Saturday, March 7, 2015

John Dewey HS Update: Principal Kathleen Elvin as Captain Queeg + New blog focused on schools fighting abusive principals

Elvin: Has madness struck?
IT'S A MADHOUSE, A MADHOUSE! As a new teacher at Dewey I am in constant fear of being rated poorly. I am in constant fear that I did not carry out the Do Now to Ms. Evin's liking. I am in constant fear that my enthusiasm for teaching will be sucked completely out of me. I am so sad and frightened... Comment on ed notes post: "No Change of Tone at John Dewey HS
The stories out of John Dewey HS in Brooklyn are getting more and more bizarre as Elvin heads into "rolling steel balls" and
Should be posted outside school for new teachers
"missing strawberries" territory. Her obsession with "Do Nows" is causing people to shake their heads. The major tragedy has been what she is doing to new, nontenured teachers who, as the above comment shows, live in fear. A rescue team from Tweed is needed to parachute those people out of the danger zone.

Can't you imagine Elvin testifying at her own 3020a hearing if she is brought up on charges, which she should be but won't because Tweed/Farina protects all principals unless they are proven serial killers, and even then I'm not too sure.

(If anyone knows how to superimpose Elvin onto Bogart, please do so and contact me.)

My post on the situation at Dewey in at the end of the 2014 school year has gotten over 200 comments and they still keep coming.

Dewey has one of the highest number of ineffective rated teachers by Elvin while at the same time she claims enormous success due to fraudulent credit recovery schemes. Red flag anyone?

Here are the latest comments:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No Change of Tone at John Dewey HS: Principal Kat...":
Elvin doesn't belong in a school setting anymore. Because learning is such a positive experience enhancing the lives of teachers who give and those who are there to benefit from teachers who know so much and want to give to students, it requires a special type of person to promote a positive professional learning environment. A person such as this likes teachers, knows how to gently encourage them to grow and wants them to grow and find themselves as teachers. This isn't the experience at Dewey. There is not much positive about Elvin. She's full of hatred, resentment, poor judgement, and she never stops criticizing most teachers. She sees herself as an authority on everything and her squad of AP's goes along thinking that everything they do is highly effective also. Most, with the exception of the Math AP, are disconnected from students. Elvin herself has little to do with any of the students. She's now asking that teachers offer learning lunches for the students. She sees all staff as her slaves and seems to want to deplete them of all energy. Elvin, the authority on how learning takes place, should teach a class again or stay home. Her AP's should teach classes also. Many are poor teachers themselves and definitely don't teach as well as some of the more experienced educators in the school. We're listening. Elvin is despised by young and old as well. Each new AP who shows up at the school becomes a tool of destruction for her, targeting teachers, ambushing them, reporting back to Elvin what was and was not done. Elvin will search for evidence on you in your garbage pail. The entire school knows all that she does to damage teachers. What does any of this accomplish?
For anyone who was aware of the fraudulent credit practices promoted at Dewey by Elvin and her WPrep group, it's hoped that the many,many individuals who reported this fraud to OSI, to Albany, and to the DOE will see something done about it. At this time it is still occurring. Make no mistake, those of you who set up these programs, Elvin will point a finger at you to save herself when the time comes. You know who you are. 

Oh! Given the number of comments that come in when I focus on a school, I'm setting up a simple blog for people to post about their schools, which will be listed on the sidebar. I need at least a few teachers from a school to corroborate the stories.

I recently met with a group of teachers from a school in Brooklyn and we brainstormed some plans for them to organize resistance in the schools. I will be available to meet in Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and parts of Queens - after school at a local diner.

The blog will be called Schools Needing Assistance Project - SNAP. More to come.


  1. These comments are the absolute truth. I am also a new teacher at Dewey. I will be leaving the profession if I can't find a new school to transfer to.

  2. Norm's doing what the UFT leadership should be doing. Exposing the absurd and abusive administrators who are ruining the lives of good teachers to satisfy their own overblown egos. I admire Norm’s commitment to the cause. At 70 and retired for many years he continues to fight the good fight. This is noble work. There are some good administrators in NYC. I’ve worked with a good handful of them at my school. We’ve had a few admin bullies but they didn’t last long. So even though I’m doing just fine at my school and am treated with respect by my administrative team, I know the bullies are out there tormenting good people-- and it angers me. Pro Unity people often claim that angry comments regarding UFT leadership divide us and hurt us. But the truth is our anger is justified and yet the root cause is completely ignored by Mulgrew, Weingarten et al.

    UFT leadership does not care about the working teacher. UFT leadership blessed the DOE’s weapon of choice (Danielson) and remains silent when teachers are targeted for reasons other than their true ability to teach. So we should be thankful for people like Norm who are carrying the burden of the fight for no personal gain other than to be able to look themselves in the mirror each day and sleep soundly on their pillows each night. If Mulgrew and Weingarten had any sense of decency, their mirrors would be perpetually covered and sleep would never come.

    Chapter Leader elections are around the corner. As long as schools continue to elect Mulgrew and Weingarten cheerleaders instead of independent thinkers, teachers are doomed. The fight starts in our schools. Elect someone who will not try to convince you that how the union has been running things has been in your best interest. Don’t elect someone who tells you the UFT is doing the best it can because things could be much worse. Things have steadily been becoming worse each school year. The UFT is full of crap. Keeping us scared is part of their strategy to retain control. We can do better and it starts with your chapter leader elections. Throw your own hat into the ring if that’s what it takes. My chapter leader is an independent thinker so I will support her for re-election. If you can’t say the same about your chapter leader, it’s time to try someone new.

    When I stepped down as chapter leader about 7 years ago, I reached out to a young teacher to run for the position. She said she felt like she didn’t know enough to be chapter leader. I told her that she wasn’t a blind follower, was tough and spoke her mind and therefore was already better than many chapter leaders out there. In the end a more experienced teacher decided to pick up where I left off and she is the chapter leader I will support for re-election this year. You have the power, teachers. Wield it wisely when deciding who will be your voice inside the UFT. Even if you don’t feel ready to run, do it anyway. It’s better than having a Mulgrew puppet as your chapter leader. And there are people like Norm who will help guide you. Again, I thank Norm for his commitment to the fight because by age 70 I will probably be in a warm climate having long forgotten NYC and the dysfunction of the DOE… people like Norm should be valued and appreciated for their long term dedication. Roseanne McCosh, PS8x

  3. I left Dewey last June after teaching there for less than a year. I was tormented and harassed on a daily basis by the administration. I am very happy in my new school. The difference between night and day.

  4. Elvin is fired!!!!!! Good work to all bloggers


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