|DeWitt Clinton High School|
Why that is, politics. It's always politics.
Here are some posts:
The (Mis)-Education of Santiago Taveras
The Blackboard Award 2009 Goes To Dr. Jose Maldonado-Rivera
Santiago Taveras, public face of DOE, leaving for private sector
Principal installed his own on-campus shower
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
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 Fariña 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.