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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Career of Santiago ("Santi") Taveras Comes Hopefully To A Crashing Stop

DeWitt Clinton High School
There is alot written about Santiago ("Santi") Taveras on the internet, all of which was ignored by the NYC DOE always.

Why that is, politics. It's always politics.

Betsy Combier

Here are some posts:

The (Mis)-Education of Santiago Taveras

Principal installed his own on-campus shower

Santiago Taveras

Santiago Taveras, 
principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, installed a shower in the school for his personal use, The Post has learned.
But it’s OK, says the Department of Education — he installed it himself.
“Principal Taveras purchased the materials for the shower with his own funds,” DOE officials said, adding that an investigation “did not substantiate any wrongdoing.”
Asked whether a contractor was hired, officials said Taveras “installed it himself outside of school time.”
DOE officials said “the bathroom is open to the principal, the principal’s secretary, the APs [assistant principals], parents and guests, and students who need it for emergency reasons. Principal Taveras is not the only staff member with a key.”
But DeWitt Clinton staffers said no one except Taveras and a custodian can get in. Taveras uses it to wash up after exercising at the school in the morning, they said.
The shower was put in without a required building permit.
Responding to a complaint of illegal plumbing work at the school, city Department of Building inspectors were “unable to gain access” to the locked room on two visits last January, records show.

Staffers accuse Bronx principal of fixing grades so students pass

by Susan Edelman
Santiago Taveras

The principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, a struggling Bronx school in Mayor de Blasio’s multimillion-dollar Renewal program, changed students’ failing grades to passing without teachers’ knowledge or consent, insiders told The Post.
In one case, Santiago Taveras gave a senior who received a “no show” in a global-history class a 75 and changed her failing 55 grade in gym to a minimum passing 65, records show. She then got a credit for each class, which she didn’t deserve, several staffers charged.
“He thinks he’s God and can do whatever he wants,” one said.
The office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools is probing the allegations, said spokeswoman Regina Romain. Taveras did not return a call or e-mail seeking comment.
Taveras, 50, a former deputy chancellor in the city Department of Education who closed failing schools, left a private job to lead DeWitt Clinton in 2013, vowing to revive the once-great Kingsbridge school. Its many VIP alumni include playwright Neil Simon, writer James Baldwin and comedian Tracy Morgan.
But last July, the state Education Department gave DeWitt Clinton and other lagging schools two years to show “demonstrable improvement” or face a takeover.
The 2,100-student school boasts an honors program and winning sports teams but has overall low attendance and 45 percent graduation rate. It’s also one of 94 Renewal schools the mayor and Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa say they’ll fix with an extra $400 million in three years.
Normally, a teacher requests a grade change if warranted. The teacher submits a written request to an assistant principal.
But in several cases reviewed by The Post, Taveras signed the forms himself. The teacher’s name is printed on the forms, but space for the teacher’s signature is blank.
Taveras changed a student’s failing 55 grade in an English class to 90, granting a credit. He submitted the forms last summer.
For another student, a failing 55 in algebra for a summer class in 2014 was changed to 65. Taveras filed the forms that October.
A student who got a failing 55 in gym in 2013 saw it changed to 65 after Taveras filed the forms in October 2014. Insiders said the teacher was unlikely to dispute the change because her mother is Taveras’ secretary.
The senior whose two grade changes were signed by Taveras had failed to take repeated offers to make up missed class time and work, staffers said.
In weekly e-mails, Taveras has prodded teachers to raise their “pass rates,” citing some as low as 7 percent. He urges them to give failing kids makeup work or extra projects so they can get the class credit.
“Our goal is to have a pass rate of 80 percent for the year,” he wrote last December.
In January 2014, Taveras urged teachers to follow “surprising grading policies” that seem to let lousy performance slide at prestigious high schools and colleges. For instance, Columbia University defines a “D” as “poor but passing.” At Harvard University, a “D” or “D”-minus is given for “work that is unsatisfactory but that indicates some minimal participation in class activities that is worthy of course credit toward the degree.”
“I believe we as a school need to better define our grading policies and practices,” Taveras wrote.

The Secrets of Autism

Mark and Bonnie Zampino (second and third from the left)
Re-posted from

My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About by Bonnie Zampino
The media shows us all of the feel-good stories, like the child with autism who gets to be the manager of the high school basketball team, or the boy with autism who goes to the prom with the beautiful girl, or the girl with autism who is voted onto the homecoming court. We light it up blue every April and pat ourselves on the back for being so aware. But we aren't aware.
My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About
Huffington Post, Posted: 09/25/2015
by Bonnie Zampino

Like most parents of children with autism, I have been reading about the family in California who is being sued by several families in their neighborhood. The lawsuit contends that their child is a public nuisance because of his behaviors that his parents failed to fix.

One of the plaintiffs in this case stated "This is not about autism. This is about public safety."

But he is wrong. This is absolutely about autism. It's just not about the autism people hear about.

The media shows us all of the feel-good stories, like the child with autism who gets to be the manager of the high school basketball team, or the boy with autism who goes to the prom with the beautiful girl, or the girl with autism who is voted onto the homecoming court. We light it up blue every April and pat ourselves on the back for being so aware.

But we aren't aware.

Because for every boy with autism who manages his high school basketball team, there are 20 boys with autism who smear feces. And for every girl with autism who gets to be on the homecoming court, there are 30 girls with autism who pull out their hair and bite their arms until they bleed. And for every boy with autism who gets to go the prom, there are 50 boys with autism who hit and kick and bite and hurt other people.

This is the autism that no one talks about. This is the autism that no one wants to see.

We aren't aware.

One of the plaintiffs said "We're not upset about him being autistic. We are concerned and upset about his violence (toward) our children."

There is no way to be upset by this child's behaviors and not be upset about autism.

Autism and behaviors go hand-in-hand. Why? The behaviors are communication. Individuals with autism often can't communicate in a way that typically functioning people can understand. So they do things to get their needs met. And often the things they do are scary and violent.

We aren't aware.

My son, who is the same age as the child in this story, was extremely aggressive when he was younger. He did all of the things that the child involved in this lawsuit did. My son ran after other children on the playground just to push them down. He hit. He kicked. He bit. He pulled hair. And I never knew what was coming. For the longest time, I would flinch when he ran up to me...I didn't know whether he was going to hug me or hit me. Can you imagine, as a mom, what that's like? To flinch when your child runs to you?

We aren't aware.

Because I didn't know what my son was going to do to other children, we stopped going to the park. We stopped going to the Mommy and Me class at the library. We started going to the grocery store at 6:00 a.m. when most people weren't around. He didn't go to daycare but had a sitter at home so he wouldn't be around other kids in a daycare setting. I essentially isolated him in order to keep other people safe. Can you imagine what it's like to be a mom and not be able to take your child to the park? Or have your child attend birthday parties? Or have play dates?

We aren't aware.

Because of my need to isolate my son, I also isolated myself too. I watched from my window as other moms in the neighborhood sat in their camp chairs and chatted while their children played. I couldn't join them because my son couldn't be around the other kids. Once a mom asked if my son could come to their house and play with her son. Can you imagine what it was like to feel so excited and then feel so ashamed when, after explaining my son's issues to her so she would be aware, that invitation was rescinded?

We aren't aware. Not at all.

But we can be. We can open our eyes and understand that autism isn't all about the high functioning child who is "quirky" but OK to be around. Autism isn't all about the six-year-old who can play Piano Man better than Billy Joel. Autism can be hard. Autism can be sad. Autism can be messy. Autism can be violent. Autism can be isolating.

Once we become really aware, lawsuits like this won't happen. Why? Because instead of putting blue lights on our front porches, we will go outside with our kids and we will help them play together...typically functioning kids and kids with autism. We will get to know our neighbors and we will embrace the children with behaviors and embrace their parents along with them.

We will learn what things trigger our child's classmate who has autism so that we can help the children interact while avoiding things that will cause aggression. We will be a true village, including those who can model appropriate behaviors and those who are trying so hard to learn them. We will work on teaching our children not to hit and how to avoid being hit.

The parents involved in this lawsuit, on both sides, need to do more. More education, more understanding, more inclusion and more involvement.

Now tell me, is autism the real public nuisance?

We can become aware ... if we really want to.

A Special Space hosts special dedication

August 22, 2012
By Michelle Horst - Journal staff writer ( ,

CHARLES TOWN - In her space dedicated to providing out-of-school care for children all along the autism spectrum, Bonnie Zampino welcomed friends and community members to the grand opening of the sensory-designed classroom Tuesday morning.

Upon searching for a care provider for her son, Zampino discovered her community, and none close by, had a center that could provide care tailored to the needs of children who fell among various points on the autism spectrum.

"There are a lot of places that have opened schools, and some places have tried to integrate child care with therapy, but they have failed. I think that's because it's just too much," Zampino said earlier in the summer.

The space was once used for activities at Zion Episcopal Church on East Washington Street, and has been developed into what Zampino described as "therapeutic because of the environment."

The special parts of the space include a music area where all equipment is headphone-compatible so other children are not stimulated and disturbed; an area of technology that includes a laptop and Wii system with sport games and a bicycle to tune fine and gross motor skills; and an educational game cafe.

"We have a lot of emotional recognition games because social skills are often an issue. We also have a book-nook for calming sensory and an art area," Zampino said.

A Special Space will welcome children ages 5-12, as well as preschool students. Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith cut the ribbon to the new center Tuesday morning, and it will open for business Monday.

"I'm proud to have A Special Space in the community. The need was here, and it's been filled," Smith said.

The center has focused on a 1-to-6 teacher-to-student ratio, and plans to enroll more children before the opening day.

"We want the community to understand, this is therapeutic because of the environment, and our caregivers are trained, but this is not just special needs. It's for all children, and it's all about inclusion. This could be for someone who just is anxious or a child who is shy, or a child who is just fine," Zampino said, adding that if a parent had the opportunity to choose a class of 30 or 15 for their children, the better choice would be the one with the lower student-teacher ratio.

Dr. Belinda Mitchell, assistant professor in the department of education at Shepherd University, who is working to develop a master's degree program in special education at Shepherd, said that by being a parent and an educator she has seen the need for A Special Space in the community.

"As an educator, it's difficult to know that something the students worked on that day in school, because they are not in the right place for afterschool care, what they learned can fall apart in the afternoon," Mitchell said. "A Special Space provides an opportunity to parents, teachers and children to collaborate the day care piece into the puzzle," she said.

More information on A Special Space can be found online at

- Staff writer Michelle Horst can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 138.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Teacher Evaluations Are Still a Mess; VAM is DEAD

Teacher evaluations are still in danger of being unfair as long as the authority to "evaluate" is given to people who do not know anything about teaching and performance (Field Supervisors, peer validators, etc.). In fact, why is the UFT allowing these people to evaluate a teacher at all?

There are no facts in observations, said the NY State Supreme Court in Elentuck v Green. Read these posts!!! How do peer validators and field supervisors know what is going on in the classroom if they observe you three times over the course of a year and do not know anything about the students or your background?


Betsy Combier

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

VAM is Dead: New York State Political Leadership Wheels and Deals to Claim Credit and Avert Blame

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
A year ago Andrew Cuomo was rolling….
The governor shoved aside a pesky Fordham law professor in the Democratic primary and defeated Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive in November. Not the landslide that might have pushed him into the national limelight; however, a victory is a victory.  The worm in the apple was education; teachers were hostile, the state poured endless billions into schools, and the new Common Core tests scores were appalling: an opportunity to blame the poor scores on teachers (and their union) and satisfy his charter school buddies.
On December 18th Jim Malatras, the Cuomo Chief of Operations sent a blazing letter  to Chancellor Merryl Tisch, an accusatory letter demanding responses to a list of questions.
Think Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses  on the church door at Wittenberg Castle or Emile Zola’s J’Accuse letter  … excuse the references, I’m a history teacher.
The Malatras letter lists twelve questions, demands answers, and implies that since we have no confidence in the ability of the Board of Regents to resolve any of these questions/concerns we will use the budgetary process to impose our solutions.  And, to rub salt in the wounds one of the questions asks the chancellor to choose her method of execution.
“As you know, the appointment and selection of the Board of Regents is unique in that unlike other agencies selection and appointments are made by the Legislature. Would you make changes to the selection and appointment process, and, if so, what are they?”
On December 31 the chancellor responded with a 20-page letter , humble, respectful, and, meaningless.
True to his threats the governor packed the budget bill with education initiatives, the same that were included in his December 18th letter.
The teacher probationary period was increased from three to four years, struggling schools could be placed in receivership, an idea borrowed from Massachusetts, a complex plan backed by $75 million in state dollars: turn the schools over to outside “receivers,” who run the school independent of the school district, with powers to amend the teacher contract, and yet another teacher evaluation plan, again, borrowed from Massachusetts, usually referred to as the “matrix,” that embeds student growth scores (Value Added Modeling, aka, VAM) in a teacher rating.
Read about receivership here  and the “matrix” teacher evaluation plan here
The May to September romance did not end well.
The Legislature had no intention of giving away the power to appoint members of the Board of Regents; in fact, they filled the four vacancies with independents who immediately challenged the governor.
Over 200,000 parents, one in five, opted out of the state tests, and, the movement was growing. Grassroots parents, not tied to a political party, were sprouting all over the state, and, the culprit, the governor.
On the national scene the once ballyhooed Common Core was under attack.
The signature 2002 No Child Left Behind law that required annual testing and granted sweeping authority to the feds, was being reauthorized, with sharply reduced federal authority, and, teacher assessment was nowhere to be seen.
The governor scrambled to respond, at arm’s length; he resuscitated the 2012 Cuomo Commission, reduced and streamlined the membership, renamed the Task Force, with a new agenda.
See the Task Force web site here .
The Task Force set up “listening sessions” around the state, not webcast.
The agenda was simple, how the hell do we mollify these opt out parents and stop the teachers union from pummeling us across the state.
In a quiet move the governor selected yet another education adviser; instead of someone from the reform-y side the guv actually selected a state superintendent, one who has been a sharp critic of the state testing agenda.
The Task Force report is due the first week in December and the spin masters are bobbing and weaving.
In a New York Times article, titled, “Cuomo, in Shift, Is Said to Back Reducing Test Scores’ Role in Teacher Reviews,”  Kate Taylor, recounts the “politics,”
And according to two people involved in making state education policy, Mr. Cuomo has been quietly pushing for a reduction, even to zero. That would represent an about-face from January, when the governor called for test scores to determine 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.
With a straight face, Jim Malatras said, “There is no position of this administration with respect to this issue.”
The position of the administration is to distance themselves from any negative fallout and at the same time defuse a ticking time bomb.
Commissioner Elia proposed reducing the impact of VAM to 20%, and withdrew the proposal when the Cuomo side pushed back, perhaps a moratorium on the impact of students test scores until 2019, by pure chance, the year after the next gubernatorial election.
Should the governor take credit for the  changes? If so, he risks the ire of his new-found charter school, deep-pocketed allies. The Long Island Republicans would love to take credit for changes and win over the opt-outs, and the Democrats, who appoint the Board members also want a slice of the pie. The Regents and the commissioner could be tasked with making the changes; they can be blamed for failures.
The use of student growth scores, VAM, is dead; the assassins are haggling over who stands over the warm corpse holding the still beating VAM heart over their head screaming victory.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Case of a Student Publicly Humiliated By a Teacher as a "Joke"

The case below was heard by the NY State Commissioner of Education and not a Judge.

Betsy Combier

Appeal of ROBERT BASIL, on behalf of MARK BASIL, from action of the Board of Education of the Hunter-Tannersville Central School District regarding the conduct of a teacher.
Decision No. 13,929
(May 4, 1998)
Hogan & Sarzynski, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Edward
Sarzynski, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the refusal of the Board of Education of the Hunter-Tannersville Central School District ("respondent") to direct a classroom teacher to apologize to his son, Mark, for statements that she made about him. The appeal must be dismissed.

According to the petition, on May 2, 1996, Mark, then a high school senior in respondent’s district, traveled with his senior class to Disneyworld in Florida. Prior to departure, respondent’s staff searched the students’ luggage for contraband. No illicit drugs were found.

Later that day, art teacher, Ritamary Vining, informed a senior in her ceramics class that, following the search of his luggage, Mark was arrested for smuggling illegal drugs. She reportedly repeated that information to several other students in her 9th grade studio art class.

On June 23, 1996, petitioner reported the incident to James Gaudette, the high school principal, and, at the request of the principal, identified the students to whom the statements had been made in subsequent correspondence. Petitioner met with Principal Gaudette in August 1996. Three months later, after failing to receive notice that any remedial actions had been taken on his complaint, petitioner requested to meet with the principal and respondent board. Ostensibly in preparation for that meeting, Principal Gaudette requested permission to share petitioner’s letters with Ms. Vining. Petitioner denied his request, citing possible reprisals against the students named in the letters.

Petitioner met with respondent on December 19, 1996, and with respondent’s superintendent on January 12, 1997 and January 20, 1997 concerning an apology by Ms. Vining. Following those meetings, Superintendent Pezak promised that he would attempt to convince Ms. Vining to issue a written apology. On February 12, 1997, Superintendent Pezak notified petitioner that Ms. Vining had refused to apologize. Thereafter, petitioner wrote to respondent and requested that it direct Ms. Vining to apologize to Mark and to recant her statements. On March 6, 1997, respondent informed petitioner, by telephone, that his request was denied.

Petitioner commenced this appeal on March 14, 1997. The petition requests only that I order the Board to direct Ms. Vining to issue the requested apology and recantation. The petition, however, does not name Ms. Vining as a respondent.

Respondent submits a comprehensive response to the petition, detailing the district’s investigation of the matter and efforts to resolve the issues raised in petitioner’s complaint. According to respondent, on July 12, 1996, Principal Gaudette spoke with the senior named in petitioner’s letter. The student substantially confirmed the incident, but added that the matter had been a practical joke, which Ms. Vining had initiated. In addition, Principal Gaudette met with Ms. Vining and the Union President on September 3, 1996. Ms. Vining admitted that she had made the statement, but noted that she had done so in jest. At that meeting, Principal Gaudette informed Ms. Vining that she had demonstrated a lack of professional judgment and cautioned her against repeating such conduct.

Moreover, following petitioner’s appearance before the board, respondent offered to organize a meeting between Mark and Ms. Vining, at which Superintendent Pezak would mediate. Petitioner declined the offer. Later, Superintendent Pezak requested that Ms. Vining consider apologizing to Mark, but she declined to do so upon the advice of the Union and her attorney.

Respondent contends that its investigation was adequate and that it acted appropriately in admonishing the teacher. Respondent further contends that the appeal should be dismissed as untimely and for failure to name a necessary party. In addition, respondent maintains that I lack the authority to direct an apology.
Respondent maintains that petitioner’s appeal is untimely inasmuch as "[t]he action complained of involving the teacher occurred on May 2, 1996, the complaint was not made to the district until June 23, 1996, and the board meeting occurred on December 19, 1996." An appeal to the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to Education Law "310, must be commenced within thirty days from the making of the decision appealed or the performance of the act complained of, unless excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown (8 NYCRR "275.16). The time to commence an appeal runs from the date of the decision under review (Appeal ofRagot, 35 Ed Dept Rep 299; Appeal of Keen, 32 id. 299; Appeal of Magee, 30 id. 479). Here, while petitioner met in executive session with the board on December 19, 1996, respondent did not rule on petitioner’s request for an apology until March 6, 1997, when the superintendent notified petitioner that the board would not direct Ms. Vining to apologize. Thus, the time to appeal respondent’s refusal to direct an apology began to run on March 6, 1997, and this appeal, commenced on March 14, 1997, is timely.

The appeal must be dismissed, however, for failure to join Ms. Vining as a necessary party. The relief requested by petitioner is directed at Ms. Vining, who engaged in the alleged inappropriate behavior. The rights of this teacher, therefore, would be adversely affected by a determination in petitioner’s favor regarding the relief he seeks. Accordingly, she is a necessary party to this appeal and should have been served with a copy of the notice and petition. Inasmuch as petitioner failed to join her as such, the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of Catherine B., 37 Ed Dept Rep 34; Appeal of Smith, 34 id. 346; Appeal of Sanfilippo, 33 id. 500).

The appeal must also be dismissed on the merits. Petitioner asks only that I direct respondent to order Ms. Vining to apologize and retract her statements about Mark. There is no legal basis for demanding such relief (Appeal of Ingraham, 32 Ed Dept Rep 191). Moreover, to the extent that petitioner seeks my intervention in obtaining an apology from Ms. Vining, petitioner, in effect, is asking that I engage in some form of discipline against the teacher. I have previously held that it is the board of education which has the authority to take such disciplinary action, not the Commissioner. Moreover, the board has broad discretion to determine whether disciplinary action against an employee is warranted (Appeal of Catherine B., supra; Appeal of Cardinal, 34 Ed Dept Rep 76; Appeal of Allert, 32 id. 538), and, where it decides that disciplinary action is not warranted, the board must have a reasonable basis to support its conclusion (Appeal of Cardinal, supra; Appeal of Allert, supra; Appeal of Kantor, 31 Ed Dept Rep 319).

The record before me demonstrates that respondent promptly investigated petitioner’s allegations, met with petitioner on more than one occasion, sought an opportunity to mediate a meeting between Mark and Ms. Vining, cautioned the teacher that further incidents of this nature would not be tolerated and attempted to obtain the apology which petitioner seeks. Therefore, I conclude that respondent’s actions were reasonable and constituted an appropriate response to petitioner’s complaint and request (see, e.g., Appeal of Sanfilippo, supra).

Nevertheless, respondent should be aware that the public humiliation of a student is not acceptable conduct for a teacher (see, Appeal of Ingraham, 32 Ed Dept Rep 191; Appeal of Board of Educ. Of Hoosick Valley Central School Dist., 28 id. 429). The role of the educator regarding the social and emotional development of school age children is as important as the teacher’s role in achieving the academic goals of education. The teacher is responsible for providing academic instruction to children while fostering in them a positive self-image and self-confidence. Here, the teacher admittedly made the disparaging remark about the student. Such action should not be tolerated (see, Appeal of Board of Educ. Of the Hoosick Valley Central School Dist., supra).


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Annie Seifullah, Former Sex Goddess and Principal at Robert Wagner Secondary School of Arts and Technology in Long Island City, Runs Out of Automotive HS When Students Find Out About Her Past

Annie Seifullah
Susan Edelman's story in today's New York Post has a much wider sad tale behind it than the hiding of Annie Schmutz Seifullah at Automotive High School in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Sue Edelman's follow up on this story is to be highly praised. Annie evidently had sex with a security guard, an assistant principal, a parent, and a student while he was attending the school.

Meanwhile, Annie got rid of any teacher who may have seen her doing anything that could be considered wrong. I met with a paraprofessional who is now penniless. She was discontinued soon after she saw Annie walking arm in arm with a male student very early in the morning. Seifullah had his backpack, and evidently tried to look like a student. Another teacher, Hannah Kim, was given a pre-observation and observation by Seifullah the same day, rated ineffective, and terminated by Arbitrator Stephen O'Beirne, who gave every bit of credibility to Principal Seifullah, even to the extent of dismissing the articles in the Post as possibly untrue:

"In this arbitration, the Department seeks to discharge Respondent, contending she is incompetent and incapable of providing a meaningful learning experience for students in her charge. The Department relies on witness testimony; observation reports; disciplinary letters to file; professional development logs; and other documentary evidence to prove its case.

I found all four (4) Department witnesses to be credible and competent...None of them have any reason to testify falsely against Respondent."

and, in a footnote,

"2 As requested by Respondent, I take arbitral notice of the newspaper articles submitted. But those articles do not establish sexual or professional misconduct, only allegations of same. Even if l go further and accept for the purpose of this decision that the allegations are true, I am not convinced the Principal' s misconduct in any way affected Respondent 's ability to meet with her. There is not one email, memorandum or handwritten note to suggest Respondent tried alternate means to communicate with the Principal after unsuccessfully trying to locate her in the school building over the course of nearly five (5) months. And there is nothing in the record to show Respondent tried to schedule inter-visitations or any other type of professional development, either with the help of other administrators or on her own. Moreover, the Principal was removed from her position during the school year after Respondent received an unsatisfactory annual rating at the school."

Kim's Attorney was NYSUT's Maria Elena Gonzalez Lichten; the DOE was Represented by Attorney Jennifer Hard, who, I've heard, is now in Washington DC training to be an FBI Agent.

I wrote about Seifullah previously, see:
Annie Schmutz Seifullah

Principals and Sex in NYC Public Schools - The DOE Must Fire Anne Seifullah

Principal Anne Seifullah changes her image so that she can keep her job amidst sexting and trysts in the school, Robert Wagner Secondary School of Arts and Technology in Long Island City. Take a look at the new picture published in the POST, the second picture below.

In order to keep to their standards of zero tolerance for this kind of activity, the NYC DOE must fire her. The nexus to her job is that she is a role model for all the people in her building, and she decided to have sexual relations, using her power to "influence" other principals, employees and even a parent to do her whatever.

Here is the article in today's Post:

Ex-principal banned for sex scandal back in the classroom

An ex-principal banned from working with students after her involvement in a sex scandal was nonetheless assigned to teach at one of New York City’s worst schools, The Post found.
Annie Schmutz Seifullah, 36, was teaching English at Automotive HS in Greenpoint, Brooklyn — a long-struggling school with 98 percent boys — despite a Department of Education probe into accusations of misconduct after her alleged affair with a parent.
 “It’s like sending a cougar into the cub’s den,” a shocked insider said.
After an inquiry by The Post, DOE officials admitted Seifullah was supposed to be “reassigned away from students” — and that her placement in Automotive HS classrooms this fall “was an error.”
Seifullah “ran out of the building” in distress last Monday when students confronted her about her scandalous history and racy photos allegedly found on her DOE computer.
 “They were harassing her because they found out about her,” said ninth-grader Muhammad Choudhary. “They searched her up, found her on the Internet and told everybody else.”
The DOE said it is now seeking to fire Seifullah, a year after her ouster as principal from Robert Wagner Secondary School of Arts and Technology in Long Island City, Queens.
While Seifullah helmed the school, her ex-lover, the father of a student, accused the married mom of cheating on him with a school security guard and an assistant principal. The dad turned over DOE computers with photos of Seifullah posing in black lingerie and engaged in sex acts and sexually explicit texts on her DOE cellphone.
“Her behavior was unacceptable and inappropriate as an employee of the DOE,” said spokeswoman Devora Kaye. A DOE probe found she misused DOE “technology” and “committed theft of service.”
On May 1, Seifullah was demoted from principal to teacher, and her salary slashed from $142,890 to $66,326. She has tenure as a teacher but not as a principal.
Kaye did not explain how Seifullah wound up teaching at Automotive HS, which is under the gun to improve this year or face a state takeover. A special hiring committee led by Principal Caterina
Lafergola had to review and approve all teachers brought into the school this year.
Mayor de Blasio held a press conference at Automotive to tout his “Renewal program” to pour hundreds of millions into 94 failing schools.
Renewal executive superintendent Aimee Horowitz had to know about the hiring of Seifullah, an insider charged.
“Principal Lafergola would not go to the bathroom without checking with Aimee Horowitz,” the source said. “This was not an error. This was cronyism pure and simple — at the highest level.”
Students said Seifullah came to Automotive to replace a substitute for a teacher who had moved. It didn’t take long for kids to Google their instructor and discover a Post article and photos published after her ouster.
Seifullah has claimed the accusing dad threatened her after she broke up with him and stopped paying his child-support bills. She referred a reporter to her lawyer, Pete Gleason, who declined to comment.

 And then on Google+ we see that Annie has in her circles a man named Justin Stark, the new "ATR Supervisor" from Hell:

Justin Stark
Justin Stark
Anonymous said…I wasn’t emailed anything and I am an atr. But the disgusting and gross and incompetent field supervisor Justin Stark delivered my first u rating ever to me in person. I have been teaching twice as long as him and he gave mea a u. He has made this year so miserable for me – I can’t wait to leave – I am a good teacher and a good person and I will be leaving sooner rather than later because I can’t work for an organization that treats good people so badly and lets scum like Stark rule the world. Where is my email?
Anonymous said…
perfect blog! right on – we must get rid of this travesty – the ATR field supervisors are beyond horrendous and terrible – they are terrible people who do terrible things to good people and they should all be put in a padded room to rate each other. the union needs to do something fast – Stark is ruining people’s lives.
Anonymous said…
Justin Stark is a the terrible field supervisor that is making people miserable and jeopardizing our careers and our health from the stress that he is causing us.
Just askin': is Mr. Stark the reason, or a player in this production, where Annie Schmultz Seifullah got a job at Automotive High School without the NYC Department of Education knowing?
I also spoke with the dad who had an affair with Annie, and he told me that Peter Gleason told him that Annie will be coming to his custody trial to testify against him.
Of course she is.
On May 8, 2015 I filed a Freedom of Information request for the OSI report on Ms. Seifullah, and have never received any response from the NYC DOE FOIL Director, Joe Baranello:
Betsy Combier, Editor / Reporter 
May 8, 2015

Mr. Joseph A. Baranello
Central Records Access Officer
Office of the General Counsel
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New YorkNY 10007

Dear Mr. Baranello:

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, I hereby request to receive E-mail copies of:

1) any and all documents, letters, emails, videos, tapes, or pictures relating to the investigation of Principal Annie Schmutz Seifullah of Robert Wagner Secondary School of Arts and Technology in Long Island City.

2) The complete investigation with all notes and recommendations  that relate to OSI case #14-03690X.

3)  Any and all disciplinary decisions, comments or other documents with the name "Annie Seifullah" mentioned in any way.

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 phone so that we may discuss them.



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

Are you hiding something from the public, again, Joe?