Sunday, April 8, 2012

On Eric Chasanoff - Let's Hold Reporters Accountable: Rachel Monahan and Erin Durkin at the Daily News

UPDATED Sunday, Apr. 8, 3PM

I am Eric Chasanoff and proud to be a teacher.
 
Today, we are all Eric Chasanoff -- or as JFK would have said: Ich Bien Ein Chasanoff

Eric Chasanoff provides a rigorous defense on his blog and points out the incredible poor reporting by these reporters. Point by point. The Daily News should be embarrassed to call itself a newspaper. And sorry reporters --- you signed your name to the article and I don't care what your editor did to it.

Today the Daily News joins the fray with the rest of the media in the assault on the 3020a process that protects teachers. Remember that hearing officers are jointly chosen by the UFT and the DOE.

Did you know that the most important factor in maintaining a democratic society is the quality of the reporters? Well, as legit as saying the most important factor in ed is the quality of the teacher.

Isn't it time to create RDR - Reporter Data Reports on how accurate they are? Who out there is challenging Bloomberg's ax murderer comment?

I urge teachers to refuse to speak to any reporter who gets stories wrong because no matter what you say it will be twisted.

JUST ADDED: I want to include a comment from Arthur Goldstein from the comment section because it further demonstrates the duplicity of the Daily News reporters and I don't want it to get lost:
I spoke to Ben Chapman yesterday, and my remarks were not included. Obviously they did not meet the low standards this piece demanded. I know also of someone who attended the 3020a hearing whose remarks were not included.

I thought it was the job of newspapers to report, not to ridicule and demean. Clearly I was mistaken. Rudimentary fact-checking would have told you the 2002 letter was thrown out, and yes they do that for a reason. That reason is that baseless nonsense, though favored here, is simply not acceptable everywhere.

In America, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this article, apparently, teachers are guilty even after they are declared not guilty. Here is what I said to Ben Chapman, among other things--I know Eric Chasanoff, and I would not hesitate to allow him to teach my 15-year-old daughter. In fact, if she falls behind in earth science, I will call him to tutor her.

Conversely, the writers of this article know him not at all, nor have they checked on what they wrote. I don't blame him for not having spoken with you. My having spoken with you was a waste of my time, and I can't blame him for not wishing to be part of the crystal-clear agenda of this piece.

I'm cross posting here to make sure the record is set straight in every venue.

My Response To The "Inaccurate " Daily News Article In Today's Paper.





I have read and digested the "highly inaccurate" Daily News article about me and realized that my decision not to be interviewed by their reporters was a sound decision. Despite assurances that the article would represent my view of the DOE's abusive investigation process, it turned out to be nothing but more teacher bashing "yellow journalism" by the Daily News. Let''s break down the article and show what was inaccurate.

Credibility Of The Student:

The Daily News knew from talking to a witness in my open 3020-a hearing that the creditability of the student was an issue. The student had made conflicting and contradictory statement at the hearing and even gave different statements to various people when asked about the incident leading up to the 3020-a hearing. However, the article did not seem to care about the student's credibility. Just what she claimed, depending on who she spoke to of course.

The Statement:

The Daily News used the student's original recollection that was used in the SCI report rather than the Arbitrator accepted statement of "I"m so proud of you passing the test I could just kiss you, of course I wouldn't do that because I would get in trouble". While the difference is not major, it still is different enough. I admit it is better than the deliberately changed DOE statement the Daily News attributed to me "If it's not going to get me in trouble I would kiss you" .

Touching The Student:According to the article, the student accused me of touching her shoulders with my hands. However, the student admitted at the 3020-a hearing that I used one hand to pat her clothed shoulder to calm her down. Yet the Daily News chose to use the now discredited statement by the student rather than the truth. Furthermore, I never grabbed the student's elbow and that charge was dismissed by the Arbitrator, still the Daily News chose to include it in the article. As for looking down her shirt? The Arbitrator dismissed that charge as well, yet again the Daily News chose to use it in the article.

The 2002 Reprimand:
This is just another case of the Daily News failure to "fact check". The 2002 Reprimand was grieved by me and the DOE's favorite Arbitrator, Martin Schienman, threw out the reprimand as "unfair and inaccurate" and was removed from my file. That is why I didn't mention it in my previous post. The fact that the DOE chose to include it in sending my case to the Daily News speaks volumes about the DOE's failure to abide by the rules. The DOE are "sore losers" and this is just another case of them not abiding by the contract.

Failure To Include The "Probable Cause Hearing" Results:
Was the failure to mention the "probable cause hearing" for alleged sexual misconduct which I won, simply negligence or was the omission done purposely? I guess if you want to keep the question about "sexual misconduct" alive, you would omit the "probable cause hearing" results.

The DOE's Insistence In Pursuing My Case Despite Their "Probable Cause Hearing" Loss.Once the DOE lost the "Probable Cause Hearing", they should have admitted defeat and that they had no case and end this travesty of justice. Instead the DOE wasted an additional quarter of a million dollars or more by dumping me back in the "rubber room" for two and a half years and hoping that something else would magically appear to change their losing hand.

No Mention Of The Biased SCI Investigation:

The article failed to mention how the SCI investigator was found to have lied about what I said and was caught on this by the "probable cause Administrator". In my experience, the SCI investigation process is unfair and when principals want the teacher out of the school, the SCI investigators will do what it can to accommodate the Principal's wishes.

Why Didn't The DOE Appeal The Arbitrator's Decision?

The answer was that they were lucky that the Arbitrator gave me a $2,000 fine. If the Arbitrator was truly fair, I should never have been given a fine at all but she had a reputation of giving the DOE something even when the facts show they have no case. Their appeal would have no chance of winning and they knew it.

Connection With Serial Axe Murders:

Including Mayor Bloomberg's idiotic statement that the Arbitrators would give "serial axe murders a slap on the wrist" as if I an a criminal sex offender, rather than a victim of a DOE persecution is really disgusting. My Arbitrator realized this when the DOE failed to provide real and relevant evidence that was needed to support their false accusations and ruled accordingly.

Please don't believe what you read in the newspapers, usually the truth is very much different and so it is in my case. By the way, somebody owes me $10.

I am Eric Chasanoff and proud to be a teacher.

20 comments:

  1. Norm:

    Thanks for the support. The fact that the newspapers are giving the DOE a free pass on their abusive investigation process is just a part of the campaign to get rid of senior teachers and eliminate "due process".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here is the comment I left on the DN piece:

    I spoke to Ben Chapman yesterday, and my remarks were not included. Obviously they did not meet the low standards this piece demanded. I know also of someone who attended the 3020a hearing whose remarks were not included.

    I thought it was the job of newspapers to report, not to ridicule and demean. Clearly I was mistaken. Rudimentary fact-checking would have told you the 2002 letter was thrown out, and yes they do that for a reason. That reason is that baseless nonsense, though favored here, is simply not acceptable everywhere.

    In America, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this article, apparently, teachers are guilty even after they are declared not guilty. Here is what I said to Ben Chapman, among other things--I know Eric Chasanoff, and I would not hesitate to allow him to teach my 15-year-old daughter. In fact, if she falls behind in earth science, I will call him to tutor her.

    Conversely, the writers of this article know him not at all, nor have they checked on what they wrote. I don't blame him for not having spoken with you. My having spoken with you was a waste of my time, and I can't blame him for not wishing to be part of the crystal-clear agenda of this piece.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can we foil their notes?

    Are their home addresses available?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, everyone. Ben Chapman here. bchapman@nydailynews.com is my email address if anyone wants to reach me. And, Anonymous, send me an email and I'll give you my home address. You're welcome to drop by any time.
    Arthur, I realize that passions are inflamed here, but you'll remember that I told you that I would submit your quote for the piece. And I did submit it to the editor who assembled the article. I'm sorry that it did not make it into the piece, but you should know that it was left out because of space limitations and our deadlines - not because we have an agenda against Chasanoff. In fact, we needn't have run anything at all about his statements on his blog, but we did so because we wanted to provide a platform for some of his statements to reach a wider audience. Anyway, I stand by the piece, I'm sorry that you guys are angry, and I am happy to talk with any of you at any time. Those of you who have spoken with me know that I am almost always reachable on my cell and willing to discuss. Thanks, Ben

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your response. I do have some questions.

    Is it your contention that referring to his piece as a "rant" was designed to inform, rather than influence readers? Do you think that is a neutral term?

    Also, could you please explain why the fact the 2002 letter was thrown out was not deemed worthy of inclusion? Does the article not suggest it is valid and relevant when, in fact, independent arbitrators deemed otherwise? Why is it not important your readers know it was deemed baseless?

    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Ben!! Betsy Combier here.
    How cool of you to give a response to Arthur!!! Of course we know that you want to include everything about a teacher that you can, so that the entire story is out there in a balanced way!!! Of course we know that when anything is said to you about a teacher which is complimentary and which goes against what the NYC DOE wants the public to know, that it is your mean editors who want your stories to look biased and untrue. Dont worry, give your editors my home number and I'll tell them everything that they need to know, so that you get 'off the hook' on how all your stories seem to be focused on how certain teachers are pervs and should be fired, even though you have not read any documents about the employee. Call anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We generally have given reporters a break -- the editors and all that. Just like teachers used to get a break over issues like student performance on stand tests. But the accountability mania -- even though so bogus but supported and aided and abetted by the press has to apply to you if you are going to use it to bludgeon us. No more excuses. I can honestly say that at almost every single event I attended the press almost never gets it right. The failure rate of the media makes the NYC public school system look like Oxford.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Arthur, Ben Chapman here. I'm going to give you a call to discuss this in person. But to your two points, Number one: I did not use the word "rant" to describe his posts, I don't know who included that word in our piece, but it was not me. To your second point, DoE did not tell me that the first letter of reprimand had been thrown out when they provided it to me in response to my FOIL request. If Chasanoff had taken my phone calls he could've told he that it had been thrown out.

    And, Norm, I stand by every story that's appeared with my byline in the News. I'm sorry you have issues with us reporters. I would love to hear from you if you have suggestions! Maybe we could even meet for a coffee in Rockaway at some point. You live out there, right? bchapman@nydailynews.com. Thanks, Ben

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben,
      I'm not so sure how 'I did not use the word ... I don't know who included the word in our piece' squares with 'I stand by every word ..'. Maybe that's a discussion for another time?

      For now, I'd like to ask -since you acknowledged that you were lied to (by omission) by the DOE about the removal of the letter; how do you feel being used (like a tool, Ben) by the DoE as they did whatever they could to discredit this one teacher? Do you feel like you can believe what they say to you at this point? What if they lied to you with that letter for a reason; because they didn't want to look stupid with their list of 16 if one of those 16 hadn't' done much if anything wrong at all?

      They're not sarcastic questions, Ben. They're honest ones. They played you guys for a sucker, man! I'd be pissed at that. I'm just wondering if you are. I'm also wondering whether or not a city Dept. lying to the press to hold on to image isn't a news story? And if that lie attempted to destroy a man's reputation isn't a news story as well?

      Lastly, was there a retraction, or a correction printed in following issues? It was a factually inaccurate statement. Shouldn't at least a correction be printed?

      Delete
    2. Dear "nuts"-
      Ben Chapman here. In response to your questions:
      ***I'm not so sure how 'I did not use the word ... I don't know who included the word in our piece' squares with 'I stand by every word ..'. Maybe that's a discussion for another time? ***I don't have a byline on that article. I have a "with" credit. I didn't write it. Therefore I didn't include that word "rant."
      ***how do you feel being used (like a tool, Ben) by the DoE as they did whatever they could to discredit this one teacher? **I feel disappointed they didn't share all the info. But I also feel disappointed with how I've been slammed on these sites.
      Do you feel like you can believe what they say to you at this point?
      ***I don't believe what anyone tells me without proof or some kind of supporting evidence. I always ask for documentation and for them to go on the record whenever possible.
      What if they lied to you with that letter for a reason; because they didn't want to look stupid with their list of 16 if one of those 16 hadn't' done much if anything wrong at all? ***I have no reason to believe this was an intentional omission. If it was, I would certainly be disappointed.
      ***I'm also wondering whether or not a city Dept. lying to the press to hold on to image isn't a news story? ***There's no evidence this was a lie. It was an omission and we have no reason to believe it was intentional.
      And if that lie attempted to destroy a man's reputation isn't a news story as well? ***See last answer.
      ***It was a factually inaccurate statement. ***What are you statement are you talking about? he received the letter to file.

      "nuts" if you want to discuss more I'd be willing to do so. My email is bchapman@nydailynews.com

      Delete
    3. PS "nuts" thanks for unblocking me on twitter :)

      Delete
    4. Ben
      *I have no reason to believe this was an intentional omission. If it was, I would certainly be disappointed.

      We are working in 2 different worlds here. The DOE et al have declared war on the teachers and you really think it wasn't an intentional omission? And by the way, the arbitrator that they appntd ruled for Chaz. Why are they using you guys in the press to do this ex post facto and why are you allowing the "free" press to be used this way which undermines your credability?

      Delete
    5. Hey thanks for the response. The letter was removed because it wasn't at based on fact. It should never have been there in the first place, no? Since you've acknowledged the DOE didn't share all of the information with you, and the letter should never have been there in the first place, wouldn't that warrant at least a correction?

      Also, I just have to ask; what reason would you have to believe that the omission was just accidental? Have you just presumed it was a woopsie? From these folks? really? The things had been removed a few years earlier, no? Aren't you at least a little suspicious of them after an omission like that? I mean it just seems to me, you depended on them for information, they gave you bad information; you're out there getting 'slammed' for your part in believing that bad information. You're only disappointed with that? I'm just asking.

      Thanks for the offer. I'm sorry you're being slammed on these sites (I'm not the one slamming you by the way), it must not feel good. I suppose you and Chaz have at least that in common (again no sarcasm. Just saying).

      Delete
    6. We are in two different worlds here. To presume that there was no dishonesty in an omission like that (the letter had been removed years earlier, no?) indicates no knowledge at all of any anti-teacher sentiment. I mean it just seems to me that they slipped this onevpast you and now you are the one who's taking the heat (on this thread anyway) for it. You seem tenacious. I'm surprised to discover you wouldn't be pissed at that.
      Just me.

      Delete
  9. Frankly Ben, I'm fed up with the biased press coverage. By that I mean the enormous coverage of teacher transgressions of the most minor nature exaggerated to the nth degree while principals are engaging in out and put persecutions that are ignored. It doesn't strike you as strange why the DOE would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep Eric out of the classroom given that one statement in decades of teaching? Why not a story on DOE legal going after anyone they can to try to justify their own existence? There are 70,000 teachers and all you guys can turn up is a handful of cases. Imagine that you interview a high school student and she turns around and says you were ogling her down her blouse and bases on nothing more than that you were suspended for years from your job or worse just fired? That is what teachers are facing every single day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am not here to stick up for the two reporters, I have had some anonymous conversations with one of them. A lot of this is the editorial boards. They are so in bed with Mayor Napoleon. They are all afraid that he is going to raise the rates he charges them for his information services. They are in bed with him. We are not talking about Rupert Murdoch's reporters, because they are openly anti-teacher, but in the other papers the reporters are not always responsible for what ends up in the papers. I despise the editors. They are an embarrassment to the journalism profession.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If the editorial boards are controlling the stories we shouldn't be cooperating by giving them cover so they can make it appear they are being fair. If they want quotes let them get them off blogs. Most stories are one-sided anyway or at the very least the stories they choose to cover are. Reporters are often helpless but that is not our problem. Let them become teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How about a retraction? or an accurate version of the story? or an apology for misrepresentation? At least on the web where you can't say there is no room.
    How about this closing quote: "Mayor Bloomberg blasted the arbitrators Friday. “Maybe if you were a serial ax murderer you might get a slap on the wrist,” he said.
    Did you guys point out that no arbitrator is chosen without Bloomberg/Tweed consent?
    Isn't this totally biased reporting?
    Did I hear you use the term a free press is basic to our democracy? Not free, not democratic.
    Look at the first thing one reads: "A student at Eric Chasanoff's class at Jamaica High School told investigators the teacher grabbed her elbow and appeared to look down her shirt when he made kiss remark." But the testimony showed that didn't happen. So you used it anyway.

    Then there is this: Chasanoff wrote in a lengthy blog post -- NO LINK TO THE POST. Of course, you don't want in this "democratic" "free press" society to have people read all sides.
    You should put up his post on the web in repentance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norm, it's Ben. I've told all you guys a million times that I didn't write the story. So I'm not going to address specific word choices you're talking about here. I'm also not going to address the retraction. It's not my story. And in my opinion none is warranted.
      Did you guys point out that no arbitrator is chosen without Bloomberg/Tweed consent? ***yes I've pointed that out in many articles. Not this one, I didn't write it.
      Isn't this totally biased reporting? ***Of course not.
      Re: link, we don't post links in our articles typically. I can't remember a case like this where we would've done so. Not my doing, I don't handle how the stories are presented on the the web.

      **That's all I think I'm going to write in response to this piece. I hope you guys will get in touch with me personally if you have issues. I don't have time to keep chasing stuff down on the blogs. Thanks, Ben

      Delete
  13. Ed Notes, these are perfectly good and legitimate arguments. I agree with you. There is no question that the press (especially the print media) are running a smear campaign against teachers. The politicians and press can say we are not against teachers, but their union bosses, is a LOAD OF CRAP. They do not print things like the arbitrators have to be agreed upon, or that dictators at Tweed have hired 75% of the "evil" teachers. That would kill their arguments. They do not care about facts, they just get in the way of the story.

    Mr. Chapman, you seem to read this blog (and I do not know if you will see this), but as a teacher, I would bet that you would find this about all of us. IF and I say IF, this was truly about education, most of us would be out front leading this charge, because it is what we believe in, but the LAST thing this is about is education. This is strictly about breaking the union and lining the pockets of the mayors' friends and corporate colleagues. If it was about education and kids, why does all of this money go to consultants and "education" companies? Why does it not go to putting as many resources as possible directly into the class room? And how many "CityTime" scandals have not been brought to the light of day? If this was about education, why do they still teach kids second languages to students in HS when every, and I mean EVERY one connected to education says kids learn languages better as young children, so why not be bold if this was about teaching kids, and say, from now on we are going to teach kids languages in pre-K, K, 1st & 2nd grade? This, if parents balked, could be backed up with reams of evidence. But it has never been about kids, ever. And check the precious data, the school I work in can get numbers that are just as good if not better than the charter schools if we could hand pick our students, and can have a discipline policy where you can expel kids for ANYTHING. Makes it easier to get rid of the students that are not doing well. Please do not tell me this have ever been about kids.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Currently, comment moderation is on, so if your comment doesn't appear it is because I haven't gotten to it yet. (Don't know how to do that from my cell phone.)