Its not hard to imagine a charter school parent being convinced of teacher misconduct by money-minds who need a parent component to their attack on teacher tenure. Mona Davids is a relative newcomer to the educational-financial-fraud-complex or whatever you want to call it, and could easily be seen as their newest chess piece on the board. She is ridiculous.
She obviously has not done any research at all into what a "bad" teacher is, so would somebody please ask her to describe such a person when she gets into a TV or radio show, her total and absolute focus. Her newest lawsuit is frivolous. Please, Judge, dismiss it.
USLegal definition of a "frivolous lawsuit":
Read Diana Ravitch's excellent blog post "Diane Ravitch: Teachers Sued In The Vergara Trial Were Not "Grossly Ineffective"
Ever since Mona called me up to whine about how did I trademark and buy the domain "parentadvocates.org" (which I bought and trademarked in 2002) , she and I have not spoken. She wanted to use it. She cant. I would not join her Parent Union, and I had 4 children in the public school system.
Her allegiance and collaboration with the UFT I guess is tarnished, but I still have a nagging question. Exactly who is a "bad" teacher? Have your children experienced "bad" teachers without tenure in their charter and/or public school? Be specific. And please prove to me that without tenure these "bad" teachers would not be not teaching your children.
The VergarGuments are Coming to New York State!
- Teachers are systematically sorted across schools and districts such that some schools employ substantially more qualified teachers than others do.
- Differences in the qualifications of teachers in New York State occurs primarily between schools within districts and between districts within regions, not across regions.
- The exception to the result that there is little difference in average teacher characteristics across regions is for the New York City region, which on average employs substantially less qualified teachers.
- Nonwhite, poor, and low performing students, particularly those in urban areas, attend schools with less qualified teachers.
The gap between the qualifications of New York City teachers in high-poverty schools and low-poverty schools has narrowed substantially since 2000. For example, in 2000, teachers in the highest-poverty decile of schools had math SAT scores that on average were 43 points lower than their counterparts in the lowest-poverty decile of schools. By 2005 this gap had narrowed to 23 points. The same general pattern held for other teacher qualifications such as the failure rate on the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAST) teacher certification exam, the percentage of teachers who attended a “least competitive” undergraduate college, and verbal SAT scores. Most of the gap-narrowing resulted from changes in the characteristics of newly hired teachers, rather than from differences in quit and transfer rates between high and low-poverty schools.
We find that teachers in districts with higher salaries relative to nonteaching salaries in the same county are less likely to leave teaching and that a teacher is less likely to change districts when he or she teaches in a district near the top of the teacher salary distribution in that county.
While many of us consider Mona Davids a strong ally in the struggle against the ed deformers she deserted less than a year ago, many of us oppose the political use of "parent choice" in the push for charters because we understand the end game is the takedown of the public school system with the result that there will ultimately be no choice - sort of like the "choice" you have between Republicans and Democrats. One day we wil convince Mona that we can fight for real choice and variety of programs within the public schools as Lisa Donlan has often pointed out she helped put into effect on the old District 1 (lower east side) school board.
But here, her nuanced response to outgoing State Assemblyman , who hopes to fuel his career with charter school supporterd funding, is worth noting. Benjamin's performance at the charter school hearings last March was fairly obnoxious, especially when he questionned Mulgrew who stood up to him fairly well. I have some tape of that which if I ever get time I will dig out.
Dear Ms. Davids -Mona replies
I'm on the Host Committee for BAEO's Symposium 2011. I am helping to raise $50K so we can have the best possible Parental Choice Symposium in the NY/NJ Metro area. The symposium will be held March 3-5, 2011 in . (See details below.) A number of charter schools from the 79 AD have been invited to participate. I hope you will assist me in making sure NY parents learn about education reform and how it enhances parental choice. Please consider responding to the appeal below and support BAEO's 2011 Symposium.
Member of Assembly (thru 12/31)
Huh?? I think Mr. Benjamin must have forgotten when he refused to let me speak on his panel at his charter education workshop last February. Heard it was a blast with CPE unexpectedly rocking up for that workshop.From Betsy Combier:
Never heard of this org but see they received Walton funding.
So, they just target black families for charters. Hmmm.
Since I'm persona non grata in charterland for not knowing my place, having the audacity to expect accountability and transparency, parent rights, independent pa/pta's, student rights, qualified and certified teachers, compliance with iep's and IDEA etc.---- all those things black parents should not expect, this may be of interest to others...
I'm all for school choice, I help parents who want to go to charters and those being pushed out but want to stay anyway. I don't want anyone telling me where I can or cannot send my child.
However, I am tired of hearing folks say parental choice but not telling parents that you give up your parental and civil rights and your mouth is duct taped when you enter most charters by the folks like Walton who hijacked it.
Like working for , you have no rights once you accept the job...guess it's better to start training those black children now while in school so that by the time they're adults, they'll know their place and be great Walmart workers.
Hey BAEO, what about doing a workshop on sped rights or parent rights in charters? Even better, a workshop on charter law and parental rights in a non-profit education corporation.
It's time for parents to make educated choices on education, be transparent and explain what a non-profit education corporation is.
Despite the fact that Norm Scott and his sidekick Jeff Kaufman hate and despise me, Norm's post about Mona Davids is too good not to re-post from his blog Ednotes Online:
I'd like to see if this law suit has any real financial backing. Mona may just be trolling, knowing full well there will be a well-financed suit coming. Her hope is to get her pitiful attempt combined with others. If you had a choice between Moaning Mona Davids and Crappy Campbell Brown, both desperate to use the teacher bashing issue in an attempt to remain relevant, who would you choose? Hmmmmm. Let's see if there are any ed deform funders out there will to take a chance on venturing forth into a Moaning Mona minefield loaded with IEDs. Today's NY Times piece indicates that this is a trolling law suit looking for publicity.
About a year ago I also laughed myself silly when I heard DC 37 Local 372 had stepped in it by hiring Mona Davids, who we nicknamed "Moaning Mona" after she made anti-teacher racially tinged comments at various meetings in 2009 - before seemingly switching sides. But more on all that in future posts.
Self-serving Moaning Mona Davids as Local 372 Political Director -- to help stop Anthony Weiner's mayoralty campaign? Really, Comedy Central material.
I was tempted to post some of my Mona files at the time, but, knowing there would be some delicious stuff to come - that Mona would find a way to alienate everyone, I decided to sit back and watch things play out. And so they did. I don't want to call Local 372 leader Santos Crespo dumb for even letting Mona anywhere near the union's confidential information. But.... anyone who shares a password with Moaning Mona should be examined by a doctor.
The entire NY Post article below the break.
Oh, if anyone has time on their hands, go check the financials of the NYC Parents Union --
And a blast from the past featuring Moaning Mona:
Local 372, representing 25,000 Department of Education workers, hired parent activist Mona Davids as its political director last year to launch an anti-Weiner campaign after the sexty pol vowed to eliminate the jobs of 1,300 parent coordinators the union represents.
But after Weiner flamed out, Local 372 President Santos Crespo Jr. fired Davids in December, then sued her in January, claiming she failed to turn over passwords to databases containing confidential information about the union’s members and its contacts.
“Davids exhibited an attitude of spite, anger and refusal to follow directions,” Crespo said in a court affidavit.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Crespo also suggested Davids engaged in “commercial piracy” by refusing to hand over passwords linking to the union’s proprietary databases.
Davids, a single mom from The Bronx, filed a countersuit, claiming Local 372 violated state law by refusing to pay her $7,332.94 in back pay. She is now seeking $164,665.88 in back wages plus legal fees.
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST MONA DAVIDS:
LOCAL 372, NYC BOARD OF EDUCATION
Plaintiff, AFFIDAVIT OF SANTOS CRESPO, JR.
MONA DAVIDS, Defendant.
SANTOS CRESPO, JR., being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. I am the President of Local 372, NYC Board of Education Employees, AFSCME, the Plaintiff in the above reference action. This affidavit is based on my own personal knowledge, conversations with other Local 372 employees, and a review of Local 372's records including, but not limited to, a forensic analysis of electronic communications.
2. Formed in 1941, Local 372 represents nearly 25,000 Department of Education employees who provide essential support services to the 1.1 million children - and their families -in New York City public schools. Local 372 members are critical in making the school system properly function.
3. Local 372 members, who are sometimes referred to as "non-pedagogical" employees because they are non-teaching staff, work in the cafeterias handling food and watching/helping children, in the hallways and schoolyards monitoring children to ensure their safety, in classrooms providing anti-violence/gang and drug prevention counseling, in homeless shelters to ensure that parents send their children to school despite living in a shelter, in Department of Education warehouses dealing with non perishable goods, on trucks bringing supplies to the schools, and in the streets as crossing guards to make sure kids get to school safely.
4. Local 372 has longstanding and established relationships with its members, patrons, and other individuals in the Federal, State and local government, and it regularly solicits and establishes business relationships with new members and key contacts. These highly-valuable business relationships are obtained and developed at Local 372's considerable time, effort, and expense, and through the use of Local 372's confidential and proprietary information and business methods.
5. Local 372 has spent a substantial amount of money, time, and effort to develop and maintain its database of members, patrons and key contacts. This information has taken years to develop and provides Local 372 a substantial advantage over its competitors and those with competing interests.
6. Local 372 has also spent a great deal of time, money and effort on improving member satisfaction through innovative solutions to its members' service needs.
7. Local 372 has also expended a great deal of money, time and effort to develop and maintain relationships with the members who use its services.
8. Local 372 has collected detailed, confidential information about each of its members, patrons and key contacts that is not readily available to the public, including the members' specific needs, preferences, concerns, and other specialized information that is valuable and necessary for effectively servicing its members.
9. Local 372 bas spent countless hours developing and training its workforce concerning its methodologies and systems.
10. Due to the size of Local's membership and quality of its manpower and services, Local 372 is able to attract qualified applicants for its employment opportunities, all of whom, when hired, receive additional benefits such as direct contact with key managerial and other outside contacts, ready access to influential people and top-of the-line supplies and equipment.
11. As Political Action Coordinator, Davids oversaw Local's entire Political Action Committee, including supervising staff and acting as a liaison between Local 372, politicians and other unions.
12. The information used to create these solutions and the internal manner in which services are delivered to Local 372's members are proprietary and confidential because they give Local 372 an advantage over its competitors and competing interests in a service-oriented industry.
13. The propriety methods that allow Local 372 to provide superior service to its members are what distinguishes Local 372 from its competitors and competing interests.
14. Local 372 has also invested a considerable amount of time, money and effort researching and developing models for its products and particular members' (or potential members') needs.
15.The information Local 372 has obtained through these efforts is confidential because it is not readily available to competitors and competing interests and can only be ascertained through long-term trial and error, and it has been instrumental inallowing Local 372 to continue to be a highly influential player in New York City.
16. Because the confidential information concerning Local 372's members, patrons and key contacts constitutes the life-blood of Local 372's work, Local 372 takes measures to ensure that the confidentiality of this information is maintained and that it is not disseminated outside the organization.
17. Among other things, Local 372
(c) requires key personnel to sign non-competition and non-disclosure agreements in which they agree not to wrongfully use or disclose Local 372's confidential information during employment and after the termination of their employment; and
(d) restricts access to its service, and employee development to an extremely limited and restricted list of employees.
18.Certain key employees, like Davids, receive a generous annual salary, an additional expense account, bonus eligibility, health insurance, eye and dental insurance, and other benefits, all in consideration for complying with the non-competition and confidentiality covenants.
B. DAVIDS' EMPLOYMENT WITH LOCAL 372
19. Davids began employment with Local 372 on or about June 10, 2013.
20. Over the tenure of her employment, Davids held the title of Political Action Coordinator and gained extensive knowledge of virtually every aspect of Local 372's business, including its confidential and proprietary information.
21. At the commencement of her employment, Davids voluntarily signed for receipt of the Local 372 Employee Policy and Procedure (the "Agreement"). Copies of relevant sections are attached as Exhibit "A" and the signed acknowledgement is attached as Exhibit "B".
22. Davids acknowledged in the Agreement that she was being provided access to valuable confidential and proprietary information and that if she violated her obligations, Local 372 would take legal action.
23. Specifically, the Agreement states that:
a. Your employment with Local 372 assumes an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of information identified as confidential, even after you leave our employ.
b. Ifyou are questioned by someone outside Local 372 or your department and you are concerned about the appropriateness of giving them certain information, you are not required to answer. Instead, as politely as possible, refer the request to your supervisor.
c. No one is permitted to remove or make copies of any Local 372 records, reports or documents without prior approval.
d. Disclosure of confidential information could lead to termination, as well as other possible legal action.
See Exhibit A, at p. 14.
24. In the Agreement, Davids also agreed, among other things, to several critical covenants and understandings concerning Local 372's e-mail communications as follows:
a. Local 372 maintains computers and an electronic mail ("e-mail") and voice mail system to facilitate communication by and/or among certain employees and is to be used for business purposes only;
b. E-mail and voicemail communications and the contents of an employee's computer are the sole property of Local 372;
c. An employee has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the e-mail and voicemail messages and information transmitted, received and stored on and/or through Local 372's computer system;
d. Local 372 may override individual passwords and codes, and require employees to disclose all passwords and codes to Local 372 to facilitate such access. E-mail and voicemail monitoring may be conducted by authorized Local 372 employees and information disclosed on a need-to-know basis for any lawful purpose including, but not limited to, the reasonable investigation of possible employee misconduct; and
e. By using the e-mail and voicemail systems and other equipment including Local 372's computers, each employee knowingly and voluntarily consents to being monitored and acknowledges Local 372's right to conduct such monitoring.
See Exhibit at p. 8.
25. In addition, Davids was warned that "operating a business, usurpmg business opportunities or soliciting money for personal gain" was "strictly prohibited." See Exhibit A, at p. 9.
26. In terms of the use of the Internet, Davids was instructed that:
a Monitoring an employee's use of the Internet may be conducted by authorized Local 372 employees and information disclosed on a need-to-know basis for any lawful purpose including, but not limited to, the reasonable investigation of possible employee misconduct; and
b. By using Local 372's equipment, each employee knowingly and voluntarily consents to being monitored and acknowledges Local 372's right to conduct such monitoring.
See Exhibit A, at pp. 9-10.
27. Davids received substantial consideration for the promises in the Agreement in compensation and other benefits; her salary was $85,000 per year and she also had medical, eye, and dental benefits, as well as access to other benefits that Local 372 members have, such as legal assistance.
28. The Agreement remained in full force and effort throughout Davids' employment.
29. It was clear that continued employment as well as Davids' salary and other benefits were consideration for Davids' promise to obey the restrictions therein.
30. Because she signed and agreed to abide by the provisions of the Agreement, for which she received significant monetary consideration, Davids was given access to Local 372's confidential and proprietary information regarding its members, services, revenues and employees, and she became intimately familiar with Local 372's organization.
31. Davids was entrusted with confidential information regarding Local 372's members and other key contacts, including detailed and confidential information about particular members, the members' needs and preferences, Local 372's organizational structure, pricing, practices, strategies, employees and access to other Local 372 related information, all of which allows Local 372 to compete for and obtain services of its members.
C. THE TERMINATION OF DAVIDS' EMPLOYMENT
32. On or about December 20, 2013, Local 372 terminated Ms. Davids' employment.
33. The initial basis for the decision was a culmination of events that made Local 372 lose faith in Davids' performance .
34. Among those issues included but were not limited to the following:
a. Davids refusal to provide work plans and progress reports;
b. Davids worked from the field on most days; field staff are required to provide work plans for the purposes of time management, accountability and superv1S1on;
c. Many times, Local 372 did not know where she was or what she was doing;
d. Davids was adverse to taking direction she did not agree with;
e. Several management level employees complained that they had multiple conversations with her about the nature of union work and what was expected from her; each time Davids replied that she disagreed with the expectation;
f. Davids committed a serious infraction when she did not show up for a flight to a conference, rebooked her own return flight using the Local 372 account without authorization and then did not come back to work for weeks, using all of her sick time and most of her comp time.
g. When she returned I held a meeting with her where it was clear that she did not want to be supervised; and
h. Overall, Davids exhibited an attitude of spite, anger, and refusal to follow direction.
35. The last straw, however, was when I discovered that Davids was not registered to lobby; Davids had represented to Local 372 (as well as on some of her public websites) that she had been registered and I considered this a fraudulent misrepresentation on her part considering that her job was largely engaging in lobbying activities.
D. DAVIDS' TERMINATION MEETING
36. As a result of all the above, on December 20, 2013, I called Davids into my office and also asked Norelis Santiago, Local 372's Director of Staff and Operations, Gay Brisbon, Executive Director to the presdien and Glen Blacks, Executive Vice President, to be present.
37. I informed Davids that her employment was being terminated summarily and that she would immediately be required to return all property issued by the organization to her, including, but not limited to her laptop, cellphone, access codes, keys, equipment, identification and other company-issued items.
38. I also told her that if she was cooperative in the transition that she could be offered a greater severance package beyond those to which she would be entitled in the Agreement.
39. I made it clear, however, that her employment was ending, one way or another.
41. Although I was a bit taken aback by her unusual request, I proceeded to draft a termination letter summarizing the terms we discussed and had it forwarded to her via email as she remained in the office. A copy of that termination letter is annexed hereto as Exhibit "C".
42. Within minutes after receiving my letter, I received an email response from Davids, alleging that my letter "raises possible ethical, moral and professional questions that [Davids] would like to discuss with [her] attorney'' and that she was going to take some time to decide whether she will "accept or reject the terms of termination ." A copy of her response email is annexed hereto as Exhibit "D".
43. Even more significantly, before leaving the office, Davids refused to provide me the usemames and passwords for several websites and/or accounts associated with her work for Local 372 work:
a. AFSCME VAN
b. Mail Chimp Account
c. Political Action Website
d. Political Action Twitter Account
e. Website used for PC list
44. Her refusal to surrender the codes are in clear violation of the Agreement, which states that:
Any Local 372 property issued to an employee, such as but not limited to computer equipment, facsimile machines, passwords, user identification, security codes, keys, parking passes, and credit cards, is the sole property of Local 372 and must be surrendered at any time to the president. this property must be returned to Local 372 at the time of said employee's termination.
See Exhibit A, at p.22.
E. WEBSITES THAT DAVIDS REFUSES TO RETIJRN USERNAMES/P ASSWORDS
45. Obviously a large part of the reason why Local 372 brought the instant action is due to Davids' refusal to return the usemames/passcodes and access information for the various sites that she controlled by working for Local 372.
46. Therefore, a brief explanation of Local 372's uses for these sites is appropriate.
47. "AFSCME VAN" is Local 372's International's political action database. Davids contacted the International via email and was granted access without my express permission during her employment.
48. The database allows the person with access to be able to login, view, sort and print out the entire membership information.
49. Currently, even though the database contains confidential and proprietary information relating to each and every member of Local 372 and its International, Davids has refused to relinquish control of her access.
50. "Mail Chimp" is a mass emailing system.
51. Local 372 has two "Mail Chimp" accounts, once of which -called local372pac -was solely accessible to Davids during her employment.
52. Local 372 collects emails at every meeting, event and training, then its clerical staff inputs the emails from the sign-in sheets so that it could contact members regarding political action.
53. Mail Chimp is used to send these mass emails.
54. Davids is refusing to provide Local 372 access to the local372pac Mail Chimp account.
55. Davids, under the direction of Local 372, also created a website for Local 372 Political Action under the domain name "local372pac.org."
56. This website is where Local 372 puts all of its political action information, campaigns and calls to action for its members.
57. Even though the website is Local 372 property, currently, it is solely under Davids' control because she has not provided Local 372 with any information she utilized to create it.
58. Davids, also at Local 372's direction, created a Twitter account (local372pac) as a big part of Local 372's political action machine.
59. This is where Local 372 updates members and the community about where it stands on political issues.
60. Without access to this Twitter account, Local 372 has no control over any ''tweets" that Davids may send out to countless "followers."
61. The dangers of this are immense considering the number of members and others in the public that would be recipients of such potentially malicious tweets.
62. Davids also used a document sharing website for Local 372's Parent Coordinator campaign.
63. Davids could create letters and flyers there and Local 372 staff members could all go to the site and see, suggest, edit and print the documents.
64. Davids has not provided Local 372 with access to this site.
F. AFTERMATH OF DAVIDS' TERMINATION MEETING
65. On December 21, 2013, the day after Davids' termination, after it became clear that she would not cooperate in the transition, but also had chosen to hold the above referenced passcodes hostage (to either punish Local 372 for firing her, for her own self-interest, or to negotiate a better severance package), I had another letter sent to Davids. A copy of this letter is annexed hereto as Exhibit "E".
66. The December 21, 2013 letter stated in no WlCertain terms that Local 372 would seek legal action against her if she refused to return Local 372's property, including the access codes for the accoWlts and websites above.
67. Inaddition, the letter informed Davids that her termination was being converted into a termination "with cause" and that Local 372 was no longer interested in negotiating any severance packages with her; Davids was paid through her termination date and nothing more is owed to her.
68. The letter also gave her a final chance, by December 23, 2013, to arrange for the return of all Local 372 property in her possession.
69. Davids failed to return any Local 372 property and respond to the letter, which has made the instant legal action necessary.
70. Local 372 also reached out to twitter and Mail Chimp directly to cancel Davids' unauthorized access privileges, however, although the sites empathized with Local 372's plight, they declined to intervene absent a court order directing them to do so. Correspondence to and from the sites is annexed as Exhibits "F" and "G", respectively.
71. Although Davids' current activities are unknown, public websites have indicated that she is acting as President of two organizations, to wit: The Protea Group, Inc. and the New York City Parents Union. 1
72. The Protea Group's website states that the company is a communications and public affairs consultancy based in New York City that provides a full suite of services including community relations, strategic advice, issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, public affairs, website development, political management, social media marketing, investment forums and trade missions.
73. Davids apparently founded the New York City Parents Union in May, 2012, to focus on the rights of parents in the public school system.
74. As President of these organizations, Davids clearly would focus on growing their member/client bases.
75. Local 372's confidential member, patron and key contact information obviously would be extremely valuable to Davids because it would save her the time, effort, and expense of developing her own clients by basically using Local 372's vast confidential databases as her own.
76. Upon information and belief, armed with the confidential databases and passcodes, Davids is already planning on a high-jacking Local 372's members, pardons and key contacts to Local 372's detriment.
77. In light of all the foregoing, I respectfully urge that the Court grant the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction Local 372 is seeking. An injunction is vital in order to allow Local 372 to enforce its contractual and common law rights and to protect its confidential and valuable assets, including its proprietary member data and infonnation regarding its organization, as well as its priceless goodwill. We believe it would be wholly inequitable and unfair for Davids to flout her contractual, legal and fiduciary obligations toward Local 372 and for her, the Protea Group, the New York City Parents Union, or any other company or organization to reap the benefits of her wrongful conduct.
78. If the requested injunctive relief is denied, Local 372 will suffer truly irreparable harm. Once the member lists and other confidential information and goodwill that have taken years of hard work to develop are misappropriated and exploited by Davids, it will be virtually impossible to undo or cure that damage. Without injunctive relief, we are threatened with the prospect of continued and, most likely, intensified misappropriation of our unique and valuable confidential information and goodwill by Davids. This would jeopardize not only our pecuniary interests, but the very essence of our organization.
79. No prior request for the relief sought herein has been made.
SANTOS CRESPO, jr.
Sworn to me on the day Of January, 2014
Notary Public,State of New York