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Saturday, March 30, 2019

UFT VIP Paul Egan is Ousted From His Job

 Paul Egan, a well-known and unliked UFT bigwig, is now through with his nine lives. He no longer works for the UFT.

Many people, including myself, have wondered for many years why the UFT hired him in the first place.

On May 3, 2000, the New York Times reported his cheating and threats of students at PS 113:

"9 Educators Accused of Encouraging Students to Cheat

A seventh-grade teacher was accused of leaving a sheet of answers to a citywide math test near a pencil sharpener, then urging the class to sharpen their pencils and leaving the room. More than half the students marked the answers correctly.

A fourth-grade teacher was accused of sneaking a peek at the state English test, discovering that the essay question concerned Cubist art, and giving her students a lecture on Cubism on the eve of the test.

They were among nine educators -- seven teachers, one paraprofessional and one librarian -- at eight schools in New York City accused of encouraging students to cheat on standardized tests, in a report issued yesterday by the special investigator for schools, Edward F. Stancik.

What made yesterday's report particularly striking was that it was issued four months after Mr. Stancik, to great fanfare, issued a similar report that suggested that cheating on standardized tests was almost epidemic throughout the city's public schools. That investigation, which covered five years, implicated 52 educators at 32 schools, made headlines as far away as Scandinavia and hastened the ouster of Chancellor Rudy Crew just two weeks later.

Half the new cases occurred after the first Stancik report, and after the Board of Education took steps to strengthen security.

The new report ranges from dramatic accounts of teachers' erasing wrong answers and aggressively luring students to cheat, to more ambiguous instances, such as a teacher who changed the tone of her voice while reading a passage out loud during a test. Mr. Stancik contended that the modulation in the teacher's voice was a cue for her students to take notes highlighting important points they would need to write an essay.

Mr. Stancik said there were more than 100 allegations, mainly by parents and teachers, about cheating on standardized tests administered from the spring of 1999 to March 2000. He said the allegations were substantiated in eight schools scattered through every borough but Staten Island, and on three tests: a city English test, a state English test and a city math test.

The number of tests affected and the geographic diversity, he said, suggests that cheating is more widespread than just in the small number of cases detected.

Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, who criticized the last report as flimsy, said yesterday that this latest report was more restrained and documented, and that if the charges were upheld, ''there should be serious consequences.''

The eight schools affected are about 1 percent of the city's 675 elementary and 197 middle schools. No high schools were implicated.

The report raised several gray areas between legitimate test preparation and flagrant cheating. For instance, Joohi Chun, the fourth-grade teacher at Public School 150 in Queens, who was accused of giving children an unfair advantage by modulating her voice, said in her defense that she was reading with expression to keep the material interesting. Her students told investigators they had not been coached to listen to her tone of voice.
Steven Hodas, executive vice president of the Princeton Review, a national company that prepares students to take standardized tests, said that although he was not familiar with this particular case, reading with expression is a natural way to help students understand material.

Ms. Chun was scrutinized after teachers scoring her class's exams noticed that her students took especially thorough notes. Ms. Chun told investigators that she had worked intensively on note-taking, teaching children to use bullets to mark short phrases or words.

Harold O. Levy, interim chancellor, said yesterday that he had ordered intensified monitoring tomorrow when elementary and middle schools administer a citywide math test. He also invited Mr. Stancik to send his investigators to the schools during testing.

Ms. Weingarten said she was heartened that in six of the nine cases, educators were turned in by their own colleagues, suggesting, she said, that most teachers have no tolerance for cheating.

Paul Egan, a teacher at I.S. 113 in the Bronx's District 11, was the teacher who allegedly left the answers to 11 questions near the pencil sharpener. Nineteen of his 32 students got answers right. After the exam, Mr. Egan told students: ''Don't tell anyone that I helped you or you'll be the ones that will get into trouble,'' Mr. Stancik said. Nonetheless, he was reported by one girl and her mother.

Jane Nevis, a teacher at P.S. 7 in Queens District 24, not only gave her students a lesson on Cubism, but said that they should remember the words ''motivation'' and ''inspiration,'' Mr. Stancik said. Both words were important to the essay the children had to write the next day. Before being given copies of the state exam, teachers were required to sign an agreement promising to keep the contents secret.

Mr. Stancik urged the dismissal of seven of the nine educators: Paul Egan, Paul Zomchek, Alice McNally, Jane Nevis, Virgilio Rivera, Fritz Alexandre and John Paizis. He recommended counseling for Luz Rodriguez, a paraprofessional, and Ms. Chun, because, he said, their intent to cheat was less clear cut.

The affected schools are P.S. 92 in Brooklyn and P.S. 161 in Manhattan, both in the Chancellor's district for failing schools; P.S. 40 and P.S. 163 in Manhattan, I.S. 113 in the Bronx, P.S. 191 in Brooklyn and P.S. 7 and P.S. 150 in Queens.

The cheating allegations involved the state's fourth-grade English test and the city's Performance Assessment in Mathematics and Performance Assessment Language tests."

From Betsy:
Mention of 113 in the Bronx reminds me of PS 113, also in the Bronx. Do you know who I heard was Principal of PS 113? None other than Marcel Kshensky, who was sued by my friend and teacher George Lawson, and then Kshensky was moved to a new role as Hearing Officer for grievances:

"And there are others suing the NYC BOE for re-assigning the "rubber room". George Lawson sued Marcel Kshensky, the Principal of 113, where George worked. What did the NYC BOE do then? Move Mr. Kshensky to the Administrative Trials Unit, where he does Grievances!!!!"
David Pakter, a NYC Teacher and Whistleblower of the NYC Board of Education's Corrupt Practices, Sues in Federal Court
David Pakter changed my life in 2003 when we met at a TV show where we were speaking on camera, and he started talking about the "rubber room" he was sitting in at 25 Chapel Street, Brooklyn. He invited me to visit, and I did.

Bye Paul!

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
Paul Egan

NYC teachers union honcho ousted in office sex scandal: sources

A burly teachers’ union official with a taste for naughty behavior has been fired for carrying on messy sexual trysts with junior staffers, sources say.
Former United Federation of Teachers Political Director Paul Egan, a political powerbroker whose influence once extended from lower Manhattan to Albany, was let go from his high-flying post Feb. 15 amid jealous accusations hurled by one of his spurned paramours, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Egan, 52, who worked in city schools before joining the UFT more than a decade ago, first grabbed headlines after city officials accused him of encouraging his students to cheat on standardized exams in 2001.
In 2011, he made the news again for throwing a fit during a boozy lobbyist dinner in a swank Albany bistro, claiming the quail he was served — and finished — wasn’t a generous enough portion, sources said. Police were called to quell the quail fracas, but Egan still held onto his high-paying gig.
A source familiar with Egan’s final ouster said that he had been carrying on a passionate inter-office affair with a comely UFT lawyer.
The couple used UFT cell phones to sext and office computers to relay saucy photos of each other. The relationship soured, according to the source, when Egan started some sex-tracurricular activities with another union staffer.
The two-timed lawyer went to union officials with the information about her affair and the lurid pics on union equipment, prompting them to fire Egan for his philandering.
“They found the photos on the UFT equipment,” the source said.
Egan, who earned a salary of $192,102 in 2018 plus $25,757 in expenses, according to union filings, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
He was a seventh-grade teacher at Bronx Intermediate School 113 when he allegedly left the answers to 11 questions near the pencil sharpener in his classroom in an attempt to boost pass rates on a citywide math exam, according to the special schools investigator.
“Teacher Paul Egan used several different methods to cheat,” the investigator reported.The probe found he would tell students before a test to sharpen their pencils — and then depart, leaving the answers to the first 11 questions near the sharpener.
“Don’t tell anyone that I helped you or you’ll be the ones who get into trouble,” one student quoted Egan as telling the class.
But one girl ratted Egan out to her mother, who told school officials.
Lawmakers said the incident should’ve been enough to cost Egan his job.
But Egan held onto his city paycheck until 2005 when he joined the union as a special representative.
He was promoted quickly in the union, earning four promotions over the next decade, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was working as the UFT’s Director of Legislation & Political Action when his next brush with notoriety occurred in an alcohol-fueled banquet at Albany’s posh Marché bistro in 2011.
Big-eater Egan got rowdy while ringing up nearly $2,000 on dinner and drinks at the posh restaurant, which is now closed. A patron at the bistro said restaurant staffers complained that the UFT group took up three tables in the the outrageous dinner involving the portly rep and 24 union comrades.The liquored-up educators “were yelling and screaming the whole night,” a source said at the time.After devouring his quail dinner, Egan — who was listed in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records for the longest after-dinner speech — began yelling about the small portions in his three-course prix fixe meal, and refused to pay the group’s bill.
When the owner couldn’t calm him down, cops were called. The restaurant eventually chopped the group’s bill from $2,000 to $1,500. Reps for the influential teachers’ union, which represents roughly 118,000 current members, confirmed Egan’s departure to the Daily News this week but wouldn’t give a reason.
Founded in 1960, the UFT is a local division of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers and wields a powerful political force across New York, often serving a foil to Gov. Cuomo and friend to Mayor de Blasio.
News of Egan’s departure prompted confusion among the union’s membership. “Rumor: Paul Egan is out at UFT – Everyone is Mum,” read the headline of an item published March 19 in city education blog Ed Notes.
“It would be a funny time to remove Paul,” the blog post mused. “Maybe someone will contact Ed Notes with the full story.”Attempts to glean more details of Egan’s ouster were unsuccessful, with union members refusing to speak to a News reporter who approached staffers outside UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway in lower Manhattan.
With Molly Crane-Newman