Friday, April 15, 2016

Shame on the CSA for Defending Elvin's Cheating at John Dewey HS - And the UFT for its Role in the Saga

Massive screw up by DOE leading to judge to dismiss the case against Dewey HS principal Elvin -- who engaged in massive credit recovery schemes, according to voluminous evidence, to boost HS graduation rates.  This story was well-documented and reported on for months by the NYP, the Daily News, and Marcia Kramer of CBS News. Since DOE refused to invalidate the credits nor to provide any back up evidence of the charges, the judge threw the case out before it even came to trial. More evidence of incompetence on the part of OSI, which dragged its feet for months, DOE's internal audit Dept  (which apparently failed to find fault with the  credits of the fake courses) and the legal department at DOE. ... Leonie Haimson, NYCEdNews listserve
I know a lot about the Elvin/Dewey story (do a search for Elvin on Ed Notes and you will see pages of posts) since I had sources in the school and was updated regularly on the back story.

Elvin was a monster of a manipulator and brutalized teachers, especially young ones, including a vicious discontinue of a single mom army vet who had complained about some ridiculous school policy.

Elvin demanded that teachers grade and enter the grades of Do Nows every day - an insane amount of wasted work. When grievances were filed she back off tenured teachers but forced the nontenured to do them. She walked into one classroom and in front of the class demanded the teacher show her his Do Nows. Already having graded them and entered the grades he had tossed them in the trash. He nervously pointed to the trash can and Elvin, in front of the kids went rummaging through the trash to find them and slammed them on the desk. Surely a performance worthy of Captain Queeg and his missing strawberries.

According to the NY Times account of Elvin's exoneration, CSA head Ernie Logan, a UFT ally, who apparently sanctions this way of treating teachers
suggested that the original complaints were ginned up because Ms. Elvin was “a very proactive supervisor” who was trying to turn the school around. “We’ve found that, as a principal starts to push hard, sometimes the staff is not happy,” he said.
We know that the way so many teachers are treated poorly by so many of Logan's members is of no concern of his but we do give him more credit than the UFT in defending his members over anything they might do no matter how outrageous. Logan did charge the DOE with using tainted OSI investigators - we know many of these people are criminals themselves so on that we are not surprised.

What an outrage to blame teacher gripers who were reacting to the crimes being perpetrated by Elvin who was prevented from closing down Dewey and getting rid of the teachers she didn't like by the UFT lawsuit. So she found other ways.

Elvin created shadow classes that didn't really exist. The DOE knew all about this for a long time but chose to do nothing about it - until articles began appearing in the press and on blogs. People at Dewey were telling me that the posts on Ed Notes were having an impact and a source told me that Elvin was reading the comments that kept coming up and reacting. One retired Dewey teacher recently credited Ed Notes with playing a big role in Elvin's temporary downfall.

You can inform the DOE that a principal is cutting kids hands off but unless the mainstream press picks up a story they will do nothing.
students had received credit in the 2013-14 school year for courses in which they simply completed packets of work but received no instruction, in violation of department policy.
However, an audit of the courses, conducted in October by the new administration at Dewey and Education Department officials, contradicted the investigation’s findings, the arbitrator wrote in his ruling. It concluded that the courses had, in fact, met department guidelines and that the students had been properly credited.
Yes the DOE knew and in essence sanctioned what was going on and they are now hoisted on their own petard. If Elvin goes back to Dewey, I can't imagine the mayhem and the DOE will do whatever it can to avoid that outcome.

As to the role the UFT played at Dewey in retarding the kind of actions that could have buried Elvin, I will have a lot more to say in a follow-up.

Here is the Times article.

Brooklyn Principal Removed From Post Is Cleared of Charges

In a rebuke to the New York City Education Department and its investigative unit, an arbitrator has dismissed all charges against a high school principal who was removed from her post last July, after being accused of inflating the school’s graduation rate by giving makeup classes without content.
The arbitrator ruled that Kathleen Elvin, the former principal of John Dewey High School, in Brooklyn, should be immediately reinstated and that the department should pay her the wages and benefits that she lost as a result of her suspension.
An inquiry conducted last year by the department’s Office of Special Investigations found that students had received credit in the 2013-14 school year for courses in which they simply completed packets of work but received no instruction, in violation of department policy. Ms. Elvin was removed, and the department in September brought charges of misconduct and neglect of duty against her, in an attempt to fire her.
However, an audit of the courses, conducted in October by the new administration at Dewey and Education Department officials, contradicted the investigation’s findings, the arbitrator wrote in his ruling. It concluded that the courses had, in fact, met department guidelines and that the students had been properly credited.
In a decision released on Tuesday, the arbitrator, Jay Nadelbach, wrote that “the D.O.E. cannot effectively maintain both of two incompatible positions.”
He concluded that the department’s decision to certify the credits that the students earned validated “the sufficiency of the classroom instruction given.”
Devora Kaye, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said, “We are disappointed with this decision, and we are continuing to review our options.”
At a news conference on Wednesday, the president of the principals’ union, Ernest Logan, celebrated the dismissal of the charges while accusing the department of “a pattern of reckless bullying” of administrators.

Document: Ruling to Dismiss Charges Against Principal

“There was a total rush to judgment,” he said.
In 2012, during Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, Ms. Elvin was brought into the school, which was struggling with rising violence and declining graduation rates. Her efforts produced an increase in the four-year graduation rate, to 79 percent in 2013-14 from 72 percent in 2011-12.
In 2014, six anonymous complaints about Ms. Elvin and other Dewey administrators were made to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the school district. A social studies teacher at the school, Alan Lerner, also made a complaint. Her accusers said, among other things, that Ms. Elvin was improperly allowing students to make up courses.
The Special Commissioner of Investigation referred the complaints to the department’s internal Office of Special Investigations.
Ms. Elvin, for her part, said she was “living evidence of what character assassination is.” As for whether she wanted to return to Dewey, she said that while she had never wanted to leave, she did not know if, given the turmoil, it would be possible to go back now.
Mr. Logan suggested that the original complaints were ginned up because Ms. Elvin was “a very proactive supervisor” who was trying to turn the school around. “We’ve found that, as a principal starts to push hard, sometimes the staff is not happy,” he said.


  1. If Iris Blige is still a Principal, why is anyone surprised about Elvin? 2 monsters. The UFT does NOTHING.

  2. News flash... Stop the Presses... Norm Scott discovers the UFT to blame yet again.

    1. Why don't you let us know exactly what the UFT did at Dewey to go after Elvin? There was a lot of talk but very little real action. Did they use articles in the NY Teacher? Public statements of support for teachers? They told people to grieve but the untenured couldn't grieve so they continued to suffer from the Do Nows for the entire year.
      How about the UFT calling for non-cooperation within the school until Elvin stopped the DO Nows. Whenever people were telling me about all teh UFT was doing I said flat out it is talk not action. And I was right.
      If the UFT had publicized what Elvin was doing instead of urging stealth the DOE would not have accepted the credits and ELvin would not have come back to life like a vampire.

    2. Newsflash: Anonymous poster accuses Norm of being a hater....but offers no evidence to prove that what Norm says is inaccurate. The only reason I know about Elvin, Blige and the rest of the admin losers in NYC is because of Norm's blog. I haven’t heard a peep about it from Unity. I too would like to know exactly what Unity did to expose Elvin and get rid of her. Farina's policies with respect to the treatment of teachers are the same as BloomKlein. I haven't heard a peep from Unity about that either. My school, PS 8X, has at least 6 teachers who transferred from abusive schools. The majority of whom have been with us for at least 5 years and NEWSFLASH…the admins they fled are still in their old schools. One of the admins, Maria Rosado, has been in the Riverdale Press lately. An old CL from that school (207X) used to complain about her at CL meetings back in my CL days 10 years ago. NOTHING was done then and NOTHING is being done now. Farina is still backing her up and I haven’t heard about her from Unity yet. Mulgrew cares more about DeBlasio and Farina than his abused membership. If that weren’t true he’d be exposing them as often and with as much tenacity as Norm and other bloggers do. None of the blogs that expose these people are aligned with Unity. Unity working hard to get rid of abusive admins? You’re full of shit. $100 to your favorite charity if you prove otherwise! Anyone want to take that bet? Roseanne McCosh

  3. Norm, you really have no idea what the heck you are talking about in this case. The UFT has done tremendous work at Dewey. The DOE blew this case and the DOE alone.You have such hatred to everything that UFT Leadership does that you can never be considered a fair minded blogger.

    Why don't you ask the people on the ground there how hard UFT staff worked for targeted staff at that school.

    The fact that the school is open at all can be attributed to the hard work of the UFT when at one time it was the number one target for closing.

    No Norm, continue with your hatred you are doing a fine service.

    1. Really? Why don't you give us details of how hard the UFT staff worked and what they did? Show me links to articles in the NY Teacher. Or rallies for teachers or going to PEP to confront Farina? All you have is backroom stuff that even the teachers at the school were not informed of. No organizing of people - all secret negotiations. How about that "deal" with the Farina appointed Supt that the UFT officials were so proud of - until he reneged with no reaction from them. I made these points all the time while being told how great the work of the UFT staff was - for a year. I was also told from people on the ground how important Ed Notes blog was in this war. The UFT did everything hush hush - no parents, no teachers, no students - the UFT formula for failure.
      And yes - the DOE - the UFT's buddy screwed up? Did the UFT get plugged in? did they not know? there is your seat at the table. The DOE is wonderful until they are not. UFT pals: Farina and CSA Ernie Logan.
      Have fun when ELvin comes back.

  4. Norm is a hater and on group deserves more hating than the Unity Caucus sellouts.

  5. You are inconsistent. When Portey says MORE is toothless in supporting schools, you sneer at his tactics, equating them with useless melodrama, you wax rhapsodic over MORE'S behind the scenes maneuvering, about how you can't charge in like cavalry, you need a nuanced strategy etc. But if it's UNITY, then nuance equals weakness and you demand fireworks. Even victory becomes faailure in your universe. The fact is Elvis is gone thanks to UFT. DoE chose to prosecute case weakly, and so she keeps her scalp, but she won't be back.

    1. Do you get that MORE dosen't run the union and doesn't exactly have the power and outreach you guys have? Show me what the UFT actually did at Dewey since you beg the question. I was informed all along about what the UFT was doing and objected to much of the way they were going about it. The big strategy was leaking to the NY Post.

      I objected - privately because I was told I could not write about what I knew at the time -- as to why the newbies were forced to do the DO Nows in spite of what the uft was doing nuanced behind the scenes.
      Gee, I'm sorry MORE doesn't have full time employees like you have who sneak around pushing your agenda on schools.
      I do believe in calling out the cavalry when needed and Dewey needed that. Just like GEM showed up to support Dewey when they were attacked in the first place. Yes you file a law suit and that kept Dewey open but you did nothing to empower teachers to be able to fight back themselves. That is the difference with MORE -- we try to help people learn how to fish on their own -- you play the maneivering game all the time and just look at the number of awful principals running around. Many of these people should be called out - and imagine of the UFT actually tried to do something about them
      I ahve too many stories of how schools and teachers under attack find their district rep being buddies with their principal and supt.
      In fact why not show me what the UFT is doing about CPE1 and why they came to MOre in the first place? Behind the scenes maneuvering again that ignores the teachers and parents in the school> why don't you try talking to people on the ground? I spoke to Dewey teachers who knew less than I did - which is pretty sad. They were coming to Ed Notes to find out what was happening.

    2. Give MORE authority over your legal department, phone banks and other Unity held resources. Then you can criticize them if nothing gets accomplished. You're comparing apples and oranges. We can debate when "nuance" is appropriate til the cows come home but the fact is you guys never go for the jugular in any scenario. It reminds of people I encounter who always say they choose their battles when they offer an explanation as to why they don't stand up for something. I always counter with, "Experience has shown me that people who claim they pick their battles, never actually fight in one single battle." As far as criticisms of Mr. Portelos' lack of nuance go... he doesn't have your resources either.....more apples and oranges. Unity has the resources to have a solid infrastructure in place to empower teachers to fight for what's right. MORE and Portelos do not. Therefore, going into full warrior mode without the trained troops is suicide. In essence, you guys have access to the troops, the finances and the full time personnel to fully train and arm the troops yet you don't. MORE and people like Portelos do not have the access or the same amount of time (since they teach all day) or the finances so different tactics must be used. You want to really see who does a better job supporting the members? Give MORE/New Action, yourselves and Portelos each 1/3 of your resources and let's see who does a better job. Otherwise stop comparing. Roseanne McCosh

  6. Norm you are just upset that Mike Solo the CL at Dewey has accepted and acknowedges the help that his DR, Borough Rep and Central UFT staff provided all year long. Your little blog posts did little to help Dewey members The Borough office assigned a rep full time to our school. He helped organize and build the Chapter and assisted the new CL with this horrific principal. It is also my understanding that Dewey HS remained a priority for the Brooklyn UFT and was raised in Consultation every month. The Do Now issue was brought to the Central paperwork level after the new Supt botched the District level resolution. The staff stood together and stood up for the vulnerable untenured teachers. BTW press and media was vital to putting pressure on Farina to remove Elvin. You are out of touch and you have no idea what really happened...I don't believe you really want to know.

    1. Yes I know about that special rep who was assigned exactly when and lasted there for exactly how long? I can look up the dates. Was it for a month? or 2? After at least 6 or 7 months of no progress. I happen to have respect for that rep and believe he did do some good work while he was there. But too little too late for some people.
      Hey did you guys ever manage to get the job back for that army vet single parent who was discontinued or those senior teachers who were 3020'd and forced out? You were too busy engineering recall petitions for the chapter leader under attack by Elvin. Nice work.
      Fact is I challenged people in every phone call where people defended the UFT when told how the UFT was helping about doing more open organizing. It was always hush hush. YOu must be living in a different reality. People were suffering for a long time while the UFT was silent and worked in the background at least for an entire year or more. I know the dates of the botched Supt issue - I have the full story but won't say it all as some of it was background.
      You brought the issue to Central Paperwork? Tell us the outcome and if there was one how long it took.
      And by the way - you don't seem to get that the press actually reads ed notes and often contacts me for background info and for contacts.
      When I asked if the Do Nows were off the table they weren't for everyone so you allowed a dual system in the school. It was always about the back door. But maybe people inside the school were lying when they told me about the impact Ed Notes was having in the school and how Elvin clearly was reading as were everyone else in the school. WHere did you think the high number of hits those posts were getting every day were coming from. Just because you assigned people doesn't mean it worked.
      I ask for specifics of what exactly you guys did and you come up with people were assigned. Nothing changed for the entire year at Dewey until Elvin was removed. Real action would have been to call a paperwork boycott and have the union back them up but that is not in your DNA.

    2. Every pro Unity comment on this matter fails to address that Mulgrew refuses to call out the chancellor for her protection of these abusive and or corrupt administrators. Where are the articles about this in the NY Teacher? Why am reading about it in the Post or Daily News or Norm's blog but not in my union paper? I claim it's because Mulgrew cares more about his cozy relationship with the chancellor and mayor than he does about his abused, disenfranchised membership. Roseanne McCosh

  7. Engineered a recall petition? Please Martin Haber was for Martin Haber. He supported no one at Dewey because he was to busy getting himself in trouble. Weren't you advising him? How did that work out for him? He retired pending 3020a charges.
    Our Chapter needed someone who could support Dewey members. We made a mistake and a recall was our only option. We picked Mike Solo because he was respected and we knew he cared about Dewey and would try to do whatever he could for us. With the assistance of Rick Mangone (who was in our school almost every week, all day for the year) and the the support of the Brooklyn UFT Office our Chapter became stronger. Yes it took a long time to see results and we were often frustrated. But we stood together, Elvin was removed and now we have a strong happier Chapter with a new principal and we are healing. All teachers who were rated ineffective by Elvin had their ratings changed and negative observations removed from their files. All were given a clean slate and are being rated positively now. Thats the action the "Unity" UFT took for us.

    1. I had no contact with Haber re advising him. Others at the school asked me for advice on a regular basis. Didn't Haber defeat the previous unity caucus chapter leader by getting 65% of the vote?
      When solo won election he was a member of more and more involved in more than Haber was. Even with issues Haber faced he certainly got what unity caucus was all about and could never be bought by unity by job offers or other unity perks. Dewey teachers would never be sold a bill of goods about how good having teachers rated by test scores is for them or how wonderful common core was until it wasn't. Or sell Bill Thompson one day and attack di blasio until you switch. And how wonderful Randi weingsrten is and let's make sure to get to the mica at aft conventions before chicago teachers and boo Lauren cohen for mentioning loyalty oaths. I could go on. I'm sure Dewey teachers are ecstatic.

  8. Norm, I've read you for years, and I often agree with you. But your over-the-top demonizing of the UFT detracts from your credibility as a critic and independent voice. You just sound like a nut with a burning resentment. This Dewey issue is a perfect example. It was a win, and the staff is happy with the way the UFT handled it. But you're doing contortions trying to rewrite the story. One thing is clear from reading you for many years. No matter what the UFT does, you will condemn them. Period.

  9. Norm, the MORON you are tangling with here is the very reason Elvin was able to "ply her trade" at Dewey; this person is a coward and a liar and an ingrate who, like his/her fellow losers, hides behind anonymity since they backstab and comply with whoever is in charge end masse, like Arendt's "banal" daily Nazi quizlings. People with your integrity should not waste your breath on them. Anyone who was at Dewey while Elvin picked teachers and paras off one by one knows who her underlings were; this is just one who carries the weight of their cowardice with them and tries to unload it on real men and women. Ignore this bloodsucker!!!

    1. Norm, your blog is successful because you post anything and everything, anonymous and not. While I disagree with your position more often than not, I respect you. But, this posting goes too far. Moron, Liar, ingrate, loser backstabber, Nazi, quizling (sic) coward, bloodsucker. This should not have passed your own standard for what is acceptable.

    2. I never censor. There were no complaints when people savaged Elvin calling her every name in the book. Now that the shoe is on the other foot suddenly it is too far. The only stuff I remove are ads.

    3. I've had posts go unpublished by you. I guess it was a glitch. I thought you deleted it. And my language was very mild compared to this. Maybe I didn't identify a river or a street sign correctly.

    4. There are rare occasions where I don't publish something but I still leave them in draft form. I'm doing more from my phone so I might hit a wrong button. Some people tell me they can never leave a comment for some reason and they email it to me and ask me to post.

    5. It aint the name calling that has our profession in a downward spiral heading straight to hell. It's the fact that Unity would rather protect Farina than go after abusive administrators and the chancellor who gives the abuse her blessing-- thus perpetuating the abuse. We keep circling but we keep coming back to that essential point----and it is continually ignored by Unity supporters. Where are the NY Teacher articles on all these abusive admins Norm and others have written about? Where are Mulgrew quotes on these matters? There should be archived pages and pages of these articles letting the membership know what's going on and what exactly the UFT is doing about it. The UFT needs to condemn a chancellor who ignores legitimate complaints from members and they need to do it each every time she buries her head in the sand. I'll belabor the point as often as necessary. The membership deserves better than they're getting from UFT leadership. Roseanne McCosh

  10. I was, and still am, curious as to why the Dewey chapter leader left MORE to go to Unity. Word is that he was getting help from the Brooklyn office. What type? I'm not sure. Then the UFT posts this

    1. We are on the same page here. Why did Dewey get so much help while there are hundreds of schools with abusive principals who get no help. How much help did you get at is 49? I was informed of the help Dewey was getting and argued it wasn't real help but delaying action and defusing and killing any chance of activism. And unity also went after a known opposition chapter leader by fomenting a recall so they could get a more cooperative chapter leader in place who would go along with their plan. Going to OSI was away to bury the story for months when there was hard evidence that should have been leaked to the press which would have gone after farina. People suffered in the school while the uft played politics. Only after a year or more of failures did they bring Rick in which was a good thing. Ricks tactics are more along the lines we would agree with. But they didn't even keep him in there. They try to play middleman instead of advocating for the teacher.

    2. Oh as to why the cooperative cl switched? Lots of heavy courting with upcoming free trips to conventions and maybe even a full time job in the future. Did that piece in the ny teacher mention anything about the help more provided through using Ed notes and hours of conversation and advice. Over the years I've seen many people who were supporters and distributors of Ed notes go to unity. They usually have trouble looking me in the eye. Some try to sneak by at del ass and I love when they are assigned to hand out the unity lit standing next to us. Maybe they think they are being watched. The best is when I run into them at aft conventions where they muster a sheepish aw shucks grin that says "yes I sold out."

  11. No chance they just found out through their own experience that your description of UNITY was just wrong, and that they got the help and support they needed when they needed it? Doesn't say much for your cadre, does it, when, according to your logic, so many dedicated educators, your very protege's, suddenly abandon all their principles and "sell out" just for the dubious pleasure of vacationing in lovely downtown Rochester NY, or Detroit, MI. Sorry, Norm, your logic just doesn't work here. The Chapter Leader at Dewey was and is a dedicated professional.

    As far as the sheepish looks from former comrades who later joined UNITY, what do you expect. You let them know that they are your enemies, if not explicitly, then certainly in these pages. Who in their right mind would try to explain to you that you're wrong? A weak smile is a perfect response to your scorn.

    1. You don't think other MORE people are being courted and recruited by Unity? Never trivialize the power of job offers, trips - yes not only Rochester but next year at the Hilton in NYC - but also the sense that you can get more protection and job security by being in Unity. Don't you think I was recruited back in the late 90s? But there is a cost I and others don't want to pay. James Eterno would have been a gold mine for Unity. Think how much easier his life would have been? James never wants to have to give that weak smile. And I don't have contempt for those former associates - except in one particular case of a former friend but try to hide it. Most of these people are low level Unity and are pretty open about why they did it and I greet them without contempt - it is they who are uncomfortable not me. I don't think of them as slugs.

      And by the way - James always credited the UFT with coming to the assistance of Jamaica - and in fact we find that opposition people get good service - because Unity knows if they don't it will be out there.
      And by the way - I can make a case that Dewey got the attention due to the fact the CL was connected to MORE -- or else why Dewey and not all the other schools with abusive admins? Some people in MORE think that MORE was being used but I leave that issue for another time.

      That weak smile is because they have to defend your policies due to the loyalty oath. Or mock people when they walk out on Bill Gates. Or cheer when Mulgrew wants to punch you in the face for taking his common core and then cheer again when he reverses himself. And look me in the eye and tell us how it was democratic to pick Hillary while there are so many Bernie supporters in our ranks.

      Did I say the CL at Dewey was not a dedicated professional? Unity has been chasing after him from the very beginning and I felt he would eventually go that way so i was not shocked. He pretty much told me that was going on. I had a brief conversation when he called me to tell me he decided to join Unity and so I know the reasons but won't share the details. I told him I understand the personal reasons but he was now going to be forced to defend policies I know he didn't't agree with and to me that was an issue. In so many previous conversations over years he fundamentally agreed with many of my criticisms of Unity and analysis and its policies and the negative impact locally and nationally. I'll leave speculations about details of these conversions to your imagination. Maybe there is a form of brainwashing when you are in a uniform environment where no one disagrees.

      I don't feel anger but sorrow for anyone of integrity who now has to wear a muzzle. And when I watch their hands go up to vote for policies at UFT Exec Board meetings - if MORE should win the high school seats - that are damaging to the members I will only feel sorrow because you can't claim to represent the interests of your members while wanting to play a bigger role in suppressing these interests. I do distinguish between rank and file unity people who are content to stay in their schools and those who are ambitious - they are the ones who often turn into slugs. You know - the people who call the question to kill debate or the placeholders at mics for Mulgrew at AFT conventions.

  12. Surely the "Do Now" issue was one the UFT could not lose. The Dewey chapter and UFT came out winners. It was the first real defeat for Elvin , giving impetus to the broader campaign for her ouster. I was not there at that time and it appears that the staff had had enough of her Machiavellian approach .

    I was there for Elvin's first year in Dewey. I met her at a a joint UFT Board of Ed Danielson rollout where she cheerlead the watershed assessment innovation. My view, and Haber's, was to implement a vigorous pro union, defense of our contract from day one when she arrived at Dewey. Others on the executive board in Dewey were for a "wait and see, give her a chance approach." A climate of fear was quickly established and reinforced. There was zero consensus to oppose her. The opportunity was lost. I left after a year (my choice) and I believe Haber succeeded Kanyuk as CL. Haber was the ONLY person in Dewey with the guts to challenge Elvin. I believe he was recalled for personal reasons by a cohort of the staff who always disliked him. The anonymous posters here are likely that crew. They always operated in the dark.

  13. Sean - it is good to get your perspective on this. The UFT advice is always to wait and see while people get chopped - it is not the borough or special reps who have to face down Elvin. They also operate in secrecy - top down -- dealing with the CL and not the membership and urging the CL to filter out only essential info. Marty was not someone who they could work with because he saw through their bullshit so they fomented a recall at the very time he was under attack by Elvin -- you know a real union defends the building rep no matter what.

  14. Let me just say--Dewey deserves any special help it can get. For too long it was serving the NYCDOE as a beacon of excellence when the DOE didn't deserve it as Dewey coped with negligence, zero support and unimportance. Dewey would still currently attain the success of any specialized high school had the domino effect of past administration's agenda to close schools, fire experienced teachers, and empower corrupt principals, and so much more, not been instituted. It is frustrating that this school was tampered with, when it influenced the establishment of a handful of progressive schools in the city (Edward R. Murrow for example--Bruckner came from Dewey).

    The teachers are healing, the school is recovering, this has been dragged on for too long now. The DOE owes Dewey "reparations" in some sense of the word. That school served NYC's best for so long, only to be placed on a target list to advance an agenda of privatization, failing school reform, and a hatred for once functioning large schools. Goodbye Lafayette, Sheepshead, Jefferson, Erasmus, Lehman, Clinton, Tilden, South Shore, Beach Channel, and the list goes on and on and on.

    Dewey is one of the last gems left in the system, and it would be irresponsible and hypocritical for any person who believes in educational justice to merely zero in on something so microscopic and argue: "Well, why is Dewey getting this extra help?" Perhaps because the community knows that Dewey is a special place, born from a special time. There really was no other school like it. I applaud the UFT at Dewey for actually rising up against a negative and tense environment that almost took them with it. The school would not be open today as we speak had it not been for them. It is irresponsible to assume they didn't do anything because they couldn't do everything.

  15. I am gravely disappointed with the utter and complete failure of the DOE to expeditiously prosecute this case in a vigorous and proactive fashion, despite the plethora of timely evidence and testimony provided to OSI, its own internal investigative body.

    Furthermore, I am infuriated by the failure of the UFT to respond swiftly and decisively when implored by anxiety-ridden teachers forced to provide grades for subjects outside their certification by a ruthless and vindictive administration. I was among those teachers who were expected to submit grades for students in subjects beyond their professional licensure. I am also the only teacher who resisted the submission of such grades, much to the chagrin of school supervisors. Needless to say, my teaching program and quality of professional life at Dewey suffered mightily for such resistance. The response to multiple pleas of relief from such abuse to Superintendent Prayor as well as UFT representatives was silence. Rather the chapter chair, utterly petrified of Kathleen Elvin, sought to curry favor with her by never actively pursuing a remedy to any staff complaint which Ms. Elvin considered interruptive and unpleasant. Part of hesitancy to pursue these issues, was due in no small part to the lack of trust in the UFT Brooklyn Office leadership to provide back-up support if the prevailing political climate turned stormy. Many compromised and long-suffering teaching staff at Dewey were simply and utterly forsaken. They were forsaken by an organization whose function is the protection of their contractually established professional and workplace rights.

    The evidence of grade fraud and grade record falsification at John Dewey High School under the aegis of Kathleen Elvin is voluminous and indisputable. Even OSI and Chancellor Farina agreed with these claims and found them to be credible and truthful. While the Chancellor may not wish to pursue this matter further, it must be pointed out that NYSED teacher certification edicts as well as elements of the DOE/UFT contract had been clearly violated. I would also point out that, in certain circumstances, not only had the DOE and UFT failed to properly protect the rights, working conditions and privileges of John Dewey's teaching staff as they are obliged, but also the civil rights and the rights of John Dewey students to an education that fully complies with NYSED standards of achievement.

    As far as the NYSED is concerned, Regents Tisch and Cashin were fully informed of the grade- and course-fixing practices at Dewey but chose to do nothing.

    As far as the DOE is concerned, OSI and Chancellor Farina were also aware of the grade- and course-fixing practices as well as the rampant abuse being levied upon certain Dewey staff.

    As far as the UFT is concerned, it is the principal culprit in this entire affair in my opinion. Their utter disregard and failure to act in any fashion on indisputable evidence of staff being pressured to give inflated grades, to award grades in subjects out of their certification, and to accept course assignments beyond established and strictly defined DOE/UFT contractual and NYSED professional limitations is unforgivable. The fact that the UFT was informed, verbally and in writing, of these practices prior to the first falsified grades being entered onto student transcripts in January 2014 and chose to do nothing is perplexing. Such inactivity clearly suggests a role of complicity on the part of the UFT with the Dewey administration.

    Two questions must be answered if we wish to uncover the truth, motivation and mechanism behind the wholesale manufacture of fraud, deception, abuse and misery at Dewey:

    Who is shielding Elvin from the DOE and OSI?

    What arrangement [and with whom] has UFT President Michael Mulgrew made that has led to his shameful betrayal of its membership?

    The answers to these two questions will, in my opinion, lay bare the entire truth behind this most egregious miscarriage of


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