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Do Not Apply – 1 – Bronx Aerospace

June 28, 2008 pm30 10:10 pm

This blog has a new feature: a Do Not Apply list of NYC public schools. I will expand this list regularly.

Some schools are great. Some are good. Some are ok. Mediocre. Fair. Poor. All of this matters, but in some places the choice is not wide.

But there’s one category of school you need to know about: Career Enders.

New teachers, be careful not to end up in one of those places.

The Bronx Aerospace Academy HS is a career ender. It has one of the highest staff turnover rates in the city. It has sent teachers to the reassignment center (rubber room). There has been arbitrary discipline taken against staff. In one instance, an administrator collected lessons plans from teachers, and a bit later another came around asking for plans. Since the teachers had none, (already gave them up) they were disciplined. There are bad, arbitrary curricular decisions, and a great likelihood that they fake or ‘massage’ data to earn high marks from the City. There are more stories, and more stories, arbitrary dismissals, and tough stuff on kids. But I need people from Aerospace (or more likely formerly from Aerospace) to e-mail me at “this blog name” at gmail dot com. Any specific incidents you recall would be useful. And please, if anyone can fill in details linking the school to the suicide, please do.

I’ll be adding to this list, but you can help. If you know a school that is a career-ender, e-mail me at “this blog name” at gmail dot com. Explain how the school ends careers, and if possible, share some anecdotes. If you save even one new teacher from ending up at a hell hole, it will have been well worth it.

95 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Feingold permalink
    June 30, 2008 pm30 6:54 pm 6:54 pm

    NAC Executive Board members have asked that info re the # of requested transfers out of schools be compiled and made public. This
    would be a good indicator of schools with non-nurturing administrations.

    Teachers being able to vote with their feet is a positive aspect of the open market transfer system, even if it doesn’t outweigh the loss and/or
    threats to seniority and a civil service hiring system free from favoritism.

  2. July 1, 2008 am31 5:57 am 5:57 am

    NAC is the New Action Caucus. The rest Paul has said better than I could.

    We will continue to ask that this information be collected and published.

  3. Michael Shulman permalink
    July 1, 2008 am31 8:45 am 8:45 am

    I don’t agree that every school is a “career ender.” The effort by this blog to identify such schools is worthwhile and necessary. Consider this also:the campaign New Action Caucus initiated in our union to address schools with abusive administrators should be expanded. Too many fall into this category. That is why we need strong chapters and staff members who are willing to take on these abusers. Let’s add these schools to your list as well.

  4. July 2, 2008 am31 7:22 am 7:22 am


    I am a new blogger and a new teacher (finished year three last week). I’ve enjoyed reading your posts for the last couple of months; it is obvious that you are a knowledgeable and excellent teacher, with a good rapport with the kids. In my experience this is no small feat in NYC.

    I came into teaching via TFA, so I likely epitomize some of the traits of Teaching Fellows that you find so abhorrent. A couple of thoughts:

    (1) Your posts on TFs and their resistance to the union. I think that this stems from the reasons why people become involved in the TFA/TF programs; they want the best for kids and they want change. I began teaching at a school where children were struggling everywhere in the building; it was a high school where the incoming ninth grade class was comprised of exclusively “ones and twos” in reading and math. What were nearly all of our union meetings about that year? Debating scheduling minutiae. This, when over half the school was in danger of failing out of high school. As I understood it, we, as the educators in the building, had an obligation to serve the students as best we could; I quickly decided that my time at these meetings was a waste. Yes, I drew away from the union. While I have come to understand the importance of having a union, I believe new teachers and the public at large will continue to be skeptical of a union that does not appear to make student achievement a priority.

    (2) Your “do not apply” list. Again, I feel the main question arising from new TF/TFA teachers and the public at large is: what is happening to the children in these buildings? If the union, as represented in your posts, wants to recommend that teachers in the union do not work at these schools, who will work there? I believe the answer is: teachers at the very bottom of the barrel that won’t be hired anywhere else. What is the union’s take on the children in these “do not apply” buildings? Do they deserve excellent teachers? If so, under what circumstances? My overall impression is that frequently, the kids suffer while the union has it out with the administration. Again, new, idealistic teachers will, I believe, consistently take issue with this approach.

    I apologize if I sound confrontational; I am very interested in hearing and responding to your thoughts. Also, feel free to check out my blog.

  5. July 2, 2008 am31 7:57 am 7:57 am

    Peter, it’s hard to comment on your school without knowing more details.

    However, you ask what is happening to the children in these “Do Not Apply” schools.

    First, careful. The UFT has made no recommendation about working in those places; I have. I speak for myself. The schools should be shut down, and the children should be able to transfer to other schools. And careful again, I’m not sure what about Fellows you think I find “abhorrent.” I don’t think you’ll find it in my writing, since I am making a completely different point.

    Please read about Aerospace, about Eximius, and then come back and ask more. Because when schools like this are allowed to continue to exist, it is a disservice to the teachers who get suckered into the places and the kids who get stuck there.

    I notice that you have “an overall impression of the union” based on being in 1 (?) school for 3 (?) years.

    Finally, I don’t confuse Teaching Fellows with TFA – neither should you.

  6. July 4, 2008 am31 2:36 am 2:36 am

    I’d rather remain anonymous in terms of my school for now, for personal reasons.

    I guess “abhorrent” is a strong word; I did get the impression from your use of terms like “smug”, “disrespectful”, “clueless”, “suck-ups”, and “know-it-alls” to describe Teaching Fellows that you felt some animosity towards these people. Maybe I was wrong. What point are you trying to make? I understand that you believe that convincing them to stay is a good plan; I could not agree more. I feel the same way about my TFA colleagues that left without even considering sticking around. I believe strongly that good, qualified, veteran teachers must work in city schools if education is to improve on a large scale.

    My point is that these new teachers are resistant to the union because the union seems to work in opposition to many of the reforms that new, idealistic teachers believe in (such as merit pay and longer hours). I think the union needs to do a better job of framing the interests of its teachers as part of the greater goal of increasing student achievement.

    Thank you for the links about Aerospace and Eximius. I understand what it is like to work in such a challenging environment. The point I am trying to make is that these challenging environments are precisely the places that dedicated, excellent, motivated teachers are needed most. While perhaps these schools should be shut down, for now, they are operational; pulling good teachers away from these schools to somehow accelerate the shutting down process seems counterproductive and again, not acting as part of the greater goal of increasing student achievement.

    It’s true my experience is limited. Likely, I come off as sounding inexperienced, but I think my impressions are partially representative of the public at large, rather than the teaching community alone.

    Interesting that you draw a distinction between TF and TFA. What differences do you see there? I think your Teaching Fellow stereotypes fit TFA teachers dead-on most of the time.

  7. July 4, 2008 am31 6:17 am 6:17 am

    1. You don’t have permission to speak for other teachers.

    2. Your writing indicates that you were hostile to unions before you became a teacher. When you imply that your experience teaching led you to oppose unions you are not being candid.

    3. “pulling teachers away from these schools” – no one is doing any such thing – except maybe abusive administrators. My goal in warning new teachers against applying is to spare them the awful experience, and perhaps save their careers, not “to somehow accelerate the shutting down process.”

    4. I wrote about the stereotypes of Teaching Fellows here. Clearly identified as such. Clearly not my views. But you identify them as such. Deliberately misquoting is unacceptable.

    Return when you are ready to engage in responsible discussion.

  8. pbpcbs permalink
    July 4, 2008 pm31 9:23 pm 9:23 pm

    No one can speak for any of the groups being discussed here. As a former TF, my group of fellow Fellows saw TFAs as dilatants rather than committed to teaching. We heard far too many talk about how they didn’t get into XYZ grad program so this was a good way to buff up their resume and get paid for two years. HOWEVER, I know several former TFAs that stayed, so I’m careful to not paint with too broad a brush.

    Similarly, the implication “that new, idealistic teachers” all ” believe in” is far too broad a brush. Out of the 30-odd TF in my group, half were in schools where the longer hours were explicitly coerced, irrespective of the teacher’s personal beliefs. (How coerced? Try, in one case, 6 hours of “volunteer tutoring” every Saturday without pay…and if you didn’t participate OR called in sick more than once, your next observation was a U.) Similarly, WRT “merit” pay, the problem is defining meritorious behaviors. Unfortunately, numerous administrators somehow find ways to reward those who cater to them rather than those that challenge the students. Giving even more ways for such adminstrators to feed their pets is hardly a positive policy.

    The key issue here is not the difficulties associated with helping the children, it is the distructiveness of the administrators. Letting someone walk unprepared into a school with struggling students and hell-hole adminstrators is a bad thing. Even worse is the current DoE practice of pushing out veteran teachers and replacing them with new, lower cost, alternatives, then churning the new teachers with more new teachers. One conclusion I’ve drawn from my experiences is that inexperienced but enthusiastic math and science teachers with meaningful content knowledge “lose” at least as many students as any “union protected slacker,” (to quote a principal) and certainly many more than the experienced (and more expensive) veteran teachers DoE wants out of the system.

    Given your claimed understanding of how it is to work in such an environment, perhaps you should deliberately transfer to the “worst” of these schools. I, for one, believe others should also be given enough information that they can make such a deliberate choice.

  9. P.S.95Q-The Eastwood School permalink
    July 4, 2008 pm31 10:07 pm 10:07 pm

    This school is in the habit of destroying good teachers and aiding and abetting bad teachers. So, if you are looking for the type of environment where sellouts and backstabbers get the prize, this is the school for you. If you prefer to kiss ass rather than work hard, you’re the perfect candidate. Successful, intelligent and independent thinkers need not apply.

  10. July 5, 2008 am31 4:08 am 4:08 am

    @Eastwood – thank you. I’m trying to get some background before I run your nominee – feel free to e-mail me at (this blogname) at gmail dot com. Details, anecdotes, numbers who didn’t come back (ie turnover rate) — all good.

    @pb, thank you. The TFA poster has already quit NYCDoE, so the suggestion to take a rough job won’t fly. All the same, I wouldn’t suggest that anyone put their jobs in jeopardy just to prove a point.

    In one class of pre-service teaching fellows several years ago I had a hard anti-union guy from as tough a right-to-work (right to be fired) state as there is… I couldn’t convince him of very much at all. But he intended to come here to teach, and not just for a year or two. It was his first principal who made him pro-union…

  11. Lexie permalink
    August 5, 2008 am31 11:53 am 11:53 am

    Hi there, I am new aspiring teacher, I am currently looking for a teaching position within the NYC area or Yonkers I have applied to the Bronx Aerospace High School, and I have received a call back and scheduled an interview. If offered the position, should I deny it? if so, why? I was thinking at least staying there for a a year and then leaving is that a good idea?

  12. pbpcbs permalink
    August 5, 2008 pm31 6:39 pm 6:39 pm

    I can’t speak to BAHS, but I went through a hell hole HS experience and all I can say is I wouldn’t wish it on anyone…even the principal who caused it. There is no upside to such an experience outside of the generic “…that which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Surely there are better ways of getting stronger than being a new, untenured teacher at a hell hole school. I would recommend any alternative to that.

    As to graceful denying, simply explain you have two more interviews lined up over the next week (make sure one is claimed to be after the upcoming weekend), and that you’ll make your decision at that point. If the administrator doesn’t have enough respect for your interests and commitment to others to allow that much time when they have no power over you, just imagine what their level of respect will be when they do have the power to destroy your career asperations.

    Finally, 10 months of mental abuse is a LONG time.

  13. pbpcbs permalink
    August 5, 2008 pm31 6:56 pm 6:56 pm

    BTW, principals have “overbooked” acceptances then withdraw them (even after the first day of classes) when the actual number of students was somehow below some “expected” number. This is apparently SOP for some of the new small schools. Thus, a principal’s commitment to you can evaporate in an instant with no reprecussions to the principal whatsoever.

    So, even if you have to rehearse it in front of a mirror, have a graceful stall prepared to give you time to think about the situation.

    Second BTW: Ask about teacher turnover in your department and at the school in general. This question tends to antagonize bad principals (who will generally have a smooth explaination lined up since others with power ask the same question) and give good principals a chance to talk about how they support their teachers, etc.
    Watching their body language and reaction to the turnover question can be very informative with all but the most accomplished liars.

  14. just my 2 cents permalink
    August 5, 2008 pm31 7:51 pm 7:51 pm


    I think your advice about asking about turnover was excellent–even if as you pointed out, the principal may provide a boilerplate answer. The piece about watching body language was equally good.

    I don’t think however that principal can rescind once the contract is signed, is a contract is provided. Can you imagine the lawsuits the school would be opening itself to if someone resigned from one position only to be denied the position he/she thought he would be getting?

  15. August 5, 2008 pm31 9:12 pm 9:12 pm

    It is my understanding that in past years the principal of Aerospace has overhired for September, seemingly with the intent of providing herself with some real choice about who to U-rate or otherwise force out midyear.

    Aerospace should be considered the first school on the Do Not Apply list. I would strongly advise you to just keep looking.

  16. pbpcbs permalink
    August 5, 2008 pm31 11:29 pm 11:29 pm

    WRT overbooking, I was referring specifically to TF and TFA, both of whom sign job agreements (“contracts”) that are, in reality, only binding on the employee (since both technically work for 3rd parties rather than DoE, the principal has greater leeway). I have also “heard” of couple other schools that have employed overbooking then U-rating, but I’ve never talked to a victim of this practice so cannot vouch for the accuracy of such situations.

  17. RPA permalink
    August 6, 2008 am31 1:31 am 1:31 am

    I don’t think Aerospace is as bad as people are trying to make it out to be. Yes, they are more off the cuff as opposed to systematic — but they are trying to bridge the gap one child at a time

  18. August 6, 2008 am31 8:28 am 8:28 am

    What do you mean by “off the cuff?”

    I find it hard to believe that a 50% turnover rate could be anything but horrendous. Why do you say it is not as bad as people think?

    • Gangbuster permalink
      March 23, 2011 pm31 2:08 pm 2:08 pm

      The 50% turnover rate is simply those who found jobs right away. Virtually every teacher and most staff members in Aero were looking to get out. Some years the turnover rate was 80%. Check and see how many teachers have been there since year l or year 2.

      And they most definitely raised grades on Regents exams. Funny how kids who couldn’t pass the class managed to squeak through and still had to go to summer school.

  19. RPA permalink
    August 6, 2008 am31 8:34 am 8:34 am

    off the cuff = not so organized

  20. August 6, 2008 pm31 8:48 pm 8:48 pm

    And a school with 50% turnover, you think that it might be an ok place to work? Can you explain?

  21. RPA permalink
    August 6, 2008 pm31 9:29 pm 9:29 pm

    1st do you have data to support your 50% assertion?

  22. August 7, 2008 am31 5:00 am 5:00 am

    Of course I do not have that data – neither the school nor the DoE makes it available. Would you have us believe the number is lower? How much? In a short while we will have some dated numbers, perhaps they will help.

    But better than that, let’s agree the number is ‘high,’ whatever ‘high’ means. And you think a school with a high turnover rate is an ok place to work? Why?

  23. RPA permalink
    August 7, 2008 am31 5:48 am 5:48 am

    Well the question is why are people leaving, if the number is high, as you suggest? And once that is tackled with hardcore facts as opposed to hearsay one can advise teachers not to work at this school. However, I do admire what you are doing here.

  24. RPA permalink
    August 7, 2008 am31 5:50 am 5:50 am

    The question here is twofold.

    Is the number high in comparison to other high schools it’s age?

    If so, why are teachers choosing to leave?

  25. just my .02 permalink
    August 7, 2008 am31 6:38 am 6:38 am

    Up front, I don’t know what the numbers for the school are. Perhaps, you can look at the school report card. (

    I am referring specifically to page 3 at the top–Percentage of teachers teaching 2 years at school. I am not sure of the significance of the different colors of the bars. I don’t see a legend anywhere. Maybe someone here knows. I guess there should be a big difference between 2005 and 2006 if turnover was large, unless most teachers with greater than 2 yrs experience stayed. New hirings would skew negatively, however.
    When did the school start?

  26. August 7, 2008 am31 8:21 am 8:21 am

    The 2 years at school stat doesn’t tell us much about turnover. The school started, as I recall, in 2002 or 2003.

    And yes, the turnover rate seems high compared to other schools of the same age. That is one of the reasons I put it on the Do Not Apply list. Also, a relatively high number of new teachers at Aerospace get U’ed, another reason for putting it on the list.

    Each year some teachers are forced out mid-year; she hires too many in September so that she can force them out without consequences to the school.

    Discipline is arbitrary. The school is incredibly poorly managed. People who can’t take it leave during the year. Others last a year and transfer out. Others are forced out under the threat of disciplinary action.

  27. RPA permalink
    August 7, 2008 am31 8:40 am 8:40 am

    is this gossip or fact jd? proof?

  28. August 7, 2008 pm31 9:21 pm 9:21 pm

    I have no ‘proof’ and you are of course free to disbelieve me.

    However, I have a track record of honesty on this blog; it generally goes unchallenged.

    And I would advise new teachers in particular to be mindful of RPA’s implicit argument – s/he seems to be implying that Aerospace is an okay place to work. Nothing I have heard, speaking to teachers, chapter leaders, union folks, would seem to indicate that this is correct.

    At least in my case I have a reputation I try to maintain. What should lead us to believe RPA?

  29. just my .02 permalink
    August 7, 2008 pm31 10:35 pm 10:35 pm


    The issue you brought up about the turnover numbers is a fair one. But even still, you have to know that these numbers are hard to get.

    Should a person concerned about protecting new teachers wait for data that is impossible to obtain before warning these teacher about the real possibility of having their careers destroyed in one of these schools?

    If not a preponderance of negative reports, what else would cause JD to list Aerospace as a “DNA” school ?

    Does he personally gain anything from this listing?

    Since when does the DOE collect data on abusive administrators and make them readily available? Where does one go to get this info?

    How else would anyone come to know of abusive school environments unless they experienced it personally or was told about it?

    Were you expecting to find this information in the papers? On the radio?

    I believe jd posts this information because there was probably enough evidence to believe there might be some truth to was others are saying. Because you may not have experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

  30. RPA permalink
    August 8, 2008 am31 2:07 am 2:07 am

    I think JD has the best of intentions. I just wonder where he is getting his information

  31. August 8, 2008 am31 5:56 am 5:56 am


    if you have info to the contrary, lay it on the table. Implying that Aerospace is just dandy, without supporting what you are saying in any way at all, really is not ok.

    If you want to read something in black and white, you might start with this Daily News article (linked on this blog, here)

  32. RPA permalink
    August 13, 2008 am31 1:41 am 1:41 am

    After reading the first hand account on the other thread and further research … I apologize for my previous statements — Aerospace should be bolded on this list

  33. August 13, 2008 am31 4:45 am 4:45 am

    Thank you. I was impatient while you were being cautious, but I can’t blame you for being initially skeptical.

    I had heard Sgt. Picone’s story before, but it is far more convincing coming from Mrs. Picone, with details, than a fuzzy version from me.

    • JG1010 permalink
      August 25, 2009 pm31 12:54 pm 12:54 pm

      Mr. picone is such a great man!

  34. Bright Star 3 permalink
    August 31, 2008 am31 4:47 am 4:47 am

    As someone who was at BAHS, I can tell you that the school loses abot 50% or more of its teachers every year–and many of the new ones leave teaching completely. Admin was never a teacher and has no idea. Good admins don’t U rate a teacher or even a lesson unless it is clearly awful. They may give a satisfactory and then recommend specific things they would like you to do or do differently. This is being a team player and showing respect for your greatest resources, who are the teachers. At BAHS, teachers are not really allowed to think; if you do, if you expect your contract to be enforced, they will go after you.

    Now, if you choose to work extra hours in the building every day, that is your choice. It is wrong for the admin to try to force you to do it. We ALL work extra hours at home. Here it is all about looking good and making the numbers look good and they will do whatever it takes, including not allowing the kids to take the exams they are supposed to (and other schools take) if they haven’t passed a sample exam. This makes them look better in comparison with other schools, but hte kids are no better,—and many of their graduates can’t make it in college (and we;re not talking top tier here). So far no one has passed the military officer’s qualifying test. Admin blames it all on the teachers, who are excellent. She does not care how many teachers leave and frequently tells people if they don;t like how she is, they can just leave—which of cuorse is not literally true. People have rent to pay.

    You have a contract. If you want to do something that is not part of your contract, that should be your choice, not forced on you by an admin. BAHS teachers were told they couldn;’t make copies on their prep time–they had to come in before their regular hours or stay after to make copies. They were told they couldnt have a teacher center because someone at one point accessed pornography. Prince screams at teachers in front of students and parents, berates anyone who questions her or does something differently than she in her limited experience, thinks should be done. This school is proof why potential admins should have teaching experience and should take psychological tests–and the empowerment schools should be ended. Empowerment schools seem to attract domineering eduNazis who have no respect for anyone else’s intelligence. What needs to happen is for the admins to be gone, then the teachers, who are all excellent, could do what needs to be done for the kids.

  35. Bright Star 3 permalink
    August 31, 2008 am31 4:50 am 4:50 am

    Should note the Aero admin is more concerned with dominating and harassing teachers and driving them out than leading and demonstrating—and this is known by other administrators as well. Kids will tell you too—that “all the good teachers leave.” Not totally true because some stay, or are still there until they can find something else. Almost half of the teachers there now are brand new, teachers who have never taught in hs. No teacher has been there tthe whole time.

  36. Concerned permalink
    February 15, 2009 am28 2:54 am 2:54 am

    I work at one of the other small schools in the building and eat lunch with several BAHS teachers. RUN, do not walk, AWAY from this school as fast as you can! While my school isn’t that great either, and the admin is pretty clueless and a terrible leader…at least she isn’t a sadistic dictator like the one at BAHS (and I do NOT use that term lightly). The teachers are treated *worse* than crap and the poor students are being deprived of a real education because of her policies.

  37. new fellow permalink
    August 3, 2009 pm31 4:32 pm 4:32 pm

    So I just had an interview at Bronx Aerospace and now I’m concerned because I’m living environment teacher and they haven’t lifted the freeze yet. What’s the latest opinion on the school?

    • August 3, 2009 pm31 5:36 pm 5:36 pm

      Opinion is unchanged. Keep looking. But if you try, and this is still your only offer, what choice do you have?

      Be careful, stay off her radar, keep your head down, survive. You’ll transfer next fall.

      Best of luck. I hope you find something else.


  38. The Nuge permalink
    August 17, 2009 am31 9:40 am 9:40 am

    I formerly went to this school. You make the school sound angelic in this article, when in fact, it’s not. There are too many things wrong with that school. Nobody EVER should go there. I can go on and on about the “activities” that went on there. And don’t even get me started on the legendary “Brain Break!”

    • August 17, 2009 pm31 6:58 pm 6:58 pm

      I don’t think anyone should apply to work there, or to be a student there. Everything I hear is horrible, absolutely horrible. Sorry if I did not make that clear enough.

      But, go on, tell us about “Brain Break!”


    • JG1010 permalink
      August 25, 2009 pm31 12:48 pm 12:48 pm

      I went there to and funny thing seems to be you were a bad student because the school is not bad at all. Hey if B.kirkweg kicked you out dont make the school seem bad for others!! CHECK OUT BRONX AEROSPACE!! ITS A GREAT SCHOOL! TAKE IT FROM THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS WHICH IS ME!

      • The Nuge permalink
        October 10, 2009 am31 11:58 am 11:58 am

        I graduated from second class. I would have to say you’re a kiss-ass then. Only a brown nose would defend this school. I graduated with pretty decent grades and was fairly popular with the teachers.

  39. JG1010 permalink
    August 25, 2009 pm31 12:44 pm 12:44 pm

    I believe that Bronx Aerospace is a wonderful school. I happen to be a Alumi of the first graduating class, I believe that the teachers at the school make there own fate. Bronx Aerospace has opened many doors carrer wise in my life and for that I im very greatful. Aerospace has helped me get into a great college and find empolyment using the skills that i have acquired during my time at the high school. I believe that we have a wonderful staff and if and when you decide to leave the school it will go well, hey dont beleive me ask Joshua Bluestone, or Martha Mattla… all College professiors now.. and for you the person who has posted this outrageous post, i feel like a child because im going to say this but hey who cares, Because you got fired and connot find a new job does not make Bronx Aerospace a carrer ender makes you unworthy of finding better employment. As to all others feel welcomed to check out our school well be glad to show you around and prove to you that working with us is not bad at all. Well everyone im done for today have a bluessed Year.

  40. Dave permalink
    September 18, 2009 pm30 9:40 pm 9:40 pm

    This school is bad because of the administrators meaning the principal and APs. I heard the school is filled with old ready to retire teachers who are just waiting it out and are making top salaries anyway… and a whole bunch of teaching fellows in their twenties who are their because they did not know better. They have no guidance and eventually leave after their first year. They all get UNsatisfactory ratings and feel like bad teachers.. low morale…. and leave the teaching profession even though deep inside they want to be educators. The students are not bad.. They are just mis-understood. So Fellows be wary.. I heard some of the other mini schools in the building are great and the teachers never leave.. unlike Aerospace.

  41. Theo permalink
    October 9, 2009 am31 10:53 am 10:53 am

    I completely back everything that was written by Bright Star 3 and would add my 2 cents, in which you will have to excuse the agressive tone but I am a concerned family member of one of the most dedicated teachers this school has had.
    I would like to agree with Ms Picone and call on the NY City Schools to investigate Ms. Kirkweg for harassment, corruption, defamation of character, intimidation tactics and simply lack of competence in anything that is remotely related to education. I know of several teachers first hand who have been / are being pushed out under false pretences with no regards of how that will affect the student body.
    Ms Kirkweg employs unlicensed staff who gets to observe and fire dedicated teachers who have never had complaints and who have licenses. Dr. Glenn is her right hand and together they have fired most of the dedicated and competent staff. As a results the students are very unhappy (see last year’s suicide and parent’s complaints with the city of NY), the school was threatened with probation and yet Ms. Kirkweg is untouched and Mr. Klein seems to support her? UFT has no power and the representative in this school eats right out of the principal’s hand…kind of nauseating really. The kids do not have books to study from, teachers are being fired on false pretences, there is no discipline and the number one priority, THE KIDS, are not performing. A full and in-depth investigation is needed. If anyone has testimonials against this school and is ready to testify please contact me at Here is a link to a daily news article on the matter:

  42. The Nuge permalink
    October 10, 2009 am31 11:26 am 11:26 am

    Alright, I’ll tell you about the Brain break. A math teacher of ours (who was considered a man (harsh) and very poor at teaching) decided to come out with the brilliant idea of a Brain Break. basically, after several amounts of time doing class work we would take a 15 minute break. Unbeknownst to the math teacher, certain individuals found this an opportunity to allow the class excessive amounts of “fun”. The teacher foolishly left the class room unattended while going on a break for the bathroom. The class went wild. I can honestly say THE WHOLE classroom was involved and all the students participated. Anyone who admits otherwise is a liar! For those of us there, we all knew everyone pitched in on the fun. Me personally, I threw a table and two chairs. the rest were paperballs. Speaking of which, one person threw a paperball and that is all it took to get started. We saw textbooks flying, Plants tossed and chalkboards nearly breaking apart. We had many spectators from visitor rooms. Most were other students who wanted in on the fun. But eventually, the teacher cam back and was appalled. I have never seen him.her with such a dreadful look on…its face. The teacher panicked and was unsure of what to do. She blew up but was unable to control the class. Instead, people were now targeting the instructor. By the time she came back, my buddies and I put on an innocent face and pretended to be in the back playing duel monsters (cause that’s what we did back then…we played card games). Here’s the real kicker though. Shortly afterwards, the Captain walks in the room (Captain Kirkweg). EVERYBODY FROZE! Not one person moved a muscle. Some people had such a frightening look on their faces. The student who started it slowly and gently put down the desk he rose above his head. Things did not end well. We were known as the baddest class of the whole school. All in all, BAA is a horrible school for learning but top-notch for fun and spontaneous and amazingly epic memories.

  43. Ben permalink
    October 15, 2009 pm31 9:24 pm 9:24 pm

    To JG1010.. You might have loved Aerospace, but you dont even know that you are “an alumnus” not an “a alumni”. I guess your fun cannot equate to the education you received at Aerospace.

    To Theo- Why is the investigation taking so long? And why does Mr. Klein support Krazy Kirkwing?

    I heard the school lost all of their Aerospace merrits. All the aerospace sergeants left. Why does this school continue to be called Aerospace when in fact there is nothing about Aerospace there for these children? They were lied too and so did their parents.

    I heard from one teacher that works there that she only wished she were in one of the other schools in the Evander Campus building. It was told to me that the Bronx Lab school is organized and a desirable place to work at.

    The student’s schedules get changed every week. There is such disorganization there that administrator’s themselves dont know whats going on.

    Too bad several students have killed themselves. I hope more dont follw suit. Get that Krazy Kirkwing out of there. She is hurting our children.

  44. Somebody permalink
    November 7, 2009 pm30 12:26 pm 12:26 pm

    I am a teacher at Bronx Aerospace and I absolutely hate it there. I am trying to figure out now if I can last out the year or if I should just leave – and I assure you that the only reason I don’t leave right now is because of the students. I can tell you things about that school and what they do to the teachers and students there that will make your skin crawl.

    I can confirm for a fact that many of the accounts posted here are very true. There are some embellishments here and there, but for the most part the school is just as bad as everybody says it is.

    I can also tell you for a fact that they find ways to make their graduation rate so high. They force teachers to hunt down seniors in danger of failing (who never even show up to class, not once) and give them “projects” to complete by the end of the semester. If they complete the project, they pass the class and get to graduate. I was asked to do it last year and I’m being asked to do it again this year. We’ve also been asked to look up our old class lists from last year and to find all of the students we failed (even if we no longer teach them) and give them projects to complete so we could go back and change their grades to passing. We were given a week to do this. Needless to say, most of the teachers agreed that we had every reason in the world to fail these students because we were pressured last year to do everything in our power to pass them and they still didn’t. The school builds up a culture in which students know that all they have to do is the bare minimum (or not show up for weeks and then come in one day to do some makeup work) and they will pass their classes and graduate.

    The principal herself admitted this year that as far as she knows, only two students from the first graduating class of BAHS are expected to graduate college “on time” (as in, four years). So, yes, BAHS may have a “high” graduation rate but I can tell you for a fact we graduate students who can barely read, let alone get into and finish college. It’s appalling.

    The UFT has been unhelpful, by the way. A union representative came to our school last year and when we voiced our complaints to her she told us there wasn’t much we could do because our principal was so powerful. Our chapter leader at school is a nice person and she means well, but at the end of the day she does not have the interests of the teachers at heart. She seems to care more about keeping her own job and all the money she makes.

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned program changes yet, but there are near-constant program changes (both for teachers and students). My attendance rosters change on a weekly basis. We are expected to give grades for students we’ve only known for a week. One English class has been taught by three different teachers so far, and it’s only November. “Disorganization” is an understatement.

    I put in a lot of hours for this job, and I can guarantee you that it’s only for the students. I’m okay with putting in a lot of time and not getting much in return, but this is something different completely. The principal has no right to be running a school. It is a disservice to each and every one of these students – who are generally pretty good kids – to have this school continue to exist, because too much of what happens at the school serves as a direct blow to their educational achievement and future success.

    • November 8, 2009 am30 7:37 am 7:37 am

      Can you contact me via e-mail? It’s this blog name and the provider is gmail.

      What the woman told you last year is, more or less, true. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying.

      After, what, 6, 7 years? the stories do not get any better. The constant program changes, the overall disorganization or almost random disorganization… the teachers berated… hiding students and faking stats… and worse… All of this sounds the same as last year, and the year before…

      This principal is a blight on the Bronx. Out of a score of horrible schools, Aerospace remains the worst, year after year. We should keep working to get rid of this principal, no matter how difficult, until she is gone.

  45. Somebody permalink
    November 7, 2009 pm30 12:36 pm 12:36 pm

    Also, I’d like to mention that we had a student (a senior) die this summer right before school started. We were never given notification of this event, even though many of the teachers (and students) were very close with this student. We all found out through word-of-mouth. Finally we brought it up in a staff meeting because it seemed like it was just a rumor.

    The principal very casually confirmed it, and then told us not to discuss it with the students. She expressed no sorrow regarding the matter. No formal announcement was ever made to the students, and some students found out over a month after it had happened. We were told not to discuss the event with students, even though many of our students were upset and were asking questions.

    Some of the teachers tried to organize a memorial service in honor of the student (because the administration would not) and were told that it could only be organized during lunchtime, with a very small group of students, and not publicly advertised.

    On the day of the memorial service – just hours before it was going to happen – the principal canceled it, without explanation or warning. Students were upset and tried to hold a memorial service in the cafeteria during their lunch, and one student got suspended because he got upset with a school safety officer who tried to shut it down (not knowing what was going on).

    The principal denied ever giving permission for the memorial service to be held in the first place, and has not granted permission for another to take place since.

    So yes, we had a student die this year and nobody seemed to notice or care. The students, especially the seniors, are very upset by this as they rightly should be. The students now believe that even if they die, they do not matter to this school – and unfortunately it makes complete sense why they would believe this.

  46. Somebody permalink
    November 7, 2009 pm30 12:42 pm 12:42 pm

    Oh, and also she pays students (yes, they’re on the payroll) to rat out “bad” teachers and write up other students for disciplinary action. In the past these students have let the power go to their head, playing favorites and bending rules as they saw fit. These students created a chart for teachers’ cafeteria duty, and teachers were warned that these students would have copies of the chart during lunchtime and would thus monitor the teachers to make sure they were doing their duties. Yes, I have an e-mail from the principal to prove this.

    • Martha Falkker permalink
      November 16, 2009 pm30 12:03 pm 12:03 pm

      As a former staff member of Bronx Aerospace I can confirm many of the statements that have been made in this blog. During my tenure there were several “departures” of the staff. And yes, there are students on the payroll that the principal uses to report on other students and staff. These are actual positions that were created for her “special projects.” It turned into something more than an opportunity to have some pocket money for the student. We were often called into the office to explain what one of the paid students said we did. If they don’t do her bidding, they fall from her good graces and are therefore removed from the payroll.

      My tenure was short lived, as I only made it 5 months before I resigned. I let my integrity stand in the way of remaining with that school. I felt undue pressure to pass my students even when they did not attend class. I was “Highly Encouraged” (instructed) to pass several students that had only attended one class during the semester. This was something that was also passed along to all the staff during one of the “required” professional development meetings after school. Essentially, the principal was more concerned about her inflated graduation rate than she was about a proper education and an actual graduation rate.

      I remember sitting in professional development and being taught how to teach the Regents Exam so the students would pass. The instructions were to teach only the curriculum that would ensure a passing grade. This also included several mock tests just prior to the actual test dates. I was in awe! Students that didn’t make the grade were removed from the regular school and sent to night school. That’s how you inflate your graduation rate and become a successful school? It just wasn’t for me.

      For a school that was originally chartered to be a representative of the Air Force Junior ROTC, it failed to live up to the three basic principles of the Air Force (Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all we do). Needless to say, the US Air Force decided to terminate the program. This was greatly influenced by the complaints from the AFJROTC staff to Headquarters JROTC. I believe that those complaints generated the additional audits of her program, and influenced the decision to terminate.

      The principal is a tyrant over the teachers and staff, constantly having the Assistant Principals looking in the back window to report any irregularity. There was rarely entry into the classroom for an official observation; it’s all done on the sly. There is rarely any warning before something unofficially enters into your file that the principal maintains. On more than one occasion I was told that I could always look for a position elsewhere. She also will tell you that you are okay to do something, and then deny that you ever had the conversation with her. She uses this as grounds against you when you are being forced out. If you ever choose to apply for a position at this school I would highly recommend that you keep an electronic record of any requests, and maintain a diary of your daily movements.

      I will go on record and say that I enjoyed working with the students. The student body as a whole seemed eager to learn, and it really is up to the teachers to engage them. I learned that there are many personalities, and this encouraged me to find different ways to reach each of my students. I worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the students and aid them in being successful. I can laugh now, but I was told by the principal that I wasn’t there to build relationships and encourage students; I was there to MAKE the students do what they were supposed to do.

      And there is still more….

      • Trinib0y permalink
        January 7, 2010 am31 1:35 am 1:35 am

        Excuse me MS Fallker u believe that you do bring up several good point n i would like to begin a portest in my school for things to change but i have no idea how to do that. What we need is a new principal and to this very day that payroll crap captain barbra kirkweg does still goes on, if you dont kiss her ass then your off the payroll students who work for captain are forced to taddle tales like pre schoolers on thier friends, clean up any mess left on the tables in the cafeteria , potrol hallways which enables them to come to class late with no reprocussions and have portable walkie talkies on them at all times and yet no student can bring electronics into the school. I noticed that alot of teachers in my school teach a class and then 2 periods later i find them sittin out in the hallways patrolling instead of teaching a class and what i dont understand the most it why on the bloody earth is there a Dean teaching a class, in the 9th grade my gym teacher was subsituting for my history teacher because one idiotic student who was faling in class horribly blames my history teacher n said she was rascist because he wasnt learning anything, my prinicpal fired the teacher, got rid of my 2 of my math teachers and i was robbed of my history knowledge in my 9th grade year something needs to be done about her. IF I COULD TAKE IT ALL BACK I WOULD HAVE NEVER CHOSEN TO ATTEND BRONX AEROSPACE A TRUE CAREER ENDER i really hope that i get into a good college.

    • Trinib0y permalink
      January 7, 2010 am31 1:38 am 1:38 am

      please email that information to me it can help with the protest im doing in my school THINGS NEED TO CHANGE IN BRONX AEROSAPCE!

  47. Anonymous permalink
    November 7, 2009 pm30 5:51 pm 5:51 pm

    The crazy thing about all these posts is that they are identical to issues faced at my school:

    1) principal strong arming teachers to change grades
    2) students running the show and running off teachers who try to hold them accountable
    3) a secret student police force which the principal uses to keep her informed on teachers
    4) teachers teaching more than the allotted 5 periods per day
    5) teachers teaching more than 4 periods in a row without a break

  48. Trinib0y permalink
    January 7, 2010 am31 1:20 am 1:20 am

    i am a student that attends Bronx aerospace , my name is of no importance i just want to say that i completley agree with jd2718 about my school i came to this school in hopes of completing 4 years of ROTC training n learning to fly actual aircrafts, only to have my ROtc and aviation education cut short 2 years. My school has gotten rid of some excellent teachers such as my 9th grade history teacher because 1 freshman student out of probably 78 freshman students claimed that my history teacher was racist just because she failed him. So that freshman goes and tells the prinicpal and the prinicpal has my history teacher doing hall way duty which is basically telling kids to go to class in between period breaks, In my skool we have deans teaching classes thath they dont even have a degree or lisences to teach, every time i loose a teacher in the middle of the year i am being robbed of my knowledge, im am tired of loosing a teacher in the middle of the year and having a substitue teacher give me hand outs to work on when i have a regents exam to take for the class in june. I am sick n tired of my prinicpal and her crap this skool is really becoming awful i mean just awful. I am disgusted with my high schoool AND I HAVE ABSOLUTLY NO MORE INTEREST IN GOING INTO THE AIR FORCE OR EVEN FLYING PLANES FOR THAT MATTER THIS SKOOL HAS SINGLE HANDEDLY ENDED ANY CAREERS IN AVAIATION I HAD HOPES OF HAVING

  49. JanNe81 permalink
    January 7, 2010 pm31 10:39 pm 10:39 pm

    Where can i start! BrOnx Aerospace right now i can consider the worse choice i pick as a High School , thats why i prohibited my siblings to pick this school as a chooice for their high schools. Its sad and frustrating to find out the school ur attending is consider one of the worst school in the area , for me its going to be an embarrasment to graduate and have a diploma with the name of this school printed on it. I was really looking foward to that 4 year JROTC certificate and to the flight lessons , but what this school do to students its GIVE THEM WINGS , CUT THEM AND THEN BRING THEIR HOPES DOWN!.

    Every body needs to see the reality of bronx aerospace. Before i only heard stories from my fellow classmates, but to come to this blog and hear it from teachers and their familiars is just TOO MUCH. I support what the other comments say. many of the students have transfer out , many of my friends are trying to do the same this year, so many Good teachers have left the schools or have been fired. There are classes were we dont even do anything ( AdVisory).

    Im just so indignated with everything that is happening arent teaches suppose to be the ones reporting students, they are suppose to be the next authority after the principal and what we get: well we get students KISS ASSES who get paid from that same principal , to report teachers!! BArbara Kirkwig is jst a sttuborn Bitch who doesnt care about students, shes one of those so call TWO FACE! she barely comes out of her office and is 24/7 on her stupid cell phone, i have never spoke to her personally and im planning on never doing so. SHE IS RUDE AND CARELESS

    And to does from the first graduating class whos talking bout how aerospace is a good school, it might of have been a good school for that time , but ya shouldnt really talk bout it if ya dont know whats going on around now. So thanks for your comments but right now we dont need them because its a waste of your time and ya gonna look bad and feel stupid getting reponse not only from students , but from teachers and parents.

  50. LaYariix3 permalink
    January 7, 2010 pm31 11:16 pm 11:16 pm

    Well I am a current student at Bronx aerospace acadamy & I am also trying to transfer out. Most of the things posted on this website, actually all of them are true and as for who ever is saying it’s a good school you should correct yourself because it was a good school, the first graduating class graduated in 2006 it’s 2010 so how would you know how things are going at the school. Personally I have never had the time of day to actually speak to my principal except just this week when I asked for a transfer.

    Another issue that isn’t so big but that had me fed up is that when student are in need to go the the bathroom it’s always locked and no stff member ever seems to have the key. Captian kirwegs office is right next to the bathroom but she doent have a key and when you find some one with the key there too busy too open it. out of my 3 years of attending this school i have visited the pricipals office several time but shes always on the phone or in a meeting, when she is needed she is never there she arrives at the school around 11:30 everyday and she isnt interested in the students needs what so ever. I’m not saying shes a bad person or that I dislike her but I bet if there was a differfnt principle things would be running very & i mean very differfntly.

    My freshman year our history teacher was put on hallway duty while the gym teacher tought history & by teaching i mean giving out handouts to keep us busy & that it so we basically wasted a whole year of global history. Now we have the school dean teaching advisory in which we do no work at all & when we do work it doesnt benifit us what so ever. Our flight/ Aviation teacher is teaching earth science, our spanish teacher was once the art teacher, and assitant teacher was the physics teacher & god knows what other teachers were teaching something they knew nothing about.

    I came to bronx aerospace acadamy especifically because of the JROTC program and now look the program is gone and I dont even have the chance to transfer to another school of my choice. And yes all the kiss asses that are on payroll get away with everything, you cant have a child tell another child what to do thats what the deans & secrurity is there for . In fact im sure that in at least 3 of my classes the teachers have been changed mor than twice.

    It is an embraressment to attend bronx aerospace acadamy high school and i would not like my diploma to say that school name. but theres nothing i can do now just pray for time to fly be in that hell hole

  51. Jane Blanshard permalink
    January 8, 2010 am31 11:47 am 11:47 am

    Horrible! I’m going to forward it to Clemency! It will make even her old school look ideal! Love, Jane

  52. JeanPeter Dicostello permalink
    January 8, 2010 pm31 3:40 pm 3:40 pm

    Bronx Aerospace High school, a school known for its “glory” and “high standards” A school that boasts the motto “We believe” when in reality it should be “we believe that we are gonna end your dreams and put you through 4 years of straight up hell.” I am currently a student at Bronx Aerospace (or maybe i was i dont remember) but i do know one thing… I EXTREMELY REGRET ATTENDING THIS SCHOOL. The administration in this school is straight up totally confused and dont know ONE thing they do. Its like if they all share one common thing which is CONFUSION. They are so corrupt that they are probably the meer definition of it.
    Captain Barbara Kirkweg… dont even let me get started. She can be characterized (with ALL due respect[something she should learn])as a very heartless non caring corrupt disrespectful individual running a circus show at this institution. Never will i sink down to her level so let it be stated that im not insulting her, im just stating what is a fact.
    Enough of that (even though this is gonna end up coming back to her) i could 100% testify (and i do) that all of these comments, alegations, and sayings are 100% true. Everything that has been said on this site by the teachers and students (former and present) are 100% true. To share you a bit of my story, heres a bit of background info…
    Freshmen year was a very good year (surprisingly). Untill we got to the second semester of the year. This is when someone got my history teacher fired and we had a gym teacher (who doesnt have a license in history) teach the class. So yeah basically a whole half year of wasted learning started as soon as the second semeseter came about. Not the only incident, cause this is where the start of TEACHERS being put on hall way duty started. Teachers who have high licenses in their respected being made to sit in the hall way for periods on end patrolling the hallways in search of cutting students. I dont know bout the teacher but if i was one that would be a TOTAL disrespect to me. We also had incredible numbers of program changes and incredible numbers of teachers being changed (and not teaching the class they are QUALIFIED to teach).
    Prior to thi year, A very loved Sgt. from the Air force (Sgt. Picone[whos wife i extremely thank for posting the story here]) was WRONGFULLY removed from the school on a basis that he “SIGNED” (watch the qoutation) a quitting form. Thank you Iris Picone for your story and i share your pain trust me i really do.
    To make a incredibly long and tragic story short, we have BELOW standards classes, teachers arent given the right to teach properly, over qualified students who are lost in the middle of no where because the school does not have classes suited for them, deans claminging tooooooo much power then they deserve, cutting the main reason (program) that students applied to this school in the first place (Air Force JROTC) and by doing soooo destorying the dreams and hopes of many students, implying a new uniform “said to be created by the students [which is not] on us with brute force, making parents spend sooo much money washing the military uniforms for daily basis and then making them buy another one which is more expensive just cause HER mistakes shut the program down, creating a secret student police force which is used as her eyes to rat out teachers and students, andd 1000 more atrocities that i am too PISSED to speack about.
    Please someone we have to do something about this. With the help of this website and JD2718 please help us get an investigation going on soo we could take Kirkweg out of principle for the sake of the students. With her in there, the students will not exceed and would be living a false world where false education is implied on them. The teachers, (most of them) are WONDERFUL, over qualified teachers in which are capable to teach. Its not their fault, its the principle and her henchmen (administration) whos the one to blame.
    please some one help us lets get something happening cause this terror the students, teachers, parents, and future lied to students of BRONX AEROSPACE must end now. Please and thank you I WILL PROVIDE AN EMAIL for further planning or questioning or anything… Good day

  53. Hi im Johnny Knoxville "Welcome to Jackass" permalink
    January 8, 2010 pm31 3:55 pm 3:55 pm

    Im really upset that we didnt even recieve atleast a refund for buying the uniforms last year, atleast this year knowing that ROTC is no longer gonna be in the school Captain Kirkwig could of gave out the uniform for free instead of making the students pay for it. The website she gave us to buy the pilot uniform had an outrageous price. I dont think this school will ever find justice , its to corrupted and disorganized. P.S- How you have a school that offers a flight program but rarely goes to the airport to go flying. Even though they receive funding for it. Hopefully we can all work together to change this school.

  54. The One permalink
    January 9, 2010 am31 12:00 am 12:00 am

    As one of the few graduated students of Bronx Aerospace High School, I have no choice but to agree with many if not all of the statements by everyone. Especially with the statement made by Ms.Fallker. I personally know the two students that will be college graduates now in May, and it’s sad that a school with a “high” graduating percentage can only send two of its possible 105 student to college and actually finish within the 4 year period. People do think that this school has a high graduating percentile, but what if you went behind the scenes and saw everything from my perspective. Where most teachers just gave a passing to most senior because they didn’t want them to take summer classes and delay their plans. And then they have the audacity to go to you and say “I knew you were going to make it”. They’re students that are taking classes that aren’t required such as “Advisory” were they talk about current events.

    Another big issue with the school was the “J.R.O.T.C. v. No Uniform” bull crap that the Principal or In FACT that a student created, cause major headaches around the whole school. Student who decided to wear the Air Force issued uniform were kept during “day school” while others were sent to “pm or night school”. To hide my own identity and those who I am writing about, all names will be with-held, and I will not say further about the uniform or no uniform issue ’cause it will reveal my identity immediately.

    When future students come to the school along with their parents for a so called “Meeting” every second Saturday of the month, the principal, Barbara Kirkweg, just talks “the good things” and the progress the school is making, but in reality she’s just saying the same thing every-time she goes up and talks. During regular school hours, she’s always inside her office either in her computer or her blackberry. From all of the four years I spent at Bronx Aerospace, I have only seen her three times in the hallway, but one thing for sure is that she doesn’t stops and talks to the student to see how everything is going.

    Student can have a variety of teachers during a single high school year. They sometimes even have non-qualified teacher and/or dean teaching a subject that they aren’t really familiar with. For example, during my sophomore year there, my math teacher was dismissed and after that we had 2 more different teachers. The two previous graduating classes (2007 & 2008) had numerous teachers for their History class causing another dysfunction in the course work. For all I can say that teachers here only last about 1 to 1½ school year and others that come for interviews decide not to attend it.

    This high school over the past 5 years has gone on a straight downhill course, bringing nothing but problems to its staff and students. It is eminent that this school will eventually will shut down just like the Air Force J.R.O.T.C. program it used to run. I haven’t recommended this school to anyone and I would not either in the future. For those who I become a person who to admire during the last two year, all I can say is to continue and finish up. For this school to have a change in characteristic, it would first have to change its principal and then listen to what the teachers and students have to say about it and what they think is going wrong. The school cannot be run just by one person. Ms. Kirkweg wanted absolute power, so the school got corrupted absolutely.

  55. aerospaceblahblah permalink
    January 12, 2010 am31 12:27 am 12:27 am

    Well first i like to say that i didnt want to go to aerospace, my mom chose it for me because she saw cadets from that school in their AFJROTC uniform. After that summer of the orientation , i was dissappointed to find out the program was cancelled , i think if the program would have stayed, some kids might have been taught discipline and the school would have ended up all crappy. This school is garbage , and no one should apply for it. Captain always has students on a ” LEADERSHIP PROGRAM” using kiids to snitch, they get walk around with walkie talkies , walking around like rent-a-cops . I personally feel she doesnt care about the students and treat them equally.
    Last year my history teacher thought of this idea to start an honors program. People got into the program, some people got rejected (fortunately i got in). At the time i thought this would look good on my transcript , me taking advanced classes. Our teacher told us Captain , would get us laptops and what not . We promised alot of privileges but she never gave us anything. I think she used the honors class , just so she can brag about having honor class in her school. She took away some of our great teachers who taught us freshman year. She made us take classes we didnt ask for. (for ex. French) But thats just what i think. I strongly agree with TheOne wrote previously on this blog in how captain tell future students and their families,and what good progress the school is making . That is bullsh*t that my parents believe b4 i came to this school , and what future parents will believe. They think they are doing better for their children by putting them here but when you get here its just like the other schools in the bronx : gangs, fights, easy school work and a principal that doesnt care where the future of their school is going , if it survives. So you better reconsider before you send your kids here .

  56. m3luvUlongtym3 permalink
    January 12, 2010 am31 12:54 am 12:54 am

    FOr the Life of me, i do not understand why things at this school couldnt just be simple, when i was in 8th grade i heard about this skool in the news paper i did my research on it and even went to open houses to check it out. I honestly thought this skool was top notch for the 1st semester. the second semester i lost a great history teacher to sum hyprcryte wanna be air force smuck, my history teacher was put on hall way duty n later fired thus having my gym teacher substitute for her absense. I learned nothing for tht semester in my history class.

    To honestly see my prinicipal out of her office would be like the chances of winning the lottery, extremley rare. there was a day i was comin from the cafetria and captain as she tells ppl to adress her by ask me if i go to this school and in my head im like what the hell? how could u not rember your students.

    As for captains little rats? smh i guess some of thos kids who work for captain really need the money, never in my life would i rat on my friends or report a teacher when things arent goin the way i like them to go, the use of walkie talkies for her little student police force is un fair to all students who cant bring electronics into the building. If a parent where to come in for a confrence with principal at 8:00 they wouldnt even see the principal until 11:30 which is the time the principal decides to come into school. i would honestly love to know what she does in her office all day with the door closed?

    I am also sick of having advisory class almos t every year I DO NOT NEED THAT CLASS I AM NOT LEARNING A THING IN IT ITS A WASTE OF A PERIOD its bad enough our teacher for advisory can barley get us to stay quiet but the fact that a dean teaches an advisory class just upsets me. then when i go to the bathroom i must have a pass and hunt down these school aids to open the door for me b/c the bathrooms are always locked and thse school aids always have horrible attitudes.

    ANother thing that really grinds my gears is how on parent teacher conferences nights my principal is so quick to have her offic door open and shes out her room and greeting paretns n talking about us as if she knows whats going on with the school there is a preagnant assistant pricnipal in my school im pretty sure she should be on meternity leave beacuse her belly looks like a gigantic bean bag n the students in my school can be a bit rough in the hall ways which would put the assistant principals health n her un born childs health at risk, why has the principal not told her she can go on meternity leave yet?

    AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST where on earth does the princiapl hire these substitutes from? I have one subsitute in my school who has the audacity to take his sandals off n clip his crusty bunion infested toes during class. Now im not saying he is a bad teacher b/c i talked to him for a couple of minutes n found out thathe has a major in physcology and wanted to be a therapst but instead hes doing hall way duty and substituing in Bronx aerospace hs .

    p.s. 8th graders if you come across this high school in your little high school choice book dont even bother to look at the page with bronx aerospace on it just do yourself and all of us a favor and turn the page! oh and one more thing WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT IN HAVING A FLIGHT SIMULATOR IN THE SCHOOL AND ONLY KISS ASS STUDENTS GET TO LEARN TO FLY? THE NAME OF THIS SCHOOL IS BRONX AEROSPACE ACADEMY IS IT NO? WHY IS A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR TEACHING PHYSICS, EARTH SCIENCE AND GLOBAL HISTORY AND NOT TEACHING ANY STUDNETS TO FLY BUT THE ONES WHO KISS HIS OR CAPTAINS ASS?

    • Rex permalink
      January 14, 2010 pm31 11:37 pm 11:37 pm

      Well i do disagree with you on the KISS ASS saying. Everyone did have a chance to learn how to fly, if you just acted straight up like an ASS you wouldn’t have to be saying such things, other than that statement you just made I agree with all!

      • PEEWEE123 permalink
        January 21, 2010 pm31 11:07 pm 11:07 pm

        UPDATE ON BRONX AEROSPACE! A TEACHER HAS QUIT HER JOB AT BRONX AEROSPACE JANUARY 1, 2010 captian had this advisory teacher as a Dean when she first arrived at the skool in the beginning of the year then she was placed in a class room as an advisory teacher when she wanted to teach Math this women helped me out alot with any problems i had with geometry and she was a damn good teacher captain just put her in the wrong positions and i guess she felt as if she was being allowed to teach at her full potentail workin under captains talons. Oh and that Father time joke was pretty Funny MR De la ghetto aka T.o.a.b. how college goin for u btw?

  57. Rex permalink
    January 12, 2010 pm31 9:14 pm 9:14 pm

    Well, Well, let’s say that I in fact believe on what Johnathan articulates. I can indeed say many of the appalling things that go on in this school, as I was part of the school student ROTC staff. I was really close to Captain Kirkweg as my last year of high school came closer. I felt that we as staff students’ had a big amount of power, and basically enforced the schools’ law by forcing the lower underclassmen to wear their Military Uniform! I feel USED after I graduated, BETRAYED, and NOT APPRECIATED! I actually know one out of TWO students to Solo an actual aircraft. Sadly, by Bronx Aerospace Academy’s principal, Mrs. Kirkweg, they were not Congratulated at our DISORGANIZED graduation ceremony. I must say to any students not to apply to this High School. Never forgetting, we did have our good times at aerospace, when discipline was enforced on the students and former cadets obeyed the ROTC policy. There are also many good things left behind, but in the matter of ONE year the school went to the gates of hell. Teachers were disorganized and lacked the knowledge of the criteria, Admin. staff were completely rude, and YES YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Everything went down. And even though I got a lot out of this school I FINALLY graduated from, I am disappointed. I must say that the principal can get on a Jenny Craig diet and continue ordering her Steward Leonard’s Catering food and stuffing it all up her abnormal neck!

  58. Akhiil Rasmijuh beinladien permalink
    January 14, 2010 am31 12:40 am 12:40 am

    I am so glad tht i graduated from bronx aerospace, the things i rember smh i dont know why you students bother to continue to call that women captain anymore adress her as kirkweg! the thing that pissed me off the most about that school this one rude ass Faculty member whos name i shall not announce, my metro card was stolen during gym so i came to the faculty meber and asked her for a new one and she told me to wait 3 days and im like what the hell why 3 days? she gave me some bull shyt story that it takes 3 days to activate a school metro card. SO i came back after 3 days and the ladie told me to wait a week and im payin to get to skool outta my pocket and she obviosuly doesnt care she had the illest attitude and was always kicking me out the office for no reason i bet she wont do tht crap in front of a paraent though, i had to practiaclly beg this women for a new metro card after 10 days of paying for a metro card out of my own pocket i finally got a new one smh only in that school

  59. Akhiil Rasmijuh beinladien permalink
    January 14, 2010 am31 12:42 am 12:42 am

    oh one more thing, if aerospace is supposedly one of the best schools and has a high graduation rate why THE HELL IS IT SHARING A BUILDING WITH LIKE 4-5 OTHER SCHOOLS WHERE DOES OUR BUDGET MONEY GO? CANT WE GET WHOLE SCHOOL BUILDING FOR OURSELVES?

  60. Golden gurlXD permalink
    January 14, 2010 am31 12:45 am 12:45 am

    why your principal neck look so disproportionate? its like she has a hidden neck, i guess thats what happenes when your locked in your office eating all day

  61. Golden gurlXD permalink
    January 14, 2010 am31 12:47 am 12:47 am


  62. Raphiel De-laghetto permalink
    January 14, 2010 pm31 10:01 pm 10:01 pm


    • Rex permalink
      January 14, 2010 pm31 11:30 pm 11:30 pm

      Laughing my ass off here guys! I am a Former staff member and did good for the school for the class of 200*! I left a legacy, but damn this school went to the pits of hell! Satan has control of this school now. It’s so bad students at the high school of Bronx Aerospace have committed Suicide! Shouldn’t one be ashamed of all the awful acts that fat individual sitting in her office has done, having 3 cameras installed above her to see who steals her HOT WINGS from Stewart Leonard! Now shall we not be considerate, she has done so much for our school. Let’s not go “hard” on her, she is a great person who changes student perspectives on how they see life! BULLS***T! SHE IS A FAKE INDIVIDUAL! Wanna record what i say, well according to the doctrine of human RIGHTS, I do, indeed have the right to say what I want! Is it to an certain extend? Yes, but i have not passed the limit of my freedom of speech! Thank you all, and may god help those who enter Bronx Aeroshit of Ashitymee’!

  63. Martha Falkker permalink
    January 18, 2010 pm31 6:29 pm 6:29 pm

    Well, well, well… It’s been months since I have read through the comments contained within this blog. It seems that we have moved beyond the teachers and former staff inputs for not applying to this school, to the students (former and present) badmouthing how the administration works at Bronx Aerospace. It’s a wonder that the Board of Education hasn’t taken notice of all the comments. Do they even care? I guess that’s the price the staff and students pay when a school “appears” to have such a high graduation rate.

    Firstly, I cannot believe that there has not been a change to the name of the school since the US Air Force PULLED their support to the school. What Aerospace courses does this school teach now? Is there something that all the parents are overlooking? Didn’t the students choose this school because of it’s curriculum in aviation?

    Anyway, I found through digging and talking to Ms. Tally down at Headquarters AFJROTC about all the misgivings that BAHS had with JROTC and how Ms. Kirkweg lost her program. I say “her” program because that’s how she referenced it. Wow is an understatement.

    In my conversations I found out how “Captain” Kirkweg attempted to have her Air Force instructors removed or replaced. Unfortunately, the false accusations from the principal did not work to have the sergeants fired. I guess the Air Force didn’t have any supporting documentation or grounds, so they said they couldn’t help her out. One could guess that’s how Sergeants Williams and Picone were forced out of their positions. She made them resign. If the former students weren’t aware, Ms. Kirkweg was the one that had your beloved sergeants’ leave. They didn’t leave on their own; they fought their dismissal with the union before they gave up with her. They never gave up on the students.

    It’s awful to know that a principal would go to such extremes to have a member of her staff fired. Just outrageous! She had such a good relationship with AFJROTC until she became school principal. Oh, and the Air Force guys also sent letters of complaint about Ms. Kirkweg as they looked for other schools to move to. Could that have prompted the audits by the Air Force? So, if she would go to these lengths to the Air Force, would she not do the same with a teacher through the UFT? Watch out for the undeserving “U” you may get. It’s the beginning of the end for you at that school.

    How about all those teachers that quit…or should I say the teachers that were given the option to find a new position or be fired. I have been fortunate enough to know a few of those that were “dismissed” by Ms. Kirkweg and we have remained friends. It’s funny what we can laugh about now that we have jobs in places where the administration isn’t threatening. There are far better schools for teachers and students.

    I’m happy to let you all know that many of the teachers that have been discussed in this blog have found new jobs at new schools. We still talk about Aerospace, and how it could have been a great place. I still have my hall pass…it sits on my desk as a reminder that no matter how bad of a day I am having, nothing is as bad as the time I spent working for Barbara Kirkweg. And that is a fact.

    I believe that I saw something in a legal publication on her being sued. Isn’t there a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against her? And, I also hear that the Board of Ed is finally looking into all of the accounting irregularities too. The financial audit report should be finalized really soon and hopefully will be public record. Wont’ that be great? I think the BoE audit will show it wasn’t the Air Force Sergeant she placed the blame on about the school accounts being out of balance. That comment she made in the newspaper would lead you to believe that the Air Force instructors were stealing loads of cash. As a retired Air Force officer you would think that she’d have a higher level of integrity to not make accusations like that.

    This is getting a bit long, so it’s time to go for now. The reading has been insightful and enjoyable.

  64. PEEWEE123 permalink
    January 21, 2010 pm31 11:10 pm 11:10 pm


  65. C0mon S3ns3 permalink
    January 25, 2010 am31 12:30 am 12:30 am

    i just wish the principal cared about her students if she would come out her office once in a while and see what good students she has maybe our school wouldnt be doing so bad…..just maybe

  66. jg8596 permalink
    January 26, 2010 pm31 5:05 pm 5:05 pm

    well, sincerely this is a bad school never go to this school i graduated out of this school and thank lord i did. for the first graduating class. she had just recieves varioius funds from people in order to satisfy your every need. ofcourse she didnt want you to think of her as a bad principal. but for the 4 years of what was going to be left of ROTC classes it was just plain unfair. almost 95% of all senior who graduated struggled in college with their academic classes. why is this you ask? because barbara kirkweg always changed your teachers more than 5 times a semester. we never had a stable class. she fires who ever dont follow her rules, many AIR FORCE SERGEANTS saw the flaws and wnated to changed them they fought her word and of they go… AF sergeants were the ROTC students role model counselors advisers. everything..and she ofcourse like always take them away… also, in this school the students run it[well actually the graduates of 2006-2009]. it what they says goes. about the suicide, which he rest in piece with god now. she just put up a show, we all know she never like those morales twins. she took them out the school and when they wanted to come back she denied it. the guy didnt feel safe in the other school and became depressed. he really wanted to be in the airforce and he felt being in BAHS was his way to go, she destroyed his dreams and goals and ambition. but when everything happens she decide to put up a mask . HER STAFF is what she cared about. forget about the rest of her school. she only usedf them to make the school look i know.. i happen to be one of them when in aerospace. and i know how the system works. AND BARBARA KIRKWEG RUNS HER SCHOOL UPON FAVORTISM. i had spoken and even come in to the school a couple of years and seen the same history of the first ROTC graduating class be repeated. let me remind you that she babied them so much [that why they think she soo cool] she does the same with the first pilot class. i have to understand that the last graduating ROTC class which are 2010 have no say, they are not capable of enjoying thier senior year. she limits them to fundraising. she had thought of sending them to the basement and bring up her freshmen. is like she wants to hide her mistakes [ the rotc ones]..she blames the graduating class for what ever the other grades do. is like this graduating class is the scapegoat to all her mistakes. she might seem pretty and nice when she trying to recrute her students but staff students absolutely eveyone suffers becasue she only thinks of herself. she want a good name for herself. Please guys.. think wisely before attending such school… dont ruin the foudation of your life. not this way!

  67. C0mon S3ns3 permalink
    January 31, 2010 pm31 11:43 pm 11:43 pm

    jg8596 what your saying is 3v3r so tru3 my fri3nd but im noticing all w3 hav3 b33n doin is talking and talking, is anyon3 taking action? This wom3n is pracitcally g3tting away with murd3r and its lik3 noon3 is th3r3 to k33p h3r in ch3ck. H3r crim3s will not go unpunish3d i will do all i can to s33 to it that action is tak3n against this corrupt prinicipal.

  68. the cracker permalink
    February 8, 2010 pm28 3:57 pm 3:57 pm

    I am graduating this year from Bronx Aerospace and I feel that the school was a waste of my time. Not only did Captain Kirkweg not help our class at all, but then bribes us when we try to discuss the problems. One example was when the prom was about to be canceled due to a lack of down payments. Not only were the students not aware of the fact that they had to put a down payment, but then did not want to go because it was going to be run by captain. Another example of her tyranny occurred when the senior class tried to institute a student government. First, she would not allow it because we needed a faculty member to support us. when we finally got the support, she threatened the teachers to stop or there would be retribution. As of today, there is still no student government. I recommend that no parent lets their child go to this horrendous school and that it either gets a well needed change in management or is shut down.
    -Valedictorian 2010

  69. Martha Falkker permalink
    February 13, 2010 pm28 10:07 pm 10:07 pm

    I find it unbelievable that this principal still has the student body calling her “Captain”…as if she still has an Air Force program to reign over. Her EO-3 (Enlisted/Officer) retirement rank of Captain has nothing to do with the administration of the school now. The US Air Force JROTC didn’t believe that “her” program was worth continuing so why continue with the pretense of having rank and structure?

    Wouldn’t it be in the best interests of the students to quit pretending that there is still some Air Force influence to the school and move forward to becoming a real principal? Is her pride the only thing she feels matters? Maybe New York City should quit wasting taxpayer dollars and add this school to the list of schools that needs closing. It’s obviously not the school it was chartered to be. Today, it’s no different than any other high school in the City. What is being offered to the students that makes it worth saving?

    The comments here continue to make apparent that this school is not a place that any professional educator would want to apply. When the students become advocates against new enrollment you really have to reevaluate any decision to apply here.

  70. l2andom jew permalink
    February 21, 2010 am28 12:49 am 12:49 am

    School is a waste of time… DONT APPLY HERE!!

  71. UNo DOs TRes permalink
    March 14, 2010 pm31 6:59 pm 6:59 pm

    THis school is a waste of time dont even bother applying i thas no ROTC and only a selected few students get to have the flight program so if you come to this school looking to learn to fly DONT GO TO THE AVIATION SCHOOL IN QUEENS BECAUSE BRONX AEROSPACE SUCKS

    • lost Grl 18 permalink
      July 26, 2010 pm31 9:10 pm 9:10 pm

      soo freaking true iam one of there students i use to be in avaition it was a big waste of time they only gave me 5 hours an that i couldnt return to flight the school is full of corrupt ppl an she fires the teachers who have a awsome impact on kids an change their lives on my freshmen yr i was a honor student but then when i realized on how fake everything is esp. capt. an how terrible the school is on my 2end yr i jus skated by the yr but at the end of my 2end yr there hallways smelling like weed an a dirty pool and its jus full of problems for me i barely learn good things i learned bad stuff. an since i wasnt kissing her a** she jus f***s you over like always so thanx god this is my 3rd yr an im transfering to another hs. cuz i cnt deal with there s*** no more they f*** with your credits an skrew you over way too much bigest regrets

  72. eddie haddock permalink
    May 27, 2010 am31 4:48 am 4:48 am

    i wanted to use my real name to show i really mean what im about to write .. and that is no matter how good u did in this school( good grade , ROTC Staff , or every thing the principal ask) she never treated u good enough . the high-school life that we seen in other school was never given to us. the sad thing is i pick this school in hope of building my self to be something great. i did do that but it was after i got out in 2007. I FEEL SORRIE FOR MY FOLLOW ALUMNI AND NEW GRADUATIN CLASS TO NO THAT WE CAN NEVER GO BACK TO OUR HIGH SCHOOL AND BE PROUD NO MATTER HOW GOOD WE DID .

  73. Anonymous permalink
    August 20, 2011 pm31 2:45 pm 2:45 pm

    Undoubtedly, Aerospace is one of the worst schools possible, and I wish I knew that when I started working there. Happily, I am no longer there, and I am lucky that I could leave without much problems. In this school, there is a constant pressure and no support for teachers by the administration, which is making arbitrary decisions about the curriculum and the teachers’ classes, changing teachers’ schedules and students lists. The principal sits in her office and never bothers to find out what is going on in the classrooms, relying on second-hand information by an incompetent assistant principal who not only does not understand the content matter of the classes she observes but is intentionally malicious and comes at times, like a day before a break, when the students are most unruly in order to uses this against the teachers. She never comes to prepare or help a teacher or say what are her expectations but tries to surprise the teacher and catch him/her off guard. After that, she never even lifts a finger to help but just refers the teacher who has been given a U rating to the lead teacher for help and remedial advise. I am talking about an assistant principal who is half-literate and misuses simple words, but the principal seems to think the world of her, which only speaks about her judgment.
    This school is so ridiculous that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry when thinking about it. For example, there is a uniform policy but perhaps 10% or less of the students wear the uniforms. There are no consequences for student misbehavior because the dean doesn’t lift his finger to help the teachers, and the students would even get away with things like stealing or cursing a teacher even after the culprit has been identified and a dean’s referral has been written. If you are a new teacher, don’t go there because this could really end your career.

    • Dancer** permalink
      August 21, 2011 pm31 10:47 pm 10:47 pm

      I taught a BAA once and escaped as soon as I could. There were many wonderful kids there, and some knuckleheads, and I had hoped the school had improved. I’m sorry to hear that Mandell is still there and still playing gotcha–it’s true—she has no licenses nor does Kirkweg. The TFAs I knew were excellent, wonderful teachers, as were many of the others.

      Could someone post the name of the students who died? I may have known some of them.

  74. Kem Lee permalink
    December 20, 2012 am31 11:00 am 11:00 am

    Oh, no wonder, they just placed the xerox machine principal at Bx Aerospace, John Chase. Now you know the school is a joke!!

  75. ding dong wicked witch is dead permalink
    November 18, 2014 am30 10:39 am 10:39 am

    ding dong the wicked witch is dead. finally the captain is out of aerospace hs yeah!!!

  76. May 6, 2016 pm31 9:50 pm 9:50 pm

    Great looking website. Assume you did a lot of your very ownyour very own coding

  77. Anon permalink
    June 23, 2022 pm30 6:23 pm 6:23 pm

    Do not apply to Bronx Aerospace High School. The new principal has completely down rated many of the veteran staff. Furthermore , the administration is telling all students that it is mandatory for all students to sit in for the Regents, even when they have received waivers for the Regents exams. Teacher ratings are partly based on student performance, and students that had no chance of passing the regents were called on the day before examinations to take Regents that they were not going to pass despite the students having received waivers. Obviously the agenda is to ensure that teachers end up with a “developing” or “ineffective” rating.


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