

    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).

    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.

    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart.

    And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more.

    Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....

    Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    Post Script: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate.

    The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. So any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this.

    If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave.

    Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.

    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).

    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.

    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart.

    And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more.

    Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....

    Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    Post Script: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate.

    The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. So any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this.

    If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave.

    Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.

    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).

    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.

    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart.

    And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more.

    Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....

    Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    Post Script: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate.

    The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. So any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this.

    If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave.

    Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.

    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).

    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.

    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart. And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more.

    Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....

    Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    Post Script: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate.

    The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. So any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this.

    If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave.

    Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.

    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).

    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.

    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart. And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more.

    Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....

    Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    P.S: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate. The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. Any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this. If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave. Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.
    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).
    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.
    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart. And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more. Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    P.S: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am a former teacher at TAPCO. I left after the first graduation class graduated. From what I saw firsthand, what is written is accurate. The principal fills out the parent and student surveys herself (or has someone do it). This is one way a school is graded. It's easy to do, and the DOE does little to monitor it. Any school that wishes to inflate its grade without inflating its quality, does this. If you work at TAPCO, to complain or even offer constructive criticism... this will immediately put a teacher or staff member in danger. The principal has created an atmosphere of fear, and people operate trying to avoid her attention or wrath. Most of the staff of this school knows fully well what is going on, but most are in fear of losing their job or getting a trumped up "U" rating, or letter in their file. That is one reason why so many teachers leave. Hey... this isn't bran surgery, right? The foundation of a good school is consistency and continuity, and this cannot be achieved when staff is constantly leaving. My impression is that there are many good teachers at TAPCO, but they are either forced to leave or forced to shut up. It's a sad place to work.
    The blog entry descripes the inquiry team as being in inquisition team. Yeah, that's true to a degree. Or at least that's what it's become. But the members of this team are not bad people (except for Acosta... who is accurately described... sick individual who should stay as far away from students and teachers as possible) who have made horrific choices to be part of this team. Hey. Wake up! You are supporting a corrupt, dishonest, and harmful system. I know we all have to find a way to survive, but is it worth turning yourself into Julius Schreck? You know what's right and wrong. Isn't it time for you to stand up for what's right? (sorry Michaeal... but I think you are selling out big time).
    In short, TAPCO spends more time looking good then being good. Hard to digest, but true.
    FINAL NOTE... The principal is in over her head in this job. Plain and simple, she is not qualified. She's a recovering alcoholic (many describe her as a "dry drunk") and what she lacks in ability and leadership skills, she makes up by cheating. Changing grades, changing test scores, filling out parent and student surveys, changing attendance and lateness records, giving credit for classes not taken... even passing students who never show up for class... it breaks your heart. And to state the obvious, she is working in a system that not only allows this, but seems to promote it. Too bad for the kids. They deserve more. Maybe the best thing that has ever happened is that TAPCO got this #1 rating. Maybe now it will be realized how broken the system is. Maybe now the outside world will realize the degree that Tweed is really turning a blind eye. Of course they are. There's too much at stake. The system, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, even the position of the mayor himself... is in the eye of the storm.

    FINAL FINAL THOUGHT....Have to wonder how it is possible that mainstream media hasn't picked up this story. Maybe there was more to Mr. Klein being replaced than "it was time for a change." Ms. Black, with her extensive connections to the media, seems like the ideal choice for a major who, like TAPCO, is more concerned with how things appear in the world of education, then the way they actually are.

    P.S: The Daily News reported yesterday that Joel Klien will be making up to 4 Million a year at his new job working for Rupert Murdoc, a Job that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting, the DOE supports and rewards a "leader" such as Ms. Passarella who is morally vacuous and emotionally unstable. How then are we really supporting our students? We are concerned about the future leaders of this country yet we are misleading our students to believe they can make a difference and affect change when they can barely pass regents exams.

    ReplyDelete
  10. As a member of the TAPCO community I know that the college acceptance rate last year was at 100%. Most of the students I am still in contact with were required to take remedial classes because they were not prepared for entry level college courses. Many more have dropped out after the first semester because they were unable to keep up with the course work. We (TAPCO) are not preparing our students for college readiness.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I graduated last year from TAPCo. I don't know about most of what was said in these comments but what I do know is that I got credits for physical education which I never had 1 class during my 4 years there.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As a student at TAPCO I can say this is so true. TAPCo may seem good, but it's corrupt. That's why I'm not trying to piss Ms. Acosta off, she will probably get Ms. Lynn to expell me or something.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was a former TAPCo student and i must say that what is written is precise. I was one of the first graduating student at this HS and I can say first hand that the award for #1 school was not deserved. The principal does things that shouldn't be done such as changing grades, lateness and absents records, suspend students when they go against her word, fire many incredible teachers because they refuse to agree with what she does, and many more. She says that TAPCo is a "family" yet makes sure that many of the students and staff members feel unwelcome. I myself was absent many times, late every day, and rarely attended many of my classes. How i managed to graduate in an honors class and receive an award that i did not even know I deserved is beyond me. There is a lot of favoritism in this school. Many of the staff members choose who and who not to lend a helping hand to. There were credits that i did not deserve and many classes i did not take. PE was something i took in my first year for about 2 months and the course was never continued. Throughout my 4 years in this school I watched as many great teachers came and went. Never had the same math teach throughout those years, not the same arts teacher either, as well as history. The only constant teacher we had was english, and that is only because he dates the vice principals daughter. This school is a corrupted place and should be reviewed more carefully.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I as well am a former TAPCo student and while a lot of this may be true, students themselves are also to blame. If they want to learn then they will learn regardless of the fact that even if they don't do their work there will be no consequences. I will agree that Ms. Lynn may not be the most equipped person to run a school however spreading her personal business on the internet is very low and the person who did that should... well I have no words for you except to say you're cruel. As for me, I graduated from TAPCo and did my work there and am succeeding in college with almost a 4.0 GPA. So yes, TAPCo needs help and Ms. Lynn needs a lot of help but don't put all the blame on that. Students have a responsibility themselves to ensure that they get the education that they go to school for. And as for TAPCo's environment, well it is a very supportive one where there are a good amount of teachers there who will go above and beyond for their students whether it be with their school life or personal life at home. They are there no matter what.

    P.S. I had two years of language, one year of P.E., and a theatre arts class three times a week every year. So they are not completely neglected as others claim it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Im a current student at TAPCo and I can personately say who ever wrote the blog was completely saying the truth. I been in TAPCo for a while now and I cant say i've learn much. Its too easy. I have 90's on classes i dont even understand. I been late so many times just in one month and I on my report card it only says like 2 or 3 times. Its funny how Ms. Lynn wants to be believed as a good principal when students never see her in the hallways unless its on picking only on certain people. And for students that want to leave the school, everytime they go to the office and asked for the slip to change school. They would would tell you to come later, and then later, and later. Untill you give up because they never give you one. Rumors going around saying the school changes the schools you pick by putting TAPCo as your first. Injustice and corruption is accuring here and something needs to be done about it.

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  16. I go to TAPCO right now. Ms. Acosta is very awefull. She has caused many teachers to cry and treats them very bad. The only reason why i am at TAPCO is because of my friends and such. We have many good teachers, but some are very awefull and dont teach us well. There are some teachers that just give us a book and paper and go ahead and don't teach us well. But there are teachers like Mr. Mudrick motivate us to do very well. They lie about the extra curricular activities in the directory. Ms. Lynn is a racist and rude fool. That's how we see it. She ignores and neglects many grades. When you need to talk to her, she say's that she's busy and never talks to us. She always smells bad and always uses the student bathroom instead of the teachers bathroom. Always taking away our teachers for meaningless meetings. TAPCO is the most corrupt, and the worst school i've ever heard of. She always assumes that the kids at TAPCO that don't dress or act professionally are involved with gangs or drugs when there is nothing of that sort. She once took away student's crosses, saying they were gang signs. What kind of woman, no MANIAC is this?

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  17. Instead of all these anonymous comments, please email me at leonie@att.net; and I promise I will keep your name confidential.

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  18. Does this principal really trust public education? Her own children attend private school; why aren't they attending TAPCO

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  19. I am a graduate from TAPCO and I remember my math teacher giving me ALL the answers on ALL my math tests. I always got a good math grade on my report card. When it came to the regents and she was in charge she would would tell me how to get the answers. She was sweet but now I feel like an indiot in my college math class. Yea, its a remedial class too.

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  20. Just lost another good math teacher to Ms Passarella's U rating schemes. Tenure is approaching and the trend is to NOT APPROVE. This is a good way to save money in a failing pension system, ha, and Ms Passarella is one of the systems biggest lapdogs. She hires new teachers and fires them before they are up for tenure. No backbone to stand up for what's correct. No fight in her for staff, for those who truly know how to teach and make a difference in students lives.
    Whatever happened to the social emotional support we used to have at this school. Kids in distress are returned to the classroom and teachers who are untrained in this area are held accountable for their mental health. No PD EVER on anything other than core curriculum. Its daily regurgitation of the same principles and practices. But we know why. It's all about the principal having documentation of all her efforts to not receive a poor rating herslf.
    At the end of the day we should be working with small groups of students who are in need of academic intervention

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  21. I'm curious. Where is the MONEY ??? Where are the Title I funds? Where is that going? There are no Parent Association meetings, no School Leadership Team meetings to discuss disbursement of these funds.
    There ARE expensive annual retreats were staff enjoy a stay at the Hilton in NYC and a wonderful meal at Phillipe's Restaurant with plenty of drink and a night at a club to follow. The following morning staff, who are a bit hungover to say the least, are asked to complete their school survey. All well planned by a principal with a P-Card.
    Who is minding the store Mr. Bloombrg? Not the school's superintendent! Not Fordham University, the school's PSO!

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  22. Hey if you guys were going to just hand out passing grades, you could of told me before I moved to California. By the way if you want to see the name of the anonymous commentators press alt+f4, then click on the word "anonymous"

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  23. I am a student who just recently graduated Tapco. While some of the statements above are true, other are personal opinions. Without Tapco, the teachers, and ms. "passerella" as you like to call her, i wouldnt have made it into college. While so many students are not liking what is going on in the school, i must ask why they fear this principal so much? She was a person, that though i was sometimes a little afriad to talk to just because of her position in the school, she was very easy to talk to about almost everything. While Tapco seemed to have a lot of issues, it is probably because IT IS A NEW HIGHSCHOOL IN A TINY BUILDING. While this may not seem to have such a huge effect, i personally could see it as a stresser for students as well as everyone else. I see students complaining about having homework from a teacher, and yes, i was one too, but students need to take a hold of their own education. I was apart of the class that had a 100% graduation acceptance, and yes, i also wondered why some students actually graduated when they shouldnt have. To be very honest, sometime it did seem like grades were faked and what not, but the blogger had to right to bring up this Principal's old drinking habit. With out Tapco, i probably would have dropped out of school, and no, it wasnt the easy work or slip on grades as my teachers were hard on us all, it was the family that i have come to miss since leaving. Most of the students that have been taking remedial classes are most likely the same students who slacked off their entire highschool career and are complaining now because they didn't learn anything. I personally know what i have done wrong in high school, and am trying to change this. Not by blaming the high school that helped me through it all, but thanking it instead. Now, if i went off course, i am sorry, and i am ending this now.

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  24. Wow! way to throw TAPCO under the bus! We all can agree that TAPCo is not a normal school, but it has qualities that have changed and shaped our education, whether we want to believe it or not. Yes, the classes were not very difficult and we barely had any science classes, but TAPCo is a Theatre school, and last time I checked who needs physics to get and audition for a broadway play. I mean Ms. Lynss efforts to prove that inner city kids can defy stanadards by graduating Highschool, getting through College and competing with the majority has led her to create a "safety net" for TAPCo middle school students who will enter TaPCo Highschool with a bone taht has been thwon to them by their Master.

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  25. As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma. ~Sri Guru Granth Sahib

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  26. well it's clear too me that , you are talking about how Tapco is just giving "Free Passing Grades",I Disagree , This is Because even though they give N/c's it's still technically Failing , because you are getting no credit , so in that case , we are not just receiving Free Passing Grades. Yes, We do have chances to make up the work even after the marking period, to improve our grades. But this is what makes Tapco so rare, I don't see any other school giving an opportunity like this. This is proof that all the Tapco Teachers and Lynn , want us to succeed and go to college, having a successful future.

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    1. NC's were designed for students who cannot complete the required work due to extenuating circumstances. TAPCO is giving you this "opportunity" to hide poor discipline procedures and cover up the lack of learning and absence of effort in the classroom. As a teacher in a similar school, I know firsthand that teachers take effort into consideration before trying to "fail" a student. If students are rarely showing up to a class and putting a minimal effort into their studies, they should fail that class. If their are no direct consequences for ignoring the seriousness of one's education, students who get NC's will be deluded into thinking that anything they do in school is OK. This mentality will result in 4 years of minimal learning and a high school "graduate" who is not prepared to function in the real world.

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  27. I am currently a student in TAPCo and honestly when I read that comment about our english teacher I felt the need to leave a comment myself. Our english teacher, Mr.K , is yes dating the vice principals daughter, BUT he is probably the ONLY teacher any of us learn from EVERY time we have him.... If someone doesn't like him it might have been because of a grudge or something because he is one teacher that this blog just doesn't apply to. I do agree teachers give answers and we don't have a P.E class and credits are given out like cookies, but some teachers are actually good ones. ( Not Acosta )

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  28. TAPCO is a joke.Lynn Passarella is a pathetic excuse of a leader.She demeans her staff, her clothing smell unwashed, she is never actually in the school to assist teachers and staff, she fires the most competent tenured teachers with backbones and courage to speak against her system and she is a liar and thief.She has made more enemies and destroyed more careers in her short span as a principal.She only hires 'whites' to work in higher positions and will turn against her students, faculty and friends in a heartbeat.She has a senior citizen secretary who she puts in basements and speaks to in an uncivilized manner.She promotes her students regardless if they are reading on 5th grade level or not.She doesn't take appropriate attendance and plaguerizes test scores and surveys.She uses funding to take lavish trips to the hamptons with her staff and has 'cocaine' and 'weed' parties in her home.She even has a drug pusher, her Assistant prinicpal pushing in the school. Her other A.P's daughter teaches without a license and sits in a room with a bunch of gay and lesbian students.In short, she is a danger to the children of TAPCO and should be arrested for child endangerment.She is corrupt and I am glad that she is exposed.Many other acting principals in the same building do not associate with her and she has affairs with teachers. I THINK IT IS A DISGRACE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CAN MISS SUCH A SCANDAL AND ALLOW ALL THOSE CHILDREN TO 'BE LEFT BEHIND'.

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  29. TAPCo lost a good math teacher last week. He was given a trumped up U in an out of license class. I hear this is common practice by Passarella to force teachers to leave or to deny tenure. TAPCo is run through fear and intimidation. If Passarella could do this to one teacher, she can do it anyone.

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  30. This is a forum in which one can post their opinion. Please keep it professional and do not make personal attacks or derogatory comments.

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  31. The derogatory remarks towards Principal Passarella are unwarranted, but they underlie a bitterness and anger by the staff and teachers towards her leadership of this school. There is something significantly wrong with the #1 school in NYC if teachers are on the verge of revolt. Teachers work in fear of her intimidation and retaliatory tactics. The students deserve better, and the teachers should not be treated like replaceable parts.

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  32. This website is quickly losing credibility with all these emotionally laden accusations. Obviously there are some disgruntled campers, but opinion has quickly turned into a free for all slander fest. Many of the contest being published on this blog is extremely exaggerated, taken out of context and hateful. I would of expected Leonie Haimson to have monitored the substance of anonymous posters. As an avid blog reader whom has become familiar with the tactics of anonymous reporters, it has become very clear that some of the information being posted is false. I truly hope that Haimson, for the sake of this blog, will better monitor the hateful rhetoric being spewed by an anonymous person posing to be several entities. I do believe we can continue this dialogue, however it should be conducted in a civil manner.

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  33. I would not be surprised if any positive comments made here were done under the influence of Ms. Passerella herself. My son was a Tapco student and was deemed unworthy by Ms. Passerella. he was a student with an IEP and was not given his mandated services when quenstioned about this I was told that he was cutting this class when he was never given this service and the DOE had to pay a private tutor.He was in Ms. Passerellas advisory class and showed up wearing a hat the door was slammed in his face by her and all the other boys in the room did indeed have hats on. She wanted to discontinue his counseling services when his father had just died. My son was jumped by about 3 other Tapco students yet he was arrested and hospitalized. She totally supported the other boys yet a video surveillance showed the others taking off teir jackets preparing to fight.I believe she makes up stories to make herself look good. My son is no saint but he was not the demon she made him out to be. He was bitten by a student and he in turn bite back she had him arrested yet again, the initional bite was witnessed by her staff yet at his suspension hearing she failled toprivied a copy of the write up fortuniatelly i had a copy of it. she also attempted to have him arrested after someone stole his Ipod an he took that students Ipod and said I will return it when I get mines back the police refused to arrest him so she suspended him again at the hearing her croonie AP could not answer why was nothing done about his stole property. I did meet with district personnel about this and nothing was done. I challenged her work pratice and my son was singled out and penalized over and over again.Now thanks to this so called #1 High School Principal L.Passerella my son is a drop out struggling in society. I wonder what she has done to other student and how her pratices have effected their lives.

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  34. I work at TAPCO and have read the many comments. Some are true, some exaggerated, some things still left unsaid. While there are some good things about TAPCO and some really good people, there are some serious problems. The investigation is warranted and I hope they find what they are looking for and those responsible get what they deserve.

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    1. I am now glad justice has been served. So many have suffered. But what happens to the students who have already graduated? And what about this year's seniors?

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  35. Its crazy how this has become a he said she said game. It truly saddens me to read all this I am neutral. I do not know exactly what has occurred and I’m not denying that all this is true. Can these accusations be trusted from an anonymous source? Its crazy how one story could just ruin a school. I spent my 7th-9th grade years of school at TAPCo. I loved that school. My teachers pushed me to be creative to follow my dreams to express myself. What school out there would let you create a pyramid of your own for a history presentation? What school would let you create roman costumes for your peers to wear on skits related to history? This school helped me become who I am today. I don't know what is or isn't true. But when I was there I had gym class at the gym and I also had Karate classes. This isn't the school I graduated HS from. But still in my attic you could find the huge binder of my TAPCO portfolios filled with essays. I remember staying up late all the time having to write essays, I loved to write. This school helped me become the open minded talented individual that I am today. It pushed me to believe in myself. Today I am 19 years old a sophomore in College and im studying for my bachelors in broadcast communications. TAPCo kept my dreams alive.

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  36. i am a former student at tapco. ive been at the school since middle school and ive seen many teachers come and go. one of my years there i had Ms.Acosta as a english teacher and i must say she was a horrible women who always thought she was right. the comments posted above weren't all lies though i believe some were just exaggerated through personal feelings. when i was at the school i believe i wasnt graded fairly due to the fact i passed all my classes and barely ever went to school. all my classmates never liked Ms.Lynn and she made herself seem more busy then she really was. im not saying this was a terrible school. ive made great friends, shared great experiences, and learned the importance of diversity but its time for things to come out the closet and be done.

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  37. I am a former student as well. I graduated with tapco's 1st graduating class. This school is THE WORST. Mr.Goldman who was the math and economics teacher was a perve who stared at one of my closest friend's breast and whispered in student's ears. Ms.Lynn never took on the leadership role but gave the students whatever we wanted. I graduated with 52 credits and only took a PE class my freshman year. I can go on continuously about tapco's flaws but I will be here all day. Plain and simple : tapco isn't what it claims to be but the exact opposite. P.S. Mr.K is a very committed teacher & should be using his skills where they will be more appreciated

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  38. Okay, for the first comment that came from a so called "former" student. You were just insulted by the person writing this blog saying you couldn't put a sentence together let alone pass a regents exam and I must say it looks like you don't have bad grammar at all. Besides if the statement was true then it very unlikely that a student wrote that. The teachers are great in that school.Another thing is the "college now classes" the kids who took those classes passed them and that had nothing to do with Lynn so that goes to show students were capable of passing classes even beyond their grade level. I needed a science class and i got that science class because i missed that credit i had to retake the class while all the seniors didn't have that class. It wasn't served to me on a silver platter. Therefore students earned grades. These comments and remarks are all opinions and personal feelings. The comment about Mr.Goldman, I graduated that year too and I know exactly who would say something like that he would never do that. The room was so cramped and she had her boobs out and wanted attention it's a rumor get over it! If it wasn't for Goldman i wouldn't be doing so well in my economic class in college. The lady talking about her son, who would want a problem child in their school? no one! I'm sure the problem was resolved when your kid left hence giving Mrs.Lynn the reason to do what she did. The person who wrote about the teacher getting a U and getting fired it's obviously you writing that because well why would anyone else feel so obligated to write something like that? The math teacher they're talking about who would give answers is Mrs.Anna and she wouldn't give you the answers she would hint how to solve it to the kids who were having difficulty taking "her" tests and the fact you don't know math to your full potential is your problem. Regents weren't tampered with either because if they were we wouldn't have had kids who would have to retake them and me being one of them. I was late for school but i had to stay after school to make up for lost time so I dont know where all this stuff is coming from. Tapco is a school about chances and opportunity. Lynn doesn't do anything wrong when the kids complain about the teachers and how they don't like their methods or aren't learning that's when Lynn fired them. If you want my name it's Amar and if you're going to make statements give your names because by being anonymous all these comments could have just came from one person or two. That's why i believe all of this is ridiculous and childish. Take into consideration if a child doesn't like something they're all going to say something bad about it (in this case the school or personal feelings towards a teacher). If you went there you cant lie and say you never cramped up towards the end of the year doing exit projects, writing papers, making up homework and studying for your regents. This school is amazing!! I have no doubt that i can get the majority of people who went there who had a brain cell they would agree with me. Mrs. Lynn didn't make us all get accepted into colleges, we did that on our own. She didn't pass the regents for us, we did that on our own. She didn't give us our grades, we did. If the students laughed about it being the number one school that's because any school would have done that. Growing up its all about who goes to the baddest schools and they couldn't accept the fact that their school was good, I mean common we're kids from the Bronx. The kids clearly didn't express their emotions in a mature manner and why would we expect them too. That's all i have to say.

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  39. it is amazing to me how an educator can usurp her authority and take advantage of our children. these are our children who go to her school, our children who are being cheated out of an education, our children who are being misguided.They are told only to apply to private colleges because it makes her look good. When they attempt to apply to SUNY or CUNY they are told they were not good schools. if they want to enlist in the military as a way to pay for college they were told not to or worse, they were threatened with not being able to graduate. I sit and think and believe Pasarella really lost site of her goal. She let the title of Principal of go to her head. She started a good program that our children could of benefitted from. Obtaining an education thru art is a wonderful way to have our children really have hands on experiences and make them eager to learn however once she became Principal it all changed and became about her. How she is in charge, it is her school and she no longer listened to anyone. If staff did not go along with her they became the enemy and were threatened with U rating, were not given any support or who knows what else went on. She picked on selected students and made their life in her school hell. i was trying to keep on the positive side of the but i truly cannot. When i hear and see what is happening i am astonished. I wonder why she is still there in the school during an investigation. Sshe continues to harass staff, and attempts to under mind the investigation. she places people outside the room when staff is being interviewed to try and hear what us being said. If she finds out a staff member speaks out against her I feel sorry for that staff member because their life at TAPCO will be a living hell..

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  40. Applying to CUNY and SUNY schools was what they made everyone do. Where are you getting your sources from? This is ridiculous. Not a single person can deny you the right to apply to a college of your choice, its not possible. Get real!

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  41. I wish our society did not hide behind anonymous blogs in order to voice their "concern" for this school. Most of you are cowards. I learned early in life to voice my feelings, whether that is to a boss, a coworker, a classmate, or even family. So many of us are scared of a person because we cower like weasels behind her back to voice our opinions on certain situations. If we stopped being such egocentric Americans, and focused on the betterment of the "whole" then there would be no reason to cower in fear. I admit, Lynn is no easy cookie, but I think she respects a person that has the balls to tell her in her face what their dilemma is. If you were in her position you would probably be the same. Those who hate her most smile in her face, the same way she does in return. You're all weak, and this does not vindicate some of Lynn's actions, but true transparency should be black and white. No puns, no secret groups, or spies necessary. We've all forgotten who is the most important puzzle piece in this mess of a system we call education, the kids we love. Lynn, you could be a friendlier person, it does not diminish your role as a leader. Staff, be united and she won't fuck with us. After that, some mutual respect and realism on both parts. To those who slander Lynn and other staff members on this blog, just like karma is catching up to certain people in TAPCO, it will come back to you eventually. Believe in Karma, this entire scandal is living proof. We live in a free society, so if you want to slander people man the fuck up, if not please continue to cower under that pathetic blanket you call life. If you want to be anonymous, please have some type of intellectual integrity. To parents, if you are blogging, please please please, ask yourself why you don't have this much interest in your child's welfare. No matter what goes on in TAPCO some of these kids look up to their teachers as better parents than their own. Thats pathetic, you're complaining about a school yet you don't even know anything about your own children. Things always fall in place, and I know this because i'm still waiting for all my wrongdoings to catch up to me. Stop conspiring, stop complaining, get your asses off the computers and do something real.

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  42. Why don't you sign your name??? You fall in the same category as you condemn!

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  43. WELLLL I AM I AN TAPCO ALUMNI AND AGREE 100% WITH WAT THE STUDENTS STAFF AND PARENTS ARE SAYING MS LYNN WAS A RACIST MR GOLDMAN WAS A PERE CUZ HE DID STARE AT BOOBS ALL DAY (IVE SEEN HIM DO IT TOO MANY TIMES ) AND GRADES WERE HANDED OUT. MS LYNN FIRED GREAT TEACHERS AND KEPT THE ONES THAT FEARED HER.. WE WENT ON NUMEROUS OF TRIPS TO WAGON ROAD FOR NO REASON !!! BUT JUST TO HAVE FUN AROUND THE "BOND" FIRE. MS LYNN ONLY LIKED THE SPANISH KIDS AND DIDNT CARE ABOUT ANY OF THE BLACK KIDS .. NOW IM NOT SAYN I THAT THE WHOLE SCHOOL DIDNT EARN THERE GRADES BUT I KNO FOR A FACT THAT MOST OF THE PEOPLE THAT I GRADUATED WITH SHOULDN'T HAVE EVEN BEN IN THE 12TH GRADE .. I HOPE THEY CLOSE THE SCHOOL DOWN

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  44. Please read what I said before you make comments..."if you're going to be anonymous, at least have some intellectual integrity"...

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  45. I saw a lot of good comments, here, and I actually have to agree with the ones that actually say GOOD things about TAPCo. As for whoever said that this is probably Ms.Lynn or someone who fears her writing good comments, to hell with you. I am not afraid of Ms.Lynn, and actually can talk to her about a lot of things, even when I go to visit TAPCo. This school shaped my life, taught me that Theater is my passion, helped me get into Union College, and showed me that no matter what, there's people in this world who care. It's almost sick that people will write such crap but are so afraid to say their damn names. Well, guess what? I am not. My name is Victoria. For those who actually went to TAPCo, i was the mean stage manager for Mr. Sam sometimes. If not for TAPCo, i wouldn't know that Stage Managing is something i want to pursue. If not for TAPCo, i wouldn't be with who I am with, I wouldn't even have the friends I do. The teachers, most of them I looked up to. I have even seen some of them outside of the school and introduced them to whoever I was with. While i complained a lot while i was at TAPCo, it was never really because they were easy on me. It was simply because at times it was just too hard. I think I might have dropped out without TAPCo there, with out the "family" that Ms.Lynn had made us, and without the great connections I had made in such a place. This school is AMAZING, and should never be closed down. If anything, just minor changes should be done to make it even better. I love this school, and almost all of the teachers. Oh, and for whoever said that the principal and assistant principal push drugs to students, then damn. Because I never heard of a single thing like that. Instead I heard other things, about STUDENTS do horrid things. BTW, my other comment was Bronx Brat.

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  46. that the board of education had a janother teacher that didn't even teach these students those Regents. I agree with what the other teachers posted, because I had an incident with Lynn Passarella. She sent me an e-mail with about eight students that were failing in my classes and she gave me a deadline that I must bring them up to 80 or better at a certain date. Although, many of these students did not come to class, I did not even know some of the students, but she wanted me to make sure they pass the class. In 2010 another teacher showed me a letter that Lynn Passarella sent to him and he had the same students which she told him that all of these students had an NC which is no credit and she wanted him to gave give them a little work and changed the grades to pass. In a June 2010 I had a meeting with my UFT chapter leader and Lynn Passarella and she gave me an unsatisfactory rating. Lynn Passarella told me why did I come back to her school why didn't I go get a job in a Catholic school she was very nasty to me and she tried to treat me like we were still in slavery, many times when I attend meetings where are she practically told me to shut up is her meetings and I was not to defend myself sometimes she had to call the UFT leader to intervene she tried to treat me like I was one of the kids are I am child. I know of many kids who graduated who did not deserve to be graduate and it is not me alone believe that because many teachers told me that when they give the student tests they just gave them back a blank paper. When I took the job I found out that the semester that I got hired 16 teachers left or got fired that about half of the staff if I did know that before I took the job I would never take it. I feel that in order for them to investigator her they do not need to go into the school and talk to the teachers that are there. They need to get a list of the past teachers that she fired or give unsatisfactory rating and discontinued your probationary periods and talk to them about her by asking about their experiences with Lynn Passarella. One of the things I notice while I was there she put teachers who do not have any experience transit B certification that are doing their student teaching on the job and these are the teachers was scared and suck up to her or kiss her ass. These are the type of teachers that our Mayor want to educate our kids and I do not think it is fear because, if a doctor just finished medical school I would prefer him not to perform surgery on me but, these people do not even finish school so do you expect them to educate our kids. I notice a few students posted their opinion about Lynn Passarella they feel that she's doing a good job but I think she gave these kids what they wanted. Later in life many of these kids will realize that she didn't give them anything is like giving a baby a pacifier to stop him or her from crying you will have to give them a real bottle if they are hungry. I taught at many schools in New York City, in black schools, Jewish schools, and rich schools and poor schools and I never experience what I experienced at Tapco they are not educating our kids all you are doing is setting them up for failure and it is not right I'm sure that Lynn Passarella send her kids to private school and she would not send her kid to Tapco and it is not good for her then it is not good for our kids. I wondered when I saw the rating how could that school be number one I know for a fact that she cooks the books as they said.

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  47. I have learned from other parents that this person is still the acting principal of the school. How can that be? If she remains as principal for the coming school year, it is obvious that the Department of Education is broken and is covering their butt since the high school received the highest grade above all high schools in the system last year. She spattered egg in their face, "by cooking the books". She is slick in knowing how to work the system for her benefit, not the students.

    The grading system is seriously faulted. How can a school receive the A+ grade and and shortly after all this is exposed? Wouldn't you think the chancellor would want to visit this school in the south bronx, and see what is being done that makes it so successful then replicate similar programs in other schools?

    If she is not removed something stinks, maybe the DOE? They did not do their job of monitoring what is going on in THEIR schools.

    She must go to save the students, teachers and the mission of the school which is quickly going down the toilet. Very sad time for the students!

    As a parent, I must say I was impressed by her talk during an open school night. She talked a good talk but little, if nothing, of what I heard did I see happening. When I came in for a spot check to see the school, I found chaos, students seemingly out of control. The noise level was like that in a ammusement park. How can learning go on in this kind environment. The place looked a mess. Enough said.

    By the way, I took my child, who said she was never to be seen, except when screaming at someone, and really does not care about the students, out of the school. I did not want to waste my child's educational time to see if she will be removed and someone more competent would be assigned as principal. After all my child's education is at stake here.

    Wake up parents!

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  48. TAPCo is in the news again. This time for test erasures and cheating on Regents exams. Why is Pasarella still the principal of this school? How does a school function under a cloud of fear and dictatorial control of an obsessive maniac?

    14 teachers left TAPCo this past June. Once again, students are being taught by meek, timid, and inexperienced first year teachers who are afraid to speak up for themselves or even offer a suggestion of a question towards Passarella's tyrannical directives.

    The lead article (all the way on top) had already mentioned problems with Regents exams. Teachers proctor and grade their own students. Under Passarella's implied threats, teachers face tremendous pressure to help students pass the state exams.

    In the case of the NY Times article on test erasure and cheating, Passarella was caught cheating on the June 2011 Trigonometry Regents. Regardless of the Trigonometry teacher's involvement, Passarella will most certainly place the blame on the teacher in order to protect herself. A true investigation should question the students in the room who sat for that particular Regents exam, and find out what really occurred.

    Passarella's forced grading policy is setting the students up for failure. Students who do no work all year, who cause all sorts of distractions, who curse out and disrespect their teachers, who listen to iPods and text ALL day during class ... are all passed because Passarella will blame and fire the teacher for any failing grades. The new teachers are too timid to disagree, and most just simply do as they are told in fear of provoking Passarella.

    I'm pretty sure all the new teachers have heard about all the teachers from last year who were given trumped up U ratings, who had their tenure denied or probation extended, and who left the school in disgust. The new teachers are cowering in fear, hoping not to fall under Passarella's radar, get past this year quietly, and transfer out (if possible) in June. That's been the same yearly pattern.

    Any parent who leaves their child in TAPCo is looking to destroy their child's life. The only lesson they will learn is that they can cheat, lie, copy, and steal ... and be rewarded for doing so with passing grades.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Here’s what TAPCo students think of their school from FaceBook. Do you want to teach here?

    Students have no respect for rules, authority, and teachers. They know they can do NO work all semester and pass.

    Asialee Nelson
    - you know you from tapco if you gotta curse out the teacher to pass w/ a 80 lmaoo
    Karla Gutierrez
    - You know you from TAPCo if you text in class & when you get caught you say dique “Mister I was checking the time -_-” lmaoo
    Jayjay Mac Tyb
    - You know you from tapco Wen you cut the whole quarter and pass lmao
    Anastasia Irizarry
    - Lmfao u noe u frm tapco whn u pass any classs
    Paris Yone’t
    - U kno u from Tapco when All u gotta do is threaten a teacher to get at least at 75on ur report card -_-
    Jay Stephenson
    ‎- you know yoυ from TAPCo when you used to copy eachother work at the end of the semester to pass , like there was no tmrw lml
    Amanda Cedeño
    - You know you from tapco when you always got 80 and above for ms ana class for being in the hall 24/7
    Jay Smooth
    - Nahhhhhhhh ! you know you from Tapco when first period was StudyHall, class started at like 9:30 .. & your ass was still LATE!!! LMAO
    Monei Modelcash
    - YOU NOE U FROM TAPCO IF YOU DID ALL YA WORK AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER !
    Luis Sanchez
    - You kno you from Tapco when u see the same niguhs in the bathroom cuttin class every period
    Jay Smooth
    - YOU! know you from TAPCO when you could dead cut class into somebody else class & straight get away with it! Lmao
    Jay Smooth
    - you know you from TAPCO when you can cut class, skip school, callout sick ever other day, be on the News ! & just straight walk the Halls when ever &STILL get a “NC” LMFAO!
    Kathy Idelfonso
    - You know you from tapco when ms. Ana gave you all the answers to the state math test
    Asialee Nelson
    - You know you from tapco if your teachers let you give in work when school is over & we taking regents lmao
    Karla Gutierrez
    - You know you from tapco if you pretty much cut the whole year and then you do all your work last minute & it still counts

    ReplyDelete
  50. Can anyone tell me why hasn't this principal been removed before this school is distroyed???

    It is a shame to be called an "Theatre ART School". When there is NO money for the art programs. Teachers are EXPECTED to stay and cover programs with out being paid.

    Why is she still there???

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anonymous said
    I start working at Tapco September 2008 after the first semester Lynn Passarella asked me to sign a resignation letter while my UFT chapter leader was out of town. I told her that I would sign the letter, but I called the union office first and told them what she was try to do. The union representative instructed me not to sign the letter because you said that the board of education had a job freeze, so I would be signing myself out of the Board of Education and it would be hard for me to get back in. Lynn Passarella tried to give me an unsatisfactory rating. But, the UFT chapter leader told her that I a satisfactory rating was not warranted and he would file a grievance and an appeal. So, she decided change the unsatisfactory to satisfactory and told me that I should go and look for job and this was the end of June last day of class. The UFT chapter leader told me that if I did not find a job I should come back to work September 2009. I applied for many jobs and open market, I went to many jobs fairs and I did not find any jobs because, most principal or assistant principals was on vacation in the summer in the open market started from about April so it is very hard to find a job in the summer. I went back to work September 2009 Lynn Passarella took my name off everything she did not give me a schedule, I had no class. For the most part, she treated me like I was a substitute teacher she had me teaching different subject or covering classes when teachers were absent. She tried to arras me by coming to the classes that I was covering and finding fault and writing me up so, I had to file a grievance for her to give me classes and that made her more mad. I was very successful in getting many students to pass the Regents exams. But, she did not give me any credit for that, she gave it to another teacher that didn't even teach these students those Regents.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am a student in the middle school and believe this compleately. Can't believe this crap

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  53. Hear they now have this "little angry lady" who is about to be an AP, Janice Acosta. She is hated by everyone and the principal will get a bad rating on the survey because of her.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Ms. Lynn will not get a bad rating because the staff are terrified of retribution. The majority of the teachers at TAPCO are brand new and are not willing to stick their necks out. Most are just hoping to see the end of June, and get the heck out of Dodge. 14 teachers left last year. That number will probably be exceeded this year.

    Ms. Lynn knows how it works. She will plan the staff retreat to coincide with the school rating survey. As she has done over the past several years, she will stage the staff retreat at a posh hotel in Manhattan ... either the Sheraton or the Hilton. BTW, this is on tax payer money.

    Teachers will stay overnight in $300 a night rooms (on the taxpayer dime), and have a dinner filled with food and all-you-can-drink alcohol at a lavish restaurant (on the taxpayer dime). The next morning, after half the staff is waking up from their late night hangovers, and happy as dumb pigs ... they happily give Ms. Lynn an outstanding rating on the on-line survey while her (Inquisition) Inquiry Team members watch over their shoulders.

    As for Janice Acosta, she is Ms. Lynn's little angry dog. She barks loudly and enjoys Ms. Lynn tugging on her leash. She doesn't carry the respect of a single teacher in the entire school but thinks she carries the authority of her unearned position.

    Even through this phony DOE investigation, Ms. Lynn is still cooking the books and making a mockery of the education system. Students who do no work, cheat, copy, and lie are still passing with flying colors. Teachers jobs are threatened when they attempt to impose responsibility on the students. A casual glance into classrooms will find rooms full of students texting, listening to iPods, insulting teachers ... anything but learning.

    One really has to wonder how a school in the middle of the Bronx has the magic formula of 100% graduation rate when the City graduation is barely 65%. The middle school which shares the same building MS 391 has an on-time graduation rate of about 60%. But in the same building, Ms. Lynn and TAPCO are sailing with a 100% graduation rate. In DOE-land, being honest and hardworking gets your school closed down. In DOE-land, lying, cheating, and changing grades is how you earn the #1 school in NYC.

    Well done Ms. Lynn. The staff respects and supports you. Please continue to manipulate, cheat, and lie. It's working.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Staff Retreat will be in March. Teachers will stay at the Hilton. Dinner and all you can drink booze at Phillipe Chow's. Bring your cameras, and see how Ms. Lynn spends tax payer money.

    Let the alcohol flow. Yahoo !!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. To all TAPCO teachers. Do not cower to Acosta and Passarella's dictatorial manipulations.

    The UFT rep is useless. Erik will not stand up for you. He is pals with administration and fears reprisal from Ms. Lynn.

    You MUST be honest when filling out the surveys. Do not give positive marks out of fear. This has gone on too long. Teachers are afraid Ms. Lynn will find out who gave negative remarks, and retaliate accordingly.

    Ms. Lynn must be removed from her position as principal of the school. Your careers and livelihoods depend on it.

    The students and teachers deserve better. Do not give her positive grades because you fear for your job. The only way she can be uncovered is if the DOE becomes aware of the BS, nonsense, and utter teacher dissatisfaction among the rank and file.

    TAPCO has become Nazi Germany ... with Acosta and her Gestapo "Inquiry Team" ruling the school through fear and manipulation.

    As teachers, this is your only chance to uncover this disgrace of a principal. Otherwise, expect more of this ... year after year after year. Are you willing to put up with another year of Acosta demeaning you, berating you, and putting you down in front of your students?

    I know most of you are awaiting Open Market in April. Some of you will be able to escape, but many will be returning next year simply because of the limited job opportunities available. If you want TAPCO to be a better place, you must be honest in your survey and let the DOE know of your dissatisfaction with the current leadership at TAPCO.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous, the truth has been told. Things are worse then ever. This is no longer an arts school. Performances are a disaster and the art displays throughout the school are an embarrassement and not a true representaion of what students can produce. Whatever happened to the Saturday Dolan Art Academy? Why did they leave? Mrs. Acosta is a megalomaniac and will certainly take the school down through the surveys. If Passarella couldn't, Acosta will.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Why is Acosta being appointed AP at Tapco? Her C30 must be coming up soon and she is a business person, like Bloomberg and Kathie Black, who didn't make it as Chancellor. This woman doesn't care about kids, just student scores and making a name for herself

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree she doesn't care about any of us she yells at us like she is a drill sergeant she has no idea what she saids to us like wheres your pass and then when you try o explain to her she threatens you

      Delete
  59. True many of the teachers are already looking to leave. Some are just looking to get out of the DOE some are looking to get out of TAPCO. One teacher left in Decemeber this year. Last year a teacher resigned in the middle of the year also. So sad for the students

    ReplyDelete
  60. True teachers are already looking to leave, some the DOE, many just TAPCO. I heard a teacher left in December this year and another left the middle of last year. So sad for the students who suffer these loses.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Acosta is actually not a good business person. A good business person understands that working with the staff and having a positive relationship is vital to the success of any business.

    Acosta's MO is through intimidation. The dissatisfaction throughout the staff is at an all time high.

    Teachers no longer talk to each other out of fear of being overheard by the Inquisition Team. This really is like Stalinist Russia.

    Fear and distrust permeates the air at TAPCO. Teachers are just holding on, trying to keep out of Acosta and Passarella's way, and looking for the earliest escape out of Efrafa and General Woundwort's prison.

    But most importantly, the teacher dissatisfaction has really hurt the students. With the needless and endless shuffling of classes, students are confused and bewildered. Fortunately for Passarella and Acosta, the students are not the primary concern. Grades can be fixed, teachers can be fired, and teachers can be forced to provide answers to students on the Regents exams.

    Hold it ... that reminds me, there was an article about Ms. Ana who helped her students cheat on the Trig Regents in 2010. Yet, Ms. Ana is still teaching at TAPCO. What is going on here?

    Hey, Mike Berkowitz .... how many more times are you going to whisper in a teacher's ear that a Sped student he/she's proctoring for the RCT "MUST" pass in order to graduate. I think we understand your implications. How many times are you going to ask Ms. Ana to proctor math RCT's for your kids???

    This just goes to show, at TAPCO, cheating and lying are rewarded. Hard working teachers are fired or forced to leave. Only the new and the meek remain. So sad.

    Yes ... get that 100% graduation rate. Keep changing grades. Don't worry if students haven't learned a thing in 7 years at TAPCO. Just make sure they pass ... regardless if they do any work. Force teachers to pass students who do nothing but text, listen to iPods, insult the teachers, skip class ...

    ha ha. That's the funniest. Passarella forces teachers to pass students who miss 90% of school year. What a joke.

    I should write a book about this. It would be a very sad comedy.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dis ap ms monica is beastin about hats and phones. I heard she took 50 hats and 20 phones Get rida her I want my hat back

    ReplyDelete
  63. Anonymous (Feb 14, 2012 02:22PM)

    > Dis ap ms monica is beastin about hats and phones. I heard she took 50 hats and 20 phones Get rida her
    > I want my hat back

    This is the level of intelligence among TAPCO students.

    Passarella must be very proud.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Passarella and Ascosta MUST GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    This sick duo who have no clue of how to respect other human beings as they lead by intimadation, is so wrong. How can they call themselves educators??? Imagine if teachers treated students the way they treat their staff??? The teacher would be sooooo gone. Passarella would lie, be deceitful and make up accusations to make sure the teacher would be banned from the DOE system and work hard to have the teachers state licence revoked!
    Someone should forward this blog to the investigation office. Let them see what is really going on in this sham of an art school. LOL what a joke!!!

    Really, the joke is on Passarella...it is only time before the DOE wakes up and sees her as she really is, the fake principal who led an A+ school with the high graduation rate. What a happy day it will be for the staff and students when she is led out of the school(with Acosta close behind).

    Maybe what is left of the school can be saved.

    ReplyDelete
  65. What is said above is true. Instead of just letting a teacher go ... with both sides moving on, Passarella makes it her personal crusade to destroy the outgoing teacher. She does her utmost to have the leaving teacher's license revoked.

    Imagine if you worked on Wall Street and your boss not only fired you for something you didn't do, he goes ahead to have your professional license removed. Is this the type of person you want to risk your career with?

    I hope new teachers read this blog and stay miles away from TAPCO. It's a career death trap.

    Every ambition as a teacher will be trounced as she forces you to pass EVERY SINGLE student. The funny thing is that passing failing students with Mercy 65's is not enough for her ... she wants a specific percentage of grades. Something like 50% A's, 40% B, and 10% C's. It's unbelievable.

    Students who don't show up for class for months on end are passed. She tells us to give them a packet or an assignment. ha ha. Yep ... one assignment will make up for not coming to school ALL year. Most teachers understand ... and don't even bother with the phony assignment or packet. Just pass the kids as ordered or risk losing your job. Kids don't do the packets anyway. So why bother???

    It's all a numbers game for Passarella. As long as she has her phony 100% passing rate, she's happy. Teachers can be scape goated into fixing grades on state exams and Regents. That's easy.

    Student writes on the ELA Regents: "Dis ap ms monica is beastin about hats and phones. I heard she took 50 hats and 20 phones Get rida her I want my hat back". Teacher says, "Hey, that's almost a sentence. Let's give it a 5."

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am a first year teacher at TAPCO. If I had read this article before, I would not have agreed to work here.

    The school is a mess. It's hard to believe this is our education dollars at work. The waste, the cheating, the inaccuracies, the blame-game ... and the free ride for students.

    Principal Passarella has stated that without giving the students chance after chance, they would just be casualties of the dropout factories. So basically, what she's saying is that students who would have otherwise flunked and dropped out of "normal" schools, are graduating from TAPCO.

    I'm sorry, but this is not what I signed up for.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Let people say what they want about this school -- I'm sure there are both truths and lies on here. However, I'm a bit confused as to how the moderator of the blog is allowing these comments even though they clearly have stated "NOTE: Comment moderation is turned on after 2 days so I can intercept the mounds of ads that come through. All other comments, unless personally insulting to a named person, will be allowed." True or not, I'm pretty sure there are dozens of comments that are "personally insulting" a "named person," all over the place here. If you saw you're going to to do something, be consistent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What lies? Everything has been confirmed numerous times.

      Delete
  68. Response to last comment:
    I only delete ads. All other comments are allowed to go through. I have no way to know what is true or not and don't believe in censorship. It is up to the reader to filter through it all and come up with their own interpretation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then why do you say, "All other comments, unless personally insulting a named person, will be allowed"? If it isn't true, then take it off your website. It takes away from credibility when you don't follow your own rules.

      Delete
    2. she thinks she bad with her little self

      Delete
  69. I'm curious why Anonymous feels the posters are "insulting" a named person? This thread about TAPCO and Principal Passarella simply details the inner goings of how teachers and students are treated at the school. In almost all cases, numerous teachers and students have verified the claims made in these posts. What's to find insulting?

    Is Anonymous Mrs. Acosta? The insults towards her aren not insults ... but simply a reflection of the staff's feelings toward her abusive behavior.

    If I were to use adjectives to describe Passarella and Acosta .... Passarella would be manipulative, scheming, and plotting; while Acosta would be disrespectful, abusive, and intimidation.

    Such is life for teachers at TAPCO. Nevertheless, we are quite happy that the weather is improving, and Open Market will open in a month. Half the staff will be gone by summer time. Another new group of bushy eyed first year teachers will arrive to have their dreams crushed by this manic duo.

    For all the teachers up for tenure this year ... Passarella has plans for you. She's already been given directive from up above that less than 40% will be allowed to obtain tenure. The remainder will have your probation extended or outright denied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with this posting. I don't think people are out to insult anyone. I think people are frustrated, disheartened, and believe they are working for incompetent, angry people. This blog is merely a forum to express this without punishment. I just stumbled in on this blog, and except for a few immature entries, it seems overall a genuine expression of dissatisfaction with a school's administration, particularly the principal and one of her APs. And so many people are saying different versions of the same thing, it seems unlikely that they are all wrong. Apparently this school is in bad shape, but is some how able to play the game so well that everything seems rosy to the DOE. This blog seems to be lifting the veil. Seems to be the only tool these people have available to them to tell the world what is going on.

      I wish them luck.

      Delete
  70. PAGE 1
    AN OPEN LETTER TO CHANCELLOR DENNIS M. WALCOTT AND THE DOE INVESTIGATORS OF TAPCO

    I am a former staff member at the school MS/HS225, also known as TAPCO. Although I have not worked at this school for several years, I am intimately familiar with the workings of the school and its principal, Lynn Passarella. I am still in regular and close communication with my students and former colleagues, and have a very strong relationship with a few staff members who are currently employed there. I believe the information contained in this communication is accurate and reflects the current state of the school. It was written after extensive conversation with present and past staff members. Any discussion with a current staff member would support this contention.

    It has been over a year since the DOE commenced an investigation into the school and its principal. Countless articles and blogs have appeared. A simple GOOGLE of the name Lynn Passarella reveals many of them:

    A Scandalous Success: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/scandalous_success_ki54PlpauYSAIo391kzQFN
    Grade A Fraud: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/grade_fraud_sEpJqX8d5dg5l88B9S7RZJ
    Bronx School’s Top Ranking Stirs Wider Doubts About Rating System: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/education/21grades.html
    Nobody Ever Fails At NYC’s ‘Top School’: http://sweetness-light.com/archive/nobody-ever-fails-at-nycs-top-school
    Scam Checker: Another TAPCo Fraud: http://www.scamchecker.com/report/lynn-passarella-another-tapco-fraud
    Ed Notes Online, Another Scam: http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2010/11/another-doe-scam-tapco-theatre-arts.html
    Do Not Apply: http://jd2718.wordpress.com/do-not-apply/

    Yet despite the investigations and negative press, TAPCO continues on with Passarella at the helm.

    So what IS going on at this school? How has the investigation and bad PR affected things? Why is Principal Passarella able to continue running this school despite evidence that she has cheated, falsified documents, mismanaged funds, and is incapable of running the school?

    It is the goal of this posting to address these questions, accurately, fairly, and without bias.

    When the school opened its doors in September of 2011, many questions remained from the previous years. A handful of teachers had left, but surprisingly many of the core teachers had remained. Discussion with some of these teachers reveals that they believed that Lynn Passarella would be removed, and that they were optimistic that a new, more talented and ethical principal would replace her. Others expressed a loyalty to the students and the community, with a hope that the year-long investigation would have provided a valuable lesson to their principal, and that things would improve. Teachers who left were unanimous in their opinion that as long as Passarella ran the school, things would never improve, and that the process to remove her would take far longer than they could bear.

    As the year unfolded, it seemed that this hope that the school would improve, was actually being realized. Passarella displayed a new trust in her staff, supported a new discipline policy run by a former TAPCO teacher (who was pursuing an administrative career), and some of the new hires showed promise.

    The new discipline policy (called ARC... not sure what it stands for) seemed to be having a positive effect. Students who came late or misbehaved in class were sent to a designated room monitored by teachers, calls were made home, and students were required to make up any work that they missed. This was in stark contrast to the way things were run at TAPCO before where students virtually got away with everything without consequence. The improvement was noticeable. (CONTINUED BELOW).

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  71. PAGE 2

    Other improvements included the expansion of the school into the areas of the building formally occupied by MS391 (with whom they share the building), and moving the middle school to its own floor. These were great moves. This allowed more teachers to have their own space, and a physical separation of the middle school and high school. Logistically it was now easier to control the flow of traffic between classes, and identify students who were cutting or hanging out in places they shouldn't be.

    Another change was the promotion of a new school vice principal, Ms. Janice Acosta (although the school received criticism for not following due process in this promotion). The move was met with mixed opinions. Acosta was perhaps the least liked person in the building, both from students and staff, but at the same time there were some that were willing to give her a chance. Despite her angry disposition and history of backstabbing and manipulation, she was by no means an unintelligent person, and perhaps she too, like her boss, could learn from past mistakes and work toward the betterment of the school. Even though few liked her and even fewer trusted her, she could at least be counted on to help manage a school that had been severely mismanaged since its inception.

    But as the first few months passed the signs of inconsistency resurfaced. The discipline program, which was so instrumental in the success of September and October, was neglected and the students took advantage immediately. A few of the new hires began to appear grossly incapable of managing their classes and providing a quality education. The burden to fix these problems fell to experienced teachers who were asked to coach, mentor and push-in with these teachers, further stressing their already over-crowded schedules. Acosta also had problems. She fought with staff, targeted teachers she didn’t like and attacked their pedagogy, and resumed what was perceived as a witch hunt for teachers the principal wanted to get rid of. Staff was also witness to several emotional outbursts, including rages of anger and outbursts, often accompanied by hysterical weeping. Needless to say, this did little in the way of instilling confidence in the school’s leadership. This person, like her principal, seems to bring a lot of her own issues and weaknesses to her job, and it only contributes to the instability and dissention that prevails throughout the school.

    Communications were confusing, incomplete, and inconsistent. The first Parent/teacher night was announced a day before the event. Rapid dismissals would happen without notice and students were sometimes stranded without transportation. Town meetings would happen without notice or announcement, and would often be chaotic and without proper planning. Most annoying, Passarella would often grab the school’s microphone and make loud, raucous, celebratory announcements of college acceptances while completely disregarding the fact that lessons (sometimes tests) were in progress. Teachers were constantly caught off-guard. Nobody dared complain.

    Breakdowns in the coverage system led to entire classes floating the hallways unsupervised when teachers were absent. Classes were constantly being regrouped and reformed without notice, all without the input of the teachers. Students and staff were left confused, bewildered and unable to see any logic in the sudden regroupings. Teachers have been given new schedules at least 5 or 6 times since September. Once even complained she didn’t even want to waste the paper to print out her new schedule. “Why should I? In two weeks I’ll have yet another one!”(CONTINUED BELOW).

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  72. PAGE 3
    The 37.5 minutes at the end of the day became a nightmare, as students were grouped and regrouped without explanation or proper notification. Students often cut or left the building early. Few received consequences, and as less and less administrative support was given to ARC, the system of discipline and student accountability eroded completely. A visit to TAPCO in January and February 2012 revealed a chaotic, undisciplined environment, and teacher moral at an all-time low. This was particularly true in the high school.

    Case in point. One of the school's high school math teachers has had his room ransacked and occupied by students on a number of occasions. Returning to his room from lunch, he would find his room occupied by students without supervision, many of them cutting classes, and the room totally trashed. Despite reporting this to administration, little was done and the offending students received minimal (if any) consequence.

    The school took sharp criticism for a teacher resigning at the end of last year (2011). Closer examination reveals that the teacher did not so much leave because of TAPCo's deficiencies, but more because the teacher was unqualified and overwhelmed by the job. Criticism should not have been levied at the school so much for the teacher leaving, but more for why and how this teacher got hired in the first place. The fact that this teacher was unqualified and incapable of handling a class was apparent to everyone (except the principal) from the start. Another example of horrific judgment on her part.

    Of greater concern, this teacher was never replaced after resigning. Instead the classes were divided up among the remaining teachers, something that not only increased their already over-extended workloads, but further damaged the already negative perception of the school and its mismanagement of teachers and finances. If the teacher resigned wouldn't the salary be returned to the school? Why wasn't another teacher hired? If not to just cover the classes of the teacher, then to at least provide some relief to the already over-stretched staff? If no competent teacher could be found to cover the main classes, couldn't the money saved at least be used to hire hall monitors or additional staff to keep students from cutting? Or to provide more manpower to the discipline program? Or a teacher to cover the less critical classes without stretching the staff further?]

    The answer of course, is no. The perception is that the principal is so incapable of handling money and budgeting for the year that this teacher's salary became necessary to cover mistakes, oversights and misappropriations that have handicapped the school from the start. Simply put, financial management has been horrendous, furthering a perception that the principal’s values and priorities are completely distorted. Money is spent on meaningless things, while the very systems that are essential to properly running a school are neglected.

    And funds continue to be mismanaged. The most egregious example is the money paid to an outside consulting agency. It is reported that over $50,000 is being paid some outside consulting organization and its wily director, yet few within the school can point to any tangible benefits this “arrangement” has brought. Certainly this money could have been put to better use. (CONTINUED BELOW)

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  73. PAGE 4
    So why does Principal Passarella choose to spend so much of the school's limited funds on a meaningless consulting agency when there are so many other pressing needs? Perhaps for the same reason she decided to elevate the least liked person in the school to the position of assistant principal: She feels she NEEDS them. They tell her what she wants to hear and sides with her regardless of what the issues are (Of course they do! They are protecting their positions and their paychecks!). Passarella is incapable and unqualified to run things herself, and there is a part of her that knows it. She is unable to figure things out and is in way over her head. Acosta may be disliked and mistrusted by the entire staff, but she backs the principal 100% (right or wrong), reminds her constantly of what she should be doing, tells her who is being disloyal, what compliances are pressing, and where she should focus her attention. The consulting firm may be expensive and unnecessary, but it does and says exactly what she wants. This alone is enough to keep them in place. And they give this unstable, unbalanced leader the “spiritual support” she feels she needs. There is even some kind of ex-principal on the pay roll, a woman who has for years been paid to “mentor” Passarella (don’t know her name... but she has been coming for years). Why is this even necessary? And what does the school have to show for all these years of “mentoring.”? A trumped-up number one rating, an unstable and unqualified leader, an unhappy, disheartened staff, and students who are not receiving the education they deeply deserve.

    It’s a crying shame.

    The after-school sports program was also taken away from long-time teachers of the school and given to this outside agency. This was done without notice or explanation to the teachers involved. How much additional money is being paid to this agency for this service is anyone’s guess. The teachers who have faithfully served the students as athletic coach for many years were simply left out in the cold. It has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    If you were to judge this school solely based on their ability to meet Chancellor compliances, the principal’s weekly message and contents of the staff meetings, one would think this is an excellent school. They seem to know how to play the “quality review game” well. But the truth is there is little resemblance between this “fantasy school” she presents and the reality. The reality is that the school is mismanaged and people still operate out of fear of incurring her (or Acosta’s) wrath. No one DARES speak their mind. It can only lead to trouble.

    This is not leadership. This is tyranny.

    Even the hiring of the school secretary is an embarrassment. The staff seens virtually unanimous in their dislike of this person. She is angry, uncooperative, unqualified, unfriendly, and seemingly incapable of performing the basic tasks of a school secretary. So why is she allowed to continue? Because she guards the principal's door like a pitbull, keeping "intruders" and problems away. She faithfully protects Passarella, keeps problems far from her doorstep, and for this, she is greatly valued (shades of Marilyn Arroyo?). It does not matter what the staff thinks. Does not matter if she knows how to fill out a purchase order or that she shows up to work so late teachers cannot clock in. What matters is her blind loyalty to a corrupt, incompetent leader. And everyone knows it.

    How about TAPCO's high college acceptance rate? Clearly among the highest in the 5 boros. How is this done? And how are these students doing once they get to college? (CONTINUED BELOW)

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  74. PAGE 5
    Many of TAPCO’s graduates have dropped out or have changed schools. Most have had to take remedial classes. Some are saddled with huge student loans that they are trouble paying back and seem in crisis. Simply, they do not graduate high school with the skills necessary to thrive in a college environment. Is it possible that the school’s mindless pursuit of EVERYONE getting into college has actually harmed some of these kids? Did anyone ever stop to consider that some students are served better by learning a technical skill or craft? How did the school expect these kids to pay back these loans, especially if they have dropped out? Ask ANY student who comes back to visit TAPCO… Did your high school prepare you well for college? The answer is almost unanimously NO. The picture is disheartening.

    It is easy to conclude that students have been betrayed by TAPCO. They have contributed to the school’s high college acceptance rate, helped make the school and its principal look good. But attending college for some was only in the school’s best interest. Now, saddled with debt, their futures are being written. Some are even considering the military.

    Another interesting area? TAPCO’s uniform policy. The past 4 years have seen the school so inconsistently enforce this policy that few know whether or not it is still in effect. The school will go months without saying anything about it, then suddenly penalize a few students for not observing it. Why is this worth mentioning here? Because it is yet another window into how this school is run and its inability (like ARC) to stick to a policy or system. Make no mistake about it. The issue is NOT whether TAPCO should have a uniform policy. The issue is its inability to enforce it or stick by it. It serves as yet another glaring example of its inability to govern itself.

    Another area of mismanagement: Dealing with the Special Education students of the school. Schools receive extra money for each special ed student they take in, but close examination of TAPCO's special ed program will reveal that students do not receive the support that they need. Not by a long shot. This can be seen throughout the school, grades 6 – 12. So where does the extra money that the school receives go to? It is not clear. But logic and history would tell us again that the money is needed to cover other mistakes and misappropriations, while the students continue to be denied the services they are mandated to receive. (CONTINUED BELOW)

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  75. PAGE 6
    NOTE: Michael Berkowitz seems to receive an unfair amount of criticism in this regard. Truth be told, Michael's hands are tied. He has been criticized for being compliant and complacent in the matter, and that he either lacks the courage or ability to take on Passarella and Acosta and fight for what is right. Can he be blamed for that? Not really. He is a capable person, but surely he has to think about his family and his career. And administration seems to work against him. And it must be hard for him to be witness to the incompetency and the poor use of school money while his students continue not receiving the services that they are mandated to have. Some feel that if he would be a little less obsequious and a little more courageous, he would be more effective in advocating for his students, but this too seems unfair. He may know what is right, but to be able to effect change with this kind of leadership in this system is a lot to ask. Safe to say that if Michael leaves, it would be another great loss to the school. Like some his colleagues (Casper, Buchbinder, Sandrowitz, Mudrick, Konisberg, Krakauer, Wold... to name only a few), he represents what is right about TAPCO, and another glaring reason why things need to change before the talent flight begins.

    It will happen for sure.

    One very important question remains. How is it possible that despite what is known about this principal and her tactics that she is allowed to continue? How is it possible that the investigations have not resulted in her removal or suspension? It is hard to imagine that the DOE and its investigators are unaware of the problems and level of incompetency here. One can make guesses. Here are a few:

    1. It is going to happen, but the investigators are waiting until their case is fool proof. Many a crooked administrator has escaped justice because of a case contained too many errors or incomplete investigations. The investigators KNOW they have her, but do not want to take the chance of her union or lawyer finding a hole in their case, or getting her off on a technicality despite her obvious guilt. It’s happened before.

    2. The DOE, its chancellor, the former chancellor, and the Mayor himself all have too much to lose on how this story unfolds. Indeed it is not just Passarella who is on trial here. So is the system for rating schools, the Regents system, and the politicians who back these systems. Careers and legacies could be lost or damaged. The DOE has to find a way to spin this story where Passarella takes the fall, and the system (or themselves) end up looking good. She needs to be portrayed as the bad apple that fell far from the healthy tree, and not like the whole tree is compromised and corrupt. And despite her shortcomings, these people may fear that Passarella will not leave quietly. She may try to take a few down with her.

    3. Passarella represents the tip of the iceberg. She is far from being alone in her manipulation of grades, Regent scores, attendance data, finances, and parent, teacher and student surveys. To indict her would be equivalent to opening a Pandora's Box of problems for the DOE, and the deeper one investigates, the more it is apparent that this is not just one bad apple, but the inevitable product of a system that is broken and in desperate need of major overhaul. Care must be taken in how she is dealt with. Entire careers are at stake. And no one wants to rock the boat, or be held accountable.

    4. They are waiting for her to resign or make a mistake that would make if easy for them to fire her. Again, it needs to appear as if it is SHE who is the problem, not the overall system itself. (CONTINUED BELOW)

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  76. PAGE 7
    REFLECTION
    When it is all said and done, perhaps common sense and good judgment can still prevail. TAPCO is very much worth saving. It still has a core group of talented, hard-working devoted teachers (the main reason the school has stayed afloat this long) and staff members (including some of the administration), and the students are decent, reasonable kids who deserve a lot more than they are getting. And the community NEEDS a successful, well-run middle school/high school for its children.

    But looking at the situation objectively, this cannot happen if Lynn Passarella is the principal. She simply is not qualified. Personal feelings aside, she doesn’t have what it takes. She cheats for a reason. She has to. She has people like Acosta and expensive (NON DOE) advisors around her for a reason. She is incapable of making things work otherwise.

    As someone stated earlier in this blog, she is more consumed with looking good, than being good. And in the system she operates this is entirely possible. (In fact, she looked SO good that she brought much of this unwelcomed attention upon herself. Outranking Stuyvesant High School, Bronx Science and the High School For Math, Science and Engineering (CCNY) has cast her into the spotlight, and the facade is clearly not holding up under the scrutiny). And she continues to take little responsibility for her actions. When things go wrong it is the fault of her teachers and staff (and her “non-Acosta” APs). She seems incapable of realizing that the problem lies squarely on her shoulders. And for this reason she will continue to press on indefinitely, blaming her teachers, blaming her APs, blaming the parents. Blaming anyone that might negatively affect her own ranking. Never accepting responsibility herself.

    The DOE and its investigators need to operate quickly. It is now time to pull the trigger. To wait will bring upon a talent flight out of TAPCO that has never been seen before. This is for sure. The staff has had it. The very best will leave for sure... many have gone on record as saying so much. It is the hope of almost that she will be replaced soon and the school can finally begin to realize its potential.

    This posting is an appeal to what is right, what is just, and what is necessary to help this school and its community. It was written with great care, thought and a desire to avoid being mean-spirited or vindictive. It is the product of extensive discussion with current and former staff at TAPCO.

    It also represents an opportunity for the Chancellor, the DOE and its investigators to recognize and correct a problem that should be within their grasp and ability to fix. In short, it is a plea. A plea to act swiftly and effectively.

    The students deserve it. The community deserves it.

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  77. I am a former teacher of Tapco and Lynn Passarella ruins my career, because she discontinues my probation period. I am a good teacher and I though many kids who passed their Regents Exams before I came to Tapco, and this was before I had a certification. Also, at Tapco I helped some kids who never pass any regents’ exam to pass. As of this Monday Tapco will have a new principal. So Lynn Passarella is gone she destroy enough teacher’s lives.

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Hamilton, you're writing is atrocious.

      Delete
  78. Janice. You're all alone now. Quit.

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  79. To the writer of the series of comments above, you've done an amazing job. Passarella's abuses have gone on for so long, but crime doesn't pay ... in the end, she got hers. Yes, what Passarella has done is considered criminal.

    I think I know who wrote this ... and I hope you are doing well. The healing can begin for many of us.

    I'm hoping Ron Link can turn this "A" school into a school where students, not numbers, come first. Discipline and student accountability must be his first priority. Students must understand that there will be consequences for their actions (or inactions). No more free rides, no more passing grades to failing students, no more bogus NC's. The students deserve better.

    Students must work, and work hard. No more texting in class, no more iPods, no more disrespect to teachers, no more 30 minute bathroom breaks, no more "I have a 30 in class right now, but in two days I can bring that up to a 90".

    Good luck TAPCo. My thoughts are with you. :)

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  80. According the report:

    "A state and city review of the school’s Regents exams discovered grade inflation and numerous erasures of answers. For example, the DOE’s rescoring changed 84 percent of the living-environment exams, 65 percent of the global-history exams, half of the algebra exams and 44 percent of English exams from passing to failing."

    So, did I lie when I said Regents graders gave out points like candy ... especially in the Social Studies and ELA exams???

    I didn't realize the Living Environments Regents was so doctored. Ahhhh ... I get it. The AP came around with a group of names where students "had to pass". None of the Science teachers except Entenza complied.

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    Replies
    1. “Whom, whom, whom shall we throw to wolves before they take our children?” with these words the druid spent round beneath the holly on the oak tree, blinded but seeking out a victim. A widow? An orphan? An outcast from the pub? Surely, one of these would die for the sins of our Leader (ah, unserer Fuhrer, again!)”

      I’m not in a hurry to raise Casandra’s cry on the news of Ms. Lynn’s passing -- her dealings with her faculty were at least tinged with the scent of sadism and at worst reeked of the odor of oiled leather, chains and gimp masks -- however, she clearly had a rabbi at the district superintendency (“Blondie? -- ‘seemed like the real thing then, I found out, he had a heart of glass.’”)
      I am personally familiar with a number of DOE employees who had diverse charges leveled against them, although none were as severe as those brought against Ms. Lynn. The decision of whether or not they remained on site, or took the ignominious trip to the rubber room, was laid at the feet of their supervisor. Clearly, when the original charges against Ms. Lynn were leveled, someone at the district office (perhaps, the pyroxide blonde Ms. “You should look to yourselves.”) was willing to leave her with the power over some of the evidence against her and the choice of whether or not to add “obstruction of justice” to the list of charges which might be brought against her.
      According to the New York Times, “City education officials responded by changing score status from passing to failing on 84 percent of the school’s living environment exams, 65 percent of the global history exams and 50 percent of the algebra exams. But no students’ diplomas were revoked as a result. That year, 94 percent of Tapco seniors graduated on time, more than 30 percentage points higher than the citywide rate.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/nyregion/principal-at-tapco-in-bronx-is-removed-over-students-records.html) According to other sources, 40 some percent of English Regents passing grades were reversed.
      To accept that a single scapegoated staff member was solely responsible for the 84 (eighty four) percent of changes to failing in Living Environment scores was the responsibility of one teacher would require that I twist my credibility into a sense of gullibility. Really, there’s just no way in Hell that any single teacher had that much control over so many “passing” grades. While I strongly doubt that OSI looks to this site for leads (it’s all hearsay, you know,) it offends me to find one group of my colleagues trying to evade responsibility by destroying the career of one of their fellows -- to me, it is indistinguishable from what Ms. Lynn is accused of doing. Yeah, I hope that shames you.
      Honestly, no one but Mr. Link knows what expectations were hinted at when he was assigned this job. Regardless of his arts background, he has no school administrative experience, so it seems likely (to me) that he owes someone a debt for this assignment. With that debt, there doubtless comes some obligation to render some sort of payment. What it may be is, doubtless, a mystery to everyone in the building save Mr. Link. On that count, it seems to me that , rather than becoming a Lady Macbeth (“Out, damn spot! out, I say...”) and setting a colleague up as a scapegoat, the school’s faculty are better served by taking the matter to the union and seeking representation in what are doubtless very ambiguous circumstances related to very serious charges under undue pressure.

      Delete
  81. Well stated, indeed.

    Current concerns are Janice Acosta. She has recently undergone the C30 process and may be appointed Assistant Principal. Although the results are not yet in, the worry is widespread. As all know, her disqualifications are not for a lack of intelligence but lack of human (not humane) quailities and leadership skills. The fear amongst staff ( not just teachers) is that she will manipulate Ron Link as she did Lynn Passarella. The effect her appointment will have on kids and staff will be devastating.

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  82. Let's hope the new principal is skilled in observing behavior then it won't take him much time to see through Acosta

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  83. I think the entire staff should sign a petition of NO CONFIDENCE in Janice Acosta and submit to Ron Link.

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  84. JANICE ACOSTA
    HAVE SOME DECENCY AND STEP DOWN! I am a parent of a TAPCO student. She is a top student in the school. Yes, not ones that managed to slip through the cracks, she can write full sentences. Thanks to a teacher that worked with her, not a program or extra help from the school. Someone that put in a little extra time. People like you are a disgrace. My daughter tells me Ms. Acosta is one of the only people in the building that everyone dislikes! How can you work with kids if you can't even realize they don't want you there. Such a shame.

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  85. I am a former teacher and I had a little boy in one of my class and I saw him in the hallway one day and he was upset. So I asked him what happen, he told me that he had a problem with Janice Acosta and he just do not like her the way she talk to him. I never had any problem with this student I had to talk and try and help him to do his work but he was very pleasant. I had many experiences with her she was very bossy and nasty to me as a teacher, she acted like I did not belong
    There. Sometimes I would be using one of the school computer and she would just said to me that she need to use the computer, if I was doing something for the school I would not move. I would just tell her she has to go some place else and find another computer. I notice she was always in Lynn Passarella office and I did not trust her. I am happy that I am not there now because I am not sure if I could work under her as an assistant principal.

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  86. To Anonymous 3/12 7:20pm
    You must either be Passarella's husband or brother. This message reflects the touch of a stage performer or a lawyer, probably a collaboration of both family members. Understandably, you are supporting, like a mother hen, your kin. The reality is there was major wrong-doing to the students Ms. Passarella governed dating back to the first graduating class. Reality is her PSO did not give her proper support and allowed her to sink. Forham, shame on you as well.

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    Replies
    1. Huh? Truly bizarre. To quote the lead sentence of my second paragraph:

      "I’m not in a hurry to raise Cassandra’s cry on the news of Ms. Lynn’s passing -- her dealings with her faculty were at least tinged with the scent of sadism and at worst reeked of the odor of oiled leather, chains and gimp masks -- however, she clearly had a rabbi at the district superintendency..."

      How you got from there to your understanding of what I wrote mystifies me.

      Delete
  87. TAPCO beware. Felicia Rivera is still in close communication with Lynn Passarella. On the day Passarella was fired the two were seen in Passarella's car together talking for over a half hour after the removal. Friday, March 16, Rivera was seen meeting Passarella on Fordham Rd. near the District offices handing her an envelope. Staff members report her quickly hanging up the phone when people walked into the office. She appears nervous and hiding things.

    Be careful careful careful around Rivera. She is still connected. Why? Anyone's guess. But she is still taking direction from her "former boss." Bad decision. What kind of hold Passarella has on her is anyone's guess.

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  88. Why is Ms Acosta still there? Possible connections, connections, connections??? to Ms. Passarella? to Ms. Blondie?.
    Mr. Link would be better off bringing in a replacement for her. Her continued support for Ms Passarella and lack of support for the new leadership can only make his life more difficult than it already is.

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  89. Janice Acosta just needs to stop following in Ms Passarella's footsteps of intimidation. Her nature may be one of cruelty to staff and students but she can learn to develop some humility. Running a school is not about who is most powerful, who can be most intimidating, who has a title, who can threaten and make students and teachers feel uncomfortable - it's about making connections. Janice, for you it's just about the salary and the power. We know you are looking to retire with the best possibe salary. Teachers are in it for the kids. Become a team player, demonstrate some humility and drop the power play then you'll be ok and get your comfy retirement package.
    Jimmy, we feel your support; no more intimidation. Monica, your on course as usual. There's an enrgy in the building and everyone is on board. Go Ron!

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  90. Tapco is looking good. Teachers are working hard and students are stepping up. Interesting how high expectations will produce the highest results. The finest first step was ridding the school of the "no fail" policy. Good Bye NCs! Hello Ron! Keep up the good work.
    Teachers are beginning to develop confidence again, in themselves, their school and their students. Please don't let Ms. Acosta destroy the new vision. Monika, Jimmy keep supporting the new leadership.

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    1. Agree with this whole heartedly. TAPCO needs to be now tough on crime. Later, after the school settles and adjusts, it can afford to loosen up a little (but only a little), but for now it needs to error on the side of strict. These kids DESPERATELY need discipline. And they will respond to it. In a disciplined environment these kids will shine. Don't really understand why Lynn never got this point. Serious flaw.

      TAPCO kids are terrific. Make no mistake about it. But they have been operating in a system where they could push the boundaries and get away with it. They're kids! Of course they are going to do this!

      Good advice on Acosta. Don't be fooled by her smile and pretended patience. She is who she is. She made life miserable for so many people (good people) when she was player #2 on Team Passarella. She is now in survival mode. She cannot be trusted. People just don't change on a dime. She still carries the same amount of emotional baggage that she did before.

      Buyer beware!

      Delete
  91. Yes, the abuse of the NC's is finally over. Students can no longer hide behind false NC's. Doing no work all year will now result in an F.

    I'm slightly wary that the students are simply on their best behavior, and will soon return to form. I think Ron understands this, and will not allow the school to return to the zoo-like atmosphere of a month ago.

    Students who work hard will be rewarded. Students who do not ... will not ...

    No more skating by the system. No more make-up "packets". No more undisciplined mess.

    It's funny though ... kids like Christian Rijos and Andres Feliz would STILL rather hang out in the boys' bathroom all day than go to class. The party's over boys ... for 6 and a half years, you goofed around and skated by the system. It's time you actually did some work ... or maybe not. If not, see you next year. BTW, did you two learn ANYTHING in the time you were here? Are you two even literate enough to fill out a job application? 6 and a half years of hanging out in the bathroom can do lots of harm to your brain cells.

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  92. Let's keep this discourse away from individual students. Your frustration is valid and understood, but we need to keep this forum professional, and calling out students by name is not in our best interest. It may brings the level of discussion down.

    Let's focus on what we need to do to get our situation right. You could made your point without naming the actual kids. What we need is a strong system of accountability. We need consequences to be clearly defined and communicated. And we need to enforce them strictly. It is then, and only then, that TAPCO will not turn out students like the ones you mentioned.

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  93. You know what gets me upset? Is seeing the likes of the two students mentioned on stage doing a rap at the talent show. I think if these guys don't go to class, hang out in the halls and the bathroom, and treat our school like some kind of joke, they should be barred from ALL activities. They should lose their rights to appear in school performances, participate in school functions, and enjoy ANY aspect of our school that rewards students. I think this is where TAPCO has misfired severely in the past. We can only hope for the benefit of the students that they get this right as we move forward. The biggest issue facing TAPCO right now is their discipline policy. Students have in the past 9 years been sent the wrong message over and over again. It's time to send the right message. It's time to celebrate REAL student achievement. It's time to create a fair and well-communicated system of consequences and enforce it to the letter. TAPCO's problem has either been no such system has ever been in place, or what systems that ARE in place are soon ignored or not enforced (which is the same thing as not having systems at all. Time to get it right. TAPCo kids are great kids. Truly. But they have been operating in a system that not only allows for misbehavior, but seems to almost encourage it.

    Time to get it right.

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  94. Where are we? Well let's see, staff seem to agree that we have a new leader who supports a discipline policy which reinforces rules through consequences. We are not there yet but one step at a time, it's a process. We have a leader who has a real vision for the arts. There is communication, with staff, students, parents and the UFT. There is a real PA and SLT. There are weekly newsletters. There are daily meetings with School Safety and 391. We finally have a leader who welcomes feedback from teachers and students and doesn't just give back lip service. He hears them, reflects and cautiously moves forward (not as in the past, shoot from the hip, hysteria, "I don't like this person so I won't listen to them" mode). Things are good but why does Acosta still have that fake smile while she abuses teachers and students? Does our leader not see through her pretense and masquerade?

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  95. We are getting it right, finally!

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  96. QUESTION to the UFT
    Is an assistant principal allowed to threaten me with recommending my removal? I am a first year teacher and all year long I have been threatened with "you have not rights". I like TAPCO and the vision I was told about on the interview, I like the students, I like teaching, I've been told I have good classroom mangement by my colleagues and another assistant principal. I like the new principal but I feel like I am not doing a good job. Ms. Acosta tells me classroom management isn't everything. Anyone can do that.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Speak with Eric K. Document each and every time Acosta threatens you. If you're a Humanities teacher, then you technically fall under her jurisdiction. If you're a Math or Science teacher, tell her to F off.

      If you've been receiving S ratings on your observations, then let it go. Open Market is open ... maybe time to look elsewhere. If you do leave, make sure to let Link know WHY you're leaving.

      If Acosta has been giving you U's ... make sure Eric is on the case to file grievances.

      I think it's important to rally together, and cast a unanimous vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Janice Acosta.

      Delete
  97. Does anyone know what Lynn Passarella has been doing lately? How is she taking this turn of events?

    Has it set in yet that she'll never be allowed near another school again?

    How's that dream of having her own reality show ... to show the world how urban students can succeed when given "every" opportunity?

    How's her slogan, "Everyone goes to college" holding up?

    March 10th will go down as a personal day of celebration for me. I'm going to make sure I toast her once a year on that date.

    The second "special" day will be the day Acosta is removed from the school.

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    1. Very little information about her. But you can bet she is still receiving her $145,000 + salary while the judicial process inches its way forward. Heard her hearing isn't until the late fall, but that's unconfirmed. How is she doing? Anyone's guess. She is probably seeing herself as a victim. She probably justifies everything she did (illegal or legal) as "for the kids," and is probably using family money to buy the most expensive lawyer around. They will exploit every single minor mistake that the 113 page report made and most likely cop a plea somehow. Very sad, but most likely how things will turn out. It's funny. You can just about justify ANYTHING in your mind if you want to. Changing surveys, stealing money through per session that was not worked, using DOE money to buy unnecessary and personal things, spending a fortune on COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY consultants and advisors at the expense of the students and the staff, trumping up false U ratings even when people were competent because they went against you, and SEVERELY mismanaging a school for over a decade... all in the name of "for the kids" Ms. Lynn? Please... Are your friends and family buying any of this or do you only have yourself convinced????

      I wonder why they can't FREEZE her salary. Why can't they let this process play itself out and if she is found not guilty in the end, give her her money. Why is she able to keep milking the system while the bureaucracy takes its time trying her case? Do you know how many school aides could be added with her salary? How about using that salary to pay those consultants she hired? (the consultants are gone, but their bills still remain). How about using her salary to pay teachers for their overtime that they worked under her but never got paid?

      Makes you want to cry.

      Delete
    2. That's so true. That salary could go to so many sorely needed resources ... new teachers, new aides, books, school supplies.

      I just wonder what her frame of mind is. I'm sure in her mind, she's definitely the victim. The big bad DOE coming down on the poor little principal of the most successful school in the Bronx. Poor, poor Ms. Lynn.

      It kills me how the school was run into the ground. So much waste and mismanagement. Giving students free rides, and literally playing with their lives. Wasting 7 years of a student's life ... multiplied by 3 and a half graduating classes.

      Destroying so many teaching careers to cover her azz. U rating competent teachers to prove a point or to show the superintendent that it wasn't "her" fault.

      Whatever the outcome of this hearing, current and former TAPCo teachers must remain vigilant. If she's let off on a technicality, it's up to us to make sure she's not let out scott free. Don't let this die because she's no longer our principal. We need to make sure that her career as an educator is absolutely over !!!

      Delete
    3. Oh yes!!! Her career as an educator should be over!!!! She definitely has ruined teachers and school aides careers not to say how many students were led into la la land. She had city and state licenses rescinded by writing evulations that were so convoluted by weaving such a web of untruths so that no one could figure out what end was up, that finally she got her way from up above just to shut her up. She has also done her own "investigations" on teachers whom she did not like and found them guilty of what ever a student "said" the teacher had done and was able to get rid of them. SHE MUST NEVER SUPERVISE ADULTS OR EVER WORK WITH CHILDREN AGAIN!

      Delete
    4. How can we let Ron know that Acosta cannot be trusted? How can we explain to him that we cannot work under someone we absolutely despise? We all appreciate what Ron is trying to do for the school. But I do not believe or trust that Acosta should be part of that plan.

      If Acosta is part of the school in September ... I'm out.

      Delete
  98. And the beat goes on.....update on the Passarella spotting....she has been seen with....get this.....Marilyn Aroyo.....what is that connection about???

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    1. Another update. She goes to Fordham Plaza a lot. It's probably her "rubber room," so to speak. Teachers have spotted her there. One HS student ran into her at Fordham Plaza and Lynn tried to "recruit" this student and his family to testify for her. How ironic and unfair is that???? First she trashes their school, education and future, anuses her teachers, wastes her school's resources, and then she asks them for help! KIDS BEWARE. This is a dangerous, unstable, abusive and incompetent person who wouldn't hesitate for a second to stab you in the back if you ever went against her. Stay away! Nothing, I mean NOTHING good could ever come from an association with her on any level.

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  99. You know well what THAT Marilyn connection is about. Lynn was also seen in front of the school with that Eric guy from Unity. But lets just focus on the future and all the good things that we think are happening. Link is another kind of person. He is fair and sees throught the Acosta bullshit, I think. Lets give him a chance. NO the Passarella beat does NOT go on. There is a new rhythm for the future. Anyone at Tapco agree?

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  100. Why are you so interested in what Passarella is doing? She is history! Just remember it's your mortgage before hers , now.

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    Replies
    1. LOLOLOL how well do we remember her saying that during faculty meetings...."It's my mortgage before yours..." How the table has turned.
      Move on, focus on the beauty of what the school can be, should be and will be! Now we must all work together to build up and not let the past hold us back, let's not get caught up in what was, but rather what is now. As for Acosta, she should move on, she will be the one to hold back progress with her deep seeded negativity. She will never change, a leopard does not change it spots!

      Delete
  101. Who cares what Passarella is doing now? Lets focus on the future. Get rid of Acosta ad get our kids educated. Is that the new principals mission?

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  102. Acosta is telling Passarella that TAPCO is falling apart. Where is this information coming from? Several students have reported that Passarella is approaching them and insisting that she has heard this. Who else would say such a thing but Acosta. And how dare Passarella pressure our students into making statements that aren't accurate? Although she is on a fishing mission, our students will never cave into the pressures she intends to bring. Stay focused on the prize, first time real quality education you are about to receive. Do not let her recruit you for her defense. Do not be a character witness at her hearing. She is so skilled at the trapping game but TAPCO staff and students are stronger.

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    Replies
    1. Don't know if this is true, but if it is, it's very sad. If Acosta is really telling Passarella this, than she is more far gone than any of us ever dreamed.

      Let's put personal bias and feelings aside... these two women are not well. Neither one has any business being in education, as neither one is able to put their personal baggage aside and be professional. To think we were being run by these two for all that time... makes me shudder.

      Acosta needs to go. Acosta needs to go. Acosta needs to go. As soon as possible. Until she does, the Passarella stench will linger. It's time to be lead by what is right, healthy and clear thinking. It's time to create the kind of school that not only are we capable of, but we all (starting with the kids) richly deserve.

      Delete
  103. Do you think Link sees Acosta for who she is? That would be scary if he doesn't. Not a good sign, either...if he can't see through her. I guess he does. It's pretty obvious. The only one that seems unaware of what the entire staff feels is Acosta herself.

    You think he would make her a teacher again?

    ReplyDelete
  104. The new principal's mission seems to be about doing the right thing for his staff, his kids, their parents and the community.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Acosta should not be allowed to teach at TAPCo again. What's the point? Sour, angry, and vindictive. How does that help our students?

    She is neither respected nor liked by the entire staff. What does that tell us? An effective leader does not have to be liked ... but MUST be respected. Acosta follows in the Passarella mode. It failed for the master ... it will fail for the dog. Acosta is the angry little dog tugging at the leash ... but she doesn't seem to realize her master's dead and the leash is tied to a wall. Keep tugging.

    If Ron needs the support, he should bring in his own AP. Acosta has no place here. My guess is that Acosta will be gone by August, and a new AP will be brought in place. Jimmy and Monica will have their roles as well.

    All teachers should make their students aware of Passarella's scheming, and to avoid her at all costs. Do not say hi, do not offer condolences, do not offer her your wishes. She will play the compassion game with you again. She cheated you out of years of your education and used you as a pawn in her game for her gain. Do not think for a second that she had the interests of the students in mind in her manipulations. Stay clear of her web lest you be ensnared once again.

    Ron's mission definitely seems to put the pieces back together ... for the teachers, for the kids, for the parents, and for the community. It will not be easy. Passarella burned down the school ... and somehow fooled the entire world (other than TAPCo) into thinking she build a palace out of the ashes. But her facade could not hold up under the scrutiny ... and palace was revealed to be what it was ... nothing but a pile of smoking ashes.

    Ron will be restoring discipline with the assignment and hiring of Deans. These individuals will be responsible for enforcing policies so teachers can actually teach instead of fighting with students to turn off their iPods, stop texting, and remove their hats. The memories of Passarella stomping her feet over students' hats still makes me laugh. But the Deans will be no joke ... mess around, and there will be consequences. This is a great first step.

    Nevertheless, as teachers will walk a fine line between true meritocracy and the insanitocracy of Passarella's reign. She implemented the No Fail policy because she knew her students would not be able to withstand a truly rigorous academic environment. In my first year at TAPCo, I would have failed about 80% of my students ... but passed them under Passarella's threats. But then again, if there was true academic responsibility at TAPCo, perhaps those 80% of students who were given a free ride would have worked harder to achieve a true passing average.

    So, do we fail 80% of the class? That will put TAPCo on the shut-down list and we'll all be looking for jobs. I believe in grading on effort. Students must show effort and will be rewarded for such. My pre-Passarella students showed absolutely NO effort because they knew they would be passed regardless.

    Passarella is sitting at Fordham plotting her return. It's not going to happen. I'm sure she has visions of TAPCo falling apart without her leadership and clamoring for her return. Empress-in-exile Passarella with her head-eunuch Acosta plotting her return to the throne. Delusions of grandeur ... almost as bad as wanting her own television reality show to show the world how urban students can succeed if given "every" chance.

    TAPCo ... stay vigilant. Be warned that Passarella is on the prowl. She's emasculated but still dangerous. She will do anything to get her job back. We must not let that happen. She must NEVER be allowed within miles of another school again. Whether TAPCo or not, Passarella must never be allowed to lead a staff or work with children again.

    Ramble off ... (Big smile)

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    Replies
    1. This is a very well-written entry. And I agree with the advice and take the writer has. Yes, sadly it does seem that Lynn is trying to plot her way back in. I have a student that ran into her at Fordham Plaza and the first thing Lynn said was "I hear everything is falling apart at TAPCO."

      Why would she say this? What does this tell you? What is she basing it on? What does it say about her mindset and motives?

      Things are not falling apart. In fact, despite the absolute mess Ron inherited from Passarella (that 110 page report I heard someone describe as "just the tip of the iceberg"), he is slowly, gradually, but very much consistently putting things in place. For the first time common sense and competency is prevailing. For the first time in years people are actually excited and looking forward to next year. Fewer teachers will leave TAPCO this year than in its entire history. Deans are being put in place and given authority. Discipline policies are being adhered to. The future is bright, if only the likes of Passarella and Acosta would allow it.

      And everyone has this Acosta right. She, like her old boss, is unhealthy. She is fake. She is mean. She is vengeful, and most important, she brings a tremendous amount of baggage to her professional life. Her hysterical crying fits in front of staff, students and administration are the sign of an unstable, unfit person who should not be allowed to work with children. She is the consummate unprofessional.

      On terminating Passarella's principalship, the Chancellor described Passarella's behavior as “dishonest and disgraceful, and shows a blatant disregard for principal responsibilities.” But you know? It goes much much deeper than this. She has failed to live up to her responsibilities as a human being too.

      Delete
    2. Yes ... in Lynn's delusional mind, TAPCo is falling apart without her leadership. Whether someone told her or not, it's something she truly wants to believe in. In her fantasy mind, she still thinks she is the victim. She still wants to show the world how she can achieve the #1 school in the City doing it HER way.

      We must stay vigilant on the proceedings. Please post anything you guys hear about it. We MUST not let her get off. These charges against her are criminal ... and she should be sent to jail for her abuses. Students lives were thrown away because of her uninformed educational reforms. Teachers careers were destroyed in her ill-conceived process.

      Ron is my hero. He's a leader I respect and admire. He understands that to truly serve the students, we must make them accountable and responsible for their own work and learning. Giving them a free ride will only contaminate the school and their lives. No more free rides.

      I believe the expected teacher exodus has been stemmed. There are truly good teachers at TAPCo who care tremendously about their students. Passarella turned the teachers into drones. Follow orders, babysit the students, and pass everyone regardless of effort. This is no longer the case. This will definitely not be the case in September.

      The Open Market is flooded with openings. For the first time in years, the DOE is hiring. But I think most of the TAPCo teachers will be staying because they are willing to fight for this cause ... this cause that they tremendously believe in. This school is worth fighting for. Ron is a leader I am willing to fight for.

      Teachers under Passarella - lay low, do as we're told, stay under the radar, fearful.

      Teachers under Ron - empassioned, bold, deliberate, excited.

      What an amazing change this transformation has been. The metamorphosis is not complete. I believe TAPCo has so much more to offer. No longer will teachers hide in classrooms like scared mice. Teachers will act bravely, work with each other, support each other ... without fear of retribution, retaliation, and insubordination. TAPCo is free of her totalitarian and tyrannical chains ! Heck, I sound like a history teacher ! lol

      The final stain is Acosta. She must be removed before we can totally move on. She is a detriment and a retardant. She is not helping us move forward, and in fact, is trying to hold onto her position through fear and intimidation ... just like the Passarella days. It's not going to work. She has too much baggage and has made too many enemies to be an effective leader. I too believe she will be replaced by the end of the school year.

      She too must not be allowed to teach elsewhere. Do not allow her to fool another principal. She too must be followed. If she lands at another school, it is imperative that we, teachers, contact that new principal and forward our own "recommendation". She is the raccoon in our attic. We must not evict her only to let her squirrel away in someone else's attic. She must not be allowed to flash that fake smile to anyone else again. Her education career goes along with Lynn's ... OVER !!!

      Delete
  106. Kudos to Link. So much damage and so much to repair. Staff and students have his back!

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    Replies
    1. I believe in Ron. There's so much work ahead of us. Ron is doing the right things. Little by little, the repairs are being made. Let's work together and support him.

      For those teachers looking to leave, I hope you will think about staying. TAPCo is worth fighting for. Ron needs us as much as we need him. The students deserve stability in their teachers. I hope the exodus of teachers does not happen. To my friends and family at TAPCo who are thinking of leaving through Open Market, please reconsider for at least one more year. Give Ron a chance to make things right.

      This is the time where we really need to be united and stand together.

      Delete
  107. Ms. Lynn ... we know you are reading this.

    Just to let you know, TAPCO IS DOING GREAT !!!!

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  108. Tapco has NEVER looked better. It's been less than 2 months and the school is turning around. Parents are involved, students are stepping up their game, the principal is visible and has a REAL open door policy, supports his staff and has a great vision for the future. He said he was the luckiest principal but we are the luckiest staff to have his leadership. Go Ron!!

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  109. Im a working mother and am tired of my hard earned money going to pay for this outragos salary to a principal who did not educate my child properly. She was investigated for almost 2 years and now she is collecting her full salary with medical benefits for her family for what another 2 years? She was removed from her job two months ago and now being retrained? For what? She is sitting somewhere just waiting. For what? O yes she's all about giving to the poor children in the Bronx. Well Im not going to stand for this. I intend to write the Mayor and contact the Chancellor on this yet another abuse of our educational system and misuse of money that should be put into educating our children. If my job suspects me of mismanagement I AM FIRED!! NO $$$, NO BENEFITS !
    Maybe we should put together a peition and send it off to Walcott. Or we should all call 311. My apologies to the new principal, I forgot your name. My child says she likes you and you are fair and care about her education. But I just cant allow this to go on. So much $ going to the wrong places. What could $200,00 pay for in school supplies, more teachers, smaller classes, technology, art supplies? If any parents want to contact me I will make my email address available to you throught the school. Call 718=584-0832. Lets make this right and make sure our taxes are going into educating our children and not paying a high salary to a removed principal. There are too many of them to support.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Teachers are not scared mice. Wrong on that one. Ms. Lynn referred to us as "the little rodents who scatter around me". And Lady Forham Struk suggested she "get rid of the bitches who stand in your way". Yes the walls have ears LADIES (or not so much).

    ReplyDelete
  111. http://blogs.cfed.org/cfed_news_clips/2010/11/a-bronx-miracle-meet-the-woman.html

    A Bronx Miracle: Meet the Woman Behind NYC's Best Public High School

    "She explains that many principals and teachers in other schools don't expect all of their students to be college bound. When school officials don't dedicate themselves to pursuing that goal, students don't either.

    Teachers won't teach at TAPCo for long, she says, unless they operate under the assumption that every kid will be heading to college."

    I just love the last sentence. It's the evil teachers who are at fault. Get rid of them.

    Pass EVERY SINGLE student so they can go to college. But don't worry that we didn't prepare them for it. Just make sure they get into college. We don't care what they do in college.

    Yes, Ms. Lynn, you are the great white savior of these little lost black and latino children who would have passed on to nothingness without your compassion and protection. You are the educational messiah leading these helpless minorities to the path of righteousness.

    The teachers are the enemy. We are standing in the way of your grand utopian vision. How's that television reality show working out for you?

    Did you really think we don't have high expectations for our students? Maybe it's because we wanted our students to get into college ON THEIR OWN !!! Perhaps OUR expectations were higher than yours. In fact, you had zero expectations of your students by implementing the NO FAIL policy. You said, "Here little children. I know you're not capable of doing this work. So Ms. Lynn will protect you. You don't have to do a thing and I will make the evil teachers pass you. If any teacher doesn't listen to me (or you), I will fire them."

    The soft racism of lowered expectations. How many lives did you destroy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are there any statistics kept on how TAPCo graduates have done in college?

      Delete
    2. This article is very sad. In light of the 110 page "only the tip-of-the-iceberg" report, Passarella looks even more foolish than before.

      But enough of this. Let's look ahead!

      Delete
  112. To (Working Mother) Anonymous May 17 - if you start the petition. I will sign.

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  113. Yes I WILL start a petition if I have the support from parents and teachers. The education of our children has become a joke. Low expectations, no homework, no expectation for parent involvement ( and as parents we have a responsibility in all of this but where was the principal in leading us), and teaching to the tests. Ridiculous. That does not prepare my child for the future. What happened to debateting politics and social issues, to spelling and grammar? My daughter can't even write script so she can't sign her name on a legal document. That's what I have her practise on the weekend. I don't know. I went to Catholic school and academic expectations were so much higher. I brought her to public school because I coudnt afford the tuition. Ms. Monica interviewed us and was honest (I think) about what TAPCO had to offer and what was expected. So why was I told there were uniforms and then 3 months into the year there weren't? I think a petition will not be the best way to be heard. Maybe we should all call 311 and write a letter to Walcott. I don't know. I'm wiling to do anything. I just cant stand by and watch these unqualified principals take my hard earned money.

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  114. PS I did call the school today to leave my email address for parents to contact me. I left it on a voice mail.

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  115. To working mother - I think you'll find that things are slowly changing in TAPCo. Principal Link is slowly making the changes needed to help rebuild TAPCo into a top notched public educational institution.

    I agree that many of the educational reforms have no value in the future lives of our students. Test prep, test prep, test prep. That's the end goal.

    It's also sad about schools no longer teaching script. With the advent of the PC, script writing has gone by the wayside and forgotten. Many of my students cannot read my script handwriting.

    For now, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the new administration at TAPCo. Things will be even better in September. New discipline policies, better enforcement of student behavior and conduct, and teachers having a true freedom to "teach" students.

    Let's all work together to bring TAPCo back to life.

    As for Passarella's salary ... let's hope it comes to an end in the Fall after her hearing.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is all we can hope for in the way of Passarella and her salary. Sadly, no petition is going to stop this from happening. It's call "due process." One can only hope that she does not find a way to beat this... or turn it around. She's devious, resourceful and in this case, desperate. Reasonable to think she has more than just her union lawyers working on this. Hopefully, justice will prevail. This is not a case where she was mislead, or did things by mistake for the benefit of the kids. (although she likes to spin it this way). She was a horrible principal, and horrible human being. And it was her first. Not the kids. It was always about her her salary, her overtime pay, her status, her reputation, her glory.

      Not about the kids AT ALL. Not by a long shot.

      How's that mortgage doing, Ms. Lynn. Still your mortgage over ours? What WERE you thinking when you told us that????

      Delete
  116. I am a teacher at a school in Brooklyn that has been watching this TAPCO drama unfold in the press and in this blog with wonder and intrigue. What has happened to this Acosta woman? She sounds dreadful. People seem absolutely unanimous in their dislike of her. Has the new principal figured her out? From what people tell me, it is kind of amazing she is still there after she lost her protection from that evil queen principal. In my school we had one AP a few years ago that seemed similar, but it was the staff that petitioned against her and it ultimately lead to her removal. Every time she did something crazy someone on the staff lodged a formal complaint. I think the DOE got sick of it and one day she was gone.

    It happens. Sometimes the wrong person gets into power and can really make everyone's life miserable, but if staff is united (and acts in a manner that reflects THE FACTS and not emotion or revenge), good things can happen.

    This TAPCO drama really plays out like a TV movie... I say you should cast Glen Close as Passarella... and maybe Angelica Houston as Acosta. I think those two actresses could really bring these evil and maniacal characters to life! You just can't write this stuff! Don't know enough about the new principal to cast him yet. Is he working out?

    ReplyDelete
  117. To Brooklyn teacher ... we appreciate knowing that our voices are heard elsewhere. I always thought this was a just a forum for TAPCo teachers to cast our thoughts without retribution from the Evil Queen.

    Thank you for your support. The new principal is making things right ... slowly but surely. Things won't change overnight, but I think he has the right ideas. The No Fail policy has been discontinued. Students now know they must work in order to "earn" their grade. Four Deans are being put in place next semester to administer student discipline. It's a big step.

    As for Acosta, I do believe that her time is limited. I believe Principal Link will discontinue her services after the semester ends. I also believe the staff needs to stand together to file a petition of no confidence in Acosta.

    TAPCo is a case where justice does prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I am a teacher in Queens who also has been following this. Why? Because it's disturbing. I saw it in the news on Channel 7 and googled the name PASSARELLA and SCANDAL and was lead to this blog. The entries read like a John Grisham novel.

    What is disturbing is the implication that the DOE not only knew about Passarella, but probably provided the training and the knowledge for her to operate as she did. I would like to know WHO concealed her. WHO was her mentor. What organizations advised her. And most important, now that she has been exposed, are any of those parties being held accountable?

    Indeed the Passarella story is not just an indictment on her, but on the system she has been able to succeed in. Think about it. Her lying and cheating and cooking the books lead her school to achieve the number one ranking in the entire NYC school system. Yet from what I read, her graduates could barely survive in life after TAPCO. Bad sign.

    Justice needs to be served. Is it true her hearing is not until fall? And she continues to collect that $145K? Incredible. Simply incredible. Why can't they after a 17 month investigation hear her case within a month? Or freeze her salary until it is decided? Just think of all the useful ways that money could be spent to better her school, and undue her damage!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Im glad to hear that things are changing. My daughter says things are changing at TAPCO . You know it's not about her writing script its about the discipline it takes. She and students need to stay focused. Life is too hard for our children out here. I can't stop thinking that Bloomberg and Walcott would allow the removed principals to still collect their salaries. How can they justify their actions. Its not forgiveable and soon the change will come and what will we remember about the Bloomberg administration? What have they done for our children? What have they done for their future? Nothing absolutely nothing.

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    Replies
    1. It's true what you say. The Bloomberg administration is not about these kids, despite what they say in front of the news cameras. They are about protecting their own and spending as little money as possible in the public schools. My son is an 8th grade at TAPCO, and I can say without question I was going to have him go to another school for high school. Now we are thinking TAPCO. He says things have become more strict, but still it has a ways to go. I hope so. I think there are a lot of dedicated teachers and staff there, and there is a nice group to build a good school from (there are bad teachers too! Hopefully this new principal can figure who is who). It seems like the school does not have enough help, especially in the way of school aides. What did Ms Lynn do with that money? I read in this blog she had a lot of consultants. What for? What did all that money buy? If she spent it on consultants, why did they offer her this consultation: HEY, MS. LYNN! DON'T OVERSPEND YOUR BUDGET!!!

      Of course we know why these expensive consultants did not say this. Because if they were people of honor or integrity, they wouldn't collect such high fees from a public school with money problems and a lunatic principal. Sorry to be rude, but that woman tried to ruin this school. And if the DOE had not removed her, she would have! It's a shame it took so long and it's a shame that she is collecting her salary (if that indeed is true, I have trouble believing it). But I guess at least in the end they got it right.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it IS about discipline. Very much so. Nothing is more important. You can be God's gift to lesson planning, but if you can't control the class, you're worthless to these kids.

      Sorry to be so harsh. I am not only a TAPCO parent, but I am an elementary school teachers, and I know.

      I think TAPCO is saddled with a lot of mediocre teachers. I know. I have met them at parent/teachers night over the past 8 years (I have had 3 children in the school) and have been impressed with about 8 of them, half of which are now gone. There is a big group that is mediocre, another big group that is mediocre to bad, and about 5 or 6 that are off-the-charts horrible, that cannot be worked with. This bottom group needs to be dismissed. They are holding back the school and CANNOT be rehabilitated. They themselves don't even seem to realize how bad they are.

      How do I know? Again, I am a teacher and a parent worried about the education of my kids. My radar is sharp.

      Mr. Ron needs to address this. He wants to make his school a good school? One that really EARNS a good ranking instead of cheating its way there? This is a good place to start. I don't care HOW good an administration is... the front line is the teachers. And if you have bad teachers, you have a bad school. End of story. Find a way to get rid of them Mr. Ron. You are here for the kids. Not to service adults that have no business calling themselves educators. I have a feeling you know who they are.

      As for Ms. Lynn... event hough I have 3 kids in the school, I only met her once, briefly. She was so inaccessible. Once I waited to talk to her for over 2 hours. Finally her secretary told me she left in "an emergency." Never got an apology or reschedule. She was such a bad leader and such a coward. Wonder if she is able to put down her defense for a second and be honest with herself... she was in over her head, treated people disrespectfully, and was NOT about these kids. Anything and everything she is going through is not only deserved, but manufactured by the way she approached her job and her life. Sorry, Ms. Lynn. I don't mean to take cheap shots. But I don't care what defense you have worked out with those fancy lawyers, or HOW you are explaining what is going to your family, friends and associates, but the truth is you were awful. Just awful. The sooner you are honest with yourself and take full responsibility for your actions and abuses, the sooner you can start to heal.

      Full time consideration of another endeavor... might be... in order.

      Delete
  120. There are good and not so good teachers at every school. What sets TAPCo apart is the fact that teachers leave in droves, and each year, there's a new cohort of brand new teachers who will learn under fire. As soon as they develop some decent skills ... they bail at first light.

    If TAPCo's professional development focused on classroom management and teaching, perhaps the new teachers would have an opportunity to develop their skills. Instead, TAPCo's professional development was spent on how to fool the Quality Review.

    A teacher once spoke up in a meeting, calling the Quality Review a dog and pony show. He disappeared a few months later. I'm not sure if Ms. Lynn had him executed, but you get the idea. Never speak the truth in front of Passarella. It's your job and career at stake.

    TAPCo teachers have the potential to be very good teachers, but under Passarella, this would never happen. Speak the truth, and your career is over. Therefore, new TAPCo teachers would never step out of the box to expose themselves.

    Mr. Link seems willing to listen to us. Discipline is in the works.

    In reading articles about turnaround schools, and schools being closed down, one thing stands out among them all ... lack of discipline. Passarella covered TAPCo's lack of discipline by implementing a No Fail policy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Passarella covered TAPCO's lack of discipline by:

      1. Implementing a No Fail Policy (as you said)
      2. Manipulating teacher, parent and student surveys
      3. Fudging attendance and lateness records
      4. Failing to suspend students for unbelievable behaviors
      5. Not doing ANYTHING that would create a negative record or blemish on her precious record
      6. Allowing cheating on State Tests
      7. Failing to grade Regents properly
      8. Having Acosta (is she still here????) go back and regrade failing Regents Exams
      9. Hiring teachers who were incompetent, but obedient (obedient teachers do not raise red flags)
      10. By U-rating or making life miserable for any staff member that raised a red flag.

      Ms. Lynn... you should be ashamed of yourself. Deeply, deeply ashamed of yourself. Are you still playing the "I am the victim here" card or the "I did it for the students" card? Have you begun to accept responsibility for what you did? And why are you still reading this blog? Do you think ANYONE (other than Acosta) would say ANYTHING positive about the incompetent way you ran this school? The new principal is lucky you didn't destroy it beyond repair! And boy, you nearly did!

      Get out of education, Ms. Lynn. You've done enough harm to our young people. Go away. GO AWAY!!!

      Delete
    2. Imagine how amazing these students would have been if these kids were accountable for their own work? Instead, Passarella destroyed any chance of them getting a good education. She didn't "love" these students. It wasn't about the "students". It was about her, and protecting her turf. Teachers who didn't comply were sent packing. She knew there were hordes of brand new teacher lined up outside her door.

      But I disagree with point #9. Most of the teachers were not incompetent. The new teachers were simply in over their heads. But the second part is correct ... ALL teachers were silent and obedient. Open your mouth, and risk losing your job.

      Where does TAPCo go from here? Link has some good ideas and the school is headed in the right direction. The No Fail policy is gone. So what happens when I submit my final report card and there are 25 F's? Will it go right back to the, "What are YOU doing for the students?" finger pointing? Will Ron accept the fact that these 25 students FAILED because they put in NO EFFORT, did NO WORK, cut class more than they attended ??? We'll see how new foundation holds up or will it cave in.

      Will there be accountability in Regents grading? Or will teachers give out 4's and 5's again like candy (as mentioned in the original post) ??? Will Jimmy come around with names on a sheet of paper, and ask teachers to re-re-re-re-grade a Regents exam? Will Berk come around asking teachers to individually proctor RCT's and whisper, "So-So MUST pass !!!".

      Students are working harder. But not all. The upper half have taken the bull by the horns, and really pushing themselves. The lower half think they are still in the Passarella days, and believe they will be given free passing grades again. Unfortunately, this will not happen.

      I have about 25% of students failing. That's close to the city average. Unfortunately, this "average" failing grade will get a school closed down.

      Delete
  121. It's Ms. Lynn who hired the teachers and now Mr. Ron is stuck with them. If we had a fair system that did not rate teachers on the test scores and regents their students (our children)produced, but by the human beings they are becoming, by the positive contributions they will make to society and the world, our children would be the peaceful leaders of the future.
    By the way, I think I know who you are parent 5/30 5:46PM. We met at a music performance in Jan. and we talked about the concerns we have for our children and their education. I can say with complete confedence it is already better under this new leader and I don't agree about their being so many bad teachers. At worse there are 2 teachers who should not be teaching. If my child would just take her education seriously she would get better grades. She deserves what she gets. I know that Mr. Berkwits is working hard with her and the school keeps me informed of every step she makes. The teachers are not the problem. It is the system in new york.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Berkwits is outstanding. He seem to not only really, really care about the kid, but he works with the teacher really well. TAPCO is lucky he didn't leave.

      Delete
  122. Acosta is still around. When's her last day here?

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  123. To elementary school teacher (mom of 3 at TAPCo) - do not be so quick to judge. Perhaps in your enlightened state, you would come and show all these BAD TAPCo teachers how to teach. Maybe you can give us the secrets to being a "good" teacher. Funny how you complain about all these bad teachers at TAPCo, yet you send 3 of your children here.

    You have no clue what it's like to teach in this environment. Do not cast stones. Walk a mile in our shoes.

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  124. I don't think you'll find a more dedicated group of teachers than at TAPCo. Most are learning under fire ... and with the lack of leadership under Passarella, it's a surprise the school didn't simply implode. It's due to the dedication of the teachers that there's still a glimmer of hope for this school. The teachers were the ones holding things together under Passarella's tyrannical abuses.

    Do you really expect remarkable pedagogy when half the teachers are brand, spanking new? Do you really expect teacher leadership when the principal and her henchmen are in the process of a witch hunt? Passarella did not want teacher who could lead ... she wanted timid and meek sheep. She wanted teachers who were afraid for their lives. She was not interested in our opinions. Our opinions got us U-rated and terminated.

    Even through all this BS ... the teachers held things together with the little resources we had.

    So don't jump on this forum under an anonymous veil and insult the same teachers who are working their tails off for your children. You should be grateful for their courage, and give them the respect and dignity they deserve. I have a better idea, take your 3 lazy kids out of TAPCo and go some place else where you feel the teachers are more to your liking. I'm sure you'll find MUCH better teachers elsewhere in the Bronx.

    Freakin' moron !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. June 9 4:35:00 teacher. You make a good point in your opening 3 paragraphs. Why demean yourself by getting nasty? I agree with you completely in your reply. TAPCo teachers are dedicated, and extremely hard working. The staff is not perfect and has its weak members (like every where else), but they go the extra yard for the kids. And there are far more good teachers than bad. FAR more.

      Why do you have to get nasty at the end? Can't we use this blog for intelligent discourse? Also, you don't know if that parents' kids are lazy. And you don't know what alternatives she has for putting her kids (sorry if I am assuming that the parent is a female... it just feels that way. My apologies if I am wrong). And you don't know how hard it is to raise three kids in the Bronx (possibly by herself) and care about your kids' education (although I disagree with her assessment that TAPCo has only a few good teachers, one thing I got from her entry is that she cares about her kids' education and wants the school to get better)

      Also, you don't know what her experience is with the school, her kids' teachers and the previous administration. So make your point. It's a good one. But don't call someone who says something you disagree with a moron. And don't call her kids, excuse me, OUR kids, lazy unless you know what you are talking about.

      Hey, we've all been through a lot these past years. ALL OF US. The teachers, the parents, the staff (including the other administrators), and the kids. Please, let's not let this BLOG get nasty in that way. There is so much good written here. We need to keep it out of the sewer. OK?

      Delete
    2. We SHOULD be grateful for your courage. We SHOULD give you respect and dignity. And you DO deserve it. Very much.

      But calling a parent a freakin' moron and her kids lazy... that is NOT earning our respect. Please, choose your words more carefully. You had our respect until you said that.

      Delete
    3. NEW RULE! You are not allowed to complain about an anonymous posting if you yourself post anonymously!

      And to the teacher of June 9th... good points. But why do you have to unnecessarily insult the parent? The parents are entitled to their opinions too, even if we don't like them. They have also been through a hard time, no?

      Delete
    4. Y r u dissin this blogger? So u disagree? They r entitled to opinion. Say ur opinion without the dissin. You may b right, u know bout the teachers, but let the parent say what they want. Isn't that what u guys complained about with Miss Lynn? Not bein able to speak ur mind? Let people speak there mind without callin em moron or there kidz lazy. Not good. May b u r the kind of teacher they r talkin bout.

      Delete
    5. "Y r u dissin this blogger? So u disagree? They r entitled to opinion. Say ur opinion without the dissin. You may b right, u know bout the teachers, but let the parent say what they want. Isn't that what u guys complained about with Miss Lynn? Not bein able to speak ur mind? Let people speak there mind without callin em moron or there kidz lazy. Not good. May b u r the kind of teacher they r talkin bout."

      You have got to be kidding me !!!

      If this is how students write these days, we're in big trouble.

      Delete
    6. Did you ever think we write this way because we WANT to? We are not the kids you went to school with. We were raised with technology and it has affected the way we communicate.

      YOU have got to be kidding ME!

      Guess what? We can write properly too if we want. YOU are not in big trouble. We choose to write this way. We are the ones with teachers who don't know who we are and what kind of world we are raised in and why we communicate in the way we do. Maybe it is US that are in big trouble.

      Hope I could write this opinion in a manner you find acceptable.

      Delete
  125. TAPCo's student culture is not changing. Students were still ordering food in the bodega at 10:30am when they were supposed to be in school taking the US History Regents at 9:00am.

    The majority of the Physics students skipped the Physics Regents.

    Same old TAPCo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A bunch came over an hour late for the ELA Regents today carrying their food.

      Isn't there a rule that after 30 minutes, students are no longer admitted to a Regents exam? This is the same nonsense these kids were pulling under Passarella.

      Delete
  126. It's changing. It's changing. Be patient. The problems in this school are so deep rooted. Goes back to so many years of incompetent leadership and an immoral compass. It can't be fixed in 3 months.

    I have a challenge for you anonymous June 14, 2012 7:40:00 PM EDT. Come back and visit this blog on June 14, 2013. Tell us all what you see now and whether it is the same old TAPCO.

    I'll eat my hat if it is.

    Respectfully,

    Anonymous June 27, 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  127. REPOST FROM JUNE 5 BLOG http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2012/05/tapcopassarella-debate-continues.html

    Worth reading....

    Please keep us posted on the verdict of Passarella's hearing. The fact that she's still drawing her $145,000 salary is an outrage. It's been mentioned how those funds can be used in other far more constructive ways.

    The system is broken. Only in the NYC-DOE can someone like Passarella operate for so long and get away with it. Had she not overdone it and scored the top ranking school in 2010 ... she'd probably still be principal at TAPCo and still being rewarded for her underhanded activities.

    Passarella and TAPCo are not alone in this. I've read of so many instances where principals act in the same, exact manner ... mostly in the Bronx, mostly in district 10.

    Interesting ... perhaps it's time to look at the superintendent. Perhaps she could have questioned Passarella's "success" when the middle school in the same building is failing? Did she turn a blind eye to the illegal activities? Did she encourage it?

    Someone must have taught Passarella how to scape the system -

    Graduation rate - implement NO FAIL policy. Therefore, all students graduate. Check.

    Attendance - have Carol and Valerie personally tell you when the attendance rate drops below 98%. Then go change the attendance personally stating, "Oh, I saw that student!". Check.

    Regents - bully teachers into over-awarding points on Regents exams. Oh don't forget having teachers give answers to students (Trig Regents 2010). Check.

    Quality Review - have multiple PD's and spend tens of thousands of dollars for overnight retreats at the Hilton with dinner and all-can-drink booze at Philipe Chow's. Topic of the agenda: how to fool the Quality Reviewer. Check.

    We don't need textbooks, computers, school supplies, or a copy machine. We can teach in 10-15 different classrooms.

    Blame the teachers when students do no work, don't come to class, text and listen to iPods. Yes, Ms. Lynn ... stomp your feet and have another t*tty attack. That works.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Why is ANYONE spending time reviewing the Passarella past? She is history, Acosta is history, Link is today and we are TAPCO's future. Progress is already apparent. Patience is integral. We need to move on. Are we all willing to take on the difficult task of rebuilding this school? We all need to step up, not just blame the kids. We all have become discouraged and complacent, understandably. We are tired. We mistrust because we have been so abused. Now is the time to make the decision, is this the job for me? Am I willing to go the extra mile? Let's stop bringing up the past and look toward the future. We can do this. We are a strong, cohesive group. We can make significant changes in our students' lives. Are we ready? Let's keep in touch with each other, communicate about the kids and give 'em a show they'll (Bloomberg et al) will never forget!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. All good points. The ship is pointed in a healthy direction. Let's work hard and enjoy the voyage. There's a lot of good that can happen now. This writer is right. Let's not forget the past, but let's not dwell on it either.

      Delete
  129. What was TAPCO's graduation rate for 2012? If it's 100% again, then I see nothing has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Is Acosta really history? Has this been confirmed?

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  131. OF COURSE it wasn't 100% and there was not a single NC, that I know of. You must know that if you are a teacher at TAPCO. So if you are unhappy teaching here, and you think nothing has changed, and you are not willing to step up to a demanding job, if you think educating students is an easy ride, with fairly decent money for 6.5 hrs a day, 182 days a year, 12 sick days, 2 personal days, decent medical benefits and some job security, TRY WALL STREET. Ask Bernie how he likes his life now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, it was very close to 100%.

      Delete
  132. ACTUALLY, 7/3, 2:29 pm, it was 87%.
    More students in the history of TAPCO are programmed for summer school or they will be repeating the grade. WHAT is your point anyway? If you are a disgruntled teacher move on. If you are a dissatified parent please let us help you find another school. You were unhappy with the old regime and now you seem unhappy with the new, or am I mistaken? Is there any pleasing you? What can we do to make you feel more comfortable? Do tell. Perhaps you are just an unhappy person. I welcome you to come run the school. Check the Open Market, see anything you can handle? Sorry, just so tired of these unproductive innuendos. If you are so savvy why haven't you come up with a fabulous plan and delivered it to the principal?

    ReplyDelete
  133. BTW... what is going to happen to Acosta next year? I heard she was not even present at the graduation ceremony. Does that mean she is out of there? For both the sake of the school and herself, it is best she moves on.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Don't count your chickens before the eggs hatch. Acosta is not going anywhere and will be back in September.

    ReplyDelete
  135. I'm an outsider who's been following this drama.

    TAPCo's testing results for 2012: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-07-19/news/32751219_1_scores-in-both-subjects-eighth-grade-math-scores-high-stakes-exams

    The Theatre Arts Production Company School had one of the biggest drops in scores in both subjects. In eighth-grade math, 24% of students passed, compared to 46% last year. Just 22% of students passed the eighth-grade English exam, down from 43% last year.

    Principal Lynn Passarella was fired from TAPCO, a sixth-through-twelfth grades school, after faking her way to the top rating of all high schools in 2010.

    She boosted scores by rigging attendance data and awarding credit to students who never attended classes, according to a 17-month-long investigation made public in March.


    Is a principal able to rig a state exam? I can understand the cheating on High School Regents exams, but aren't middle school exams scored independently? Was the drop in the 8th grade Math scores due to the middle school math teacher who left mid year? I can understand that being a problem. A bigger problem was that the teacher wasn't replaced. I have no clue how Passarella remedied that. Were other teachers asked to cover for the remainder of the year?

    That also leads to the poor results in the 8th grade ELA exam. Students did worse on ELA than they did on Math.

    How were TAPCO's grades on Regents exams this year? Weren't there significant indiscretions found over the past few years ... inflated grading, improper proctoring, cheating, and AP's coming around to teachers to re-re-re-grade failed Regents exams??? How were TAPCO's Regents scores now that there's more scrutiny, and exams were sent outside to be graded impartially?

    I really hope TAPCO can recover from this debacle. I keep reading how things are "better" but the data is stating that things are just as bad. The new principal has some serious cultural issues to overcome, and without Passarella covering up, the school's inability to compete academically is showing it's ugly head.

    Passarella knew her students could not compete academically. That's why she fudged data and changed Regents grades. I just hope the students wise up and realize their white savior is long gone ... and they have to truly put in effort in order to succeed.

    I wish TAPCO luck.

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  136. Any news on the former principal's hearing?

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  137. Can you believe that she got off scott free, getting her 145,000 salary and is now working with her partner in deception at the fordham network mentoring principals?????????????????? what a shame! Sounds fishy...rotten fish!

    ReplyDelete

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