Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stop La Guardia HS for Arts Principal Lisa Mars From Changing Culture of School

  • According to the 2015/16 Department Of Education School Survey:
      - only 25% of LaGuardia's teachers say they trust the principal
      - only 28% of teachers say the principal communicates a clear vision for the school
      - only 32% of teachers say the principal understands how students learn
      - 73% of teachers feel disrespected by the principal
  • According to the DOE’s framework for successful schools (which includes 6 categories) LaGuardia continues to decline in areas relating to leadership under Dr. Mars.  In the most recent DOE School Dashboard, Dr. Mars received a stunning 1.76 for Trust and 1.2 for Effective Leadership (the scale is 1.00 - 4.99). LaGuardia is not meeting target in any of the 6 categories!
  • Since the arrival of Dr. Mars, there has been an unprecedented exodus of teachers and staff.  This year alone nearly 18% have left. Dr. Mars, who has had little experience in educating artistically talented students, has hired questionable replacements – for example, she replaced the Assistant Principal of Art with a middle school English teacher. 
  • The DOE and UFT are both aware of these issues, but have chosen to ignore them.

Note how under Farina principals like Lisa Mars at LaGuardia and Monika Garg at Central Park East 1 -- two of the more progressive schools in the city, have attacked the cultures of the schools they were place into. We have a bunch of youngsters, current and grads, from La Guardia in the Rockaway Theatre who have mentioned the problem since Mars took over.

Bring Fame Back to the "Fame" School

School Chancellor Farina: Keep LaGuardia a High School for the Arts

School Chancellor Farina: Keep LaGuardia a High School for the Arts
Petition by LaGuardia High · 1,876 supporters
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Started 2,500
Aug 14, 2016 Milestone


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  1. It is important to note that this shift has occurred during the de Blasio administration. If de Blasio does not rapidly change his tune, it doesn't matter if a Republican takes the throne. This mayor is driving the final nail into the school system's coffin.

  2. The exact same process has happened at my school. This is not accidental but planned. The administrators are following the chancellor's formula as described in her NY Times article from 1999. And what is the UFT doing about it? "They have a list of principals who are doing this and it's being watched carefully". How is that helpful to the pedagogues whose lives are being ruined. How can this be Legal?

  3. Laguardia Principal Lisa Mars last position was as AP at Townsend Harris HS with the arts in her portfolio. As a musician myself I was extremely disappointed with her direction of the music program there at the time:

    She hired an orchestra director who was let go very shortly after being hired, for good reason.

    The quality of the school band was clearly inferior to that of the neighborhood middle school that my children attended, both in the material presented and in the execution.

    Though the school was about 70 per cent female there was no dance program. There was dance at our middle school and, of course, at LaGuardia.

    She changed a course called "Chamber Music" so that it was clearly not chamber music by any definition in general use. In my opinion (and I retained a video) it was something of a mess.

    I believe Lisa Mars was completely tone deaf when it came to the music curriculum. When I heard that she got the appointment to LaGuardia I could hardly believe it. I could not, at the time, have imagined a worse choice. Those who appointed her were, in my opinion, either incompetent or they wanted someone to do what she is doing and who cared so little about the arts so as to cause the least amount of friction or push-back.

    1. This principal could not pass an audition at the school she runs.


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