Sunday, January 24, 2016
Banana Kelly HS Principal Moved To A Rubber Room After Faking Classroom Observations
The principal of Banana Kelly HS in the South Bronx has faked classroom observations of her faculty, staffers charge.
“She’s destroyed the integrity of the whole evaluation system,” an insider told The Post of Charlette Pope.
The accusations come as Mayor de Blasio this month named Banana Kelly one of 94 low-performing “Renewal Schools” to share $150 million for extra classroom time, after-school and summer programs, and teacher training.
In one case, Pope allegedly fabricated a formal observation of a teacher who had called in sick on the deadline to file the reviews.
“The observation never happened. It’s unethical,” the teacher said. When she refused to sign the dummied-up papers, Pope retaliated by rescinding a summer-school job, she said.
After repeatedly demanding to see her personnel file, the teacher was shocked to find a second fake observation, she said.
In another case, Pope submitted nearly identical observations of two teachers — both for the same eighth period last Oct. 23, records show. She rated both teachers “effective” or “developing” in the same categories.
One of the two teachers said Pope never came to her classroom to formally observe her all school year.
“Charlette Pope had a history of being openly aggressive with teachers,” the staffer said. “I feared that by confronting her, I would not be rated fairly.”
In addition, Pope’s observations lift boilerplate language from DOE grading guidelines without citing specifics about the teachers’ lessons. She also failed to conduct teacher conferences required before and after observations, staffers said.
Staffers reported the alleged misconduct to special schools investigator Richard Condon, who launched a probe last week.
On Friday, after investigators spoke with Pope and collected records, she took steps to fire one of the whistleblowers, an untenured teacher.
Reached by phone Friday, Pope said, “I’m not allowed to speak to the press,” and hung up.
Pope, 40, became principal of Banana Kelly in December 2012, making $137,190.
While the school lacks laptops, paper and other supplies, staffers said, Pope handed out iPads — in custom cases engraved with a Maya Angelou quote — to 43 June graduates, at an estimated cost of $17,000.
Previously, she raffled off mini-iPads, an Xbox and Beats headphones to students who attended a Regents prep session. The DOE forbids schools to give “incentive” prizes costing more than $25 each.
A Bronx principal has been demoted after a probe confirmed she faked teacher observations and blew taxpayer money on extravagant purchases, officials said.
Charlette Pope, 42, was principal of Banana Kelly HS, one of Mayor de Blasio’s “Renewal” schools under pressure to improve. Her removal followed Post reports that Pope filed bogus documents falsely stating that she had evaluated several teachers in their classrooms.
The DOE said Pope would receive an assistant principal’s pay. She made $144,000 in 2015. She’s now assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve, a pool of substitutes, and spends time idling in a “rubber room.”