What happens when a popular teacher with students, parents and other teachers makes a joke on a Facebook post? What message is being sent when this teacher is African-American in a sea of disappearing African-American teachers from the NYC public school system, in a school with a principal who has gone after 2 female teachers of color and hires mostly young white teachers with a certain look?
The other evening, just as my 24 guests were sitting down to a sedar, I get a call from the NY Post's Sue Edelman asking me to confirm certain information about what the teacher posted on Faebook, all negative, of course, which I refused to do. Was the info leaked by the DOE as they saw their case going down the tubes? Or maybe the NY Post just hacked into the teacher's phone. I imagine the next step is for the Post to send a reporter and photographer to the teacher's home to catch as unflattering as possible photo of her. ---- Norm Scott
The Bloomberg/Tweed strategy: if you can't fire them with outrageous charges, get the NYC Press to help you out.
I attended parts of the first two days of a 3020a hearing of a teacher charged with inappropriate Facebook posts on April 3 and 4 and I am so glad I did.
I was lucky enough to catch the direct and the devastating cross examination by NYSUT lawyer Chris Callegy of High of Economics and Finance principal Michael Stanzione. Boy, what a worm this guy is: narrow, paranoid and chilling in demeanor -- the very model of what Tweed wants in an administrator.
The DOE lawyer, Andrea Chilaka, flailed away with one objection after another, trying to keep any hint that the teacher was top notch off the record, often saying, "that is irrelevant to this case." Yes, Andrea, we know that trying to retain excellent and effective teachers is irrelevant to the real interests of the DOE, as proven time and again with bogus charges.
[See: Peter Lamphere. Or Chaz who tells his horror story here:
My Story On What Really Happened And Why The Independent Arbitrator Gave Me Only A $2,000 Fine In The 3020-a Hearing. And another of the NY Post's daily hits -- based on my new fave expression "FOX facts" which should be applied to any Rupert media outlet -- did I coin this phrase or steal it?.]
Bloomberg media blitz to end LIFO
Blogger Chaz was exposed in Friday's NY Times hit job on how it is so hard it is to fire teachers, one of the many expected media salvos to try to end LIFO. Today they did a follow-up somewhat more sympathetic to the teacher --- like at least attempting to deal with the issue of a teacher showing affection to students (now banned) vs. being charged with a sexual act. See- In Successful Fight to Keep Job, Music Teacher Cited Double Standard by City. (I taught 4-6th graders and though I never put children on my lap I probably did tickle a few at some point. Can I talk about the time five 7th grade girls slept over my house with their parents' permission and my wife's too - yes, it's called TRUST, something the DOE is trying to wipe out? Can I take my 45 year old former student to dinner without risking arrest - see sidebar - pic of a loser in a blue leisure suit with a kid. She is now 45 and we have a dinner date. Haven't seen her since she was 16. Has the statute of limitations run out?)
Every single person I know who knows Chaz says he is a superb teacher and to persecute a guy because he told a student he was so proud of her for passing an exam he could kiss her is beyond outrage. Is the FOX Facts NY Post and the NY Times questioning how much money the DOE tossed down the drain to persecute Chaz?
Gotham reported that Bloomberg was whining "that arbitrators in misconduct hearings ruled in favor of the union. (Politicker)" without pointing out that the city must approve every arbitrator. Duh! The reason arbitrators are ruling for teachers is due to the level of outrageous charges, especially when even the DOE admits the case has nothing to do with the quality of the teacher.
A popular and effective teacher
And thus it is with the Facebook teacher, who even Stanzione admitted was not only a good teacher but one that students gravitated to, as did other teachers. In fact she was Coordinator of Student Activities (COSA) and was chosen to represent the school at recruiting fairs with the approval of Stanzione --- an unpaid volunteer position. She was so popular with students, I imagine she had grown so comfortable with them that she said a few things on Facebook that look bad when in isolation, but as pointed out by union lawyer Callegy, nothing that isn't said all the time in teacher rooms, which Stanzione readily acknowledged. There was quite a good discussion between Callegy and Stanzione about the definition of "sarcasm." (By the way, the teacher was voted by the students as "most sarcastic" teacher.)
I will do separate posts on the details of the case and reveal more about Stanzione's actions as principal in follow-ups. Look for all of the upcoming Michael Stanzione Files on the sidebar.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for more FOX facts from the NY Post as they target this teacher, "facts" which many in the school community will fight vigorously.
And check out RBE's: