Chancellor Farina, it is time to fire the “gotcha” squad. It is time to replace Joel Klein’s legal team. It is time to clean house and install officials who share Mayor de Blasio’s vision and values... Unfortunately, the de Blasio administration has been slow to clean house. The Klein regime still controls large sectors of the education bureaucracy, including the infamous “gotcha” squad that is always on the alert for teacher misbehavior. True, the “gotcha” squad completely missed a high school teacher arrested for having sexual relations with several students at selective Brooklyn Technical High School, who is currently suspended with pay.Diane Ravitch, NYC Education Bureaucracy Gone Wild: The Suspension of a Hero TeacherDiane picked up the same story from the NY Times' Jim Dwyer which we covered yesterday (Wipe out OSI and DOE Legal and Start Over - Let's Focus on Teachers Who Should not be Teaching).
This is the first instance I know of where the mainstream press focused on the abuses of OSI, SCI, or DOE Legal -- all a tandem, covered by so many bloggers, particularly Portelos -- I'll do a follow up with links to the work he's done.
An investigator with the Education Department’s Office of Special Investigations, Wei Liu, found that Ms. Fisher sent emails about the project during her workday at Public School 333, the Manhattan School for Children, and was thus guilty of “theft of services.”Is there one employee of the DOE that has not sent emails during the workday since email was invented? They tried to pull the same crap at Portelos.
“By omitting essential context, the report wrongly suggested that Ms. Fisher was a rogue employee, acting alone and in her own self-interest.This is crucial and something that becomes very clear when you attend 3020a hearings -- DOE Legal purposely removes context to try to get a guilty verdict - their measure of "success" in terms of justifying their jobs. They have zero interest in truth.
I heard a story from a teacher about an assistant principal who slapped a child in front of witnesses. The AP was pulled from the school and disappeared from view for some time, only to resurface as an Assistant Principal in another school. That person is now a principal.
A teacher who did that would be taken out in cuffs.
How can we account for this double standard? We know Tweed protects principals unless they are caught with the knife in their hand with blood all over them - and even then.....
I have come to believe that the CSA (Principal's Union) does a lot of work behind the scenes to protect their people under all circumstances - like the PBA for cops. The UFT? Let then hang from the cross. (I'm reading a book on how Jesus the poor Jewish preacher became god so excuse the reference.)
Meanwhile Diane Ravitch has taken up the case of the teacher suspended for 30 days for assisting a student with a Kickstarter campaign.
“This is a story of an almost unfathomably mindless school bureaucracy at work: the crushing of an occupational therapist who had helped a young boy build a record of blazing success.
“The therapist, Deb Fisher, is now serving a suspension of 30 days without pay for official misconduct.
“She raised money on Kickstarter for a program that she and the student, Aaron Philip, 13, created called This Ability Not Disability.
But the “gotcha” squad bagged a teacher who helped run a Kickstarter campaign for a student with cerebral palsy. This teacher was suspended without pay for 30 days for “theft of services,” having helped the campaign during school hours.
As Jim Dwyer, columnist for the New York Times reports:
“The school system has proved itself unable to dislodge failed or dangerous employees for years at a time.
“Ms. Fisher’s case seems to represent just the opposite: A person working to excel is being hammered by an investigative agency that began its hunt in search of cheating on tests and record-keeping irregularities. It found nothing of the sort. Instead, the investigation produced a misleading report, filled with holes, on the fund-raising effort.
“By omitting essential context, the report wrongly suggested that Ms. Fisher was a rogue employee, acting alone and in her own self-interest.
“In fact, the entire school, including the principal, was involved in the Kickstarter project, with regular email blasts counting down the fund-raising push. And the money was to be used not by Ms. Fisher, but by Aaron, who is writing a graphic book and making a short film about Tanda, a regular kid who is born with a pair of legs in a world where everybody else has a pair of wheels.
“Aaron has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to navigate the world. Ms. Fisher has worked with him since kindergarten.”