Monday, March 21, 2016

ATRS Targeted by Brienza Consultant Firm Formerly Run by Mulgrew's Sister

An ATR told me an interesting story. In addition to a field
supervisor, he was also visited by some guy from a company called Brienza Academic Advantage who told him they were hired by the DOE to "assist" ATRs - read that as - "assist the DOE in getting rid of" ATRs who have been targeted.

Michael Mulgrew's sister, Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany, was the COO of Brienza, as reported by Sue Edelman in an April 28, 2013 article:
During her leave, Mulgrew-Daretany worked as chief operating officer for Brienza’s Academic Advantage, a Brooklyn-based company that sells teacher-training seminars and student tutoring. She is listed as COO in a Brienza’s organizational chart filed with the DOE. She left “last year,” a company official said.

DOE payments to Brienza’s rose from $5,109 in 2002 to $10.9 million in 2012, when the city received No Child Left Behind funds for after-school tutoring, officials said.
What happened when this Brienza guy observed the ATR? Well, the ATR was not actually teaching a class but in there to assist another teacher and during the lesson played no role at all.

So how astounded was he when this Brienza guy tells him he wants to meet on the ATRs prep to discuss his "lesson" and see where it could be improved.

"But I didn't teach a lesson," says the ATR.

The Brienza guy ignores what he said and insists there was a lesson.

Surreal in some worlds, but in the tangled relationship between the UFT and the DOE, business as usual.

Let's follow the bouncing ball:
  • The UFT abandons ATRs to the fates and refuses to give them any representation by allowing them their own chapter. 
  • When challenged the UFT/Unity leadership says "ATRs are not a permanent position."
  • The DOE agrees with their partners at the UFT - that the ATRs are not permanent and has a plan to phase them out. They spend an enormous amount of money hiring field supervisors - known among many ATRs as "failed supervisors" in previous positions.
  • In addition to the failed supervisors being used to go after ATRs we now find out that they have hired Brienza, whose COO was the sister of the UFT president.
  • Brienza is clearly hired not to assist the ATRs but to assist the field/failed supervisors in removing ATRs who become a target.
  • They are all being very careful to make sure that when they observe the ATRs they are covering in their license areas and they often badger the people in the schools to make sure to get certain classes for the ATR, better if they are the worst classes in the school -- yes, some people at the school level are annoyed enough at these FS and consultants to be supportive of ATRs whom they think are doing a good job in a bad situation.  
In all of my criticism of the UFT I rarely accuse the leadership of out and out corruption. But someone explain to me how they are so silent while enormous amounts of money is being spent to monitor people who are in essence substitute teachers. In the over 100 year history of the NYC school system, have outside agents ever been hired to monitor subs? So we know that the way a sub does his or her job is and has always been irrelevant as long as they are not utter incompetents.

So it is clear that the very purpose of field supervisors and Brienza is to get rid of people by putting enough pressure on them to get them to leave. We know that there are union officials who have been told about these stories. Public silence.

That the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership is complicit even if not outright, but by their silence.


  1. Last school year, I was assisting two librarians as an EWPS. My administrator requested a lesson plan to observe me teaching in the library. I responded that I was assisting two qualified librarians and I was primarily shelving books. She was welcome to come observe me whenever she wanted. Shortly thereafter I was placed in a new "position" teaching five students facing academic and behavioral challenges for which I did not hold proper certifications. On my fifth day, I was observed and received a Partially Effective evaluation.

    Abigail Shure

  2. This post is very disturbing on many levels. The UFT calls itself a union?

  3. Shouldn't there be an investigation?

  4. I have been reading NYC ed blogs for quite a long time. This story is hands down, the most disturbing news I have ever read. If this does not show that the Unity machine cares for nobody but themselves, I don't know what will. There is blood on Mulgrews hands now. I wonder how many Unity slugs would admit these facts the next time they show up at a school trying to pitch their scams.

  5. No, it's typical Norm bullshit. What does Mulgrew's sister working at this company several years ago have to do with anything? Trumps sister is a liberal judge. Beloved actor Edwin Booths brother killed Lincoln, Billy Beer for everyone who believes in the deep dark conspiracy.

    1. Anonymous asks, "What does Mulgrew's sister working at this company several years ago have to do with anything?" It would explain why Mulgrew agreed to leave ATRs hanging out in the cold, allowing them to be unfairly evaluated when they're observed under a substitute teacher's working conditions but with the expectations of a regularly appointed teacher who is very familiar with the class. Does Mulgrew have a different explanation for allowing this bullshit? I haven't heard him offer one. As for the sibling comparison....Pres Jimmy Carter didn't ask for "beer subsidies" for his brother's Billy Beer company. Edwin Booth didn't send Lincoln a ticket to the play and then have him escorted to the seat Booth chose for him. And should Trump be elected I doubt Trump's sister will decide a court case in which she declares it Constitutional to deport "anchor babies" with their families. But Mulgrew's sister's company did make a huge profit off of the blood of NYC teachers while Mulgrew provided the intravenous needles and tubing in the form of the ATR agreement. Mulgrew is allowing ATRs to be treated this way. Why is he allowing ATR observations under these less than fair and reasonable conditions? He certainly has the forum to answer this simple and direct question. Roseanne McCosh

  6. The fact that the UFT is allowing OUTSIDE PRIVATE CONTRACTORS to act as special forces to kill ATR's is what makes this so disturbing. I could care less that Mulgrew's sister has anything to do with this.

  7. I agree with 5:31. This post should be read verbatim during open mike to Mike. It's completely outrageous. Mulgrew needs to go. He needs clear up the points Roseanne mentioned.


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