Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Principal Excesses 28% of Staff

Wow - I bet Michelle Rhee is impressed by the evil doings of the principal at PS 222:

An embattled Jackson Heights principal gave seven of her roughly 25 teachers the boot - even though the city had approved only two layoffs at Public School 222 because of budget cuts, city officials said.

Now, some teachers at the pre-K-through-second grade school are claiming the layoffs had less to do with cost-cutting and more with weeding out faculty that Principal Yvonne Marrero didn't like.

"It's horrendous," said kindergarten teacher and union rep Giuliana Miscella. "People are so scared of the principal and they're in such fear of retaliation."

On the last day of school late last month, teachers presented the district school superintendent with a letter accusing Marrero of using "intimidation techniques" to foster a work environment of "fear," faculty said.

"The morale of the school is very low," said first-grade teacher Patricia Santora, who was not laid off. "There's a lot of mistrust between the staff and the administration."

By that point, seven teachers had received letters from PS 222 stating they were to be "excessed."

Teachers who are excessed lose their positions because their schools can no longer afford their salaries, said city Education Department spokeswoman Anne Forte.

If they can't find a new teaching job elsewhere, they can continue receiving paychecks while working as teacher aides, tutors or substitute teachers in the district, she said.

Excesses are not that unusual as city schools have had their budgets slashed by roughly 12% over the past two years, Forte said.

But PS 222 teachers became suspicious of the layoffs when they didn't receive formal letters from the city. When several called the department, they learned they had actually not been excessed, teachers said.

Those faculty members can return to the school in the fall, Forte said.

"They are currently employed by the school and they still have jobs at the school unless they choose to transfer to another school," she said.

Two of the seven teachers who were told they were laid off have found jobs at other institutions, staffers said. Two other teachers, who were not among the excessed, have left the school.

In fact, the school is looking to fill two bilingual staff positions. Education officials said the new hires are federally mandated, because the school has seen a spike in foreign-born students.

Marrero did not return calls seeking comment.

Forte said Marrero maintains that the layoffs were a "budget mixup."

Uh, huh.

Have you noticed how the more power you give to some of these principals, especially the ones from the Jack Welch Scumbag Academy, the more "mix-ups," "controversies," and "firings" you get?

A study was released this week showing that schools with leaders who treat their staffs with respect and share power with teachers actually do better than the ones run by petty dictators.

Unfortunately, with school districts being run by the likes of Klein (Satan) and Rhee (Satan Jr.) and pro-firing policies being enshrined in federal law by the President of Accountability (that's other people's accountability, of course, not his own), that study will not give much pause to all the firings and other abuses.

Especially not when the union in place to protect teachers is actually in bed with management and allows these changes to happen, then throws their hands in the air and says "Gee, we can't believe they would use the new rules this way to abuse teachers."

That goes for Weingarten at the AFT, Mulgrew at the UFT, and all the Weingarten cronies around the country.

If you allow the ed deform people to frame the issues, you are going to be on the defensive on every issue.

The ed deform people will continue to get more and more concessions until finally teachers will be like Burger King employees - subject to firing right there at the frialator as we're asking the kids if they want fries with those standardized tests.

No tenure protections, no seniority protections, just FedEx letters home saying "THANKS FOR PLAYING! YOU'VE BEEN FIRED!"


  1. "If you allow the ed deform people to frame the issues, you are going to be on the defensive on every issue."

    That is the truth.

  2. It really is.

    We live in a time when the issues are defined by the corporate friendly whores who start with the assumption that a) the market solves all ills b) government is bad c) any government programs that are necessary ought to be either privatized or run as corporate friendly as possible.

    Hell, the great "socialist' Barack Obama frames issues like this.

    No wonder even as gov't gets bigger and bigger, the corporations make more money.

    Wars, health care, the environment, public education - all paid for by the public dime but put billions into the corporate coffers.