Monday, January 12, 2015

The Slime Still Oozes at Tweed as Racist Fomer Principal, Elif Gure-Perez, Holds Onto Job

Elif Gure-Perez, who was named in June as an executive director in the DOE’s Office of School Improvement, created a “hostile, race-based work environment,” a Manhattan federal court found months before her appointment.
“From the moment Villavicencio refused to file false reports on these African-American teachers, Gure-Perez started a campaign to terminate Villavicencio’s employment as assistant principal,” Manhattan federal Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in a November ruling. The case is set for trial on Jan. 27. 
Gure-Perez, the former principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, called one staffer the N-word to her face; referred to an African-American teacher as “Shining,” an insulting term for a shoe shiner; and spoke of buying a bright orange blouse to wear to school “since I know black people like loud colors,” witnesses testified.... In her new post, Gure-Perez is assigned to support 14 high schools in the mayor’s $150 million School Renewal Program for struggling schools, according to DOE spokesman Will Mantell. Her salary is $144,195. Asked why Chancellor Carmen Fariña promoted Gure-Perez in light of the complaints, the DOE had no comment..... 

Thanks to the reporting of my former editor at The Wave, Howie Schwach at his OnRockawy site and the Sue Edelman report in the NY Post. Note that the court found Gure-Perez guilty "months BEFORE she was appointed by Farina to a $145,000 job. I'm sure she brings special skills to the job that transcend her racism.
In March, a Manhattan jury found Gure-Perez liable for civil damages, awarding Lovejoy $110,000, which the city is paying.
So what's a measly 100 grand and after other law suits expect that number to grow. If you're a principal you can do pretty much anything and still rise up the ladder. What is interesting about this case is that other supervisors are making the charges, including a current principal, Christina Villavicencio, of Rockaway elementary school, PS 197. Good for her, making a comeback like this, though discontinued teachers don't seem to have much chance.

For those who disbelieve teachers who charge that they come under assault by vicious bully principals, Villavicenio's story should be a model.
Principal Gure-Perez instructed Assistant Principal Villavicencio to “aggressively supervise ‘older staff members’ at PS 316 to shake them up.” All of these staff members were minorities, and all but one was African-American. The principal directed Villavicencio to re-observe two African-American teachers whom Villavicencio had rated “Satisfactory” because Gure-Perez “wanted these teachers to be rated Unsatisfactory . . . because they were ‘old’ and African Americans.” She instructed Villavicencio to use “fear” and “intimidation” against a third teacher in order to “make her retire.”
I used to tell Joel Klein that supporting slug principals like this undermines any legitimate attempt to remove really bad teachers because you never know. PS 316 is in Crown Heights, District 17, a district with a lot of African-American teachers, many of them older. Reports have been coming in about other schools where they are under assault by abusive principals, many of whom are black themselves (PS 399K Principal Marion Brown Accused of Running School With Concentration Camp Mentality). Is there some element of racists working out of Tweed? (I know of one recently appointed Superintendent who was a former principal and had black teachers at that school tell me she was.)
In March 2009, Gure-Perez started to “create a false paper trail to get rid of Villavicencio from PS 316,” criticizing her for not clocking in for the month of November and telling Villavicencio that she did not have a “backbone to write up teachers.” In a single day, March 17, 2009, Gure-Perez placed seven disciplinary letters in Villavicencio’s file. On March 26, 2009, Gure-Perez gave plaintiff the first “Unsatisfactory” rating of her career, together with a notice of discontinuance of her probationary service as assistant principal. 
Villavicencio's life in hell continued when she was demoted and sent to a school run by a friend of Gure-Perez, PS 191 run by Principal Elsi Capolongo who is still there. Both are thugs. Let's see how she treated Villavicencio.
A few days after Villavicencio started working at P.S. 191, Capolongo told Villavicencio to come to her office with a United Federation of Teachers (“UFT”) representative because the meeting could lead to disciplinary action. The UFT chapter leader advised Villavicencio to leave the school because “[Capolongo and her friends] are after you.” The plaintiff alleges that because of her refusal to discriminate as directed, Gure-Perez terminated her position as assistant principal when transferring her, resulting in a salary reduction. Further, the experiences with Gure-Perez and Capolango led Villavicencio to take medical leave due to anxiety and depression. Villavicencio was prescribed medication and therapy for her condition. 
These people are the DOE version of rogue detective Louis Scarcella (New York City Settles Three Brothers' Wrongful Conviction Cases for $17 Million) and should be in jail for their blatant misuse of their positions.

We have maintained that tenure protects teachers from racism, though it is clear that racists will find a way. But tenure forces them into creating a paper trail, aided by DOE Legal, where you can find a crew of Black lawyers helping them do the dirty work. You wouldn't have found these people marching over a bridge in Selma.




Howie Schwach's OnRockaway
http://www.onrockaway.com/page-5.html

New DOE supervisor has been charged with racism, illegal conduct by PS 197 principal 


Posted at 1 p.m. on Jan. 11
     The principal of PS 197 on Hicksville Road in Far Rockaway is embroiled in a controversy not of her own making that involves a disgraced former school principal who has now been promoted by Mayor Bill de Blasio to a top Department of Education post despite multiple charges that she’s racist.
      Elif Gure-Perez, who was named in June as an executive director in the DOE’s Office of School Improvement, created a “hostile, race-based work environment,” a Manhattan federal court found months before her appointment. Gure-Perez, the former principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, called one staffer the N-word to her face; referred to an African-American teacher as “Shining,” an insulting term for a shoe shiner; and spoke of buying a bright orange blouse to wear to school “since I know black people like loud colors,” witnesses testified.
     She denied the accusations.
      In her new post, Gure-Perez is assigned to support 14 high schools in the mayor’s $150 million School Renewal Program for struggling schools, according to DOE spokesman Will Mantell. Her salary is $144,195. Asked why Chancellor Carmen Fariña promoted Gure-Perez in light of the complaints, the DOE had no comment.
     During the 2008-2009 school year, Christina Villavicencio, now the Rockaway principal, served as an assistant principal at P.S. 316 under the supervision of Principal Elif Gure-Perez. Her status was probationary.
      The allegations by the plaintiff Villavicencio against the New York City Department of Education and Principal Gure-Perez are as follows: that Principal Gure-Perez instructed Assistant Principal Villavicencio to “aggressively supervise ‘older staff members’ at PS 316 to shake them up.” All of these staff members were minorities, and all but one was African-American. The principal directed Villavicencio to re-observe two African-American teachers whom Villavicencio had rated “Satisfactory” because Gure-Perez “wanted these teachers to be rated Unsatisfactory . . . because they were ‘old’ and African Americans.”
      She instructed Villavicencio to use “fear” and “intimidation” against a third teacher in order to “make her retire.”
     When Villavicencio suggested to Gure-Perez that “it would be fair to give these [minority] staff members . . . a little time before they were formally observed and/or evaluated, Gure-Perez sneered: ‘So you think these teachers are entitled to work in this building?’”
     Villavicencio alleged that she “refused to be Perez’s tool for the discriminatory treatment of African Americans and older staff at PS 316,” toward whom Perez showed “blatant disrespect . . . in the presence of students and others, using intimidating language, threats of arrest and/or dismissal, excessive write-ups, and forceful suggestions of retirement.”
     Villavicencio, however, would not provide older African American teachers with unwarranted “Unsatisfactory” ratings as ordered, and refused to follow Perez’s “instructions to use intimidation, fear, excessive false write-ups, and other foul tactics” on older African American teachers “so Perez could get rid of those individuals from PS 316.”
    She alleged that once Gure-Perez realized Villavicencio would not take part in “her plan to use trumped-up write-ups, fraudulent evaluations and false pretenses to get rid of older African American staff at PS 316,” the principal “began to nitpick and find non-existent fault with Villavicencio’s work.”
     In March 2009, Gure-Perez started to “create a false paper trail to get rid of Villavicencio from PS 316,” criticizing her for not clocking in for the month of November and telling Villavicencio that she did not have a “backbone to write up teachers.”
      In a single day, March 17, 2009, Gure-Perez placed seven disciplinary letters in Villavicencio’s file. On March 26, 2009, Gure-Perez gave plaintiff the first “Unsatisfactory” rating of her career, together with a notice of discontinuance of her probationary service as assistant principal.
     It is further alleged that Villavicencio was reassigned to P.S. 191 on April 2, 2009, under the supervision of Principal Capolongo. Capolongo, a friend of Gure-Perez, told Villavicencio on multiple occasions: “‘I’m not Ms. Gure-Perez and not one to mess around with.’” Gure-Perez allegedly encouraged Capolongo to give Villavicencio a hard time. A few days after Villavicencio started working at P.S. 191, Capolongo told Villavicencio to come to her office with a United Federation of Teachers (“UFT”) representative because the meeting could lead to disciplinary action. The UFT chapter leader advised Villavicencio to leave the school because “[Capolongo and her friends] are after you.” The plaintiff alleges that because of her refusal to discriminate as directed, Gure-Perez terminated her position as assistant principal when transferring her, resulting in a salary reduction. Further, the experiences with Gure-Perez and Capolango led Villavicencio to take medical leave due to anxiety and depression. Villavicencio was prescribed medication and therapy for her condition.
     “From the moment Villavicencio refused to file false reports on these African-American teachers, Gure-Perez started a campaign to terminate Villavicencio’s employment as assistant principal,” Manhattan federal Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in a November ruling. The case is set for trial on Jan. 27.
     Gure-Perez, 40, who emigrated from Turkey in 2001, got her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University and a master’s degree in education from NYU. She joined the DOE in 2002 and quickly took administrative posts. She was principal of PS 316 from 2008 to 2011, then was moved to DOE headquarters.
      On her Twitter page, Gure-Perez has supported the policies of Mayor de Blasio, including curbing co-locations of charter schools in DOE buildings. Last February, she retweeted a Chalkbeat.org article headlined “Fariña’s game plan to undo (and redo) the Bloomberg years.”
    

DOE names accused racist to ‘school improvement’ post

http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/doe-names-accused-racist-to-school-improvement-post/

The de Blasio administration promoted a disgraced principal to a top Department of Education post despite multiple charges that she’s racist, The Post has learned.
Elif Gure-Perez, who was named in June as an executive director in the DOE’s Office of School Improvement, created a “hostile, race-based work environment,” a Manhattan federal court found months before her appointment.
Gure-Perez, the former principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, called one staffer the N-word to her face; referred to an African-American teacher as “Shining,” an insulting term for a shoe shiner; and spoke of buying a bright orange blouse to wear to school “since I know black people like loud colors,” witnesses testified.
She denied the accusations.
In her new post, Gure-Perez is assigned to support 14 high schools in the mayor’s $150 million School Renewal Program for struggling schools, according to DOE spokesman Will Mantell. Her salary is $144,195.
Asked why Chancellor Carmen Fariña promoted Gure-Perez in light of the complaints, the DOE had no comment.
Former PS 316 parent coordinator Carolyn Lovejoy testified she broke down in tears when Gure-Perez yelled at her, “Get out of my office, you n—-r, get out!”
In March, a Manhattan jury found Gure-Perez liable for civil damages, awarding Lovejoy $110,000, which the city is paying.
An assistant principal who testified in Lovejoy’s case, Martin Williams, said Gure-Perez repeatedly used the phrase “black ass” in discussing teachers, and told him to “crack the whip.”
“I felt belittled, and as a black person and an astute student of history, it smacks of racism to me,” Williams said.
Williams said he complained to then-Chancellor Joel Klein after Gure-Perez made reference to a story called “Old Black Joe,” which teachers considered a negative stereotype, at a faculty meeting.
Within 24 hours, Gure-Perez sent Williams to the infamous rubber room, he said, where he sat for four months on “trumped-up charges.”
In a related suit, Elizabeth Butler, a veteran teacher trainer at PS 316, accused Gure-Perez of repeatedly saying she sat on her “old ass.”
“Total disrespect and constant embarrassment” drove Butler to retire, she says.
In another pending suit, then-assistant principal Christina Villavicencio claims Gure-Perez punished her for defying orders to give bogus “Unsatisfactory” ratings to older African-American teachers, and to use “fear and intimidation” tactics to drive them out.
Villavicencio, who is seeking $1 million in damages, said Gure-Perez slapped her with seven disciplinary letters in one day, gave her the first U-rating of her career and fired her.
“From the moment Villavicencio refused to file false reports on these African-American teachers, Gure-Perez started a campaign to terminate Villavicencio’s employment as assistant principal,” Manhattan federal Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in a November ruling. The case is set for trial on Jan. 27.
Gure-Perez, 40, who immigrated from Turkey in 2001, got her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University and a master’s degree in education from NYU. She joined the DOE in 2002 and quickly took administrative posts. She was principal of PS 316 from 2008 to 2011, then was moved to DOE headquarters.
On her Twitter page, Gure-Perez has supported the policies of Mayor de Blasio, including curbing co-locations of charter schools in DOE buildings. Last February, she retweeted a Chalkbeat.org article headlined “Fariña’s game plan to undo (and redo) the Bloomberg years.”
After her termination, Villavicencio went back to teaching, but became principal of PS 197 in Far Rockaway, Queens, in 2012. She declined to comment. Lovejoy said only, “It’s been horrible.”

 

106 comments:

  1. Gure-Perez is the darling of the superintendent Amy Horowitz. Horowitz is in charge of the high schools deemed "Out of Time". From the reports it looks as if these schools are "Out of Luck" if these anachronisms from Tweed are in charge. Of importance there is a change in the way the DOE is supporting new principals and those struggling. The department is sending former administrators from the Education Consultants-Labor Support Unit into schools to get rid of teachers using the new evaluation system.

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  2. What's amazing is that Villavicencio, the "victim" in this case is 10x worse than Gure-Perez. She is running 197 into the ground, taking it from an A school to an F. In her short term as principal of that school she has run out 30-40 highly rated teachers who had been at that school for many years, 99% conveniently white! One veteran teacher even died after being hospitalized and coming back to work to being severely harassed by this woman, causing her so much distress that she died of a heart attack. The real person who needs to be investigated is Villavicencio. The former chapter leader, is her "right hand man" who buries teachers' along with the principal, in exchange for her hiring his sister in law, as well as non-existent schedule and a job as the AP, which has since been rescinded, with no knowledge of why. The list of her wrong doings goes on and on! Falsifying records, changing IEPs, calling 311 on her own teachers, bribing parents with food, etc.... She has been reported numerous times to the union and the superintendent. Nothing was ever done! Nepotism is also alive and well at this school. All new hires are friends of hers, the chapter leader, or people in the network that she's friends with! No interviews for any positions, such as cluster or coaching, IEP teachers, etc.. have ever been posted; they were just handed to these people.

    All anyone has to do is investigate this fraud! Check how many times 311 was called on her. Ask her how many teachers left that school under her tyrant rule? Unfortunately I'm one of the "unlucky" ones; I'm still there! It is an awful place to work!

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    1. Dear Anonymous, If this is such an awful place to work, why haven't you gone on the open market to appply for another position.? Also, since Ms Villavicencio has the power to cause heart attacks, I'd appreciate the lotto numbers. You sound like an angry, vendictive person who is part of the problem and not the solution. I'd like to know where you have gotten your information. Fact: During the summer there was a panel of teachers from 197 that interviewed all candidates for vacant positions. Did you apply for any of the vacancies? Since it is your belief that the union nor the superintendent has done nothing, maybe the alligiations were unfounded. It is my opinion that YOU should be investigated and sued for deformation of character. And, conveniently, are these posts because the principal is a woman and Hispanic?????

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    2. This principal appears to not know anything relying on her network to save her in all she does. Her meetings are nothing more than detailed accounts of her life and experiences.

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  3. Where is your Union? 197 needs help!

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  4. I heard about that chapter leader at 197, Herrera, I think his name is. He is some piece of work. He elected himself after being pushed out and then the newly elected chapter leader was illegally excessed so that the principal wouldn't have to deal with him. This left the door open for him to become chapter leader after nominating himself. He is known to have turned on his teachers, telling the principal everything they said to him privately and pushing her agenda, to rid experienced "white" teachers. This was done in exchange for hiring his sister in law, who was not even licensed and giving him a non-existent schedule (maybe 2-3 classes per week.) . She worked under a sub license, which in turn left the school with no subs. I heard that every time a teacher was out, the classes were split. Unreal! He gives the union a bad name. How does this go on when everyone knows about it, meaning the union and the superintendent.

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    1. Wow a lot of false information went it to that whole post. As a teacher in this school for 8 years I can tell you that you are dead wrong on many fronts to begin with any teacher can run for UFT leadership no one needs to be nominated only an election needs to be held. Secondly sometimes people leave for different reasons better commute or simply a need for change. As I recall since I was actually in the auditorium at the time with all teachers attending when no one wanted to run for chapter leader after the previous chapter leader was excessed. Now I understand you can attribute a teacher’s reluctance to running for UFT leader to feeling scared of reprisal or some other sense of uncertainty. It still does not speak to the fact that everyone was asked in a public forum and no one wanted to be a chapter leader not one hand went up. BTW I read up on excessing it has to go in order of seniority and it has to follow DOE/UFT regulations not to mention that there is an appeal process over the summer. I should know I went through it prior to coming to PS197. If you are afraid to advocate for yourself you can't really complain about those who step up to the plate and try hard to support some of the disgruntled teachers who checked out a long time ago and who no longer look at their students as possible future leaders but rather see them as student nuisances. By the way the union is committed to supporting students there was not one mention of all the good student progress being accomplished at the school 5 new pre-K classes, YMCA 3 year collaboration, Apple Grant computer grant for all students. Only school in the rockaways to be awarded the one to one apple grant from what was shared at various faculty meetings, Teacher of tomorrow school trust me I can go on… Secondly most of the teachers mentioned who left retired or decided a change was needed because education had changed with the arrival of the common core standards. coupled with the fact that teachers were now going to be held accountable for student progress and since we service a large number of students who are not making it with past teacher support. Teachers in general don’t like change they find their comfort zone and then don’t want it to change. Education is ever changing from the No Child Left Behind Act to now Common Core Standards there will always be change in any US Educational System because you are dealing with young evolving student minds always a delicate conversation in educational circles and politics. As a UFT member I am sickened by all this talk of a NON-existent UNION at 197 that is lost and unfair hiring practices or nepotism when when in fact many of the new teachers hired at 197 are white and the union has in the past visited the school and addressed all of these issues. And if any teacher is really that unhappy why on earth would you get out of bed every morning to go to a school you feel is unfair and unsupportive of teacher issues the union has the open market system for this purpose. Perhaps the person who wrote the previous message should check out the open market system it opens up in the spring.

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    2. This post does not sound like any teacher at PS 197!!

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    3. This I know is true. I have witnessed 2 leave myself.

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    4. There is no teacher there for 8 years, so once again, a falsified post! It's ridiculous how much abuse has gone on in 2 1/2 short years!!!!!!!

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    5. And you would know this how?? People have transferred into the school with prior experience from other schools.

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    6. Exactly as I said, no teachers have been AT 197 for 8 years! Transferring does not make you at one school for eight years! More lies!

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    7. Our new chapter leader Mr. Duncan needs to advocate more no support given when recently asked about reorganization. Same story and answer every day.

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  5. I heard that the principal at 197 chases away her APs, they never stay.

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  6. My son goes to PS197Q and I went there back in the 1980's I could not be happier with the education my child is receiving at PS197Q his new teachers show care and support to him and have even set-up ongoing newsletters that help stipulate the learning going on in his class. The principal of the school has openly invited parents to tour the school and opened up the classrooms so that parents can see the learning-taking place in their kid’s school. Their have been numerous educational trips to see plays, Museums, and even onboard an actual airplane. This was so much different than the old 197 where parent concerns were not addressed at all. Mrs. Villavicencio or Mrs. "V" as she likes parents to call her has shown ongoing support to all of the 197 Community. My son just told me that the school is receiving a one to one apple grant where each child will be given a computer. That has never happened at PS197 I should know I went to that school when Mr. Kasserman was principal. As far as I'm concerned I like the new direction of PS197. Two years ago almost all the new teachers showed up on a Saturday with parents to beautify our school grounds even Chelsea Clinton foundation supported our school. I even believe she showed up at the school to offer her support. Speaking as a parent I have never seemed PS197 more attuned to providing their students with a quality education. Sometimes a change in new staff works wonders for a failing school btw if PS197 school is so bad why did the teacher labeled Anonymous still teaching their could it be that he or she doesn't want to start fresh somewhere else under perhaps a different administration or perhaps this person lives in a nearby area and doesn't want to deal with a longer commute. PS197 parents support our principal Mrs. V.

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  7. I would like to inform anyone who reads this post that P.S 197 has come a long way. Ms. V has created a safe and nurturing environment for all students and has implimented many programs in the school. There are smart boards in almost all classes and a dance and art program as well. There is also a program that addresses our students social emotional needs and they have benefited a great lot from this program. There are lots of parental involvemant and parents are always welcomed in the school. There is a Pre K unit which has five warm and nurturing classes. What is written in the above post is far from the truth. No one wanted to run for UFT chapter leader. The teachers convinced Mr. Herrera to run for the posotion. Teachers sat for a good 10 minutes and no one would come forward for the position. Please don't get amnesia on this topic. The are a lot of dedicated and concious teachers who make sure that their students' academic needs are met.
    Ms. V has an open door policy and welcomes teacher's feed back and involvrment.

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    1. Seriously? Mrs Vs door is never opened and any teacher who speaks up or gives an opinion is ostracized! She is a vicious woman. The parents are blinded by the bribes of food she so often gives to them! Why would 35 plus teachers who spent their whole careers at 197 no longer be there? Think about it! Have you parents checked the grade of your school? It went from an A to a D or F!!!! Get real!!!!!! The school us not safe! If you think classes being split instead of having a sub is safe, I don't know what to say! Look at your teachers faces; they live in fear! They are not happy! The only ones who are, are her friends, who she hand picked as a favor to her friends!!!!!!

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  8. The comments above were obviously made by two of the teachers who get special treatment by Mrs V!

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    1. No special treatment, they just do their job.

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    2. I agree! Comment below "no special treatment, they just do their job" is proof Ms. V rewards the teachers that kiss up to her. There are classrooms still without smartboards and those teachers are the ones V has targeted.

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    3. And the "chosen" stay late because they get paid per session, which is another thing not offered to entire staff! Per session work needs to be posted and afforded to all, not just a select few!

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    4. It is posted and open to all but of course you would have to stay and actually work. Now that would be something a bit out of the norm for teachers who in the past just want to kick back and milk the system more to pad their final years before retirement.

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    5. As far as smart boards are concerned if it wasn't for Mrs. V and the grant writing that goes on by some teachers in the building there would be no smart boards in teachers room. Besides some of the older teachers barely no how to turn the boards on much less use them to their full potential the infusion of technology is only useful when it is embraced totally by a teacher. Most of the teachers in the building are new and they have used the the technology to new level.

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    6. So now you are bashing "older" teachers? Perfect example of the mentality in that building, started at the very top! Unreal!

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    7. No one is bashing older teachers did you not read the word SOME. I refer to the mentality of lets not educate students using the tech tools given to teachers because it so out of their comfort zone and requires planning and engagement. Both of which SOME of those teachers refused to embrace.

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    8. How about training the "older" teachers? They are bashed and harassed bc they use up a huge portion of the budget with their high salaries, which is why V wants them gone and besides that, they challenge her idiotic practices and treatment of teachers!

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    9. Many of the senior teachers who did not leave have decided to embrace the training unfortunately many did not. You can't force training on individuals who feel no need to change their craft after so many years of doing it there way. In their eyes if it was good enough then it should be good enough now. If they really challenged her supposed idiotic practices than they would have run for chapter leader. Change can only occur when unity is established in any school. BTW if her treatment is so bad why do you stay oh I forgot its close to home!

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    10. Unity can not be achieved when your leader separates her friends from the others! Get real!

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  9. Seriously once more another opinion grounded on just that an opinion not facts Mrs. V has to run a school and sometimes all opinions that make sense to a single person or small group of people are not what is best for all the stakeholders in the school. As far as her door not being open it certainly is. However, some teachers fly out of school with bags and keys in their hand at 2:37 pm on the dot readily to storm out as if their lives depended on it. I also understand that teachers are parents to with their own child care issues to worry about so the need to leave on time on certain days is vital I count myself as one of them. I also know the contract say 2:40 pm but really at least dismiss the kids before you dismiss yourselves. In commenting on your misinformed notion that PS197 went from an A school to D or F school rely on factual information. Do you even know that the former chancellor had given out Letter A grades to a majority of NYC schools? You could not pick up a rock and throw it without hitting an A school in the rockaways. For your information things changed when the NYS common core standards came out and the reality of student test scores became apparent that how could the DOE in good faith justify giving any school an A rating with their test scores as bad as they were. BTW when Mrs. V came in the school the school was 3 points from a C rating not A. Get your facts straight as far as the splitting up of classes that happens in all NYC schools when a sub teacher does not show up and its done only as the last resort its hard to get subs to come to even come to the rockaways. And where do you get this magic number of 35 teachers there are only 43 teachers in the school was the custodian teaching the classes? Once more your way off base most off those teachers you mentioned complained about everything under the sun the one thing they never complained about was the level of non teaching they were performing at or the lack of classroom management displayed in their classrooms. Try this for a change come in to work and doing something unheard of actually work because you care, not worry about what time your prep is and if today is an early day or extended work day. If you really cared about the students of PS197 try to contribute not tear down.

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  10. It's too bad you guys aren't debating this issue inside the school. I write for the Wave and Howie Schwach has a Rockaway news website. We are ready to do a story on the school telling both sides. Anonymity protected.
    I will say one thing -- I've been to the school to put out literature in mailboxes for UFT elections and other events and every time I have had a problem with resistance -- the chapter leader telling me I had no right etc even though the UFT put out a notice - I had to call Michael Mendel -- sometimes I had to go back to the school. It did not leave me with a good impression.

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  11. I'm sure lots of people would like to contact you at the wave. Give us a contact email or number. You are right about the secrecy and behavior of the chapter leader!

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  12. Not every school splits classes EVERY time a teacher is out! 197 does! It is an emergency plan not something that should happen daily! I am no longer at that school, but I know for a fact that classes were split on a daily basis! Not sure about this year!

    I do know that the chapter leaders sister in law was taking up the sub budget because she was teaching a testing grade dual language class without certification! Beyond ridiculous!

    Get your facts straight!

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  13. My children attend this school and I am sickened about the previous comments “ Ms. V bribes parents with food”, A question to the Anonymous “unlucky” Teacher, Are you implying that parents from Far Rockaway are animals? Are we that easy to bribe with food? Parent involvement has come a long way, As a previous student from this school, I can tell you that I never felt nurture from the teachers, who sadly are still there and it’s a disgrace. Anonymous “unlucky” Teacher, you are so disrespectful, if you are so unlucky and miserable there, why don’t you just leave? If the mistreatment is so bad as you say, why not become the advocate for your colleagues, first step state your name. I can already imagine your thoughts about the children of 197. I am truly disappointment! To the wave reporter, please interview parents about this too!

    Mrs. Torres

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    1. Speaking as a retired teacher, there's lots of things parents don't know about the way a principal might treat certain teachers. Not taking sides here. But if the story about Ms V not being willing to follow orders to rate people badly at her old school are true then that means something because most APs would knife teachers in the back when ordered to.

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    2. It certainly appears only certain posts are being displayed makes you wonder if the owner of this blog is being biased. Definitely not a UNITY MEMBER FOR SURE.

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    3. Why are only some comments being added???

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  14. To the parents, I am in no way calling the parents animals; I happen to love all my students and parents. The problem is the principal bottom line! I stay here because I love 197. My comment about the food was that parents are fooled by her because she takes good care of the parents, which is done not from her heart, but from a place of deceit! She doesn't want the parents to know how she treats her staff! She wants it to be her and the parents against the teachers! Treating teachers this way does nothing but hurt the students! They are suffering when she changes their IEPs, taking away their services, when classes are spilt, when materials are not given, when the teachers are sick with fear in their own classrooms! I'm sorry but the parents don't know the truth! It's about time they did!!!!

    If I coujd give my name I would, but mrs V would harass me beyond belief!

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    1. This is so not true. You don't have to stay here. You can go love somewhere else. You cannot be teaching and focusing on your students if you have so much false information. Something is definately wrong. Stop this nonsence. Get some love in your heart and you will feel much better about yourself and you can then feel better about others.

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    2. She still harasses teachers she gets her new two new AP's to give conflicting information how all of them became principals is a clue to me.Not one of them has any idea what the other other is doing. Dog and pony show each and every time someone important comes into the building.

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    3. Mrs.V is not a to be trusted she has shown her complete lack of leadership time and time again. She is without a doubt a person with no sense of integrity, and her new Ap's barely know how to organize their own individual thoughts. True leadership is done through empowering teachers by validating their worth not by degrading what they doing every day from their hearts. How long is it going to take for our new district 27 supt. to see all of this for herself. These two new administrators have contributed zero to our school and have shown even less on ideas of how to support us. I hear teachers are now even being escorted out from the principals office for not sharing their own ideas with this new administration. They are either unable to do the work on their own or can't produce quality work. Whatever the case maybe this administration deserves no support.

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  15. Where are Mrs Vs comments, just curious?

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    1. I can see V has answered; I notice all the grammatical errors!

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    2. Thank you Mrs.Byck for that insightful feedback.

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  16. There have been people who have spoken up and spoken out and they were severely harassed and bullied! Very sad!

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  17. V has also used service providers as subs, not allowing them to meet students as required on IEPs.

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  18. Two years ago, the staff sent an anonymous letter to superintendent begging for help with all the abuse at the hand of the principal. The superintendent visited the school and rather than discuss our concerns told us all to leave if we werent happy!

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    1. And by staff you mean 6 teachers out of 43. Apparently those teachers listened they left:)

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  19. The climate at PS197 created by Ms. V. reeks of favoritism. Do your HW and look at the number of excellent teachers who exited the school in record numbers since her arrival...including a number of APs and even secretaries! Make no mistake, THIS HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH COMMON CORE, TEACHER ACCOUNTABILITY OR STUDENT POPULATION. IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH NEPOTISM AND SELECTIVE HARASSMENT. The union leader/ AP failed his staff by not defending them or representing them. Of course, he had a bogus schedule...and, yes, a family member who was unlicensed yet placed as a teacher in a testing grade using up the substitute teacher money, and yes, classes were split not as a last resort but as a regular occurrence. I'm sure the records can be retrieved to prove this. It is ironic tha Ms. V. Is emulating the very person she is suing.

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    1. What about all those years when the PS197 was a SURR SCHOOL TWICE PRIOR TO Ms.V being placed as a principal in that school with all those said excellent teachers. Give me a break during all those prior years nothing was mentioned at all. what about being a SURR school prior to the infusion of the common core state standards of corse nothing was mentioned about that because in those days principal and teachers would get a yearly bonus if the school was moved off the SURR list. Check your information before you start passing judgement. BTW if the union felt there was wrong doing on the part of any chapter leader they would handle it and ask for the uft members of that given school to request a new vote for a new chapter leader which was never done.

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    2. That was done many times but no one wanted to run because they knew if they did, they would be run out of the school or severely bullied! Get real! Ask Ms. Manley how many complaints were made about Mrs V and chapter leader!

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    3. I'm sure complaints were made by a few teachers who feel and think like you do. However your not the majority of the school its called a union not club.Ms. Manley has done nothing but support our school over the years and has tried to build a better union in our school but of course people have to want to do so.

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    4. The union has done nothing to support anyone in that building, except the chapter leader!

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    5. You need help seriously. The Union is not one person in any school. You really need to go to a UFT rally.

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  20. Why won't the teachers of 197 who support V state their names?

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    1. Sure when those who want to bring her down state theirs!

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    2. It's because they will go down with her; she's has put her "Friends" in an awkward position. If they lie its purgery; if they tell the truth she gets in trouble. I feel for all who work for her!

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    3. You need to get a life and enjoy your commute to your new school in a different district if they will even take you. Hopefully you can begin to feel welcomed or try to teach on long island much harder btw. Also if you think NYC contract is bad they have APPR much more difficult than nyc teachers contract. They actually want teachers who work go figure.

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    4. I can tell by your grammar that you have responded, Mrs. V!!!

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  21. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it illegal to have students sitting in one class, but on the attendance sheet (legal document) of another class?

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  22. How about removing documents from teachers' files without consent of teacher?

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    1. This is still happening teachers don't have a clue what is in their files stuff is always added after the fact.

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    2. Principal promised two weeks ago to staff at a PD session that the Table of organization would be posted two Fridays ago. Another lie how can she be trusted to do anything remotely honest.

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    3. She literally goes through people's files and removes any positive information put in there! She is so out of compliance, it's beyond!

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  23. The goal is not to bring anyone down; the goal is for teachers to be treated with respect and humanity! Most of all its about the children! They are the ones who have been hurt by this woman! Great teachers have been harassed beyond belief and replaced with incompetent friends if the principal, people she can bully around and they won't say a word!!!!

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  24. I happen to know someone who works at the school and what some of these comments are saying are totally ture. I have known what people say here for a while. Even some of the poeple she brought in herself have left. I think that what goes around comes around. This lady has over reached her power and thought it would never catch up with her. Being a bully always has consequences. Her time is up! for those who work there and for the students who are not getting the services they are legally entitled to get that may be a very very good thing. Hope and investigation brings out all of her wrong doings.

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    1. A lot of great teachers forced out by this crazy principal who thinks she can't be touched. Her day will come

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    2. Teachers are so fed up in this school with the administration passing judgment on how lower grade teachers are responsible for our low scores. How about having support systems in place from the outset and not relying on other people to interpret your data for you. Is it no wonder that this principal and now her new administrators have zero clue on how to support teachers in general. And they expect teachers to buy into one vision give me a break. The only way to fix a broken system is to replace it with a new fair and equal one for everyone.

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    3. Feed back is never given in the required time frame and when administration does give it makes no sense or is unrelated to the lesson. The new AP's don't know how to provide meaningful feedback makes me wonder if they have any experience. Probably not Ms. Shuong and Mrs.Cooper are not competent administrators they don't know the first thing about how to provide support or engagement. Also explain to me how is is possible that the funding for this school is used up for non-essential materials like new office furniture how is that going to help students?? How about investing in literacy materials that support targeted instruction or better yet why the need to have Mr. Bridgwater who apparently lives on a bridge in the school buried in some dark corner surrounded by water. He's name is appropriate somebody please tell me what is it that he does all day long. Oh I forgot he stays late in the principals office discussing god knows what and doing god knows what. Is it any wonder that this school is failing and will fail when compared to other schools in the Rockaway's who are trying to move forward with much needed resources. I think this information and blog should be leaked to media to expose this administration. it is the only way true change will happen. Parents of PS197Q this was not a failing school prior to Mrs V. This school will be restructured and your children will be left without any support. Mrs. Barton come and see for yourself and interview for yourself teachers are scared to speak for fear of reprisals and backlash when you leave. If you do come speak to them individually you will get a much different picture than what administration tries to spin.

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    4. I am a concerned parent of PS197Q my son is in a testing grade and he tells me that support is given to him last minute by the school and that he is not being given clear instructions on how to proceed with all this last minute support. I will be taking this information and what I have witnessed and I will begin a petition to have this school looked at by parental support in the school. How can any school prosper with this last minute support. I will be contacting the district offices and requesting a meeting about all these allegations.

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    5. This principal is such a bad leader that she has set aside funds for a retreat that the majority of her staff won't attend. All this to explain her mismanagement of her $ resources. She even said how she had thousands of dollars for per session and how it needed to be spent or it would be taken back. Yet teacher resources are no where to be found. Her AP's seem lost and scrambling to do a job they are not capable of with no reflection of true teacher craft. Can someone please tell me why a business manager is needed in an elementary school unless the principal can't do basic math.Who comes and goes when he pleases and spends so much time with her alone in her office into the late evening hours?????? Her staff consider her completely incompetent and worse a liar and snake with no integrity but her own desire to hurt others.

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    6. Several staff members at this school have confirmed the above information. The retreat was attended by less than 6 teachers from a staff of 35 even a chartered bus was requested in order to waste more $ Everyone else who attended where non instructional staff members safety agents, Aides, etc. what a blatant mismanagement of funds that could have been better spent supporting teachers with more resources. HOW MUCH MONEY DOES A SCHOOL HAVE TO WASTE BEFORE THE POWERS THAT BE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? How many audits are needed for Mrs.Barton to act. When this information leaks and it will to the media no one can ever say that people never complained. Worst Principal in the DOE not even close.

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    7. The teachers who stayed there are terrified to speak up; it's the 45 teachers who were pushed out, in one way or another, that would be willing to speak out! She is a disgusting human being who has affected countless lives, causing physical illness and even death!

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  25. The complete lack of respect for her teachers is a huge problem. Quite sad! Feel for the teachers in that building! A working relationship between teachers and administration is the key to success!

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    1. I totally agree with the above statement is it any wonder that this principal hasnt a clue on how to run a building she relies on her support staff to do all her work for her. Now that we have a new superintendent, I hope she is not fooled by Mrs. V so called progress, which she can’t even speak to correctly if it weren't for key personnel and teachers in that building she would not be there. She prompts teachers what to say when vistors show up and spins it like she is doing the school a favor. She smothers parents by telling them what they want to hear instead of addressing any real issues. postings are not ever discussed there's no UFT consultation monthly. All her staff are new and not tenured so they are afraid to speak up. On our recent Monday PD time she said that we did good on the QR we got three proficient and two developing what she failed to mention was that her teachers did all the heavy lifting and the areas that we need development comes from administration and curriculum both of which are her responsibility.

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    2. This principal talks about family and unity but all she knows how to do is breakdown and badger people. Is it any wonder her leadership style is never mentioned in good tones anywhere in this blog her new AP's seem lost and confused with very little input other than what they are told to say. They did not even address the recent special education compliance issues that the school was sited from the state once more leadership not to be found. Parents are not informed of any real measures of significant importance except when she invites them to a dance event. How about inviting the parents to curriculum event since she has no curriculum in place and no real systems in place. Our new District 27 superintendent Mrs. Barton should come any day in the week an ask the questions mentioned above to administration to see if there is alignment with her vision if she can. After all if the principal wants her tenure she has to show her merits just like teachers do. And not have her network and support staff do everything for her. The only thing she does is open and close her door. She has in the past boasted in meetings that if she doesn't get tenure no one is deserving of tenure. She is not deserving of tenure and her lack of leadership clearly outlines this. How can a comment like that build community among her staff? Of course her staff will say anything to not make the school look bad. What elementary school out there has a business manager really. Who does what……? This principal is no better than the principal that was removed from a local far rockaway school not that long ago. Her network and support staff can't be there every day to save her from herself. Parents take note your children deserve better.

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    3. I agree 100%! Something needs to be done with that woman! She is a menace to education!

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    4. She has her "cronies" and the rest are all new, just like she likes it! She can berate and mold new teachers into being as evil as she is! Useless human being!

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    5. This woman is like a viper who poisons everyone around her. Her leadership style is one of fear and intimidation all her work is done by other people she even has a person from the superintendents office doing her work. Where is the sense of urgency for this renewal school. All of her accomplishments are built on the backs of others. people never get paid on time and her administration lacks experience and guidance. Is its no wonder no one trusts her or is willing to support any of her ideas. She is good at wasting funds via her business manager who does nothing all day. No parental input on any level unless she bribes people. The best thing that could happen to this school is for her to be removed.

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    6. Mrs. V had enough money to redo her office I doubt the Supt. has new furniture like that. More wasted taxpayer money on the backs of poor minority parents.

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  26. How can it be that the superintendent and higher ups at the Union were told about this woman, including many calls to 311? How can nothing be done? Sounds like nepotism with Higher ups and this principal to me! What an outrage!

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  27. The Chancellor/Mayor should come to the school to see all this wrong doing before it ends up on front cover of the Daily News. It would not be that hard to prove all this wrong doing. Besides the Mayor doesn't need any more headaches from a failing school in district 27. The chancellors DOE email is. NYCChancellor@schools.nyc.gov

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  28. What a testing mess went on at this school last week during both NYS ELA and Math examinations. Administration does not have any idea of how to properly administer. Is it no wonder this school is failing?

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  29. This principal is up for tenure she has no handle on any of her leadership skills along with not knowing anything about her school information. Supt. would be crazy to grant tenure to Mrs. Villavicencio ask anyone who has worked for her she is such a disconnected principal.

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    1. This principal is the only elementary principal in the Rockaway's that has a business manager. He comes to work and leaves whenever he wants. H also is never around when he is called. Somebody please tell me why such a person is needed in such a small school the money used by his salary should be used for more student/ teacher resources. He doesn’t even do his own job .

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    2. She will get tenure because according to V, "The Chancellor is my friend; nothing will happen to me!"

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    3. The chancellor will not be able to speak to her errors when both this blog and her case is settled with media outlets as well as the Mayors education reporter.

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  30. The saga still continues at P.S. 316 interm of discrimintory practices against minority teachers. Except now it is high-tech. The principal will not permenently hire black teachers.

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  31. I just heard that media is looking into airing a news report about this school finally someone is listening.

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    1. I hope so this school is going down a dark road with its driver Mrs. V with no lights no map and no clue what to do.

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    2. Her word is not to be trusted she has no integrity and she can't be expected to care about her students. If the parents were more united they would see this first hand.

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    3. Even her network knows how incompetent she is that is why they are always there. The best support they can give this renewal school would be a new principal.

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    4. It's about time! She has been protected long enough! She is a menace to education!

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    5. Parents of Far Rockaway why won't you advocate for the removal of an incompetent principal who's only claim to fame in this school is that she spends moneys on new toys for her new office and her general office. Is it going to take a parent rally or a child gone missing to have everyone turn their attention to this misfit school.

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  32. Her understanding of how to lead a struggling school is very limited and her Assistant principals have no formal experience dealing with a school with high support needs.

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  33. Is it any wonder she has been through 5 assistant principals in the last three years this principal is a complete mess with zero leadership skills!!! Ms Barton please take note its not a matter of the right fit for this school its a matter of having the correct administrator leading this school. Mrs. Villavicencio is not a good leader for PS197Q

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  34. How can the suit. give her her tenure when she does not move her students on state test. The scores come out in Aug I think an decision made for this principal should be made after the scores are in to see if there has been any gain in levels. Mrs. Barton you shouldn't grant tenure to a person who does not know her data or can't even speak to her data. Not without her much needed support team giving her all the answers.

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  35. Bunch of lazy teachers who want to return to the good old days. Look at your data from the state test scores......improving your instructional practices and stop blaming the students and your principal.

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  36. Is this incompetent principal still there? She really must know someone! It's ridiculous!

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  37. It is a sad state of affairs when a person as incompetent as this can be in charge of a school. Ms. Villavicencio claims to be an educator but in reality she is the exact opposite. She has squandered and misappropriated school funds, belittles her teachers, and her students have no respect for her what so ever. A investigation is in order but because this is Far Rockaway and not Bayside it will be ignored until the only recourse is to close the school.

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    1. Ms. Villavicencio is a great principal. If you want to leave then leave and stop talking nonsense. Go to open market and get your transfer!

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    2. I agree! She's an amazing principal! Before she's principal she's is a wonderful human being. Just ask the kids, they love being at P.S. 197. I don't understand how people can make time to write negative things when all it takes is to just go to the school and see the positive changes. Check the school's data and see. If people are unhappy then leave no one is holding you back. If it was that bad the way people claim, then why are they still there? So negative it's disgusting! Focus on doing something positive instead of writing on a blog, or get a second job if you have nothing else to do and grow up!!

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  38. The majority of the new teachers hired all met and said the same thing, 197 is not a safe school to work at. And, yes, we will be leaving first chance we get!

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  39. Same crap, different day! This incompetent excuse for a principal needs to be removed ASAP! She is running this school into the ground!!! Every AP can't even stand her and leaves first chance they get!!!

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    1. Great! Whoever wants to leave go right ahead. Safety isn't guaranteed anywhere. Not in a school or this world. However, Ms. V goes above and beyond to try her best and protect our school by following the safety protocols set forth by the DOE. So before writing nonsense, think! Get a life and leave, Ms. V is loved by both her teachers and students. If you don't like the same old thing only on a different day then jump on an express rocket, and leave! Find your happiness whatever that is and get a life! Haters will always hate no matter what! Grow up and get a job or a second job and make yourself useful rather than being so miserable!

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