Government Lies, Corruption and Mismanagement
NYC Media And Department of Education CEO Dennis Walcott Join Together On a New Attack Against 3020-a Arbitrators Who Do Not Terminate Tenured Teachers
From Betsy Combier: Mayor Bloomberg's mandate is to get rid of tenure rights and tenured employees for any reason - save your questions for after he/she is terminated, thank you. DOE CEO Dennis Walcott must adhere to this order, and try to get "Just Cause" removed from a process in New York City already almost totally devoid of impartiality and fact-finding. Thus if an employee is a "gem" of a teacher, or does nothing wrong to any student, he or she could still be pointed to by a vindictive Supervisor as a miscreant and brought to 3020-a for any or no reason and terminated under this rule: false-claims-are-facts-because-I-said-so".
Mayor Bloomberg's mandate is to get rid of tenure rights and tenured employees for any reason, save your questions for after he/she is terminated, thank you. DOE CEO Dennis Walcott must adhere to this order, and try to get "Just Cause" removed from a process in New York City already almost totally devoid of impartiality and fact-finding. Thus if an employee is a "gem" of a teacher, or does nothing wrong to any student, he or she could still be pointed to by a vindictive Supervisor as a miscreant and brought to 3020-a for any or no reason and terminated under this rule: false-claims-are-facts-because-I-said-so".
Dennis Walcott made a special performance to say this on video.
The power to control, terrorize, and harm those people who dont do exactly as you tell them to do or you simply dont like, is dangerous, and one reason why civilizations throughout history have created and continue to rely on laws, rules and regulations. Except in NYC. The power of Mayor Bloomberg can be seen every day as he uses his mega-bucks to avoid abiding by the Law, distort the truth, and ignore facts in order to accomplish his goals. His education plan is to get rid of tenure and anyone who has it, close all minority-dominated public schools and turn the public school system into a charter school enterprise, and keep highly paid consultants, lawyers, and publicity staff happy and busy with press releases, school promotions and spinning facts about what is really going on.
I have voluntarily attended 3020-a arbitration for nine (9) years whenever a charged employee has asked for an open and public hearing, and I have made notes on the arbitrators, attorneys, employees, witnesses, and evidence used at each hearing that I have attended. My purpose was and is to write about the due process - or lack of - found at 3020-a arbitration in New York City. There's not much left. And, as soon as the New York Post, Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and even the New York Times get finished with their latest onslaught of mis-information and yellow journalism, you may start believing that the arbitrators in NYC just dont know what they are doing as they let child pornographers and abusers as well as incompetent lazy employees back into the classrooms of NYC public schools to continue their harmful ways against the helpless child victims, the students.
This is ridiculous media manipulation of readers' minds. Dont drink their bacteria-laden pink slime.
Bloomberg has no patience for lazy good-for-nothings - people with tenure - and has laid down a mandate to get rid of everyone who is alleged to have done anything. This is very easy to do, just create an online occurence report of something that you, the principal, heard happened, decide whom you want to blame (the student? the para? the teacher?) and send the report (OORS) via email to "central (booking). If you want to go for permanent removal of the person you dont like/want out of your hair, just fill out the Suspension Online Hearing Occurence (SOHO) Report, and boom, the student is suspended and out of your school. Problem with a teacher? Write a letter saying there are allegations of....whatever, say this could lead to "further" discipline so you need to contact your UFT Rep., and schedule a meeting so that the miscreant can be re-assigned elsewhere. Then call "legal" and give them the employee's personnel file to change. When the charges are made up so that a case now exists, the employee is charged and sent to 3020-a where he or she will hopefully be terminated. You, the principal, probably will be asked to testify to whatever the charges are.
The Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI), or Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) will support you no matter what you say, so dont worry about finding out what really happened. In fact, dont find out what really happened with the employee, because then you could be accused of "interfering with the investigation", another catch-all phrase. God forbid, you may find out that the charge is NOT true. Then what? You're stuck with the person, and you may be embarrassed by bloggers like me.
What bothers Mayor Bloomberg and therefore Walcott, are those arbitrators who do not succumb to the Plan, and do not terminate the person brought to 3020-a. How dare they!!
Neither Bloomberg nor Walcott hold the American Arbitration Association rules in high regard. In fact, any rule, law or regulation that prevents the arbitrator from deciding on termination in every case must be declared null and void, according to current DOE staff willing to talk with me off the record.
The media has been told, get rid of the "formerly charged but not terminated employees that were allowed to resume their careers". The bias in the stories below is quite evident. Think this while reading.
Bloomberg blasts city arbitration system for booting bad teachers
By DAVID SEIFMAN, NYPOST, Last Updated: 3:28 PM, April 6, 2012
The arbitration system for booting bad teachers is so one-sided that "if you were an ax murderer you might get a slap on the wrist," Mayor Bloomberg charged today.
The mayor was reacting to reports that the city tried to fire more than a dozen teachers who behaved inappropriately with students, but was rebuffed by arbitrators who imposed lesser penalties.
"Some of their rulings don't make sense," Bloomberg declared on his weekly radio show.
"The theory is they don't want to be too tough on union members because then the union will never allow them to be selected."
The teachers' union and the city have to agree before an arbitrator can be hired.
"The allegation is -- I don't know whether it's true or not -- some of these arbitrators just will not impose any penalties," the mayor said. "Maybe if you were a serial ax murderer you might get a slap on the wrist. And I don't want to overstate that."
The mayor didn't explain why an arbitrator would be more fearful of the union than of the city, since both hold the same power to veto their hiring.
He also didn't hold out much hope of establishing an independent process with an arbitrator not tied to either side.
"Who would pick that person?" Bloomberg asked. "It's like saying dictatorship is the best form of government. The problem is who picks the dictator."
UPDATE: Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, responded:
"The 3020-a process is part of state law. Under its provisions an independent hearing officer approved by the Department of Education reviews accusations, weighs the reliability of witnesses, and reviews all other evidence before making a decision in a case. Arbitrators' rulings can be appealed to the New York State Supreme Court. If the Department of Education believes that the hearing officer has made an egregious error in a specific case, it can appeal that decision."
Sixteen teachers singled out for pervy conduct get to keep their jobs in New York City schools
Lewd comments, kissing, thrusting and personal calls were not enough to get them fired
BY RACHEL MONAHAN AND BEN CHAPMAN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012, 4:00 AM
List of teachers singled out by Dept. of Education
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Friday, April 6, 2012, 2:30 AM
The following are the 16 teachers singled out by the Department of Education:
BURT BLOOM, John Dewey High School. Accused of rubbing a student's back in an empty classroom and telling the boy: "I could make you do things you wouldn't like to do."
ERICK CALI, adult/continuing education teacher in Brooklyn. Accused of touching a girl's hair, arms and shoulders.
RELATED: TEACHERS SINGLED OUT FOR PERVY CONDUCT GET TO KEEP THEIR JOBS
EDWARD CASCIO, reassigned away from the classroom because of a new investigation. Accused of asking a male student to send nude photos of a female student and receiving the photos.
ERIC CHASANOFF, Flushing High School. Accused of telling a student “words to the effect of, if it's not going to get me in trouble I would kiss you."
MICHAEL DALTON, reassigned away from the classroom because of a new investigation. Accused of tickling students on their stomachs, placing students on his lap and kissing a kid's forehead.
LAURA DELLATTE, PS/MS 194 in the Bronx. Accused of repeatedly texting a student inappropriately.
GENAYE ESPOSITO, Junior High School 14. Accused of sexual relationship with male student. Took boy shopping and to movies.
TATEK EWART, pool of substitutes. Accused of sending love poems to a student Pete Rosado, IS 219 in the Bronx. Accused of telling kids a fellow teacher had a "sexy butt," tickling kids on their bellies.
STANLEY FELDMAN, Boys and Girls High School. Accused of telling girls in class they look “sexy” and showing one female student a raunchy cartoon on his cell phone.
ALEXIS GRULLON, pool of substitutes. Accused of showing a student a picture of himself without a shirt, telling a student she looked "like a cow" and telling a student he was cheating on his wife.
WILLY LARAQUE, George Washington Carver High School. Accused of bending a student over a chair and thrusting into him from behind, saying "I'll show you what is gay."
KASTRIOT NDREU, Bronx Aerospace. Accused of calling one student 39 times, texting the student to say "I think of you every day" and going to the student's place of work and sitting and staring at him.
PETE ROSADO, I.S. 219 Bx. Accused of telling student “I slept with your mother last night.” Also accused of tickling bellies and legs.
WILLIAM SCHARBACH, pool of substitutes. Accused of picking up a student, sitting the kid on his lap, rubbing his back and patting his buttocks.
NORMAN SIEGEL, pool of substitutes. Accused of "humping himself" against girls in class.
ANDREW TROUP, PS 96 in the Bronx. Accused of telling a kid he loved her and that he'd dreamed about her.
Source: SCI reports and hearing officer findings
April 5, 2012
Found to Have Misbehaved With Pupils, but Still Teaching
By DAVID W. CHEN and PATRICK McGEEHAN
A health teacher at a high school in Manhattan, joking about life for homosexuals in prison, forced a male student to bend over a desk, lined up behind him to simulate a sex act, then quipped, according to an Education Department investigative report, “I’ll show you what’s gay.”
A high school science teacher in the Bronx who had already been warned about touching female students brushed his lower body against one student’s leg during a lab exercise, coming so close that she told investigators she could feel his genitals through his pants.
And a math teacher at a high school in the Bronx, investigators said, sent text messages to and called one of his female students nearly 50 times in a four-week period and, over the winter holidays, parked himself at the McDonald’s where she worked.
The New York City Education Department wanted to fire these teachers. But in these and 13 other cases in recent years in which teachers were accused of inappropriate behavior with students, the city was overruled by an arbitrator who, despite finding wrongdoing, opted for a milder penalty like a fine, a suspension or a formal reprimand.
As a result, 14 of those 16 teachers are still teaching and in contact with students, on either a daily or occasional basis. The other two were removed from their positions within the last month when new allegations of misbehavior surfaced against them, according to the Education Department. The department released records of the 16 cases, including reports compiled by the department’s special commissioner of investigation and the arbitrators’ rulings, under a Freedom of Information request.
The subject of teachers behaving inappropriately has suddenly emerged as a pressing concern, given the arrests of at least seven school employees on sexual offenses involving students in the last three months, including one Tuesday of an assistant principal in the Bronx who was accused of groping two girls.
In two of those cases, the employees had a history of behaving improperly around students, but simply moved to another school and kept working. So in February, Dennis M. Walcott, the schools chancellor, ordered a review of all substantiated cases of misconduct. After the review, he fired four aides and began proceedings to fire four tenured teachers.
But as the 16 newly released cases show, they will not be easy decisions. As in many states, New York law grants tenured teachers the right to a hearing in front of an arbitrator before they can be fired. Teachers can also appeal an arbitrator’s ruling to a civil court.
“As I was reviewing these cases, I said, ‘Huh? How could this person go back to the classroom?’ ” Mr. Walcott said in an interview Thursday. “It’s very frustrating. Definitely my hands are tied because the arbitrator made a ruling, because I would not have put these people back in the classroom.”
But to union officials, the right to an impartial hearing is sacrosanct, to protect teachers from losing their livelihoods because a principal or a student might have an ax to grind.
“A person has a right to be heard, and the right to respond to whatever you’re accused of, and it’s got to be decided by someone other than you, the boss,” said James R. Sandner, who retired recently after a long career as a lawyer for New York State United Teachers. “If the person is punished in some fashion and now realizes that this is something they should not do, and they feel remorse, you ought to be able to get to a point of simply moving on.”
The 16 teachers, like the four Mr. Walcott is now trying to fire, were accused of a range of misbehavior that fell short of criminal prosecution. Some were accused of making a habit of physical contact that made students uncomfortable; some were accused of repeatedly e-mailing or sending text messages to students; and others were cited for a single interaction with a student.
A few admitted to much or all of what was alleged, but argued that ending their teaching careers was too harsh a punishment. Others denied all, saying the charges were fabricated or trumped up. The science teacher in the Bronx, for example, denied rubbing up against the student, and although the arbitrator’s decision said that he most likely touched the girl, there was no proof that his genitals had made contact. The teacher, Norman Siegel, was suspended without pay for 45 days and ordered to take sensitivity training.
“The arbitration process did exonerate me,” Mr. Siegel (who is not the civil rights lawyer of the same name) said Thursday. “That ruling stands. I was innocent and I was proven innocent.”
The department tried to fire Eric Chasanoff, who was accused in 2006 of grabbing a Jamaica High School student’s elbow and later telling her after handing back a test, “I’m so proud of you; if it wouldn’t get me in trouble, I would kiss you,” according to the department’s investigative report. He had previously been warned after a 2002 incident in which he put his hands around a student’s waist, according to an investigative report by the department.
Mr. Chasanoff contended that he touched the girl because she was shaking and nervous, not for any prurient purpose, and that his remark, while clumsy, was made out of pride. In the decision, the arbitrator agreed with Mr. Chasanoff about the touching, but said the remark embarrassed the girl and merited a $2,000 fine, but not firing. “There’s two sides to every story,” said Mr. Chasanoff, who was out of the classroom for four and a half years while he fought the charges. He now teaches at Flushing High School. “Why you need independent arbitrators is you need due process. If every teacher was taken out of the classroom based on accusations, you would have no teachers left.”
Another teacher the city tried to fire, Tatek Ewart, an English teacher, was fined $5,000 after admitting to poor judgment when he gave romantic poems he wrote in Russian to a girl he was teaching at Brooklyn Tech, according to the arbitration decision. Since then, Mr. Ewart has been working as a substitute, while hoping to secure a full-time position teaching English again, he said in a brief interview.
“Of course, I’m looking for something that will have permanence,” Mr. Ewart said. “I’ve got a mortgage, a 5-year-old and another child on the way. This job is my livelihood.”
He said he had never been asked about his case in job interviews, and did not know if principals even knew about it. Mr. Walcott has since said that he would make sure that principals had access to more disciplinary records of teachers applying for positions at their schools.
“Principals should definitely know and be told if someone was recommended for termination for any misconduct of a sexual nature, whether the charges were founded or unfounded,” said Chiara Coletti, spokeswoman for the principals’ union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. “Sometimes, the D.O.E. has been careless about providing the information.”
Teachers convicted of crimes generally lose job protections, and the city does succeed in firing teachers who have not been arrested. But sometimes it takes more than one try.
One Queens middle school teacher the department tried to fire was instead fined $10,000 and suspended for 90 days. The arbitrator, Paul S. Zonderman, found the teacher had gotten too involved with a student, sending her instant messages and telling her that if she were 18, he would marry her.
But he wrote that he had no doubt that the teacher was sufficiently distraught to have learned a lesson. “I doubt that he will make the same mistakes twice,” Mr. Zonderman wrote.
In less than two years, the same teacher was accused of making seventh-grade girls uncomfortable by commenting on their appearance and getting too close to them physically. The hearing officer this time, Mary L. Crangle, was not so forgiving. On March 1, she said that he “has not learned from his prior experience,” and ruled that he could be fired. It was unclear Thursday if the decision would be appealed.
April 6, 2012, 8:37 a.m. ET
Misbehaving NYC teachers still working
Wall Street Journal online
NEW YORK — Fourteen teachers accused of bad behavior are still working because an arbitrator overruled New York City's attempts to fire them.
The teachers were among 16 instructors the Department of Education identified in recent years as behaving badly with students. The other two teachers were removed after new allegations surfaced.
Despite finding wrongdoing, an arbitrator decided to dole out lesser penalties like a fine, suspensions or a formal reprimand.
The New York Times and the Daily News requested the information under the Freedom of Information Law.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said if it were up to him, the teachers would not be back in the classroom.
At least seven New York City school employees have been arrested for sexual offenses involving students in the last three months.