Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Plight of Ted Smith

I know Ted. I appeared on his radio show back in March of 2009. He is a good person, a warm hearted person. He does not deserved what has happened to him. He blew the whistle and got screwed. What is sad is where is the UFT in all this, where is the outrage? The following is from Ted Smith's own words which appeared in Gotham Schools tonight. THIS IS WHY TEACHERS NEED TENURE AND LIFO!!!

Ted Smith Teacher

I am making a complaint to various government agencies and asking for an investigation based on evidence that the Department of Education (DOE) of New York City, the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI),  Arbitrator Bonnie Weinstock (Weinstock) and my former attorney David Kearney (Kearney) committed  conspiracy, corruption, fraud and “fraud on the court”, in particular the Appellate Division, the First Department of New York and other Courts.  They violated the color of law statute, falsified government agency reports, lied under oath and severely violated the Constitution. The schemes involved are truly frightening.  The U.S. and the New York State governments, and the New York State Commissioner of Education, must conduct an investigation, since the rights of everyone are involved. This scheme and corruption cannot be ignored.  This letter covers a small part of what has occurred. There is documentation for every statement of fact referred to in this letter. (E-mails, letters, tapes and transcripts are available in the public records, some of which I am enclosing).

Briefly, I am a former tenured teacher employed by the DOE from 1995 through 2010.  Until 2005, I had only the highest annual evaluation ratings in every category. For 15 years I also worked with the United Nations After-School program, until the program was discontinued in 2010.  I have earned a Supervisory License and had planned to become a principal.

This entire situation began in 2004 when I accepted a position of teaching physical education at the New York City Museum School (Museum School) since I was told that an assistant principal position would be opening up. The principal,  Lindley Uehling, (Uehling) misrepresented the program to me. I was a full-time teacher, but I was hired for what amounted to a part-time program. Instead of making the program full time, the school had fewer than needed number of classes, cramming over 60 students into many of the classes, without proper advance notice to me or to the Chancellor of Education.  When I complained to the DOE, Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the school had illegally and dangerously put too many students into it classes, without assistants much of the time, I was charged with incompetence and insubordination.  The principal testified under oath that it was part of my job to supervise about 100 children without an assistant. I was given a first unsatisfactory rating in 2005, and the DOE further violated the New York State Education Law, 3020-a, by denying me peer intervention and sending me in September, 2005, to the notorious Teacher’s Reassignment Center, also known as “the Rubber Room.” 

While in the “Rubber Room”, separated from the Museum School since September, 2005, and waiting to have a hearing regarding the charges against me for the 2004-2005 school year, a new principal, Darlene Miller (Miller) was assigned to the School. I have never met her, yet in January of 2008, when I had not been at the Museum School since the 2004-05 school year, additional charges were submitted by the DOE on January 9, 2008, regarding Arbitrator Tillem.  Darlene Miller signed a Principal’s Determination of Probable Cause, stating to me and the New York State Education Department, “In view of your unprofessional conduct as a teacher at the New York City Museum School, during the 2006-2007 school year, the following charges are being preferred…”. She was accusing me of threatening the Arbitrator.  In 2006-2007, I was in the “Rubber Room”, and thus not under Miller’s supervision. And then again in May, of 2009, in violation of the Education law, again signed a probable cause regarding absences. This same principal, who has never known me was arrested in December, 2011, after hitting a police car and as stated in the NY Post.”…smelled of alcohol and had impaired speech and coordination, according to the officer’s deposition”, and refused a breathalyzer.  Education officials were quick to point out that  Miller did not follow protocol in reporting her arrest.

I had spent two and a half years of unlawful confinement in the Rubber Room, where rules did not permit any meaningful work to be done, before hearings finally got started in January, 2007.  The Arbitrator was Jack Tillem (Tillem), and my attorney was David Kearney (Kearney) an associate with the law offices of Neal Brickman.  Representing the DOE was Susan Jalowski (Jalowski).

After the DOE completed its case, Arbitrator Tillem  determined that I should take a 3 to 6 month suspension. This was before any of my witnesses were heard.  I rejected Mr. Tillems offer of a suspension, since certainly he knew from the evidence and facts in the record that I was in an illegal program, that I did not have assistants most of the time to work with me in classes that had over 60 students, and that the testimony and facts clearly showed  that even the school’s administration had concerns regarding the safety of putting so many children in a class.  I wanted to be heard on these issues.

In October ,2005, I had engaged the law firm of Neal Brickman, to file a Federal lawsuit against the DOE.  My agreement with the law firm precluded billing for services for the 3020-a proceedings. The Federal lawsuit that the firm was handling was on a contingency basis, and Kearney appeared at the 3020-a hearings beginning in January, 2007.  Starting on or about April 27, 2007, Mr. Kearney began to threaten me that he would not attend the final hearing in May 10, 2007, unless I signed a document stating that I would pay at a future time for the 3020-a hearings, contrary to the agreement with the Brickman law firm. (Enclosed are Kearney’s taped threats). As can be seen, on May 3, 2007, Kearney said, “You need to sign the consent form or we don’t show up on the 10th.  I don’t know much clearer I can be.”  There is no indication of his storytelling in his telephone taped messages of any threats – in fact, even after telling Tillem on May 8, 2007, that I threatened him, he continues to pressure me into signing a consent form.

In response to this harassment, and because I feared that I would not have proper representation for the final hearing which was scheduled for May 10, 2007, I sent a letter to Arbitrator Tillem on May 3, 2007.

On May 8, 2007, Kearney notified me that Tillem was going to recuse himself because of my letter of May 3, 2007. However Kearney was still harassing me and threatening not to appear at the final hearing.

Unknown to me on May 8, 2008, Kearney was conspiring with Arbitrator Tillem and the DOE attorney, Jalowski, to make false claims which Kearney said were made in a private phone conversation with him, that I had threatened to kill Tillem and him. The evidence and facts show that Tillem,  Jalowski and Kearny made an “agreement” on May 9, 2007 that  Tillem would recuse himself based on my May 3, 2007 letter. Kearney testified under oath at the SCI, in June, 2007.  He asked the Arbitrator Tillem, not to mention the threats he had reported.  He stated, “The last thing that I want is for there to be a record of my disclosure, which could be used for any number of purposes.”  As stated and in the record, Tillem and Jalowski agreed to this scheme, the “agreement”.  This conspiracy is clearly shown in the transcript of May 10, 2007, in a conference call in which I participated. The other participants were Kearney, Tillem, Jalowski and Theresa Europe, Deputy Counsel to the Chancellor. The collusion is also shown in various e-mails among the parties, including e-mails from me in which I pleaded to have my side of the story heard and was ignored.  The conference call on May 10, 2007 is documented to have lasted for 57 minutes. The transcript copy shows only about five minutes of testimony. The reason is that most of the time Europe, Jalowski, Kearney and Tillem were in private discussions, excluding me.  Kearney requested that he go off the record to speak with Europe.  Europe agreed, and Tillem said, “Well, in all fairness to the process, I---I’m inclined to agree with Ms. Europe…”.  Fairness to the process??

I am also enclosing my letter to Richard Condon, the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) for the New York City School District, of May 22, 2007, which includes parts of the conversation that I recorded but did not end up in the official transcript. This behavior of Arbitrator Tillem, the DOE and Kearney to condemn me without hearing one word from me regarding Kearney’s false story of threats, along with the dishonest behavior of the DOE’S lawyers is unethical, and it gets much worse as I will explain.  The transcript of May 10, 2007 is clear.  Arbitrator Tillem, acting in the capacity of a judge, recused himself and changed his reason for recusing himself as directed by Kearney.  Suddenly, during the conference call, I was accused of being a threat and a danger, and before I could say anything to rebut those false charges, everybody immediately hung up. 

On May 10, 2007, following the above conference call, I e-mailed Europe, as did my mother, Lillian Smith demanding a meeting with an investigator.  Europe forwarded the e-mails to Regina Loughran, an attorney for the SCI.  There was no response to meet with an investigator, not even after I and Lillian Smith complained to the District Attorney’s office, and that office referred the complaints to the SCI. In fact, a case number was opened by the SCI.  As explained below, the DOE and SCI, secreted these documents for two years, at which time I was kept in the “Rubber Room”. It is important to know that the SCI refused to interview Lillian Smith.

Meanwhile, on May 11, 2007, one day after the conference call, at Europe’s direction, Jalowski on behalf of the Office of Legal Services at the DOE, requested that paperwork be submitted that I have a psychiatric evaluation under Section 2568 of the New York State Education law.  Michael  LaForgia, a Local Superintendent, sent me a letter in which he stated that I made verbal threats to my attorney about the arbitrator and further stated that I can be a threat to others.

On May 16, 2007, I was directed to attend a medical examination by the Medical Department of the DOE. The exam was ordered for June 11, 2007.  On June 12, 2007, I received two letters dated June 11, 2007 from the State Education Department, dated June 11, 2007. One stated that Howard Edelman (Edelman), an Arbitrator, had agreed to serve as the Hearing Officer and that the Hearing Officer had scheduled a hearing date for June 15, 2007. I was also advised that the hearing would proceed whether or not I was in attendance.  I immediately called the State Education Department and explained that I had received no advance warning of a hearing scheduled to be held in only three days.  I was advised to call the Office of Legal Services at the DOE. In response to my inquiry, on June 12, 2007, I received an e-mail from Europe, in which she stated that Jalowski was still the attorney assigned and that the hearing was a continuation of the matter formally assigned to Arbitrator Tillem.  On June 13, 2007, I informed Jalowski in an e-mail that I knew nothing regarding the hearing scheduled for June 15, 2007 and requested that she please inform Arbitrator Edelman to which she responded.

Before there was any decision regarding my Section 2568 medical evaluation on June 11, 2007, I was notified nevertheless, that arrangements had been made for me to meet with the new arbitrator. Edelman.  The hearing was held at the Office of Legal Services, at the DOE, with Edelman, Jalowski and me on June 15, 2007. Edelman stated in part that he would write to the prior arbitrator, Tillem, to get all of the prior transcripts.

As this conspiracy and fraud unfolded, it became clear that after the Office of Legal Services of the DOE, made accusations on May 11, 2007 that I was a threat to the Arbitrator and to others, directing me to attend a medical evaluation on June 11, 2007, as stated above, and without any decision regarding my Section 2568 examination, on that very same day, June 11th, I was notified nevertheless that arrangements were made for me to meet with the new arbitrator, Edelman. on June 15, 2007.  

On July 12, 2007, I received a fax from the medical office of the DOE that on July 11th, 2007, it was found there were “no objective findings to preclude return to work”.  The DOE knew all along that I was not a threat and a danger, and that Kearney’s story was false, but that did not stop an ongoing conspiracy  between the SCI , the DOE and several arbitrators.

There were continued hearings with Arbitrator Edelman following June 15th, 2007.  On August 10,  2007, at a conference call hearing I attended with Edelman, Jalowski, William Gerard (Gerard), my new attorney at which time, Gerard , wanted to the discuss what had occurred at the May 102007 hearing with Tillem.  Jalowski objected to any discussion regarding Tillem’s recusal and stated, “I – I think that in the interest of justice, that it was not necessary for him [Edelman] to know the – reason for the recusal” (interest of justice????) and then … "that he does not have the record for that”.  Edelman repeatedly stated, “I don’t need it, I really don’t want to hear it”. Clearly, death threats were never an issue to the DOE, and yet the DOE falsely charged me with making death threats, that I was a threat and a danger, got the SCI and the Arbitrators to back up their false statements, knowing that Jalowski stated they secreted from Edelman the facts of what occurred at the May 10, 2007 hearing –  it is important to know that Weinstock, the Hearing Officer for the new charges which I am enclosing, knowing of my meeting with Edelman on June 15, 2007,  prior to any determination of the examination on June 11, 2007,  totally ignored this crucial fact and the fact that I was subsequently found determined to be fit for DOE employment on July 11, 2007; nevertheless falsely concludes on June 4, 2010, that I suffer from a rage, and am not fit for DOE employment, a total contradiction of Section 2568 of the New York State Education Law, which determined that there was no reason to preclude my return to work. This continued disregard of the law and the facts, cannot be overlooked. If Weinstock’s statements and determinations were true, then it would appear that the DOE expected me to kill Edelman, who was unaware of the fact that I was accused of threatening to kill Tillem and Kearney.  Again, this corruption and fraud by the DOE, SCI and Weinstock must not be sanctioned by any government agency.

Also, DOE attorney, Victor Muellen (Muellen) in cross examination on June 10, 2009, (after waiting two years to be heard on these false charges as the facts show), confirmed the fact, “And it wasn’t until July 11th that the medical review concluded with no objective findings to preclude return to work; Correct.” Additionally, there are the documents from the medical department, the SCI report stating , “Smith was examined as directed by the DOE, and was determined to be fit for DOE employment”, the e-mails of Europe and Jalowski, my own testimony, and yet this was entirely ignored by Weinstock, and she continued her misconduct and fraud.

I complained to the SCI in a letter dated May 22, 2007, which is enclosed.  On July 2, 2007, Michael Humphreys, (Humphreys) an SCI Investigator, confirmed our meeting to be held on July 10, 2007 (which was cancelled to July 16, 2007). I brought various information as requested, and my attorney submitted the affirmation that Kearney submitted to the Federal Court on May 25 ,2007, 16 days after his story to the DOE, accusing me of threatening him and arbitrator Tillem.  My attorney  gave this document to the SCI, since Kearney lied under oath and we wanted to discuss his false statements. They quickly looked it over, but never asked me one question, in fact, in the taped interview, which lasted for one hour and forty-eight minutes and produced 115 pages of testimony, not one question was asked of me regarding any death threats to Tillem or Kearney, as stated in Kearneys affirmation, and it wasn’t until about two years later when the DOE turned over discovery to be used in the hearing in May, 2009, on the charges that I threatened the arbitrator, that I learned that the DOE and SCI were surreptitiously in contact, and were aware of my communications with Europe, starting on May 10, 2007,  pleading to meet with an investigator, not to deprive me of my rights and also ignored the fact that Lillian Smith wrote to Europe, also asking to be heard.  Europe sent these emails , which I am enclosing to Regina Loughran, the attorney for the SCI.  No one responded, again not one question was asked of me on July 16, 2007, and yet the SCI falsified their report of October 9, 2007, by stating that my denials were not credible, among other serious misrepresentations, stating that I first met with Edelman in September of 2007, when they knew that it was June 15, 2007, at the instructions of Europe. I am also enclosing  internal memos of the SCI dated May 2007, written by Michael Humphreys (Humphreys) an SCI Investigator, in which he speaks about an e-mail he received from the Office of Legal Services, and the clear knowledge that the SCI knew I wanted to meet with an investigator.  This before my interview on July 16,  2007.  How can this be? This conspiracy between the DOE and SCI is too outrageous and I say again must be investigated. Arbitrator Weinstock received all of these internal memos from the SCI, during the hearing in May and June of 2009 and totally ignored every one.  The interview on July 16, 2007, was conducted by Gerald Conroy, Deputy Commissioner and Humphreyes. How can a government agency have absolutely no respect or regard for the law??

To further cause me severe grief and humiliation , the SCI submitted a falsified report to the press on October 9, 2007 and the District Attorney, to which Europe testified under oath in May, 2009 that she approved, when she knew that I was never asked a question regarding the report until after it was published, and directed me to meet with Arbitrator Edelman on June 15, 2007, prior to a determination by the Medical Department of the DOE, in compliance with Section 2568 of the New York State Education Law, that on July 11, 2007, that there was no reason to preclude me from returning to work.  I received a letter from Francesca Pena, a DOE Superintendent, after the publication to the  press stating that she wanted to meet with me regarding a complaint by the SCI, but would not say what the report was about. We arranged to meet on November 3, 2007.  The report was the October 9th letter that was sent to the press and Chancellor Joel Klein.

In, October, 2007, Richard Condon (Condon), the Special Commissioner of Investigation, after sending a press release on October 9, 2007, which was falsified and explained in this letter, then gave an interview to the publication, The Chief, that I threatened the life of Arbitrator Tillem.  This false statement, which again was part of a falsified report and falsified investigation, by the Special Commissioner is an assault on our democracy and me. 

In addition, unknown to me or my attorney, I was the target of an investigation on July 16, 2007, when I was interviewed by the SCI.  Two months prior to my interview, Europe, Jalowski, Tillem and Kearney were interviewed under oath as a part of an investigation against me.  This was more than unethical behavior by the SCI.  As indicated, based on my complaint of May 22, 2007, and Humphrey’s call on July 2, 2007, my interview was going to be based on my complaint.  There is not one word in the taped interview of July 16, 2007, that I was the target of an investigation which e-mails state were started in May, 2007.  Europe, Jalowski, Tillem and Kearney were interviewed under oath in May and June of 2007.

The 3020-a hearing with Edelman who took the place of Tillem regarding the Museum School charges continued on June 15, 2007. Arbitrator Edelman found me guilty of charges relating to the Museum School on December 4, 2007.  My attorney, William Gerard  filed an article 75.  Judge Alice Schlesinger, a New York State Supreme Court judge found in my favor, that I should have a new hearing. The DOE appealed and in keeping with their unethical and dishonest behavior, misrepresented to the Appellate Division, First Department, false statements which will be discussed below.  Judge Schlesinger stated in part, “These are very unusual and disturbing circumstances, circumstances that did not become public and relevant until petitioner and his former lawyer, David Kearney became involved in a nasty fee dispute”.

The appeal was overturned by the Appellate Division.  I was suspended for one year on December 4, 2007.  In January, 2008, I was charged with new charges regarding Arbitrator Tillem and the alleged death threats, and after the completion of my suspension as ordered by Edelman, I returned to the “Rubber Room” in January, 2008, and did not have a hearing of these charges until May, 2009 and further, no decision until June, 2010.

Kearney, my accuser, was not available to testify and to be cross examined. As the record shows, Kearney had left the country and did not respond to e-mails sent to him by the DOE.  The record shows that Muellen, a DOE attorney stated that Kearney did not respond to the DOE and how very difficult it was to try to find him. Nevertheless, since the 3020-a does not follow the strict rules of evidence, Weinstock determined Kearney’s affirmation to the Federal judge was reliable and would be accepted as hearsay evidence. This when she knew, that his affirmation to the Federal judge was perjurious, based on the evidence and facts in the record and the fact that he was unreliable as told by Muellen. Weinstock, the DOE and SCI knew that Kearney gave different dates as to when these alleged death threats occurred  to the Federal Judge with other untruths. In fact, following his affirmation on May 25, 2007, he sent a letter to the Federal judge, and gave yet another date of when he said the threats were made, during a private conversation regarding the production of medical records for a hearing, and yet another date to Arbitrator Tillem.  All in the record,  Weinstock states in her decision that she didn’t care if the date of the threat was early March, 2007, late March or April, 2007. The record shows there was no hearing on March 23, 2007 as Kearney claimed in his affirmation on May 25, 2007, and  the date of the threat was not important to Weinstock.  Neither Weinstock, the DOE or the SCI could justify the charge that I threatened Tillem on April 12, 2007 or at anytime. As the record shows, there were hearings with Tillem in 2007, on January 3, 11, February 8, 15, 22, 28, March 1, 8, 20, April 18, 23, and May 10th. Except for May 10th, 2007 which was a telephone conference hearing, all hearings were held at the Office of Legal Services, at the DOE. The fact that the final hearing, May 10, 2007, was held by phone, was based on the fact that Kearney told Tillem on May 8, 2007, that I had threatened to kill both him and the Arbitrator for threats Kearney told Tillem about on May 8, 2007, in which he said were made on April 12, 2007, while telling a Federal Judge on May 25, 2007, and again in a letter that it was March, months earlier. This did not matter to Weinstock, even though the facts and evidence could not have been more clear. Weinstock stated, “The Arbitrator finds the timing of the threat much less problematic. The important factor is that the Respondent was due to see Arbitrator Tillem again [May 10, 2007] in the confines of a small hearing room at the offices of the Department of Education”.  The same “small hearing room”, the same place, the Department of Education that Weinstock knew I had met with Arbitrator Tillem, on April 18, 2007 and April 23, 2007 with Kearney and Jalowski present and on June 15, 2007 with Arbitator Edelman, at the direction of the New York State Education Department, Europe, Jalowski and Edelman, in the same “small hearing room” at the Department of Education. “The important factor….???”  The important factor is the fact of the fraud and conspiracy committed by Weinstock, the DOE and the SCI.

Additionally, the SCI report does not specify the date of the alleged  threats, and Humphreys testified that it was not his focus to determine when the threats were made.

Weinstock, not having any regard for the truth or the law, consolidated additional charges in May, 2009, even though Chapter II of the Commissioner’s Regulations, subpart 82-1.10 (c) only empowers the hearing officer to consolidate no later than five days before the pre-hearing conference.  Here, the pre-hearing conference occurred in September, 2008, eight months before the consolidation, over the objections of my attorney.

Weinstock not only ignores the evidence and facts, but changes it. Kearney’s taped telephone messages and emails are clear, that he will not attend the final hearing unless I sign a consent form but Weinstock said the he was prepared to attend the final hearing when she knew there was no final hearing since Tillem was recusing himself. She asked that the tape of my transcript of my interview of July 16, 2007 by the SCI be transcribed.  As stated earlier there were 115 pages of that interview, in which the DOE based their charges that I threatened Arbitrator Tillem.   Weinstock knew that the SCI report concluded that my denials that I threatened Tillem were not credible, when she knew the SCI never asked one question about the alleged threats. She totally ignored this fact and evidence.  What could be more corrupt?

Humphreys, testifying for the SCI, while testifying that I was not credible, could not identify a single instance in my SCI interview where my sworn testimony was inconsistent, or conflicted with the testimony of Tillem, Jalowski, or Europe.
I am enclosing the charges I was served in January of 2008.  Although there is a lot more to tell, I will make reference to several of the charges. The DOE acknowledged in Specification 2, that I mailed a letter to the office address of Jack Tillem, not his home.  Regarding the letter to Jack Tillem, Tillem testified that I never threatened him, the letter was preposterous, it did not frighten him, and it wasn’t until May 8, 2007 that he had concerns, when Kearney told him that I made a threat. Specification five was removed, since there was no evidence by the SCI that I made false statements on July 16, 2007. Further, there were never any criminal charges against me by any government agency, as falsely stated by the DOE and based on the falsified report of the SCI.

Weinstock further committed a “fraud on the court”.  The DOE falsely stated to the Appellate Division, the First Department, that I had threatened the arbitrator, when in fact no such findings had been made or substantiated by the Tribunal. This unsubstantiated finding was later referred too in the decision of Weinstock, thereby perpetrating this untruth to further tribunals.

In causing unsubstantiated allegations to be submitted to the Court and others, the DOE and Weinstock committed ”fraud on the court”. Weinstock eventually found me “Guilty” of these charges on June 4, 2010 and terminated me.  This has caused me to file appeals, based on the conspiracy and fraud by the DOE, SCI and Weinstock.

This scheme, this hoax, this conspiracy and fraud has caused me to suffer more than I can explain.  This assault hurts all of us and I am depending on the various government agencies to see that there is justice.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gideon Stein Looks Down His Nose From His Balcony

On March 12, I wrote about one of Eva Moskowitz's official henchman Gideon Stein. But calling Gideon Eva's henchman is not enough. I think, at least my opinion is Gideon is Eva's Little mouthpiece.

Now to remind you who Gideon is, he is a very rich white man whose mission in life is to correct the behavior, culture, and education of little black boys and girls of color. The way I see it is that Gideon feels that only through the paternalistic good will that only he believes he has, that all the little boys and girls of color will learn what it means to pull up dem boot straps, comb dey hair, pull up dos pants and be able to enter through the front door and be one of Gideon's house...., well figure out the rest. Let's just say the Big House is awaiting them, through the side entrance.

Gideon as previously mentioned is a board member, along with other rich white people of Success Academy Charter Networks. Gideon was on my pal TFT's Internet radio show last week. Gideon believes that systems are failing the students, the admins, the federal government, AND teachers who don't know how to fix a broken and failed system. But, of course it's not the kids. Who ever said it was the kids? Oh yes, only Gideon says not to blame the kids. But why then when the kids enter one of Eva's reeducation camps, er, I meant schools, are the kids marched and indoctrinated lock step into a well behaved drones?

Why? Simple. Who at one of Eva's death camps would want to deal with a student that has a mind of their own? A student who will question things when older, a students who will see through the BS and doubt what Sith Lord Eva wants? Of course, wringing his hands over all of this we will find Gideon lock step into Eva's way of thinking.

Now, I, and every teacher I know, want our students to behave properly, to have good character and comportment, but not at the price of removing whatever vestiges of independent thought. What Gideon and Eva want in my opinion is not only subservience now and in the future of boys and girls of color but worse, to create worker bees in the future, in which some will prosper by design, but most will be at the beck and call and service of their rich white benefactors. It's bait and switch.

Heck, but why not? Let's pay lip service to how much we care about those kids, but in the end, we will shaft them, their culture, and their future.

Later on Gideon dares to tell TFT that, "a lot of people tend to blame poverty." But in reinventing the wheel, Gideon proclaims that "all kids can learn." No duh Sherlock, how did Gideon figure that one out? Of course all kids can learn, but can all kids excel. NO! It is mathematically impossible. But, Gideon quickly backtracks and says, "virtually all kids can learn?" Gee, that is not what he told me.

But isn't it funny how Gideon, a person not only born with a golden spoon in his mouth but a golden spike up his ass has no clue as to poverty. Gideon at one time did share with me that he has walked the streets of the South Bronx alone and had no problem. But when asked to share some landmarks he saw in the South Bronx he had no clue.

But curiously, if Gideon had walked the streets of the South Bronx what did he do when he saw more than one person of color congregating on the corner wearing colors and flashing signs? Gideon signaled for the town car that was slowly pacing him from behind to catch up and he jumped in.

Just remember this, the name Gideon was a judge for the Hebrews. That is what Gideon does. He judges. He decides who is right and who is wrong. Everyone else is wrong, especially those of color, and everyone else is right in the method that Gideon deems to fix what his perception of what is wrong, that is if you agree with his method.

But there is more to this name, more that is so much appropriate. Gideon means "feller of trees," and destroyer. That is what Gideon is. To fell the neighborhoods and the educational system that has bound cultures, generations, communities, families all together and having a true common core, togetherness, a sense of family. This he wishes to destroy in my opinion.

Why? In my opinion it is simple. Gideon is at heart a real estate developer. Schools are taking up valuable real estate space that he doesn't own or has developed. Communities in the South Bronx are ripe to be gentrified, yet again resulting in a diaspora of the people of color. Let's turn all of NYC into a playground for those white rich people, a playground that will resemble the abomination that is now the Meatpacking District.

More on Gideon later on this week. There is such so much to be written about this guy there it just can't be gotten to tonight. The crack team will surely turn up much more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whitney Tilson Turns Trayvon Martin Tragedy About Himself

What happened to Trayvon Martin is nothing less than a tragedy. As a parent, I can't imagine what Trayvon's parents are going through and I hope I never will. As a person who is white I can't, nor will I ever, imagine what it must be to be an African-American male in this country, or just any African-American and have to deal with idiots like George Zimmerman. 

But that is all I will say and can say, other than that my thoughts are of Trayvon Martin and what his family are going through. I don't have this burning need to make this all about me, all about what I am and what I do. However, there is one whitey in America that feels that he must make this about himself.

That person is Whitney Tilson, the Great White Hope for the boys and girls of color. Whitney, of course had to make this tragedy about himself and KIPP. Unfortunately, Whitney is no longer updating his blog (I wonder why?) and I only have the screen shot from his email, but here it is (click to enlarge).

Whitney blabbered, 'Another story from the annals of “this sh*t doesn’t happen to white people in this country.” Yes, Whitney, we know. This does not happen to white people in this country. But, discrimination does happen to certain subsets of the white community. Jews, in particular come to mind. Irish, Italians, Catholics, etc... so please, don't act as if you are the Great White Hope and Deity.

But Whitney, where is your outrage at the children killed, rather shot down, in front of their school in Toulouse, France? Does this not bother you? Where is your outrage? In fact, I have never once read in any of your emails your outrage about any Jew being killed. Oh yeah, I know, Whitney is married to a Jew (another reason to renounce my Judaism), but if one were to recall their history, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner and a racist but he found nothing wrong with Sally Hemings. Perhaps, if these students attended a KIPP school they never would have been shot down?

But Whitney, I can just imagine your feigning your white caretaker outrage at what transpired in Florida. Oh, I am not saying you are not pissed about this, that you didn't care. No, that would make you inhuman. What I am saying is that you have this need to have everything turned back to you, to show that ONLY WHITNEY knows and wants what is best for boys and girls of color. 

But of course in this tragedy Whitney must throw in a shout out for KIPP. Whitney moans, "it could have been a KIPP student." Yes, it could have been a KIPP student. So Whitney is only sad in cases such as Trayvon's if the student was from KIPP? So apparently Whitney only cares about KIPP students. Furthermore, his reaction is that it ONLY could have been student from KIPP. Not just a student, not a brother, or a son, or a friend, or grandson, or a nephew. But he only seems to bemoan those students that attend KIPP. So pathetic Whitney.

Apparently Whitney only seems to care for those who are African-American if he can feign outrage and if these students either attend KIPP or pay homage to Whitney and all the good things Whitney thinks he does for such students. Whitney is a charlatan, a fraud, a scheister. Beware of Whitney Tilson.

The last Great White Hope appeared 30 years ago this June. Gerry Cooney had his bell rung by Larry Holmes. Cooney was shown to be a fraud. The 2012 version is showing what a fraud he is each and every day. Whitney, save your crocodile tears for the scum at the Harvard Club which acts as if you are fascinating. There is nothing different between you and a $3 bill.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Allegory Fun With The Titanic, Star Trek and Seamen

'The situation is grave, Admiral. We won't have main power for six "days". Auxiliary power has temporarily failed. Restoration may be possible, in two "days". By the book, Admiral.'- Mr Spock, communication with Admiral Kirk in "Wrath of Khan".

"Captain Spock, if you don't hear from us within one hour, your orders are to restore what power you can, take the Enterprise to the nearest star base, and alert Starfleet Command as soon as you're out of jamming range."-Admiral Kirk in response to Mr Spock

I love that above exchange. Sends chills up my spine. That cocky half-Vulcan, half-Romulan Saavik  was to stupid to get it. Never did like Saavik, especially the way she talked to Uhura while down on Regula 1. But, and I have digressed, are the above quote code or allegory or both? I believe both, but for arguments sake let's use those quotes as a starting point into today's bedtime allegory.

Imagine if you will that the Captain of the Titanic and his first officer, Lt. William McMaster Murdoch are running the Titanic together. Now Lt. Murdoch has been thrust upon Captain Smith by the cold, cruel White Star Lines. Lt Murdoch previously was a lowly seaman and never did anything to distinguish himself in that position. In fact, Lt Murdoch sucked as a seaman. But because Lt Murdoch had friends in high places, he became a first officer.

Now Captain Smith is stuck with this incompetent first officer. Capt. Smith delegates easy tasks to Lt Murdoch soon after discovering how stupid, incompetent, and nasty Lt Murdoch is. In fact, Lt Murdoch is up for a permanent position as first officer after FIVE DAYS (ALLEGORY ALERT!) as first officer, but is too much of a fucktard to get it. So Capt Smith gives the first officer meaningless jobs to do around the ship, jobs that can be outsourced to the sea otters at the Bronx Zoo and which will be able to free up money on the Titanic.

The first officer, Lt Murdoch, because of this position of "authority," never realizes that authority is to be earned and not thrust upon others because of some title. Lt Murdoch has no clue to anything pertaining to the sea. No clue to anything about how to run a ship. No clue to how to treat the seamen, and definitely no clue to how to treat the guests (ALLEGORY ALERT!). 

Every seaman on the Titanic thinks that the first officer, Lt Murdoch is a circus act. Never before in the history of the White Star line is a first officer so universally disliked by seamen. The seamen on the ship even ask Lt Murdoch while pointing from the railing to the sea below and ask what that surface is below and Lt Murdoch is just too stupid to answer correctly.

The First Officer, Lt Murdoch attempts to get others to do his job. Why? Actually two reasons. One is so that Lt Murdoch doesn't have to and can just be lazy as all heck. The other, well First Officer Lt Murdoch is afraid to be held responsible by his actions. It is better to pas the buck to someone and of they fuck up, it will not be First Officer Lt. Murdoch's fuck up.

First Officer Lt Murdoch also lies like there is no tomorrow. Murdoch likes to lie about what other seaman say to one another, this way, the seamen are always divided and point there anger towards each other rather than to where the anger must be targeted.

First Officer Lt Murdoch was on duty the night the Titanic hit the iceberg. A guest on the Titanic could have steered the ship clear of the Titanic, but thanks to First Officer Lt Murdoch's incompetency the Titanic sank. Lt Murdoch couldn't even do right by the guests as the ship was sinking. Lt Murdoch is now every known as Lt Dunsel (A STAR TREK ALLEGORY!).

Captain Smith sees the light, Captain Smith must stand up against those at the White Star line and make a stand. Now, before it is too late.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Non-Answers From Gideon Stein The Answer Man

I met someone online a week or so ago. My Jewish parents would have been proud. He is a very wealthy man that fights for the rights of little boys and girls of color. Who is this man? He is Gideon Stein, board member of Success Charter Whatevers (click to see Gideon listed under "Our Leaders") and el presidente de Future Is Now Schools. Thanks to his largesse the poverty stricken have a friend.

I met, or rather a started a tweet relationship with Gideon through mutual friend The Frustrated Teacher. Both TFT and myself have fun with Gideon as he continuously, yet thoughtfully, gets caught in both our direct and quite pointed questions put to him. But, and this happens quite a bit, when pressed, when truly made to stick up for what he claims, Gideon seems to do what King Arthur's men did in Monty Python's The Holy Grail.

Now what endears me most about Gideon is how he, from the UWS gilded ivory tower in which he lords down upon those to 125th St, has all the answers. Or does he?

This past Friday, Gideon guested on TFT's radio show. I listened with bemusement as Gideon went through the great teachers, poverty is no excuse, blah, blah, blah, and thought of something. Yes, all children can learn, but can all children excel? And this is what I asked Gideon the following day through a little differently worded.

Gideon replied;
assuming a basic level of cognitive ability, then yes, virtually all students can perform at high levels.
Now of course not only myself, but 99.99% of teachers truly want what is best for their students. All 99.99% do what they can, want to, and wish to have each of their students reach their full potential. But, can all students excel? It is just statistically impossible and a quite broad statement. But again, excel has not been defined. What is a high level? I was just as smart, if not smarter than those I graduated high school with that got the 1500 on their SAT's, went to the Ivy League schools, etc... I didn't "excel."However, I believe that what Gideon means is that all will do well on standardized tests if students are continuously taught to the test which will keep that Title I money flowing into the coffers.

Yet I continued in the garbleness. I asked Gideon;
So all pitchers can pitch like Koufax, singers can all be Pavorotti, all drummers can drum like Neil Peart?
Gideon's answer was awesome,
  you're being silly. all kids should be able to perform at high levels, go on to college or good career.
I fail to see the silliness. Using Gideon's logic, a child should be able to attain these goals. In fact all three of the above mentioned did not graduate college. But I digress.

My 10 1/2 year old son plays travel baseball. He trains year round. Should he be able to perform at high level of baseball and go on to play at the very least minor league baseball or get a scholarship to a Division 1 college? If this does not happen, do I blame the coaches and/or training he has had throughout the years, myself, he DNA?

Gideon went on to explain  that all will not get into Harvard (still missing my point) but rather will be able to get into college (just like all those remedial students thanks to Uncle Mike) and have a career. Now one must wonder does he mean career like when I was in my 20's and my short, Jewish great aunt would chide me time and time again to go to trade school so I can learn a good trade? Or does perhaps Gideon mean a career in which one's collar is blue and which his type of done everything to be rid of good blue collar jobs in this country.

I had one last question for Gideon. I was not college ready at 18 when I graduated high school. Why, I asked Gideon who seemed to have all the answers wasn't I college ready? Gideon, much to my surprise did not have the answer. He couldn't even surmise or speculate. Even Raegen Miller, a guest I had on my show with Leonie Haimson back in May at least speculated that if I had a teacher who had graduated from the top of their class I would have done better in high school.

What does college ready mean? What does it mean to excel? I was far from college ready when I graduated high school. I got an 800 on my PSAT's taken in my junior year. I know for a fact that nothing that my school would have done would have made me a better student in high school, nor prepped me to go to college.

I graduated in from high school in 1982, between that year and 1991 I played musical colleges, as well as musical majors. Once school I went to was where my girlfriend at the time went. I got serious in 1991 at the age of 27. I graduated from a run of the mill SUNY school in which I felt comfortable at. Is someone who had graduated Harvard smarter than me, or more capable? I barely cracked a book the last two years before I graduated and got nothing but A's and B+'s. Is that how one can be college ready?

Maybe it was my mother when I was 4 years old and taken to the speech therapist who told my mother that I would never be able to read at grade level. God damn, she did not like nor accept that answer. She, made me read and read and read.

This is why I am what I am with this blog and my many opinions. I identify with our students that we all see everyday. The students who each and every day in school is a struggle. I see how the system is day in and day out screwing them royally. Guess what? I don't think, I KNOW what needs to be done to help these kids. I KNOW what they don't want. I have lived it all to well.

I know what it was like to know the subject matter like the back of my hand but when confronted with a test froze, became terrified, acted out, projected, etc... We, not we but rather THEY, the deformers, those that live above it and have not experienced education are the ones that are hurting these children each and every day that they are allowed to bogart there way, their thoughts, their so called "birthrights" into our students.

They must and need to be stopped before any further damage is done.

Gideon, please tell me, why wasn't I ready for college?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Peggy Robertson On Next Mind of a Bronx Teacher Internet Radio Show

On Tuesday night, March 6 at 9 PM EST we welcome one of the leaders of the Standardized Test Opt Out Movement,  Peggy Robertson.

Peggy is spearheading a nationwide movement for parents to choose for their children to opt out of bogus standardized tests.
You can find out more at and on Facebook; Peggy also blogs at

Peggy is also spearheading the Occupy the DOE in Washington DC from March 30-April 2.

The call in # for the show is (213) 943-3735

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shit About Former AP Corey Prober At PS 154 Bronx

Sit back, relax, and grab a cold one. I wish to share with all tonight a little story about why tenure is important and why losing our right to grieve letters in our file was so harmful.

Back in September of 2007 we had a new assistant principal at my school, PS 154. His name, Corey Prober. He was one of 4 assistant principals that the then principal at the time had hired, this in a school of 500 students. But I digress.

Back in 2007, it was Corey's 5th year in education. His first year from what I had heard was quite a disaster. He needed a veteran teacher in his class almost every day to help him with management. His 2nd year was better, but it was a CTT class and the burden was not completely on him. In his 3rd year as a teacher somehow was able to squirm into a reading recovery position or something like that, and in his 4th year, well check this out. His 4th year, he was doing his administrative internship. Yep. You read that right.

Seems Corey had from the get go decided that he was on the path to the glory of being an administrator. I guess that is how would think having left the world of advertising. But anyway, his 5th year in eduction and at the school he became an assistant principal.

But all I wish to share is my brush with Corey's swelled head and his trip to power. The other stuff, how he pissed off every teacher in the school, his incompetence, will be left to the historians to decide.

On August 31, 2007, (remember those two days before Labor Day?) in a conversation I was having in the teachers lounge with a colleague I was sharing my two cents about the expectation of our then principal to take work home with us. In my conversation with said colleague I said, "I ain't doing any shit at home." Unfortunately, Corey was in ear shot of me and heard it.

I paid no mind for Corey had told me the previous spring that he would be his own man, that he would not be influenced by our then bi-polar principal. That, and the fact that I considered him a friend made me think that no biggie.

About 3 months later, just before the 90 days to put something in writing ran out, Corey called me to his office with my chapter chair to face charges of unprofessional conduct. What could it be I wondered. Why I was there for dropping the word shit in a sentence.

Of course as a tenured teacher I refused to give a statement. In fact, Corey was quite upset that I refused to give a statement. But too bad.

Several days later I got a letter in my file. In it I was told that I was unprofessional for using such a word as shit and that if it happened again I could receive an unsatisfactory.

Now never mind that there was not one single kid in the entire building that day, or would be for another 6 days or so. Never mind that it was overheard in a private conversation I was having with a colleague. Never mind that if it offended Corey Prober so much all he had to do was just pull me aside and ask that I be careful. Nooooooooo!!!

Corey Prober knew that he got his position through not being qualified but by puckering up and suctioning his lips to the anus of the then principal. That at no time did Corey, and he knew it as well, have the skills or the temperament to me an AP. As everyone knew in PS 154, as well as he did. at the time Corey Prober was a fraud.

So what became of Corey Prober? After that school year his position was excessed and instead of going back to his Common Branch license and teaching with everyone he turned against him at 154, he slithered off to the Island Academy on Rikers Island where rumor has it he was traded around daily for a pack of Newports.

I have heard, but can't confirm, that Island Academy has closed. I do not know where Corey Prober is. But if you work for this putz, be wary, very wary.

Corey Prober is a prime example in my opinion of why education in NYC is at an all time low.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who I Am and What's On My Mind

I originally wrote this for the Huffington Post on February 5. I have slightly rewritten it. 

This is a big step for me. My name is Peter Zucker. I am a teacher at PS 154 in District 7 in The Bronx. For too long, I have lived in the world of anonymity, or better yet, using a pseudonym. I feel that doing this only has led me and my views to have less credibility and has affected my writing and opinions.

Not that I am going to change who I am, and not that I will tell it like it is, but rather, or perhaps, tone it down, to be less sarcastic, less snarky.

I started this blog in August 2008 as a way to keep a journal about my day to day dealings with everything in my school, PS 154, District 7, in The Bronx. I went on TV, FOX 5 with Ti Hua Chang when our assistant principal Derrick Townsend (known in this blog as Numb Nuts) was physically abusing students, and the principal at the time, Linda-Amil Irizzary (known in this blog as John Deacon) was covering it up.  Here is a link to the video from FOX 5. I have looked much better than this. I have also lost weight since.

After several months it morphed, as well as did I, into something bigger, more astute to the world of the so called "reform movement," and the ability to read between the lines and the double speak and give my 2 cents and be who I am.

Right now we live in the most perilous period ever in our education system in this country. There is a full throng attack by powers unseen, seen, and worse, those that have the money and the power and the wherewithal to foist their will -- not the parents, or students, but their will -- on what they it is they want. Sadly, the ones being damaged are the students and the families, particularly those that live in poverty and the inner city.

I have said it before and I will say it again. One person, not me, not you, not anyone can affect change, to stop these people from destroying education. It must be a group effort, a team effort. Students, parents, teachers must all band together, must all fight the fight until we are victorious against the deformers.

It can and will happen in time. I am, just as anyone that is reading this, just a cog. I wish to be nothing more. But many cogs together, thousands upon millions, turn the wheels of what is right and what can and will be accomplished.

Thank you for your time reading the writings of me, just one person in this fight. I don't plan to stop or ever back down from what is right.