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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Betsy Combier and Harvey Elentuck File FOIL Requests For DOE Performance Evaluations

My very good friend Harvey Elentuck, the "Elentuck" of the case "Elentuck v Green" in which the New York State Supreme Court and the Appellate Division both told Harvey that there are no facts in observations and observations are not final (so he could not FOIL observation reports), filed a FOIL request for performance evaluations of the DOE "leadership". Judge Cynthia Kern used "Elentuck" in her decision to grant the DOE release of teacher evaluations, and Bob (Freeman) has issued an opinion about Harvey's case. The UFT used "Elentuck v Green" in the Memorandum of Law filed at the First Department Appellate Division (Attorney Charles Moerdler is on the Attorney Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the 1st Dept. and was the Attorney hired to defend Randi Weingarten and me in the Teachers4Action lawsuit filed in 2008 by former Attorney Edward Fagan....evidently Fagan owes Moerdler more than $340,000 in judgements).

I filed a FOIL request as well, but I put in the following paragraph:
"As you know, I have filed a Notice of Claim against Mr. Joseph Baranello, Chief Records Access Officer of the New York City Department of Education, for consistently delaying my FOIL requests beyond the time available by Law, and I have had my 50-H deposition. Any and all delay in receiving the information I request herein will be pursued pursuant to all relevant laws and statutes. I also posted Mr. Baranello's Facebook comments on my blog, and I will consider any and all delay in receiving the information I request in this FOIL request or any other as retaliation and unlawful action by a public employee. Here is the link:

When I filed a FOIL request several years ago for Joel Klein's performance review, the answer from the NYC DOE was: "there is no evaluation done of Chancellor Klein. He works at the pleasure of Mayor Mike Bloomberg."

This is why we have no say on anything that occurs in our city schools.

Betsy Combier

 Here is Harvey's FOIL:
  to:  Joseph A. Baranello, Esq. --,
from:  Harvey M. Elentuck --,
 date:  3/6/12
Re:  New FOIL Request F____        
I have seen Leonie Haimson's 2/28/12 FOIL request, which was posted online at Norm Scott's blog, Ed Notes Online:
Please be advised that, in my opinion, the records Ms. Haimson has asked for are vitally important, accessible, and should be granted promptly by you without the usual dilatory tactics.
I have attached a copy of the judicial decision in Blecher v. NYC Board of Education (NYLJ, 10/25/79).
Also relevant is Gould v. NYC Police Department (89 NY2d 267):

Here is a current listing of the members of the Chancellor's Leadership Team:
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and the Regulations of the NYS Committee on Open Government, I would like to receive E-mail copies of the following records:
a)  the exact same records requested by Leonie Haimson, namely, "the final performance evaluations of all of the members of the Chancellor’s leadership team for 2009, 2010 and 2011, in the NYC Department of Education, including but not limited to every Deputy Chancellor, as well as the performance evaluation of the Chancellor himself"
            (Note:  Ms. Haimson had used the phrase "final performance evaluations."  I consider "final performance evaluations" to include more than just categories as "Does Not Meet" or "Substantially Exceeds," but to also include the descriptive prose that supports the categories.)
b)  analogous records to those requested by Leonie Haimson, but for the years 2006, 2007, and 2008          
c)  records containing the policies and procedures for conducting the performance evaluations of each member of the Chancellor's Leadership Team (including the Chancellor) for each of the years from 2006 to 2012
(Note:  If the policies and procedures were never revised during any of the above years, simply provide the most current version of the record, but so clearly indicate in your determination letter.)
Please be advised that the CEO of a school district, whether entitled "Chancellor" or "Superintendent of Schools," must be evaluated annually.
Here is the full statement of §100.2(o)(1)(vi.) of the current Regulations of the Commissioner of Education:

Performance review of superintendent.  
The governing body of each school district shall annually review the performance of the superintendent of schools according to procedures developed by such body in consultation with the superintendent.  Such procedures shall be filed in the district office and available for review by any individual no later than September 10th of each year.      


I am attaching two final performance evaluations of (former) Chancellor Rudolph Crew, p. 2, and p. 3,  so that you may see what types of records one of your predecessors saw fit to release.
If you have any questions about this new FOIL request, or would like to meet with me to discuss it, please feel free to E-mail me at either
I’ll look forward to hearing from you within five business days of your receipt of this request. 

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Hon. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg  --       
Hon. Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo –-
Hon. Queens PEP Member Dmytro Fedkowskyj –-
Hon. Senator John J. Flanagan -- 
Hon. City Council Member James F. Gennaro --
Hon. PEP Chair Tino Hernandez --
Hon. City Council Member Robert Jackson --
Hon. Senator Carl L. Marcellino --
Hon. Queens BP Helen M. Marshall --
Hon. Assemblywoman Catherine T. Nolan --
Hon. City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn --
Hon. Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz --
Hon. Senator Malcolm A. Smith --
Hon. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch --
Hon. DOE Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott --
Michael Best, Esq. --
David M. Brodsky, Esq. –-
Betsy Combier --
RoseAnn Darche --
Robin S. Greenfield, Esq. –-
Leonie Haimson --
Courtenaye Jackson-Chase, Esq. --
Ernest Logan --
Michael Mulgrew --
Judy Nathan, Esq. --
Norm Scott --
Robin F. Singer, Esq. –-
Lenny Speiller –-
Randi Weingarten, Esq. --
Panel for Educational Policy --
Executive Director NYSCOOG Robert J. Freeman –-
Assistant Director NYSCOOG Camille S. Jobin-Davis –-
Lindsey Christ --
Philissa Cramer -- 
Anthony M. DeStefano -- 
Susan Edelman –
Yoav Gonen -- 
Elizabeth Green --
Karen Matthews -- 
Rachel Monahan -- 
Anna Phillips --

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