Principal Alice Hom (left) and teacher Laura Lai start the school day remotely with
students at Yung Wing School P.S. 124.
New York City has been described as the most corrupt city with the largest public school system in the US. My perspective comes from my activities as a parent and education advocate who has 4 children who went through the NYC public schools. Discrimination, segregation,deceit and fraud are imbedded into the structure of the NYC Department of Education. Change happens rarely because the Courts and State legislature are bought by the same people who benefit from the inequality. Lawsuits are won on a case by case basis, not by touching the underlying foundation. Its like turning off the water but not fixing the pipe.
All public schools are not included in the pile of trash, and it can be said that NYC public schools have the best education programs in the world as well as the worst, only here money is distributed through a prism of implicit bias and racial segregation. It's the geography of the city that has made this happen. It's always about the money. Always. In general terms those with money have what they need to succeed; those without, don't and cannot get what they need unless they go to the "right" people who are not bought or co-opted out by nefarious people or other powerful forces.
I still remember a meeting I had as PTA President with Pat and Larry in the District 3 office where I heard Pat and Larry laughingly say how they obtained $1 million in Title 1 funding although Booker T. no longer qualified to get those funds. I reported this to the Special Commissioner and New York State Education Department.
Back to my missing PTA check.We needed the money for science equipment, so I spent a school year trying to get the money back while I was vilified by the white Delta parents and the District 3 Officer for Family Engagement, D.J. Sheppard. It was rough. Through the entire time I had a whistleblower parent who pretended she was part of the gang and gave me everything they emailed and or handed out. Staff in the main office at MS 54 secretly gave me documents, budgets, rosters, everything I needed. Thanks to them, I got through the bad stuff and learned how the DOE worked. I took notes and recorded conversations (legal in New York State, which is a one-party state).
In 2001 after 9-11, the late former Chancellor Harold Levy moved into the conference room right outside of Principal Stanley Teitel's office at Stuyvesant High School. As I was on the PA Executive Board as Editor of the PA Bulletin, the newspaper, Stan asked me to keep Harold company. So I did. I told him all about Booker T. and what I saw. He told me to talk with his buddy Deputy Chancellor Burt Sacks, so I did, and Burt told me that all principals take money. I wrote it all up for the new Chancellor Joel Klein and handed it to him personally as he was about to start a meeting at Tweed. He fired Burt Sacks on the spot, and Randi Weingarten hired him as a Special Representative/Assistant to her, within a few weeks or days, I do not remember. He later went to CUNY. Larry Lynch was removed from the school and I heard that he was hired by New York University. Pat Romandetto was replaced and sued for racial discrimination. I went to her trial. While she was on the witness stand the lighting in the Courtroom put Pat and her fur coat in such a light that she looked exactly like Cruella De Vil ("Devil"). It was warm in the Courtroom, but she kept that fur coat on, just like Cruella.
by Selim Algar, NY POST, May 27, 2020