Monday, January 13, 2014

Farina Responds to NY Post on PS 106 Rockaway Story Which Was 6 Years Behind Ed Notes/WAVE Stories

Capital NY is reporting that Carmen Farina is already responding to the Post story on PS 106 in Rockaway (see below) in contrast to how Tweed, Region 5 and Superintendent of District 27 Michelle Lloyd-Bey not only ignored but protected Marcella Sills when we wrote about PS 106 and its Leadership Academy principal in the past - March 11, 2008.

One of the stories about Sills I wrote about was her forging a teacher's name on a fake observation. The teacher was so outraged she called the cops and notified the higher ups. It seems Sills wanted to give the teacher a low rating but never observed her so she just made one up and signed it for the teacher. The upper uppers protected Sills.

Oh, and where was/has theDistrict 27 and Queens UFT been on this decade old story? Well, Randi did do a show visit but no follow-up.

PS 106 Redux.   I have links in that story to a running account I kept on PS 106 news on my other blog, here.

I have a friend who left teaching rather than work one more day under Marcella Sills, her career in ruins from a nasty, vindictive Sills who took money specifically geared to a program and used it to -----fill in the blank.

But this story is not new to us.
Read it all but here are some quotes from my March 2008 ednotes piece:
Will the PS 106 story ever die? Guess not. There’s so much going on – much of which we can’t write about to protect people from retaliation. To summarize: My Feb. 8 column (Queen Bee Meets Queen Bee) talked about Randi Weingarten’s visit to the school where she was not given the warmest welcome by principal Marcella Sills, who has created a war-like atmosphere in the school between her and many teachers and teachers and parents. We also reported the charges by teachers that she forged their names to observations that never took place. A week later, The Wave printed a story abut a parent protest over some things Weingarten supposedly said at the meeting (PS 106 Parents: UFT Says 'Sabotage Test Scores'), which was looked at as a vote of confidence in Sills, though few parents attended the protest (the PA president pointed out the low turnout was due to the short notice given to parents who have to work.) Some teachers feel the “protest” had Sills’ fingerprints all over it. Teachers report that of the things Sills did upon taking over the school was drive out the old PA and put in her own brand, but this is standard operating procedure for many principals in schools without a very active parent base.
Sills is a graduate of the dreaded Leadership Academy, where prospective principals are trained with an attack dog mentality to go after experienced (higher salaried) teachers using certain techniques that may include water boarding. Baum better wear a scuba mask. You know the drill: immediately target some teachers for harassment, mostly senior, to put fear into the rest of the staff and start forcing people out. If you have to use forgery, go right ahead. Bring in younger inexperienced, teachers who will be easily intimidated.
So how funny to read Susan Edelman's "expose" in today's post regarding PS 106 principal Marcella Sills -- by the way, appointed when Kathy Cashin was in charge if Region 5. Let's call out the network and Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey, one of the major sluggettes in the DOE for a very long time -- we wrote a lot about her too in the past but these people just seem to linger for ever no matter what they do.

Sue Edelman adheres to the Post support for darling Joel Klein and Tweed who put Sills into power and empowered her to live the life of a Queen Bee. And she doesn't call out any of the people who should be questioned. (Watch the Post try to pin this on Farina and de Blasio.)



and the network people.


Cluster 05 (CEI-PEA) CL53

Cluster Leader Name Cluster Leader Title Cluster Leader Phone
MALDONADO, DEBRA Cluster Leader 718-935-2480

Someone should also question Kathy Cashin to see what she knew and when she knew it.

Here is the Capital City Hall piece on Farina response:

Fariña sends deputy to P.S. 106 after 'Post' report

By Eliza Shapiro
7:20 p.m. | Jan. 12, 2014
Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña will send a deputy chancellor to P.S. 106 on Monday in response to a New York Post article that called the Far Rockaway school the city's "worst."
In a statement released Sunday, Fariña said she spoke with Mayor de Blasio about the report on Sunday and will have deputy chancellor Dorita Gibson report back on the conditions at P.S. 106 as soon as possible. "What was reported in today's news account is unacceptable, and if true will be immediately addressed," Fariña said.
The Post reported that the school's principal is often absent and that students spend most of the day watching movies.
Read the Post story here:
And the NY Post piece below the break.

No space, no books, no clue at NYC’s worst elementary school

This principal runs a school of “no.”
Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say.
The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day.
“The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.
The school nurse has no office equipped with a sink, refrigerator or cot.
The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”
No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes.
A classroom that includes learning-disabled kids doesn’t have the required special-ed co-teacher.
About 40 kindergartners have no room in the three-story brick building. They sit all day in dilapidated trailers that reek of “animal urine,” a parent said; rats and squirrels noisily scamper in the walls and ceiling.

NO GYM OR ART: With no phys-ed or art classes, students are left to watch movies, including “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Fat Albert.”

NO SPACE: Without enough space in the main brick building, kindergartners are taught in what sources say are rat-infested trailers.
Modal Trigger
Principal Marcella Sills is a frequent no-show; The Post found she missed every day of school last week but one.Photo: J.C. Rice

And the principal — Marcella Sills, who joined PS 106 nine years ago — is a frequent no-show, sources say.
Sills did not come to school last Monday. On Tuesday, she showed up at 3:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, The Post found her at home in Westbury, LI, all day before emerging at 2:50 p.m. — school dismissal time. Wearing a fur coat, she took her BMW for a spin.
She showed up at school Thursday, but not Friday.
When Sills, 48, does go to work, it’s rarely before 11 a.m. — and often hours later, say sources familiar with her schedule.
“She strolls in whenever she wants,” one said.
The school hasn’t had a payroll secretary in years.
A Department of Education spokesman said Sills was required to report her absences and tardiness to District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey but would not say whether Sills did so last week.
Lloyd-Bey did not return a call. Sills hung up on a reporter.
When she is out, an assistant principal is left in charge. Yet Sills, who gets a $128,207 salary, also pockets overtime pay — $2,900 for 83 hours in 2011, the latest available records show.
“This school is a complete s- -thole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.
PS 106 families hope their cries for attention bring newly installed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to the rescue, saying they can’t recall any prior DOE leader visiting the remote school.
She would find it sinking, they say.
The isolated building sits a block and a half from the beach, surrounded by vacant, weed-choked lots, the road behind it strewn with trash bags and broken TVs.
The floods of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 wrecked a hangar-like annex, called the Early Childhood Academy, which housed pre-K, kindergarten and first and second grades. It has not been repaired.
Two kindergarten classes moved into “temporary classroom units” in the yard. The other children moved into the main building, forcing some classes to squeeze into small offices and storage rooms. The pre-K class sits in the auditorium, but has to move to the cafeteria during the movies.
Kids in several grades said that last week they watched “Fat Albert,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Monsters, Inc.,” but did not relish the downtime.
“I like gym. I like to draw,” said Charm Russell, 10, who added her peers are too restless and bored to watch the screen. “They’re always making noise, and there’s nothing entertaining going on. No art, no gym, no music class.”
More alarming, the teachers have gotten no curricula since Sandy. Last February, the DOE announced several new options, including “Go Math” for grades K-5, and “ReadyGen” or the state Education Department’s “Core Knowledge” for English language arts. The books cover the Common Core standards, skills that kids should master at each level.
But five months into the school year, PS 106 classes still don’t have the books or teacher’s guides.
“They have no reading program, no math program,” a source said, adding Sills blames outside administrators for not sending materials.
Teachers muddle through by printing out worksheets they find online, buying their own copy paper.
The DOE gave no explanation for the missing curricula but said it’s “working with the school to provide students with physical education.”
A spokesman denied the trailers are rat-infested.
Staffers won’t speak up or even file a grievance with their union because Sills will retaliate, a source said.
Parents wonder if higher-ups know what’s going on.
“Why don’t they get on them? I don’t understand that,” said Michael Moore, father of a second-grader.
Another father, Roland Legions, added. “They’re not doing right by the kids.”
One mom said she couldn’t get a meeting with Sills to discuss concerns. Another said Sills is “just not professional.”
“She should be here,” the mom said. “How is she going to run the school if she’s not here?”
PS 106 is allocated $2.9 million to serve a low-income population with 98 percent of its students eligible for free lunches. As a Title 1 school, it gets extra federal funds, but community members say they’ve never seen a budget tracking the income and spending.


  1. Ms sills has been drunk with power and does not put students first. She goes after good teachers who are dedicated and attempts to ruin their reputation. The staff should not blamed she has had teachers arrested and bogus investigations started in order to intimidate people. In the past parents that spoke up suffered because she would open false ACS cases to scare them from speaking. Hopefully the new changes will get rid of cutthroat politics in a school and return to focusing on helping students reach academic excellence.

  2. Good work Norm. We need to stay on this and keep it in the spotlight. The removal of contemptuous and criminal monsters likes Sills is a real test of whether or not change has come to the DOE. Keep it up.

  3. Norm, We can finally agree on something!!! I am in awe in regard to how long this was allowed to happen. It is offensive to anyone's intelligence to have the "higher ups" try to duck their knowledge of what was going on at P106 for ALL OF THESE YEARS. Appears that all these folks must have taken the A-Rod Study Program!!!

  4. Disgusting.... and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I say, get Superintendent Michelle Lloyd- Bey on the phone and immediately go to her office and put her on the spot. She has a LOOONG LIST of ignoring issues and rubber stamping discontinuing teachers for BS reasons..

  5. Unfortunately this type of behavior is rampant in other districts as well. I hope you can find the time to look into D28 and a woman named Wilkes who is known for retaliation tactics that drove a former acting AP to a nervous breakdown when she was given one day notice that she was losing her position and taking over a special ed class that already went through a few teachers. She was even observed before she got to know the students. To make matters worse, she stayed with that class and did a good job, but was still harassed until one day she just couldn't take it anymore. Carmen may remember Wilkes back when she was deputy chancellor. but Wilkes is still using her power to get her people into positions by driving out other administrators through fear and intimidation. Please use your "network" of sources to look into this as well. I think the method Klein set up is just wrong.

    1. What school in district 28 did this hsppen at? I work In that district and have a vindictive principal as well

    2. Not the principal, but one of the superintendents who makes it a point to destroy the career of administrators so her friends can take the job.

  6. I also would like to see Kathy Cashin's connection and involvement or her thoughts on this. This happened under her watch when she was the LIS.
    Maybe it is a good thing she was not the chancellor after all.. this would have been a BAD scandal.

  7. This is a totally stunning story. So many questions about how this school was allowed to waste away. The big question in my mind, though, is this: Why didn't the parents or guardians of these kids do anything about the situation? And, if it's true that this Principal rarely showed her face, didn't have a payroll secretary, no curriculum or anything else, how was it possible to even keep up the façade of this school running, without any of the parents being outraged at their kids watching movies all of the time?

  8. As a former teacher at this's about time that the public knew what was going on at PS106.....It was obvious to everyone who has worked there, that the Principal's connections to those in higher places has made things progressively worse....I hope the dam is about to crack at this school. The extent of the problems that have been created by this Principal since she took over were well know by everyone associated with the workings of this school....but when those who you think can correct the situation are looking the other way...a monster is created. Perhaps nowl, those who can attest to what has been happening at PS 106 will have their voices heard!

  9. If the parents, and more so, the teachers are not forthcoming now with the investigators- do not seek them out themselves and spill all the beans, then they may be blowing their only chance to get rid of this monster lady. I am thinking that Ms. Lloyd-Bey's hands were tied on this one due to her being given hands off directive. What makes anyone think that teachers are the only one who are intimidated!! Someone above Ms. Lloyd-Bey is responsible for this one.

  10. I am sure the parents spoke up....but I'm also sure the district office took up for the principal......I am infuriated that this is happening to our black and brown children.....when will real change occur?......Norm please keep the spotlight on.....I am willing yo protest for the removal of ALL superintendents, crazy principals, and other powers that be......They are ruining the careers of good teachers as well......We need to do something......You know this is not the only school....

    ...LETS STAND UP!!!!!

  12. Harassment and data fudging for years. Good teachers have been run off and or ruined and the current teachers who work their busts off work in fear. Teachers do so without any books or any of the CCLS aligned curriculum that was free for NYC schools.
    If things don't change the current staff will be F-ed

  13. Parents are now being blamed. How shameful is that!! This principal would put orders of protection on any parent that spoke up against her tyrannical reign. In fact one parent spoke up to the superintendent and as a result police showed up at her house saying that it was reported her kids were being beat. This parent was so scared that she secretly moved and kept her mouth shut to avoid false charges. She knew Sills and her croonies were involved because a verbal threat was given to her anonymously over the phone. A hard working middle class family had to be subjected to that type of stress and jeopardy. Sills has unabridged power and is "evil". I usually would pray for someone in her position being a black woman, but I can't! This particular principal caused so much pain and agony to dedicated parents and students it is impossible to drum up any sympathy. Even now parents, present/former teachers do not believe this will end. Everyone believes she was slide by again unscathed. Where is true justice? Hopefully God himself will intervene to end this so teachers, students and parents can be relieved of this sinister woman.

  14. I worked at P.S. 106, under the leadership of Ms. Sills for a short time. It was my first teaching position. I taught a first grade class located in the annex. Hired in September I resigned by January. My experience there as a new teacher was surreal. I taught in the classroom for two months. Then I was exesssed, but remained in the school. After floating around the school doing class coverage for two months I was put back with the class that I was originally assigned to at the onset of the school year. After a few days back in the classroom, Ms. Loyld-Bey, who frequented the building come into my classroom on my duty-free lunch and told me that the classroom was not conducive to a good classroom environment. Although, I was on my duty-free lunch I respectfully stayed and listen to what she had to say. The next. few weeks were not any better. Ms. Sills told me that she expected to see five-paragraph grammatically correct essays written by my students on the bulletien board located out-side of my classroom. Needless, to say 1st graders do not have the capacity or the skill set to perform this task. I would not forge student writing, therefore, resigned from the DOe. For years I could not understand how this leader could do the things she did. I thought most of her actions was not in the best interest of the children.

  15. I don't get how such a slug could get away with this for all these years........Kids deserve better


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