Given the stress and pressure people are under, this kind of thing was inevitable:
The principal of an innovative West Harlem public school killed herself the day after her students took the state Common Core exams — which were later tossed out because she cheated, The Post has learned.
Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, 49, of Teachers College Community School, jumped in front of a B train in the 135th Street station on St. Nicholas Avenue on April 17, police said.
She was pulled out from under the train and taken to Harlem Hospital, where she died eight days later. The city Medical Examiner’s Office ruled it a suicide.
The leap came at 9:20 a.m., less than 24 hours after her 47 third-graders wrapped up three days sweating over the high-stakes English exam — the first ever given at the fledgling school.
It was also the same day a whistleblower reported the cheating to DOE officials.
Parents were shocked and saddened to learn Worrell-Breeden died but were given no details at the time. It was rumored she was killed in a car crash.
Parents were in for another shock in June. Superintendent Gale Reeves told them in a meeting that all the third-grade English exams had been “red-flagged” and “invalidated.”
Worrell-Breeden had some challenges outside of her work life according to the Post, including the death of a parent and a marriage break-up.
And there is some funkiness around the way the story was released - with details of the death dribbling out over time - to make you wonder if the DOE isn't just scapegoating Worrell-Breeden now that's she dead and can't defend herself.
To that end, the Post makes sure they get in how Worrell-Breeden had been caught falsifying her time cards in a previous gig before the Teachers College Community School and docked two weeks pay for those actions.
Nonetheless, the stress and pressure educators in public education are under these days is real, which even the Post article acknowledges:
The tough Common Core exams have raised anxiety. In 2014, only 34.5 percent of city students passed the math tests, and 29.4 percent passed English tests.
“A lot of people are getting sick and leaving the system because of the pressure the high-stakes tests are putting on them,” a veteran educator said.
It's not just the high stakes testing, it's the constant concern over drive-by Danielson observations, the micromanaging that's going on in many schools, the despair many feel as they see their autonomy torn from them and replaced with EngageNY scripts.
All these stresses and pressures are real, here for good and getting worse by the year.
And that's the way the education reformers want it.
The goal of education reform is FEAR.
They want a system in which everybody, from the students to the teachers to the administrators to the district officials are in constant FEAR, worried about grades, test scores, observations, and the myriad other accountability measures used to gauge so-called student, teacher, school and district performance and they do not care about the human cost of any of this.
When the USDOE tells NY State it must test every student, even students with severe disabilities who have no chance to pass the high stakes exams, and count every test score in the accountability measures for teachers, schools and districts, you know the message is "We do not care about children or you, we care only about our political agenda!"
When Governor Cuomo imposes an evaluation system that ties 50% of a teacher's rating to test scores of students they don't teach in classes they don't teach, you know the message is "We do not care about children or you, we care only about our political agenda!"
When NYSED rigs the Common Core tests for 70% failure rates in order to prove how "failing" schools and teachers in this state are, you know the message is "We do not care about children or you, we care only about our political agenda!"
When the Board of Regents hires a new "reformy" NYSED commissioner whose callousness and incompetence led to the deaths of three children in her former school district, you know the message is "We do not care about children or you, we care only about our political agenda!"
I don't know whether this principal from the Teachers College Community School killed herself because she was worried she had been caught trying to cheat on the ELA Common Core exams or not, but I do know that given the stresses and pressure in the system, it's quite possible that's what happened and moreover, the education reformers who have imposed their reform agenda, the Endless Testing regime onto the system, want it that way.
If there are sick children throwing up on exams, teachers smeared as "ineffective" based upon similar test scores results that declared them "effective" the previous year, educators at all levels of the system in constant FEAR and anxiety over the data - well, that's exactly the point of education reform.
And if someone takes her life because of the stress and pressure in the system, you can bet reformers see that as a small price to pay for so-called accountability as well.
This is a toxic system devised by toxic people who do not care about anything other than power and control over others - and FEAR is the primary tool they use to exert power and control over all.