Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anthony B. Aldorasi Wants His Legacy Fixed

Former Principal of I.S. 141, Anthony B. Aldorasi, holds a copy of the plaque that was removed from the NASA science lab he founded, . Photo Jason D. Antos

  Former Principal Wants Plaque Restored
A former principal of I.S. 141 in Astoria wants his name restored to the science lab that he helped create.
In February, 2002, after many years of outrage and complaints made by parents and teachers concerning the conditions inside I.S. 141, Astoria native Anthony Aldorasi was appointed principal of the fledgling school and quickly turned it around, making it a positive place for students and faculty.
Quickly after his appointment, Aldorasi was responsible for an increase inmath and reading scores. In 2005, I.S. 141 became a NASA Space Exploratory school (the only school in New York City) and received several visits from real life astronauts. The school’s teachers, students and administrators received a wealth of resources from the government due to Aldorasi’s grant writing abilities.
Because of his accomplishments, Aldorasi received many awards and even had the new state of the art science lab named in his honor. Local politicians and even the borough president attended the ceremony. The PTA raised funds for the plaque that was installed at the dedication on which his name and the following message are inscribed, “For your vision and love for our school, we dedicate our new science lab to you. From the faculty, parents and students.”
In 2007, however, this all changed for Anthony Benjamin Aldorasi, when he was suddenly removed from office.
On that fateful day, just before the President’s week break, he received a phone call from the Queens headquarters of the Department of Education and was told to report there as soon as possible. He left the school thinking he’d be back in an hour or two.
He never set foot in the building again.
After 29 years of a spotless record, he was suddenly brought up on two 3020a charges stating that he physically reprimanded a student and mentally harassed a male teacher.
Both charges were false.
“It was all about power,” Aldorasi told the Gazette. “The current administration at I.S. 141 wanted me removed, plain and simple, just for advancement.”
The very people who initiated the allegations and the investigation were indeed advanced to assistant principal and principal positions after Aldorasi’s removal.
Aldorasi was informed by teachers still working at I.S. 141, that the dedication plaque, which hung outside the science lab named in his honor, had been removed.
“The current administration wanted to remove any trace that I had ever been involved with the school or that the science lab was there because of me,” said Aldorasi.
But the former educator wants that plaque restored to its rightful place outside the science lab.
When he appealed his case to the current Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa, a representative told Aldorasi that the current administration and chancellor are both focused on “looking forward to the future and to not dwell on the past”.
“She’s the CEO,” said Aldorasi. “You don’t forget about the past. What happened to me was wrong and it has to be corrected. You have to build upon and learn from the past before you move forward.”
When the charges against him were dropped, Aldorasi was ordered reinstated as principal of I.S. 141. When Aldorasi returned to the school, there was a group of reporters outside and the parents of the child he allegedly physically reprimanded. Then Schools Chancellor Joel Klein reversed his decision and announced that Aldorasi would not return to I.S. 141.
One of the key elements that brought about Aldorasi’s acquittal was the role of I.S. 141’s current principal, who had became too heavily involved in the proceedings against him.
“I was a victim of people who were jealous of my success and a teacher’s union, the UFT, who was angry that I reprimanded teachers who were not living up to their responsibilities, which is to educate our children, our future,” said Aldorasi.
One of the reasons why he feels there is much hesitation in restoring the plaque is that it will cause the case against him to be revisited.
“If people see that plaque they’ll ask, “Who was Anthony Aldorasi? Why was he removed?” he said.
In 2010, former state Senator George Onorato honored Aldorasi for his extraordinary career as an educator with a Proclamation from the state of New York.
Aldorasi would like to see the plaque restored as soon as possible with the same amount of media attention and fanfare that surrounded his removal as principal.
“It’s the only way to forgive the sins of the past,” said Aldorasi. “I will not just let my legacy be forgotten.”

Principal who pushed student, intimidated teacher gets to keep his job



Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 12:50 AM
A middle school principal who inappropriately pushed a child and intimidated a teacher will keep his job despite city efforts to fire him, an arbitrator has ruled.
Education officials tried to fire Anthony Aldorasi from his $136,745 post at Intermediate School 141 in Queens.
He was yanked from the school last year and charged with three administrative counts of corporal punishment against students and three counts of intimidating a subordinate.
But as a tenured principal with 26 years in the school system, Aldorasi had a right to appeal.
"The arbitrator felt that charges against him were very thin and that nothing rose to the level of corporal punishment, which is why he wasn't fired," said principals union spokesman Brian Gibbons.
Last week, Aldorasi was found guilty on two counts of intimidation and one count of corporal punishment. He was told he could get his job back after paying a $6,000 fine and serving a 10-day suspension without pay, a schools spokeswoman said.

Aldorasi told the arbitrator that when he pushed a student by his shoulders into a chair, it was to get the boy to sit up straight, according to documents.
The arbitrator found this fell "far short of corporal punishment," but that touching a child in any way was not appropriate.
Aldorasi was also found guilty of ordering a teacher to pay $1,200 to replace a missing school amplifier and of threatening that teacher when he refused.
Aldorasi did not return calls seeking comment but a spokesman for his union said the charges against him were minor.
Aldorasi won't necessarily go back to IS141, but the arbitrator instructed the Education Department to find him a principal's job in District 30 in Queens - an order that doesn't sit right with parents or teachers at the school.
Teachers union President Randi Weingarten also sounded the alarm Monday. "What prevents this person from being a recidivist?" she asked.


No comments: