So let me play Devil’s advocate here, but could it be that DTOE.ORG’s Administrators in Need of Improvement list has reached the top of the food chain at the New York City Department of Education.
Scenario 1: Chancellor Farina walks into her office on Monday morning , turns on her computer and clicks on the Google Chrome icon, pulls down her favorite list, clicks on http://www.DTOE.ORG/ANOI and wonders how this group of rag tag teachers got together to create this list. She immediately calls a meeting of the minds and they get to work on how to fix the problem of abusive principals.For us members of DTOE and the Solidarity caucus we would love to believe this was true.
Scenario 2: While sitting at her home computer Chancellor Farina clicks on to http://www.BrainyQuotes.com and read the quote of the day. “Absolute power corrupt absolutely.” Lord Acton. She immediately begins to ponder the situation of abusive principals. Her staff has given her a number of blogs written by teachers who have faced abusive principals.
After reading these blogs she calls together a meeting of the minds and they get to work on how to fix the problem of abusive principals.
While these scenarios are a pipe dream the reality is the networks were a cash cow. Each school had to use a percentage of its yearly budget for network support. Truth is the money used to support these networks could have been used for per-session for teachers to do after school tutoring, for textbooks and other materials that are used to support learning like smartboards, paper, chalk and updated computer software.
The networks also provide professional development seminars in schools at an additional cost. Meanwhile, museums throughout the city offer teachers professional development at no cost.
The networks supported incompetent and abusive principals throughout the city. Each network leader knew that if a principals was removed it was likely that the new principal may chose another network.
This of course led to principals like David Jimenez,Linda Hill and Arisleyda Urena destroying teaching careers of a number of good teachers. The networks were Pro-Principal. For example, During my time at Manhattan Center we tried tried repeatly to have Dave Jimenez removed, but because of the networks we were unsuccessful.
In Jimenez’s tenure as principal of Manhattan Center there have been no less than 7 superintendents in district 4 this includes Francesca Pena (An investigation found Milcedes Pepin, an assistant principal .. http://www.nycsci.org/…/08-10%20PepinM-Pe) Not one of the superintendent after Pena was able to have Jimenez remove because of the network even though the evidence supported work place bullying and harassment of individual teachers. (Oddly enough,Jimenez turned on Francesca Pena and Milcedes Pepin during their hearing. Going so far as saying they were never friends. Meanwhile, they were all part of the upper echelon of Association of Dominican American Supervisors and Administrators organization.In July of 2008, Pepin traveled with Jimenez to China)
The truth is the networks should have been dismantled long ago and every 3020a case and U rating under the networks should be revisited.