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Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Secret Deals, and Political Bartering Keep Bad Teachers and Principals on the Payroll
When can we stop the UFT from harming our children by keeping teachers who cant - or shouldn't - be teachers, in the classroom or in offices where they are paid to do nothing?

July 1, 2004 -- At least 530 city public schoolteachers got failing grades on their report cards this year - and now they are appealing their grades, The Post has learned.
The number of instructors contesting their "unsatisfactory" rating is about the same as last year, according to preliminary figures filed with the United Federation of Teachers.

The Department of Education has yet to tally the total number of teachers who got dreaded "U" ratings.

But critics have long complained that only a tiny number of teachers get bad ratings, even though a majority of the city's elementary and middle school students fail to pass standardized reading and math tests and only half the high school students graduate on time.

Last year, only 624 out of 80,000 teachers - four-fifths of 1 percent - received unsatisfactory ratings.

With Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein talking tough on accountability, teachers and union officials like UFT president Randi Weingarten wondered whether pressured principals would go on "witch hunts" and flunk more teachers.

Weingarten noted that Klein just released a list of 45 principals who were bounced, calling the act "counterproductive" and an "abuse of power."

At some schools, more teachers were rated poorly.

Brooklyn Lafayette HS principal Alan Siegel gave five teachers unsatisfactory ratings compared to one last year. Sources in the Bath Beach school said more teachers receive poor job ratings than at any time in recent memory.

Staffers charged that two teachers from the Philippines - who didn't get the proper supports from supervisors - got a "U" rating.

"We're hearing that our pass rate on Regents exams is up. If our success rate is up, then why are more teachers getting a "U" rating?" grumbled one staffer.

Klein and principals said the number of tenured teachers getting "U" ratings is artificially low because it's harder to fire them. Principals must give these teachers unsatisfactory ratings for two consecutive years - and then defend the rating during extensive appeals - to get rid of them.

Instead, principals said they engage in the practice called "pass the lemon" - reaching a secret agreement with a teacher to agree to transfer to another school on the condition that they get a favorable job review. But that just dumps a bad teacher on another school.

But many teachers spend alot of time getting paid for doing nothing:

July 1, 2004
Bloomberg Calls for Dismissal of 5 Educators Who Shopped

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called yesterday for the dismissal of five assistant principals who were accused of stealing time from the city by shopping when they were supposed to be sitting in an Education Department office awaiting assignments.

The five assistant principals had been left unassigned when their positions were eliminated, but they remained on the payroll and were supposed to report each day to a personnel office in Manhattan for a workday of 7 hours and 40 minutes, which included a 40-minute lunch break.

Investigators said that four of the five also falsified time sheets indicating that they had been in the personnel office when they were not.

At Mr. Bloomberg's daily news conference yesterday, he said he would support efforts to fire the assistant principals. He said the fact that they did not have a full-time assignment gave them no right to go off and conduct personal business.

"People who, on the time when they're supposed to be there for the city, doing whatever the city is legally able to ask them to do and expects them to do, even if it's just be there in an emergency so we can use them," the mayor said, "they don't have the right to go out and turn that into personal time and to falsify the records."

Mr. Bloomberg added: "Falsifying the records is what in the private world you would call fraud, and most companies would dismiss people. This is not a decision that is up to me, it is up to the chancellor, but it is my understanding that the chancellor is moving to terminate all five, and I certainly would support him."

Michele McManus, a spokeswoman for Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, said the chancellor indeed planned to seek the dismissal of all five.

On Tuesday, the special commissioner of investigation for the city schools, Richard J. Condon, issued a report on the situation, including photos taken by investigators who trailed the assistant principals to Lord & Taylor, Macy's and Kmart.

The assistant principals' salaries range from $65,000 to $106,000. Mr. Condon recommended penalties from fines to dismissal.

The Department of Education said yesterday that over the last year a total of 4 principals and 16 assistant principals had had no school assignments at various times and were similarly required to report to personnel offices.

Officials said that all 20 had now been reassigned.

There is a lack of oversight in hiring former sex offenders:
N.Y. Times Ignores School Molestations

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

N.Y. Times Ignores School Molestations

The New York Times, like the Boston Globe and other members of the leftist, anti-religious media establishment, has prominently run numerous articles about pedophiles and homosexual molesters among the Catholic clergy - but is strangely silent about the molestation scandals in our wretched government schools.

"Parents at a Harlem middle school said yesterday they were shocked that a school aide, accused of sexual abuse four years ago, returned to the school to allegedly prey on a second teen - because cops were never told about the earlier incident," the New York Post reported today.

"I'm totally horrified," said former MS 54 Parent Association president Betsy Combier, who has a seventh-grade daughter at the school. "The procedures to protect our children aren't there."

Fanon White, a 31-year-old aide, was charged with statutory rape and sodomy. He was fired in 1998 when a student accused him of repeated sexual abuse. After he challenged his firing, state bureaucrats reinstated him with back pay in May 2000. He is also accused of sexually abusing another 14-year-old pupil outside the school last fall.

A search of the Times and its Web site revealed no coverage at all of this case. Is it because the Iron Lady, packed with advertisements of luxury goods, doesn't care what happens to poor people in Harlem? Or is the silence due to the lack of a priest's involvement?

This is the same newspaper, you'll recall, that censored all mention of the horrific rape and murder of young Jesse Dirkhising by two Arkansas homosexuals. Of course, had the killers been clergymen the story would have been big news.


July 1, 2004 -- An alarming study that reads like a parent's worst nightmare reveals that one student out of every 10 is a victim of sexual misconduct by teachers and other school employees.
The chilling report, delivered to Congress yesterday, found that 4.5 million children from kindergarten to grade 12 are forced to endure disgusting behavior varying from inappropriate remarks to sexual attacks.

Of those targeted, 57 percent were girls and 43 percent boys.

Teachers were the most common offenders, followed by coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher's aides.

"I'm not surprised. It's a pattern and as a society, we need to do something about it," said Anne Liske, executive director of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon agreed, saying, "I can believe it. It's definitely a problem."

Condon said 25 percent of the cases his office probes involve sexual misconduct - from inappropriate language and touching to sexual abuse.

Child-abuse lawyer Michael Dowd and other experts said the number of victims could well exceed 10 percent because the crimes often go unreported.

"The lack of attention paid to this issue is a scandal," Dowd added.

The report, required under the federal No Child Left Behind law, was written by Charol Shakeshaft, a Hofstra education professor who was hired by the feds to study the prevalence of sexual misconduct in schools. She analyzed 900 studies, documents and news stories.

"Most people just don't think this can really happen," Shakeshaft said.

"We imagine that all teachers are like most teachers, in that they've gone into teaching to help children. Most do, but not all. We need to acknowledge that's the case and do something to stop it."

The report described schools as places where abusers come to prey, targeting vulnerable kids who are afraid to complain or are unlikely to be believed.

"Often teachers target vulnerable or marginal students who are grateful for the attention," the report said. "They lie to them, isolate them, make them feel complicit and manipulate them into sexual contact."

The report found that in elementary schools, abus- ers are often the best teachers.

"It is common to find that educators who have been sexually abusing children are also the same educators who display on their walls a community 'Excellence in Teaching' award or a 'Teacher of the Year' certificate," the report said.

"This popularity confounds district officials and community members and prompts them to ignore allegations on the belief that outstanding teachers can not be abusers."



Last December, a guidance counselor for the Harlem Boys Choir was sentenced to two years in jail for sexually abusing a 13-year-old choirboy.

In sentencing Frank Jones, 53, of Washington Heights, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Sudolnik said that "an adult's abuse of a child does not warrant anything less than the maximum." Jones, a 20-year employee of the choir and its school, was found guilty in November of kissing, licking and fondling the teen from 1999 through August 2000.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Steiner said the victim was "starved for a father figure," and Jones "capitalized on that."

The victim, now 18 years old and in college, is suing the choir and the city for $30 million for allowing the abuse to occur.

A probe by Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon's office slammed school and choir officials for failing to heed warnings that Jones was an abuser. Carl Campanile



An ex-music teacher in Manhattan and Long Island is serving 10 to 30 years in the slammer for having sex with several of his students.

In pleading guilty to the charges in July 2001, Steven Correnti, 26, of West Islip, L.I., also admitted he filmed and photographed some of the sexual encounters, kept thousands of pornographic images of children in his computer and distributed kiddie porn. "How much irreparable harm you did to these young ladies, Mr. Correnti, we may never know," said Judge Louis Ohlig in imposing sentence. "You're a teacher; your job is to help. What were you doing as a teacher, destroying how many lives?"

The father of one of Correnti's victims said the girl was 14 when she met the teacher. "From that time on, it's been a downward slide," he said. The girl's grades plummeted, her self-confidence evaporated and she started doing drugs, he said. Andy Geller

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation