Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Life of Brian (NYC Principal De Vale): Brands Merryl Tisch Comments Disgraceful and Hypocritical

You seem to be running an affirmative action program for the rich and unqualified. Enough is enough! I have watched the rich and powerful, like yourself, profit off of the destruction of public education for the past twenty years.You  have used your position to allow patronage resulting in the rich and the friends of the rich to run roughshod over our schools for far too long. ... Brian De Vale, Principal PS 257K, letter to Tisch
You have to love Brian's letter to Tisch. I've had lots of fun over the years roiling Merryl Tisch, one of the most despicable people one can imagine. Read one of my many pieces on Tisch:

Merryl Tisch: Might As Well Be a Crook ...when she has a problem with her refrigerator she calls the head of G.E...

or this one -- Ed Notes Online: Is the Evil Meryl Tisch Even Eviler than Eva?

or this Ed Notes exclusive -- Ed Notes Online: Dishonor Among Thieves: Merryl Tisch May 15, 2011 -- Ed Notes has learned that the letter Governor Cuomo supposedly wrote to Merryl Tisch and the State Board of Regents calling for a change from weighing teacher evaluations based on state tests from 20 to 40% was in fact written by Tisch ...

Also check out our pal: Raginghorseblog
What is Meryl Tisch Really Saying Here ?

And Daniel Katz: Chancellor Merryl Tisch to Mayor Bill de Blasio: Drop Dead

I'll let the always great Brian De Vale, an ed notes reader, tell the tale of Tisch's duplicity, malfeasance, fill in the rest of the blanks ----------- - and oh, what has her family done to the NY Giants?

Subject: Hypocrite

Dear Regent Tisch,

I found your latest comments about expanding charter schools to be not only disgraceful but hypocritical.

Unlike you and your crowd,   my sons did attend their local public schools and graduated with High School diplomas from their local,  traditional PUBLIC schools.  To my knowledge your own children never attended public schools. I do not believe you ever even worked in public education either.  You are quoted in  today's Daily News as stating your desire to  "expand charter schools again", despite the fact that there are over 100 vacancies upstate and 28 remaining in NYC.  Enough is enough!

I have watched the rich and powerful, like yourself, profit off of the destruction of public education for the past twenty years.  This movement went into overdrive under the administration of your dear friend "Michael" and pal Joel Klein who I read in a  NY Times article that you not only know but also share Passover supper and go on double dates with.  How quaint, cozy and intimate, yet terribly sad for public education.  I even remember a news article quoting you before Bloomberg's immoral overturning of term limits as saying "I absolutely support Mayoral Control as long as  Michael is in charge".  No sense of impropriety there at all!  The private sector, hedge funds and billionaires all  profited handsomely under these policies and our traditional public schools have suffered greatly as a result.  Just look at the ARIS debacle and the 95 million dollars  that were taken out of public education to pay for lawyers, data consultants, computer contracts, etc.. at the expense of classroom teachers and direct services to children.  Your pal Joel is reported yesterday's papers to have been paid to manage this project through his new employer Amplify under fellow billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

None of the unqualified folks that you consistently  helped obtain waivers  to run the system over the past dozen years  (David Steiner, Cathy Black, Dennis Walcott, Harold Levy or Joel Klein) ever possessed the required certification to hold their positions. You seem to be running an affirmative action program for the rich and unqualified.  You  have used your position to allow  patronage resulting in the rich and the friends of the rich to run roughshod over our schools for far too long.  This is all too much.   I  have done some research , forgive me if any of my findings are inaccurate, but I believe that none of you sent your children to a public school nor ever  worked in a public school (Joel's 6 month attempt to get out of the draft not included) yet you all declare yourselves experts in "Education Policy".   That is akin to those armchair generals  Washington is full of who are always sending our soldiers off to war. They  want to work in Defense and Military "Policy" but have done everything possible to avoid ever having to pick up  a weapon to defend their nation.

Bloomberg threw a hissy fit when the prior charter school cap was lifted only two years ago, as part of the State's Race to the Top Application. He was upset that there was a "Saturation Clause" placed in the legislation.  Such a clause would have protected areas like my own in Bushwick-Williamsburg where Charters are out of control despite lack of demand. This is seen by our Community Education Council for what it is, a land grab! The C.E.C. has even passed resolutions calling for a moratorium on charter schools in our Community School District.  The Saturation Clause was  improperly removed and our community, like Harlem is now overrun with these unwanted entities.    Charter schools were designed to be innovative lab sites, NOT the alternative school system that the rich want to see flourish  in order to cut their tax bills due to the lack of job stability, unions and pension costs.  If you want more charter schools open them in your own zip code. Our C.E.C.  has said 'NO". You need respect parent voice.

Why don't you call it a day?  Step aside and let us have a new regent take over who has actually worked in and understands PUBLIC education (Dr. Lester Young, Dr. Betty Rosa or Dr. Kathleen Cashin are a few possibilities).  Someone not rich, not from nor connected to the upper east side would be a  breath of fresh air.    The policies you and your friends have let upon loose upon our schools  are destructive and wrong.   The insane charter policies that you, the Governor and  Dean Skelos push on NYC would never fly in the suburbs which is why there are over 100 charter spots open upstate.  The cap in NYC still has not been reached but you and your rich friends are salivating over a chance to open even more. Shame on you.  You were all for mayoral Control when your rich pal was in charge but now that a populist who actually sends his children to public schools is in charge you start putting roadblocks in his way.  The people of NYC have spoken -  loudly and clearly. They do not want any more micromanagement from your crowd.  Let Mayor de Blasio do his job and stop  trying to control him through the back door from Albany. Mayoral Control is a policy and though I personally disagree with it, it should not be implemented as "good for my friend Michael" and "bad if I don't like Mayor de Blasio's policies". Once again you show a hypocrisy in that you supported one policy for your pal and another for our new mayor.

I know you rarely, if ever, receive letters like this from educators currently employed in public education. That is only because of the fear that taking a stance against you and these wrong headed policies will result in professional retribution.   I have seen enough and know what I am up against:  you and your very powerful friends.  That said, I must speak truth to power as I watch my community continue to be decimated by your destructive agenda. I pray for a better day in PUBLIC education, free from the destructive policies of billionaire "philanthropists", do-gooders and policy wonks where communities and the mayor they elected are free to run their schools.

Brian De Vale


29 Year Veteran PUBLIC School Educator


P.S. 257 /


Council of Supervisors and Administrators

Community School District #14

60 Cook Street

Brooklyn, NY 11206


  1. Mr. De Vale, my hat is off to you sir. You have spoken the truth and have allowed the voices of many to be heard. Ms. Tisch should be ashamed of herself when she lays down to sleep at night. She must know that she is a hypocrite and really knows nothing about nyc schools or education for that matter. Many will argue hey she (hypocrite tisch) has an advanced degree in education but the reality is she has never worked in a nyc school. If one looks at this woman, Ms. Tisch one sees a person who appears to be old, one who appears to be in the kitchen or knitting in a rocking chair. One sees a person who can NEVER hold a classroom in nyc as she would be eaten up. Her billionaire husband, did exactly what to the NY Football Giants as they are trying to do in education. Tisch went ahead and hired an offensive coordinator without consulting with head coach Tom Coughlin. Instead, Tisch decided to hire an "outsider" of the Giants organization and totally blew off any input from the head coach (Tom Coughlin). The result - This has been one of the worst Giant seasons in decades. The team is 3-7 and is basically embarrassed on a weekly basis as the "new" hire has been a disaster and the offense is last in the league statistically. This holds true when people try to over step over their boundaries just because they "think" they know everything resulting in disasters. Ms. tisch we know your game and you cannot hide any longer in Albany. I believe the reelection for Ms. Tisch is 2016 so she might already know her days are numbered.

  2. Thank you Brian. You are one refreshing and inspiring soul.

    1. Thank you Patrick. Aithnionn an ciarog, ciarog eile.

  3. I emailed the following after having read De Vale's letter:
    I agree with Brian De Vale. I have had enough of the Upper East Side controlling the education of the poverty stricken children in my care. You can't relate to the hurdles they face day after day. You don't empathize with their plight. Charter schools routinely oust the challenging students that we public school teachers never give up on. You and your millionaire/billionaire buddies see dollar signs where I see children eager to learn and make better lives for themselves. You and your ilk are another hurdle they must face.
    Roseanne McCosh, Bronx Public School Teacher


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.