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Saturday, August 5, 2017

The NYC Department of Education Has Not Provided Librarians To 87% of Harlem Schools, Says the NY POST

Just a few weeks ago NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina was tooting her horn over a "new policy" of integration, wasn't she?

Diversity in Admissions in New York City Will Bring Integration to the City's Public Schools....or Not

I guess the "new policy" does not include Harlem.

Betsy Combier

DOE fails to provide Harlem schools with librarians: activists
NYPOST, Sue Edelman, August 4, 2017

School librarians are all but ­extinct in Harlem.
The Department of Education has failed to provide librarians at 87 percent of Harlem schools that are legally required to staff them, according to a group of activists.
State education law mandates that schools serving kids in grades seven to 12 must have a librarian on staff to develop research skills.
“In a secondary school with an enrollment of more than 700 but less than 1,000 pupils, a certified school library media specialist shall devote the entire school day to school library work,” the law states. For schools with less than 700 kids, a part-time librarian is required.
The Harlem Council of Elders, a community advocacy group, said that requirement goes all but ignored in their schools — and that 10,000 mostly black and Latino students are suffering for it.
“This is crucial for their education,” said Diane Tinsley of Community Education Council 5. “They don’t have this fundamental skill — how to research. This is something kids in other areas know how to do because they have those resources.”
Citing DOE data, CEC 5 found that 40 of the 46 schools in five Harlem districts that qualified for librarian staffing didn’t have one.
In District 4, not a single school requiring the presence of a librarian staffed one.
Tinsley said Harlem students are receiving diplomas but end up lost at the collegiate level without some of the skills that a librarian could help to impart.
“They jump into college without these basic skills,” she said. “A lot of them end up taking remedial classes and having to use up their financial aid to do so. It’s a serious problem and no one seems to want to do anything about it.”
The DOE suggested Friday that there’s a shortage of certified librarians to staff city schools.
“While there are challenges in identifying and hiring library media specialists in New York City and across the state, we’ll continue our investments in libraries and students’ reading skills,” said DOE spokesman Will Mantell.
Mantell said that the DOE would be placing “reading coaches” in District 5 and 6 elementary schools but did not cite any imminent plans for the secondary school librarian drought.
The Harlem Council of Elders blasted the lack of a specific plan and said that their patience is wearing thin.
“This discriminatory practice is shameful, illegal, and must end immediately,” the group said.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ATR Scum Endangering NYC Children, Scream Uninformed Parents

My goodness, there seems to be a feeding frenzy on the Absent Teacher Reservists in NYC (ATRs).
StudentsFirstNY staged a protest outside the mayor's gym last week to protest the new policy
NYC’s plan to place teachers from its Absent Teacher Reserve pool could take a bite out of school budgets

The media is to blame, see the absurd comment posted below. Comments by the uninformed basically can be seen as ads for a change in policy, about to be announced by the DOE.

I also posted below the missing money and computers from DOE schools, showing that the ATR situation is not the only mess currently being looked at.

NYC Mayor De Blasio and NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina are implicated in this scheme to so defame the ATRs as to effectively get them removed from their jobs by an arbitrator at 3020-a faster than a blink of the eye. In fact, I just did a 3020-a for a teacher who had a Specification that charged him with making the NYC Department of Education "look bad" by having articles published about him and how he abused kids (not).

Thus, incredibly, he was charged with false claims against him being published in the news (mostly the Daily News) and making the DOE look like they hire child abusers as teachers. Incredible. And the guy is innocent, on top of it.

What is happening is that the UFT and the DOE want to get rid of the mess they made by having teachers who are not terminated at 3020-a become, automatically, ATRs. ATRs who win their 3020-a hearings have been able to prove that the charges against them were false and/or unproven by a preponderance of the evidence. These winners ARE NOT GUILTY as charged.

But the UFT and DOE must make all ATRs guilty of something, because they are about ready to sign an agreement (just like they did in 2010 to end the rubber rooms), to change the policies regarding the ATR charging process and rotation. The media is an important part of this strategy. Without parents and deformer groups standing up to decry the despicable criminals in the ATR pool harming every child in their classes, the mess that is the ATR situation would not be seen as a disaster, and someone may point a finger at the UFT and/or the DOE for creating the mess in the first place.

UFT President keeps saying nothing in press releases:

Mulgrew reacts to ATR articles

JULY 26, 2017
The UFT reached agreement on June 1 with the Department of Education on a voluntary severance package for UFT members who are in the Absent Teacher Reserve for at least one school year. The agreement sparked several newspaper editorials attacking the ATRs.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement in response:
Our recent ATR agreement generated its share of teacher-bashing editorials. Whether the media will print any of our rebuttals is an open question, but what is not up for debate is the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected.

Teachers whose schools have been closed or downsized will fill vacant classrooms in their chosen subjects this fall. Members in the ATR pool will also continue to play a valuable role in schools by filling in for teachers who are sick or on another form of sick leave.

The real problem facing New York City schools is the thousands of teachers in good standing who walk out the door every year for other systems or other professions because of large classes, lack of supplies and managers who do not support their efforts to help children learn.

Perhaps one of the editorial writers will accept my offer and join me on one of my school visits. Facts and time spent in the city's public schools would make for more accurate editorials.

I am pointing to the UFT for not giving representation to ATRs and not allowing a chapter or chapter leader for ATRs. I am pointing to the DOE for automatically making all tenured teachers who win (are not terminated) the 3020-a arbitration into ATRs, and thus expanding the number of tenured "glorified-substitutes-ATRs" for no reason.

Many ATRs are the best in the education business:

ATR EC, for instance, one of the best science teachers ever, charged with abuse when he tapped a girl in his class on the shoulder and said "good job!" when she got a passing grade on her test;

ATR BP, another brilliant science teacher, accused of verbally abusing the students in his class when he told them they must study or they would have to go to summer school, and he had been re-assigned out of the classroom before the event in the classroom listed in the charges occurred. no one, not even the arbitrator, could make sense of that;

ATR EM, asked where the special education teacher was for the ICT class, charged with incompetency;

ATR LL charged with "losing" a student at dismissal time, who was never missing nor did anyone ask where he was and the student was never interviewed;

etc, I could go on and on. The charges are just irrational in soooo many cases.

NY Daily News and Chalkbeat: why aren't you doing THAT Story?

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Center; NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina, on his right

Don’t force a dud teacher on my kid: The mayor's decision to override principals will hurt families like mine
NY Daily News
by Nicole Thomas

As a mother, I try to do everything I can for my daughter. I make sure she eats well and works hard and I’m involved in her education. I do my part, and when I drop her off at school, I want to know that the educators are doing theirs. I have to trust that the principal is picking the best teachers and holding them to high standards.

Last month, Mayor de Blasio made a decision that shatters the trust I have when I send my daughter to school. Principals across the city will no longer be able to select the teachers they want if they’re unable to fill a vacancy; instead, breaking a promise made by Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the city will force on the school an unwanted teacher from the Absent Teacher Reserve, or ATR.

This is the pool of teachers from across the city who lose positions at their schools, either due to school closures, budget cuts or enrollment changes, or because of disciplinary records. They land in the ATR — sometimes for a short period, sometimes for a long one — because they are unable or unwilling to find full-time teaching positions after losing their placements.

ATR teachers currently work in schools in month-to-month stints on an as-needed basis; now de Blasio and Fariña want to send them back into full-time positions in our classrooms.

In a rational world, if a teacher couldn’t find a job somewhere in our massive school system, he or she would be cut loose. But because of the extreme legal and contract protections teachers have in this city and state, public-school teachers who lose one job and can’t find another stay on payroll.

It would be bad enough if ATR teachers being sent back into full-time jobs would be equitably distributed across the city. But based on everything we know, they are certain to be concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, which already get the short end of the stick educationally.

Nearly two years ago, an education group requested information about who was in the ATR at that time and where they are being placed. The Department of Education wouldn’t release details.

We know that in 2014, a third of the teachers in the ATR had unsatisfactory ratings and a quarter faced disciplinary charges. More than half of them had stopped even applying for teaching jobs, meaning they weren’t so interested in being in the classroom. Many if not most of these teachers are unwanted for a reason.

But all the mayor seems to care about is rewarding the teachers union during an election year. So instead of fighting to protect public-school kids, he is focused on building support for his reelection campaign.

I started to become very concerned about teacher quality ever since a teacher at my kid’s school, Public School 256 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was arrested and later convicted.

Parents should trust that only quality teachers can stay in the system, but the ATR pool is evidence of the opposite.

In September, my daughter is starting fifth grade at PS 256, and I am terrified that a subpar ATR teacher, or one with a disciplinary record, is going to become her teacher. There are vacancies at the school, so this is a very real possibility. When principals don’t have final hiring authority, the chances increase that a bad apple can be placed in the classroom.

A 2015 report by the federal Education Department confirmed what many of us feel every day in our communities. Schools in low-income areas with high percentages of minority students tend to have more teacher vacancies.

So when de Blasio sets out to empty the ATR pool, these impossible-to-place teachers are going to end up in schools with lots of vacancies. In other words, the worst teachers will be sent to schools with families who don’t have the political clout to protect their kids.

Just because I live in Bed-Stuy doesn’t mean my kids deserve any less than the kids in Park Slope or the Upper East Side.

I am fed up at having my kids constantly be treated like second-class citizens in this very unequal public school system. I know the mayor would never have allowed this to happen in his own kids’ schools, so he shouldn’t do it in mine.

Kids in my neighborhood deserve quality teachers, not the system’s leftovers.

Thomas is the parent of a rising fifth-grader at PS 256.

Controller audit of NYC schools shows 1,800 computers are missing

NYC Education Dept. can't account for how $347M was spent on internet upgrades, controller says

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis blasted Department of Education spending Tuesday, calling
for the Department of Investigation to look into de Blasio’s handling of the agency.
NY Daily News, August 1, 2017

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis called Tuesday for a Department of Investigation probe of education contracting, charging wasteful spending has run rampant under Mayor de Blasio.

Malliotakis cited three recent audits by City Controller Scott Stringer — who has endorsed de Blasio for re-election — into the Department of Education that found missing equipment or a lack of documentation on how money was spent.

“We can’t continue to keep throwing money at problems and hoping that something sticks,” the Staten Island Assemblywoman said at a press conference outside City Hall. “But Mayor ‘I don’t care’ de Blasio doesn’t seem to have a regard for the taxpayers of the city or for the children of our city.”

One audit by Stringer found that more than 1,800 computers were missing from nine schools and school offices, while thousands more were not properly accounted for in records.

Another audit found DOE spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade internet at public schools, but couldn’t provide any budgets or timelines, and more than half of surveyed schools said internet was too slow to meet their needs.

A separate probe found that 98% of sampled payments to the New York City Leadership Academy, which got more than $100 million in contracts for teacher and principal coaching, were not supported by required documentation.

Stringer criticized the GOP pol for invoking his reports.

"Our audit shouldn't be used as a political football. We do this work for our kids — and it shouldn't be cheapened and exploited by adults,” his spokesman Tyrone Stevens said.

While each matter has already been audited, Malliotakis said DOI was better equipped to investigate whether there are systematic failings in DOE’s contracting because its investigators have subpoena power and can make referrals for criminal charges, though she did not cite any evidence that a crime occurred.

“The DOE is a bureaucratic nightmare and because it is a bureaucratic nightmare you are seeing contracts like this,” she said. “The children of our city, the teachers of our city are not seeing this money trickle to the classroom despite spending more than any other state in the nation.”

De Blasio dismissed his opponent’s attacks, which have also recently included going after his supervised release program.

“The things she talks about consistently show that she’s out of touch with the values of New Yorkers,” he said Tuesday.

“People all over the city want to see fewer people incarcerated with the right rules in place to make sure that public safety is preserved. They certainly want to see Rikers Island closed,” he said. “We’ll have plenty of time to debate issue by issue, but I think her values as a conservative Republican, her values are out of touch with people of New York City. I think that’s an obvious statement.”

DOI declined to comment.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tollyne Dickerson Makes Playstreets Happen This Summer in the Bronx

Robert M. Morgenthau, then the Manhattan district attorney and president of the Police Athletic League, with children on a Playstreet in July 1981CreditDith Pran/The New York Times
From Betsy:

I know you all thought that the Carmen Farina-Bill de Blasio team would care about kids and the families in the Bronx but you were wrong.

One of my very favorite people on the planet, chapter leader, wholistic health advisor (mine), and a great resource for anything anyone needs at anytime (I LIKE her ALOT), Tollyne Dickerson, is involved in Playstreets, and has told me the story of what happened.

There would be no Playstreets this summer if it weren't for Tollyne. She made it happen.

I love her. The Bronx loves her.

Thanks, Tollyne !!!!

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Heard on the Stoops: A Nostalgia for Playstreets

For more than 100 years, Playstreets have been part of New York summers. They're being phased out in favor of more curated experiences.
Stoopside in Harlem, a conversation began Monday evening about the loss of a summer institution in neighborhoods across the city.

Frances and Shiasia Harris, mother and daughter, gently debate for how long — before this year — their block, 151st Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, served as an official summer Playstreet, a kids’ kingdom, closed to traffic and open for fun.

“We had it here for over 20 years,” Shiasia said.

“More than 20 years,” Frances corrected.

“I said ‘over’ 20 years,” Shiasia rebutted. “I’ll be 27 next month. Since I was a child, I was coming out to play on Playstreet.”

As of this summer, that’s not a choice for those growing up on 151st Street or dozens of blocks around the city that also used to be transformed in July and August into Playstreets. There will be 15 this year, down from about 40 in 2016 and 150 two decades ago. Those that remain are nearly all in city parks or on the grounds of housing projects.

“I’m sorry, but I grew up in the projects — we had playgrounds right there,” Frances Harris said. “How do you have Playstreet in the projects? It should be ‘Play project.’”
An Idea With Legs
At left, play time on West 123rd Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Boulevards in 1997. At right, Officer Russell Blair of Brooklyn's 73rd Precinct with children at the Sterling Place Playstreet in 1962.
Summer play streets go back to 1914, the brainstorm of a police commissioner who thought they would be a good way to keep young people out of trouble. Over the years, they were run by the Police Athletic League, or P.A.L., which provided counselors.

“At one time, we had over 100, all of them privately financed,” Robert M. Morgenthau, the former Manhattan district attorney who has been a member of the P.A.L. board for more than 50 years and now, a few weeks short of his 98th birthday, serves as its chairman. “During the Lindsay administration, someone called me and said, ‘The city wants to take them over and pay for them.’”

Last year, the P.A.L. received $680,000 from the city to run Playstreets. This year, the amount is $355,000. “More resources in a smaller number of Playstreets,” Frederick J. Watts, the league’s executive director, said. “The funder — the city — wanted to see that we had more active, engaged programs, rather than have a broader, more passive program.”

A Curated Approach to Play
Leonard Sutton of Playstreets taught children how to play miniature golf on 122nd Street in Harlem in July 1966. 
Some Playstreets teemed with children; others were scarcely used. City officials say they are not spending less on recreation but are shifting it to more popular programs like Kids in Motion, which has the announced aim of introducing children to “physical activity in a fun, noncompetitive environment.” In a briefing memo, the city said that Kids in Motion features “trained recreation and sports instructors,” as opposed to Playstreets counselors; the Kids in Motion programs are held at playgrounds with courts and jungle gyms, unlike Playstreets, most of which were on “hot blacktop” with equipment limited to whatever could be stored nearby. Another aim is to expand offerings to older teenagers. The P.A.L. will also run 21 camps with city money.

In curtailing the Playstreets, officials said they had mapped alternatives, citing, for instance, a playground near 151st Street.

Reality has a way of interfering with the best-mapped intentions. “That playground is under construction,” Brandon Morgan, a mason who lives on 151st Street, said.

A Ritual That Beat Cartoons
From left, Alex Didomenico, Sklah Hemphill and London Huggins drew at the Polo Grounds 
“You wake up in the morning, get dressed, and come downstairs instead of sitting on the couch watching cartoons,” Shiasia Harris said, recalling her years on the 151st Street Playstreet. “You learn how to ride a bike, how to roller skate, because there’s free space.”

She reeled off classic street games: “Hot potato. Steal the bacon. Hopscotch. And Double Dutch — we had Double Dutch tournaments against other blocks that had P.A.L.”

Mr. Morgan added a few others. “Playing basketball, hockey and three big tables with mathematical games, reading comprehension, things like that, for building their minds,” he said.

The block between Broadway and Amsterdam on 151st Street is shoulder to shoulder with apartment houses filled by young families. “Not too many people around here go away for vacation,” Frances Harris said.

Said Mr. Morgan: “Nothing like your own block.”

A Reconsideration?
Daniel Lalin, 13, and Andrew Stapleton, 11, took a break on Tuesday to watch their friends play a basketball game at the Melrose Playground in the Bronx

P.A.L. officials helped pick the 15 sites that will have Playstreets this summer. Mr. Watts said it was not easy, and that 151st Street in Harlem, 196th Street in the Bronx, and 61st Street in Brooklyn were especially “hurting” from the loss of their Playstreets.

Asked about the Playstreet changes, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “City Hall was not made aware of these closures and we can understand why some are upset.” The decision, she said, is under review.

Tollyne Dickerson, News12, Fordham
Fordham Playstreet reopens to children for summer
News 12, July 10, 2017
Hundreds of children in Fordham were able to return to their local Playstreet this summer.
The Playstreet at 196th Street and Briggs Avenue was thought to be closed due to a lack of funding, but a nonprofit organization stepped in to raise the money. The Fordham Housing Corporation donated the $28,000 needed to open the site and buy supplies for the summer. 
Alumni of the program and parents say they are relieved to see the Playstreet back open.
The Police Athletic League's Playstreets program started in 1914 to provide children with a safe place to play within their communities.
The 196th Street Playstreet will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Aug. 17.
Tollyne speaking to News12, June 27, 2017

Posted: Jun 27, 2017 7:39 PM ED

The Police Athletic League's Playstreets program is set to close after more than 20 years of serving children in Bedford Park.
The popular summer program hosts more than 100 children, but its director says it will be gone this year "due to a reduction in departmental funding."
Some Playstreets are being closed and replaced by other summer programs.
PAL Playstreets was started in 1914 to provide children with a safe place to learn, play and interact with their communities.

The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice told News 12 in a statement, "This year, we are making some strategic improvements to serve more people with a richer array of dedicated services for the same amount of money."

From Betsy:
*Are Carmen and Bill listening to the perspective of New Yorkers such as the Chelsea residents in the article below rather than teachers and parents in the Bronx?? 

Just askin':

Chelsea Block Plagued by Student Fights No Place for 'Play Street': Locals
Students in front of Bayard Rustin HS

CHELSEA — A plan to turn a residential Chelsea block into a “play street” for middle schoolers to take P.E. classes would exacerbate problems on a stretch where students regularly get into fights, throw trash on the ground and "frighten" neighbors, locals say. 
The Bayard Rustin Educational Complex wants to close West 18th Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, off to traffic during school hours and use the stretch for supervised physical education classes and possibly recess, the city Department of Education’s head of campus operations, Nick Fiore, told Community Board 4’s Transportation Planning Committee on Wednesday.
But neighbors at the meeting said they feared emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to access the street — which is home to the LGBT Callen-Lorde Community Health Center — and worried that the plan would do nothing to mitigate ongoing problems on the block, where fights between students are a common occurrence, several residents said.
“I’ve witnessed very big fights,” one attendee said. “I couldn’t even leave my apartment — I had to wait until the cops came to break it up.”
Crowds of students block the street in the afternoon, pay no heed to pedestrians trying to pass and throw trash onto the street, a resident of West 18th Street said.
“These are not children — these are young adults. They are taller than I am. I’m frightened by them,” he said.
“They’re bratty young adults, not kids,” another resident added. “And if this goes through, there needs to be security guards out there."
Larissa Gonzalez, a resident of West 19th Street, said students have thrown everything from cue balls and food refuse to “sexual and really other gross” items through the school windows and onto her roof.
“I don’t think it will be safe,” she said of the play street proposal. “The violence is quite dangerous on the street.”
Several rarely used playgrounds and open spaces near the school could be used for P.E. classes instead, residents said.
Moreover, middle school students “do not need a play street,” said Frank Lowe, vice president of the 300 West 18th/19th Street Block Association.
While Fiore said he couldn’t dispute the neighbors’ anecdotes — having “seen them [himself]” — he argued that having a play street would provide the school a reason to have teachers, aides and safety agents out on the street.
The seven-school building at 351 W. 18th St. houses around 2,200 students — up from around 1,600 or 1,700 students four years ago — and a mandatory recess for middle-schoolers often “monopolizes” its two gymnasiums, Fiore said.
Under the play street proposal, the street would be car-free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, from September to the end of June, he explained.
“If we have a class in the street… we are paying more attention to those students and actively managing those students, as opposed to when they are simply out there,” Fiore said. “The one thing I would not dispute is, yes, P.E. is noisy.”
A security guard would likely be posted at the end of the play street to allow access to emergency vehicles, he noted.
Following the public discussion, committee members asked Fiore to withdraw his application for the time being to explore possible alternatives to the play street, address neighbors’ concerns and nail down a plan to deal with emergency vehicles.
“Once we have those things in place, we should be able to discuss what you want to do next,” committee co-chair Christine Berthet said, noting that the board “usually likes play streets.”
Committee member Dale Corvino, meanwhile, said he was “very discouraged by the fact that there is a community of residents and a community of students who seem to be completely at odds with each other.”
“I would like to implore the residents and the school to step up and change that dynamic,” he said. “It’s not the way we should run our cities, or… [the way] we should look at our students.”

The NYC Teaching Collaborative: a Quick Way to Become a Full-Time Teacher

Want to be a teacher real bad, but can't spend years on it?

If you have never been certified to teach, then you can apply to the NYC Teaching Collaborative and be an instant teacher.

These newbies can fill all those positions that may be open in October, 2017 so that the principals don't have to hire ATRs.

This quick teaching experience idea is not new, I've written about it in 2014 and 2012:

This ad says "Starts in September 2018". Must be the higher starting salary, up from $49,000.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials


Full Time


Details: • Starting salary of at least $56,711 and full benefits following the residency experience (starting September 2018)




Every student in New York City deserves an excellent teacher. The NYC Teaching Collaborative is an alternative certification program designed to provide training and support to aspiring teachers who dedicate themselves to raising student achievement and effecting change in New York City's highest-need schools.

The Collaborative Experience
The NYC Teaching Collaborative affords aspiring teachers the opportunity to apprentice in a New York City public school for eight months prior to becoming a full-time teacher. During this unique, practical preparation, participants grow into effective teachers through hands-on experiences in a public school classroom and targeted, ongoing coaching from skilled Collaborative Coaches and program staff. In the summer, participants begin Master's degree coursework to complement their second residency experience and lay the groundwork for a successful teaching career.

Following the residency experience, program participants begin teaching full-time in a New York City school with continued feedback and support. Within 2-3 years, participants earn their Master’s degree and apply for initial NYS teaching certification to continue their career as New York City teachers. 

Why Join the NYC Teaching Collaborative?
Build the foundation of your teaching career through a supportive, practice-based training experience. NYC Teaching Collaborative benefits include:
  • Stipend during residency experience
  • Starting salary of at least $56,711 and full benefits following the residency experience (starting September 2018)
  • Partially subsidized Master’s degree in education
  • Ongoing coaching and feedback
  • Opportunities to support future Collaborative cohorts
Who We Are Looking For
We represent a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds. Successful collaborative participants possess:
  • Commitment to raising the academic achievement of students in low-income communities
  • Desire to join a community of educators at a high-need school
  • Ability to respond well to coaching and feedback
  • Success and leadership in past endeavors
  • Perseverance in the face of challenges
  • Ability to think critically and analytically
  • Desire to grow professionally and seek new opportunities to learn
  • Integrity and clarity in all interactions
  • Passion for working with the youth of New York City
To be eligible, candidates must not have been previously certified to teach and cannot have completed more education coursework than a minor’s degree.
Apply by our first priority deadline of Tuesday, August 8:



None specified


No requirement

Job Opportunity as Deputy Director of the Administrative Trials Unit, NYC DOE 3020-a Hearings

My opinion of the employment opportunity for Administrative Trials Unit Deputy Director:

If you are a lawyer and have issues with ethics, meaning that you do not think ethical conduct should get in the way of terminating tenured Department employees who, you have heard, lie, cheat, steal, have sex with minor children in their workplaces, and alter records as well as take money that isn't theirs, and you want to be head of a team of lawyers who violate the rule of law and rules of evidence to fire these wrong-doers, then the current job opportunity is for you!

The position at the NYC DOE assures you immunity for any mishandling of any case of misconduct where the tenured employee is not terminated, which is always somebody's fault at the ATU  or the error of the arbitrator who, of course you can fire at the end of the school year when the arbitrators' contracts are up for renewal. I'm sure that if you keep in mind that "all Respondents accused of misconduct are guilty when charged" is the prevailing policy, that you can always schedule the miscreant for a probable cause hearing where the rights to cross-examine by the Respondent's representative of any DOE witness is prohibited, and that you must make sure that your legal team spends as much time as possible altering facts and making scripts for witnesses to study and learn before they testify, you will be fine.

Go to the link and apply. Good luck. Oh - you may end up on this blog, as well!!!

This is my opinion.

See my  post about what I think about DOE Attorney Michael Francis
Michael Francis

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Tracking Code
Job Description

Position Summary: The Deputy Director – Administrative Trials Unit serves as the representative of the Chancellor performing sophisticated legal work in disciplinary proceedings and provides support to the Deputy Counsel. The Deputy Director will be accountable for the success and performance of team members in assigned practice areas in meeting performance goals and identified objectives; will be designated as the Administrative Trials Unit Assistant Deputy Counsel; and will perform high-level legal work. Performs related work.

Reports to: Deputy Counsel, Administrative Trials Unit

Direct Reports: Administrative Trials Unit Attorneys and administrative support staff.

Key Relationships: Represents the Department of Education (DOE) in 3020-A proceedings and hearings pursuant to Section 75. Provides legal counsel and training to Community Superintendents and Principals on disciplinary procedures. Confers with subject matter experts, technical specialists, and other attorneys, including counsel for litigants. Acts as a liaison to executives within the DOE and to other City agencies.


Case Management

·        Manages the case load of the Administrative Trials Unit by assigning cases to staff attorneys and monitoring the conduct of Technical Assistance Conferences (TAC), review of charging instruments and potential stipulations of settlements.
·        Reviews Office of Personnel Investigation (OPI) arrest cases to determine if there is appropriate substantiation and evidence for charges.
·        Manages monthly case reviews with office attorneys. Assumes direct responsibility for all phases of complex high profile legal cases. This includes preparing for and/or litigating complex cases involving large amounts of money, significant precedents, novel and complicated determinations of law and fact, or cases having significant legal, policy or financial implications for the DOE.
·        Determines the advisability of presenting witnesses, admissibility of types of evidence and matters of legal strategy.
·        Prepares and argues difficult cases and appeals in administrative tribunals and in the courts.
·        Reviews, revises and approves agreements prepared by other attorneys.
·        Coordinates and assists with professional development for Community Superintendents and Principals concerning the 3020-A disciplinary charges process.

Trial Strategy

·        Handles legal issues and cases including recommendations concerning the soundness of charges, preparing specification of charges, coordinating the gathering of evidence, and briefing witnesses.
·        Develops plans and objectives for the conduct of various Administrative Trials Unit functions; devises methods and procedures for the implementation of approved policies.
·        Recommends settlements pursuant to DOE administrative tribunals.
·        Leads trial issues discussions and determination of appropriate charges.
·        Administers trial calendar in conjunction with the Chief Research Attorney.
·        Manages intra-office trial seminars and Center for Law and Education (CLE) training for staff attorneys.
·        Coordinates and assists with professional development for superintendents and principals concerning the 3020-A disciplinary charges process.
·        Manages legal summary informational database for recurring case issues which will be utilized by staff attorneys to complete closing briefs and arguments.

Legal Research

·        Conducts legal investigations, holds informal hearings, and examines prospective witnesses.
·        Conducts research and prepares legal briefs and memoranda on labor and employment law issues.
·        Reviews complex, highly technical laws, rules, and regulations.
·        Serves as the chief research contact on cases and issues “first impressions,” particularly on contract interpretation as it relates to 3020-A issues.
·        Manages and maintains the "Case Decision Bank" used by staff attorneys when completing answers to motions, closing arguments, and related documentation.
·        Plays a lead role in coordinating and/or providing professional development for Community Superintendents and Principals concerning the 3020-A disciplinary charges process.
·        Manages the distribution of decisions of interest and advises staff on any changes of law and controlling authority.

Qualification Requirements:


Admission to the New York State Bar; and four (4) years of recent full-time satisfactory, relevant legal experience subsequent to admission to any bar, eighteen months of which must have been in the supervision of other attorneys, in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity, or performing highly complex and significant legal work.

NOTE: Selected candidates must remain members of the New York State Bar in good standing for the duration of their employment.

Applicants who have a client with a legal or business matter pending against, before or with the DOE must obtain such client’s consent to apply for employment with the DOE.  If invited to interview for this position, such applicants are required to disclose the nature of such matters at the interview.  


·        Ability to coordinate and supervise complex legal and labor relations activities.
·        Overall knowledge of the school system and ability to advise and render legal opinions on educational policies and practices.
·        Ability to initiate effective litigation strategies.
·        Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
·        Ability to interact effectively with others.
·        Highly organized and excellent problem-solving skills.

Salary: $102,788+

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application. 
Applications will be accepted until position is filled.
NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding. 

It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation.  Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 1102, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit the OEO website at
Job Location
NEW YORK, New York, United States
Position Type
New Posting

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel's investigative office is comprised of the following units: 
§  The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) investigates allegations of improper and unlawful behavior, including corporal punishment and verbal abuse against students, to help ensure a safe and secure learning environment for New York City’s students, staff members, and parents. All other allegations of misconduct should be reported to the Special Commissioner of Investigation at (212) 510-1500.
§  The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) investigates allegations of discrimination or harassment. In addition to investigating internal agency complaints, OEO advises schools on matters relating to equal employment opportunity, and provides training on acceptable workplace practices under equal opportunity employment law.

The Office of the General Counsel's disciplinary office is comprised of the following units:
§  The Administrative Trials Unit (ATU) is responsible for the prosecution of tenured teacher disciplinary cases, trainings and advice on how to discipline a tenured employee or permanent civil servant, and also to review documentation as it relates to the discipline process.

§  The Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) is a new unit comprised of experienced attorneys who will litigate incompetence cases against ineffective tenured pedagogues.

Administrative Trials Unit

The Administrative Trials Unit is responsible for the prosecution of disciplinary cases.
ATU is available for trainings and advice on how to discipline a tenured employee or permanent civil servant and also to review documentation as it relates to the discipline process. If appropriate, ATU may draft charges under Education Law, Section 3020-a or Section 75 of the Civil Service Law against the subject employee. This process entails a joint effort by the principal and/or supervisor along with the ATU attorney to litigate a case against the employee either for the purposes of progressive discipline or to seek the employee's termination. Should you seek charges, you must schedule a Technical Assistance Conference (TAC) with ATU for a complete review of the employee's personnel file and any related discussions.
From Betsy Combier:
This information is not correct. Laura Brantley is no longer the Director of the ATU, Attorney Karen Antoine is currently in that position (

According to The Green Book online, this is Laura Brantley's new number:
Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity Management  –  Laura Brantley 
(718) 935-2427

Teacher Performance Unit

The Teacher Performance Unit (“TPU”) is a new unit comprised of experienced attorneys who will litigate incompetence cases against ineffective tenured pedagogues. TPU’s goal is to help improve teacher quality in schools by bringing and litigating these cases in a thorough, expeditious and effective manner.
In partnership with the consultants of the Labor Support Unit (“LSU”), TPU will offer high quality and responsive support to principals, and other school officials in connection with cases involving previously identified tenured teachers in need of support and remediation. This support will include, among other things, providing these ineffective tenured teachers with quality professional development.
Additionally, TPU in consultation with the principal will make a determination, on a case by case basis whether to commence the 3020-a process. Thereafter, TPU and LSU will continue to provide counsel to the principal and other school officials in connection with the preparation and litigation of 3020-a disciplinary charges.