A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
A top administrator at Information Technology HS in Long Island City, Queens, admitted he ordered four of his teachers to take science exams for his son, who needed high grades on the tests for a college scholarship, according to the Conflicts of Interest Board.
But Assistant Principal Cedric Hinds never told the teachers the exams were for his son, Christian.
“During the 2011-2012 school year, my son was a senior at a private religious school; at that time, I wanted my son to be awarded a merit-based scholarship for an affiliated college,” Hinds wrote in a settlement announced Thursday.
“In order to enable my son to qualify for a merit-based scholarship, I directed four teachers at the Information Technology High School — all of whom were my subordinates — to complete multiple examinations in biology, physics, chemistry and earth science on behalf of my son,” he added.
“I did not tell any of these teachers this work was for my son.”
Hinds, 63, also admitted to another ethics violation: trying to prod a teacher to enter into a real-estate deal involving his brother’s firm.
Hinds was initially fined $12,500. But the penalty was reduced to $2,500 when he was able to prove financial hardship.
He resigned last year after a 25-year career and earned $109,314.
Hinds on Thursday disputed the written admission attributed to him.
“That’s not what I told them. I told them that my son didn’t need any scholarship. My son, by virtue of being a child of my wife, who works at Northeastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, automatically gets a scholarship. So he didn’t need a scholarship,” Hinds said.
He said he retired because he was ill, not because of wrongdoing.
Asked why he was fined, Hinds said, “One of my teachers went to my brother’s real-estate company . . . They ruled that I cannot point my subordinate to any family member to benefit a family member.”