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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Matter of Thomas v NYC DOE: No Private Right of Action

Matter of Thomas v New York City Dept. of Educ.
2016 NY Slip Op 02154 [137 AD3d 642]
March 24, 2016
Appellate Division, First Department
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
As corrected through Wednesday, April 27, 2016

 In the Matter of Michael P. Thomas, Appellant,
New York City Department of Education et al., Respondents.
Michael P. Thomas, appellant pro se.
Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Jeremy W. Shweder of counsel), for respondents.
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Ellen M. Coin, J.), entered September 24, 2014, denying the petition challenging respondent DOE's determination, dated September 4, 2013, which found petitioner's allegations of misappropriation of Title I funds to be unsubstantiated, and dismissing this proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR article 78, unanimously affirmed, without costs.
As we discussed on a prior appeal, in a related proceeding, in August 2010, petitioner, then a public school teacher, employed by the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (MCSM), filed allegations with respondent DOE, complaining of, inter alia, a misappropriation of federal funds received by MCSM under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Action of 1965, reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 (20 USC § 6301 et seq.see Matter of Thomas v New York City Dept. of Educ., 103 AD3d 495 [2013]).
Petitioner, a member of MCSM's School Leadership Team (SLT), lacks standing to challenge the results of DOE's investigation of his allegations, brought pursuant to the "No Child Left Behind Written Complaint and Appeal Procedures" adopted by the New York State Education Department (see New York State Assn. of Nurse Anesthetists v Novello, 2 NY3d 207, 211 [2004]; Matter of Posner v Rockefeller, 26 NY2d 970 [1970]). Petitioner's status as a complainant who initiated an administrative investigation, does not provide him with standing for a private right of action to challenge the agency's determination, absent a demonstration that he suffered actual injury (see Sassower v Commission on Jud. Conduct of State of N.Y., 289 AD2d 119 [1st Dept 2001], lv denied 99 NY2d 504 [2002]). Moreover, petitioner does not "fall within the zone of interests . . . sought to be promoted or protected" by Education Law § 2590-h or the NCLB (see Novello, 2 NY3d at 211). Concur—Tom, J.P., Friedman, Saxe and Richter, JJ.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

U-Rating Upheld by the Appellate Division in the Case of Anne Van Rabenswaay

1571, 101036/14.

Decided June 23, 2016. Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department. Glass Krakower LLP, New York (John Hogrogian of counsel), for appellant. Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Jeremy W. Shweder of counsel), for respondents. Before: Tom, J.P., Friedman, Richter, Kapnick, Gesmer, JJ.

 Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Carol E. Huff, J.), entered on or about
April 21, 2015, denying the petition to annul respondents' determination, which upheld petitioner's
unsatisfactory rating (U­rating) for the 2012­2013 school year, and dismissing the proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR article 78, unanimously affirmed, without
Petitioner has failed to show that the U­rating was arbitrary and capricious, or made in bad faith.
The evidence that petitioner failed to timely complete individualized education plans (IEPs) for at least five of her students, despite repeated warnings and offers of assistance from the
IEP coordinator, provided a rational basis for the rating (see e.g. Matter of Murname v Department of Educ. of the City of N.Y., 82 AD3d 576 [1st Dept 2011]; Batyreva v New York City Dept. of Educ., 50 AD3d 283 [1st Dept 2008]). Petitioner's various excuses, even if valid, would not warrant a finding that the U­rating was arbitrary and capricious under the circumstances. To accept them would amount
to second­ guessing the determination that her repeated failure to timely complete the IEPs
reflected a pedagogical deficiency that merited the U­rating (see Maas v Cornell Univ.,
 94 NY2d 87, 92 [1999]). Furthermore, petitioner has failed to demonstrate the existence of any issue of fact that could
show, even if resolved in her favor, arbitrary and capricious action under the circumstances.
Thus, there was no need for the court to have conducted a hearing (see CPLR 7804[h]).


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Rubber Room Still Exists, Folks

Robert Bradbury did not deserve to be in the latest mess created by the New York City Department of Education. I met him many years ago, and we have kept in touch, and I can tell you that he is a very, very nice guy.

But his Principal, Howard Kwait, has so many demons and skeletons dangling around him that I'm surprised he is still getting a salary. (see below)

Why do we have such people working forever at the DOE while good people lose their jobs for no reason?


Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, The NYC Public Voice
Robert Bradbury

Teachers trapped in rubber rooms for years, still collect 

full pay and raises

They’ve been rubber marooned for five to seven years each.
The city Department of Education has kept three accused teachers on the payroll, but confined to menial office tasks since seeking to fire them in 2009 to 2011. One takes home nearly $100,000 a year, and they all get contractually mandated raises.
It’s a violation of a major 2010 agreement between the DOE and the United Federation of Teachers to break up the infamous holding pens dubbed “rubber rooms.”
In the pact, former Chancellor Joel Klein and union president Michael Mulgrew agreed to end long delays in the handling of educators charged with misconduct or incompetence.
But the rules have collapsed in several cases. Arbitrators who have 30 days to file their rulings after completing termination trials simply abandoned the cases, and the DOE says it could do nothing about it.
“They’ve been in limbo for nearly six years — collecting full pay and benefits but just sitting here doing nothing with no light at the end of the tunnel,” a reassigned educator said of two tenured teachers waiting long overdue rulings at 28-11 Queens Plaza North.
Howard Kwait

Robert Bradbury, 47, who taught history at John Bowne HS in Flushing, mans the reception desk. He made $84,104 in 2015.Bradbury was accused of incompetence by Principal Howard Kwait, who has since cost the city more than $500,000 in settlements with two assistant principals who accused Kwait of sexual harassment, and a student falsely blamed for sending menacing e-mails to staffers.
Bradbury’s trial ended July 5, 2011, but arbitrator Leona Barsky failed to file a ruling.
Leona Barsky
“I had to step away from the case due to the recurrence of my breast cancer,” Barsky told The Post. She’s been removed from a panel of hearing officers.
Joshua Cutler, 36, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at IS 10 Horace Greeley, makes photocopies in the Queens office. He was paid $67,672 last year.
Back in 2011, Cutler, was yanked from his classroom for tussling with a student.
“One of the most violent kids in my class accused me of intentionally bending his wrist to try to hurt him,” he told NPR in 2013. “I did break up fights repeatedly, but I never intentionally caused harm to a child.”
Cutler said he would not quit his DOE job: “I’m fighting this till the very end, no matter what.”
Arbitrator Beverly Harrison, also removed from a panel of DOE hearing officers, never ruled.
Seven years ago in May 2009, Laurie Goldstone, a teacher at P.S. 268 Emma Lazarus in East Flatbush, was charged with incompetence and reassigned to clerical duties, officials said. Arbitrator Adam Goldberg conducted her hearing but left the post in 2010-11 without filing a ruling. Goldstone took home $98,366 in 2015.
The DOE cannot fire tenured teachers unless an arbitrator says so.
Arbitrators get paid $1,400 for each day they work on a case after filing their rulings.
While state law mandates decisions 30 days after a trial, they typically take four to six months, said Betsy Combier, a paralegal who defends teachers.
“The DOE does not hold arbitrators accountable for missing the deadline,” she contends.
But DOE officials said state law has no penalty for arbitrators who drop the ball, and no process to re-do a hearings with different arbitrators.
“We have repeatedly reached out to the independent arbitrators handling these cases to issue their decisions, and their failure to do so is unacceptable,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye. “We are evaluating new options to close these cases, as well as options for penalizing arbitrators who fail to issue timely decisions.”


Principal who cost city $500K 

in settlements now accused of fixing grades

Pervy principal keeps his job despite draining city in legal fees

A randy Queens high-school principal has cost the city more than a half a million dollars to settle sexual-harassment suits brought by staffers and students — and he’s still on the job.

John Bowne HS Principal Howard Kwait presented the latest hefty tab to taxpayers on Thursday, when the city agreed to give a combined $275,000 to two former assistant principals who accused him of everything from lewd advances to fudging grades.
Maria Catenacci and Sally Maya were so disgusted by Kwait’s boorish antics that they resigned their positions, court papers state. Maya agreed to settle her case for $150,000 and Catenacci for $125,000.
“It was best for the city to settle,” a spokesman told the Post.
It’s not the first time Kwait’s antics cost the city cash. A 2012 suit against him by a student’s family, who said the girl was falsely accused of sending staffers threatening e-mails, was settled by the city for $225,000.
“We settled after evaluating the facts and the risks of proceeding with the litigation,” said a city Law Department spokesman.
The city also paid an undisclosed amount when, in 2012, it settled another harassment case against Kwait. That one was brought by an assistant principal who accused him of discrimination when she became pregnant.
Howard Kwait (left)
In the latest suit, Catenacci claimed that Kwait pressed her to go home with him after an alcohol-soaked retirement party for a colleague and attempted to straddle her at another school related event.
“Mr. Kwait made numerous sexual advances towards Ms. Catenacci,” the suit, brought by attorney Steven Morelli, states.
Knowing she was a lesbian, Kwait profanely interrogated her about her sexual interest in other female staffers at the school, the suit stated. When she rebuffed his advances, Kwait revoked her teaching responsibilities and undermined her, the suit said.
Maya, meanwhile, accused Kwait of criticizing her for getting pregnant and taking time off.
Despite his legal woes, Kwait remains principal at the school, where the motto is “the relentless pursuit of success,” according to its Web site.
“We are reviewing Mr. Kwait’s status,” said Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye.

 A Voice From the 'Rubber Room'
By Liana Heitin on May 13, 2013 12:31 PM
Sixteen years ago, Radio Diaries, an audio series broadcast on NPR in which people document their stories, had a show on Josh Cutler, a high school student living with Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics. Last week, the program aired a follow-up episode, in which Cutler caught listeners up on where he is today.
As it turns out, the now 33-year-old became a New York City public school teacher. But two years ago, in his seventh year of teaching, he was accused of misconduct and terminated from the classroom. He explains: "One of the most violent kids in my class accused me of intentionally bending his wrist to try to hurt him. ... They said that I was doing this repeatedly. Well, yes, I did break up fights repeatedly, but I never intentionally caused harm to a child. Of course not."
During a termination hearing, one of his colleagues testified that she had been concerned for her safety because "Mr. Cutler has some bizarre tendencies." She continued: "Mr. Cutler has openly told me that in social situations he doesn't always behave appropriately because of medical issues. ... And his behavior is unpredictable and it's strange."
Cutler now sits in a temporary reassignment center, or what is colloquially known as a "rubber room," from 8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. each day doing office tasks as needed. He continues to receive his teaching salary. "My parents think I should leave and go do something else, but I'm not going to do that," he says. "I'm fighting this till the very end, no matter what."
We've written about rubber rooms and the absent-teacher reserve pool (the teachers who are paid to sit in the rooms) quite a bit over the years. In 2010, the United Federation of Teachers and the N.Y.C. school district reached an agreement to close the rooms and instead have teachers report to the central office for clerical work. But as Ed Week reporter Stephen Sawchuk has written—and as Cutler's story corroborates—not much has changed. The rooms may now be in an office setting, but the teachers in them are still getting paid for, as Cutler says, "just sitting around in limbo."
Cutler's account of the dismissal and arbitration offers a glimpse into how complex these cases can be—and perhaps into why these policies have yet to be truly undone. Be sure to check out Cutler's diaries from both then and now, as well as the rest of the series, entitled Teenage Diaries Revisited

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Stuyvesant High School Principal Retires to Become Superintendent of the New York Military Academy

Stuyvesant principal quits for post at Trump's former school

Jie Zhang retires after four years at helm for upstate gig at military academy

Stuyvesant High School

Stuyvesant High School Principal Jie Zhang announced Monday that she would retire in July to become superintendent at the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school upstate best known for having had Donald Trump as a student.
Former NYC Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Jie Zhang
Zhang has spent more than 30 years as an educator, which means she was likely not increasing her future pension by continuing in the post she has held for just four years. In fact, she should now be able to draw on that pension while receiving her private-sector salary from the military school, located in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
In an email to students Monday, Zhang did not explain the reasons for her decision other than to say it was "difficult." She wrote that she chose July 21 as her retirement date because it was on that date in 1985 when she landed at Kennedy Airport "to pursue my American dream."
Her first job as a teacher was at Rikers Island. She took the helm at Stuyvesant High School after acheating scandal led to her predecessor's resignation.
Zhang's new school was bought at a bankruptcy auction last fall for a reported $15.825 million by a nonprofit controlled by Chinese investors, who pledged to reopen the 126-year-old high school after it filed for Chapter 11 protection in March 2015. The school sent letters assuring students that it would open in September of that year, but it did not.
Besides Trump, the school's alumni include Stephen Sondheim, John A. Gotti and Francis Ford Coppola, according to The New York Times. It was founded in 1889, but military schools have recently fallen out of favor, and that trend has contributed to the New York Military Academy's financial struggles. Its enrollment had fallen to fewer than 100 students from more than 600 in the 1960s.
Trump graduated from the school in 1964 and later credited it with maturing him after a rambunctious stretch at a Queens prep school. The Washington Post (which on Monday was banned by Trump from his campaign events) reported that his five years at the military school, which runs from eighth grade through twelfth, were not without controversy.
Though many alumni from the school went on to celebrated military careers, Trump got educational and medical deferments to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bernard Gassaway Becomes the Reason Why Nothing is Going Right At the NYC DOE - After He Says NYC has No Education Plan

Bernie has been saying that the NYC DOE needs helps for years. I spoke with him after he resigned as Superintendent, and he was saying then that the NYC DOE was a mess.

Bernard Gassaway

There is just no accountability for any failures by the DOE chiefs, of which there are too many. Why do we need Tweed hiring anyone for too much money?

What a waste of public money.

Keep talking, Mr. Gassaway!

Betsy Combier

Bernard Gassaway, left, talks about his resignation with Errol Louis

Principal of Failing Brooklyn School Quits, Saying City Lacks an Education Plan

The latest indictment of the Department of Education's management of failing schools was personified last week by Bernard Gassaway, the recently self-retired principal of Boys and Girls High School.
As he stepped down after five tortured years at the helm of the storied Bed-Stuy school, Gassaway took a verbal backhand to the DOE for failing to produce a plan to turn around the chronically failing school.
Predictably, the DOE shot back that Gassaway was the problem and that the they were planning to get rid of him anyway. But the hard truth is that we as a community – from DOE policy makers, Gassaway and school leadership to the parents and surrounding community-based institutions – ultimately failed the students of Boys and Girls and have been doing so for years.
I believe that the wider community of parents, teachers and neighborhood-based institutions - not just a singular principal or a fix-all plan handed down from Mount Tweed - has the resilience to produce a thriving learning environment if it is engaged through an effective community school model.
The mayor, having promised 100 community schools, has already designated 42 of them. Boys and Girls, in a cluster with other schools in the area, should be included in the next round.
Boys and Girls offers robust services as many community schools do, and is the site of countless community events. It also has the support of local politicians. However it struggles to offer the high academic standards and broad collaboration that are essential elements of effective community schools.
Specifically, parents and the surrounding community have remained under-informed regarding the school and under-engaged in determining its fate. A community school is not just a school within a neighborhood, but an academic and socio-economic hub for the surrounding community. Is this yet another supposed solution-in-a-box? No.
A community school model doesn't suddenly address all the challenges posed by poverty, institutional racism, and DOE bureaucracy. For instance, Boys and Girls will continue to fail under any plan, under any leader, if it continues to be used as the high school of last resort. But with adequate resources, intelligently invested in a community school model, Boys and Girls can begin to address the physical and emotional needs of not just the whole child, but the whole family.
While the Children's Aid Society in New York and Community in Schools, a national network of community schools, provide evidence that community schools demonstrate higher academic achievement levels, the model ultimately rises and falls on the strength and organizing skills of the community behind it.
This is a critical moment in the transition for Boys and Girls, which just named Gassaway's replacement. We've all seen principals, who, from a single centralized command, keep parents at a distance, see community institutions simply as service providers rather than partners, and treat peer schools as competitors. With so much pressure to meet city and state standards, schools often morph into fortresses and focus their attention inward. In effective community schools, principals are not dictators, but savvy community organizers and collaborators who know how to harvest the talent of the people and organizations around them.
Neither a new principal nor a new plan by the DOE will alone "fix" Girls and Boys. But within a community school framework, they can both provide a rare opportunity to re-think how to build investment and accountability among a broader set of people deeply engaged in the success of a school.
Mark Winston Griffith is the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a community organizing group developing leadership among Central Brooklyn parents.

Principal of Failing Brooklyn School Quits, Saying City Lacks an Education Plan

The principal of a long-struggling high school in Brooklyn handed in his resignation this week —
and offered Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Education Department one of its sternest public rebukes yet.

“The problem is, there is no plan,” the principal, Bernard Gassaway of Boys and Girls High 
School, said of the city’s approach to struggling schools. “They’re making it up as they go 

Mr. de Blasio and the schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, have distanced themselves 
aggressively from the approach taken by the administration of former Mayor Michael R. 
Bloomberg to the city’s worst performing schools, which rested primarily on closing them 
and replacing them with new, generally smaller ones. But Mr. Gassaway’s critique, perhaps 
the first of Ms. Fariña’s tenure to be made so loudly by an insider, comes amid growing 
questions about what the city plans to do instead.

Boys and Girls, which has existed in some form since 1878 and is Bedford-Stuyvesant’s 
main high school, has a long list of distinguished alumni, including Shirley Chisholm, Norman Mailer and Aaron Copland. But in recent years, its reputation has become checkered.

In 2005, a class-action lawsuit against the city alleged that some students at Boys and Girls 
were essentially warehoused in an auditorium for large portions of the day, segregated from 
the rest of the students and not given enough opportunity to earn the credits needed to graduate. 
The suit was settled in 2008; the city did not admit any wrongdoing.

In the last three school years of Mayor Bloomberg’s term, Boys and Girls received three F 
grades, based on student performance, college and career readiness, student progress and other metrics. In the spring, Boys and Girls, along with Automotive High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was classified by the state as being “out of time” to turn itself around and given a 
handful of options, including shutting the school down, converting it to a charter school and 
replacing its administration.

That was under Mr. Gassaway’s watch, but he said that the school received dismal results 
because the most difficult students in the system were routinely assigned there, in unusually 
large numbers.

Whatever the reason, the atmosphere at the school — where enrollment has plummeted to about 
800 students from over 2,000 in 2009, Mr. Gassaway said — could stand improvement.

“There’s enough security,” said Eli Bradley, 18, a student at Boys and Girls. “That’s about it.”

Another student at the school, a 16-year-old junior who declined to give his name for fear of 
reprisal, said on Friday that he was transferring.

“The school could be better, the teaching could be better, the resources could be a whole lot 
better,” he said, pointing to ragged, overgrown tennis courts nearby. “I’m going to transfer soon. 
They don’t give you a lot of opportunity here.”

Mr. Gassaway said the de Blasio administration did not provide a coherent vision of how it 
planned to improve Boys and Girls, and he said the approaches the city planned to use, like 
social services for the students and increased professional development for the staff, were not sufficient. (Mr. Gassaway has not been shy about criticizing the Education Department. A 
former superintendent under Mr. Bloomberg, he publicly rebuked that administration after 
leaving the post.)

His voice joins a small chorus of those questioning the city’s plans for struggling schools, 
and for struggling high schools in particular. Last week, charter school supporters held a rally 
to call attention to the city’s failing schools and to demand that the city come up with a strategy 
to address them. Mr. Bloomberg often gave charter schools the space freed up by the closing of schools.

“The D.O.E. is innovating and investing to improve achievement outcomes at all our schools, especially those that have longstanding challenges,” Devora Kaye, a department spokeswoman, 
said in an email. “We continue to focus on ensuring that we meet the whole needs of each child 
and family.”

The city must present its plan for more than 200 of its most struggling schools to the New York 
State Department of Education by Nov. 7. Plans were originally due at the end of July, but the 
state granted an extension.

Mr. Gassaway’s departure was reported Friday by The New York Post. Ms. Kaye said an interim principal would be put in place.

Nate Schweber contributed reporting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Attorney Howard Friedman Appointed NYC Department of Education General Counsel

Howard Friedman
Department of Education gets new top lawyer amid segregation and safety challenges
When New York City’s education department responds to a lawsuit challenging its handling of school violence, there will be a new name on the legal papers.
Howard Friedman, who has worked for the city’s law department for nearly two decades, will become the Department of Education’s general counsel next month. Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced the appointment in a statement that heralded Friedman’s “dedication, passion, and innovative thinking.

The top legal slot had been open since Courtenaye Jackson-Chase left for the Children’s Aid Society in February after a decade at the department. With her predecessor, Jackson-Chase tackled efforts to close the “rubber room” for teachers who were removed from the classroom after being accused of misconduct and to streamline disciplinary hearings for department employees. As those issues dropped from the department’s public priorities under the de Blasio administration, Jackson-Chase reviewed the department’s Respect for All anti-bullying policy.
Friedman arrives as the department faces a full slate of legal issues. They include how toallow schools to bend city rules to promote racial integration and to how to respond to the school safety lawsuit, which critics of the de Blasio administration filed this spring.
Here’s the city’s complete press release about Friedman’s appointment:

NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the appointment of Howard Friedman as General Counsel. In his new role, Friedman will serve as the chief legal advisor for the DOE, where he will focus on the development and implementation of new initiatives and the revision of existing education policy. Friedman will also provide counsel to the Chancellor on the legal aspects of policy and administrative matters.
Prior to joining the DOE, Friedman served as the Chief of the Contracts and Real Estate Division of the New York City Law Department, where he counseled City agencies and the Mayor’s Office on transactional matters and special projects. Friedman joined the Contracts and Real Estate Division in 1998, became Deputy Chief of the Division in 2004, and was promoted to Chief last year.
“Howard has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to serving our city and we are very excited to have someone with his talent and experience join our team,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I know that Howard will continue to bring an extraordinary level of dedication, passion and innovative thinking to his new role serving our city’s 1.1 million students, families and school staff.”
“It is an honor to join the Department of Education and to be a part of the incredible work it’s doing on behalf of our city’s families,” said Howard Friedman. “I’ve had the privilege of serving the City of New York and its residents for the past 20 years, and I look forward to helping this department build on the progress it has made delivering a high-quality education to every student.”
“The qualities that make Howard eminently qualified to lead the legal division of the City’s largest operation are the qualities we will miss most at the Law Department – his incomparable knowledge of the law, his ability to solve practical problems, and his steadiness under pressure,” said Corporation Counsel Zachary W. Carter.
“From his time as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, to his nearly two decades with the New York City Law Department, Howard has proven himself a tough and dedicated public servant,” said Ursulina Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Education. “We are very fortunate to have him join the department, where I know he will become a champion for our city’s public school students and families.”
Prior to joining the New York City Law Department, Friedman worked, among other things, as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, where he first worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau, and then in the Civil Division serving the Harlem neighborhood. He is a 1985 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Friedman will join the DOE on July 5.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Job Opening at the NYC Department of Education Office of Special Investigations - Ethics Optional

The NYC Department of Education is looking for an Investigator

Confidential Investigator – Special Investigations
Tracking Code
Job Description

(Those who previously applied need not re-apply)

Position Summary: The Confidential Investigator will have wide latitude for independent action and decision, in the performance of highly confidential and sensitive investigations into allegations of corruption, misconduct, and/or other illegal, unethical, or improper activity by Department of Education employees.  The Confidential Investigator will be expected to: conduct victim, witness, and subject interviews; interact with union representatives; author comprehensive reports of his/her findings; and testify, when necessary, at administrative hearings and/or trials.  Performs related work.

Reports to:  Associate Director of the Office of Special Investigations

Direct Reports: N/A


·         Conducts complex and special investigations.
·         Assists with the planning of investigative schedules and assignments.
·         Prepares, reviews, evaluates, refers and/or acts upon allegations of wrongdoing.
·         Conducts interviews of all relevant parties to a complaint, including, but not limited to:  the complainant/victim, witnesses, students of varying ages, parents of students, subjects of the investigation, and Department of Education employees.
·         Analyzes complaints of misconduct, develops investigative plans, conducts fact-finding, reviews documentation, conducts related research, prepares relevant correspondence, and submits comprehensive confidential reports of the investigative findings for supervisory review and approval.
·         Makes recommendations as to the appropriate action to be taken prior to and following an investigation.
·         Documents investigative activities and dispositions via the office’s database in a timely and comprehensive manner.
·         Testifies at hearings, trials, and administrative proceedings.
·         Interprets and accurately applies relevant rules, regulations, codes and policies.
·         Interacts and communicates with Department of Education employees and the wider community, in person and via telephone, to intake and/or refer complaints of misconduct lodged against departmental employees.
·         Advises Department employees, school administrators, parents, students, and community members as to the Department’s reporting requirements, and the Office of Special Investigation’s intake and investigative policies, procedures, and protocols.
·         Maintains confidentiality of investigations and of the investigative process.

In addition to the duties and responsibilities described above, may serve as the Office of Special Investigation’s Communications and Compliance Investigator:

·         Acts as the liaison to internal and external legal and law enforcement offices seeking investigative information and/or confidential files pertaining to Department of Education employees.
·         Conducts data analyses to identify trends and/or patterns of misconduct within DOE schools and/or districts.
·         Advises administrators, superintendents, and supervisors within the Office of Special Investigations, the Office of Legal Services, and the department’s central office as to trends and/or patterns of misconduct within DOE schools and/or districts.
·         Conducts internal and/or external trainings on the Office of Special Investigation’s complaint intake procedures, investigative protocols, Departmental reporting requirements, and the disciplinary process.
·         Assists with the organization and archiving of investigative files.
·         Oversees the scheduling of investigative tours.

Qualification Requirements:


·         A four year high school diploma or its educational equivalent and four years of satisfactory full time experience in an industrial or governmental agency in the field of investigation or as law enforcement officer conducting criminal, special victims,  white collar crime and/or administrative investigations, or,
·         A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college, or education and/or experience equivalent to the above.


·         Ability to complete comprehensive written reports detailing the results of each investigation.
·         Ability to interview students and adults.
·         Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word.
·         Must possess a valid New York State Driver's License and be willing to travel to Department of Education facilities throughout New York City.


·         Proficient in Microsoft Office (Access, Excel and PowerPoint) and other widely used computer programs.
·         Experience utilizing Guidance Encase Forensic Software.
·         Experienced in examining computer hardware including the removal of computer hard drives.
·         Experience or working knowledge of the public sector and/or interest in public education.
·         Strong strategic thinking, attention to detail, and ability to proactively identify key issues.
·         Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment.
·         Highly organized in order to track large amounts of case-related data.
·         Ability to maintain chain of custody of all evidence gathered during the course of investigations for possible criminal or administrative prosecution.

Salary: $65,000
(Internal candidates who are selected for this position and who currently hold comparable or less senior positions within the DOE will not make less than their current salary.)

Position will be posted until filled. We encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible.
Applications will not be accepted without a resume and cover letter.
NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding.

It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation.  Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 1102, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit the OEO website at
Job Location
NEW YORK, New York, United States
Position Type
New Posting