Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Change of Tone at John Dewey HS: Principal Kathleen Elvin - A Principal Heading for Hell

Kathleen Elvin was sent into John Dewey HS as a closer a few years ago - to make sure to drive the final nail in Dewey's coffin and remove many of the teachers, mostly senior. But the UFT lawsuit stopped that process over the summer and Elvin had to switch gears.

Mulgrew and the UFT/Unity clones talk about the change of tone at Tweed. I pointed that the so-called change of tone is directed at union leaders at the top. Not so in the schools.  (Where's the Change of Tone as Hundreds Call for Ouster of Bryant HS Principal Namita Dwarka? and here).
The principal was at first resistant to having the UFT Rep there as "witness" to the "transaction", but, even the "server" said he had never served papers in 3 years of doing it where the UFT Chair was not present- he himself seemed shocked at the attempt to do it without a union presence!... Martin Haber, teacher, John Dewey HS 
John Dewey principal Kathleen Elvin is more subtle than Bryant HS Principal Dwarka. (We've heard about Kathleen Elvin in the past - See Diane Ravitch post below.) Until Farina deals with people like her the school wars will continue even as the UFT tries to cover them up and make nice about there being peace at the top.

The more I hear about Elvin, the more she moves into my POS pool of human beings. Elvin uses humiliation as a tool.

Before you read the report below from Haber, one of the senior teachers, I want to expand on the outrage of her trying to keep these teachers from having their union rep present and the comment from the DOE official that in his 3 years of doing the work of serving 3020a papers to teachers, he had never encountered a principal who tried to deny them even this basic right.

What would motivate Katheen Elvin to function the way she has? There's a special place in Principal from Hell for people like Elvin. And don't forget her little band of assistant principals - use the comment section to name and shame them.

Dear Friends:
4 tenured teachers were summarily removed from their teaching assignments in the 4th period (of 8 periods) on Friday, the 13th (!), at my school, John Dewey HS in Bklyn. A guy in a Yankees cap was sitting in what once had been a Guidance Suite  with rows of documents aligned across the table; these were 3020a papers, and this dude was there to serve them to my colleagues. The way it was done was, to my mind, especially brutal and humiliating, and intentionally so: everyone knows it is something sinister when the APO or one of his gopher AP's comes in mid-class to "cover" your class while you are told to report to an Administrative room; students see it, colleagues find out within minutes, and, of course, every Management Team member is already in the loop beforehand. The principal was at first resistant to having the UFT Rep there as "witness" to the "transaction", but, even the "server" said he had never served papers in 3 years of doing it where the UFT Chair was not present- he himself seemed shocked at the attempt to do it without a union presence! He also was vague at first about what he was doing and who he was, but then relented.

I am putting out this info to see if yesterday was "D Day " for any other Chapters, or just Dewey? And to see if the "process" is as bad or worse in other sites. Michael was able to at least establish that the 3020-a process leaves the weight of proof on the DOE side, since the new Eval system has not even issued its first ratings....so that was at least welcome news amid the gloom. This is another dark day at John Dewey HS, where tenured teachers continue to be scapegoated/harrassed/bullied/

profiled until they leave the school, and the system. A principal from lower regions of hell. A collection of sycophantic managers ready and willing to sell their first-born to get brownie points from her. So, a typical NYC high school of 2014!
(Also check out South Bronx expose of James Quail - a former principal and Supt in my old district 14 -

James Quail DOE ATR Supervisor Tries to Ruin a Career)

And here is the Ravitch post from a student almost 2 years ago.
Can’t anyone volunteer to be a principal? One who actually cares about the school? Not Elvin and her inexperienced crew. Shockingly, some of the new appointed AP’s have never taught/are not teaching any classes.
A Student at John Dewey Speaks
By dianeravitch
September 21, 2012


I wrote a post about the NYC Department of Education’s determination to destroy once-esteemed John Dewey High School in Brooklyn. The post was called “The Ugly Face of Reform in New York City.”

First, they turned it into a dump for the low-performing kids rejected by their small schools and charters. Then they began systematically starving it of needed resources. As this comment shows, even the students know the score:

I am currently a student at the school. Many people don’t realize how hurt we really are, we lack so many things. Our budget is dry, insufficient equipment, low enrollment, slashed programs and classes, new inexperienced teachers replacing traditionally great ones that have been their for DECADES before I was even born! We’re turning into a typical high school. A conventional one at that, and that’s not a good thing. There’s no such thing as bands or cycles anymore. Where is the liberty we used to have of changing our schedules to fit our own needs academically? Where is the freedom of being metal detector free (even though many high schools throughout NYC are implementing metal detectors anyway) and where are all the students on the campus?

It’s exasperating. We did not deserve this. I personally try my best to make a number higher in that school, my 92 average is for the school, and for my family. Not necessarily for me. I want to turn that 62% graduation rate into a 63, and I want my classmates to want the same thing. I don’t want Dewey to be another school on the list that reads “Closed Schools Due to Poor Performance” and I certainly do not want Dewey to be restructured into small schools with a sugar coated name. I also do not want another Insideschools page that reads “This school was closed in due to poor performance.” in the header. And no, I hope the administration doesn’t win this time. They’ve closed enough schools, far too many, and this is the breaking point!

Can’t anyone volunteer to be a principal? One who actually cares about the school? Not Elvin and her inexperienced crew. Shockingly, some of the new appointed AP’s have never taught/are not teaching any classes. The DOE knows the demise of Dewey, but they’re purposefully ignoring it. And they can get away with it, like the corporate rats because the people are sheep. A herd of sheep. They would rather kiss *** than to speak up for themselves. It’s sad. This is not like me, I don’t even know how I managed to type this much. Just know this proves my anger, as a Dewey student. This will not be the end for us. Trust me, we’re in this too deep and we’ve fought too much to go down now. The DOE picked the wrong school to mess with. The worst part is that this corruption is not only happening in NYC, but also in Chicago, and other cities.

300 comments:

  1. I graduated JDHS in 1979. What a spectacular education I received, graduating in less than three years (I skipped 9th grade, and then hustled!!!), and became a professional geologist after graduate school for ten years (thanks to my teachers in the late '70s...Lou Seigel, Harold Silverstein, Lenny Weiner), and am presently an science teacher in NYC.

    Sadly, The Principal (the closer) called me in for an interview about two years ago, and then never showed up!!!!

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    1. You mentioned Lenny Weiner, who successfully fought the system, and at the same time taught unique and fascinating subjects like "Comparitive Religions" and "Cultural Anthropology" under the Science Rubric; he too is one of my great heroes, and, even though I came much later, I personally witnessed more than a few students who "followed in his footsteps", the way you did, and became brilliant innovators in Science fields...you would be happy to hear that Len is STILL teaching through the RTC at the Staten Island UFT Center/Beagle Center, and STILL creating similar original courses, only now for retired colleagues!!! I bet he would be delighted to hear from you, if you have not kept in touch on your own...and many thanks for your comment!- M. Haber

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    2. Hi there,
      I’m an Educator who has also been bullied by my principal lately. I’ve been yelled at, screamed at, intimidated, emotionally abused, disrespected and treated like a child. Teachers at my school are afraid to leave because they feel he will give them a bad reference. I’ve taught for over 14 years and have never experienced anything like this before at any place of employment. But it has to stop! Some other Educators and I are working on a way to bring greater light to this matter and hopefully, change that helps us all. Please, please help us make this happen. As Educators, our stories have to be told in a way that grabs national attention. Please support us at www.indiegogo.com/projects/catastrophic-leave Thank you so much.

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  2. Submit any Principal from Hell candidates to: http://dtoe.org/educations-f-list-and-anoi-nomination-form/

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  3. TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew)Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 5:38:00 PM EDT

    You mean like calling a two pm faculty conference at nine am? Yes, I know six hours and fifty minutes. Yet it is just one of those little things that make people want to give that extra effort that you destroy by not using honey and using a sledge hammer.

    It is always been ironic that they call it the Leadership Academy, when they teach nothing at all about leadership.

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  4. A postscript: my colleague, who has taught Social Studies for years and is beloved by ALL (he does not have "baggage" like yers truly!), who led a choral group he founded at today's graduation, and who also founded the school's first wrestling team and led them to championship status in inter-mural play, came over to me at graduation ad said, "Marty, guess what? I was rated INeffective!!!" And this from a guy who has gone ABOVE and BEYOND over and over again, but whos only fault is that he is...58 years old!!! Blatant and tragic. Elvin had the chutzpa to give the retirees "diplomas" to show her appreciation...I want people to burn them like they burned draft cards once upon a different America!!! -from Martin Haber

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  5. Mr. Haber and EdNotes, will you ever give it a break? It's exhausting. It's 2014. Dewey has ranked as one of America's top high schools by U.S. News & World Report. Dewey's robotics team are national champions. Also, this year over 2,400 middle school students applied to John Dewey, fighting for only about 470 seats. That letter from that Dewey student is over two years old, back when Dewey didn't even start to heal from the damage the DOE did to her. It's unfair to place this as "evidence".

    If you actually think conditions at Dewey remain the same as when that student wrote that letter to Mrs. Ravitch, you are mistaken. Do you think if the "closer" Kathleen Elvin, was not placed in the picture, that Dewey would have survived? No. The DOE would have just tried to close Dewey again the next school year. It currently wouldn't be in existence. Dewey teachers have stated for so long that they wanted a principal with direction, zero tolerance and leadership skills. Well you have one now. Since Elvin's arrival, the school has become much safer, desirable, cleaner, more programs have opened up, and there are more schoolwide activities. Since Elvin's arrival, the number of students that apply to Dewey is much higher. The number of applicants has never been this high for Dewey since 2007 (pre-Lafayette closure).

    Or, Mr. Haber, would you prefer to have Mr. Fried back? A "principal" who was rarely found, never attended school events, never went to a high school fair, never walked through the hallways, never picked up trash from the floor, and never stood outside to greet students every morning. Ms. Elvin has done all of the above and more. She has even recreated the school's summer program for incoming freshman. She keeps an open door and speaks to the Dewey community and listens. Hell, Elvin has even removed the unnecessarily draconian policy that made students have to walk across the entire campus to go through a checkpoint and then enter the school. Now, students can just directly walk into the school from the main passageway.

    What have you done for the school, Mr. Haber or Ed Notes? Yes, of course I feel bad that some of the older teachers are being taken out, but blame "fair student funding" and the nature of a human life burning out. Most of the older teachers at Dewey are burned out. Teaching is an honorable undertaking, but you'd be lying if you said it wasn't draining. The older teachers reminisce about the old Dewey, but must know that the new Dewey is also functioning. As times change, schools change; Dewey is no exception.

    Also, it's not like Elvin sees an interested candidate and says, "Oh! You're young and inexperienced! HIRED!" No. All must go through a stringent hiring process. She looks at everything. And to be fair, she has hired people over 40.

    Mr. Haber, please stop using this school as a piggyback ride towards your quest for validity behind your twisted and bloated words. What you're doing is selfish. You should be helping Dewey in her revival.

    Here is a start for you, Mr. Haber. You can even forward this to your UFT chapter chair president, Michael Solo: how about trying to get those metal detectors removed? After all, the UFT was the one who agreed with the DOE in placing them in Dewey, when Dewey in actuality didn't need them. How about you start there. It's a shame that Dewey, ranked as one of the safest schools in NYC, still has metal detectors. Better give them Dewey's metal detectors. But of course, you most likely don't care about this. It's never about the students. Shame. Real shame when the UFT has the power to get those detectors out.

    So before you say "no change of tone at John Dewey", you haven't seen anything. Literally. Check other high schools out.

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    1. The DOE would not have tried to close Dewey again the next year if Elvin were not principal! The union won its case and that was all over. How can you give her credit for something like this?

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    2. The "data" you supply here betrays you. Obviously you are one of her administrators or Elvin herself. Fine she has hired over 40 people. Let's say for argument sake this the number is indeed 40. How come nearly everyone she has hired is young and white. I would say at least 35 with only one being black. Does this possibly reflect on her priorities in any way?

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    3. Actually, M.r Fried did attend high school fairs. Let's be fair. But you Ms. Elvin did away with Senior Awards Night! This was one of our most beautiful annual events. Family and friends would applaud seniors as they received their awards. This year you turned it into a pathetic senior awards breakfast where you served bagels and did not invite family. How would they come anyway if they had to work?

      We all remember how during your first year you did not even come to this event and you did not want our seniors to come up to the stage individually for their awards last year because it would take too long. One of your loyal assistant principals told us this by the way. Sure, in the end you allowed seniors to receive their awards, but someone must have convinced you to change your mind. Now we have nothing but a senior awards breakfast. Why? Because you don't want to be bothered with sitting through the traditional senior awards ceremony. Barry Fried would have never considered such a selfish act.

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    4. The school is SAFER???? Only because nothing is reported. The school is more dangerous than any time when Fried was there. Security is demoralized, kid found with pot in shoe, kid says its not mine elvin says if he says its not his its not his!!!! Restorative justice??? Where was the restorative justice for the teacher who was handed termination papers for having an attitude??? Cut it out. Elvin is a data manager, there is nothing real going on in the school with regards to academic achievement, safety or any of it. She is the ULTIMATE micro managing ineffective manager and when the facts come out... you may be able to add corrupt to that list of adjectives

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  6. To Anonymous:

    I think you might change your tune if you had to go through 27 years of recognition and a hard-won reputation for continued excellence and innovative teaching, and then be treated like an enemy of the state- in my case, the state represented by a 69- year-old "limousine liberal" who believes it is her mission to end the careers of those she has "targeted" from the time she walked in, an ever-growing group who she gets "off" on destroying- a truly sick and filthy beast of an administrator. I think that you would not be such a fan of hers and her ilk if you worked daily for over 20 years at a school that did not divide and conquer its staff, pit young against old, call everything you do wrong if they want your job, and take every opportunity to make you feel you are no longer a member of the staff by taking every per session and extra-curricular job away one by one, and try to ruin your chance of working in any other positions within the NYC DOE, and convince the staff they need a different/less confrontational/oppositional UFT Rep, (even though its none of her goddamned business, like everything else she sticks her micro-managing Botox-pumped wrinkled nose into) . I am assuming you are one of her "favorites", one of her "minion", because only someone who is a "loyalist" would be so damning of the previous principal, who is a saint compared to this monster. And the other clue is that your identity is, so far, "anonymous", totally HER style- smiling and polite to your face, while she sticks the knife in with fervor through her little army of suck-ups. Lets hear your name and position before you defend the likes of that sick fraud further...

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    1. Beautifully said anonymous. Only those of us inside the belly of this horrid beast understand and feel what you are saying.

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  7. I am not defending her. I am stating the truth. Do you think I like her? Not so much. And not entirely because of what she has been doing to the older teachers, but because I feel she is too draconian and likes everything to be done under what the NYCDOE would want. I do not like how she has made the school more conventional and removed the traditional Dewey cycle/band system. I do not like that she has not tried to get rid of the metal detectors. I do not like a few things, nor do I like her much as a person. But I will give her props for doing her job. She comes in from the Upper West Side at 5am and leaves at 8pm. She's there over the summer. She's everywhere, and that is a principal's duty. Fried cannot compare. I am not a "favorite" or a "minion". Please stop attacking anyone who disagrees with you as a "minion".

    And the previous principal stopped caring about the school when it started to get bad. Let's all go back to 2003, when Mr. Barry Fried published a brochure of the school, pridefully cheering and boasting about Dewey. Mr. Dominic Recchia, city councilman, has stated that since 2004, he has compiled a folder full of evidence on why Fried should be removed and is, himself, INEFFECTIVE. The folder's thickness, I can only imagine, is bigger than bibles stacked. Do you really think this is healthy for a school? To have a principal who couldn't give a rats ass about the students or teachers? Dewey under Fried, starting in 2008 (after the Lafayette closure) became a zoo. The New York Times exposed this, too. His beloved successful Dewey now became akin to a prison. He lost control and did NOTHING about it.

    But you're saying he's a saint just because he didn't target certain teachers, most who cannot teach adequately anymore and are senile but are there simply for the 100K paycheck? That's pathetic. I've spoken to so many teachers at Dewey, including middle-aged and old, who've stated that a lot of the older teachers need to be removed (!!!). It is selfish to place teachers' interests over a school educating thousands of pupils.

    I'm sorry you feel isolated from the rest of the staff, but you are invited to everything and have the right to participate in everything Dewey as much as anyone else. These arguments are futile. You're also wrong for picking a cherry out of the cherry tree. Dewey is not the only school with a principal doing this. Does that justify this happening? No. Blame the chancellor for still not cleaning house at Tweed. Also, Elvin has rated young teachers ineffective too. What do you have to say about that? Let's not be one-sided here.

    This is what it took and takes to get Dewey back on its feet. If it were any other way, I don't think we would be here today. You know what we would be? A co-located campus named Shorefront with a charter school, a transfer school, and another small school. We would have young and ineffective principals fighting over the school's facilities and one school getting more privileges than another. Now THAT'S divide and conquer.

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    1. Quick reply to your post. Though there is much to say, I need to point out that nearly everyone at Dewey is a aware of Fried's flaws. Most of us lived through them! You also do not comprehend the level of harassment and lies that have existed at Dewey since Elvin took over! And she seems to enjoy it! Just about everyone, including those who received positive ratings, is miserable. Now you might ask us to leave if we don't like it, but most of the new teachers are miserable too. The English department lost three of four new teachers this year. All three of them are great!! Two were bullied by Creveling to no end. One left the profession because she was given an unfairly difficult workload with very little support as a first year teacher. The entire science department despises Eunice Chao! What she has done to wonderful, dedicated teachers is nothing short of criminal! There is no excusing what she has done. And don't rely so much on data. Data can be fraudulent. Thee will be more on that to come!

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  8. Fried was clearly terrible and Tweed backed him until he embarrassed them. Elvin has no respect for teachers and students. So she puts in long hours. Many awful, harmful people put in long hours. There are no excuses for her treating people the way she does. Yes she has rated young teachers ineffective -- teachers whose colleagues respect them as teachers and see them growing. She engages in personal vendettas. Don't make excuses for her behavior. People like her should not be running schools. Maybe prisons.

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  9. Let us take a deep breath and consider this past Thursday's graduation. Thanks to Ms. Kathleen Elvin so many soon to be Dewey grads marched out of or our blessed school as high school students one last time. In caps and gowns, and with smiles on their places they marched onto our campus and took their seats as families sat in the audience with joy on their faces and wiped away tears. They were so proud. And many of these young adults were the first in their families to receive a high school diploma.

    So why did so many insensitive teachers look so unhappy. Why did they seem confused? Why were they saying things like, “What a second! How did she graduate? She hardly ever attended school?” Or maybe some said words along the lines of, “He entered the school year with barely enough credits to make him a junior. How did he do two years of high school work in only one?”

    Is the answer that Kathleen Elvin is such a wonderful and motivating principal? Or is something else going on? I am so bewildered! Can anyone out there clear this up for me and maybe smack a smile on the miserable faces of those insensitive and cynical teachers?

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    1. The answer here is mixed feelings. Teachers who saw kids who worked their way to a legit diploma graduating were proud of them. How do they and the kids who worked feel about sitting next to kids who did little and still got a drive-by diploma? What lesson does that set for everyone just so Elvin could make her stats look good? Do teachers take part in the sham game of pumping grad rates? They sure do. I don't believe in abandoning kids who are struggling but a school needs to figure out ways of providing real support rather than throwaway cheap methods that do not help the kids at all.

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  10. Kathleen Elvin is not "heading for hell". She has brought hell with her to our school.

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  11. I've been getting reports from people at Dewey since Elvin took over. She is more worried about manipulating and intimidating people to her ends than in running a good school. Power, ego, self-grandizement -- but worst than everything - inhuman - no conscience about ruining young teachers' - who she hired - careers and driving them out of teaching. It is wrong to just focus on the older teachers - Martin Haber and others are at the end of their careers. What about people who need a bit of time to grow? If Elvin doesn't want them in her school just tell them and let them go look elsewhere. Instead she tries to put a stake in their heart. She is universally despised. For you to try to compare her to Fried as an improvement is like trying to say we are much better off with that racist senator from Mississippi over the tea party guy who lost. Or maybe my favorite -- better Vichy than the Germans. How you treat people counts as much as anything. We don't want people who make the trains run on time.

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  12. Its the manner in which she makes Haber's, and other's, careers end, that should be studied- I believe that is the point of Haber's original post; for those tenured teachers to be "drawn and quartered" in front of the school- and to have their teaching licenses suspended and then eventually revoked if they lose the 3020a hearing battle (either way they will be "red-flagged" forever, according to Chaz on his blogspot- which is required reading as far as I'm concerned-"Chaz's School Daze"), I have to ask: is that how teachers who don't "pass muster" or don't goose-step to a principal's marching orders, should be treated, after long and, at least to them, successful careers, before that principal's arrival? I think not. And, at 69, Mrs Elvin is way past NEEDING to front for the DOE- it is her unquenchenable thirst for domination over the lives of others that drives her assaults. Anyone who has worked "under" her knows that there is a gleam in her eye when she does a "gotcha", when things go bad for you, when you are at a low point. This is a very psychologically disturbed individual who relishes her role as "judge and jury"; think of a modern"Torquemeda". The bad karma she has built up for herself is a huge payload...so many victims in so little time, she "takes no prisoners" and has no loyalty to anyone- the supervisors, old and young, who jump through hoops to please her are each and every one on the chopping block, and she LOVES to keep them guessing as to "who's next"! The obvious example is her APO, John Messinger, who, as an ATR, is at this sick old lady's mercy, and the whole staff knows it. As for the other A.P.'s, one recently returned from the hospital for stress/heart-related problems, and "Baby Jane" Elvin would only wish that the others would have similar fates...its one of the signature marks of her "reign" that staff members who have to take sick days are screwed when they come back, when they have to answer for their "weakness"! (Think "Dr. Mengele, The Angel of Death", here, as a model for her.) There are endless anecdotes, but the best is when an outspoken, former union rep retired, and he had to take a day or two on each end of the Easter/Passover break to visit his dying parents overseas- Elvin had the OSI go after him, drag him to their kangaroo court, and make sure the whole staff knew what happened, as he was one of the few who were willing to confront her when she first arrived and revealed her dark intentions! Her message: "even if you retire or leave, I'll come after you!" She is truly an infernal machine branded by the DOE (and allowed to run rampant by a emasculated, self-serving, "see-no-evil/hear-no-evil" UFT!)

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    1. Regarding the anecdote about OSI going after the teacher who tacked on an extra day or two to visit a dying parent: first, this happened shortly before his retirement, but most significantly, OSI came TO HIS DOOR AT HIS HOME. This is intimidation tactics on a par with the Mafia. And what sort of power does Elvin wield, to have OSI do her bidding this way? How did they act so immediately, without the usual red tape and drawn-out investigation?

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    2. The only intelligence demonstrated by the person in this thread who compared Kathleen Elvin to Josef Mengele was to make the remarks anonymously. Doing otherwise would be to publicly expose his or her own sociopathology.

      However, this lunatic does inadvertently make a helpful if self-defeating point: he or she exposes, by the extreme degree of the irrational, psychotic malevolence of the remarks, that the motivation behind many of the things being said about Elvin in this thread have nothing to do with children, learning, or progress. So thank you for exposing your own hypocrisy better than the other side would be able to.

      As for the millions of people slaughtered by Hitler's regime during the second world war, if anyone is willing to march this anonymous maniac into an oven to take a final breath, he or she might better understand the difference between a high school principal and a Nazi.

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  13. Keep up the great work here colleagues! There are so many criminal and unethical acts committed by Elvin and her administrative drones which must finally be made public. The data she presents is nothing but superficial. Those of us working inside the school know what is really happening, and it has nothing to do with what's best for the students! One of the most tragic things about all of this is that some rookie teachers are starting their careers as accessories to her crimes! It's either that or find another career!

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  14. Dominic Reccia, councilman from Coney Island, should be brought to task for his part in how Elvin came to Dewey: he went after Barry Fried and made sure the DOE took Fried out, and he thinks he did a noble thing! If you see "The Zipper- Coney island's Last Ride", a documentary about the demise of Coney as an amusement park, you'll see Reccia in action, and see who he works for- the "modernizers", the money men, the Bloombergian establishment, at the cost of the little man. He helped destroy Coney, and he helped destroy Dewey. At the public hearing held when Dewey was threatened with "co-location" status last school year, Reccia actually said that a gun had been fired inside the school building when Fried was still principal, a total lie he knew was a lie but was using to propagandize the crowd in favor of The New Regime. What a fraud and a hypocrite, just like his pet principal Elvin! ps In response to the previous post- Elvin has powerful friends in city govt, and uses her connections to wield power over rank and file teachers. I think she hangs out with the Bloomberg "set", much the way I think Kathie Black did. They are all part of a Manhattan elite, as Elvin owns some very expensive property on the Upper West Side, and is known to travel in fundraising/white liberal circles....a "limousine liberal" , as previously stated, who believes by taking the train into the bowels of deep Brooklyn she is "civilizing the savages", including, and foremost, the teachers! And she surely has her connection to the DOE lawyers, who she calls on at every turn, to justify her attacks on staff.

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  15. The School is SAFER??!!! How about the teen age sexual fondler who is allowed back into school after numerous reports and a suspension only to allegedly do it again and possibly ruin three more young people's lives? All in the name of keeping STATS down??!! How about the student who allegedly runs into a class punches a girl square in the face, runs out of the building and doesn't even get a real suspension ( he should have been arrested for assault)? All in the name of keeping STATS down? How about the student who allegedly bloodies a teacher by throwing a desk who is not arrested or suspended in a real manner and is back in school inside of seven days? All in the name of keeping STATS down? It is interesting that every philosophical position elvin holds with regard to pedagogy appears to always favor the statistical appearance of propriety or fiscal gain for her budget and quite possibly herself if her contract is bonus laden. This would explain the allegations of rampant credit recovery schemes ( AYP bonus), the alleged staff attendance intimidation ( attendance bonuses?) the alleged driving out of senior staff ( budgetary bonuses ), the alleged neglect of the ell population by not hiring enough ell teachers and quite possibly misusing federal funds in the process, the alleged propping up of graduation rates ( graduation bonuses?) and the invidious and odious process of endangering staff and students by allegedly underreporting violent incidents and drug overdoses. ( safety lol bonuses ) Bottom line... Dewey under her management has become a façade...sure she walks around picking up papers off the floor...SO WHAT!! There is nothing real going on at Dewey except the feeling of increasing danger and until she is removed I would not recommend anybody sending their child there.

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  16. Wonderful to read the comments of people who work inside Dewey. They are so accurate, right on, seeing the entire picture. We know there are so many more, at least 95% of the school, who see things this way. When you walk the halls Elvin, always remember that most people in the building wish you would leave. Even if they seem to play your game, this is the case. The school is not safer, the students are not learning more, the teachers still work hard but are forced to pass everyone in order to avoid a visit to your office or an ineffective or developing rating. Amazing that most teachers in NYC are seen as Effective or Highly Effective and most at Dewey are Ineffective or Developing. Why, as a parent would you ever want to send your child to a school where so many have received these last two ratings? Elvin lists herself as reason #2 as to why a student would choose Dewey. She is the champion of the "underserved" as is stated on the Dewey website. In truth, Elvin is an odd form of racist who is interested in the advancement of certain children only in her quest for social justice, but, as was stated in a comment above, doesn't hire any minority teachers to teach them. All new hires are white. We all notice this Elvin.
    I want to thank you for the new experience in my life of coming to work every day knowing that criminals are running the school. You and your Williamsburg Prep crowd have brought corruption and fraud to the school in the worst way. We never had this before. You all have fragile egos as well, resulting in the necessary sucking up that teachers have to do to stay off the radar and keep their jobs. You don't want teachers who think. Admit it. You want to tell them what to think because you are always right.. It is amazing to me that you think you are the smartest person in the building, talking to people as though they were idiots all the time. There are many bright teachers at Dewey, smarter than the duds you've brought in to administer. You did manage to find and chose the dimmest bulbs in the building to juice up your stats as though the school were on steroids, and as was stated above, new teachers are enlisted to do your dirty work. So sorry about that, that this is their first experience in teaching. You are an unnecessarily mean and arrogant person, a poor manager, and lacking many personal skills. They're necessary for a school like Dewey, in Brooklyn, away from the Manhattan scene which you are part of. In conversation with some of the long term staff who are not part of the teaching corps at Dewey, I listened as one astute hard worker, unbiased by education, explained to me how he/she felt when you looked this person in the eye. "This is Satan" said the hard worker. Yes it is.

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    1. 1:05

      White teachers are being hired rather than teachers of color all over the country. It is part of the reformers' Civil Rights Movement. Contact Rhee for clarification.

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  17. You're not helping the school with these comments. You think you are, but you aren't. Additionally, you all act as if Elvin has her whole life ahead of her. No. Thank god she is 69. She's not superhuman (though she may frightfully resemble one due to her resistance to senility), her time will come. The UFT and the NYCDOE should collaborate in searching for a principal who believes in the Dewey experiment, is a fan of everything Dewey and possibly even graduated from the school (like Mrs. D'Angelo, a Dewey graduate who turned the long-failing New Dorp High School in Staten Island around). Just make sure this Dewey graduate isn't another Namita Dwarka, who couldn't care less about her alma mater, WCBHS in Queens.

    And to those saying why would you send your child to Dewey? Why? Because the student body is, for the most part, excellent. There are students from Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, Brazil, Lithuania, Chile, Ecuador, South Korea, England, the list goes on and on (even from countries most of us haven't heard of before). This is truly a microcosm of what New York City is; a melting pot. The students are the ones starting clubs, joining clubs, taking AP courses, creating an award-winning robotics team, gardening on the school's campus, performing at school plays, etc. You are irresponsible for attempting to sway away amazingly talented students all because of your little administration vs. teaching staff friction. If the school is a mess, it's because of the clueless administration, not the students. The current administration simply doesn't believe in the old Dewey, when in reality, it never stopped working. It was just the student population that shifted after the Lafayette, et al. closures. What's going on between the administration and the teachers has nothing to do with the students. Also, if Dewey's average quality of student is not optimal, it will be harder for the school to thrive and become what you all want it to become: safer, a better environment and more respect towards teachers.

    Additionally, I do not appreciate how my comments aren't even read fully by some of you. You're all so quick to point me out as a "minion" without even bothering to read my entire comment. You have misconstrued what I said. So let me repeat. When I said she (Elvin) has hired people over 40, I meant over 40 years of AGE, not that she has hired 40 people. Also, someone replied to my comment saying, verbatim, "The DOE would not have tried to close Dewey again the next year if Elvin were not principal! The union won its case and that was all over. How can you give her credit for something like this?" That is false. You're forgetting the DOE tried to close 23 other schools including Dewey. One of those schools was Sheepshead Bay. Well guess what? The DOE tried to close about half of those schools again the year after that, and successfully did so. Sheepshead Bay will cease to exist in 2016. The union's lawsuit only halted the closure/turnaround for a school year. The only reason Dewey was saved was because it got a B instead of a C on the progress report (which held the school's fate). Anyone want to guess how, miraculously Dewey jumped from three straight C's to a B? That's right, Elvin. She pulled some strings.

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    1. Not to mention that we also now have sports teams that are pretty good. _H

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    2. Mr. Fried brought competitive sports to Dewey, not Elvin. He also attended many sporting events.

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  18. Finally, let me add that you all exaggerate tremendously. The school is safer. Where on earth are you getting information that it is more dangerous now? The most recent student learning environment survey shows that 85% of students feel safe at John Dewey High School, compared to the citywide average of 83%. Tell me why students would lie, Anonymous? Students never lie. At least, not on these things. And how could Elvin possibly tamper with this portion of the survey? Impossible. Also, the student who threw a desk was a transfer over-the-counter student from a troubled background. This is not the school's fault, but the DOE's for sending over-the-counter students to Dewey. No one was injured; the only thing that student did was move the teachers arms out of the way. The student did not bloody the teacher at all. This was said to remove the student from the school as the administration saw him as a hazard. Where do you get this from?

    But I will say this: I appreciate how you all care and comment passionately about keeping Dewey a place where everyone is respected and everyone can work together without being targeted, as it was in the past. Elvin's years at Dewey are numbered and she knows that, so before she manages to select her follow-up (some recently graduated and clueless TFA Ivy League educated suck-up), I highly suggest the union and all teachers work together (with the DOE) and SEARCH, SEARCH WELL to find someone to replace Elvin and "clean house" at Dewey and bring it back to the way you all want it to be. Teacher satisfaction is important, but let's never forget the students.

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  19. 11:54

    Students never lie. What planet are you on? I guess teachers never lie either. Administrators are beyond reproach.

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  20. I appreciate the sober and reasonable responses to the school is Safer!!! post and the fact that you avoid attacks. BUT the teacher was bloodied, I saw the wound. As far as many students responding to the survey that they feel safer, I will give you test bias as the reason citing the post before this last about the diverse immigrant population...they would be loathe to comment negatively about the school for fear that it would be found out like in some of their home countries- and for some culturally...complaining is not an option. The school feels more dangerous to me and I have never been afraid in a school. But when students comment that " now you can even fight without getting suspended!" something's drastically wrong. Security will tell you that most everything is swept under the rug. And as a mandatory reporter of abuse I have an obligation to inform parents how best to protect their children. I reiterate- until Elvin is removed- I would not recommend Dewey to a parent. You're right- let's never forget the statistics er I mean students!

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  21. And by the way don't pull for Ms. DeAngelo to come...another bean counter. But worse... One summer as the story goes a troubled young girl ran out of the school and was struck by a car...everybody's response was "Oh my Gosh is she alright?" ( she was- minor injury) Except D'Angelo who uttered first: "Did she have a third period?" Not "how's the kid?" but essentially- is my career on the hook because this kid wasn't where she was supposed to be when she was hit. Now that is a valid consideration- BUT IT SHOULDNT BE THE FIRST ONE!!! Just a little character glimpse. Btw before you think I dislike every administrator I have worked for some fabulous ones and all that I ask is that they are ideologically consistent and somewhat honest- for example- If Elvin truly was a champion of the underclass-she'd hire more Minorities Duh! If Elvin truly believed in restorative justice she would have practiced it on the young teacher( a minority) she tried to destroy- " Here honey find another school I will help you." And finally if she were the humanist she fronts to be with the students, how in the world could she separate that trait in her dealings with the staff? It does no good to demonize her- she is just a very troubled personality who's manifest is for some people - very malicious .It is pitiable to live with little or no feeling and that is the overriding feeling I have for her...pity. But she should be removed and get the help she needs or at least not be in the position of being able to hurt people on a grand scale-whether she is in control of it or not.

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  22. Too bad the DOE doesn't have a "Retirement Rubber Room" for their older administrators- Elvin could keep herself busy cutting out paper dolls and basking in the glory of how she put Dewey right, without destroying more real people's careers and subjegating the entire school population to her delusions, her racism and her aspiration to be "Principal of the Year"....lets hope a Botox injection accidentally seeps into her brain and she reverts to her childhood self......wait, that might not be an improvement....an exorcism might be the only answer.....

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  23. Something needs to be added concerning “anonymous’” comment about the student survey. She states: “Students never lie. At least, not on these things. And how could Elvin possibly tamper with this portion of the survey?” The faculty needs to be reminded and the public needs to know that during the 2012-2013 school year, Elvin ran a faculty conference/professional development in which teachers were instructed on how to get students to rate the school higher on the student surveys. She particularly wanted teachers to remind students of the difference between “agree” and “strongly agree” in the hopes that more of them would select strongly agree on the surveys.

    Anyway, what did the last teacher survey show?

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  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Do not attack Kristine Gattuso! She has been a wonderfully hardworking parent coordinator. Elvin has also made her unhappy . No personal attacks, especially on non administrators. How do you know that Elvin hasn't harassed her also! This post has me furious! Keep the gocus on the real problems! This is not about personal vendettas. It is about verifiable facts. This post is do foolish. Elvin will only use it to support her side . Please moderator, remove this post.

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    2. You are wrong when stating that she headed the consultation committee. That would be the UFT committee. She headed the SLT before Marty Haber put an end to that.

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  25. I have been following this post over the last few days though I haven't written anything. Writing about school policy and how leadership in the building might be hurting it is fine. However, going after a non administrator is so wrong. I am a teacher who has worked with Kristine and have found her to be very supportive. She has no where near the power you say she has. This criticism of her is irrational and seems personal. In the end it will only divide you and weaken your cause.

    Posts like this will diminish the validity of every other post on this blog.

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    1. 11:43

      As adults, we are at liberty to determine what we wish to read and what we wish to post. I am confused as to how one post could serve to invalidate another.

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  26. The only reason why Martin Haber attacked Kristine Gattuso is because she once sent him an e-mail telling him to tone down his vocalizing against the administration during open houses, parent association meetings and more. That's right. Mr. Haber couldn't even keep his mouth shut during events that were not even relevant to him. Ms. Gattuso then had a meeting with him and told him to please stop, and he retaliated and acted like a child. It is clear he has no interest in the advancement of the school, and his little "amigos" who support him would rather see Dewey fail and fall rather than succeed at the cost of getting Elvin gone. You are also extremely disrespectful for calling her "illiterate". She has a Brooklyn accent, so what? And just so you know, Elvin has pissed her off an innumerable amount of times. She has played no role in ending teacher's careers. Another absurd statement on your part.

    Kristine Gattuso has done more for Dewey than you all here combined. Her endless dedication is truly wonderful. She is truly the definition of a parent coordinator. She came from the well-regarded Midwood High School in 2006, and ever since then, she has been working for Dewey since day one. It is clear that this post is not well-intentioned, but rather, it is to create personal attacks and justify grudges. Kristine Gattuso does not hold any such power that you mentioned (yes, I read your comment before it was removed). Give it a rest and just STOP.

    And honestly, you make excuses for everything. The reason why 85% of Dewey students said they felt safe at Dewey is because it is SAFE and they felt SAFE. Nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing to do with "culture of not complaining" or "jeopardizing the school's name in their home countries". You are talking nonsense. It is truly amusing how you counter my solid arguments with such bs, honestly. And boohoo to Anonymous 6:56am, Elvin made a meeting telling teachers the difference between "agree" and "disagree". So what?! That's nothing. Some principals in NYC high schools have given out incentives to students who answer only positively, and even once, principal of Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx was caught tampering with the responses. Why aren't you exposing them? Every school has a meeting regarding the learning environment survey. It would be irresponsible not to do so.

    This post and the majority of the comments are simply fabricated, exaggerated, biased and un-sourced. I try to reason with you all, but you make it impossible. It is clear your intentions are not to help the school at all, and that is perverse.

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  27. Reply to 242 pm

    Kristine Gattuso is a nice person and a competent parent coordinator. It is unfortunate anyone resorts to personal attacks. I am the test bias commentator, for you to say we exaggerate ...how about the statement that Ms. Gattuso has done MORE for Dewey than all of us combined!!! And yet our comments are biased and unsourced!!! And everyone who wants Elvin gone...is a "little amigo" of another commentator? That's not bias?? AND the reason we don't expose other corrupt and fraudulent principals with regard to surveys is that we don't work there!!! We work at Dewey! And we witness every day the irrational, capricious, cross purposed management of Kathleen Elvin. I believe it was only by luck that someone wasn't seriously hurt in the remaining days of the school year. Even the subs who have been around for years comment on the "wildness" of Dewey now. But you can believe the claims and the DATA or you can believe your own eyes and ears. Remember: "Figures don't lie...BUT liars can figure. How to ruin a school in three easy steps ( the elvin way ): Pass Everybody, Suspend Nobody and Demoralize the staff! All in the name of statistics?? Talk about PERVERSE!!

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  28. The Friday, June 27th, 4:33pm post was obviously written by Principal Elvin. An inflated sense of self-worth and arrogance allows you to think you saved Dewey, that it would not be in existence today. I was unaware of your ability to see the future. You claim that Dewey teachers wanted a principal with direction; your direction is to transform Dewey into a school that meets your own personal vision and if that means removing teachers who may not fit in with your vision, then so be it . Then you state teachers want zero tolerance, yes, zero tolerance for inappropriate, violent and drug-related behaviors, which end with consequences. Consequences for teachers only, not students, seems to be your philosophy. Lastly, you claim teachers want a principal with leadership skills. Obviously, you believe you possess these skills, however, the image you have of yourself is not at all how others view you. You live in your own, self-serving reality. In fact, you lack the key qualities that make good leadership, that is 1) the ability to create an open and honest communication with workers 2) the ability to create a positive work environment and 3) to have good listening skills and be able to reflect and adjust policies that are of concern to the workers and 3) your interpersonal skills are nonexistent.
    Dewey won 3 recognition awards from 2000 through 2009, when you were not principal. Mr. Fried was principal for 2 of those. You highlight all the things Mr. Fried did not do while he was principal. I am also impressed with your ability to see past events (Mr. Fried never walking the halls, attending school events and high school fairs, etc.) when you were not even in Dewey at the time. However, I can tell you what Mr. Fried did do, and that is he always taught a class, which allowed him to be in touch with the trials and tribulations of the profession. This gave him a sense of empathy for teachers, which this administration clearly lacks. By publically knocking Mr. Fried you are trying to build yourself up. How unprofessional and shameful.
    If you believe what you say, about that the nature of a human life burning out and that the older teachers at Dewey are burned out, then this should apply to you as well, since you are by far the oldest educator in Dewey.


    You close your post with asking for help to rid Dewey of the metal detectors. The metal detectors are part of the bigger picture, which has to do with your image. You are all about your image and by extension, Dewey’s image. Metal detectors give the outside world the message that Dewey is an unsafe place and in no way do you want it to appear like that. You chastise Mr. Haber for not caring about the students, when in fact, Principal Elvin, it is really you who doesn’t care. For if you truly did, you would not have created the toxic, hostile work environment that now pervades Dewey. All smart and effective leaders know that when workers are happy and feel appreciated in their workplace they will be more productive and willing to go above and beyond. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Dewey. I’m sure you believe that the only reason why teachers are dissatisfied with their jobs and workplace is because they received a rating of “developing or ineffective”. This shows how out of touch you really are with the faculty. Teachers who received ratings of “effective” are equally dissatisfied with Dewey’s unhealthy atmosphere.
    From the day you stepped into Dewey your contempt for the staff was palpable. Do not underestimate the intelligence and insight Dewey teachers have. We are well aware of this administrations agenda. I encourage the staff to continue to speak their minds through this blog, without the fear of retaliation (finally, for once) and can only hope there will be some positive outcome. Ed Notes are out of your control, which must be causing you a great deal of anxiety. The tables have turned. As an educator, Principal Elvin, you do remember that the, “Divine Right of Kings” was abolished a very long time ago. Time to get with the program.

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  29. The later blog concerning discontinued teachers has 2 comments and one of them reads as a message to a new Dewey teacher who experienced a difficult time soon after she was hired. When Elvin came to Dewey, it was clear to many of us that she was uncomfortable with the many friendly and close relationships amongst faculty and staff, some staff having known others for over 20 years. Certainly the school being under a microscope for the duration of the Bloomberg administration played a part in developing that closeness if only for political reasons. Many of us were united in trying to save the school from closing, then transformation, then co-location. Whatever the reasons, Dewey staff are still united against the unfair treatment of both younger and older teachers and we are there for each other regardless of how useless the UFT is. Someone who wrote that message in the" Discontinued" blog clearly indicates that the solidarity that exists in the hearts of most Dewey teachers will never leave them.
    A friend recently retired from Dewey, superb teacher, loved by so many kids, brilliant, talented, incredible presence in the classroom. His final rating was "ineffective" which can't hurt him anymore. He pointed these thoughts out to me recently: that at Dewey, there were weak teachers who received "effective" ratings and strong ones who received "ineffective" or "developing" ratings. He said that these ratings no longer have anything to do with "craft, technique, chops, dynamics, presence" or anything else that defines good teaching. Instead, the ratings have to do with the way a teacher makes an administrator feel, which is really about obedience. A teacher's ability to obey is of paramount importance in maintaining a teaching career today. There are other things that come into play he said, but none are as important as obedience. This is quite true at Dewey and you have to ask yourself why this matters to the Dewey administration. Why must we all do exactly as they say???? We hope it has become clear to them that they are not as bright as most faculty, not practical, and not possessed of high emotional quotients as well. They are not kind and kindness would go a long way in making up for their lesser intellect. They fear and must "correct" anyone who takes a different path in the classroom regardless of how effective they've been in the past. The need to control is very disturbing to many of us who bring ourselves into the clas room and reach students our own way. It is so unbelievable to be told by administrators how to do things all the time, that they know best, that it's their way or the highway as it has been for the Dewey teachers Elvin has threatened to discontinue. Good teachers believe in themselves and this comes across to students in a very positive way. A great deal of teaching is giving of one's self to students and it is that teacher's" self" that motivates them to do well, not a script handed to the teacher by the administration, not bells, buzzers, clapping, or constantly having to turn and talk. Dewey students have more going for themselves realistically than the Dewey Administrators who are extremely unrealistic and refuse to deal with reality at all. Dewey students should be exposed to all kinds of good teaching personalities which are not cut from a single mold. They should encounter extremely strong minded individuals as well as the timid ones who do everything they are told for fear of losing their jobs. The students pick up on the differences. Truthfully, we thought diversity mattered. There is no indication anywhere that the teaching methods and regulations demanded of the faculty by the administration at Dewey has done anything to improve student learning. Certainly there is massive cheating occurring. Is that how it's done?

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. I just posted a comment but I don't want it published, how do I make that happen? you obviously didn't get to it yet and I changed my mind.

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  32. Teachers in John Dewey High School are tired of being forced to compromise their morals and ethics, especially untenured teachers, who have little to no job security, in order to avoid harassment, if they don't follow the directives of the current administration. It is true that there is an unspoken, yet clear pressure to pass students who are undeserving of earning credits. This administration is slick enough to be careful how they word emails to teachers, making sure to never write it as such. The goal of the principal is to promote students to the next grade and to graduate seniors, regardless of standards. Many teachers gave students passing grades even though they knew it was wrong to do so. Unfortunately, they were put in a moral dilemma. It is no wonder why remedial courses are on the rise in colleges. I'm sure Ms. Elvin believes she is a true educator, which would fit with her goal to rid Dewey of all of the teachers that she believes are imperfect. How ironic though, because a true educator would never force the hand of another teacher to give credit where credit wasn't due.

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  33. Elvin tries to justify her tenure as principal by comparing herself to her predecessor. Barry Fried did so many things so much better than she ever did or will! One that comes to mind immediately is the administering of the New York State Regents Exams. Fried always made sure that supplies were in order and our students were ready to go with as little stress as possible. This year Elvin had our students start the Algebra Regents without calculators because her administration and she did not attend to this responsibility effectively. It wasn’t until over 45 minutes into the exam that they were distributed into every classroom in which they were needed, but there still weren’t enough. There weren’t enough anywhere in the building! In the end, teachers were able to place approximately fifteen into each room and they instructed our students to share them. This undoubtedly had a negative effect on grades. And is it appropriate for students to pass material such as this back and forth during such an important exam?

    Such poor preparation prior to the Regents Exams never happened under Barry Fried! In fact, I challenge you to find one school in New York State whose students were denied so basic a supply at the start of an exam.

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  34. Stay classy people. Talk about bitter.

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  35. This whole thing is absurd. Somebody has to set the record straight, and I am not going to hide behind this veil of anonymity. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t suck up to any principal, not Berman, not Freed, and certainly not Elvin; I was written up by Berman for tutoring after school, reprimanded by Freed for advising my students, and I also charged into Elvin’s office screaming at her for things that we didn’t see eye to eye. It is not a personal attack; I just want to state exactly what have happened for everyone to judge.
    Is Elvin demanding the impossible from all her staff? Of course she is. But she also sets herself up as an example for all of us to emulate; ever since she became our principal, she has always been the first one to show up at work, and the last to leave the building. Contrast the situation with that of two years ago when Freed was still here - our parking lot was then 90% empty at 2 and the whole building was like a ghost town at 3:20. But mere weeks ago, when I left work at 6, there were still students rehearsing in the auditorium and cafeteria, students studying in numerous classrooms, and students practicing team sports outside the building. And it is just one of the many changes that she has brought to Dewey. Ask yourself what is the #1 thing that we constantly talk about her - How can a 68 year old woman have all that energy? Honestly, having a supervisor like her is tough; we are like under a microscope every moment, but from the standpoint of the students, I would venture to suggest that she is exactly what they want and hope for, a principal who demands all her teachers to give all they have. The student’s letter that you cited in your blog is from two years ago, written two months after her arrival; please read the student’s blog for what he has to say more recently about our school.
    Is she perfect? Did she ever make mistakes? Of course she did and at times she could be quite bitchy also. But comparing her to all the past and present supervisors that I have had, I have to say she definitely stands out as one of the most competent and accomplished. She was sent to rescue a FAILING SCHOOL scheduled to be closed. What else could she do? Let the status quo continue unabated? We have only ourselves to blame, all of us, every one of us who worked at the old Dewey, for allowing Dewey to deteriorate to a point of no return. Put yourself into her shoes, what would you do? Dewey could easily become another Sheepshead Bay if no drastic action was undertaken. Dewey is now a solid B+ school, eyeing for an A in the near future. So should we give credit when credit is due? She saved Dewey, she saved our jobs, and she also gave our students a better opportunity. Don’t blame her; she was given an impossible task and to do her job, she had to demand the impossible from all of us. Of course our job is now much much tougher then when Freed was here. But be honest Mr. Anonymous, ever since she was here, there have been no more showing movies, no more sleeping in class, no more loitering in the teacher’s room, no more leaving early, and no more randomly giving out grades etc. She just did whatever it took to save Dewey. Can we just have a little integrity here?

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    1. No more randomly giving out grades? Which school do you teach in?

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  36. Do you want to know what kind of a principal she really is? Fifteen months ago, four of my students were told by Syracuse’s admission office on the very last day that their files were still incomplete, even though they had sent the documents again and again. Mr. Klimetz, our most beloved and wonderful AP Physics teacher, called the school on the students’ behalf but to no avail. I subsequently called SU’s admission office but was brushed aside, even after I told them my son was attending SU at the time. As the deadline approached, the students were getting more and more hysterical and I had no choice but to approach her for help; I had never asked anything from any supervisor ever before, not in my thirty years career in either the private sector or the public sector; I had earned no overtime from 1997 till 2013 at Dewey, and I donated all my cash awards, $9000 altogether to the school; it was a first for me to ask anyone for help, but I was at my wit’s end. Elvin was then in a meeting but she promptly dropped everything and called the admission office right in front of me. Miraculously, the missing documents were suddenly found and all four kids were accepted by the end of the day. Do you folks still remember five years ago when our then college advisor told EVERY graduating senior to apply ONLY to two year CUNYs? I was reprimanded by Freed for telling my students to ignore the advice. Do you really want to be associated with that Dewey or that Dewey to continue? Was the old Dewey serving the needs of the students or the staff? Would Elvin ever do that?
    I too was furious at Elvin in 2013, and seriously contemplated leaving teaching for good; the entire AP program that we had spent years to build was dismantled and there were no AP Cal BC, no AP Psy, no AP Stat, no AP Chem, no AP US, no AP World, no AP Govt, no AP Art History, no AP……….. I felt so sorry for that graduating class; I believed they were cheated of their life opportunity. I still do. Could the class of 2013 be better served, of course they could. I had been seriously thinking about leaving Dewey up until May, 2013. But can we really blame her for that tumultuous year, with the forced closing, the subsequent court ordered reopening, the hurricane Sandy, and all the factors that were beyond her control? In retrospect, I don’t think so, even though at the time I did. Did I ever apologize to her for screaming at her? Of course I didn’t, and certainly never will. But let bygone be bygone, Mr. Anonymous, enjoy your retirement, and let us here at Dewey to struggle and to rebuild from this whole mess, the consequences of that terrible gun incident that your friend created. The rebuilding process is going to be long and painful, but as long as we are receiving a paycheck, I don’t see why we have the right not to do our job. And honestly, teaching at Dewey is by far the least demanding job I have ever had in my whole life. BTW, I never told anybody at Dewey about those awards I have won over the years; I include them here just to establish my credibility for those who don’t know me. If I really wanted to suck up to the administration or cared about my job security at Dewey, you would have heard about all those awards, all those dinner parties, all those news announcements in our daily school announcements again and again in 2014 and throughout the years. I hate spotlight, and this is the first time and hopefully the last time I have to set the record straight in public.
    Yours sincerely
    CT Chan
    Winner of the Teacher Award, New York Times, 2004 and 2006; Olmsted Award, Williams College, 2008; Teacher of the Year Award, University of Rochester 2010; Inspiration Teacher of the Year Award, MIT 2014; Teacher of the Year Award, Clarkson, 2014.

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    1. The truth about your anti union practices at Dewey will now all come out. Mr. Chan you are hypocrite. I heard that you were rewarded with an effective rating for caulk and talk lecture in oversized classes of 71 students. Nice job recruiting your former students to add posts to this blog. I guess that you are sacking up to get your highly effective rating for next year while the rest of the faculty have to deal with the most challenging students to teach. You are not fooling anyone.

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    2. How many students did you say were in his class? How could that be? Is it true? How can you teach that many students with the Danielson rubric?




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    3. Rewarded an effective rating? Last year 72/73 of my 11th graders passed the US Regents, with 49 of them received 85 or above, or 68.5%. This year, I did much worse than last year, with only 60/63 passing, 31 scored higher than 85, and 10 higher than 95, but in my own defense, all three who failed were no-shows. And as you may know, the Regents were graded not by me but by other teachers. If it were the outside non-union world, my supervisor would kiss my ring and give me a corner office, but instead I were still teaching in a non-AC room, one of the handful in the building. Mr. Anonymous, why don't we have a friendly competition and see who has a higher Regents passing rate next year, then perhaps you may understand why so many of my former students nominated me for a best teacher award. Chalk and talk? I have been using ppt presentation and classwork sheets for the past two years and gave up chalk-and-talk as soon as elvin was here. Time changes; smart people adapt; dinosaurs die. Let me be more magnanimous and share with you some of my experiences from the outside non-union world - You dont wait for the ax to fall; you anticipate your supervisor's expectation, and exceeds her most optimistic projection. Then you walk straight into her office, with your peacock feathers fully in display and demand a princely ransom that she can't refuse. This job? Please!!!!!! I was making, after inflation, more when I was 21 than last year. Do you know the MIT kid who graduated this year, the one who nominated me for the teaching award is making more than Elvin does? And do you also know his mother once picked empty bottles for a living? And do you know I dont even shop at my neighborhood supermarket anymore because the last time I did, two old women waiting to return bottles saw me and immediately addressed me as Mr. Chan; they were both my students' grandparents. Mr. Anonymous, I teach because I want to help the poor struggling students, but not to improve my materialistic life. Please don't call me a hypocrite; I never asked for nor received anything from the administration; I taught both A and K bands for the first fifteen years when I was at Dewey, how about you? I never took one penny for after school tutoring; how about you? In three of those 15 years, 100% of my students passed the US Regents, how about you? In one year, 14 of my graduating bilingual students went to a top 50 college, how about your students? The year when Elvin became our principal, two of my students went to Cornell, two to RPI, one to Lehigh, one to Hamilton, two to Binghamton, one to Clarkson, one to RIT, and 9 to Syracuse, how about yours? You are picking on the wrong guy, Mr. Anonymous. You are way out of your league and you don't even know it.

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    4. Mr. Anonymous, 71 students in a class? That was from the year 2012, before Danielson, and when Fried was the principal. And let me refresh your memory, I also taught that class as my sixth class, WITHOUT PAY. I never hid that fact and I even mentioned that in the Dewey's closure meeting when the Brooklyn superintendent was present as my charge against Fried!. And that was my crime against the union? You are such a classy teacher! Harmon and I had been teaching oversize AP classes VOLUNTARILY FOR YEARS as Fried would not allow the funding, so we did that as our service to the needy students. For your information, once Elvin became our principal, she insisted that all oversize classes must be co-taught by two teachers. So in 2013, I co-taught AP Eco with an ATR, Mr. Fong, and last year with Luchun. You have Phil's number, why don't you call him up and confirm? You really think that any principal will have the guts to give me an ineffective? After Harmon's and DePalma's retirement, I have had the highest global and US regents passing rates in the ENTIRE social studies department; the numbers for my US and Global passing percentages for 2013 were 98.6% and 91% respectively, and 95% and 89% respectively in 2014. For the benefit of non-Dewey people who don't know these numbers, my US passing rate was about 20% higher than the school's average, and global, about 30%. Coincidentally I am also the ONLY TEACHER in the country to have won a best teacher award from Williams, the #1 liberal arts college, as well as from MIT, the #1 engineering college. I must be doing something other than showing movies in class, right? Why do I need to suck up to any principal in order to get an effective rating? BTW, do you know why I spent so much time every year VOLUNTARILY to compile the Global and US Regents review packets and distributed them to ALL STUDENTS? My students don't need them; I did that so that your students could pass the Regents, Mr. Anonymous.

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  37. As a 2013 graduate, I can speak on 4 years and two diffrent experiences. There was with before Elvin and with her. A majority of students and staff were less than happy with her introduction and the changes that came with it. But looking back, the changes that occured in my Jr and senior year were drastic improvments that the start of my hs career . The kind of chaos that I had become rather used to has been cut down. To the point it was practically punctual. Overall I can only speak as a student of a current situation something a vast majority of you can only look in and interpret on your own. Elvin was not perfect but tried I may not have seen eye to eye with her but her effort were noticed and appreciated .

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  38. Mrs Elvin implemented discipline in a school that had long lost its glory. While I do not posses the time or patience to read each and every comment, please do remember the state of Dewey during the times of Mr.Fried as compared to how it is now under Elvin. An outdated comment from a sole disgruntled student doesen't provide evidence for her inadequacy and the assaults from "humiliated" teachers can only be suspected when they pushed to work much harder than they did in times prior. Its amazing how a blog for education can be so stupid.

    Signed
    Olufemi Olaleye
    NYU Presidential Honors Scholar
    Maurice Feinburg Full Scholarship Recipient
    New York University | Class of 2017
    JOHN DEWEY HIGH SCHOOL | CLASS OF 2013

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    1. I remember you well. A great student with a great personality, but you do not know what is really going on at Dewey. I will update you soon. In the meantime be well and successful in school. You are missed at Dewey.

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  39. I graduated for John Dewey HS in June this year 2014. I don't think Mrs. Elvin is trying to bring down our school, instead, I saw a lot of physical and metaphysical transformations at Dewey since Mrs.Elvin came to Dewey. We are now absolutely doing a better job than we did before. I'm not lying and I don't think I have any reasons to lie about the our school as a student from Dewey. I came to the U.S. two years ago, and didn't speak any English back in those days. I couldn't even thought that I actually graduated from high school with honors and got accepted by Syracuse University as the class of 2018. Before Mrs. Elvin shows up in our school, we don't have any necessary AP classes that are offered by the school. I know there are tons of colleges and universities expected us to take the college level classes before we graduate from high school. And to be honest, we students are indeed demanded for those AP classes. However, once Mrs. Elvin came to our school, we have those demanded AP classes back. Such as, calculus BC, statistic, psychology, chemistry so on and so forth. I am now studying in SU for the SummerStart program. We take classes like Introduction to Engineering Math, it's all about calculus based. I am so glad that I took the AP calculus when I was in Dewey. It prepares me so well, and I can easily handle the stuff that we are doing now in class. Dewey is my school, a school that make me feel homely and worth to be proud of.

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    1. Dewey had all of the basic AP classes under Fried.

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  40. I think Elvin's done some good and some bad, both without a numerical value to them.
    She brought sports team into the school, different clubs, and different events that come along with said club. Students are given frequent reminders and notes about upcoming exams, credit checks, and the chance for AP exams to be taken. On the topic of safety, there's no chance she could have made the school violence-free but the patrolling security guards and deans did what they could to make sure none of the kids were acting out in the hallways or cutting class in general.
    But she also did apparently axe a few teachers, bring in fresh ones that are still learning how to do their jobs 100% efficiently, scare a few teachers who didn't want to lose their jobs into obeying her strict rule of how to teach students, add computers to the back of most classrooms to make it look nice even though I've only seen them being used during trigonometry tutoring afterschool, aggravate / scare / amuse some of my fellow seniors with her presence, make her name synonymous with "Imperial March" in my head, and numerous other things I'm sure I can't remember right now.
    In conclusion, you could all have given her some more time before you picked a side and decided to run with it. Even Elvin is human after all.


    Sincerely,
    John Dewey High School Graduate of Class 2014, Harrison Jiang
    (And i know there's going to be something wrong with what i've said, im open to opinions that aren't from Anonymous people)

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    1. Thank you Harrison

      I must make one correction though. It was Mr. Fried who brought sports to Dewey. The first teams started playing during the fall of his final year. If time permits, I will comment on other points you have made here.

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  41. Hmmm i wonder who Anonymous can be. Can he be a person who did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the last 20 years. He was utterly useless and ineffective as a teacher and a colleague. He was the same man who would scream for freedom of speech as long as you agreed with him. Of course if you disagreed he would rant and rave. This is someone who was usually late practically everyday and was absent probably 10 times a year. He couldn't handle a class by himself and was useless when it came to team teaching. As one retired colleague said of him-----God ruined the perfect asshole when they put teeth in his mouth

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    1. These postings are not about, or from Haber anymore. The truth is coming out about how Elvin has created a sham at Dewey that is known to many faculty members, including you. I know who you are and you complain a hell of a lot about Elvin too. Be honest now, this post was put up because CT Chan asked everyone to on his Facebook page. Be your own person and tell the truth about what Dewey has become.

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    2. I don't have to wonder who YOU are, Anonymous- just one of the "geldings", trying to sound tough while hidden. But you are interchangeable "little boxes"...all the same sterilized crybabies. You're just a POD, your identity (if you ever had one!) got "snatched" a long time ago, when you were hatched. Pitiful, gross characterature of a living, thinking human being. Perfect for goosestepping to Fraulein Elvin's marching orders! Pucker up, Jaggoff!!! .

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  42. I just graduated JDHS last month. I think I am exactly the one who can talk about the changes in JDHS. Before she comes, school was inanition, I finish all my class, and go straight to home, nothing more, school was just a place for me to stay for hours for 5 days a week. Even in class, I just sit there and talking with my friends, because by doing homeworks and tests are already enough for me to get "good grades", eating and sleeping in classes are just normal. After she comes, the first year, we were like we hate her, be strict on lateness, removing AP courses, can't eat and drink in classes, but in the second year, when I was a senior in JDHS, I saw things changed, people stopped eating and sleeping, some teachers no longer playing movies every single day, and suddenly, there are so many sports team and different clubs in school, by walking in the building after school, it's no longer empty but seeing people practicing for whatever clubs they are in, academically, so many AP courses pop out, even they are young, new teachers, but their passions with teaching make them getting their jobs well done. I feel there are new energies inside this school, made it much more clean, much more motivated and much more opportunity.

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  43. My opinion is from a student perspective. Graduating class of 2013 here.

    You know when Elvin took over I was surprised. I was never really involved in school activities or the inner workings of this institution while Fried was in charge. All I cared about was finishing high school and I didn't exactly have any clear goals for college due to my mental illness. She brought changes with her that I believed would have harmed the school but honestly they gave the school what it needed. I believe that the school was rather out of control while Fried was around. Cutting was the norm and people would get passing grades for doing nothing in classes. My first encounter with Elvin was when I had to speak with her for Key club as I was its editor at the time. She was awkward to speak with but I could tell she has the students opinions in mind when making decisions about our school. She took the time out of her schedule to meet with the officers of key club and too me that already means she does have some kind of sympathy for the students. When Elvin came I noticed hallways being patrolled more and students cutting less. I am not sure about how the academia has changed since 2013 but I understand there are more AP courses being offered at Dewey now which is always a plus.

    I understand change is very hard to deal with and it's even harder to accept, but sometimes it is necessary. She was brought here to fix Dewey and when you have a job to do you do it to the best of your ability. I only hope Dewey can move forward from here and produce graduates that can go on to study in 4 year universities.

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    1. All at Dewey celebrate the achievements of our graduates. It is unfortunate, however, that the students who posted on this blog were recruited to do so without fully understanding the circumstances that have prompted many faculty members to voice their concern and disgust at how they and their students have been treated since Elvin arrived at Dewey. You all must be completely honest, too, when discussing your experiences at Dewey. Many wonderful teachers were working hard and even before and after school to prepare their students for success during Mr. Fried's tenure as principal. Clubs such as the robotics club, HOSA, model congress, art and many others existed before Ms. Elvin arrived. Many teachers have been harassed and treated poorly because they had the nerve to voice their opinions to supervisors. You would be shocked to learn about how one of these amazing, hard working teachers and the recipient of an even greater award than Mr. Chan has received, has been retaliated against by a bully, no nothing supervisor. Numerous great teachers, some of whom you may have studied under and enjoyed have been driven from Dewey because they were treated poorly. We will not post their names here but ask around and you will be shocked to learn about the "my way or the highway" approach to leadership by the supervisors at Dewey under Ms. Elvin's watch.

      Much continued success to all of our graduates. In the future, learn the full truth about a situation before you are recruited to offer your support.

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    2. Recruited to offer support? I was asked to give my opinion and that is what I did. What Elvin did to Dewey was frustrating to deal with but the results show. You can't have progress without sacrifice. That is the way of our world.

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  44. I am a student who graduated from John Dewey at 2013, and now an undergrad at Syracuse. At the time when some of us were told by the SU's admission office that we still didn't complete our documents, we were really shocked because the deadline was approaching, and like what CT Chan had posted, the principal saved us from that terrible situation. I don't really know Ms. Elvin well, but for students like me, all we need is a principal who can help us to solve problems. I am grateful for her help, and I think she is a qualified principal for me as a student.

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  45. The math ap at Dewey is amazing.

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    1. Yep, really amazing. Try asking to borrow a calculator from him during a regents exam. You will have to share one with another student. Oh wait, not a bad idea, answers can be shared very easily that way!!!

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    2. I wonder which person who has no life wrote this?

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    3. I am a student at Dewey. I needed a calculator to take the exam. I did not get one for maybe an hour after the exam started. Is that my fault? Why are you making fun of the situation?

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  46. Mr. Anonymous. Students are recruited? Only you but not the students know the truth? And with what credential and evidences do you base your opinion upon? The students were the one who truly suffered under Freed and they had complained bitterly to me and anyone who would listen that their teachers had been doing nothing but showing movies in class or randomly giving out grades. I put all the facts on the table, and stick my neck out for the anticipated attacks. The sorry state that existed at Dewey two or three or years ago is well known to every student and faculty. Let us take a good look at ourselves and what we were doing prior to Elvin's arrival. I stand by my statement that the old Dewey was a failed institution, serving only the interests of the administrators and faculty who were taking advantage of an indifferent principal. But I never said that all the teachers were incompetent; on the contrary I successfully persuaded my wife to send my son here because of five reasons - DePalma, Harmon, Jacobs, Klimetz, and Dukanoff. I have said over the years many many times that even in my own department, Depalma, Harmon, and Keller are all better history teacher than I am. My friend, please look forward and work together to serve our needy students. Most of our students are not from a solid middle class background like we do and really need the guidance and help from all of us. Can we put aside all these differences and concentrate on what we are paid to do? Elvin is not asking us to work as hard as she does; If she were I would be the first one to scream bloody hell. As I stated before, this teaching job, even under Elvin, is by far the least demanding one that I have had in my entire adult life, and you must also know that life was really easy under Freed. There is no dance around this irrefutable fact - The old Dewey failed miserably, and a new principal was sent in to restructure, reform and restart. Alright, she is tough, and she can be very demanding, but all she is asking from all of us is to follow her example and work harder, what is so radical about that idea? Who gave us the right to show a movie every day and refrain from teaching once we earned our tenure? Would you show a movie everyday if your own child were in the classroom?
    I would like to say it once again; the reason I listed the awards that I have won over the years is not to brat that there are no more deserving teachers at Dewey; there are many of them who are way way better than me; I am just lucky to have so many hard working students in the bilingual program. I have been teaching at Dewey for 17 years, and I still have difficulty understanding what is so wrong about put in a hard day's work for a hard day's pay. Have you ever worked outside the public school system before?

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  47. Mr. Haber, his cronies, senile teachers, UFT-hating bitter education bloggers, anonymous' and most of all, DEWEY HATERS, it is clear that you are outnumbered and have been defeated. Please do Dewey a favor and go teach at another school, but when you realize how bad things are at other NYC public high schools--don't come back running to Dewey.

    The Dewey graduates commenting on this blog are all intellectuals whose eyes were opened through their experience at Dewey. No one was recruited to comment, but rather, they did so because they know that endless rants and posts like this one hurt Dewey. Dewey is a second home to these kids, and your twisted and disturbing comments are trying to take that away.

    I commend Mr. Chan for his comments. As I was reading his comments, I could not stop nodding my head "YES!" and one sentence that struck me was, "We have only ourselves to blame, all of us, every one of us who worked at the old Dewey, for allowing Dewey to deteriorate to a point of no return." and that sentence bleeds truth. The reason why Mr. Haber and his bitter cronies incessantly keep ranting about Mrs. Elvin is because teaching is no longer easy for them! Back in the final years of the old Dewey, anything went on! Most teachers didn't give a ****. Teachers could sit all day without being reprimanded, teachers were never observed, teachers were not obliged to put up new bulletin board material each month, and what not. So Dewey teachers became complacent and were like, "I could get used to this". And boohoo, you guys protested for the school. What do you want back? A plaque in your honor? There's so much more you could have done for Dewey but refused to do so because you liked the easy paycheck system put in place by Fried! All you had to do was give a nonsense band long lesson with a movie, and done. Paycheck secured. Good bye. Now, some Dewey teachers who are from the old Dewey are mad because they have to put in WORK.

    Remember how teachers were paid extra to stay in the resource centers? And what did most teachers in the resource centers do? NOTHING! They simply conversed with students when they were there for tutoring. I commend Mr. Chan for sending his child to Dewey. That shows that he really believes in the school. Teachers at Dewey are hypocrites for claiming that Dewey is great, but most do not send their child there, as if it were a bad thing. They'd rather send them to predominantly white, upper-class only Manhattan elite schools. What does this imply? This adds on to Mr. Chan's ethos. How about you, Mr. Haber?

    Face the facts: the only reason why you all hate Elvin so much is because she makes you work, care for the students and reputation of the school. Dewey under Fried was paycheck heaven for you all: teach nothing, gain something! That's why many of the older teachers at Dewey left, because they knew it wasn't ever going to be the same again. How lucrative.

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    1. Great, hard working teachers were harassed out of Dewey by a woman who has all the traits of sociopath. Yes that is correct, a sociopath. Google that word and you may recognize some of the traits for yourself. In case you do not remember, most of the faculty was frustrated by Fried's inability to rise to any of the challenges that Dewey faced. Many of us contacted the press to inform them of our plight because the DOE was ignoring us and unwilling to help us out. We worked with Jim Harmon, not Mr. Haber, in putting together action plans that would steer Dewey in a more positive direction. It became obvious that we were being set up to fail. Most of the great teachers protested the DOE 's attack against us. Most of the great teachers were dissatisfied with the chaotic RCs. How does any of this make us cronies of anyone? Most of us work very hard at our craft. What we do not need is a school leader who is a miserable person attacking us with venomous, fabricated lies about what we said or did. Elvin treats new and veteran teachers with the same disdain. It is hard to come to work each day prepared to work hard when Elvin and her inept crew of mean APs set a teacher up for retaliatory observations and disciplinary meetings. How dare the writer of the previous post suggest that they know more about what makes a school work well than anyone else. I bet the writer of the previous post is Elvin herself. I have a good idea. We can start a new blog with entries from those great teachers who were harassed out of the school that they loved. They can explain exactly how Elvin pushed them out. Another great idea for a new blog would be to post anecdotes about some of Elvin's nasty supervisors. Shame on you for suggesting that you know better than anyone else.

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    2. Elvin, you are very disturbed!!!

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    3. I love how you all keep thinking it's Elvin. This is hilarious. You guys are funny.

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  48. I also have been teaching at Dewey for over 14 years and I have more than that in the system...and until Elvin got to Dewey I loved my job. I am an excellent educator, a hard worker and a team player....and that all means nothing when you work for her. She is evil. She is a liar. She is a cheat and a sneak and most of all, she is not a nice person. And while I understand that she doesn't need to be a nice person, explain to me how you are supposed to be an effective employee when you work for someone who treats people like the gunk found on the bottom of shoes? No one I know works better and harder for someone like that. There is something very wrong with coming to work each day feeling anxiety over what the day will bring...not knowing if it's your day to be talked to like an errant child, or worse, embarrassed in front of staff or students.
    I have no issue putting in a hard day's work, but I have big issues with the way we are all treated.......and with the way the school is being run....

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    1. I totally agree with you. The place is toxic and the students feel it too.

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    2. anonymous, as you no doubt remember, I was Harmon's closest ally at the time; we called in the NYT reporter and conducted the interview together. We also went down together to confront Fried in many occasions and things turned so surreal that once he saw us, he immediately turned around and fled. Here is the NYT article to refresh your memory. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/education/07education.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
      I am not condoning Elvin's mannerism and tactics; I am just pleading for all these malicious finger pointing and outright lies to stop so that life at Dewey can go on. I don't give a damn about pissing her off, or losing my job. If you were a member of that action committee, you must remember the first meeting that all we AP teachers had with Elvin and Rock in 2012; I opened my argument by saying," Harmon is retiring after this year, and I am ready to go tomorrow too.".I still can leave tomorrow, and this is why I am using my real identity here. I truly don't give a damn about my job security. And here is a suggestion, why dont we confront her altogether as soon as we come back in Sept to address all these issues? And if you worry about any reprisal,, real or imaginary, how about we have an anonymous write-in, one letter per teacher as in the way we select union representatives, to let her know what is in our mind?

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  49. I want to comment on the issue of recruitment of students to this blog and the denial of such. I do not think high school students just "happen" by ed notes unless directed.

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  50. People, enjoy your summer. You guys are a bunch of losers. Elvin is the best thing since sliced bread. In fact you guys should quit teaching and go make pizzas.

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  51. Has anyone received their program yet? We start teaching next week. I would have liked to have had a few weeks to prepare.

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    1. We got our programs two days before the start of classes, and many of us were not given a curriculum. This is required by contract. To make matters worse, many first year teachers were given never before taught courses without curricula.

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  52. With the 2014-15 school year about to begin, staff at John Dewey High School will be informed on what is expected of them. However, a healthy, working relationship works 2 ways, therefore, the administration of this school needs to fulfill the expectations teachers have of them, which should include the following: ***be professional; put aside your personal feelings, if teachers are expected to listen and tolerate criticism then so should you *** it is never, ever acceptable to yell at, be rude to, berate, criticize or speak to a staff member in a condescending manner, whether in private or public *** self-reflect, for you have proven how quickly you can point out others faults without seeing your own *** begin to demonstrate lessons that are "highly effective", since you can do this better than we can,(or so you say), please show us how it's done *** if you are unwilling to demonstrate lessons then please remember the adage, " Until you have walked a mile in my shoes...", before you are so quick to negatively judge *** do not confuse politeness with respect; staff members will be polite towards you, but if you haven't earned it,we will not respect you *** working for the DOE means there is a contract to abide by. Should you feel that you cannot abide by it then perhaps you should find a job where you need not to.***
    Let us hope in this school year there will be less conflict and more compromise between the administration and staff.

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  53. There is a real disconnect between Principal Elvin's words and actions. At the faculty meeting she praises the teachers for their hard work, which has attributed to Dewey's current success in test scores, increase in register, with more and more students applying to the school and fewer violent incidences compared to other large high schools. Yet, just one day later, we are rewarded with quick, informal observations, on the very first day of school. She had to make sure that every teacher followed the strict instructions to make today an instructional day. Those of you who got "caught" wasting a single second on non-instructional pedagogy will probably soon hear about it. Good to know we make Principal Elvin look so good in the eyes of Tweed and we get repaid with nothing more than stress. Great start of the year!

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  54. Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

    Kathleen Elvin Finally Hires Black Teachers and a Black Administrator!

    Why did it have to take a discussion on this blog to make it finally happen?

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    1. Ms. Elvin only hired black teachers and 2 black administrators because she was worried that she would be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity upon reading the earlier post about John Dewey having no minorities as administrators and very few as teachers. Last thing she wants is any negative publicity because it's all about her image. So folks, keep writing in.

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  55. Just a response to the above post... Pamela M the new AP ISS is a very visible black hire. BUT she lacks the proper certification and will be grieved out of the position as soon as a 'papered' applicant files the necessary actions. So, Elvin gets credit for hiring a black A.P. yet doesn't have to keep her and can play the 'victim'? Was it a case of Elvin In her own words: "outfoxing the fox?" Hmmmmm.

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    1. Just curious about the hiring of Pamela. Since she did not have the proper certification to be the AP of the ISS department and Ms. Kelch was hired in her place, why was Pamela kept on Dewey's payroll when all we have been hearing from Principal Elvin is how tight our budget is this school year? Seems to me Pamela's only role in JDHS is to help the other AP's, since she has not been assigned to be AP of any particular department. Interesting.

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  56. Very insulting to read how all the teachers are angry with present administration because they have to work. Please don't let the facts stand in the way of your story. Was there a harder worker than Ginny Sullivan? Gone two years ago. Was there a harder working more dedicated sculpting teacher than Ms. Kreitzer?..gone 18 months ago.. Was there a harder working more talented independent shining star of a first year teacher than Ms. Hammill last year? Gone this year. Was there a harder worker than Ms. Chinnicci? gone this year. Ms. Werth-Houstin seemed to be dedicated...gone this year. Jessie Kupferman was highly touted from his last schools by many teachers ( yes we vetted him ) yet driven out of Dewey this year. ( I predict he will be an extraordinary principal in no time and for many years to come ) Three years ago it was Ms. Dash and Mr. Talignane both hard working and admired humanist AP's. It's NOT THE WORK LOAD making them leave, kids!!

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    1. There are a number of reasons why Marianna Werth did not return. She realized that staying on at Dewey, under Elvin, meant that she would have to continue to compromise her morals.

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  57. • Single Mother
    • Iraq War Veteran
    • Teaching for Only Four Months

    This is who Elvin and the AP of English wanted to terminate this past June. Termination would have meant that she could no longer teach in any New York City Public School. She dared to have her own ideas. She dared to want a voice. So charges based on nothing of any real consequence were brought against her. In fact, most of us believe they were trumped up.

    “We’re sorry you won’t have health insurance for your child and thank you for serving your country. You’re fired!”

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  58. For those of you who would like to read more, go to Ed Notes Online John Dewey Principal Kathleen Elvin Discontinues Iraq War Vet and Mother

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  59. This was just Kathleen's version of RESTORATIVE JUSTICE! (In the space provided add as many "LOL"s as you would like...__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  60. To CT Chan: It is your gigantic ego that pimps for your "birds of a feather" heroine Kathleen Elvin...there have been many who loved themselves at Dewey, but you Master Chan take the cake! And what a SCAB! You alone are too important to heed union rules about limits to class size and voluntary teaching of extra classes...it is of no consequence to you that YOUR "selfless service" is used by your sell-out , phoney-baloney A. P. to credit himself, and by the likes of Elvin to strangle the contractual rights of other teachers who are not above playing by the rules. Shameless self-promotion on this blog will not excuse your being a living example of what has ruined Dewey: ruthless oneupmanship, tireless Darwinian striving for The Gold bestowed by a morally bankrupt "Management Team" ! To claim you "screamed" at The Boss of All Bosses" is as beyond belief as your beloved Goldman-Sachs giving back the money they stole from the honest people who invested with them- a vivid fantasy! Keep dreaming, CT!

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  61. Having some idea of the possible machinations of Kathleen's mind , has it ever occurred to any of you readers, as it occurred to me, that she terminated the new teacher SOLELY to counter any charges of AGEISM brought against her by the fact that the people in the 30-20 'in building rubber room 'actions ( those still in the building without teaching assignments) are all either very close to or on the other side of fifty years old!! Remember it appears that the ONLY emotional calculus Kathleen does whenever presented with ANY and EVERY situation is "How does this affect Kathleen?" This could explain how she could state to care about children and then hide violent incidents...care about children and not report drug overdoses....care about people and bring termination charges against a military veteran for disagreeing with school policy. She never thought " Wow this person can bring so much to the students with her life experience!" She seems to have thought of only Kathleen.

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  62. With one pair of eyes she watches of over one-hundred and fifty of us, carrying a little pad in her left hand to note everything that she believes we do wrong. But we have over 150 eyes watching what she does wrong every day. Something that almost all of us have noted is how she by decree has made the student cafeteria a free buffet table for her consumption only. Every member of Dewey’s staff and faculty brings their own lunch or pays for the school Lunch. Kathleen Elvin goes to the cafeteria nearly every day just taking what she wants, often helping herself to extra servings of cereal and fruit that she just hoards in her office. This extremely wealthy woman who owns a multi-unit apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is too cheap to pay the four or five dollars that all of us middle income, budget burdened adults more than willingly pay. This, along with so other things that she does, simply makes it seem as if she believes the whole world to be her free buffet table from which she is entitled to feast as she pleases. Now, here is another question for you to consider our dear blog readers. Would you constitute this act to be stealing from children? Consider how much tax payer money goes to feed thousands of “underserved” students in our schools every day.

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    1. How ironic! Great point about this "Limousine Liberal", who "blesses" us with her godly presence from Manhattan On High each day, riding the rails like her ol 'al Bloomybucks usta!!! (She must take a "doggy bag" back on the train each evening!). I once dared to express my disgust for the way a cop assigned to the building would help himself to free meals while the rest of us city workers had to pay- in the school WE taught in!- and he waited for me in an unmarked car to threaten and menace me - for daring to criticize his habit! If not for my colleague, who stepped between us- I would have tangled with the jerk, who liked to put his foot on students' necks once he got them on the ground...stuff a bit more blatant, but surely Elvin would look the other way. I made sure the cop was removed, by the way.

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  63. This hoarding of food on the cuff ( which we have all seen) is just another side to her acquisition oriented "stop at nothing, enough is NEVER enough" personality that in my humble estimation will prove to be her ultimate UNDOING!!!! And she will have done it to HERSELF!! And the legacy that she has carefully and viciously crafted will forever be besmirched and synonymous with dishonesty, deceit and denial.

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  64. all that energy wasted on the same old bullshit-how about working as a team and for Kathy you should teach a full program for a year and you ll have some idea of the real work being done in the school --its not in the office its in the classroom-- if your Ap s became teachers they would stare in space abd cry like a baby--that's the one thing they don't want to do that is teach easier to criticize and bust chops---you need a man in your life Kathy but at 69 busting chops may be the only other choice

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  65. Many of us have never encountered a person at work as cruel as the present principal of John Dewey High School. The title of this blog indicates that Elvin is heading for Hell. Last week, she visited her future home.
    Hi Evil! We dropped the "n" and rearranged the letters! It's Lucifer here! Welcome to your future home! Wow, what a troll you are. We thought you would like to see your future home before you finish your tasks at John Dewey HS. Your locker here is ready and it might amuse you to find out that both bin Laden and Hussein requested that your locker be between theirs. They both think that your ruination of the career of the Air Force Vet is so special. She was in Iraq and had no business being there with those awful armed forces. You'll have some friends here before you arrive! Eichmann also would like to meet you as soon as you descend. There is no shortage of bad company awaiting your arrival and your sinister self will feel at home. How about those wonderfully evil and stupid changes you've made at the school? What the heck were you thinking moving the award winning teacher out of his Newtonesque lab to an unequipped classroom on another floor?? (Khan and Pol Pot and I were laughing hard at this one!)We're so happy you did this. And Goebbels gets how you want to rid the world of raging intellectualism. Don't need that under your nose! Who cares if the teacher has brought so much to the school, that the outside world has taken notice of his giftedness in teaching and thinking. You need to be on top, not him, you want the world to clap for you, no one else. You have inched closer to a spot in Hell because of these two actions and a slew of others that make no sense, hurt teachers, hurt students as a result, and in general, make life worse for the school. That's what we want!!! Bravo!!! And how about all those meetings you force teachers to attend. Caligula, always suspicious of underlings who plotted against him gets where you're coming from doing that. The teachers have no time to think, no time to talk, and with the removal of the small gathering "lounges", no chance in Hell (oops!, that's our home) of ever getting to talk about students or check lessons, or mark papers, or have a cup of coffee or tea the way a civilized organization would allow it's members to do. None of that for your subjects. This is wonderful!. You want them in constant motion, focused on you or one of those appropriately evil, stupid and cowardly administrators who've bought into the Faustian deal you offer. Good work! So far, on the things to do list we have for you, we've got these checked off: Ending careers, petty larceny, favoritism ( your rules apply to some, not all), passing rates coercion, giving students credit for doing nothing, threatening teachers who don't follow your classroom procedures which are not part of their contract, ignoring the contract (how dare they answer to someone else)., ego-maniacal self obsession and an inflated sense of your own giftedness. This is a must for entering Hell! We're looking through our dark lenses and hope to see more displays of evil and insanity in the months to come. Keep up the bad work!

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    1. Specifically what are the changes she's made to the school this year thus far? I'd really like to know (seriously).

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  66. By the way, very interesting how the bitter current science AP took a week off from her duties as a teacher and bullying administrator for her honeymoon and no disciplinary action was taken or remonstrations forthcoming. (Btw we didn't miss you !...at all ) Yet, in Kathy's first year when a former chapter chair took an extra two days to see his dying father across the seas before Easter break, he was brought up on investigative charges and the investigators even appeared at his Staten Island home!! Unprecedented harassment to a bereaved man who just lost his father to cancer!! Yeah we're a family Kathleen...Kyeah!

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  67. Kathleen Elvin is sixty-nine. Everyone has their limits, and even if she decides to stay in Dewey until she's seventy-five, age hits us all. What the current Dewey teachers should be doing is searching for the next principal of John Dewey High School. The tragedy of Dewey and its teachers is that they both faced opposite ends: the first principal was too lenient and emasculated ergo leading to the school's downfall and loss of control, while this principal is extremely effeminate, conservative, draconian, and demeaning. It's obvious that with 100+ comments, this is one of this blog's most popular posts in history. Dewey is still a gem in public education and you cannot let a deranged woman who thinks she knows New York City but isn't even FROM New York City take over. Start looking for the next principal. How does a person become principal again? The DOE chooses them, or are they elected/nominated somehow?

    You have to find someone who understands/is familiar with Dewey. Bring back the band system. Open campus. Remove the metal detectors so all of those useless SSAs can go away. Bring back RC's and everything that made Dewey Dewey, stop with all of this Danielson Framework/PD nonsense. Turn all of the houses into programs, enough with this division where students can take a certain class only if they're in a certain house. The school is divided and united at the same time. Look for someone who has experienced Dewey (some previous comment has mentioned this). Saul Bruckner, Phil Weinberg, Deidre DeAngelis, the list goes on... these are all great-minded individuals that came from Dewey. All of this complaining is not going to change a damn thing, trust me. If all of these passionate comments actually stood for something, Elvin would have been axed by now. Alas, she isn't.

    The reason why Dewey had such a disastrous downfall was because of many reasons (Lafayette, lack of DOE support, changing student population, the creation of smaller schools, etc.) but here's the MAIN reason why it fell: lack of leadership. Fried was weak. Elvin's too strong. Need someone right in the middle. START LOOKING FOR THE NEXT PRINCIPAL. It would be sickening to find out that Elvin's successor is one of her puppets. Change comes through action, not words.

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  68. How is it that it's only October yet it feels like June? This seems to be the sentiment of many, many teachers. Could it be the endless meetings and mounds of paperwork that leave teachers physically and mentally exhausted? One could argue that meetings are an important part of a teacher's day, except when they hold no true value, which if you asked almost every teacher, that is what they would admit. JDHS teachers do not live in a bubble; they have friends who teach in other NYC schools and what they discover is how administrations in other schools treat their teachers, which is very different from how teachers in John Dewey are treated. How is it possible that JDHS has a very high graduation rate, yet, JDHS teachers had the most "Ineffective" ratings compared to other high schools? Common sense would say that JDHS teachers must be pretty darn good teachers to get such a high percentage of graduates. Connect the dots, teachers. Principal Elvin rationalizes all of her actions and behaviors; she is rigid and uncompromising, traits which she probably thinks are necessary to run a school. Every work place needs a human element. It appears Principal Elvin is incapable of this. Perhaps she should do some soul-searching, delve into her childhood, and figure out how she doesn't care that she has managed, in a very short time, to get practically an entire building to dislike her so. All effective heads of companies, CEO's, etc., want to know about how best to support their employees, what it is they can do to actually help their employees be more productive. So, Principal Elvin, why not send out an anonymous (paper, not email) survey asking teachers to list the things that they feel would help them do their job more effectively. 10-to-1, it will be more time in the day to address the mandatory paperwork requests. Of course, you will rationalize that too with, " When I was an English teacher I stayed up long hours grading papers". Yes, well when you were an English teacher the DOE was a very different place to work for; when you were an English teacher did you work for an administration that made sure every second of your day was accounted for or one that made unrealistic demands on your time or did you work a second, after-school job or run home to take care of children/elderly parents or have a long commute home or have a myriad of various other responsibilities? It's unfortunate that teachers cannot have a say as to who their next principal will be, as the above post suggests. However, one thing is for sure, teachers in John Dewey High School will be going home with smiles on their faces, and no matter how tired they may be, will walk to their cars with a hop in their step, on the day they find out that Principal Elvin will not be returning.

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    1. Hi,
      I’m an Educator who has also been bullied by my principal lately. I’ve been yelled at, screamed at, intimidated, emotionally abused, disrespected and treated like a child. My whole life has been turned upside down by this. Teachers at my school are so afraid to leave because they feel he will give them a bad reference or prevent them from leaving. I’ve taught for over 14 years and have never experienced anything like this before at any place of employment. As Educators, we work too hard to help our students and don’t deserve this kind of harassment and violation of our rights. Principal bullying has to stop! Some other Educators and I are working on a way to bring greater light to this matter and hopefully, bring change that helps us all. Please, please help us make this happen. As Educators, our stories have to be told in a way that grabs national attention. Please support us at www.indiegogo.com/projects/catastrophic-leave Thank you so much.

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  69. We can not live in the past. Had they done away with bands when Fried was there that would have eliminated one of his problems. We're never NEVER going back to no scanning. Your post, although well meaning does not advance any plausible solution. Deangelis is a bean counter who would chop heads ala Elvin if she had to. Weinberg would never step backward into a choppy principal position. Our best hope is a strong chapter and a unified staff with their eyes facing forward, battling ageism, cheating and favoritism, defending the contract...not pining for the old days and ways which will never return.

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    1. Damn, such a pessimistic response. You need some sunlight in your life. Who are you to say, "pining for the old days which will never return"? In fact, returning to the old Dewey system would be the best thing Dewey could ever do in the next few years. The unconventional quirks of the school is what made it work, even so that it has been replicated at schools like Edward R. Murrow, Beacon and Goldstein. All of the progressive origins of Dewey have been stripped away. However, the student body of the school is changing (demographically and socioeconomically). No longer is the school flooded with OTC/ELL/rejected students from nearby closed schools. If Dewey doesn't return to what it was founded on, then what will the future of the school be?

      As for the "we're never NEVER going back to no scanning," we'll see in the next years. Dewey is safe school and no longer requires metal detectors other than random scanning. Why does no one vouch for metal detectors at New Utrecht, FDR, Martin Van Buren or Murry Bergtraum? It is outrageous that a school with a large, leafy campus does not let its students use it. Certainly the DOE cannot let the inequity metal detectors cause in NYC public schools go on for much longer. Scanning is a Bloomberg-made school-to-prison pipeline. It's not fair for the students in the 88 schools with metal detectors. Of course, since this doesn't affect teachers, who cares!

      You claim my post, although well meaning, "does not advance any plausible solution"? Here's a word for you anonymous: your anonymous ranting and raving DOES NOT ADVANCE ANY PLAUSIBLE SOLUTION. GET OVER YOURSELF. Forget the weak UFT and the "strong chapter", for if the chapter at Dewey was any good, change would have been made. You're all talk.

      Changing what a school was originally based on is the worst decision anyone can make; that's how you damage a school. And that's exactly what was done. Your response is truly cold and irresponsible, and only makes me believe that you don't really care for the school at all; you just want things to be made easier for you and your colleagues.

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  70. "A hop in my step???" I'll do the Charleston, the Watusi, back flips, the Beer Barrel Polka, and Hand Stands while whistling a happy song out of an unmentionable orifice!!!

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  71. To the Friday night Oct 10 post: "Damn such a pessimistic response." Thank you so much! I have seen the light!!! I will meet you on the leafy Dewey campus at the next Hippie wedding where we can burn a copy of Danielson Frameworks while Principal DeAngelis looks on beatifically. As a matter of fact I am writing this on my laptop in a tanning salon getting the much needed sunlight you prescribed! Your whole premise is ridiculous..."Even if she stays to seventy five - age gets us all!!!?? What the %$#** does that mean!!! The chapter is defending the contract and slowing her reign of terror down -changes are being made by . And the weak UFT saved all of our jobs with arbitration that would have , if failed, turned Dewey into Shorefront effin High School!!!!! How could you call anyone cold and irresponsible while you post such 'warm' mindless nonsense?

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  72. To anyone who attended Wednesday's (10/22) Network 6 Cluster (? ) Communication luncheon in Elvin's office, you may have THOUGHT you were eating turkey but make no mistake about it... you were fed BALONEY!!!! ( and a lot of it, too!)

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    1. Absolutely true. Another waste- of- time meeting. Did the Network actually think teachers would be forthcoming about their feelings of how the school is operating, while Administration was sitting there? The best message teachers could have sent to the Network and Administration was to have had ZERO attendance. After all, it was a voluntary meeting. Let's remember that, should there be a next time.

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  73. Today's PD was nothing less than insulting and a complete waste of time. How many times do we have to listen to the same thing over and over again? Their choice of literature was interesting, an article written by a man who ONLY has taught in charter schools. Doug Lemov may have a very impressive background in terms of colleges he attended, as well as being Vice President for Accountability at the State University of New York's Charter Schools Institute, but as all public school teachers know, comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. John Dewey teachers today were given the pleasure of being treated like students, elementary students, at that. Mr. Webster timed our reading and writing and instructed us to turn-and-talk. Ms. Creveling ended the PD with reminding us to clean up and push our chairs under the tables. And the Administration wonders why the staff can't stand them.

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  74. I'd like to thank the Administration for the very thorough "Staff Handbook". Really don't think I'd be able to manage a day of teaching without it. However, there are a few things that were left out, for example, how many steps should one take from the parking lot into the building?; what would you say are the appropriate amount of minutes a teacher should spend in the bathroom? and if there is a colleague in the next stall should we turn and talk?; is 768 breaths per period acceptable? Once again, another fine example of the Administration's condescending attitude towards staff at John Dewey High School.

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  75. Interesting how Elvin continues to insist on micromanaging every aspect of our professional lives. We all know that our contract states that she has no right to dictate the components of our lessons. The topic of particular contention has been that of the “collectible do now”. She requires every teacher in every class to administer a do now of exactly three minutes, and it must be an assessment of the previous lesson. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can have value at times. But she has no right contractually to mandate it. It is up to us, the teachers, to decide the “specific elements” of a lesson plan. “Their format and organization” “are appropriately left to the discretion of the teacher”. Hey Lady!!! Read what we have copied and pasted below. Your boss and our union are in agreement on this issue. Why are you so stubborn? Let the teachers be creative! Let the young ones learn! And think about the students who must be bored to death having to deal with precisely the same lesson format every period of every day! Read the piece from a recent UFT newsletter.

    Lesson Plans

    Chancellor Fariña and UFT President Mulgrew issued a joint letter to help clarify our mutual position on the importance of planning and how it relates to teachers’ professional voice and their choices in the writing of lesson plans. That letter noted that lesson plans are a professional responsibility. Supervisors may not mandate that specific elements be included in a plan; lesson plans are by and for the use of the teacher. Their format and organization, including whether they are written on paper of done electronically are appropriately left to the discretion of the teacher. Lesson plans are part of the instructional planning process. As has always been the case, supervisors may continue to request and collect lesson plans; however, they may not be collected in a methodical or routinized manner.

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  76. The strange thing about Elvin and the do-now is that she never asks certain teachers for it. There's no consistency to her methods at all. Ask all teachers if they've been asked for the collectable do-now and the answer is no. Some just don't do it and she says nothing to them. Please be aware of this: if there's something she doesn't like about you, the way you look, or talk, or dress, or of course, if you don't act like you fear her, then there's a good chance she'll barge into your room, interrupt your lesson and ask for it. The writer above may not understand that Elvin is a power seeker first and foremost. Second, she has contempt for most teachers unless she hired them. Interesting to watch how some of the new hires manage to escape her scrutiny and they really are not that outstanding in the classroom. They escape because they were her choices. She's not too smart that way and this is apparent to many of the staff at Dewey. She's really a "bad fit" for the school. Though it may appear to some that things have gotten better, the halls are still full of unruly students prodded along by deans who are clowns and need to remain that way to bide by the rules of restorative justice. That is: no punishment for anyone for anything. Elvin also makes it a point to threaten as many teachers as possible into passing every student. It's not about learning, it's about numbers. What will make her look good to the outside world. This is a reality and has been pointed out many times in the comments above. The truth about Elvin and her Williamsburg Prep crew is that they are so dull and boring. They're also self obsessed, think of themselves as masters of the classroom and are anal as well, issuing one edict after another, nonsensical requests that take up time and are meant to enslave teachers. They left the classroom full time because it wasn't working for them. They're at Dewey to see if they can get away with the same things they got away with at Williamsburg Prep

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  77. This is for the current assistant principals of John Dewey High School. We imagine that at the moment you must be pretty worried. You know the illegal methods Elvin has employed to boost our school’s data and remove teachers. In fact, one might say that every last one of you is an accomplice. So what do you suppose she will do once it all “hits the fan”? Will she take full responsibility or will she attempt the throw as many of you under the bus as possible in the hopes of obtaining at least partial acquittal for herself? You know her as well as we do. What is there to know anyway? There is no real depth in there to discover, no new insights to gain, no epiphany that will bestow its light from above. It is what it is. Soon you may all be faced with a choice. You can take the side of good and maintain some level of professional integrity. Or you can stay on the side of the evil. Your careers should last years after she retires. For you young ones, your careers should last decades after her death. Does she care? Many of us suppose that the only one of you she would offer to spare is Emily Creveling. But who knows if this is even so? Your best bet might be to throw her under before she can do any more damage. We have pretty good information that some of you will do so. Just like you have moles among the teachers who excitedly report anything they can on us, there are moles within your ranks. They aren’t as straightforward, but a few words or two here or there or a subtle glance is their method of communication. You might not have long to decide which way you will turn. The moment that the ax finally comes down might be around the corner or it might be further down the road, but it will come.

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  78. Shame on Elvin and the AP's who have tried to make liars out of all the teachers as evidenced by the bogus graduation rate. Shame on you Elvin for threatening new teachers into passing students who don't deserve to pass. There is something wrong with you and your bloated staff of 12 who are also intimidated by you. When they attempt to write evaluations, we know it's really you writing them. They have no voice without you, they can't make a move without you. They are stupid spineless wimps for going through life this way. The one thing you've taught them is to sound like they know what they're doing, to appear as masters of every classroom, and to ambush teachers with hyper critical evaluations. These interactions with you and with them leave a teacher feeling angry and confused and it brings the school down to a level it has never reached before. Most of us loathe all of you. This is a good thing for a school????? Please leave us. Please let us find our real selves again. We'll be OK. Please take your Williamsburg Prep band of fools with you. And don't forget to take the one who visit's teachers with a laptop and takes photos of student's work. There is no bigger fool in the school. What spaceship did you all climb out of?

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  79. After one reads the latest email Principal Elvin sent to the John Dewey staff, one isn't sure if they should laugh from the sheer ludicrous of it or be angry at the thin veil of manipulation. So I ask, does Principal Elvin actually think an email filled with insincere gratitude toward teachers will change their opinion of her? Did she hire a social skills trainer, who specializes in damage control,to advise her to use words such as, "special treat", " calm and joyful", "well-deserved" and " thanks for all you do" ?. All such positive images. Unfortunately, teachers in Dewey are not treated like that. Principal Elvin should have been a History teacher instead of an English teacher, then she would know all revolutions occurred when people had enough of being mistreated. Too late for trying to make nice; actions speak louder than words. (By the way, Ms. Perfect Elvin, you used the incorrect "hear" in your email, it should be "here". You were an English teacher many moons ago, were you not? Good thing you were not being observed. You just may have been given an "ineffective" rating for that).

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  80. In response to the above comment regarding Elvin writing teacher evaluations for the AP's, I agree. It is also infuriating when an AP conduts a "debriefing" ( sounds like a war term- figures Elvin would change the terminology to a hostile connotation; they used to be called post-observations), and the majority of it is negative. All AP's focus on are the Do-Now's, grouping, and teacher assessment-as if this is the end all to good teaching. Guess Elvin must have had a crappy education since in her day teachers were actually allowed to teach without a huge clock ticking away the minutes to the Do-Now and without teachers frenetically worried about assessment. For that matter, I suppose all the great minds, up until recently, must also have had terrible teachers. How in the world did Einstein come up with his Theory of Relativity without that 3 minute Do-Now? Sarcasm aside. How is it that Pamela Mudzingwa, the new AP of nothing, holds a license in Earth Science for grades 5-9 and thinks it is acceptable to harshly judge teachers when she has little experience in the high school? How is it that AP Andrew Kenney holds a math license and is head of the Guidance Dept? How is it that AP's who have the audacity to break the spirit of hard-working teachers, new teachers who are learning the profession, teachers who are doing their best, feel that this is ok, when they DO NOT TEACH. I'd love to see each and every AP get in the classroom, 5 periods a week (at least), with the most challenging students, and show us all your magic bullets for managing rude, unruly, unmotivated, well-below grade level skills students, whose parents couldn't care less after you have tried to involve them. This administration need not scratch their heads wondering why Dewey teachers have had it with them. Just READ.

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  81. AP's must think that since they took administration credits they are now master teachers; that their AP license also gives them license to ruin people's careers and take away their livlihoods. The John Dewey staff is a staff that feels under seige from this Administration and Ednotes is proof of this. Teachers feel under attack with constant criticism of their lessons. Guaranteed, these AP's are no better at teaching, with even less classroom experience than most of us. They are removed from the challenges teachers face daily, yet, find fault more often than not. Ednotes is the first pushback on all of this.

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  82. The real real reason Elvin must go is this....
    Let's assume there are three teachers: a #1, a #5, and a # 10...now lets assume 10 is effective and #1 is ineffective and naturally #5 is in the middle.
    There is absolutely no value and instruction is not at ALL informed by observing the week of Thanksgiving. It will not make the #10 anymore effective. It will probably make the #5 and #1 brood and be angry during a joyful holiday where ALL students would be served if their teachers went home and recharged their batteries REGARDLESS of their perceived level of effectiveness. THE ONLY REASON it is done is that Elvin seems to get her jollies by hurting people. The hurt is furthermore compounded when the feckless AP's send around insincere and trite messages of holiday cheer???!!! ( and this they do to assuage the micro managing boss) Elvin's reign has been one of sadism. She seems to gets a thrill from driving vulnerable people out. She cares not about the students in her charge, she gets her jollies by stats "I love data" That's why the hallways still reek of marijuana...they NEVER did under Fried. Students know there will be no consequence for them if they are caught. And how does that effect the non drug using student? Are they tempted to use?? Are they embarrassed that the school seems powerless to stop this? Elvin, you don't care about them, they are just vulnerable data points!! And Ms. Creveling cut that bs Plato quote from your emails...the one about being kind to all for they have it hard too or some such nonsense. Were you kind to Zlotnikova when she was flooded out by Sandy and you relentlessly hounded her even a day after she came out of the hospital??? Were you kind to Calabro and Zwerling two veteran teachers who forgot more than you know about teaching? Now turn and talk about that. Hmmmnn I hear some interesting comments as I walk around the class....( formulaic response #42 ) Was your comrade in arms Kenney kind to the guidance counselor ( a mother of young children ) who was driven to a nervous breakdown? And Elvin had the TEMERITY to say to her "You don't look well"??!! Elvin has a sadistic behavioral pattern and the job description does not entitle you to have that much fun at your job. Kind of like an AP chasing every skirt in the building...it's not allowed! So Elvin when you moan about "Why are they doing this to me?"" The answer is very simple...your mission was never about the kids it was about you and what thrills you and for that you should never ever be in charge of children or people for that matter. You are an aberration from the Bloomberg era which has now been proven ineffective in that so many cuny students need remediation and it is time for you to leave...last point... with morale sooooooo low ( and its low ACROSS the board) , how could anyone ever make a case for you being an effective leader?

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  83. I have some legal expertise. My friend who works at Dewey asked me to read the blog which I did last night in its entirety. It seems if the allegations of passing children who don't deserve to pass, hiding violent incidents, allegedly not issuing a summons to a student on whom a weapon is discovered ( one just recently I am told- a five inch knife- ) , allowing kids caught with pot to not be summonsed, allegedly hiding drug overdoses, than if true, this behavior seems to be a prima facie case of child abuse along with educational malfeasance and neglect.

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  84. Why do some teachers at Dewey have only 3 or 4 classes?. Why do some teach out of license? Why do many AP's not teach at all? Why are teachers constantly asked to keep up an 85% passing rate in their classes? Why are new teachers threatened if they aren't doing this? Why is there chaos in the halls? Why is there the smell of marijuana in some places in the building? Why have many programs that were so good for students disappeared? Why does Kenney have both jobs of AP Guidance and Programming? Does anyone see a problem with that? Did anyone believe him when in September he announced that he had worked on programming all summer? Why does Elvin think the collectable do now is the answer to everything? Why doesn't she ask some teachers for it and harass others who might not have it when she comes in to ambush them? Why does she think she knows everything about every classroom? Why has she divided the staff, pitting teachers against AP's. Why does she write all the evaluations of teachers? Why are foreign born students without ESL Social studies, Science and Math? Why does Elvin delight in making life miserable for so many? Why have so many wonderful teachers and AP's left the school? It's time for Elvin and the Williamsburg Prep crew to leave the school. Please listen to this. We all loathe you. Nothing good can come of that.

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  85. By the JDHS administration covertly forcing teachers to pass at least 85% of their students, what in effect they are doing is sending a message to the students that with little or no effort, they will undeservedly earn credits. Why then, should any student strive to do better than average (Monday's PD)? Principal Elvin is only concerned with her stats on the number of students who enter college straight from Dewey, unconcerned that many do not have the academic skill set to sustain them through 4 years, culminating in a degree. What a shame that teachers feel if they don't "play by the rules", then they will become targets for harrassment. This is what education has become in JDHS.

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  86. The Administration at Dewey does a wonderful job of bullying teachers, the result reportedly being 100% passing in some classes. Congratulations AP's, those of you who are missing a chip, a reality chip, those who never think how damaging this EZ Pass system is. Do you ever wonder about the future of these students? You've denied them the valuable life experience of learning to try hard. You made it this way for them so that you can appear successful yourselves. You are selfish in the worst way. You are so pathetic to watch at meetings. When you left the classroom, some of you with very few years of experience anyway, you left reality.

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  87. This comment is specifically for Ms. Elvin. Bet when you came to JDHS in March 2012 you never thought the DoE would lose the lawsuit and that you would have less control over which teachers remained. Also bet you never would have thought your "divide and conquer" tactics would boomerang. Almost 3 years of your "war on teachers" is enough. And here we are. Staff is fed up with how your administration treats them. The public is beginning to take interest and will continue to be informed. One tactical error on your part was underestimating the resolve of the staff to halt all the underhanded, malfeasant, illegal actions of this administration. It is not over, until it is over.

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  88. Interesting that Pamela Mudzingwa recently began teaching a class. The administration most likely became concerned about Ednotes commentators accusing AP's of not teaching, which violates their contract. Good to know they are reading and being kept on their toes.

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    1. Elvin has no use for any contracts, that of teachers or supervisors. She doesn't care that they exist. She's above all that.

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  89. Elvin’s divide and conquer strategy has indeed backfired. Instead, it has united staff and faculty more than ever? Young and old, who are referred to as the “burnt out” and “senile”, are all speaking up now. She has turned people who for years had just said hello to each other as they passed in the hallways into trusted allies and close friends. Secretaries and aids are also miserable and up in arms.

    In regards to AP’s being contractually required to teach at least one class, if this is so, then we should force it to happen. Some of us would love to see how well these administrators perform in the classroom! We have doubts about more than a few of them would, especially with some of our toughest groups. The old adage “those who can’t teach administrate” just might hold true for some of them.

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  90. Why was the Department of Education’s Office of Investigations (OSI) in the building all day Wednesday interviewing so many people?

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  91. You Dewey hating, senile senior teachers ought to stop hating on my favorite DOE principal of all time...Kathleen Elvin. She has made Dewey earn the second highest graduation rate in the borough!! Here are some of my other faves to show the pantheon on which Madame Elvin resides

    Alex Rodriguez- favorite baseball player: 600+ home runs 300+ lifetime batting average.. So what that he took performance enhancing steroids his whole life?
    Richard Nixon- favorite president- landslide presidential election win in 1972...so what that his operatives illegally broke into his opponents running mates therapists' office and gained an unfair advantage by stealing records?
    Lance Armstrong- favorite cyclist- 7 tour de France vixctories...so what that he did blood doping that was strictly prohibited by competition rules?
    Rosie Ruiz- favorite NYC marathoner- stunning victory in the past...so what that she hopped the subway for part of the race??
    Bill Bellichick- favorite NFL coach- Super Bowl victories- so what that he filmed his opponents practice sessions and gained an unfair edge?
    Tonya Harding- favorite ice skater- so what that she knee capped Nancy Kerrigan in an attempt to eliminate her competition
    and of course
    Kathleen Elvin- favorite NYC DOE principal who rescued Dewey and earned two straight "B"'s and boosted every positive statistical parameter and lowered every negative statistical parameter ( even in defiance of any ordinary probabilities) so what if she ....

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  92. Hey do you think OSI would ever investigate if Elvin has or had AYP ( Average Yearly Progress) bonuses in her contract? This would have given her a fiduciary motive in pressuring teachers to pass students who didn't deserve to pass or to pressure APs and quisling teachers to sign piles of grade reversals. Do you think someone who allegedly gloms mountains of free breakfasts and lunches from the student cafeteria and then allegedly piles them on her desk or who allegedly berates senior cabinet members when they try to take the last slice of pizza from the box would be capable of such alleged perfidy? Turn and talk about that!

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  93. When OSI was in the building it had nothing to do with teachers. OSI needs to investigate Elvin as far back as when she and the other AP's were in Williamsburg Prep and see if she earned the Average Yearly Progress bonus then. My guess, she did. Perhaps this is why she brought the AP's to Dewey, so she could continue her illegal practices to earn her financial bonus. OSI will be notified.

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  94. If OSI was in the building investigating anything, it should be the illegal credit recovery practices that are currently taking place( we all know this) and mounds and mounds of evidence of past illegal credit recovery that began when Elvin got to Dewey.

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  95. It is so strange that Elvin ambushes teachers with hypercritical evaluations and deems so many of us developing and ineffective. What difference does it really make what we do in the classroom when we know that we must pass almost every student or risk a visit to her office followed by some negative commentary supposedly written by an AP but really written by her. Anyone can pass everyone. Why must we all be sooooo good if the grades we're giving aren't real??? If OSI investigates anything, it should be the massive credit fraud that has taken place since Elvin's arrival almost 3 years ago and the repeated requests from AP's to make sure that an 85% passing rate is achieved in every class. The administration has even gotten some teachers to play a part in this quest by requesting that other teachers do what they do.

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  96. It's probably not a good idea to expect anything from OSI as they are part of the DOE and both groups, together or apart, might not think there is anything wrong with credit fraud or it's partner, the coercion of teachers where passing rates are concerned. Farina might think someone like Elvin is AOK since she's removed teachers from the classrooms and has rated many ineffective or developing while the school soars in graduation rates. Farina might have no problem with unlicensed teachers giving credit to students who've done nothing. Perhaps she too thinks that packets of work done by students on their own, not in a class, not taught by a licensed teacher in the subject failed is fine. Perhaps she thinks that it's fine to have students pretend to do the work, or find answers on line, or have no AP check the work most of which was not done anyway. Perhaps she thinks its ok to gather students after school and have teachers licensed in one area give credit for 12-14 courses at a time, not really teaching the material, but instructed to give credit if the student shows up. Perhaps it is also fine that hundreds of credits in all subjects were awarded to students who never did anything by teachers who were assigned over 20 different "classes" which never really met and they were not licensed to teach. This has happened 1000 times over at Dewey since Elvin arrived. Staff was reporting this when they first realized it was happening. Where has OSI been all this time.? Elvin is a vestige of the Bloomberg Administration which was all show and is perhaps looking to repeat the glory of the Williamsburg Prep A she received by doing the same thing at Dewey that she did at W Prep. No one was really looking into things there. Elvin knows how to get a school to give the appearance of success. Perhaps it is the case that Elvin is looking for financial rewards but she's a Manhattan landlord and might be looking for other things like a title: Queen of the Turnaround. Too bad for Dewey that Turnaround is synonymous with fraud on her part. We hope OSI and Farina are listening to this: we never had such fraud until Elvin showed up. If you think this is the way to go, then perhaps you would like reading about it in various newspapers and periodicals. It makes a fine story.

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  97. If Dewey teachers stand together against what we know is wrong and educationally unsound, as well as compromising our sense of integrity, then perhaps our voices will be heard. I urge anyone who has experienced what the above posts speak about, to write. It can only help the cause.

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  98. Hey, interesting perusal about the AYP bonuses in one of the above posts. It seems to fit the pattern. Could she have had bonuses with teacher attendance as well? This would explain the illegal tamping down on anyone who had four absences by midterm a few years back and the ambush hypercritical observations of people who took Mondays or religious observations as soon as they returned....
    Hey come to think of it, her having bonuses with regards to student attendance would explain why the administration allegedly switched policies whereby a student had to attend three classes to reverse a third period absent mark to where they only had to make one class... Heyyyyy this is all starting to fit! And of course we KNOW what happened to the graduation rates!!! hmmmmm this is kind of fishy ( no offense to fish intended)

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  99. It would be really great if the administration at Dewey would admit their wrongdoing, They are morally challenged and they break the rules every day. What is their mission?.

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  100. All Dewey students know about Senior House. It's where you go to get your EZ Pass.

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  101. One more thought... bonuses could also explain the apparent lack of reportage of violence...the reluctance to suspend...the reluctance to call the fire department just last week when there was a smoke condition in the building...the alleged non summonsing of a student caught with a five inch knife at scanning ( the knife was reported as "found" -somebody's head should roll on that one! if true) all of these categories could have been incentive laden bonus categories in Elvin's contract and IF that's true or just the wealth of other circumstantial statistical coincidences (passing rates, grad rates, absenteeism staff and students ) which we know are happening are related to a fiduciary interest than that would make Ms. Elvin a profiteer off the backs of one of the most vulnerable segments of our society...the low income minority and or foreign born child. Delivering a statistical model for self gain not a real or SAFE educational experience for her students is not what I think Chancellor Farina envisions as her subordinate principals' respective missions..

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  102. Another blog devoted to Kathleen Elvin:

    John Dewey's Principal Kathleen Elvin Screws Young Kids Out of Basketball Program

    http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2014/12/john-deweys-principal-kathleen-elvin.html

    This time it's about Brooklyn basketball program for inner city kids that she locked out of one of the school's gyms before a game with hardly any advanced notice.

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  103. How did The Evil One get away- without a fight, as far as I know, from the union!- on CLOSING all the Teachers' Lounges in the building??? And for what reason? Surely to "ferret out" every and any teacher or para who may still have a remnant of self-respect left...its always "1984" at Dewey since she was "spawned'. I do find it hard to believe that the UFT let her get away with this hostile action without a "fight back" of any kind. And that teachers now eat in their own cars, or in their classrooms- anything to stop colleagues from having "downtime", and a chance to be away from Big Sister's watchful eyes! Disgraceful to let her get away with it.

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    1. The closing of teachers' lounges is not a contractual issue as far as I can tell, so I don't see how the UFT could have done anything about it. It might be possible to call this harassment, but even so, it would be hard to prove.

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  104. It's fitting that the neighborhood surrounding Dewey is finally being introduced to Elvin. Many thousands of people are strongly attached to Flames, whether it's through family members or just reading about it's success in the local papers. Elvin's action involving the Flames comes as no surprise to anyone who works inside Dewey. It is hoped by so many that this situation can be worked out, that the gym is not off limits to this great program. If anyone in the community is reading this, please realize that Elvin is quite practiced in pulling the rug out from under anyone at any time, to keep everyone spinning in a state of unrest which she seems to enjoy watching. She never lets anyone "park the car" for too long. The Dewey staff has experienced this constant shifting since Elvin came to the school 3 years ago. She likes to play with people as though they were pawns on a chessboard. It's been quite awful for many of us since her arrival.

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  105. It's really too bad that the rooms where teachers could take a short break during the day were called lounges. Principal Elvin probably can't deal with the words "lounge" and "teacher" together in one sentence. She has enormous contempt for so many teachers to begin with, and the idea that they might be "lounging" to too much to bear. But teachers don't lounge. So the writer above is correct in saying that teachers have no place to eat lunch quietly, away from a classroom. Principal Elvin has said more than once that teachers should come to work even if they don't feel well to work at least part of the day. If they do so now, and some do, the school has become a cold hard place in which to work and some will take that break in rooms with copy machines or in offices full of people where there is no quiet. It has been proven many times that a short break during the day, maybe just to close one's eyes and be still, has been found to be a medically sound thing to do, ill or not. Many large, hard charging corporations insist on breaks for their workers. What kind of human being would remove these small areas of quiet, some with teachers's belongings still in them, from people who work hard all day?? What right does any administration have to deny this basic amenity? Those of you who are fans of Flame, whose children needed the gym, who found their peace there, we get it.

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  106. The Williamsburg Prep Administrators who are now at Dewey think they're doing something good with the school. Students get away with every poor behavior, many pass without doing any work, the only demands and restrictions in the school apply to teachers. Success!

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  107. The comment about the word "lounge" is right on the money- this Beast cannot stand rank- and- filers having a break, YET she and her minion of syncophantic Williamsburgh Prep-admins get to "hang out" and gossip about staff in THEIR offices, as she surely does in HER office!. And, in regards to the elimination of lounges as a contractual issue, it is beside the point- it is a WORKERS' RIGHTS issue, dumb-dumb!!! The same laissez-faire attitude that the teaching staff had when this creepy crawler arrived to do her damage- when she should have been read "the riot act" by a school that was famous for its tough union- this same attitude of "if I leave her alone, she'll leave me alone", continues to empower her and her ilk. There's not much left for her to take away, or to throw away, or to force out, after her "blitzkreig", her 4- year "lightening war", is there??? Pitiful lack of "fight back" at what should have been her "last exit OUT OF Brooklyn". Instead, she continues to divide and conquer a hostage staff.

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  108. The Community School District, which Dewey is part of, complained for the 2nd year to the 60th Precinct about Dewey students "doing, selling, buying drugs; being disruptive, and making trouble" for Harway(?) Terrace residents- they reported this last December, and the situation has just gone on, now that their 34th Gala Awards Ceremony is coming up at El Caribe Restaurant in a few days. The significance of this is that it should be widely publicized as yet more evidence that Elvin's leadership is a sham, that the community has to deal with wayward behavior that very well could be the result of the chaos that she allows unchecked within the school's halls and classrooms. I don't remember problems like this in the neighborhood around Dewey in the years before she took the helm.

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  109. Today at 8:30 am the school was notified of the passing of a current Spanish teacher. It was a very unexpected loss. The teacher, an older woman with a severe back issue was very well liked by teachers, not so much by the administration. In fact, it is safe to say that she was one of the teachers with a "bulls-eye" on her back...She was forced to teach in multiple rooms, despite having mobility issues. In other schools with other Principals, her life might have been made easier but not at John Dewey. Here she was forced to use a cart to bring her materials from room to room. Here she was given the toughest of classes and when she asked for help, she was told that no one would respond anymore, that it was her issue. Here she was, taking a car service to work in the name of dedication, and yet she was on the short list for removal....I thought that I had heard everything and seen everything, but today was a real eye opener....We work in the most hostile environment with an administration that has an agenda that is shameful. I hope this teacher rests in peace...and I hope that we get help soon.....

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  110. Elvin, no one believes a word you said today. You must think we're all fools. We know what action you and your goons took.

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  111. Yes, Foola Karas a thirty year veteran teacher ( 53 years old) died over the weekend...and while she was alive- instead of the administration celebrating her courage and tenacity to come to work everyday in obvious discomfort, they seemingly systematically denied her support in the form of any kind of disciplinary action against her students;slowly trying to build a case against her for dismissal. Chou just recently wrote to her " I'm here to support you whenever you need it - after writing her ineffective!!!! One student pulled her phone out of the wall last spring so she couldn't call for deans and was back in class the following day! I heard Lustig even came in to her room recently and in front of the class shouted " I'm finished...I'm not coming back in here anymore!" How is that for giving the kids a green light to do whatever they want? First Lustig you allegedly talk the police out of giving a summons to a kid caught with a five inch knife and now this??? Resign. Karas' life could have been so instructive to the kids in the way someone deals with adversity instead she was isolated and made into a punching bag. And some of the FECKLESS AP's were ruminating about how the kids might feel guilty about it? And the grief counseling was done by Elvin supporters who side with her interpretation that the administration's actions had no impact on Foola's sudden demise but that she was suffering and sick? Eric Garner would have probably died of a heart attack sooner or later after all he WAS in bad shape but the rough and dismissive arrest tactics and subsequent disinterested EMS response caused his death. And to compound Elvin's effects....the kids ARE INTERNALIZING the guilt!!!! Anybody knows, Elvin that kids need consequences and your statistic mongering restorative justice has deprived them of an important life lesson and perhaps irreparably harmed them with the death of this person on their consciences'. They should be informed that it was NOT their fault but your statistic padding policies. Kids will be kids and they will push as far as they can and it was up to YOU as the instructional leader to provide those boundaries not use their behavior as a cudgel against a "teacher target" to build a case and rest assured we have the evidence. We can only hope that the Karas family seeks appropriate legal remedy and believe me many of us our lining up to be deposed. And for the rest of you who still support and finagle for Elvin out of fear or self interest...one question. How do you still look at yourself in the mirror?

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  112. Today is not Mother's Day or Father's Day, but nonetheless, I'd like to honor my parents with a big hug and a thanks. Why? Because my parents raised me to be a decent human being. From an early age they taught me to treat others as I would want to be treated, to always put myself in the other persons shoes. These lessons have stayed with me into adulthood and I take pride in knowing that I have incorporated them into my relationships both personal and professional. Shame on the parents of Ms. Elvin, Ms. Creveling, Ms. Chao, Mr. Kenney, Mr. Webster, and now, Mr. Lustig, who never took the time to teach them such important lessons in life.

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  113. We are all deeply saddened of the passing of Ms. Karras. Our hearts go out to her family and the loss they will have to bear. The staff at JDHS were well aware of this administration's hidden agenda to push Ms. Karras to retire or else possibly have her license terminated. Their lack of support and ill-treatment towards her is a direct contrast to what Principal Elvin has been saying, ( at Monday's House Meeting Ms. Elvin said, " What a dedicated teacher Ms. Karras was." ) If this Administration believed that Ms. Karras was no longer effective in the classroom and were not willing to provide her the necessary support that is part of their job description, then they could have taken a different avenue to refocus her future options. They could have chosen to use a gentler approach by 'counseling her out of the job", but instead they chose to use harsh, unkind measures, because Ms. Chao and Ms. Elvin are harsh, unkind people. The individuals in this Administration who added undue stress to Foula's life will have to live with themselves knowing that they contributed to her premature death. Shame on you all.

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  114. Rest In Peace Ms. K.

    We will never forget your courage and commitment.

    You endured for your family and cared so much for your students.

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  115. Elvin, if you are reading this, please know that any speech you gave on Monday about the truly good and kind Mrs Karras, whether on the PA system in that phony quivering voice or at meetings where everyone could easily read the bull coming at them face to face, was a waste of time for all of us. There is no one in the school who would ever think you cared. We know you targeted her for removal, one ineffective after another. Your staff of losers ( who could never work far from you because they need your strong arm tactics to survive) from Williamsburg Prep went after her relentlessly, following your orders. You are truly a wretched human, not even a human, and it is understood that her family told you to your clenched face that you made her so upset so often..You have nerve showing up at the wake at all. Are you kidding with that move? You really have no sense of how many people in the Dewey community despise you.
    You have poor life skills and this makes you a lousy leader. Do not for one minute think that some senile old teacher is writing this. Young and old in the building know what you are.

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  116. If there is anyone at the DOE reading this blog, please understand that a school in which almost the entire staff despises the principal doesn't work well. This is John Dewey HS. We don't need houses, we don't need the fraudulent credit recovery practices which have been reported to OSI, we don't need the constant pressure to pass everyone. We need someone to work with us, not against us, to see reality, not some far fetched dream. It doesn't work. She'll never change. We're not on the road to something good. Parents have commented on the lack of discipline in the school. Students that came from middle schools that were tighter ships notice it also. There are no rules for behavior for students. When Elvin is told this, she has often said that teachers are the ones hurting students. She's way off the mark. When will it end.

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  117. Rest in peace, Ms K, your kindness will be missed. Please don't politicize a human tragedy.

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  118. In the past 2 years, Elvin has changed at least 25 of the failing grades I gave to students. I keep a record of grades for 3 years. I checked the grades of failing students because I heard that grade changing was occurring and as a result the graduation rate has soared. No one asked me if this was OK with me. Aren't they supposed to? What is the new grade based on? I heard the same from many other teachers who also keep records. Someone said OSI was in the building investigating some things. Does anyone know if grade changing was what they were looking at?

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  119. It's heartbreaking to think of Elvin's heartless treatment of Mrs. Karras. Eternal Peace to you dear teacher and to your family also.
    Elvin is a sinful person. She's a criminal as well. So many of her sins have been exposed to the world outside Dewey and to the DOE as well. How is she allowed to remain at Dewey? How does the DOE not examine the damage done by Elvin? Why do they tolerate what she does? How is it that most teachers in NYC received Effective or Highly Effective ratings and someone like Elvin has made Dewey the exception. She comes to work every day to rate teachers poorly, to constantly find fault with them. The school is a torture chamber for teachers. So many have left, some AP's have left also. What is the point making each day treacherous for everyone? Her staff of AP's is truly a bunch of "goon's" as was said above. They are like Nazi's and they continue to ruin lives on a daily basis. On this blog, it has been said that they've made liars of all of us. Our apologies to the local colleges who will have to offer remedial courses to the many Dewey students who got to graduation through credit fraud. Elvin, you are a destructive person in every way. It will come back to you some day.

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  120. "Please don't politicize a human tragedy"???????? You think Foulas' daughter's were being political at their mother's wake, when they told you ELVIN to never show your face near them again? Despicable post.

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  121. It is high time to put the fighting words and raw emotions sent to this post to real action: let's see if the Chancellor "walks the walk" or just "talks the talk"; send her your comments at { CG Farina@schools.nyc.gov } Even if she is not willing to act- which I believe is the case- flooding her with complaints about the monstrous Elvin- and keeping a copy for future reference, should our reporting her ever be acknowledged, or if she is ever brought to justice- will at least make it so the DOE cannot claim they were not aware of the level of devilish acts she has done to literally destroy the lives of Dewey teachers and Dewey community! And, for what its worth, which isn't much, send to Mulgrew, too!!! {MMulgrew@UFT.org}

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  122. Yesterday afternoon, there was a stabbing between two people working in the cafeteria- a Ukrainian girl was jumped and beaten last Friday in a racially charged incident that went unreported just as Dr. Sheik's chair crashed on the head incident last year went unreported. Drug usage near the Harway apartment project across the street from Dewey has been the subject of numerous complaints by residents there...a large spike in crime has taken place under Elvin. Elvin has ruined Dewey- which never had racial incidents in the past!!!!

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  123. The man who directs the credit recovery scam which sends so many students into the adult world without a proper high school education is Andrew Kenny, one of the boss’s three first lieutenants imported into Dewey from Williamsburg Preparatory. Double dubbed by Elvin, he holds the titles of Knight of Guidance and Knight of Programming. It is his royal bearing that forbids him from returning greetings to lowly serfs such as ourselves as he walks through our once hallowed halls.

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  124. Elvineezer Scrooge, the ghost of Dewey Past speaks to you from this blog and the other blogs as well. Look back at your three years of wrong doing. What say ye? We say: please move on and take the Williamsburg Prep crowd with you.

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  125. The double Knighthood of Andrew Kenney mentioned above is a dangerous problem for John Dewey High School. How will we ever be able to get out from under the massive credit fraud which continues to occur if he is allowed to create illegal credit "courses". These courses are worked into the teaching schedules of new untenured teachers and tenured ones who received ineffective or developing last year and must comply with Sir Andrew's plan or risk another ineffective or developing next time. It really is a mess at Dewey. Kenney knows no other way to help students who've failed classes than to fix their credit accumulation issues with the same recovery programs that were in place last year. Since the DOE and OSI have been alerted to this, it must be that they think Kenney's brand of cynicism, which he probably learned from the extremely cynical Elvin, is a good thing, that it's fine to continue to hurt children this way. Kenney's awful lack of charm and his continuing condescension toward many staff could be overlooked if he were a good person where children are concerned. He's extremely detached from children, perhaps has none of his own, but this shouldn't interfere with what is best for young people who need to learn the value of hard work and who should not be taught that EZ Pass is something open to them. "You're not part of the team" he's been known to scream at certain staff members. What team is he talking about??? The losers who call themselves AP's and who go along with the hurtful credit scams which don't seem to go away? The losers who write evaluations of teachers, many ineffectives, or one saying one thing, the other saying the opposite about the same teacher, all presented for approval to the big "leader" in 111? " Dear Team" he says in some e mails. Wake up Kenney. Very few staff think of themselves as being on your "team". You and the WPrep crowd are the enemy of the staff. Your "team" should be dissolved.

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  126. Rumor has it that Elvin is organizing the administration to go caroling soon. Rumor also has it that they may start in Queens near the Karras home to further prove that Kathleen was 'sincere' in her praise and approbation for their dear departed mother. After that we hear that she is planning a retreat for the AP's to Alaska because they have been under such "stress" . But Kate was very displeased to hear that a local chapter of the Hell's Angels completely booked every spot in the baby seal expedition. Don't worry Kath, there's always next year and a new litter of pups!

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  127. That stubborn mule of a principal continues to openly defy the UFT on the issue of "collectible do-nows". I guess she has learned to call the UFT's bluff, since- if they were anything BUT a bunch of thin-skinned, ineffectual bluffers- THEY would have called HER bluff the day she was delivered to the school like a certain virus I won't name. It has been said that there is a serious union presence in the building (I haven't seen it, but, then again, I'm just a lowly instructor locked away in my corner of Hades here), in addition, the OSI sleazoids are amongst us. Beware the suits and the pants-suits, Elvina- they comin to GETCHA!!!

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  128. The stubborn mule also continues to offer illegal credit recovery and no one is stopping her. How is this possible?. Didn't we receive a letter from Dr. Phil Weinberg at the DOE concerning this topic? We thought he outlined the rules for credit recovery. Why issue this letter if there is no follow up as to whether schools are paying attention to the rules? The mule should be carted out in a wheelbarrow because she continues to violate the rules.

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  129. Stop insulting mules by comparing them to our principal!!! Mules are useful and serve a purpose!

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  130. Rumor has it that Chao wept uncontrollably and was inconsolable when she heard the news about the baby seal part of the trip being booked up.

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  131. I’m working on a variation of a classic holiday tune. Maybe some of you would like to add some verses as the days of our vacation progress.

    “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
    One EZ Pass Credit Recovery!”

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  132. Elvin's New Year Resolution: 1.Work harder to create a "Workers' State Island" at The John Dewey High School Campus; 2. create a link with the soon-to-be-commercially-viable-for-American capital Cuba's Tourist Dept. and propose an "Ineffective- Teacher- Non-Stop- Balsero -Caravan to Mariela Harbor (with the hope of renaming it "Catalina Harbor" in the future!); 3.contact Denis Rodman to come and give a "pep talk" at the next Faculty Enhanced -Information-Gathering Session (i.e. "Faculty Meeting") on the topic of "Using Sports Teams and Personalities to Promote Healthy Groveling Before Maximum Leaders"; 4. create a bulletin board for " Dewey Honors Ferguson's Finest", with an auditorium event featuring the Principal's hero, Officer Darren Wilson, interviewed by Our First Lady herself, via Skype; 5. Inaugurate the Joel Klein-Kathy Black Memorial Garden, with a flower bed reserved for future to-be-deceased-staff members (purchaseable by staff with their Teacher Choice funds); 6. break ground for the first-ever "I Can't Breathe Fun Run" ,and schedule the Gym for an upcoming weekend (now that those bothersome Flames are out of the picture!); 7. Hold a combination "Hedgefund Wedding" (to replace that odious "Hippie Wedding"!) and Cross Burning on the Athletic Field honoring personal "galpals" Eva Moskowitz and a sensational robotized effigy of a "pregnant" Eva Braun, (created under School Safety's armed "persuasion" by Dewey's very own Robotics Team! ) and culminating in the "immaculate/digitalized conception" of "The Sapphic Kathleen", a rabid unbreakable cholera-spewing "doll" that will birthe at the entrance to The Loading Dock on the anniversary of "Dewey's Dowager Queen"'s first working day at Dewey ; 8.funnel all remaining ATR's and "3020A"ers into the former Teachers' Lounge on the 2nd floor, and rechristen it "The UFT Waiting-To-Be-Terminated Room"; have supervisors escort all OSI "visitors" into the former Teachers' Lounge on the 3rd floor, and run continuous relays of hash brownies and mescaline-dowsed smoothies from the former Teachers' Cafeteria into the locked-from-the-outside room; 9.sharpen the Cook's knives in the Student Cafeteria; 10. have the Parent Coordinator start a rumor that the Dishwasher is having an affair with the Cook's wife; 11. schedule a "behind-the-scenes tour" of the cafeteria upon the Parent Coordinator's return from her assignment; 12. contact NBC to see if they could use a highly- effective high school principal for the next season of "Undercover Boss", and buy an Imelda Marcos mask in anticipation of the episode, so as to work unsuspected side-by-side with the rodents- I mean the teachers...let's stop at 12 in honor of "The 12 Days of Christmas"!!! "Ah, Humbug!"

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  133. Okay, I'll bite...On the second day of Christmas, Elvin gave to me
    Two Senior House movies
    and an EZ Pass Credit recovery

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  134. Whoops
    On the fourth day of Christmas Elvin gave to meeee

    Four ineffectives
    Three crooked APs
    Two Senior House Movies and an
    EZ Pass Credit Recovery

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  135. On the 12th day of Christmas Elvin gave to me
    12 Network Cronies
    Leven Bloomberg Homies
    Ten transcripts (phonies)
    9 tons baloney
    8 lustigs leapin
    7 kenneys creepin
    6 crevlins weepin
    Fiiive Onnion Riinngs ( pilfered from student cafeteria!)
    4 3020's
    3 Ineffectives
    2 Cohort spreadsheets
    and a Packet for credit recovery

    Thank you Very Much

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  136. I hope Elvin won't be back when we return to John Dewey High School in January. Elvin and her APs have made life miserable for many teachers. Many fabulous teachers have transferred to other schools or retired so they could rid themselves of a slave-driver. Elvin forces teachers to have a high passing rate. If the teachers do not, they face retribution from one of her crooked APs. I hope Farina listens to us and investigates the EZPASS credit system Elvin has instituted at JDHS. Students are passing even though they do little to no work, pass very few exams and are absent frequently. This is criminal!!! However, if we dare stand up to Elvin or her APs, we will be targeted and will definitely get an INEFFECTIVE or a DEVELOPING rating. I hope FARINA could answer this question. How did John Dewey High School have a high graduation rate but have many developing or ineffective teachers? Could it be that ELVIN despises teachers?

    I hope OSI comes to the building again. Many teachers are lining up to tell OSI what you and your APs are doing. I also hope that Mrs Karas's daughter files a wrongful death lawsuit against you personally ELVIN and the DOE. Say goodbye to that building you own in Manhattan. Many of us will also tell or write letters to the Karas family and show how your treatment of her led to her death. RIP Foula.

    PLEASE MS> FARINA, come to investigate the illegal credit recovery and the forcing of teachers to pass students. Remember, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. Here at Dewey we are leaving many students behind because we fail to educate them properly.

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  137. I hope that 2015 brings John Dewey High School the support it needs to rid us of the Principal from Hell and her minions...may we return to a school that had morals and values and honor. May we start being allowed to treat students as learners, not provide them with passing grades for classes they didn't take, or took with little or no work to show for it (as per the Principal and AP's directives). May the teachers feel supported and dare I say, happy at work, instead of constantly feeling pressured and demoralized. Let there be PD's that don't treat the staff like 2nd graders, and let there be time to do our jobs and not just go from meeting to meeting....A happy and healthy new year John Dewey High School...lets stick together!

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  138. Before the BIG LIE is spread by the administration, that Foula Karras was offered a lot of support, and we have been expecting it- let’s clarify a few things. As Elvin says: “Let’s drill down and get granular!” Here is how Foula Karras was done…
    The Security Agents have been complaining for well over two years now that Elvin’s “restorative justice” ( read statistic padding scam ) denudes them of any deterring power visa vie the students except for language. The kids quickly grasp this and the guards feel they are rendered as powerless clowns. (their own words )
    Now the same dynamic applies to the deans. Karras’ classes were okay for most of the term. As soon as they started getting a little crazy, a dean would show up and address the misbehaving student or students in a loud, stern voice like so: “ I don’t want to come back here again and see you doing this!”
    The deans ( and I don’t blame them- their hands were tied ) know full well that taking a student down to Lustig for anything short of an assault would have him looking at them like they just shot his new Yorkshire Terrier. So they would move on. Human nature being what it is, they might take an extra lap before returning to room 345. Looking like a powerless buffoon to a classroom full of ninth graders is not a good career move for a dean! Now, the misbehaving student has seen that NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING has happened except for language and begins to test the waters of mischief again, fueled by animus for the reporting teacher who pointed him/her out! Soon others are emboldened by the chaos and as two deans walk by the room they perhaps share a comment: “Jeez, she really can’t control the class!” A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY!!!
    Now dear reader, what should have been done? As soon as this particular group ( and other teachers have corroborated their difficult-ness ) got crazy, suspensions should have followed!!! If one student from each of Karras ‘ classes were suspended for two consecutive weeks and she had the power to demand it, you REALLY don’t think that order would have been restored? The classes are fine now. Why? Because the kids now know they are on a short leash! Because reportage will happen because it NOW FITS THE NARRATIVE that Karras was a weak teacher and SEE everybody how this teacher keeps them quiet? Puhleeze!!!!!
    Last query dear reader, given the choice between ten to fifteen extra suspensions on Elvin’s statistical record or a stressed out, sick or quite possibly dead senior teacher…which choice do you think Elvin would make? I’m not giving my opinion but I will say this…I know that my choice is what Elvin would have chosen 100 out of 100 times

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  139. Here’s a challenge that I believe you can easily meet! As of this writing you are at 189 posts on this blog. Let’s aim for at least 200 by January 5, the day you return to Dewey.

    And remember, at this point it is not only the Dewey family that is reading these blog posts! The media, various educational institutions, and community groups are also reading on a regular basis. So keep this greater audience in mind and make your words count!!!

    And here’s to at least 200 by January 5, 2015!!

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  140. For those who've never read or have forgotten the 1837 fable, "The Emperor Has No Clothes", written by Hans Christian Anderson, allow me to give a rather quick synopsis. Basically, the Emperor was more concerned about his apperance than in his duties as emperor. He only cared about his clothes and showing them off. He lacked honesty and any sense of integrity. In the end of the fable, the Emperor paraded through town naked, unsure if the clothes specially made for him truly had magical powers to be visible only to those who were wise and competent in their posts. Townspeople were too frightened to speak out, for they knew it was all a lie. Finally, an innocent child spoke the truth. Staff at JDHS, just like the townspeople in the story, are too frightened to speak out, yet, they know the truth. The Emperor suspected the townspeople were right, but felt the procession had to go on. The question is, does Principal Elvin truly believe that Dewey is functioning well and that students are being taught the necessary tools ( hard work, sense of responsibility, proper social behavior, etc.) to function either in college or in the workplace, or is she like the Emperor, suspecting it is all a sham but plodding ahead anyway?

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  141. Elvin and Cuomo are in agreement about how teachers should be evaluated. She must be feeling quite good about this. The Governor is also not happy about the fact that only 37% of high school students are college ready. He should come to Dewey to examine the EZ Pass system in place there. What do you think of that Governor? Did they have that at Archbishop Molloy where you went to High School? And did they also have the "Restorative Justice" system in place for (not) disciplining students?

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  142. There are so many comments in all of these blogs about life at Dewey. Someone mentioned in one of the blogs that the Dewey Principal went to the wake of the teacher she treated with great cruelty for two years, rating her ineffective many times. The Principal then spoke of the deceased teacher in glowing terms over the loudspeaker and at House meetings. The blog comment also asked whether a stable person would really think that anyone believed anything they had said about the deceased teacher suggesting that if she thinks they did believe her words of praise, then there's something wrong. But many people, especially the wealthy people in this society, don't really care if anyone thinks they're not stable. Their mission to advance themselves overrides everything, and if the outside world asks whether or not the Principal did offer words of praise for the deceased teacher, words that could be heard by students and staff, the Principal can say yes, and the DOE will think that the students were properly approached concerning this sad event. The students don't know what the Principal does to teachers and the DOE doesn't care.

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  143. The Criminals who run John Dewey High School are part of the not ready for college problem that Cuomo talked about a few days ago. They never offer real credit recovery, they want teachers to maintain 85% passing in all classes, they change failing grades to passing grades if a student does 3 hours of work for the class they failed. They threaten teachers who don't pass enough students. It's a corrupt system. The students lose in the end. To the administration, please don't think anyone thinks you're there for the kids. You wouldn't be doing this if that were the case.

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  144. As a former Dewey teacher, I'm reading these blogs and can only draw one conclusion: The DOE likes what Kathleen Elvin does. They like the fact that the graduation rate is higher. It doesn't matter how it got to be that way. It's higher than when Fried was in the building. He was probably afraid to apply fraudulent credit practices to get the school off the closing list. Elvin got the go ahead to cheat at her previous school and they got an A. The DOE doesn't care how you get there. That's obvious.

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  145. It is now January 2, 2015. Many Dewey teachers are dreading going back to work on Monday. We are not dreading educating students, in fact we LOVE teaching. We are dreading Elvin and her lackey assistant principals coming into our classroom and rating us on a harsh scale. John Dewey High School scored a B on 3 consecutive report card grades, had an above average graduation rate, yet we cannot get the administration to stop harassing us. It has been proven that employees work harder when they are appreciated and are treated fairly by their supervisors. I do not understand why Mulgrew and Farina allow Elvin's harsh treatment of our faculty to continue. When Dewey flourished, we had teachers who were willing to do anything for our students. Now we have teachers who are worried about their careers.

    If a teacher takes a sick day, Elvin and her lackey assistant principals will walk into the teacher's classroom and find a way to write the lesson up as ineffective. Teachers come in sick and do not take off days the 10 days they are entitled to take off, without a doctor's note, out of fear that Elvin and her lackey assistant principals will walk into their classroom and rate them ineffective. Contractually, we are entitled to 10 days off, including 10 days off in a row, without a doctor's note or retribution by the administration.

    The Credits R Us program has to stop. I hope that the media, DOE, Farina and or Mulgrew come to investigate the criminal activities going on at John Dewey High School. We are passing students for doing minimal work because our administration bullies us into passing students who deserve to fail. The students have picked up on your practices and that has made it harder for us to teach because a student now knows that they can get a grade change, credit packets and seat time (sitting in a room doing nothing regents week) instead of coming to class, doing a collectible do now, doing homework and passing tests. Why should they do any of this if Elvin created an atmosphere of "The Lazy student Will Pass".

    So congratulations Elvin, you "saved" Dewey and then you ruined her by your negative attitude towards teachers.

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  146. I just don’t want to go back tomorrow. I've never felt like this after an extended break. I used to be happy to return after a week off, rested and ready to work. Now I just dread going back. It’s that simple.

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  147. It would be really great to hear people answer the last question of the "Emperor's New Clothes" (1/2) . Does anyone think Elvin know's it's a sham and just plods along anyway? Does anyone think that Elvin cares that the students learn what hard work is, or a sense of responsibility, or proper social behavior. I never thought about things at Dewey this way and I can't remember Elvin or any of the AP's ever talking about this except for the school "tone" lectures which are quickly followed by "What is restorative justice"? Does anyone think that Elvin just plods along?

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  148. Elvin only cares about statistics. She demands that students retake the Algebra and English exams so they could receive "college ready scores" She tells them that if they get "college ready" scores on the Algebra Regent(80) and English Regent (75) they will not have to take remedial classes in college. This is clear that Elvin is willing to deny students extra help in college so she could boost her college ready statistics. So as we can clearly see, The Emperor Has No Clothes. It is all about her statistics (clothes) and not about students.

    On another note, I hope her APs do not get effective ratings this year and or tenure. Shouldn't they be blamed for having so many "Ineffective and Developing" teachers. If they cannot transform an ineffective teacher into a developing one, aren't they ineffective as well?

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  149. As a former Dewey teacher, I feared taking a day off because the last time I did that, Elvin and an AP popped in to my classroom and gave me an ineffective lesson. Last week I took off a day in my new school and did not get a visit. In fact my AP asked how I was doing. What a pleasure it is to work for a supervisor who appreciates your hard work and effort and does not belittle your ability.

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