Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Aiming at Aimee (Horowitz): Was she the worst Superintendent in the DOE?

A veteran educator said the email was evidence that Kerr — who reports to Aimee Horowitz, executive superintendent of de Blasio’s School Renewal Program — had “full knowledge” of what was going on at Flushing High School. “This is the first email made public that directly ties Aimee Horowitz and the Renewal hierarchy to a policy of teacher coercion and grade fixing,’’ the educator said... NY Post
Oh that well-known Peter Principle in operation at Tweed. A chapter leader I know from Aimee Horowitz's old district branded her a "classic piece of shit" - (POS) for being so willing - if not eager - to kill new teacher careers by rubber stamping every discontinuence. We used to tell teachers who were going to a final hearing under her to forget any chance of surviving. Even the UFT used to tell people that - and here they are working with her at the top of the ladder.

I've been at hearings with smug Aimee Horowitz, who, before Farina promoted her to a top position at Tweed, was District 21 Superintendent covering up for Kathleen Elvin at John Dewey HS, willing to discontinue any teacher on a dime and eager to deny tenure where possible.

The NY Post's Sue Edleman has been on the case -- especially since her bosses' darlings - Bloomberg/Klein - who are responsible for all that is going on have left - now it can be open house on the DOE, Farina and de Blasio - a political vendetta that in some cases works for us - except what will come after de Blasio is gone - like Eva or worse.

Perdido Street takes a well-deserved shot at the Post coverage:

Educators Must Stand Up To The McCarthyites And Smear Merchants At The NY Post

So Sue - if you are reading this - and I know sometimes you do -- Aimee Horowitz should be a major target. Here is the Post piece on Flushing HS.

DOE official was informed of effort to graduate failing students

A smoking-gun email obtained by The Post shows that a top city Department of Education official was informed about shady efforts to graduate 150 failing students through quickie online courses in apparent violation of DOE rules.

Cyndi Kerr, a director of “school renewal” under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $400 million plan to turn around 94 low-performing schools, was CC’d on a June 1 email in which a Flushing High School administrator said the flunking kids would be put in online classes to help them graduate.
It’s against DOE rules to have students to do “credit recovery” work while the classes they are failing are still in session, staffers said.
http://nypost.com/2015/08/10/doe-official-was-informed-of-effort-to-graduate-failing-students/?utm_source=Master+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=2b362c1158-Rise_Shine_8_11_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_23e3b96952-2b362c1158-50237593


In the email, a Flushing administrator said the failing kids would be enrolled in Apex Learning online classes and a physical-education “boot camp.”
“Our benchmark of a 60 percent graduation rate in June is non-negotiable,” wrote Patricia Cuti, assistant principal for guidance. “Summer graduation is NOT an option.”

“Our benchmark of a 60 percent graduation rate in June is non-negotiable,” wrote Patricia Cuti, assistant principal for guidance. “Summer graduation is NOT an option.”
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Aimee Horowitz (second from right) with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña (left) at a meeting at one of the city’s “renewal schools” in March.Photo: Pool
Cuti also ordered teachers and supervisors to “develop a plan” to get them to pass.
Teachers said they had to create last-minute assignments, such as book reports, for students who had done little or no work all year. They said they felt pressured to pass the students.
A veteran educator said the email was evidence that Kerr — who reports to Aimee Horowitz, executive superintendent of de Blasio’s School Renewal Program — had “full knowledge” of what was going on at Flushing High School.
“This is the first email made public that directly ties Aimee Horowitz and the Renewal hierarchy to a policy of teacher coercion and grade fixing,’’ the educator said.

“This email proves that the higher-ups at the DOE’s Renewal Program were informed of a quota system at one of their Renewal schools. Did [Kerr] question this policy? Did she ask, ‘What are you doing here?’?”
DOE spokesman Harry Hartfield wouldn’t say what Kerr did after receiving the email but insisted that officials are “reviewing transcripts, credit accumulation and course registration practices at Flushing, and we will take all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our policies.”
Kerr, who oversees Queens high schools in the Renewal Program, refused comment.


6 comments:

  1. And the rest of the high schools are doing the same thing with Apex to keep themselves from falling into the renewal designation. Colleagues of character walk away from these programs, to be replaced by (well connected) newly hired pond scum.

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  2. Anyone who is teaching in a renewal school under Supt. Horowitz knows she has a clear agenda: Increase credit accumulation and graduation rates by any means necessary. At my school, she had our principal implement several tricks to "fix" the grades. The school used an online gradebook where grades were entered into different categories. The gradebook automatically dropped one grade in each category per quarter. Also, no grades less than a 55 were allowed to be placed into the gradebook for a student present on that date. (A 25 on an exam was entered as a 55.) If the students was absent a grade of 45 was to be used. (If the student did not hand in a take-home essay it was a 45.)

    Dropping multiple grades, putting in grades of 45 for work that was never done, and scoring failing exams at the fixed "rate" of 55 makes it quite easy for any student to pass, no matter how little they attend class. It's no surprise the majority of these students find themselves in remedial classes at one of the many CUNY colleges. They might as well just have the teachers print their diplomas right in the classroom. They mean nothing.

    Horowitz will not fix any of the renewal schools. She will pressure administrators to manipulate data, and fire any teachers who stand up to these outrageous and unethical practices. Luckily, the truth is finally starting to get out. The Post and blogs like this one are starting to make the public aware of what is going on. Scorned teachers are starting to speak up and share evidence of the unethical practices being used in these schools (I believe there is a protest at her SI office later this month). That's what happens when you fire good teachers for no reason; teachers who work hard and really care about their students. Eventually they will come together and speak out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anyone who is teaching in a renewal school under Supt. Horowitz knows she has a clear agenda: Increase credit accumulation and graduation rates by any means necessary. At my school, she had our principal implement several tricks to "fix" the grades. The school used an online gradebook where grades were entered into different categories. The gradebook automatically dropped one grade in each category per quarter. Also, no grades less than a 55 were allowed to be placed into the gradebook for a student present on that date. (A 25 on an exam was entered as a 55.) If the students was absent a grade of 45 was to be used. (If the student did not hand in a take-home essay it was a 45.)

    Dropping multiple grades, putting in grades of 45 for work that was never done, and scoring failing exams at the fixed "rate" of 55 makes it quite easy for any student to pass, no matter how little they attend class. It's no surprise the majority of these students find themselves in remedial classes at one of the many CUNY colleges. They might as well just have the teachers print their diplomas right in the classroom. They mean nothing.

    Horowitz will not fix any of the renewal schools. She will pressure administrators to manipulate data, and fire any teachers who stand up to these outrageous and unethical practices. Luckily, the truth is finally starting to get out. The Post and blogs like this one are starting to make the public aware of what is going on. Scorned teachers are starting to speak up and share evidence of the unethical practices being used in these schools (I believe there is a protest at her SI office later this month). That's what happens when you fire good teachers for no reason; teachers who work hard and really care about their students. Eventually they will come together and speak out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. the well has been poisoned; culture of fear and intimidation pervasive especially in free market smallish schools; the union also rubber stamping false accusations and character and career assassination. please support the action next week; I've witnessed the carnage, sadly....

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is a growing rally outside her office Wednesday August 26th. Sent the information, but here it is again.

    Uftsolidarity.org/horowitz


    ReplyDelete

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