Bronx Science Math Department woes in Daily News
Today’s Daily News reports on the ongoing problems with an abusive administrator at the Bronx High School of Science. Last month I added Bronx Science to the Do Not Apply list, and last week I published the math teachers’ collective special complaint against the assistant principal from last Spring.
This is the Daily News article, in its entirety:
Thursday, January 8th 2009, 3:47 AM
A faculty revolt over working conditions is rocking the storied Bronx High School of Science, causing teachers to leave the elite public school.
Math teachers in particular blame a new administrator – Assistant Principal Rosemarie Jahoda – for verbal abuse, claiming they are admonished in front of students and have had their jobs threatened.
The percentage of teachers who had stayed at the school for more than two years had dropped to 66% in 2007 from 80% the year before.
“The worst she’s done is that we’ve lost faculty,” said a tenured teacher, who like all of the teachers interviewed asked that their names not be used for fear of retaliation.
“It’s gone beyond just being an unpleasant place to work.”
Six teachers who were in the math department in 2007 when Jahoda arrived will have left by the end of the month.
Five cite Jahoda as the main reason.
After 20 of the 22 math faculty signed a harassment complaint last May, teachers say they were punished.
Four out of five signers received unsatisfactory evaluations for the first time, teachers said.
Jahoda did not want to comment. Principal Valerie Reidy dismissed the complaints as unsubstantiated “griping.”
“The chancellor has asked us to be very strenuous in our evaluation of teaching,” Reidy said.
“We have very, very high standards. We evaluate and hold teachers accountable.”
Teachers say Reidy cut two faculty members from the math department this year and cut its budget by 4% when the school’s budget rose by 6%.
Reidy says she was properly reallocating resources and that she has enhanced the department’s course offerings.
The teachers’ union representative for Bronx high schools says the atmosphere in the math department is worse than ever.
“I have never seen an entire department so unified in their complaint against a specific supervisor,” said Lynne Wynderbaum.
“Any time you force good teachers to leave, the students are being hurt.”