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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Betsy Combier Files a Second FOIL Request After Francesco Portelos Receives a Letter From ATU Director Laura Brantley

Before Francesco Portelos showed his true colors as a man who likes to threaten and defame other people, I did what he asked me to do, and that was to file a Freedom of Information request for information about the principal of his school, Linda Hill. See below.

But first, an update on my opinion about Mr. Portelos:

Editorial: Is Francesco Portelos a Danger to Tenure Law? by Betsy Combier

Francesco Portelos and His "Victim Complex"

EDITORIAL: Cyberstalker Francesco Portelos and His Blame Game Must Be Stopped

Contact me if you are being charged with 3020-a, have had a bad experience with Francesco Portelos, or have been in a "new" rubber room at

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

Dear Mr. Baranello,
I believe that Ms. Laura Brantley meant to put Ms. Erminia Claudio, and not Ms. Claudio Erminia, in her email to Francesco Portelos? If not, please give me the title, contact information and authority of "Claudio Erminia" to find probable cause against Mr, Portelos.
Thank you,
Betsy Combier
Betsy Combier, Editor / Reporter 
                                                                    May 26, 2013
Mr. Joseph A. Baranello
Central Records Access Officer
Office of the General Counsel
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mr. Baranello:

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, I request copies of the following items:

1) All documents, notes, memos, emails, or recordings made when Superintendent Erminia Claudio contacted Laura Brantley, Attorney, about the matter concerning Francesco Portelos and his 38 charges, and/or probable cause in his case. Please see the letter attached from Laura Brantley to Francesco Portelos.
Erminia Claudio

2)  All documents, notes, memos, emails, or recordings made when ATU Attorney Laura Brantley contacted Superintendent Erminia Claudio about the matter concerning Francesco Portelos and his 38 charges, and/or probable cause in his case. 

3) The name, title, contact information for any person who assisted either Laura Brantley or Eminia Claudio in "finding" probable cause for Mr. Portelos' 38 charges.
Superintendent Erminia Claudio

4) The name, title, and contact information for the charging attorney at the Administrative Trials Unit who wrote the 38 charges against Mr. Portelos.

5) The name, title, and contact information for the charging attorney at the Administrative Trials Unit who wrote the probable cause form.

6) The name, title, and contact information for the person(s) who recommended that Francesco Portelos be suspended with pay.

7) The particulars of what the title of Ms. Brantley means, specifically "as designee for Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor", and any and all rules, regulations, or law which gives her this authority and title.

8) How Dennis M. Walcott has the powers and duties of "Chancellor" pursuant to law.

If the records have been removed from their original locations, please cause a diligent search to be conducted of all appropriate file rooms and storage facilities.

If any record has been redacted, please identify which categories of information have been redacted, and cite the relevant statutory exemption(s).

If you have any questions relating to the specific record(s) or portion(s) being sought, please email me at so that we may discuss them.

Here is the contact information for Ms. Claudio:

Erminia Claudio
Community School District 31
715 Ocean Terrace
Staten Island, New York 10301
Fax: 718 420-5665

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that an agency respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request.  Therefore, I would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from you shortly.  If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or body to whom an appeal should be directed. 


                                                                   Betsy Combier

Betsy Combier Files A FOIL Request For the Names, Titles,etc., of The People Who Voted Probable Cause At An Executive Session on Francesco Portelos' Charges

Illinois Teacher Ellie Rubenstein Resigns, in a Video

Teacher Resignation Video: Ellie Rubenstein Explains 'Everything I Love About Teaching Is Extinct'


Ellie Rubenstein has had enough.
Upon learning that she would be involuntarily transferred to another Illinois school, the former fourth-grade teacher submitted her resignation in the form of a video .
In the 10-minute spoken resignation, posted on Youtube Tuesday under the username Iquityoucantfireme , Rubenstein explains why she is quitting and addresses several major problems she says she has faced as a teacher in the U.S. public education system.
"I was proud to say I was a teacher," Rubenstein tells the camera, after describing how she abandoned a career in public relations to "do something meaningful" with her life. "But over the past 15 years, I've experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of communication that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching."
"Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontinaety that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated. ... Everything I love about teaching is extinct," she continues.
Rubenstein's resignation stems from a dispute between four Lincoln Elementary School teachers -- Rubenstein included -- and North Shore School District 112 administrators. As Highland Park News reports, Rubenstein and her colleagues received letters detailing their mandated transfer to other schools in the district  and were given 21 days to respond.
In the video, Rubenstein states that the letter cited a "poor climate" in the building as the reason for her involuntary transfer. "But the truth is, I'm just not a 'yes man,'" she claims in her video.
Administrators contend, however, that such a transfer is not used to punish teachers, Highland Park News notes.
Rubenstein's resignation and the teacher transfers will likely be discussed at a school board meeting Thursday night. Pamela Kramer, president of the North Shore Education Association teachers union, said the district did not violate its contract . Nevertheless, she expects the meeting to draw a crowd, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Earlier this year, a New York high school teacher's resignation garnered widespread attention on social media after he posted the letter on Facebook  along with a photo of Porky Pig saying, "That's All Folks."
"I am not leaving my profession," Gerald Conti explained in the letter, "in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists."