Monday, January 31, 2011

The Failure of the DOE at PS 114 in Canarsie

I've been intending to write about the PS 114 story for a few weeks. It is one of the more outrageous examples exposing the ed deform plan to undermine public schools. Basically, they put in an incompetent and vicious principal and despite pleas from teachers and parents the DOE kept here there for 5 years as she ruined the school. Now they want to close it as a failing school and put in a charter to take over. They finally remove her over something trivial and give her a job as an AP in the Bronx. Talk about no accountability. PS 114 parent Crystal King spoke at the rally we held on the snow day on Jan. 27:

An article in the Brooklyn Eagle: says:
In Brooklyn, besides Robeson, five other schools are planned for phase-out and replacement: P.S. 114 Ryder Elementary; P.S. 260 Breuckelen; P.S. 332 Charles H. Houston; M.S. 571; and Metropolitan Corporate Academy High School.
At P.S. 114, the Ryder School in Canarsie, parents and teachers complained for years about the former principal. Now that principal is gone, but the city plans to close down P.S. 114 and replace it with a charter school and a new District 18 public school.
P.S. 114 “had been a terrific school in the past,” said Councilman Lew Fidler, “until it was shot in both feet by a DOE principal. This school should succeed. I know this city’s agenda is charter schools — but they sent one principal in to wreck it, one to chronicle it and one to close it.”
See Gotham Schools article: City officials confront blame for a Brooklyn school’s fall

Like we've been saying for years - the DOE deliberately chooses inept principals they know will be destructive to undermine schools and alienate teachers and parents - no matter what they do, Tweed supports them all the way as they wend their way through their path of destruction.

Lindsey Christ of NY1 (a former teacher who "gets" it) reported on the story. Some excerpts from her 3 part series:
Teachers begged the DOE for help and even chartered buses from Brooklyn to Manhattan to stage a rally. But Penaherrera was removed only because one day when she failed to show up to work, a carbon monoxide alarm went off and students were kept in class. This, because the school had no safety plan and she had left no one in charge. She also left the school $180,000 in debt. 
PS 114 is $180,000 in debt and hasn't been able to get back on track after former principal Maria Penaherrera was removed two years ago. Teachers say they've had to abolish programs, counselors and support staff. Yet the DOE knew about Penaherrera's mismanagement. "They knew this was going on for years, but I guess with the unions and all that it took time. But now the one's who are suffering are the children," said PS 114 Parent Michael Hall. The DOE won't say why Penaherrera remained principal for five years, but it wasn't because of her union. And it wasn't for lack of evidence.
If all goes according to Department of Education plans, PS 114 will slowly close over the next few years. A new charter school will take over part of the building along with many of the first, second and third graders currently in PS 114 -- a first for the city. All charters use a lottery system to fill their classrooms. The Explore Charter Network says it wants to give kids in a failing school a better shot at getting in.
See all 3 parts:

1/18/2011 The Failure Of PS 114, Part 1

1/19/2011 The Failure Of PS 114, Part 2

1/20/2011 The Failure Of PS 114, Part 3

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

1 comment:

  1. It's really a shame about whats happening to PS 114. I attended PS 114 sometime between 1939 and graduating about 1946. It was a good school great handball courts and yes great teachers too, I only remember Mrs. Last, I guess because we had some differences.
    Paul Viverito


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