Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CPE1 Update: GONE GARG!!!!

A year and a half of struggle ended today with the announcement that CPE1 principal Monika Garg "has decided to accept another position with the DOE." The exoneration of Chapter Leader Marilyn Martinez was a repudiation of Garg's tactics and was the final straw even for the DOE. If even a fraction of Garg's crimes had been committed by a teacher imagine the outcome.

Garg did not show up at the school on Monday where the parents held an 8AM celebration for Marilyn's return. How could Garg face Marilyn who she had put in the gulag for months which denied the youngest children in the school their beloved teacher?

Here is the letter from Acting Supt Dolores Esposito:
Dear CPE 1 Community,

Since arriving at CPE 1 yesterday, I have met with members of the school community including students, school staff and families.

I want to share an important update. Principal Garg has chosen to take a new position in the Department of Education and will not continue as the Principal of CPE1. This is effective immediately. During her tenure at CPE 1, she has focused on serving the needs of the whole child while providing a high quality education.

During the transition, I will continue to serve as Acting Superintendent in charge of CPE 1. Together we will focus on identifying the next leader for this school in accordance with Chancellor's Regulations. My primary focus continues to be delivering a high quality education for all students in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. With nearly 30 years as an educator and as a former graduate and adjunct professor of Bank Street College, I will use my experience in progressive education to support the school.

I look forward to working together with everyone at CPE1 to advance equity of opportunity and excellence for all students.


And another false equivalency article by Kate Taylor in the NY Times who has the nerve to quote the tiny minority of parents who supported Garg "They said the investigations of teachers were justified and were not pursued out of animus." Really? When the hearing officer made it clear animus was on the table. Now the bullshit Garg made up about Catlin Preston, the school delegate, must continue to be fought. What did Garg do? Turn Catlin's comforting of a child into a sordid attack in an attempt to manipulate the parent who told me that Garg broke into tears telling her Catlin, who was one of the leaders of the teacher resistance, had to go. The parent when she found out the truth testified at Catlin's hearing. For that act alone, Garg should be fired.

The other charge the few Garg supporters made was that the school was exclusionary -- Garg had pulled the race card and some black parents fell into that trap. The school had always tried to be an integrated school -- roughly 1/3 black, white and Hispanic -- but at times that balance shifted and attempts were always made to redress that balance. Garg and Farina and the DOE used that to foment racial divisions. But a significant number of black parents - the majority - supported the anti-Garg savecpe1 coalition.

East Harlem Elementary Principal Is Out After a Yearlong Fight

After a yearlong civil war inside Central Park East I, a progressive elementary school in East Harlem, the school’s embattled principal has stepped aside, New York City’s Education Department said on Monday, handing a victory to parents who had accused her of seeking to dismantle the school’s traditions.
The principal, Monika Garg, will retain her title and salary as a principal but will no longer have a school to run. The department said the change was effective immediately.
That was a sudden about-face from Friday, when the Education Department announced that it was giving Ms. Garg a new supervisor but said that she would remain the principal.

The conflict has consumed the school since last year, dividing the parents and the staff. What the groups are fighting over has at times been hard to discern amid the volleys of accusations and counteraccusations. The parents and teachers who opposed Ms. Garg said she was trying to squelch the school’s progressive spirit by bringing it in line with department rules. They also accused her of instigating investigations against teachers who defied her.

Parents who supported Ms. Garg, on the other hand, said that the school, which was originally intended to provide a rich, arts-filled education to the children of East Harlem, had over the years become exclusionary and that its traditions had calcified. They said the investigations of teachers were justified and were not pursued out of animus.

For months, the city’s schools chancellor, Carmen FariƱa, had resisted calls to remove Ms. Garg. Things seemed to change in recent weeks, when a group of parents occupied the school overnight and then began following Mayor Bill de Blasio around the city. Even so, when the mayor was asked about the situation at an unrelated news conference on Thursday, he did not give any hint that he was pushing the chancellor one way or the other on the issue, saying that parents and teachers were divided and that the loudest group did not have “a monopoly on the truth.”
Afterward, the Education Department had seemed to waver about what to do. On Friday came the announcement that a supervisor had been placed over Ms. Garg at the school. Then, on Monday, Ms. Garg did not return to the school. In a brief interview there in the early afternoon, her new supervisor, Dolores Esposito, said she could not say why Ms. Garg was not there or whether she would continue as principal.

“We can’t answer that,” she said as she hurried away from a reporter.

The Education Department did not immediately name an interim leader but said Ms. Esposito would continue to oversee the school.
Central Park East I was founded in 1974 by Deborah Meier, a leader in the small schools movement, who started several other schools and won a MacArthur fellowship, known as a “genius grant,” in 1987.


  1. Congratulations to Marilyn and the parents and students at CPE1. And a thank you to the parents as well as Norm and other MORE members who helped win this battle. Norm is right....Garg should have been fired and Catlin Preston must be supported. Roseanne McCosh

  2. The big question now is what happens to all the other teachers facing 3020s hearings at that school?


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