Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, June 10, 2016

Note To Preet Bharara: Discrimination And Retaliation Is The Official Policy Of The NYCDOE

From the NY Times:

The federal government accused the New York City Department of Education in a lawsuit on Thursday of engaging in a pattern and practice of discrimination against the three black teachers who worked at the Pan American International High School in Queens.

The lawsuit, filed by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, made it clear that the government believed that the school’s principal, Minerva Zanca, had targeted the three teachers with the goal of having them removed from their jobs.

Ms. Zanca once told the school’s assistant principal, Anthony Riccardo, that one of the black teachers “looked like a gorilla in a sweater,” and that she could never have “nappy hair” like another of the teachers, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also claims that Ms. Zanca retaliated against Mr. Riccardo for his complaints about her treatment of the black teachers. Once, when he refused to give an unsatisfactory rating to a lesson by one of the teachers, Ms. Zanca yelled at Mr. Riccardo, accusing him of “sabotaging her plan,” and calling school security to have him removed from the building, the lawsuit says.

The Pan American school, on 94th Street in Elmhurst, says on its website that it serves “374 recently immigrated English language learners from Latin America.” The lawsuit says that during the 2012-13 school year, when it says the discrimination occurred, the school had a total of 27 teachers. Three of the teachers were black, the suit notes.

Mr. Bharara, in a statement, said, “It is nearly unthinkable that, in this day and age, one of the largest and most diverse school districts in the United States would allow racial discrimination and retaliation to flourish.”

At schools all over the city, principals and assistant principals are going into observations with pre-conceived notions of who will be given negative ratings and who will be given positive ratings.

This is the official policy of the Bill de Blasio/Carmen Farina DOE (though the discrimination detailed above took place under the Bloomberg/Walcott DOE.)

The NYCDOE is telling school administrators that there are a certain number of "ineffective" and "developing" ratings that each school must have and that it will be held against a principal if a school does not comply with that directive.

Any principal or assistant principal not on board with the increased "ineffective/developing ratings" plan is retaliated against - either by the DOE (if the person not on board with the policy is a principal) or by a higher school administrator (if the person not on board with the policy is an assistant principal but the principal at the school is on board.)

What happened at the Pan American International High School is particularly egregious because of the vile racism attached to the pre-decided negative ratings.

But the truth is, this same kind of thing is happening across the city to other teachers, based perhaps not on blatant racism, but on other criteria that have nothing to do with teaching effectiveness.

Sometimes it's based on more subtle racism, sometimes it's based on ageism, sometimes it's based on cronyism, sometimes it's based on "Well, we have to throw somebody under the bus because that's what the DOE wants - who should that be this time?"

The UFT has done nothing to protect its members against the egregious assaults being waged by the de Blasio/Farina DOE because they've been brought in by the mayor to co-manage the system.

Despite the silence of the UFT in these matters, a terrible war against teachers goes on in schools, with the Danielson drive-bys as the weapon of choice for knocking people off.

I once hoped that things would get better in NYC schools once Bloomberg was gone, tried to take Carmen Farina at her word when she said she wanted to bring joy back to school.

But quite frankly, things are worse now than under Bloomberg because the UFT leadership is completely complicit in the insanity being waged out of Tweed, turning their eyes from the increased "developing" and "ineffective" ratings and ignoring the stories from rank and file about how bad it has gotten in individual schools.

The New York City school system is rife with FEAR these days, and while the Pan American International High School case occurred during the Bloomberg Years, much the same is happening now in the de Blasio Years, perhaps not as blatantly racist, but no less as discriminatory or retaliatory.

Any system that runs with a quota for how many negative ratings must be given is discriminatory and retaliatory - and that's exactly what we have under de Blasio and Farina.

Preet Bharara should dig deeper into the way the NYCDOE operates and he'll find patterns of discrimination and retaliation throughout the school system.


  1. Thank you for putting this out there. Let's see if Preet takes it to the next level.

  2. The principal of Automotive High School who is leaving to unleash her reign of terror upon the Baldwin community should also be a subject of an outside investigation. Her first year at Automotive she U rated 16 teachers 14 people of color. Same MO, same support from the Bloomberg DOE as it continues with DeBlasio. Check out the petition asing for the rescinding of Caterina Lafergols's appointment to Baldwin High School.

  3. There are many of her ilk. These principals are encouraged and celebrated by the Superintendents , by Carmen Farina and by her deputies. It is their ideology to harass , demean and belittle teachers. When Carmen Farina meets with administrators, she tells them to harass, u-rate and fire teachers using the 3020 A law. Her career was built on teacher harassment. CARMEN FARINA is INCOMPETENT.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The key to this is that there needs to be a mole in the DOE who can actually get a recording or an email that proves that there is a quota to rate a certain amount of teachers innefective or developing. If just one piece of evidence can show that there is a quota, the entire DOE evil machine will crumble to the ground.

  6. Discrimination, retaliation and fraud are the cultural norms of the Department of Education. Carmen Farina is the champion of this culture of abusive, criminal behavior. She built her career on harassing and firing teachers so as to endear herself to the tyrants Bloomberg - Klein. The criminal fraud of the Bloomberg DOE was epic. It was a scandalous technology fraud the exemplified the malfeasance and incompetence of Joel Klein. When Bloomberg threatened to fire Joel Klein , he took the exit and linked up with Rudoph Murdoch bringing his incompetence in technology and administration to full fruition with the Murdoch conglomerate. His efforts to produce and market the Amplify system failed miserably and lost hundreds of millions oF dollars for Rupert Murdoch.
    In the shadow of these incompetent tyrants, Carmen Farina rose to the top of the DOE. She was a master manipulator and used
    folks to advance her opportunistic career ascent.

  7. The principals who have forced to retire because of theft, theft of services and other forms of fraud have never been referred for prosecution by the DA. That is more than disturbing. It is classic racketeering by the DOI and DOE. THE SILENCE AND COMPLICITY OF THE UFT BY TURNING A BLIND EYE ON THIS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IS ALSO DISTURBING.

  8. The story is the same in Newark. Teachers are targeted due to age, experience and race. Another reason teachers are harassed is for daring to voice an opinion not in lock step with the administration du jour.

    Abigail Shure

  9. Starting with the ATRs, a disproportionate number are African American males. A disproportionate number are older teachers.
    The cultural norms of the ATR discrimination and the fraudulent agreement to end the banishing of teachers to rubber rooms are
    Exemplars of racist discrimination and fraudulent propaganda oozing out of the diabolical underbelly of the DOE upper management. Do not kid yourselves, there is great malfeasance and hypocrisy is the"beast".

    1. Racism and abusive conduct has long been tolerated by the DOE. There are many, many situations that have been ignored because of the venomous ideology of teacher bashing. There is much corruption
      In the DOE than this one school.
      Bharara should pursue the DOE on multiple instances of collaborative fraud.

  10. The upper echelon of the DOE are career fraudsters.

  11. All of the targeting of older employees is being done with the full knowledge of the UFT. When I asked the district rep for my district to provide statistics she responded with some inane blather about how the obvious is not happening. Is it possible to file a FOIL request for this information. Make no mistake, the long knives are out and we are all being targeted. They are depending us to continue acting like sheep. The fact that we don't unite to fight this or even vote out the leadership that's complicit in this mess is all the proof they need to keep up the onslaught. Maybe we can compile a list of abusive administrators and superintendents and their actions which have definitely been mandated by everyone's favorite down home grandmother.

  12. There has been systemic discrimination against ATRs since its inception under the Bloomberg administration. The vast majority are over 40 and people of color. Several organizations and private lawyers have used FOIL to demand the demographics from the DOE, to no avail. The DOE is breaking federal anti discrimination law and the Freedom of Information Law. This is something they should be brought to court over. If we had an honest union with an honest union president this wouldn't be an issue. Preet needs to look at Mulgrew and the DOE. It is my fondest hope that Mulgrew one day will be arrested.

  13. A few months back while in a meeting with UFT Senior staff in my high school in the Bronx , I quietly listened to their "DOE cant" ...then asked " when do we go on strike ?" which the UFT Senior Staff replied ..."do you think any of the teachers in this room would strike with you?"...I bit my tounge so as not rant at her ...then stated
    "Wrong answer" ..and walked out ..
    The UFT is corrupt. .as is the DOE ..
    Can't wait to retire.

  14. Please investigators, look into the corrupt underhanded practices of superintendent Marisol Bradbury in Manhattan District 2, and her lackey principals. So many veteran teachers being rated ineffective, ruining peoples' lives.