Wow, that was fast.
In June, Alison Hirsh quit her job with Mayor de Blasio because he was "too kind" to the police. She was immediately hired at a salary of $230,000 by Chancellor Richard Carranza (who says that there is no money at the NYC DOE to hire anyone) to plan the reopening for the biggest school system in the US.
But she never showed up at work.
Now we hear that she has quit her job at the DOE.
Hey peeps, can you stop putting this woman on the payroll of the City of New York?
How about funding programs that are desperately needed, namely those designed to integrate ABA therapy and Speech in the classroom for Special Needs kids?
Books and resources
Nurses for every school.
You get my point.
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
In a letter to colleagues Friday, Hirsh wrote “in my short time at the DOE I have been blown away by the dedication and camaraderie of each and every one of you.”
“There are no easy answers to schooling in the midst of a pandemic,” she added, “but you have wrestled with each of the questions with integrity and fortitude, under inordinate pressure, with no shortage of armchair quarterbacks second-guessing your every move.”
Hirsh wrote a similar post on Twitter — minus the jab at the “armchair quarterbacks.”
The former de Blasio aide, who pulled in a $230,000-a-year salary from her Education Department position, was among a small group of top officials tasked with leading the agency’s reopening planning efforts.
Hirsh had been out of touch with colleagues for close to two weeks leading up to Friday’s announcement, according to one Education Department source.
Her departure is the latest in a string of high-profile exits from the Education Department – right as the school reopening plan hits crunch time.
Chief operating officer Ursulina Ramirez resigned her post last week, joining first deputy chancellor Cheryl Watson-Harris and chief human capital officer Tomas Hanna, who both left earlier in the summer.
But Hirsh’s tenure was particularly short-lived, lasting just three months after she jumped ship from the mayor’s office, where she served as a top aide. Politico reported in June that Hirsh left City Hall in protest of de Blasio’s refusal to condemn the NYPD’s sometimes violent response to racial justice protesters.
Some DOE staffers ripped the timing of the top adviser’s departure.
“It’s both shocking and infuriating,” said one Education Department central staffer who asked to remain anonymous so as not to jeopardize their position.
“It makes it feel that one of the only people steering the ship is MIA in its most crucial moment,” the staffer continued.
Hirsh could not be reached by phone Friday.
Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said Hirsh would be missed.
Alison has been a key asset to our reopening planning, and we are fully prepared for a safe and successful start to the school year. We are so grateful for her contributions and wish her the best in her next endeavor," Barbot said.
An agency insider said Hirsh “was part of the very small group seemingly leading this work, and one of the only members of that group who staff heard from regularly."
But in late August, not long before Hirsh dropped out of touch with colleagues, she acknowledged she had few answers for exasperated central staffers demanding information to share with anxious families and school staff.
“We don’t have all the answers we want, and the answers we have are imperfect and aren’t black and white,” Hirsh conceded in an Aug. 25 conversation with central office staffers, records of which were obtained by The Daily News.
“There are some things we’ve all stated we need or want that we will not get in the way or time frame we want them or feel like we need them,” Hirsh said in the conversation, which occurred a week before officials announced they would delay the start of in-person schooling by 10 days.
She urged the other participants in the conversation to accept a level of “discomfort and uncertainty we’re all going to have to live with as we serve as ambassadors for DOE.”
One central staffer said Hirsh’s responses felt like an acknowledgement that even officials in the highest levels of the Education Department aren’t calling the shots on the fast-moving reopening plan.
Alison Hirsh, a top aide to Mayor de Blasio who left his administration in protest in June, is leaving her new post as top adviser in the Education Department’s efforts to restart city schools, multiple DOE sources confirmed Friday.
Hirsh had been out of touch with colleagues for close to two weeks, according to one Education Department source, and had been removed from some email chains, raising suspicions of her impending departure, the source said.T
The source said Hirsh’s last day was Friday.
However, it seems that no one has actually seen her in person at Tweed the NYC DOE headquarters, and Ms. Hirsh has no experience working with schools, according to the NY POST.
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
NYC adviser on reopening allegedly hasn’t set foot in a school yet
Susan Edelman and Dean Balsimini, NY POST, Sept. 5, 2020
NEW YORK — A senior official in the de Blasio administration has left the mayor's office over his handling of recent protests across the city — the first departure of a high-ranking aide since the start of the demonstrations demanding police reform.
Senior adviser Alison Hirsh was so troubled by de Blasio’s near-unconditional defense of the NYPD amid incidents of violence against protesters, she decided to step down from the job she was hired for last fall, three sources familiar with her departure confirmed to POLITICO.
Hirsh will begin this week as a senior adviser to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, focused on the complicated task of reopening public schools after the coronavirus forced a system-wide closure in March.
“I could not be prouder to join the amazing team at the Department of Education, particularly at this moment in history,” Hirsh, who will maintain her $230,000-a-year salary, said in a prepared statement. “As a working mother, I feel this personally. Nothing is more important than the safe reopening of schools so kids can keep learning and parents can get back to work.”
Hirsh did not address de Blasio’s management of the protests in her statement, but those familiar with her decision said she had repeatedly challenged the NYPD’s tactics during staff meetings and calls with the mayor and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. She witnessed what she considered unnecessary force while monitoring a march in Brooklyn on May 30, when police shoved demonstrators and used pepper spray to subdue them, the sources said.
The mayor was unmoved by the account — and many others caught on video, which he often says he has not seen. Later that same night he defended the NYPD, including officers who drove a police car into a crowd of protesters who were tossing water bottles and traffic cones at the vehicle.
“Anyone who is a peaceful protester, it’s time to go home. The point’s been made,” he said during an impromptu interview on NY1 late that evening. He also said those particular officers “were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation” and blamed demonstrators for surrounding their car.
Hirsh — and many other past and present de Blasio staffers — were outraged by such a strong defense of police from a mayor who ran on a platform of reforming the NYPD and ending aggressive tactics toward black and Latino New Yorkers. In her Twitter bio, Hirsh describes herself as “anti-racist” and prior to joining the administration she was political director at the building service workers union that represents many low-income, black and Latino workers.
The mayor has sought to quell the uprising in recent days: Two officers were suspended on Saturday and in a staff call Sunday afternoon, he promised more discipline would be meted out. He also said he believed officers’ lives were in danger from factions of demonstrators looting stores and looking to use the marches as an opportunity to create chaos.
Hundreds of former employees have signed an open letter to de Blasio and marched from City Hall to Downtown Brooklyn on Monday in protest of his handling of the NYPD. They are calling for immediate reforms — some of which he has said he supports — and a cut to the department’s budget, which will be negotiated with the City Council in the coming weeks.
In a TV interview Tuesday morning, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams accused de Blasio of capitalizing on his biracial family for political gains. “He uses his proximity to blackness very often, but we don’t see a commensurate type of reform,” said Williams, who was once aligned with de Blasio.
In a statement, de Blasio called Hirsh “an invaluable adviser during one of the toughest times our city has ever faced.”
The Department of Education is making two other staffing changes: Chief of Staff Edie Sharp will become chief strategy officer, and Mary Wall will replace her, City Hall spokesperson Freddi Goldstein said.