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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Luckisha Amankwah and Her Tale of Retaliation After She Refuses To Lie About Good Teachers

This is a sad story about how the NYC Department of Education attacks those employees who will not play along to get along, or to get paid.

Luckisha Amankwah, a former Assistant Principal at the Office of Adult and Continuing Education, was asked in May 2015 by a supervisor to provide support to two teachers. She thought this was strange, as the teachers were doing well. Ms. Amankwah believed that she was supposed to give them negative ratings because both were filing grievances with the union. She gave them positive evaluations.

Superintendent Rose-Marie Mills had given Ms. Amankwah Satisfactory evaluations three years in a row, but in 2016, the Assistant Principal said Ms. Mills threatened her by saying, “This is not a battle you are going to win.”

In July 2017, four months short of completing her five-year tenure probation, Ms. Amankwah was given an Unsatisfactory rating for the 2016-2017 school year and demoted to an Education Officer position.

It seems to me to be a clear-cut case of retaliation. Ms. Amankwah sued in Supreme Court. 
We wish her good luck!

Betsy Combier
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED: Former Assistant Principal of Adult Education Luckisha Amankwah said she was denied tenure after giving positive evaluations to two targeted Teachers and is suing to get her position back. ‘Despite the fear and intimidation I’ve experienced thus far at [the Office of Adult and Continuing Education], I’m confident that I’ll see justice,’ she said
Wouldn’t Downgrade Teachers Who Grieved

Demoted Continuing-Education AP Sues, Calling It a Secondary Bit of Retaliation

A former Assistant Principal at the troubled Office of Adult and Continuing Education is suing the city over her demotion just months before she was eligible to receive tenure.
Was on Tenure Track
Luckisha Amankwah, who has worked for the Department of Education for more than 20 years, was responsible for designing professional development for adult-education Teachers. In November 2012, she started a five-year track to achieve tenure.
In May 2015, Ms. Amank­wah was asked by a supervisor to provide support to two Teachers, which seemed strange to her because the school year was ending the following month, and both had better data than the other Teachers being observed. The Teachers were being targeted for filing grievances with the union, and she believed she was sent to give them negative ratings, she said.
After she provided support to the Teachers and saw that they had implemented her ideas, she gave them positive evaluations.
But a month later, she was moved from the Adult Education Program’s central office, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, to its East New York location.
In previous interviews with this newspaper, former Adult Education Teachers described low morale and a hostile climate under the leadership of Superintendent Rose-Marie Mills. The Superintendent had given Ms. Amankwah Satisfactory evaluations three years in a row. But in 2016, the Assistant Principal said Ms. Mills threatened her by saying, “This is not a battle you are going to win.”
‘Scared and Shocked’
“I was scared and I was shocked,” she said. “I was hoping if she saw how hard I worked, she’d leave me alone. It didn’t work.”
She said she made sure not to miss any days except for jury duty because of the target on her back.
In December 2016, about a month after a new Principal took over her school, and again in March 2017, she received letters for failing to consistently maintain attendance or meet standards to improve the classroom environment. Ms. Amankwah stated that she logged attendance but was occasionally unable to do so because of Internet problems at the school, and that nine of the 11 Teachers she gave professional support to received Satisfactory marks.
“They give letters for everything,” said one administrator who insisted on anonymity. “It’s to build a case against you.” She said that she had also been asked by supervisors to negatively rate Teachers, and praised Ms. Amank­wah’s professionalism.
In July 2017, four months short of completing her five-year tenure probation, Ms. Amankwah was given an Unsatisfactory rating for the 2016-2017 school year and demoted to an Education Officer position.
Stung By Bullying
“I witnessed other people who felt like they were bullied, but I never thought it would happen to me,” she said, noting that she was one of the few Assistant Principals licensed to support educators who teach material from grades 7-12.
She said she hoped the suit would get her job back and remove the Unsatisfactory evaluation from her record.
Douglas Cohen, a spokes­man for the Department of Education, said that Ms. Amankwah’s “lawsuit has no merit.”
“Superintendent Mills is a strong leader and under her purview the Office of Adult and Continuing Education is rated one of the strongest adult education programs in New York State,” he said.
But Ms. Mills has come under previous criticism for her management of the unit.
50 Percent Fewer Diplomas
The $52-million program produced 150 diplomas last fiscal year, compared to 299 a year earlier. OACE serves 28,700 students annually; about one percent of adult students enter the program at a reading level that is high enough to take the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, the high-school equivalency diploma that replaced the General Educational Diploma.
The Chief previously reported complaints from veteran Teachers about a policy to turn away students who read below high-school level, as well as overtesting.
“I have a great deal to offer Teachers. Despite the fear and intimidation I’ve endured and a pervasive preference for the sycophant thus far at OACE, I’m confident that I’ll see justice,” Ms. Amankwah said.
       Luckisha Amankwah (photo by Matthew McDermott)
Former adult-education assistant principal of literacy Luckisha Amankwah claims Rose-Marie Mills sent her to give two instructors bad reviews because they were complaining about Mills to their union. But Amankwah refused to comply with the order and gave them positive marks after observing their work in late 2015, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.A Department of Education administrator refused to carry out a career hit on two teachers — and was demoted by her controversial superintendent because of it, according to a court complaint.
Amankwah said the insubordination angered Mills, who has been criticized for graduation rates and financial mismanagement of the city’s $52 million adult-ed program. In 2016, just 150 of 28,700 students got diplomas, according to a Post report.
“I wanted to be fair to those teachers,” Amankwah told The Post of her resistance to the alleged decree.
Just a month later, Amankwah was booted from her post at the adult-ed central office in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and sent to work at a school in East New York.
Not wanting to endanger her job outright, Amankwah refrained from protesting the new assignment. But she claims Mills was relentless in her retaliation campaign and began filling up her file with complaints despite her sterling record. “She takes pleasure in using her power to make others uncomfortable,” Amankwah said.
Finally, Amankwah was smacked with an unsatisfactory rating and demoted to education administrator in July, costing her roughly $25,000 a year in salary, according to court papers.
Her suit against the DOE demands the removal of her unsatisfactory evaluation, reinstatement of her title and lost wages.
“This lawsuit has no merit,” said DOE spokesman Douglas Cohen.