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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Talented Peter Ianniello, Executive Director of Human Resources at the Department of Education, and Also Cabaret Singer

Aren't we all excited to see that Dr. Peter Ianniello also sings?

Please let me know when your next gig is, Peter, and I will bring friends and family -

All the best,

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

NYC Life: Shows, Discounts, Conferences, Good Causes

We love autumn in New York and there are so many great things going on right now our head is spinning. Here a few events – shows, discounts, conferences, and good causes –  we’ve handpicked just for you tomatoes.  

OMG! Then there is:

I was a Teenage Substitute

“I Was a Teenage Substitute”: What does Substitute Teaching Mean Today?

I was a Teenage Substitute
Peter Ianniello, PhD, Executive Director of Human Resources at the New York City Department of Education, as a teenage substitute.
Recently, at TeacherMatch’s Solutions Summit 2015 in Miami, Florida, I had the pleasure to hear keynote speaker Peter Ianniello, PhD, Executive Director of Human Resources at the New York City Department of Education (DOE), discuss substitute teacher hiring in his presentation titled “I Was a Teenage Substitute.”
With his opening sentence  “Once upon a time in a land known as the Bronx, a cute, Italian 16-year-old teenager longed to be a substitute teacher,” the audience had a good laugh. But more importantly the audience was engaged in discovering the answer to the question, “What do we know about substitute teachers?”
With Peter’s experience, along with our own knowledge of K-12 HR, we can provide meaningful insight into today’s substitute teachers.
Not just a warm body.According to ERIC Digest, members of the K-12 school community view substitute teachers as baby-sitters, objects of pity, or just a warm body in the classroom. Rarely are substitute teachers seen as effective educators.
Credentials for substitutes may include certificates, criminal background checks, college transcripts and health certificates, but vary between school districts. Yet, U.S. teachers take off an average of 9.4 days each school year and the average student has a substitute teacher in the classroom for more than six months of their entire school career.
As a result, it is critical to hire substitute teachers that will positively impact student achievement in the classroom. School districts do this by hiring full-time substitutes that fill classrooms in the same district schools, or fill in for a specific subject area. Sometimes these substitutes may assist with curriculum development and lesson plans
Support systems for substitute teachers.According to “Expectations and experiences of Substitute Teachers,” an article from The Alberta Journal of Educational Research that explores the expectations of support for substitute teachers, “Not only are substitute teachers kept on the margins in schools, they also encountered barriers building communities of support among other substitutes. As outsiders, these substitute teachers were marginalized and isolated in the school, which translated into them being denied access to vital knowledge of school culture.”
While a substitute’s work often goes unnoticed, substitute teachers fulfill a central role in K-12 classrooms. Districts that make substitute teaching exciting and provide personal satisfaction for subs create a more enriching working environment, which can and often times is reflected in their performance in the classroom.
Peter Ianniello, PhD, Executive Director of Human Resources at the New York City Department of Education, presenting at TeacherMatch's 2015 Solutions Summit
Peter presenting at TeacherMatch’s Solutions Summit 2015 in Miami, FL
At the New York City DOE, Peter and his team assessed the needs of their substitute teachers. They surveyed approximately 6,920 substitutes and the results indicated areas of professional development (PD) requested by their subs. These areas were classroom-related education workshops, personal growth and development, and professional and behavioral courses. Consequently, New York City DOE will use this information to create professional learning programs and a PD library that includes relevant and current articles, classroom management tools, policies and procedures, and research, which support the needs of their substitute teachers.
All told, substitute teaching today is about utilizing the strengths of substitutes to fill classrooms with individuals that are just not a warm body, and to provide substitutes support programs that develop their personal and professional growth. To learn more about how Peter Ianniello, and his team are accomplishing this in one of the U.S.’s largest school districts, download Peter’s presentation from our 2015 Solutions Summit.

ALERT: Peter Ianniello Makes All His YouTube Videos Private
Suddenly Peter Ianniello doesn't like to be on YouTube as much as I thought. Or, he doesn't want to be on MY blog on YouTube. Or whatever.

Anyway, all of Dr. Ianniello's YouTube appearances are now private. (By the way, is this you, Peter?)

Peter, we enjoyed watching you describe Department policy!! C'mon, be brave. Put them back out to the public. I guess I will have to file a FOIL request. Below is my former post with the live YouTube videos.

Many of his comments are included in his Substitute Teachers Handbook from the National Council on Teacher Quality:


Here is an updated version 2011 with Lawrence Becker:


and the latest version.

In The Road To Broad, this is what Dr. Peter Ianniello and Vicki Bernstein had to say about teacher quality and training in NYC:

"New York City Department of Education
Leaders in New York City have similarly reformed the department's human resources office to align with its school improvement efforts. "In the past, HR was kind of an 'add on' department," says Vicki Berstein, deputy executive director of the division of human resources. "We had responsibilities for finance, administration, facilities, safety—HR was one of more than 10 things we were responsible for." Since 2003, however, Chancellor Joel Klein and his leadership team have recast the role of the human resources office to reflect a keen focus on strategic human capital.

Over the past four years, the office has worked to shift from a transactional entity focused primarily on filling vacancies to a "quality broker" that works with schools to find the best person for a specific job, whether a teacher or a principal. "For a long time, the focus had been on hiring and placing teachers ourselves," says Berstein. "We wanted to focus instead on serving the school. So we've had to change our systems to help us do a better job of matching candidates with schools." New York started by re-staffing the central recruitment office with recruiters who had teaching experience rather than a civil service background.

The HR office also established a new placement process to allow principals more authority over who works in their school. Instead of reviewing applications only for basic eligibility, HR staff now screen each new teacher applicant according to a common rubric that was developed based on input from principals across the city.

"We make sure candidates have all the proper credentials so that principals aren't wasting their time interviewing people who they can't actually hire," says Peter Ianniello, director of recruitment and selection. "But we are also more selective about the teachers we are bringing in and recommending to our schools." Each candidate who passes the initial screening is placed in a pool that is made available to school leaders online. Based on candidates' strengths and interests, principals can schedule interviews only with those applicants who they believe would be good matches for their schools.

NYCDOE's human resources office is also analyzing data about new recruits to help improve the department's future recruitment and selection strategies. HR staff have begun surveying new teachers and principals about which elements of the hiring and placement process work for them and which need to be improved. HR is also collecting information about new teachers—from how they came to the DOE and were placed, to their college GPA and matching this information with the teachers' impact on student learning to gain insight about the characteristics of recruits who are most effective in the classroom. In the future, this information will allow the HR office to more strategically target recruitment efforts and refine screening and selection to help ensure that all schools are staffed by the highest-quality teachers.........
New York City Department of Education
In New York City's early stages of reform, many department-wide initiatives—such as required curricula in reading, writing and math and school-based parent coordinators—were designed to stabilize and bring coherence to a fragmented system. But with the evolution of the department's reform efforts, Chancellor Joel Klein has now deliberately transferred authority from a central bureaucracy to the school level. New structures within the department, innovative support systems and contract relationships with individual schools are all designed to support the department's vision of empowerment and accountability.
"Our goal has been to move from a system that had been very centrally managed to a system that is built on a backbone of accountability," says Klein. Between 2003 and 2006, 10 regional centers supported schools across the city, helping to unify the system of more than 1,400 schools. In 2007, these regions gave way to a network of school support organizations and service centers, nimble organizations that provide schools with many of the same services and supports that had previously come from the central bureaucracy.
School support organizations across the city now compete to offer schools help with instruction, educational programming, scheduling of the day and year, and professional development. Business service centers offer schools assistance with operational issues such as payroll, vendor contracts, facilities issues and budgeting. "Principals can look around at different systems and purchase the one they want," explains Lawrence Pendergast, a high school principal. "The district literally gives us money and says, 'you pick out the support that you think will work best for your school.' That's real honest empowerment for a principal."
NYCDOE's leaders have taken empowerment one step further through new performance contracts with principals across the city. The contracts spell out specific performance goals—for academic progress, student behavior, and financial health—that schools must meet each year. Those that have consistently low student achievement over time may face leadership changes or closure. In return for this accountability, principals can exercise greater autonomy over instructional methods, assessments, professional development, the school day and the budget.
New York's new organizational structure—together with a dynamic support system and greater autonomy at the school level—combine to create an environment that allows effective leaders to do what is necessary to achieve the next level of dramatic improvement in student achievement."
Below is my previous article, with the links to Dr. Ianniello's YouTube videos which were suddenly removed from public view:

FACES: Peter Ianniello, NYC DOE Executive Director, Human Resources
NYC DOE Peter Ianniello
  1. Fordham Preparatory School
  3. Fordham University
  1. Fordham University
Peter Ianniello
eSchool Solutions | Peter Ianniello - NYC Department of Education | SFE Client Testimonial

Published on Sep 20, 2012
Peter Ianniello from the NYC Department of Education discusses how the features of SmartFindExpress has helped to mandate their special education paraprofessionals. Learn more about eSchool Solutions teacher absence management programs by visiting our website


Executive Director, Human Resources

NYC Department of Education

 – Present (17 years 1 month)

Director of Advancement

Fordham Preparatory SChool
 –  (4 years)

Director of Alumni Systems Management

Fordham University
 –  (8 years 3 months)
Managed all aspects of alumni data, gift records and acknowledgments, and reports for both the offices of Development and Alumni Relations as well as other University users.

The Tragedy of Bullying: Death At Manhattan Village Academy

The Department of Education's policy of pooh-poohing student bullying, harassment and abuse as the fault of the teacher or no one, has claimed another victim.

Bullying is always sad.

But when the bullying leads to a senseless death, then someone must be held accountable.

Aileen Jiminian, 17, jumped in front of a train on Thursday because she was bullied too much, say fellow students at the Manhattan Village Academy.

The Principal, Hector Geager, tried his best to keep the tragedy a secret and evidently went from room to room saying that there was an "accident". He sent out a letter to all families, begging the students to not post anything about the sudden death on any social media. Someone at the school sent it to me:

Students feel guilty after bullied teen jumps in front of train

A Manhattan student who was bullied by classmates slipped out of school during lunch hour — and killed herself by stepping into the path of a subway train, The Post has learned.
Aileen Jiminian, 17, a senior, left the Manhattan Village Academy campus in Flatiron on Thursday and climbed onto the tracks at the 23rd Street Station on Seventh Avenue, where she was fatally struck by a 1 train at around 12:30 p.m., police said.
“She wasn’t in my grade, but I know that other kids would pick on her,” a student said Monday.
“It’s really sad. She would get called stupid or ugly or awkward. Some kids are just really mean.”
Several students went to the school’s grief counselor and said they were upset with themselves over “how they treated her,” said a Manhattan Village Academy source.
“Some of the students were feeling guilty because they were so mean to her,” the source said.
School staff told students not to discuss Jiminian and described her death as an “accident,” according to the school source.
“We were told not to talk about her or what happened,” a student said.
“Our teacher told us last week that she got into a bad accident.”
The school sent out a letter to students’ families on Monday informing them that Jiminian had “passed away.”
“This loss of Aileen is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students,” reads the letter, which was signed by the school’s principal, Hector Geager.
It ends with a plea to parents to ask their kids not to post anything about Jiminian online.
“Please, at the request of Aileen’s family, impress upon your child not to post any information regarding this tragedy on social media,” the letter says.
Jiminian was a 2016 semifinalist for the New York Times College Scholarship program. She had a twin sister who attends the school.
Manhattan Village Academy referred all questions to the Department of Education.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our students and my heart breaks for her family and the entire school community at Manhattan Village Academy,” Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa said in a statement.
“We are working closely with the school to provide crisis resources to support and comfort those grieving during this very difficult time.”
Additional reporting by Susan Edelman and Danika Fears

Geager is no stranger to wrong-doing, as a previous NY POST article proves:

September 6, 2011 | 4:00am
SLAP ON THE WRIST: Manhattan Village Academy Principal Hector Geager was fined for illegally expelling a student.

The city cut backdoor deals with a handful of misbehaving principals last year rather than seek stiffer penalties through disciplinary hearings, records obtained by The Post show.
Among those who signed hush-hush agreements with the Department of Education was Manhattan Village Academy Principal Hector Geager — who dealt with a troublesome student by altering her transcript, handing her a diploma and illegally expelling her three months shy of graduation.
The student, whom Geager also barred from prom and graduation, told officials that the popular principal had “simply given her the passing grades to get her out,” according to an internal DOE probe.
Before even filing charges last year, however, DOE officials reached an agreement not to pursue further discipline against Geager if he simply paid a $10,000 fine.
Geager, who remains principal of a school that boasted a 98 percent graduation rate last year, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
But critics say these types of plea bargains highlight an increased hesitancy by the DOE to forcefully discipline wayward principals ever since it granted them more authority — and took on a greater role in selecting them — several years back.
“The Bloomberg Department of Ed can’t define ‘accountability’ to simply be rating students and teachers with standardized tests,” said Patrick Sullivan, the Manhattan appointee to the Panel for Educational Policy. “Transgressions of administrators need to be addressed in a fair and transparent fashion rather than hidden to avoid embarrassment to the adults in the administration.”
Other deals reached last year include one for former HS for International Business and Finance Principal Juan Alvarez, who tackled a student in The Bronx school and e-mailed an anti-Semitic rant to a fellow principal. Alvarez was demoted but allowed to stay around students as a teacher.
DOE spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said the agency takes principals’ work histories and the facts of each case into account, and added that officials felt the school leaders had been properly held accountable.
“These settlements allowed us to move forward quickly, so that the schools could focus on teaching and learning, without these matters serving as a distraction,” she said.
Additional reporting by Amber Sutherland and Lachlan Cartwright
Case Study # 1
A Department of Education probe confirmed that Iris Blige, principal of the Fordham HS for the Arts, instructed assistant principals to give poor ratings to teachers without actually observing them. Blige signed a deal agreeing to pay a $7,500 fine.
Case Study # 2
Investigators found Maria Penaherrera of PS 114 had rigged bids and mismanaged the school onto the city’s closure list. But she’s off the hook because she agreed to be demoted to assistant principal — with the opportunity to earn tenure next year.