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.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
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.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.
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.
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
04/14/nyregion/brooklyn- principal-removed-by-city-is- cleared-of-grade-fixing- charges.html?_r=0
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.“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.