We celebrate the alliance of the Internet with the awareness that for too many years people elected to publicly-funded positions have promoted policies that do not serve the public interest. We challenge those who believe they can continue to violate the public trust to stop and listen to the buzz of millions of people visiting websites, emailing each other, blogging and chatting online about what is going on behind closed doors. We promise to hold you responsible for your actions.
We call this process "e-accountability".
Current Events | Posted 5/8/2018 at 10:05 AM
Washington (CNN) May 8, 2018: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned, following a report on allegations of assault by multiple women in The New Yorker. Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, spoke on the record to the magazine, saying they had been romantically involved with Schneiderman but that the violence was nonconsensual, and which The New Yorker described as occurring "often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent." According to The New Yorker, Manning Barish and Selvaratnam said he had hit and choked them, and that they later sought medical attention because of it. Selvaratnam also alleged that Schneiderman threatened to tap her phone, among other threats.
Current Events | Posted 4/29/2018 at 6:29 PM
From Betsy Combier: What we are seeing in America is the door swinging wide open to women who claim sexual harassment by the men they worked for or with. Whether their stories are correct or not is still up in the air somewhere. I think the hysterics have gone too far, for many reasons, but certainly one in particular. At this time, any person can make any claim about anyone, get the social media and news to pick it up, and boom....suddenly, the person who allegedly did the bad acts, is tainted for life, or at least until there is a proper investigation, which gets the facts to appear above the rumors in a Google search.
Current Events | Posted 4/25/2018 at 4:34 PM
Across the U.S., perhaps nowhere is student-on-student sexual assault as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys' sports, an Associated Press investigation found. Mischaracterized as hazing and bullying, the violence is so normalized on some teams that it persists for years, as players attacked one season become aggressors the next.
Current Events | Posted 4/9/2018 at 2:25 PM
This time of year, there’s a lot of optimism in the air about college. As acceptance notices come in, it seems like the smartest, hardest-working young people with the greatest potential are being matched to institutions of higher learning that will prepare them for success and promote a free and open society. We might conclude that colleges are greasing the gears of social mobility, which have slowed as of late. It’s painful to think otherwise, especially for someone like me for whom access to a selective college was a boon and a blessing.
Current Events | Posted 4/4/2018 at 11:22 PM
For fourteen years I have been researching the 3020-a Arbitration charging process used in New York City, and in particular the omission of a vote in Executive Session by the New York City Panel For Educational Policy which is mandated by Education Law 3020-a(2)(a). I ignored the verbal attacks by attorneys who chose to threaten me with doom if I continued to ask for the vote - and I went to both NYSUT and Department of Education Attorneys working on 3020-a cases. I have never received a rational response to "Betsy's Motion", until Judge Green stepped into the fray. On March 29, 2018, Judge Green in Richmond County Supreme Court granted the petition of Rosalie Cardinale wherein we argued that her right to a fair 3020-a hearing was denied by an unlawful determination of probable cause. Ergo, my argument that the 3020-a process in New York City has a lawless charging procedure. What does that mean? What you want it to.
Success Stories: Positive Outcomes | Posted 3/30/2018 at 5:51 PM
“It’s honestly the biggest day in our 18-year history,” says DonorsChoose founder and CEO Charles Best, who notes that the request being met included things like books, microscopes, butterfly cocoon and robotics kits, and funds for field trips or to bring in class visitors. “[It was] anything and everything you could ever imagine a teacher needing to engage their students.”
Government Lies, Corruption and Mismanagement | Posted 3/25/2018 at 12:34 AM
This is a story of an almost unfathomably mindless school bureaucracy at work: the crushing of an occupational therapist who had helped a young boy build a record of blazing success., and the disarray at the Office of Special Investigations adding to the problems in this matter. The therapist, Deb Fisher, is now serving a suspension of 30 days without pay for official misconduct. Her crime? She raised money on Kickstarter for a program that she and the student, Aaron Philip, 13, created called This Ability Not Disability. An investigator with the Education Department’s Office of Special Investigations, Wei Liu, found that Ms. Fisher sent emails about the project during her workday at Public School 333, the Manhattan School for Children, and was thus guilty of “theft of services.”
Success Stories: Positive Outcomes | Posted 3/1/2018 at 3:02 PM
The process used to close schools is detrimental to the lives and futures of the children, the stability of the community, and the careers of excellent, dedicated staff from all the unions, tenured and untenured. At the PEP meeting last night I sat next to a 7th grader from Urban Science Academy IS 325, a school that was voted to close. She told me how she had finally found a school and teachers where she and her family felt "safe" and she "could strive for achievement and success". Did Chancellor Carmen Farina check on the feelings of the children and parents before she arbitrarily placed 325 on a list to be closed? I don't think so. Betsy Combier, Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Government Lies, Corruption and Mismanagement | Posted 2/11/2018 at 5:03 PM
The District 27 Queens community as well as the staff, parents and students of PS/MS 42 are outraged that the NYC Department of Education will close PS/MS 42 in June 2018 without a valid reason. The trouble is that in NYC decisions are made in secret as part of a political pay-to-play scheme for which Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina are famous. This closure is clearly directed at displacing a powerful group of UFT members at PS/MS 42 who will, in September, be placed into positions as substitute staff nomads, roaming different assignments in Queens as Absent Teacher Reservists (ATRs). Bill and Carmen, STOP the vote!!! Protest by Editor Betsy Combier
Current Events | Posted 1/27/2018 at 9:11 PM
“Trauma” is a heavy and haunting word. For many Americans, it conjures images of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotional toll from those wars made headlines and forced a healthcare reckoning at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, would like to see a similar reckoning in every doctor’s office, health clinic and classroom in America — for children who have experienced trauma much closer to home.