I'm not sharing it to garner sympathy or adulation but rather to cast light upon the incessant abuse of teachers not only in the schools of NYC, but across America as well.
One of the reasons I am sharing this now is that in this current fight to defend ourselves from interlopers who not only wish to take away our tenure rights, but worse, think having no tenure will help us, I am hoping that the information I share here just might be able to help or have a teacher know that they are not alone.
On Friday, August 1, 2014, my attorney Bryan Glass filed a lawsuit on my behalf in New York State Supreme Court naming my principal, DR Alison Coviello, principal of PS 154 in the Bronx, as one of the defendants.
I am not going to get into too many of the details of the lawsuit right now. But there is one instance, a conspiracy, that needs, that must, be shared.
For many readers of this blog you know that I have been reassigned since September 3, 2013 in the Rubber Room. The 2012-2013 school year had been pure hell. Not only was I U-rated for the year, but all 3 of my formal observations were U-rated as well and I received discipline letters for the littlest things. How could this have happened? Why? Up until the 2012-2013 school year I had never ever received a U rating or observation in my 18 years of teaching to that point.
On August 24, 2012 (Just about 10 days before we had to report), DR Alison Coviello wrote in an email to AP Jessica Cruz;
“Hey, I revised Zucker’s job description so that it is focused more on literacy. This way, (It was) explained, we’ll have a surer chance of winning a case when our observations detail incompetence.”Can anybody guess the mistake? It was pre-determined before the 2012-2013 school year even started that I was going to be found incompetent. Coviello was playing God.
At what point is enough enough of this dirty dealing, lying, sandbagging going to end?
Eight teachers, including myself, were U rated for the 2012-2013 school year. One awaits a 3020-a hearing, another went through a 3020-a hearing and resigned. Did Coviello and Cruz conspire on each and every U rated teacher? Why did Coviello and Cruz decide to treat the teachers punitively instead of constructively? Surely treating teachers in such a punitive manner would have an effect on the students, no?
More importantly, did Coviello and Cruz act on their own or did the instructions come from higher up and if so, from whom and how high up the chain of command?
And if they did it to us, what makes one think that they can't or won't act in this manner to any other teacher at PS 154? Anything is possible.
Can anyone not see why we need tenure? Why we need due process? Why we are ticked off about Campbell Brown? DR Alsion Coviello has just given a gift to teachers city and nationwide. She has shown us why we need tenure and how easily power can be perverted and how what I have just shared is systemic in the NYCDOE.
It is time we collectively say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!"
When teachers are hurt, it affects the students. When one teacher is hurt, we all hurt.