Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Update: Lisa Mars, LaGuardia's Failing Principal Gets Tenure!

Dr. Mars changed the admission criteria to favor academic grades over artistic talent in a school with an historical graduation rate of 98%.......Unfortunately, the 10,828 signatures and 300 pages of supportive comments on our petition fell on deaf ears. We just learned that in spite of failing grades for effective school leadership two years in a row, principal Lisa Mars has been granted TENURE!!! ... LaGuardia HS memo
The DOE outrages of supporting failing principals continues as cronyism reigns supreme while the UFT sits numb. Through the Rockaway Theatre Company I know a bunch of young ladies who are either current or former La Guardia students and they all have heard of the story of how Linda Mars, who came from the currently enrolled  school, Townshend HS.

LaG, despite its high grad rate, is in many ways a sort of trade school

Go sign the petition if you haven't. And contact PEP members if you are so inclined.
Petition update

Update: LaGuardia's Failing Principal Gets Tenure!

LaGuardia High
New York, NY
Jan 10, 2017 — Dear Friends,
As we begin 2017, we wanted to let you know the current status in our efforts to overturn the unfair and illegal admissions policies instituted at LaGuardia High School by principal Dr. Lisa Mars.

The goal of our petition is to convince the Department of Education to return the admission requirements to those consistent with the Hecht-Calandra Law and provide effective leadership for the school.

It seems the DOE is uninterested in the fact that:
· Dr. Mars scored a 1.00 on a scale of 1.00-4.99 on effective school leadership in the 2015-16 School Quality Guide. That's down from a 1.2 the year before!
· Dr. Mars changed the admission criteria to favor academic grades over artistic talent in a school with an historical graduation rate of 98%.
· Dr. Mars' policies effectively discriminate against students who come from socio-economically challenged circumstances or underperforming middle schools.
· Dr. Mars' policies foster an increasingly homogeneous environment in a school that has always been a beacon of diversity.

See for yourself:

How can the Department of Education allow this? Why would they spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars assessing school leadership only to ignore their own findings and grant tenure to a failing principal?

How can WE allow this?

If you are as outraged as we are, let your voice be heard and contact those who can save our school and preserve its legacy for future generations. A list of contacts is below. Here's a template letter that you can use to voice your thoughts:

Chancellor of the NY Regents Board -
Nan Eileen Mead (Regents Board rep) -
Gale A. Brewer (Manhattan Borough President) -
Kamillah Payne-Hanks (Panel for Educational Policy) -
Michael Kraft (Panel for Educational Policy) -
Scott M. Stringer (NYC Comptroller) -, (212) 669-3916, @scottmstringer

Thank you for your continued support,
The Save Our School Team


  1. Lisa Mars is a disgrace! She is phony and probably has a wealth of issues yet to be exposed. She undoubtedly has clout over someone in the DOE or she would be long gone. Hates children, hates teachers, hates parents. So sad she remains in power.

  2. Lisa Mars has made the teachers at the school miserable. She pushed out wonderful guidance counselors, including the Conservatory counselor, as well as the wonderful John Sommers. She seems to stalk around looking for anyone possible to torture or fire. She is no friend to the students, blocks kids from practicing or preparing their audition materials after school, and won't let teachers into the school to prepare or work during the summers. It is like a reign of terror now. Phony, yes, Tragic, yes.

  3. Lisa Mars is not a cultural fit for LaGuardia. If she got tenure, let her be transferred as principal to another school. where her lack of vision and appreciation for this unique school of the arts doesn't matter. Her "Principal's Welcome" letter on the website is general and poorly written. "Each and every year features a new and ever-greater celebration of what makes us one of the nation’s most prestigious high schools: our proud heritage over more than 70 years, .... yada yada." Please, someone buy this woman a copy of Strunk & White's Elements of Style, and move her to a different school. Then, bizarrely, she signs off as "Dr. Mars". No first name,(Yo, Lisa?): icy and off-putting, while breaking every convention of letter-writing etiquette. These may seem like small matters, butif she can't put her finger on or express what's different about LaGuardia, or express in an concrete way its enormous value to talented NYC kids (and to the City itself) that she simply doesn't belong there. That morale is down, that teachers are leaving, students are unhappy... for what? As a former parent (son, Instrumental, '07) who continues to attend LaG events, I'm sad and infuriated that Lisa Mars has been given license to pervert the mission of the school she was ostensibly brought on to nurture and protect.

    1. Carolyn wanted me to correct this - her son graduated in '11.

  4. Dear Mr. Scott,

    Are you still pursuing this problem? We are new parents and are concerned about several things at LaGuardia. Our son is in classes in which there are sometimes no teachers. There is a tremendous morale deficiency and the school seems infected with a fear rather than collaborative experience. That the above comments were made by parents should clearly be a concern for the DOE and anyone who cares about LaGuardia High School. We're trying to get in touch with anyone we can with more information.

  5. Hamilton
    I'm willing to help out in any way I can but only if parents are interested in doing the heavy lifting. Get in touch at


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