When I started this Blog on October 3, 2013. It was designed to be a testimony to the vast corruption that exist in the New York City Department of Education.
Recently I have received a number of questions about my story. I have answered some of them in this post.
How long have you been teaching?
13 years in total. 12 at Manhattan Center 1 as an ATR.
What did the DOE charge you with?
The primary charge was incompetency.
In her decision, Arbitrator Lisa Brogan noted that Mr.Silvers stated that his passing rate on the American history regent was 98% a fact that the administration did not deny. My Question is how incompetent am I?
The arbitrator actually found me guilty of insubordination with mitigating circumstances. Her exact words were “The administration at Manhattan Center played an active role in perpetuating the animosity which is at the heart of this case.” So till this day I’m assuming I was guilty because I complained to the DOE about workplace harassment.
How much were you fined?
I was fined $15,000
Oddly enough Francesco Portelos (http://www.protectportelos.org) a Staten Island teacher was recently fined $10,000 for questioning his principal use of school funds. Meanwhile, Adrienne Phifer a principal at the Forward Schools was fined $2,500 for have a staff member wash her car and chauffer her niece on city time.
Why did you choose the name Voltaire?
I read a quote from Voltaire that inspired me. It is the quote I start this blog with and that I believes describes me.
“Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share, Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.”
How did you wind up at a 3020a?
In April of 2009, Assistant Principal Daniel Alberta had a student arrested for no reason. The student was involved in a loud verbal argument with another student. I was a dean at the time and I was called by security to deal with the student. When I arrived I had a School Safety officer bring one student to one office and School Safety agent Garcia and I took the other student to the gym office to calm down. Within minutes Mr. Albetta arrived at the office and took the still highly upset student out of the office. As they walked down the hall Mr.Albetta told the student something that got him even more upset.( I found out later Mr. Albetta had told the student he was getting suspended.) The student now even more upset began yelling and walked away from Albetta. Albetta demanded that School Safety arrest him. This set the student off even more. I stepped to the student to clam him down. Meanwhile Albetta now hiding in a staircase laughing was on his phone. Eventually, school safety handcuff the student and took him to the security office. Albetta told everyone involved in the incident that the student was being for hitting the level 3 (School Safety Agent Sergeant). The level 3 at the time replied he never hit me a fact to which I can say is true because I was between the student and the level 3 trying to deescalate the situation.
About 15 minutes after the incident occurred Mr. Albetta came to room 328 which was the Dean’s office at the time to give me his reasons why he had the kid arrested. Mr. Albetta’s demeanor towards me was a little aggressive. I expressed my displeasure with the way he handle the situation. At the point he stuck his finger in my face and said ” If we don’t do this to these N-word now they’ll run all over us. At that point I left the room and walked to Principal David Jimenez’s office I told him the story and wanted to know who should I complain to? Jimenez asked me not to file a formal complaint with the DOE instead he would handle it. Up until that point Jimenez had always been straight forward with me. Needless to say that was the biggest mistake I ever made because the next 3 years were hell with a number of false allegations sent to SCI and OSI, Uratings and writes ups. (I was written up for leaving my hall post to return a student to class who had been walking up and down the halls disrupting the educational process)
Did the arbitrator in your case call Jimenez a liar?
Her exact words were, “He (Jimenez) suffered a major blow to his credibility.” This is nice way of calling him a liar.
How did the arbitrator view Jimenez’s leadership
These are the arbitrator’s exact words. ” the depth of negative feelings expressed by numerous witnesses for the Respondent (Silvers) about the type of individuals they deem Jimenez and Albetta to be and the manner in which they run Manhattan Center was enough to cause this Hearing Officer serious concerns.” This again is the nice way to say they lack leadership ability.
Throughtout your blog you’ve made a number of references to the issue of Albetta’s sexuality why was this such as big issue?
The only person that seems to have an issue with Albetta’s sexuality is Jimenez. The Arbitrator in my 3020a noted, ” I FOUND IT ODD THAT THROUGHOUT HIS TESTIMONY JIMENEZ FREQUENTLY SOUGHT OPPORTUNITIES EVEN WHEN HE HAD NOT BEEN ASKED, TO BRING UP ISSUES OF MR.ALBETTA’S SEXUALITY.” The transcript of my 3020a is filled with Jimenez trying hard to say that Albetta’s sexuality had to do with my dislike of him. My dislike for Albetta was forged because of his sneaky ways of trying screw people over and his issue with telling the truth.
Did Jimenez really testify that your quote “let’s be honest and put our cards on the table.” as threatening?
Yes he did when I read the transcript I did a double take. Now realize, Jimenez once showed a didlo to a female Assistant Principal and asked her if it was hers. This is only appropriate in the world of the New York City Department of Education
Are there other cases to come out of that Manhattan Center that are similar to yours?
These two individuals shared very similar stories and made it public. There are also two female Assistant Principals that shared similar fates. (See post its like a reoccurring nightmare.)
This link will take you back to the beginning
In the immortal words of Jerry Garcia “What a long strange trip its been.”