SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Pedro Santana MS 391 Principal A Phony Baloney

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pedro Santana MS 391 Principal A Phony Baloney


You know when the New York Times is going downhill when they do a story, in fact a front page story on MS 391 Bronx Principal Pedro Santana. Yep, front page of today's Metro Section. I couldn't believe my eyes.

I couldn't believe my eyes because I had once worked about fifteen years ago with Pedro Santana and came away quite unimpressed. In fact we were all quite unimpressed with Pedro.

Pedro is what we like to call a rat. There are other things we like to call Pedro, but that is for another time, for a another post.

Pedro had his nose up the principal's colon at all times and thought he was it. That he invented teaching. There was a time during PD he was explaining to us how to quiet down the cafeteria. We were told to stand up in front and start counting down from five. As we counted down we also counted with our fingers as our voices were to go quieter the closer we got to zero. But at two we went silent and with hand just showed a one, then a closed fist for zero. Yeah, it worked. Right. We had many a laugh at Rory Dolan's recounting this.

So what are some things that came across to me about Pedro Santana? I didn't know that he was married. Congratulations. Just wonder if he hits the same interstate rest areas as Whitney Tilson.

The Times states that, "the school is not the same. Last year, 59 percent of its seventh graders passed the state math test — below the 81 percent who passed citywide, but enough of an improvement to help the school earn an A on its report card."

Ok fine. Fifty nine percent passed, but 41% didn't. And in 2007-2008, only forty percent passed. But how to account for the 19 percent increase? Is it valid? We all know that last year the were accusations that the tests were extremely dumbed down. So is this a true accounting of Pedro Santana's accomplishment? But these same seventh graders when they were in sixth grade the year before only 37% passed. So explain that big jump. But still only 38% of 8th graders were proven to be proficient in the ELA test and these are kids entering high school. Someone please explain the success here.

Here is what is scary according to the Times, "Ninety-five of the school’s 253 eighth graders did not graduate this month (summer school may save many)." NINETY-FIVE PERCENT DID NOT GRADUATE!!!!! Where is the scrutiny?

But now the nitty gritty, which makes one question the judgement of the Times. It seems that Pedro Santana has three open investigations against him. According to the Times, "In April 2009, he was removed from the school for several weeks, after allegations that he had failed to properly report an off-campus sexual assault involving two students. The investigation remains open, the most serious of three pending complaints against him."

Say what? Three pending complaints against him, removed for only several weeks for not reporting a sexual assault? The Times reported that, "the trouble started after a girl confided in a guidance counselor about a sexual episode with a male schoolmate after hours and off campus. Mr. Santana said he and the guidance counselor met separately with the boy and his family and with the girl and hers. The principal said that he had asked the guidance counselor to report it to the authorities, but that the last time he spoke with investigators from the Department of Education about the situation, about a year ago, he was told he would probably “be found guilty for lack of ensuring that it was reported.” Pedro Santana's glib response was, "if I was at I.B.M. and I tell someone to do something and they don’t do it, I could fire that person,” he said. “They said, ‘Procedure is, you needed to ensure that she reported it.’ ” WRONG! You report it. You follow up on it. You are the principal, the buck starts and ends with you. Why pass it along to an underling? Guess what? Who is talking the most heat for the oil spill in the Gulf? Yes, the head schmuck of BP.

Also Pedro Santan put the kabosh on an ACS report. A guidance counselor at the school reported that, "she said she saw the mother abusing her child and reported it to the authorities. Mr. Santana, citing other witnesses’ accounts and the counselor’s own comments, later called the child welfare agency to say the counselor’s report had been false." Whatcha talking about Willis? If was false then let the proper agency, ACS find it so. Why interfere with an official ACS investigation?

The third investigation "is over whether Mr. Santana inappropriately interfered with an ambulance crew that arrived at the school in April after a boy claimed he had been put in a headlock by a teacher. Mr. Santana, in an interview, said it was clear the boy had not been harmed, and he subsequently led an inquiry that found the headlock had not occurred." According to whom? And is Pedro Santana a licensed medical doctor? Or is he even a EMT and/or a paramedic? Why this need to interfere Pedro Santana?

At press time the crack team is hot on the trail of Pedro Santana. Stories and anecdotes of his days at PS/MS 279 are being gotten, as are his days at the Manhattan Charter School. Pedro Santana is a phony and an incompetent.

Three questions remain. Why did the the Times choose to do a story on him? If he did what he did in Scarsdale would he still have a job? And, if this were a teacher what would have happened?

44 comments:

Julia R. said...

Was wondering if you knew the guy..

Even from the pictures I could tell this guy is gay. Married?? lol

He called the school a "hot mess" when he got there. Who talks like that??

He takes off his shirt at the end of the day and goes home in his undershirt. What's up with that? This guy looks like a kook. This is the admin they wanted to highlight? Couldn't find anyone better?

Under Assault said...

I'm not surprised at the Times anymore after they published a Brill article in the Magazine Section a month ago. That was front page also.

Anyone see a pattern here?

Ms. Represented said...

Santana looks like a runner-up in the Phil Spector Look-Alike Contest. Yes, there is a pattern at the NYT, Under Assault. It's called whoring out yet another profession, this time journalism, to corporate pimps.

Anonymous said...

It seems like you have a personal vendetta against Mr. Santana. Jealous?

Barbara said...

If you are bold enough to put this type of information on here and state his name, you should be bold enough to show your own stripes and state yours!!! I guess you are a perfect angel, and have a perfect record!!! Check yourself!
I am not saying that any or all of these allegations that you have taken the time to make it your business to fill your life up with this man's issues are true. It makes me look at the author of this article rather than the victim. Hmmm....


Babs

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

Oh my stripes are well known. Besides, did Publius need to show his stripes?

Shall we discuss how Pedro Santana orchestrated the removal of Luisa Fuentes at 279? The same Luisa Fuentes who took him under her wing?

Collins said...

I love Mr. Santana he is the best boss 2 work 4. It's sad that he's tryn 2 build a community and someone wants 2 destroy it. Collins

Cynthia Pacelli said...

I am shocked that teachers have the nerve to attack a fellow educator in this manner. Do we not know that the DOE will take any and every opportunity to shoot down those who perform their functions in an unconventional manner. Bottom line is the school was doing poorly and now after having Mr. Santana at the helm they are doing better. The only way to build a true learning environment is to build a strong, supportive community and that is what Mr. Santana has tried to do. Let us support each other until the true details and facts come out. Until then let us support the fact that these families are building a community in support of their children.

Cynthia T. Pacelli: Educator for
23+ years

Evelyn Vega said...

I believe that the person who wrote this article is a "hater" I respond to this because Mr. Santana
is a wonderful person to work with. If you worked with him then you came to work with pleasure. Everybody loves him from the custodial staff to administration. Also from the corner bodega to the neighborhood bank manager. It is so weird that co-workers are the one who set out to destroy one another. Keep your head up Pedro,you are loved and respected!!

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

The two sycophants who posted today, please share the test scores of your school for us. Or shall I? Please ask Pedro Santana how he knifed Luisa Fuentes in the back. Then we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

Pedro Santana is a wonderful principal and a wonderful man. He puts his heart and sould into the students and their families. We should all have been so fortunate to have an educator like that in our life. It's a shame that we have such sadistic and evil people posing as educators who spend their life and sometimes career fabricating lies and situations to bring other educators down and poison the minds of others. Shame on you!!!

Anonymous said...

You are not a teacher in the Bronx but a piece of garbage and about Luisa why don't you interview some of the people that worked for her. Idiot!!

The parent said...

Come out come out who ever you are....Why are you such a HATER? It seems to me that you have issues with yourself and your own sexuality. You need help. GET OVER IT..... COWARD

The parent said...

Julia R

Are you GAY? how immature...

A.J said...

I am a college student and part of the bronx community and I am horrified and disgusted by this post and some of these comments. Educators are suppose to be role models and set examples for their students but here they are calling someone gay, mocking their teaching skills and bashing them. It's absurd. I really hope the board of education gets involved and finds the person responsible for this post because they should not what so ever be apart or affiliate with any school. Education is about students and to call Pedro Santana a bad principal, it is clear you forgot that.

Opal said...

I never cease to be amazed at the audacity of certain people. The fact that someone would hide behind the anonymity of a computer, in the safety of their small world and attack a man who has done nothing except try to make a bad situation better by contributing to the education of a demographic of students who are not even expected to graduate and to do so perhaps with minimal infractions, is contemptible. The New York Times didn’t proclaim Pedro Santana as the“Messiah”, they very simply and quite deservingly, highlighted his accomplishments at a school that prior to him, was virtually invisible.

It is always interesting to me when someone , such as yourself, is not only so critical of the efforts of Pedro Santana but in the second paragraph of what can only be described as your “tirade” against him, you also seem to appoint yourself as the spokes person for many. “In fact we were all quite unimpressed with Pedro”. I would inquire as to who the “we” consist of but I have a strong suspicion that “we” is in fact “just you” operating with an exaggerated opinion of yourself. In a time saving effort, I won’t attempt to address the laundry list of assaults you have leveled against Mr. Santana, instead I will attempt to do the same as The New York Times and accent the positiveness of what he has committed his life’s goal to do.

Opal said...

In a time when our children’s educators are the most unappreciated, underpaid, overworked and least represented, Mr. Santana chose to remain in his neighborhood school, drive from his home in Nyack to the Bronx daily, during rush hour traffic to be called a “rat”, institute non-traditional methods of quieting a cafeteria, apparently not seek you out personally and announce that he was married and only manage a fifty-nine percent passing percentage of seventh graders on the state math test as oppose to the percentage your most recent school passed. Please forgive me, you neglected to mention your name, the current school that employs you and the percentage rate of said school.

As for the pending complaints against Mr. Santana, I believe both he and the Times were not only accurate but also forthcoming with the details of all three. There was never any efforts to downplay, excuse or gloss over any of those complaints. Quite the contrary, true to Mr. Santana’s character, he stood up and took responsibility for his involvement in the accusation of him not directly reporting an alleged sexual assault and simply stated in no uncertain terms that he had delegated (a person sent to represent others) that responsibility to a guidance counselor. Is it now the expectation that principles are to be everywhere and do everything themselves? While I can not speak for Mr. Santana, I sense that his response (the one you chose to describe as glib) was simply more out of frustration than dodging his responsibility of reporting the incident. And for the record, he is correct in his statement that if he were in management at I.B.M. or any other corporation and he instructed someone under him to perform a duty and they failed to do it, that is in fact grounds for termination. As for your analogy of the head “schmuck” of BP, (your educated language, not mine) I believe he is being held accountable for knowing in advance that substandard parts were being used on that drilling unit, not simply because he is the head but I could be wrong (something you didn’t bother to leave room for the possibility of). You labeled Mr. Santana as a “phony and an incompetent” and signed off your post as A Teacher In The Bronx. I would think that a fellow educator in the Bronx, who fully understands the climate in that area, would use less divisive language and consider a more constructive approach at righting whatever wrongs you have, real or perceived. Your PSA resembled something more like an angry, jealous and disgruntled person than someone with a genuine interest and concern for the welfare of our educators, schools and children. As for the remark made against Mr. Santana’s sexuality by someone else that chose to blog, I won’t dignify such outrageous and ignorant venom with a reply.

As for Mr. Santana orchestrating the removal of Luisa Fuentes, again, how opportunistic of you to give him power to do wrong but not an ounce to do goo. I, much like you, have not be privy to what exactly took place with that particular situation; having not been personally involved. What I do know is that Mr. Pedro Santana is well respected, highly educated and deeply loved and admired by more than half of his school population and that includes his fellow teachers.


Post by Opal Wofford,
Someone who knows Pedro Santana Professionally

Opal said...

In a time when our children’s educators are the most unappreciated, underpaid, overworked and least represented, Mr. Santana chose to remain in his neighborhood school, drive from his home in Nyack to the Bronx daily, during rush hour traffic to be called a “rat”, institute non-traditional methods of quieting a cafeteria, apparently not seek you out personally and announce that he was married and only manage a fifty-nine percent passing percentage of seventh graders on the state math test as oppose to the percentage your most recent school passed. Please forgive me, you neglected to mention your name, the current school that employs you and the percentage rate of said school.

As for the pending complaints against Mr. Santana, I believe both he and the Times were not only accurate but also forthcoming with the details of all three. There was never any efforts to downplay, excuse or gloss over any of those complaints. Quite the contrary, true to Mr. Santana’s character, he stood up and took responsibility for his involvement in the accusation of him not directly reporting an alleged sexual assault and simply stated in no uncertain terms that he had delegated (a person sent to represent others) that responsibility to a guidance counselor. Is it now the expectation that principles are to be everywhere and do everything themselves? While I can not speak for Mr. Santana, I sense that his response (the one you chose to describe as glib) was simply more out of frustration than dodging his responsibility of reporting the incident. And for the record, he is correct in his statement that if he were in management at I.B.M. or any other corporation and he instructed someone under him to perform a duty and they failed to do it, that is in fact grounds for termination. As for your analogy of the head “schmuck” of BP, (your educated language, not mine) I believe he is being held accountable for knowing in advance that substandard parts were being used on that drilling unit, not simply because he is the head but I could be wrong (something you didn’t bother to leave room for the possibility of). You labeled Mr. Santana as a “phony and an incompetent” and signed off your post as A Teacher In The Bronx. I would think that a fellow educator in the Bronx, who fully understands the climate in that area, would use less divisive language and consider a more constructive approach at righting whatever wrongs you have, real or perceived. Your PSA resembled something more like an angry, jealous and disgruntled person than someone with a genuine interest and concern for the welfare of our educators, schools and children. As for the remark made against Mr. Santana’s sexuality by someone else that chose to blog, I won’t dignify such outrageous and ignorant venom with a reply.

As for Mr. Santana orchestrating the removal of Luisa Fuentes, again, how opportunistic of you to give him power to do wrong but not an ounce to do goo. I, much like you, have not be privy to what exactly took place with that particular situation; having not been personally involved. What I do know is that Mr. Pedro Santana is well respected, highly educated and deeply loved and admired by more than half of his school population and that includes his fellow teachers.


Post by Opal Wofford,
Someone who knows Pedro Santana Professionally

Opal said...

You labeled Mr. Santana as a “phony and an incompetent” and signed off your post as A Teacher In The Bronx. I would think that a fellow educator in the Bronx, who fully understands the climate in that area, would use less divisive language and consider a more constructive approach at righting whatever wrongs you have, real or perceived. Your PSA resembled something more like an angry, jealous and disgruntled person than someone with a genuine interest and concern for the welfare of our educators, schools and children. As for the remark made against Mr. Santana’s sexuality by someone else that chose to blog, I won’t dignify such outrageous and ignorant venom with a reply.

As for Mr. Santana orchestrating the removal of Luisa Fuentes, again, how opportunistic of you to give him power to do wrong but not an ounce to do goo. I, much like you, have not be privy to what exactly took place with that particular situation; having not been personally involved. What I do know is that Mr. Pedro Santana is well respected, highly educated and deeply loved and admired by more than half of his school population and that includes his fellow teachers.

Perhaps had you offered at least something positive which you feel Mr. Santana was doing, some of your attacks would have at least seem somewhat credible. Thankfully, there are some people in power that feel even Pedro Santana is doing something right. Otherwise, my guess is that he would not still be employed at MS391, would never have been employed at PS/MS 279 or the Manhattan Charter School.

Lastly, you stated three questions remain. One, why did the Times choose to do a story on Pedro Santana; my thoughts are had you risen above your anger and total dissatisfaction about him and read the entire article you would know that answer was provided to you in the article. Hatred and anger really can be blinding; Second, “If he did what he did in Scarsdale would have still have a job; well facts are facts and I’m not sure if they are geographically determined but with that said, I would hope so. A good man and good Principal is apparently hard to come by and Third, “if this were a teacher what would have happened”, well according to you, blame it on the Principal!

I would have loved to have been given the opportunity to address you more personally, such as by your name, but nowhere in your barrage of insults and attacks against Mr. Santana did you offer such. Interesting since you seemed so passionate about everything you were saying.

Anonymous said...

A attempt to profile A Teacher from The Bronx:
1. Mid 50's
2. Never been married
3. Possibly passed up for promotions
4. Caucasian
5. A non-existing life
6. An attraction to Principal Santana
7. Bitter and very angry

This sounds like V.B You were 100%right when you said "Oh my stripes are well known." They are known and they are not black and white...TASTE THE RAINBOW

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

Keep it coming. I just find it ironic that this mini cult of personality is not concerned with the fact that 90% of Pedro Santana's 8th graders are unprepared for high school.

http://southbronxschool.blogspot.com/2010/08/pedro-santana-incompetent-principal.html

Anonymous said...

Why does the truth hurt so much for some people???

Queens Teacher said...

To some of the posters criticizing the blog administrator for not posting under his real name. I don't believe posting under the names Opal, The parent, A.J. really reveals your identity. What do you think?
This is a blog. People write blogs to voice their OPINION. If you don't like this blog administrator's opinion, then you don't have to read it.

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

Actually, OPAL is real. What they fail to understand is that this country has a long history of anonymous writing. **cough** Thomas Jefferson**cough** **cough** Alexander Hamilton**cough**

Perhaps Pedro Santana should have his eighth graders learn about the Federalist Papers. Well only the 9% that are prepared for high school.

Anonymous said...

V.B. aka Teachers From the Bronx, I know this is not about the student's test grades it is clear that you are hiding behind that so that you can continue your tirade against Principal Santana. Why don't you tell the world why you’re really angry with Principal Santana. Do you think you might be angry, because while you worked under him you were put back to work in a classroom after years of riding the coat tail of a really incompetent principal. V.B. you had your five minutes of fame go back to your miniscule life.

Anonymous said...

Queens teacher you are 100% right V.B aka The Teacher from The Bronx has the right to his own opinion, but any person can see that his concerns are not the students test scores but his own anger toward this principal. I have read your interest and see that you like V.B. are very angry with the DOE, why don't you instead of venting on here go out there and make a change. If you need assistance in learning effective ways to effect change, contact Principal Santana he has a gift on making effective changes in children and the community.

Margie said...

Vinny enough is enough, it is time to let go and move on with your life, whatever that looks like.

Margie said...

Vinny enough is enough, it is time to let go and move on with your life, whatever that looks like.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys! I finally get to talk to you all since you're not on facebook. Let's get together and have a drink. Thank you teacher from the Bronx for bringing old friends together. Let's celebrate Pedro Santana the Principal, the friend and just a nice guy! See you soon!!

Tony Montoya said...

I know this man since we were about 13 years old or so. He has always been his own person and a good one at that. This man came from nothing to volunteer to Ivy Leaguer to serving his community. The vitriol you have posted here should get you your own show on Fox News. The man does have faults...we all do.. but to blast a person that has given his life to helping the underprivelaged is disgusting. How do you live with yourself?

Tony Montoya; proud to call Pedro Santana a friend.

Anonymous said...

Putting aside that this rant is clearly a cowardly way in which to communicate a personal gripe, I will focus on one statement amongst the many that exhibited poor quality of thought. You exclaim that 95% of eighth graders did not graduate which in fact is incorrect math. If 95% of students did not graduate, that will only leave 13 students to go onto high school instead of the 63%, or 158 students that did. If you are going to argue against someone to state that they are inadequate, then you should check your facts.

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

I do not exclaim that 95% of 8th graders did not graduate, the New York Times did. Please read thoroughly in the future.

Anonymous said...

If you require people to read thoroughly, I will require you to keep things in context. The actual quotation is "Mr. Santana is still around, but the school is not the same. Last year, 59 percent of its seventh graders passed the state math test — below the 81 percent who passed citywide, but enough of an improvement to help the school earn an A on its report card. Suspensions have plummeted and attendance has improved, though problems persist: Ninety-five of the school’s 253 eighth graders did not graduate this month (summer school may save many).

Obviously, even the NYT agrees that the work Santana has done has caused an evident change for the better.

One man cannot change, nor be blamed for an already failing system. Problems in education, especially graduation rates, are unfortunately a problem the entire South Bronx is facing. At least they're making the kids go to summer school instead of graduating them for the sake of good numbers.

Greasy said...

It was 95 students, not 95% of students.

Your bias got in the way of the facts and you turned into a liar. Reread the Times article...

JESSENIA said...

I was a student of santanas and all these false allegations that you have goin on are ridicolous . how old are you again ??? His sucess has bothered you that much that you have to make a blog degradin him . He was an excellent teacher an principal and an even more amazing person . Jealousy is a horrible diease so you should cure yourself quick theres nothin you can do but blame yourself at your failure . MR.SANTANA KEEP UP THE AMAZIN WORK :)

Anonymous said...

Well, to start I was a student at PS279 back in 92,93,94, and 95. The principal then was Luisa Fuentes and I dont think she was the greatest. There was an incident when the alarms went on and I was blamed and brought to her office where she humiliated me. As she told me, she never wanted to see me in her office again. But to her surprise I was there one more time. This time with a trophy, for winning a contest. Ha!! How about that?? Anyways this is not about her, but since she was mentioned, I just wanted to talk about my experience. Pedro Santana was my teacher for about two years and I can say he was the best. I remember everyone, every single student respected him and favorited him because he was not only a good teacher but a kind hearted person too. He was serious when teaching but if he would see a student falling behind, he would approach them and gave them the best advice. It is very sad that this person posted such an abhorrent article just to discretid Mr. Santana. To my humble opinion, jealosy is playing its role.

KAROLYN said...

As the comment from the post dated 1/27/11, I too was privy to the attention of both Luisa Fuentes and Pedro Santana; as a principal and teacher, respectively. Seems that the person that wrote this article is just going by much hearsay, if this person indeed know who and what Luisa Fuentes is, she was not the correct person to have a manage the school. A loving mother yes, dedicated yes, a good leader no. The woman was in for herself and only herself, and never gave two dimes over the needs of her students and teachers. Many times she even ignored those who shined, continuously put them down, and never provided encouragement. As a star student that I was and a young teenager, all that one is looking for is acceptance, encouragement, and guidance. This I all received from Pedro Santana and a small group of teachers. With their support and encouragement I excelled in my studies, gained a full scholarship to both H.S. and college, and am the successful career woman I am today.

As for the hateful comments about him being married, this author clearly does NOT know him. In return, seems to have written an article full of hate for someone they barely know. Pedro Santana has been married since before he joined PS/MS 279 and has a lovely family, which he lovingly speaks of; and for those lucky enough, have also met.

Jasleen said...

Hold on I understand how you may feel about him, but he is far from a rat. I was a student of his for 8 years and let me tell you that when he became the principal in 279 the school became much more better. The children payed more attention in call as well as in the lunch room. that count down thing worked good with us. Not only was he a principal but he was a grate mentor for some of the kids who didn't have a father in their lives. I even looked to him as family, I can say that i truly loved this man if it wasn't for him I would not have passed jr high and made it high school. Every time i think back to Jr. high I think of him he was the best and no one who does not know him shouldn't say anything. You say you knew him cause you worked for him maybe you just wanted to be in his place don't put someone down just cause you don't like the person.

Kimberly Cruz said...

I worked with both Santana and the blogger from 1994-2000. This article is true, and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. He is the epitome of wasted tax dollars and a glaring example of problems in the Dept of Ed. He was no good as a teacher and did not have a connection with the students or staff. So his cronies put him in charge of others! Trust me, he's not who you'd want your kids with.

Kimberly Cruz said...

Babs, Santana is as slimy as they come.

Anonymous said...

R.i.p to ms fuentes as well..

Anonymous said...

V.B is not the author is this blogger and I think Margie owes an apology to him. I think she should apologize on the South Bronx News......

Anonymous said...

I worked with both Luisa and Pedro at 279. I watched Pedro kissed Luisa's ass and backstab anyone who tried to tried tell Luisa to beware of him. He was a fake and phony back then. He still is.... he is like the John Gotti of Education...Telfon Educator....nothing ever sticks but he sticks. What he did to Luisa was underhanded and disgusting. The pack that worked with him are just the same. Most have got the knife in the back from Pedro as well.... if they haven't yet they will. He is a user and a loser.

Anonymous said...

Hello:
I would really like to speak to anyone who wants to know the nascence of the NY Times article; how it came to be, etc. In return I would really like to do a follow up article with the blogger, in particular, and maybe one or more of the respondents. Since this blog entry has shelf life (2010-13) it may also have a wider appeal.
What would be the best way to contact each other? email?