Saturday, May 13, 2017

CPE1 Update: Biased NY Times Reporting, Marilyn Back in Class Monday, Mulgrew Gets Some Creds, New Supervisor for Garg - it is not enough

You might be asking why the constant reporting on CPE1? Because the story contains the essence of so much that is going on in the NYC DOE and the UFT.
  • Abuse by principals and superintendents and Farina at the top in targeting schools and senior teachers.
  • They follow a  blueprint that the UFT doesn't share with its members.
  • Teachers and parents at first accept the principal who lies and manipulates -- it takes them months since they had never seen anything like that before. 
  • UFT ignores situation for over a year with teachers charging the Dist Rep with showing favoritism toward the principal and the Supt over them.
  • In desperation, teachers contact MORE despite being warned by UFT that MORE is only interested in using them. Or any other lies they can make up.
  • UFT says it is working behind the scenes but will not call publicly for Garg's removal nor use its PR machinery to promote the story.
Here is where we diverge from the typical story.
  • Parents take charge -- not a small group -- like the Garg supporters -- but a massive outpouring. We suggest they go to the PEP meetings when we met with them in Feb. 2016. They weren't even clear what PEP meetings were but they learned fast and have attended every one since March 2016. They even begin going to the Delegate Assembly to pass out leaflets.
    MORE/NA elect 7 HS Ex Bd reps who begin bringing them to Ex Bd meetings soon after Marilyn - the CL - removed in February-- the impact hits union leaders right in the face.
  • We expect the hearing officer to split the baby and fine Marilyn, thus preventing her return to the school. But she wins outright.
  • The return of Marilyn Martinez to the classroom this Monday and the appointment by Farina of a Superintendent who may not have the same buddy buddy relationship that existed between the current Dist 4 Supt Alexandra Estrella and Monika Garg.
Later today the parents are throwing a party for Marilyn at a restaurant in East Harlem to celebrate but the struggle against Garg will continue because she had broken trust with everyone.

Fact is both Estrella and Garg have committed acts of a vendetta that should get them both fired. But we know supervisors will never go away -- like Townsend Harris' Rosemary Jahoda is sitting somewhere waiting for a new assignment -- and there are rumors she was offered some principalships which is like putting Willie Sutton in charge of running a bank.

Mulgrew - you can say we all put enough pressure on him -- did play a role behind the scenes in demanding Marilyn Martinez be returned to the classroom -- but that is her legal right - and any teacher winning a 3020a should be returned -- it shouldn't take a massive parent protest, sit-ins and boycotts.

That the issue was about Marilyn supposedly giving a parent advice on getting into the school was the cause of the youngest children losing their teacher for 2 months and 3020a firing charge- with Garg luring in a parent and taping her - while telling parents she had no role in the removal of Marilyn - should cause her instant dismissal and charges filed against her. She did the same with the other teacher who has been out of there for 15 months - using a more serious charge of corporal punishment -- also made up - the parent of the child testified for the teacher. I think the teachers have grounds for a personal law suit against Garg and Estrella and possibly Farina.

This is where the UFT is failing -- failing to call public attention to these outrages.

The NY Times' Kate Taylor has another poorly reported and biased story today:

Examine these 2 paragraphs:
For more than a year, a group of parents [massive group of parents representing the majority] at the school has been demanding the removal of the principal, Monika Garg, who started in 2015. The parents seeking her removal have accused her of watering down the school’s progressive approach and instigating investigations that led to the temporary removal of two teachers. [Does she know that these removals are often not temporary?]

Another group of parents, and some of the school’s teachers, [a giant wtf - a small group of parents and a few teachers] support Ms. Garg, saying that she has tried to bring order to a school that long flouted department rules. They say that there were inequities in admissions and that some students were underperforming.
Note how Taylor gives the pro-Garg talking points but not the major talking points against Garg -- like a mile long.

Now let's look at this:
The department had sought to remove Ms. Martinez, citing accusations that she had attempted to assist a parent in violating the schools admissions policies, according to a person familiar with the charges.
But an arbitrator found the accusations unsubstantiated and dismissed the charges.
Does Taylor know about the impact of 3020a charges to dismiss instead of putting a letter in her file? Does she even question the idea of the cost to the DOE for trying to get Marilyn fired for "attempt[ing} to assist a parent in violating the schools admissions policies"? Another giant WTF.
The case against the other teacher, Catlin Preston, is still pending. The department is seeking to remove him on charges that he meted out corporal punishment.
Now this -- essentially slandering Catlin by mentioning corporal punishment - but not reporting that the parent was lied to and in fact testified for Catlin. The parent has made public statements and I believe has told Taylor the story. This is not only bad reporting but dishonest, biased reporting.

What about the UFT role?
And then there's the role the district rep, Servia Silva played favoring Garg and Estrella, something we witnessed in person when she gave the pro-Garg crew that showed up at the Ex Bd meeting an effusive greeting while she ignored the vet teachers who have been fighting Garg. We saw no sign of Silva meeting after meeting when parents en masse showed up. I never saw Silva at one of the hearings for Marilyn.

Let's be clear -- all tenured teachers were under investigation by Garg starting in the fall of 2015 -- no red flag at the UFT? They came to MORE in frustration in Feb/March 2016 but after that they took control on their own --some of us came out to support them when we could. They came back to MORE for help in March 2017 after Marilyn was facing 3020a hearings- and we suggested they come to the Ex Bd. But before that there was no reaction at the UFT --- I know - they will claim behind the scenes -- but in fact with these flimsy charges against a CL who fought the principal, the UFT should have raised the riot act when she was removed and charged -- there are many teachers under investigation who remain teaching as long as children aren't involved.

Why did it take the UFT over a year to take note of this situation? Why does so much of the UFT hierarchy seem to be in bed with administrators?

The lesson is that we must shine the light on the cockroaches to flush out the UFT leadership into taking some action, even if weak.


Anonymous said...

Why did it take the UFT over a year to take note of this situation? Because they thought CPE1 parents and MORE would be easily swatted away and this situation, like so many others, would be hidden behind the DOE/UFT created tapestry of EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL IN ALL NYC SCHOOLS. Roseanne McCosh

Michael Fiorillo said...

Wait, Mulgrew did nothing for over a year while this Principal was running amok despiter parent and teacher pushbackwas happening, and then, when the principal, Superintendent and Farina were shown to be vindictive and wrong, he still says nothing as this brave teacher is put back in the class room?

Sorry, this sounds like ass-covering, nothing more.