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More about Bronx Science: Special Complaint

January 3, 2009 pm31 11:35 pm

Putting Bronx Science on the Do Not Apply list was not a simple thing to do; it is so different from the other schools on the list. I think I was right to want more evidence before adding it. And evidence I got.

Harassment of new teachers in the Bronx Science mathematics department had become so serious last spring, that the teachers joined together and filed a special complaint. What follows is an edited version of the Special Complaint.

The original is dated May 14, 2008. It is written to the Bronx UFT HS DR, and signed by 20 of the 22 members of the department. The signatures and the names of individual teachers have been removed.

We, the undersigned teachers of the math department at The Bronx High School of Science, are writing to you because we are sincerely concerned about some of the actions taken by Rosemarie Jahoda, A. P. Mathematics. We believe that these actions are harmful to both staff and students. We have tried, both collectively and as individuals, to address our concerns directly to Ms. Jahoda, but when we have attempted to address and amicably resolve these issues, Ms. Jahoda has not been willing to listen.

We feel that it is important that you know that the decision to write this letter was not taken lightly. In fact, a step such as this has never before been taken by members of the math department. This alone highlights its significance.

In general, we feel that Ms. Jahoda’s management style has led to the creation of an unpleasant, and in some cases, hostile work environment. She has intimidated teachers, particularly the untenured faculty, and has been unreasonable in her requirements of staff. Her actions would lead a reasonable person to conclude that she has targeted certain teachers with whom she has had disagreements, or, for some reason, does not like. Ms. Jahoda has stifled creative thinking and free speech. We are extremely disheartened as we think of what the mathematics department has been and has the potential to be.

Some of the issues are the following:

1. Ms. Jahoda has requested that untenured teachers submit their lesson aims and objectives in advance. Feedback on these submissions is inconsistently provided, as she has stated that it is beyond the scope and responsibility of the chairperson to do so; nonetheless, classroom observations on these same lessons have resulted in pedagogical criticisms and an unsatisfactory rating, which could have been avoided had the previously submitted lesson aims and objectives been reviewed and discussed.

2. Math department teachers are regularly reminded of the risks of exercising their free speech rights on the premises of the Bronx High School of Science. Some of the untenured teachers have been cautioned to avoid speaking with colleagues who might advise them of their rights under the contract. She has cautioned them not to tell the senior teachers of the instructions and demands that she has made upon them. These comments have been accompanied by a reminder that the chairperson is ultimately responsible for the job performance ratings of all department teachers. Teachers have also been reminded that performance evaluations are now based on behavior both inside and outside of the classroom.

3. Ms. Jahoda has directed new teachers to assign unusual point values for their exams (an exam worth 47 points or 71 points, for example). The common practice at this and most schools has been to assign 100 points per exam. Ms. Jahoda has expressly stated that, while use of this grading system is “voluntary,” the performance evaluations of untenured teachers who do not use this system will be adversely affected. Some of these teachers have been criticized by students and parents for using this confusing grading system. They find it difficult to explain the pedagogical rationale as they themselves feel it would be more beneficial to the students to use the traditional grading system.

4. Two of our colleagues have been continually harassed by Ms. Jahoda. Both of these individuals are qualified and effective teachers who are very intelligent, well-liked, and respected by their colleagues and students. We feel very fortunate to have these teachers among our faculty.

Our colleague, Mr. A, is an elected delegate to the UFT Delegate Assembly and is on the Bronx Science Steering Committee. Mr. A has supported our new, untenured teachers by making them aware of their contractual rights. In addition, Mr. A exercised his federally-protected right to a leave of absence under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act. His first formal observation was done shortly before taking the leave and his second one was done on the day of return from the February break. Both times he was given an unsatisfactory rating. We strongly believe that Ms. Jahoda is retaliating against Mr. A for his union activities. Mr. A has had years of positive reviews.

Our colleague, Ms. B, has been criticized by Ms. Jahoda for failing to adhere to department policy on issues for which there is no department policy. In the fall term, Ms. Jahoda observed a lesson that Ms. B had described in her list of aims and objectives. Ms. Jahoda criticized the content of the lesson. This lesson resulted in an unsatisfactory rating. Other teachers of the same course agreed that they, too, teach this lesson. Ms. B has recently been criticized for awarding an excessive amount of extra credit to students for their participation in the NYML (New York Mathematics League) contests. There has never been an established policy regarding how much extra credit to assign for this. While Ms. Jahoda may wish to limit the amount of extra credit assigned or prescribe how it is to be awarded, she has never done so. Instead, in hindsight, she has told Ms. B that she will have to recalculate her last semester’s grades (Fall 2007), resulting in many students’ grades being lowered. Such an action damages the credibility of a teacher vis-à-vis her students and is unfair to both students and teachers. When Ms. B requested the contractually required clarification of the verbal directive to change her grades, she was told that if she expected to see this in writing, she should start to seek employment elsewhere.

5. The authority, credibility, and position of math department staff has been compromised as teachers are periodically chastised, in angry and loud tones, in front of their students. This practice undermines teachers’ authority in the classroom.

6. Ms. Jahoda has communicated to our untenured teachers that the principal has developed a poor opinion of them because of their failure to remain on school premises after hours, regardless of the after-hours school work performed by these teachers off-premises. They have been told that it is “all about appearances.”

7. Job performance expectations are neither clearly communicated nor consistent. Some teachers are criticized for the order in which they present syllabus topics; other teachers presenting the material in the same order are not. It has been our understanding that determining the proper order for topic presentation, has, for many topics, been at the discretion of the individual teacher. This recognizes not only the evolving learning needs of the student, but also the teacher’s ability to be responsive to those needs, a Bronx High School of Science hallmark.

8. Ms. Jahoda regularly misses her appointments with teachers; in particular, she has repeatedly failed to be present for many of the meetings for lesson discussion that she has scheduled with untenured teachers. Teachers often wait outside her office for 30 to 45 minutes for meetings that she has scheduled. She appears to make no attempt to honor her commitment to these scheduled meetings.

9. In a recent incident in which a student complained about a teacher of long-standing and impeccable integrity, Ms. Jahoda, instead of recognizing that the student was out of order, encouraged the student. This exacerbated a problem and created an issue which could have been deflected had Ms. Jahoda had the managerial skills to do so.

10. Ms. Jahoda believes that her position as Assistant Principal gives her the right to speak abusively to the members of the department. Yet, if a teacher speaks up to Ms. Jahoda, he/she is punished with a letter for insubordination and a threat of termination. In a recent incident, Ms. Jahoda admonished another respected teacher by telling her that she was “divisive,” “unimportant,” and a “disgusting person.”

The senior members of the math department feel that we have been very fortunate to have so many hardworking, intelligent, dedicated, professional and caring new people as teachers in our department. In fact, many of the senior teachers often speak of our amazement in our good fortune to have such a wonderful group of new teachers who are “off the scale” as far as motivation, work ethic, knowledge of mathematics, and willingness to “go the extra mile.” These new teachers are the future of the math department.

We feel that one facet of the role of a supervisor is to nurture, support, and offer guidance to the teachers in the most pleasant and reasonable way possible. This has been the experience of the senior teachers in the math department with a variety of former supervisors. Unfortunately, Ms. Jahoda is at the other end of the spectrum in her dealings with the new teachers. Instead of support, she offers intimidation and bullying. Instead of guidance, she looks for anything in an observed lesson that is imperfect, and focuses on these items rather than any of the positive aspects of the lesson. Even the most experienced teachers make mistakes and rarely (if ever) teach a perfect lesson. Obviously it is unreasonable to expect perfection from the less experienced teachers, and clearly, a lesson that is not perfect but is acceptable ought not be rated as unsatisfactory.

The result of Ms. Jahoda’s actions is a demoralized faculty, and the creation of a climate of fear and negativity that is palpable. Most, if not all, of the teachers in the mathematics department often speak about their unhappiness with Ms. Jahoda’s administration. Some have spoken about leaving because they find the current atmosphere of undue pressure and criticism intolerable.

Because of the hostile environment that has been created by these incidents, the members of the math department will not meet with Ms. Jahoda without another colleague present.

This letter will serve as the basis of a special complaint in accordance with Article 23 of the UFT contract.

We are extremely concerned and we appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. Thank you.

310 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2009 am31 12:24 am 12:24 am

    I know one of the authors of this letter and have been hearing these horror stories for a long time. I hope something will be done soon.

    Many of the senior teachers are planning on retiring because of this woman.

  2. January 4, 2009 am31 12:50 am 12:50 am

    As terrible a situation that this is, it is heartening to see a school where teachers come together with such strength and are able to hold each other in such high regard.

  3. pbpcbs permalink
    January 4, 2009 am31 8:19 am 8:19 am

    This letter illustrates part of the motivation for breaking down large schools and hearding senior teachers into ATR…it is easier to control smaller, less experienced groups of people. Taking out the parts involving senior teachers, what is described here is the norm at other DNA schools and major pieces are seen at many of the small schools, especially if LA administrators are involved (but such august training is not required for viciousness). But when the senior most teacher is an untenured 3rd year or there are only one/two tenured teachers in the department, selected for their passivity, that’s what happens. While I’m sad to hear it of BxSci, I’m honestly jealous of the support the untenured teachers received…if i’d had some, perhaps I’d still be teaching in the NYC system.

  4. Paul permalink
    January 4, 2009 pm31 7:41 pm 7:41 pm

    This should be kept in mind when the city comes to us before September, hat in hand, looking for a way to cut costs so that they can avoid 40-50 students in a class under next year’s budget. There won’t be time for their school closure process. They’ll have to terminate people via excessing rules and that’s the opposite of what they like to do. It’s sad to say but the time has come to let the current system collapse on Mayor Bloomberg’s watch and not prop it up for another year so he gets to keep his little fiefdom going for four more illegal years.

  5. bronxteach permalink
    January 7, 2009 am31 8:24 am 8:24 am

    pbpcbs, you hit the nail on the head. that was exactly my experience at one of the small schools in the bronx. everything jahoda does my ap did as well. it was a total nightmare…the difference is: our math department was only 4 teachers (ap was supervisor of math and science).

  6. January 8, 2009 am31 8:19 am 8:19 am

    Bravo to the Bronx Science math teachers who are standing up for the integrity of the profession, and for the basic rights of their colleagues. We will never be respected as a profession if we do not respect one another and support one another.

    And bravo to JD for performing this and other public service. Despotism, injustice and lies are strengthened by apathy and silence, and weakened, and ultimately dissolved, by publicity and truth-telling.

    But the struggle is rarely easy or short.

  7. sickofbadteachers permalink
    January 8, 2009 pm31 4:55 pm 4:55 pm

    Bravo to Jahoda for finally clearing out the dead weight and doing her job as a supervisor. It’s about time that the school system puts kids first and holds teachers accountable for doing their job. This is not about a political union struggle it’s about educating young people and I for one am sick of my children being subjected to sub-par teachers protected by the tenure system and administrators who are afraid to do their job.

    • canwetalk permalink
      April 15, 2009 pm30 8:49 pm 8:49 pm

      I feel that you are not understanding the situation at BXHS of Science and at many of the schools under the Bloomberg/Klein administration. The union has in place a system where incompetent tenured teachers can be helped back to being educators for all children. It would seem that you, most likely a wannabe administrator, are very biased and you are not looking at the big picture of disgrace at BXHS of Science. It is our responsibility, teachers, paras, guidance counselors, a.p’s, and principals to ensure that teaching and learning is provided to each child, and professionalism among the staff is upheld and respect, which is not present at the school. Unions were created to promote social justice and to ensure that members in a union is given the opportunity to move into the socio-economic middle income. Not one teacher will support an incompetent educator, but a well-trained, perceptive educator who becomes an administrator will make every effort possible to guide, reach, support, enlighten, and work with that teacher(s) that is not making the cut. Ms. Jahoda is condemning the teaching profession by looking for insignificant, irrelevant, miniscule items in a lesson that will drive her power-hungry ego over the edge of reality. I do not condemn any teacher moving up the ladder of school leader, but a leader cannot not be maniacal. Otherwise, that type of leader did not hurt the teachers, but the future of the students who need the dedication and hard-work of teachers who want the best for the students and need to grow professionally with the support from a genuine, caring administration. So my message to you is to look at the big picture before you do any blogging.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 18, 2009 pm31 2:22 pm 2:22 pm

      These math teachers were not subpar. One was a student teacher at our school and while a student teacher taught one of Mr. Rosen’s classes when he was recuperating from surgery. A tenlured teacher was present in the room while she was teaching. She taught with authority and was respected by the students. Another graduated from Columbia Teachers’ College. They were all excellent teachers and had a good background in math. They were hard working, often stayed late to help their students and to do lesson preparation. It is a great loss to the Math Department, but more so to our student body and the future of Bronx Science. They were not bad seeds. The three new math teachers recently hired (2008 – 2009) do not compare.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 25, 2009 pm31 11:34 pm 11:34 pm

      I have heard whisperings of these happenings for a couple of years now…Bronx Science is a special school in many ways, and people are drawn to it for that reason. I love this school because I was a student there and that is why I am commenting on the situation there now.
      When I was a student there I was subjected to many “bad” teachers. I survived these teachers, and perhaps even because of them I am the man I am today. This is a world of mediocrity we live in. We are not all brilliant and we are not all “above average.”
      However, we all deserve to be treated like human beings…if we are incompetent we should be helped. If our lesson plans are terrible, we should be helped. If we are well meaning people, someone should help us if we need help.
      Your grossly disrespectful post is not helpful. It is not respectful. You are crude and you cannot hide behind the word “accountability.” No one believes that the incompetent should continue to teach our children, but I doubt that many of us believe that a whole department at Bronx science is staffed entirely with incompetent pedagogues who should be terminated. It simply is not a credible supposition. Ergo, one can conclude that you are not being fair, just, or objective. One can only conclude that you are being intentionally obtuse and you are just as rude and obnoxious as this person, Jahoda.
      Congratulations, you are a jerk.

    • A student at bronx science permalink
      May 11, 2010 pm31 9:35 pm 9:35 pm

      I currently attend Bronx Science and I had some of the math teachers involved in this- They were VERY good teachers and some of the most helpful teachers I’ve had… they’ve been replaced by incompetent teachers like the one I have right now… Please go to this website to see what students actually think about the teachers :

    • Anonymous permalink
      September 20, 2013 am30 6:29 am 6:29 am

      As a student at bxsci, I have f

  8. bronx sci student permalink
    January 8, 2009 pm31 7:47 pm 7:47 pm

    @ sickofbadteachers:

    the whole point of this article is to show that Jahoda is getting rid of GOOD teachers, i.e. the teacher who was given multiple unsatisfactory ratings by her was lauded for years before hand. If an entire department is filing a harassment complaint against the person who pays their salaries, something must be wrong

  9. January 8, 2009 pm31 9:25 pm 9:25 pm

    Sick of Bad Teachers appears to be a DoE official, or a Bx Science administrator. Pay no mind.

  10. January 8, 2009 pm31 11:24 pm 11:24 pm

    Whatever gives an administrator (or anyone) the right to act this way?

  11. JBL permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 12:55 am 12:55 am

    JD, being trolled by the enemy … must be doing something right :)

  12. '89 alum permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 1:48 am 1:48 am

    To “sickofbadteachers”: The Bronx High School of Science has been “putting kids first” for DECADES. I am forever grateful for the excellent education I received there FOR FREE. In the midst of a system that rewards teachers more the further they get AWAY from the classroom, the teachers at Science have always gone above and beyond the call of duty. If the teachers were frustrated enough to write a letter like this, I would be willing to bet it was well justified.

  13. sickofjahoda permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 1:54 am 1:54 am

    I am also sick of Jahoda. She seems like a nice person on the outside but in the inside she is cold hearted and evil. I fully support the math teachers who are going through this hardship. Jahoda should be removed for her tyranny!

  14. BXS Student permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 1:56 am 1:56 am

    Bronx Science math teachers, I applaud you for your bravery. Whenever a student may complain about their math teacher it is because they don’t understand the concepts. Bronx Science Math teachers bust their hump for us students. Even though I do not like math that much math is the subject that there is so much tutoring available. I thought Jahoda was better than this… I guess not. City teachers deal with enough already…

  15. studentsadvocate permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 1:58 am 1:58 am

    @ sickofbadteachers

    When you said Bronx Science cares about its students, I laughed pretty hard. That is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous. Students hate the abuse they suffer at the hands of bad teachers and staff who care more about their reputation than educating their pupils. Bronx Science is rotting outwards from the core and unfortunately, the kids are feeling the drama and chaos more than any student at any school should.

  16. Micheal permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 3:47 am 3:47 am

    i miss one of my teachers who was fired due to this problem. there has to be a stop to this.

  17. January 9, 2009 am31 5:40 am 5:40 am

    to all those who say bronx science has “bad” teachers…they are so wrong…every school has “bad seed” teachers, you can’t get rid of them. There will always be someone who just sucks at teaching or is abusive, but bronx science has an excellent teaching staff. In fact, the teaching staff is the only thing keeping us going. The administration is quite honestly awful and abusive, the student body is getting dumber and dumber (trust me, if you’re not taking an honors/AP class, its pretty much the same as going to cardozo, or some other regular high school) and a group of great, dedicated teachers are all that we have. So suck it up about Jahoda and some other bad teachers whom i shall not name. we have a great staff (thats about it)

  18. BxSciStudentJunior permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 5:56 am 5:56 am

    Having had 6 different math teacher in my 3 years at this school (not all for regular math) and knowing quite well several others I completely agree with the math department. The teacher we have already lost was quite possibly one of the best teachers EVER, let alone in this school. I’ve had math teachers elsewhere and I can honestly tell you that sadly all the good teachers suffer like this. Even the worst of the math teachers in BxSci would be a able to turn any other school’s math grades around. Appears that there needs to be new administration. Period.

  19. get rid of jahoda and reidy permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 6:52 am 6:52 am

    I learned that Ms. Abbott and Ms. Philip are the math teachers that are leaving at the end of the term. They will be missed.

  20. David. permalink
    January 9, 2009 am31 9:47 am 9:47 am

    It’s good to see the math teachers are rising up against jahodog. Am I right?

  21. January 9, 2009 am31 10:38 am 10:38 am

    The series of problems and incidents call the Principal’s and the Assistant Principal’s competence to fulfill their respective duties into question, but we have no mechanism for directly resolving problems that profound. The Special Complaint helps… but maybe we need more?

  22. Dud permalink
    January 9, 2009 pm31 6:43 pm 6:43 pm

    Very interesting. Jahoda used to each at Stuy, and there was a small incident with her back then:

  23. January 9, 2009 pm31 11:31 pm 11:31 pm

    Jahoda seems to be the type of petty dictator who terrorizes those under her and sucks up to those above her. Before coming to Bronx Science, she had absolutely NO administrative experience, and it shows! She was brought in by Reidy to bring the teachers in her department “into line”, since they were “out of control” (i.e. they actually made decisions without going to Reidy first).

    Jahoda goes in to observe teachers knowing she is going to give them a “U”, and then finds the reasons to do so. For example, she will observe a teacher on the day before or after a vacation, when they and the students haven’t yet settled in. Or she will assign three preps per teacher, when the norm should be two, and then assign a “U” when a teacher can’t keep up.

    Also, Jahoda isn’t interested in teaching, she is interested in testing. She has mandated that each teacher give each class 7 tests per semester – at 5 classes per teacher and 34 students per class, that’s almost 1200 papers to mark per semester. She also requires the younger teachers to submit all tests to her in advance. So, between writing tests, submitting them to Jahoda, reviewing with classes for tests, and marking tests, that doesn’t leave much time for actual teaching and learning.

    Since Jahoda and Reidy are such incompetent administrators, the math teachers should insist that they be shown the door. Otherwise, they will be presiding over an empty department, as all the other teachers leave.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 25, 2009 pm31 11:53 pm 11:53 pm

      Reidy is a piece of work who has been at Bronx Science forever. Even back in the day people knew what she was…if that woman is not an example of nepotism in action, then I don’t know what is…I’m surprised her connection is still alive to help her…and her sister…

  24. Kenneth S. Karcinell, Author: I'm Gonna Teach permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 12:30 am 12:30 am

    unfortunately, the scenario depicting the professional behavior, or lack thereof as attributed to Ms. Jahoda has become somewhat thematic within the greater educational community of the NYC Public Schools System. It is not secret that novice or early career teachers are the most vulnerable to intimidation, backlash treatment,retribution, unsatisfactory ratings, terminations and systemic dismissal. Part and parcel of this dilemma is that the UFT over the past 10 years has given up or relinquished what was its primary tool to counteract such behaviors to wit: the grievance procedure. Having grown up in the Bronx, I attended DeWitt CLinton HS, and had many friends who attended BX HS of Sci. THru the years I lived in the same community as one of its recent Principals.At present my wife and i are friendly with several families who have children attending the school. Therefore, I am 100% confident in finding that the above blog is more then accurate.I have heard this negativity for over a year. I cannot therefore understand for the life of me why it is still going on!As a former NYC school AP, Prin and as an Adj Prof at one of our prestigious NYC universities, I am apalled at the daliance in reaching a proper resolve to this matter. It seems to me that a Parents Action Body must be formed, and be empowered to address these matters directly to the Mayor and Chancellor. While the DOE is doing a credible job of raisng failing and mediocre schools up, it must not be permitted to allow its excellent schools to drop into the pits of mediocrity.

  25. Dolores Umbridge permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 1:15 am 1:15 am

    I think she is doing a pretty good job actually. I mean, I would do exactly the same thing as her!

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 25, 2009 pm31 11:44 pm 11:44 pm

      You would be rude and obnoxious to the point of causing a hostile working environment? I suppose this is what some people say to themselves when they dream of working at a particular post somewhere…hmm

    • bronxscience2010 permalink
      September 29, 2009 pm30 11:54 pm 11:54 pm

      hahah made me smile =)

  26. someone who knows the truth permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 3:41 am 3:41 am

    Dolores – so you would treat people rudely, yell at teachers in front of students, tell someone who worked for you that they are “a disgusting person”, get rid of first-rate teachers (ask the students who had the teachers who left and are leaving – they were and are loved by their students), be incompetent in many other ways… that says a lot about you – Jahoda has never received tenure in any previous job and had taught at 3 schools in 3-4 yrs before becoming AP at Bronx Science; she is hardly qualified as a teacher, much less as an administrator, is insecure and is threatened by anyone who is smart, confident and popular. Stuyvesant wouldn’t take her back as a teacher after she left but she is suddenly good enough to be AP at BxScience. Please!

  27. January 10, 2009 am31 5:07 am 5:07 am

    someone who knows the truth- apparently doesn’t understand humor…or read harry potter.

    WTF MS. ABBOTT IS LEAVING?! she was the best math teacher i’ve had since…ever… although i do not find this surprising, with her gentle attitude, she would make (no offense) an easy target to pick on.
    screw the bronx science admin. now it just seems like they’re TRYING to ruin bronx science. anyone smell a stuy conspiracy at hand??


  28. JDG BxSci Sophomore permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 5:25 am 5:25 am

    Hey dude: Dolores Umbridge is the evil teacher in the 5th Harry Potter book. Still, you are very right.

    I am a sophomore at Bronx Science, and my teacher, who taught a computer class included as math for some reason, recently left the school about a week and a half before the christmas vacation. He has not come back since, and Ms. Jahoda has “taken over” the class, although she has entered the room and spoken about three times total. She has re-created standards of a final project we were in the middle of when the competent and charismatic teacher left, leaving everyone distraught, as well as probably screwed on the project. We have been warned not to email the old teacher by Jahoda, the class website for students to help each other with has been taken down, and on the school website, Ms. Jahoda is now also a teacher of the class, along with the previous teacher, implying his possible return.

    In another article on the daily news about Ms. Jahoda, the principal of Bronx Science, Ms. Reidy, completely denied any possible criticism of Ms. Jahoda as “griping”. This very principal came into a class of mine last year and felt my hair. There is a subliminal message from the graduating class of 2008 in the courtyard in their graffiti project, saying “f*ck reidy”. This really expresses how we feel about her. When a student protest was held during school hours about a year ago that I attended, Ms. Reidy said it was over a “misunderstanding”. This is absolutely ridiculous. Now, according to ‘get rid of jahoda and reidy’, my math teacher is leaving at the end of the school term, which is in about a week and a half.

    This women clearly is poisonous to this once acclaimed school, and somebody needs to stop her. Walking out is a good idea, and is non-violent, which is what the school would prefer if any protest at all. Who knows, if the DoE keeps on this track, the protest could be an annual shindig at the front entrance. You know, the one with the big tall mosaic behind it, where students are not to enter in the morning?

  29. bx sci senior permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 8:34 am 8:34 am

    I think “Mr. A” is probably Mr. Lamphere and “Ms. B” is probably Ms. Smith, a great teacher who was fired last year.

  30. BronxScienceKid permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 8:58 am 8:58 am

    In school, they often ask us if we were bullied or threatened by anyone. but this time, who actually asked/listened to those teacher? Ms. Abbott was a sweet, benevolent teacher, although i only encountered her once during a small math project, she was willing to help me and my friends. Also Ms. Philip was a student teacher in my math class last year. She would always greet me and ask me how is everything. I still remember my best friend would always tell me she learned so much from Ms. Philip. In addition, through out all three yrs i spent in bxsci, we always had a strong math department. I’m not exactly a perfect student in math, but i always respected my math teachers. They were responsible and extremely dedicated. And they were awfully forgiving, understanding, and they are always there if I need any help. There are so many senior members of the department that have wayyy more teaching experience. and for them write this angry letter. IT’S GOTTA PROVE HOW BAD MS JAHODA IS!

    Plus. honestly, everyone knows Ms. Jahoda and Ms. Reidy are close. Everyone detests Ms. Reidy. There are always people complaining about her policies. My freshmen year writing teacher left because she felt pressured and her ways of teaching is “denied by Ms. Reidy’s ways” GOSH. they are firing all the good teachers in this school! its time someone do something about THIS!

  31. get rid of jahoda and reidy permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 9:00 am 9:00 am

    to bx sci soph (or other bx sci students) – do you think students would do a walk out in support of the faculty calling for the removal of reidy and jahoda? or a petition? the press would pick it up, probably.

  32. Anonymous permalink
    January 10, 2009 am31 10:45 am 10:45 am

    I’m sure alumni who have experienced the reidy administration would love to show support for the teachers and come out to the walk outs as well. Please organize one.

  33. January 10, 2009 pm31 11:11 pm 11:11 pm

    @Big Fat Toad – 7 tests a semester is clearly excessive. I usually give 5 or 6, but have been searching for ways to cut back, at least a bit. Each test eats a period, plus at least a part of a period in advance (sometimes review, but at least a preview of the approximate variety of questions that will appear), part of a period after (often valuable questions, which I wish would have occurred before, do not come up until the tests are returned), and sometimes more than that…

    @The author – thank you for your vote of confidence in the accounts here. These are good teachers. And the P and AP are picking on the newest, weakest, most vulnerable.

    @All of you, teachers and students, who did what I was afraid to do (name the teachers), and then share your first hand opinions of their integrity, caring, and skill, I thank you.

    Bronx Science has an incredible body of alumni. I hope that they involve themselves. It has a respected, talented corps of retired teachers and administrators. I hope they speak out as well.

  34. JDG BxSci Sophomore permalink
    January 10, 2009 pm31 11:36 pm 11:36 pm

    @ ‘get rid of jahoda and reidy’

    I have a facebook group that has gotten about 50 members overnight that could organize a protest just like that. We have to act this school year, and the news will definitely pick it up. They picked it up last year, anyway. Also, a few articles have been written about Jahoda in the last week, so they’re probably all looking for this.

  35. anonymous permalink
    January 10, 2009 pm31 11:54 pm 11:54 pm

    JDG bxsci sophomore – I think this would be a great idea and while the teachers would never tell you directly that they support it, I am sure they would appreciate it greatly; maybe the recent alumni could help too! What is the facebook group?

  36. anonstudent permalink
    January 10, 2009 pm31 11:59 pm 11:59 pm

    If we walkout, we should do it before in-class midyears!

  37. January 11, 2009 am31 12:12 am 12:12 am

    I apologize in advance –

    I like having this blog and making it available. I do not advocate that students do anything illegal, nor do I advise students to take any actions which violate the New York City Department of Education’s discipline code:

    Given the content of some of the discussion here, I think that this notice is necessary.

  38. Winston Smith permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 3:23 am 3:23 am

    The Ministry of Truth lies…
    Wall St. = West 205th St.
    Big Sister Is Watching…

  39. fussup permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 4:46 am 4:46 am

    Hey dudes-someone has to clue me in. What are we walking out for?
    My math teacher closed a door on a kids arm and it went through the glass. He never tutors or gives makeups. They aren’t all great!

  40. fussup permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 4:50 am 4:50 am

    Jahoda took over Fox’s class. Shes been tryin. I was there when he left. It wasnt like he was fired or anything. It looked like he might have done something and had to go like right then. This one really didnt look like her fault

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 18, 2009 pm31 2:33 pm 2:33 pm

      It was not her fault. He did something.

  41. fussup permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 4:53 am 4:53 am

    ya know this walkout thing happened last year when Kellert told her class she was being fired. It was bogus.she just doesnt like Reidy and used us to get back at her. I for one dont like being used. we better be sure whats goin on before we look like fools.

  42. January 11, 2009 am31 5:02 am 5:02 am

    Sorry to have to do this, but you really can’t use my blog to plan what sounds like an activity that would violate the NYC DoE discipline code. Please.

  43. listentothestudents permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 5:28 am 5:28 am

    to jd—well thats what happens when you try and suggest a type of action such as walk outs on a fuckin blog…let me tell you im all about activism but i am shocked that teachers from my school have resorted to writing a blog…its pathetic.

    after being at the science for a couple of years now, ive gotten to kno my share of the math teachers, both from being in their class and from around the halls. some are great and some suck…and the same goes for subjects other than math.

  44. fussup permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 5:42 am 5:42 am

    hey man you started this, but i had jahoda and found her an awesome teacher- whats the big fuss?

  45. JDG BxSci Sophomore permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 5:42 am 5:42 am

    jd2718: I think we are all sorry for using this as a possible conspiratorial discussion board. Everybody, please stop talking about a walkout or whatever.

    [portion deleted by blog owner]

    This blog is obviously one of a teacher, and I don’t want to affect his/her job with this. Along with the owner of the blog, I’m asking for no more discussion here, but on the facebook group, where nobody can get in trouble except for the creator, who doesn’t care.

  46. Anonymous permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 5:46 am 5:46 am

    @ ‘fussup’

    their complaint is not about her teaching ability–it’s about her harassment and bullying of teachers

  47. JDG BxSci Sophomore permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 5:54 am 5:54 am

    @ ‘fussup’

    she didn’t have any classes to teach before she took over a certain teacher’s classes

    @ ‘usedforfools’

    1) This has nothing to do with one teacher in particular, it is a department. This is also not directly against Reidy, it’s against Jahoda. No teacher asked for this, many people are simply outraged at Jahoda’s actions and what she is causing in the school.

    2) That protest wasn’t just for Kellert, it was a general disagreement with Reidy’s policies as well.

    [remainder deleted by blog owner]

  48. fussup permalink
    January 11, 2009 am31 7:05 am 7:05 am

    jdg- she did teach. I was in her M$5 class before Fox left. She taught last year too and those guys really liked her. All the APs teach.

  49. Outraged parent permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 7:10 pm 7:10 pm

    I am an outraged BxSci parent. My child brought this blog to my attention this morning. What kind of teachers allow their students to become involved in petty issues such as these? My dealings with the math teachers at Science have been less than positive. I had to go to the AP of their department to get help for my son. After numerous phone calls and e-mails with Mrs. Jahoda, she was successful in finding a solution for my child. She was nothing if not professional and kind each time I communicated with her. In fact, several weeks after our initial contact, she called to check up on my son’s progress. Teachers – don’t use our kids in your personal campaigns! I don’t buy any of this!

  50. January 11, 2009 pm31 8:18 pm 8:18 pm

    Just a quick note on the 3 defenders of the administration in this comments section.
    Sick of Bad Teachers appears to be an admin.
    Fussup, claiming to be a student, posted under 4 different names (I fixed that). I suspect this is an adult, or a kid who spends a lot of time in the AP’s office (fairly global knowledge). Are there kids like that?
    And Outraged parent are you here to express your love for Jahoda? or to complain about the blog?

    For the record, I wrote about Bronx Science primarily to warn new teachers about the danger of having their careers destroyed before they start.

    I also thought it would be positive, empowering, if the voices of those harassed were heard more widely, even if it was indirectly through their formal complaint, and through my summary of what they faced.

    I know that kids find this. I stopped them from using this to organize. But what is it about the current administration that has generated so many student protests in such a short time?

  51. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 8:19 pm 8:19 pm

    Outraged parent: I agree. As a math teacher for over 20 years, I have never gone to students with my professional issues. Teachers in NYC belong to one of the strongest unions in the world, the UFT. This “special complaint”, as far as I understand, has been submitted to the UFT. If there is any validity to these issues, it should be or will be mediated by them! It seems that going public or to students means that they nothing has been found that substantiates these complaints. I have worked for people whom I do not like or agree with. It seems that life is full of choices. “Grieve”, stay and work within the system or go—the only instance where I would find the need for such public outcry is if students are being put in danger or not beeing taught. Really read this list– if a teacher was “yelled” at where is the finding of the Board of Ed. and the union.

    It seems to me these people just dont like rules or Jahoda. So what. Grow up and stop using kids

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:02 am 12:02 am

      “Wise” huh? surreptitiously implying that everyone else here is less than? No one asked kids to join this discussion, and it is apparent that this blog was designed for teachers, not students…
      If teachers complain to students about difficulties with administrators…I agree that is wrong…is it the end of the world…

    • bx student permalink
      May 11, 2010 pm31 10:21 pm 10:21 pm

      I’m a junior right now and both teachers and students all have a mutual hate for Reidy… Who spends money on 45 inch screen plasma tvs everywhere? Thanks Mrs. Reidy, I can now check the time whenever I want!

  52. January 11, 2009 pm31 8:25 pm 8:25 pm

    Very nice.

    “WiseTeacher” is the same person as “fussup” (the pretend student)

    Please restrict yourself to one name.

  53. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 9:11 pm 9:11 pm

    Wrong! fussup friend of my son!

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:07 am 12:07 am

      Didn’t you say that involving kids in these discussions was inappropriate? How do you permit “Fussup” to use your computer to do so then? I thought you were too “wise” to fall in such a trap?
      Your marked lack of eloquence when caught, as compared to yuour earlier post is interesting as well…ala Ralph Kramden hummana hummana perhaps?

      • Bronxscience88 permalink
        August 26, 2009 am31 12:09 am 12:09 am

        Excuse the typo, I was laughing at the wise one’s…wisdom?

  54. January 11, 2009 pm31 10:53 pm 10:53 pm

    Re: the comments by Outraged Parent and WiseTeacher (sic!) As I read this, no teacher is asking anything of any student. This is between the teachers and the administration. Students, however, are neither blind nor stupid – they clearly see what is going on and wish to do something to help.

    So, not only is Jahoda not qualified as an administrator, she is not tenured as a teacher. Meanwhile, of course, most of the teachers she supervises have vastly more experience than her. Just goes to show you that competence is punished and gross incompetence is rewarded in the NYC public schools. Also, it is easy for Jahoda to mandate 7 tests a semester – she only teaches one class!

    But make no mistake – the real problem isn’t Jahoda, it’s Reidy. Jahoda is Reidy’s toady – she does whatever she is told to do. Reidy is a fourth rate administrator put in a first rate position, and she has steadily brought Bronx Science to the point that teachers at Science would rather teach at Clinton HS! If you get rid of Jahoda, Reidy will simply find another toady to do her bidding. The only way Science has a chance of improving is by getting rid of Reidy.

  55. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 11:12 pm 11:12 pm

    So let me get this straight. Teachers are complaining about giving one test/month plus the mid-year exam (Sept-Feb). Perhaps I will apply to work at Bx. Sci. I give 8 tests plus quizes. Unless they are using some other means of assessment, how do they know if kids understand the concepts and how are transcript grades valid with fewer assessments?

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:12 am 12:12 am

      I believe the criticism was directed more about the grading system Jahoda wished to use…

  56. Anonymous permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 11:30 pm 11:30 pm

    WiseTeacher: That’s not it at all. The complaint letter doesn’t even mention the mandated # of tests. It’s about harassment, not treating people with respect, and violating their rights.

  57. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 11, 2009 pm31 11:56 pm 11:56 pm

    Harrassment and right violations are serious complaints. Why hasnt the UFT done something yet? It seems that these complaints were made months ago. Anytime I have had a legitimate gripe with administration, the UFT has defended my rights and the grievance machinery made things right. It seems she has not “violated” the contract. Not liking her is one thing, but harrassment and rights (here I assume you mean contractual rights) violations are immediately addressed by the UFT. They work for me!

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:25 am 12:25 am

      Now I know you’re not a teacher, LOL. A friend of mine was harassed every day for three years and the union couldn’t do anything to stop the harassment until he amassed a hefty amount of anecdotals on the administrator. The UFT is helpful, yes, but it is not all powerful, nor is it able to remedy a situation overnight.
      By the way…Harassment…”the word is based in English since circa 1618 as a loan word from the French “harassement””…there is only one r in the word, lol

  58. January 12, 2009 am31 12:20 am 12:20 am

    The Special Complaint (Article 23) moved slowly. Perhaps I should update with a full post. For now (and some of these details are sure to be wrong. I do not teach at that school):

    In reaction to the Complaint, by June:
    – 2 teachers were U-rated for the year, one discontinued (and landed a good W’chester job)
    – While the school budget was expanded, the math department budget was cut; two positions were eliminated.
    – The schedule was re-rigged so that the majority of teachers had 3 preps (historically the majority of math teachers at Science have two preps, with a small number with 3)
    – Teachers were scheduled without regard to their preference sheets, and assigned courses they had never taught, or had not taught in a long time.
    – A stream of file letters were written for petty nonsense. Because of the level of abuse in private conversations, teachers chose to meet with the AP with another member of the department present. She refused to allow this, and wrote them up as insubordinate.

    In reaction to the toxic atmosphere:
    – 2 more teachers left (both for suburban jobs?)
    – The same 20 of 22 teachers filed a grievance based on retaliations for exercising their rights.

    Also, there is a separate grievance based on the Principal removing union material from teachers mailboxes.

    Since September the retaliation has continued, with petty file letters, abusive language, and a string of U-observations of teachers who signed the Special Complaint and the Article 2 grievance. 2 more young teachers are leaving at the end of the term (one is transferring, one seems to be leaving teaching – exactly the sort of eventuality that I blog to make less likely). One other teacher left, apparently for reasons unrelated to the harassment.

    The Article 23 hearing was earlier this fall. The principal was conveniently sick that day and did not testify. I do not think a recommendation has come down yet.

    And in the meantime, I want to alert new teachers that this is not a good place to come teach, that they put their just-started careers at unnecessary and unacceptable risk.

  59. Get your facts Straight permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 1:27 am 1:27 am

    I teach at Science, so allow me to clarify the factual errors of the previous post…I’ll go in order of the above bullets so you can all follow along…

    – Of the teachers who left in June, only ONE was u-rated, and she is no longer teaching. The one who took a job in the suburbs received an S, as did the one who resigned to take care of his sick mother in Atlanta. I doubt Ms. Jahoda can be blamed for the salary differential between NYC and Westchester.
    – The Math Department budget was not cut, and positions were not eliminated. What happened is that the meeting time of some classes was reduced to bring them into line with other specialized high schools (and common sense)…AB Calc went from seven periods to five, as it is in every other comparable high school. BC Calc went from 7 periods to 6. Freshmen math team now meets every other day, with apparently no impact on performance.
    – The majority of teachers might have three preps…Part of that is due to the numerous singletons that we offer. In any event, though, there is nothing contractually that forbids three preps, and I have had that schedule many times.
    – Letter-writing for petty nonsense is in the eye of the beholder. Unless you can cite a specific incident (and I’d imagine that you would if you could), then forget about it.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 18, 2009 pm31 2:44 pm 2:44 pm

      GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!! The Math teacher with a U rating in June is teaching happily at a new school in Westchester. The other who went to take care of a sick mother in Georgia returned to NY in the middle of summer and emailed that he was available to teach again and never got a reply from Ms Jahoda. We were short a math teacher in the fall 0f 2008. The teacher who took a job in Scarsdale did not know that the salary was higher.
      Their leaving was a great loss to the school.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:34 am 12:34 am

      “…some classes was reduced to bring them into line with other specialized high schools (and common sense)…”
      Bronx Science never used to try to emulate other schools, other schools tried to emulate us. In fact, some of these newer specialized schools were in fact designed in an attempt to imitate Bronx Science’s success.

      “…AB Calc went from seven periods to five, as it is in every other comparable high school. BC Calc went from 7 periods to 6.”

      Students getting less instructional time is good because…? Help me here. Your logic escapes me…comparable high schools??? You obviously do not know what Bronx Science was meant to be, nor do you care.

  60. Get your facts Straight...Again permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 1:29 am 1:29 am

    Note that Special Complaints do not move slow. And, in any event, if you believe that the complaint had merit, you would wait for the result. The only reason to go public now is because you fear that the complaint will be unsubstantiated and you are trying to sway public opinion.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:39 am 12:39 am

      Bureaucracy slow? NYC DOE slow? Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Twenty teachers out of twenty-two complain, and you would like everyone to assume that their complaints are bogus? Most teachers I know are notoriously reticent when it comes to complaining about ANYTHING

  61. anonymous permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 1:45 am 1:45 am

    get your facts straight – jd2718 ‘s summary is absolutely accurate. get your facts straight is an administrator or jahoda herself. The complaint was filed in May with the union; it was given to Reidy and the DOE in Sept. The initial testimony was at Bx Sci in Sept. All teachers went downtown to testify on Election Day. The DOE has yet to issue its final response. Once it does, the parties will go arbitration in front of a neutral body. The harassment continues. Dao, Smith, Bellantoni, Greene have all left with 2 more to follow by the end of the month.

  62. ufter permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 2:05 am 2:05 am

    the complaint was officially filed with the DOE in sept. the teachers were interviewed soon after that at bx science–a resolution was not reached. then they went downtown to testify on nov. 4. The DOE has deliberately delayed giving their decision, although they are supposed to within 72 hours i think. actually, the uft is grieving the way that this timeline is not being adhered to by the DOE.

    “get your facts straight…again”: It’s hard to believe that the complaint is unsubstantiated with nearly the whole dept (consisting of some award-winning teachers who have been there for decades) in agreement.

  63. Read The Contract permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 2:42 am 2:42 am

    ufter – If the special complaint was filed with the uft in may, why did the union sit on it until sept? Read the contract. If harassment was taking place, the uft would have filed the complaint immediately with the doe. What was the union waiting for?


    B. Filing and Priority Handling
    A special complaint shall be promptly filed with the Chancellor by the Union. Such complaint shall receive expedited handling pursuant to this Article.
    C. Joint Investigation and Informal Resolution
    Within twenty-four (24) hours after the special complaint is filed with the Chancellor, a joint investigating committee consisting of one representative designated by the Chancellor and one representative designated by the Union shall investigate the complaint at the school level to ascertain the facts and bring about a prompt resolution of
    the problem without resort to formal procedures. In the course of its investigation, the joint committee shall confer with the principal of the school, the community or assistant superintendent and other persons involved in the controversy….

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:43 am 12:43 am

      Of course, the UFT, another bureaucracy, acts on all complaints within twenty-four hours…it never tries to resolve things amicably/informally…okay

  64. January 12, 2009 am31 2:42 am 2:42 am

    I am amused at “get your facts straight”. Let’s see, 20 of 22 teachers are so upset as to file a Special Complaint and it is just griping. Either “get your facts straight” is one of the 2 who didn’t sign the complaint, or it is Jahoda herself, writing on someone else’s email account. I guess everyone’s out of step except for “get your facts straight.”

    As for petty nonsense, I know that one teacher had a letter put in her file for addressing her students as “you guys”. If that isn’t petty, what is?

  65. January 12, 2009 am31 2:49 am 2:49 am

    Re: “Read the contract”: You have to be kidding! The union filed the complaint, but the DOE sat on it for months. Their “investigation” consisted of an administrator attempting to discredit the 20 teachers, and their “solution” was status quo ante. It is clear that the Chancellor backs Reidy and Jahoda in their harrassment – he wants to “break” the union. Unfortunately, the union isn’t what it used to be; Randy Weingarten is no Al Shanker.

  66. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 3:52 am 3:52 am

    Folks- we should all reflect for a moment about our craft. I wonder how many of the folks who are writing actually have seen or heard any of these math people teach. My son’s friend tells me that some of them are truly bad and certainly not child centered. I refuse to believe this as well,since I have no real evidence. When someone tells me that I am a good teacher the first thing I say is “thank you I didn’t know that you have ever been in my classroom”.

    I know that the UFT exists to defend all of us, but like the AMA, we had better start realizing that all teachers are not all great- Some are, some try and some should never be with kids.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 12:47 am 12:47 am

      So if 91% of the math department at Bronx Science believe they are being harassed, we should all be as wise as you and simply reserve judgment?

  67. January 12, 2009 am31 5:13 am 5:13 am

    I also wonder how many of the folks who are writing have directly seen or heard Jahoda’s behavior as AP. Of the 22 people who did (i.e. the members of her department), 20 thought she was so horrendous as to file a Special Complaint. As they say in math, Q.E.D.

  68. Get the Facts Straight permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 6:05 am 6:05 am

    OK Anon…., here goes…

    Well, I said I TEACH at science, which means I’m neither Jahoda nor Reidy. Next, 20 of 22 people signing a complaint doesn’t PROVE anything except that they’re complaining…Large groups of people can still be wrong. It’s called groupthink, when a group of people follow one person off a cliff. After all, Hitler and GW Bush were both elected by majorities, who, in retrospect, acted pretty stupid.

    Next, I was under the impression that in America people are innocent until proven guilty. You admit that you filed a special complaint and that no decision has yet been reached. If you had any confidence that the allegations would be substantiated, you would simply wait. After all, if Jahoda is as bad as you say, it would only be a matter of time. The fact that you’re engaging in this extra-judicial public relations smear campaign means that you don’t think you’re going to win on the merits, and merely that you’re trying to influence public opinion.

    It’s shameful what you’re doing to railroad such a great human being and dedicated teacher. Fortunately, I believe her spirit to be indomitable and her will unbreakable. You’re not winning.

    I hope that when your special complaint is put in the shredder, and Jahoda vindicated, you remember to inform the Daily News. After all, a story that was basically about the filing of a complaint should be followed up by a story about its resolution. In any event, the story in the News was not a story at all—the fact that people don’t like their boss is not at all newsworthy nor unique. Nonetheless, since the News thinks it is, I look forward to their stories about managers of local coffee shops and hardware stores.

    Bronx Science has so much we should be CELEBRATING right now…increased student achievement…forthcoming Intel results…an award winning debate team….this petty bullshit is ruining the reputation of a great school.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:02 am 1:02 am

      “Well, I said I TEACH at science, which means I’m neither Jahoda nor Reidy.”
      Here, you ask us to infer that you are not Jahoda nor Reidy because you TEACH…yet…you later say “It’s shameful what you’re doing to railroad such a great human being and dedicated teacher.” In the second quote you are referring to Jahoda. Your logic here is faulty…figure out what you did wrong, I’m on vacation, lol

      “this petty bullshit is ruining the reputation of a great school.”
      How can complaints about two administrators destroy the reputation of an institution recognized for academic excellence for over eighty years?

      I think you are scared of this blogger, and all the contributors to this blog, and call me crazy…that seems like a step in the right direction.

  69. January 12, 2009 am31 6:19 am 6:19 am

    Sorry, you’re not going to get away with making the harasser the victim, especially in this case. She’s U-ed two teachers. She’s writing U-observations right and left, she’s driven 6 teachers away already.

  70. January 12, 2009 am31 6:19 am 6:19 am

    It is certainly possible that the Special Complaint does not resolve in favor of he teachers and students and school. But this post – remember, there was a point to this post – will remain just as important.

    I will continue to get out the message, loud and clear, that new teachers should avoid ‘career-killer’ schools, and Bronx Science, today, is one of those schools.

  71. WiseTeacher permalink
    January 12, 2009 am31 7:03 am 7:03 am

    jd: When is a special complaint lodged by the students. As a teacher, I have worked with some great administrators who U-ed some teachers who were not working for the students’ good. You assume that an administrator is automaticlly against students and teachers are automatically for students. Unfortunantely, I have worked with teachers who treat children badly and who really do not care about working for their good.

    I am saddened by the group mentality that tears down a person’s reputation without first hand evidence. I, as a member of the UFT, have met some teachers who have made me ashamed to share my title with them and some administrators (former teachers) with whom I have been proud to work. So it seems that your stance is that, without ever being in the building or seeing these people work, they are right and administration is wrong. I need more facts than those listed by this court of public opinion.

    As for new teachers working at Bx. Sci.– are they children who cannot assess a situation for themselves? I am sure that they will have a chance to interview and meet the other members of the dept.

    Please stop promoting yourself as the protector of the new teachers. The info is here, let them think for themselves, if they can.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:11 am 1:11 am

      The point of this site is that people’s careers can be ended before they begin. This blogger has no control over what schools people choose to work at. As an American, he and I, can choose to believe who we find credible and who we do not find credible. For instance…you are not credible. I have met two teachers “victimized” by this principal, do I believe everything they say? Of course not. Do I believe they were harassed continuously by this principal and her cohorts…of course I do. When people from different departments in one school complain independently and unknowingly to me at the same time and their stories sound similar…harrumph!!! I guess I should believe someone like you who is unwilling to even hypothetically credit some of the anecdotes presented here…

  72. January 12, 2009 am31 7:45 am 7:45 am

    Can you believe Get the Facts Straight?? – “It’s shameful what you’re doing to railroad such a great human being and dedicated teacher.” She is confusing Jahoda with the teachers she has been persecuting. Tia Smith, Carolyn Abbott, and Greg Green, and all their colleagues, are great human beings and dedicated teachers. Jahoda, who has driven all three out, is a pitiful excuse for a human being and is dedicated only to kissing Reidy’s behind and advancing her career.

    “I believe her spirit to be indomitable and her will unbreakable”. Indeed. Sounds like a heroine of some Nazi movie.

    If Get the Facts Straight and WiseTeacher are not Reidy and Jahoda, they are their lackeys and stooges. They should crawl back under their rocks.

  73. get real permalink
    January 12, 2009 pm31 5:12 pm 5:12 pm

    bufo_marinus: I love how everyone who agrees with you is heroic and right and everyone who disagrees with you is a lackey. Talk about a nazi regime. I take it you were a student in these teachers’ classes? The evidence shows that at least some of these teachers get off on ridiculing students and intimidating them in class. If that makes them great human beings you have a strange definition of great.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:14 am 1:14 am

      Ahem, the only teacher in this thread who was alluded to as being someone who ridicules student was in fact…drumroll, please…Jahoda…

  74. January 12, 2009 pm31 6:55 pm 6:55 pm

    I must wonder how this blog turned from a discussion on why young teachers should not apply to teach at Bronx Science to the “Reidy and Jahoda Mutual Admiration Society”.

  75. January 12, 2009 pm31 7:04 pm 7:04 pm

    get real: “The evidence shows that at least some of these teachers get off on ridiculing students and intimidating them in class.” What evidence? Were you in their classes and heard this? Or are you repeating what Jahoda told you to say?

    As for ridiculing and initimidating, that is exactly what Jahoda does to teachers, both in private and in public. If that is your definition of a “great human being and dedicated teacher”, never mind a competent administrator, you must also consider Mussolini a great leader.

  76. Annonymous permalink
    January 18, 2009 am31 2:38 am 2:38 am

    As a teacher at Bronx Science, I must say that I have never been embarrassed or humiliated by Ms. Jahoda. In fact, she has been very supportive and helpful.

    • January 18, 2009 am31 3:57 am 3:57 am

      With all due respect, that one teacher has not been treated abusively in no way negates the experience of the score who have. Twenty teachers put their names to paper in filing this complaint – a brave step, and one that would not have happened had they not felt themselves trapped by her harassment and abuse.

      I was upset to learn that you have a math teacher leaving, voluntarily, without a new job lined up. In the current economic environment that speaks tons to the degree of harassment.

      • Bronxscience88 permalink
        August 26, 2009 am31 1:16 am 1:16 am

        I like that, a score of teachers…lol

        Seriously though, people dream about teaching at Bronx Science…no one leaves that school on just a whim.

  77. BXSstudent permalink
    January 18, 2009 am31 3:25 am 3:25 am

    The teachers at Science did NOT bring students into the disagreement between Jahoda and themselves. Most, if not all students, were made aware of the filed complaint against her to the UFT through a newspaper article. As soon as we saw it, we questioned our own math teachers on the subject, and they tactfully declined. So, please do not accuse our teachers saying that they’re using the student body as a weapon. They do realize that personal problems between the AP and themselves should stay between them. But we the students cannot drop such a situation so easily.

    As far as we can tell nothing will happen unless there is more proof or evidence of her bad behavior, because Reidy insists on defending her. I will admit the school is not filled with competent and sugar-sweet teachers, but there are enough that make going to this ridiculously work-oriented school worth it. And the fact is, the ones that make the school worth it, are the ones that are leaving it. The quality of our teachers are going down and along with it the school name.
    What makes our school so special is not the teachers, its the students. We all work hard in every minute of every period of the school day. We work hard whether or not our teachers are competent, and if they aren’t we work especially hard to make up for it.
    The fact is we see the injustice that is spreading throughout the school like wild fire. And we are sick of it. We have already tried a walk-out just last year, against ms.Rediy, and it came to no avail.

    Many outside people have read about this incident and the walk-out last year, and it has caused a dislike to the school. My younger friends are second guessing their wish to come to bx. The fact is that all of this is making the school worse and less appealing, and it all leads to ms.Reidy and her new administration.

    if anything is to ever be done, Ms.Reidy needs to go first, otherwise the structure of our school will never truly change.

    The students are neither blind nor stupid. We have been and are watching the progress of these events, and will act when we deem it necessary. My best hope is that the student body will work as one, united, to bring about the change that the school desperately needs.

    (yes i realize change-obama blah blah~that was not my intention)

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:24 am 1:24 am

      “What makes our school so special is not the teachers, its the students. We all work hard in every minute of every period of the school day. We work hard whether or not our teachers are competent, and if they aren’t we work especially hard to make up for it.”

      As I said in my first post, i went to Bronx Science and I learned something even from the bad teachers. I learned personal responsibility. Do I wish that all teachers were horrible? No, I mean that a student’s success at Bronx Science is a measure of the student’s dedication far more than the quality of his teacher. An excellent teacher is a blessing, as I said earlier, not all of us can be above average. Hence, my confusion at the alacrity with which teachers are being harassed at Bronx Science, as if we could all as teachers be “the best.”

  78. Anonymous permalink
    January 19, 2009 am31 8:57 am 8:57 am

    To anonymous:
    Perhaps it is because the teachers spoke up about the previous harrassment that you are being treated well.

  79. January 19, 2009 pm31 9:58 pm 9:58 pm

    That may be correct. Jahoda may not want to harass the new teachers she herself brought in, to replace those she harassed out of the school.

    Unfortunately, however, the teachers who spoke up about the harassment are being further harassed, in retaliation for speaking up. Two more are leaving at the end of this month. One would rather teach at Clinton, and the other would rather collect unemployment, than remain at Bronx Science. Don’t tell me that won’t affect kids’ education – where will they find competent, dedicated teachers who can get up to speed in the middle of the year and step in for those who are leaving? Maybe Jahoda should be forced to teach these classes herself.

  80. Anonymous Student permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 2:30 am 2:30 am

    I love Ms. Abbott and I’m really upset to hear that she is leaving!!! Soemthing must be done about this administration.

  81. Student permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 2:50 am 2:50 am

    As a student in one of the most prestigious school in New york, i am most utterly disappointed to see the amount of distress going on between teacher and their bosses. We are people whether or not we have the same color, height and etc. Just because Ms.Jahoda is the boss of these math teachers, she does not have the right to violate those from others. This situation is most troublesome not just for the teachers themselves but also to us the students. How dishearten can it be to learn that we are in one of the best schools and to know that we have faculty that fight? How dishearten to know that one of our most loved math teachers are being harassed and forced to quit? Of course, we as students can do nothing and nothing can be done, but she (Ms.Jahoda) needs to leave. It does not matter whether it is too late to chase back those quitting teachers, but their dignity and right shall still remain intact and for those other teachers that come under her wrath. This event should not be taken lightly and soon be forgotten. This should be taken up on court, for violation of rights and the Constitution. However, even when this situation is resolved how are we the students and the school going to look? There is lots of newspapers and websites talking about this. Wouldn’t this damage our reputation as a school?

  82. Student permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 2:52 am 2:52 am

    MS.Abbott if your reading this. This is for you <33 best of luck in finding a successful future as it is now ruined.

  83. Get the Facts Straight permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 4:32 am 4:32 am

    I suppose that the fine writing of the “student” in comment 78 could merely be the work of some very fine English teachers. More than likely, however, someone’s only pretending to be a student.

    If that’s you Drake, get a life!

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:28 am 1:28 am

      Are you sure you’re a teacher at Bronx Science? When I was at Bronx Science I was often in classes with children who were immigrants, and English language learners. Although their English could be horrible they would work hard to make up for it through other means.

  84. JDG BxSci Sophomore permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 4:46 am 4:46 am

    Exactly what difference does that make? ‘Get the Facts Straight’ seems to be trying to accomplish absolutely nothing in this blog.
    Two teachers have quit very recently, one of them mine, and now she has no job until POSSIBLY next fall. When she told us today that she was quitting, we obviously questioned her as to why, and she felt that she was only at liberty to say “it isn’t because of the students”.
    When something like this happens, where teachers are demeaned by their superior and must refuge and censor themselves to avoid further punishment, there is an obvious problem. Just because Ms. Jahoda is nice to students and teachers(in public at least), doesn’t mean she doesn’t humiliate teachers so nice as my teacher and the other teacher who quit. If she doesn’t leave, the student body will really be pressed to question Ms. Reidy and her policies much more carefully and openly. Personally, I think that changing teachers mid-term is a terrible transition for students and teachers to go through, and teachers as committed as these two were don’t just do that students for no reason.

    We have a serious issue on our hands, and need to try to solve it.

  85. student permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 5:22 am 5:22 am

    We want our teachers back. I just cannot believe this woman… something needs to be done, because all our favorite teachers are leaving. And who’s going to be substituting them? I just hope it’s not the new teacher with the accent, ’cause I just cannot stand her.

  86. student permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 5:23 am 5:23 am

    Oh and by the way, we’re going to miss you so much, Ms. Abbott and Ms. Philip!<3

  87. GuessWho permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 5:48 am 5:48 am

    Get the Facts Straight– I too am a teacher at bx sci and II think you are wrong! #78 could not be Drake. He does not write that well. It must be Kellert–the walkout queen who uses kids for own agenda.

    As a matter of fact, I believe most of the “students” listed here are teachers.

    • bx student permalink
      May 11, 2010 pm31 10:34 pm 10:34 pm

      lool obviously your wrong.

  88. anonymous nonstudent permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 6:51 am 6:51 am

    To Annonymous , who finds Jahoda to be supportive and nice – wake up and smell the coffee; some of the worst people in the world can be the nicest and most charasmatic – but it is all a charade – 20 of 22 teachers would have not put their signatures on a complaint of harassment if the allegations were not true and not only until steps were taken to solve the problem within the walls of Bronx Science. Assuming you are a new math teacher, did any teacher ever come to you to share details of Jahoda’s behavior and attempt to taint your opinion of her? No. Did Jahoda assign new teachers to be mentored by teachers who signed the complaint? No, see assigned you to the two ones who didn’t sign. What was she afraid of? When all the remaining teachers who signed the complaint went down to testify and spent all day downtown even past dismissal time, did they tell you about what was said? When some plant of the administration talks about bad teachers who yell and scream at students and are incompetent and when Reidy surmises that these teachers are not up to Bronx Science’s standards – is that what you and students think about Abbott, Philip, Bellantoni, Smith, Dao and Greene? I am sure their students would only have positive things to say about them (except for maybe a disgruntled student here and there). This abuse needs to be stopped or Bronx Science will suffer and more will leave

  89. student of ms.abbot permalink
    January 21, 2009 am31 7:35 am 7:35 am

    send Ms. Jahoda to jail… and keep her there.

  90. parent permalink
    January 21, 2009 pm31 5:09 pm 5:09 pm

    I am a parent at the school. The party line of the administration in the school seems to always be “IT IS MY WAY OR THE HIWAY!!!!” All the teachers at the school work so hard and dedicate themselves to the kids more than you can imagine. But in every way the administration creates such a negative, unpleasant environment for the teachers and our kids.

    I can’t imagine an AP can not work with her teachers and come to some arrangements that would result in a pleasant work environment and positive school community feeling that would be good for the teachers and the kids.

    The school is rigid and unfriendly beyond belief. Though the academics are strong, I wish my child were not at this school. It is an unkind place.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:31 am 1:31 am

      Unfortunately, I never remember administration being particularly warm at Bronx Science. Anyone remember Dr. Cutler?

  91. January 21, 2009 pm31 7:15 pm 7:15 pm

    I cannot help but agree with the last post, especially when I think of what the administration is actually teaching the students. Education is a lot more than what is taught in the classroom. Students are learning quite a bit about life. By seeing the ways their teachers are treated, they are unfortunately being taught other lessons:

    1) If you are a good teacher and work hard, you will get harassed, yelled at, and micro-managed by your chairman.

    2) If you are conscientious and care about your students, you will get letters of insubordination placed in your file for daring to disagree with your chairman, or for extremely trivial reasons.

    3) If you are a good teacher, your chairman will give you “U” ratings, forcing you to leave the school or risk getting enough “U”s to ensure that you can no longer teach in the NYC public school system.

    4) If you are a good teacher and dare to speak up about all of the above, you will face retaliation and further harassment from your chairman, principal and other administrators.

    Are these the lessons we want our children to be taught? “Parent” is right – Bronx Science is unfriendly and unkind. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to teach there.

  92. January 21, 2009 pm31 11:33 pm 11:33 pm

    Why can’t I help but to feel that Reidy is reading and commenting on this thread?

    -cyby, bxsci 2001

  93. January 22, 2009 am31 8:17 am 8:17 am


    I am personally very glad, and probably speak on behalf of others, that you have personally posted this complaint letter online. As a student at Bronx Science, I have heard many rumors about the conflict between Jahoda and the Teachers as well as some of the details, but it is good to know the facts, so that false rumors continue to spread.

    If I may ask a favor, could you please send the letter to a mainstream news source that would be willing to post it in an article (i.e. huffington post, daily news etc.) so that more Bronx Science students can gain access to it and learn the facts.

    I think you are very noble in posting this online so kudos for that. It takes balls to risk getting caught by our corrupt administration.

  94. January 23, 2009 pm31 4:20 pm 4:20 pm

    Anyone can send the link anywhere they want – and some have.

    Remember, my goal has been from the beginning to warn new and newer teachers that this is a place they should not be applying to. Some of you want other things and have expressed that here – but my focus is protecting new teachers from entering an abusive workplace.

    Finally, thanks for the praise, but… I don’t work at Bronx Science. I wouldn’t be particularly happy if your administration knew who I was; on the other hand, I would not have reason to be afraid.

  95. Bronx Science Student permalink
    January 24, 2009 am31 7:39 am 7:39 am

    @ Outraged parent: What are the teachers going to do to dissuade us from speaking our minds, if we insist on doing so? Tape our mouths shut? Threaten us with suspension? (I wouldn’t put it past some of the deans…Especially a certain one that is a bit too trigger-happy with giving detentions for eating lunch in the hallway)

    @ Comments 85 and 89: Oh. So anyone who writes well and doesn’t agree with you has to be a teacher?If you really do teach in Bronx Science, you should be well aware of the writing skills of some of the students here, and should know how completely idiotic the idea that you’re insinuating is.

    To everyone else that thinks that teachers have somehow dragged us into this, you might want to reconsider. I seriously believe that teachers have better things to do than to push their opinions on students. Bronx Science is enough of an opinionated bunch. We’ve created facebook groups to complain, and you had better believe that this is a topic during hallway conversation. To the student suggesting that he/she was manipulated to walk out last year by a teacher, you probably weren’t. Did the teacher threaten you with a failing grade? No. The walkout was entirely optional, and to those asserting that they were used, I say that you should have found out the facts, had you such reservations.

    I hate it when people get unnecessarily blamed for the actions of others. Teachers included.

    @78, I agree. In the end, it’s not the teachers that make the school, but the students. If things might impact us negatively, we have a right to be annoyed about them.

    I seriously think that if what teachers are complaining about is true (I trust the opinion of 20 Bronx Science teachers, over that of two that spend time formulating their own theories on who’s a legitimate student on a blog), then they have to live under a cloud of fear that they’ll commit a minor transgression and recieve harsh punishment for it. Such an enviroment is bad for them, and it’ll spill into the student body if the teacher has to waste incessant time jumping through hoops for Jahoda, and they can’t you know…. actually teach. And if they’re gone because conditions are that bad, then they’re definitely not going to be teaching us. I don’t like this, seeing as I show up every day to learn, and if teachers can’t teach, I’m going to have problems doing that.

    ~ A member of class of 2011

  96. February 2, 2009 pm28 6:56 pm 6:56 pm

    Another good reason for new teachers to avoid the Bronx Science math department arose last week.

    Members of the department had a farewell party for the 3 teachers forced out by Jahoda this semester (Green, Philips and Abbott). Of course, all members of the department were invited, as well as many former members and chairmen. Most came. Notable by their absence were Jahoda, the only 2 teachers who did not sign the special complaint and the 2 recent hires, those brought in to replace the teachers forced out by Jahoda last June. It turns out that the latter two teachers were told by Jahoda not to attend the party.

    This incident suggests that the only young teachers who will succeed in this department are those who isolate themselves from their colleagues and are beholden only to Jahoda – who agree to let Jahoda control them in school and out. Any young teachers with an ounce of independence, or who can think for themselves, need not apply.

  97. Astounding permalink
    February 4, 2009 am28 7:41 am 7:41 am

    First, thank you, Bufo_marinus, on providing us with your up-to-the-minute updates on the goings on in the Math Department at Bronx Science. We have all waited with bated breath.

    Second, I find it to be astounding (hence the name) that the article in the Daily News, and the television stories on NY1 and News 12 The Bronx (all high-class journalistic institutions, of course) was such a necessity. After all, shouldn’t the Special Complaint be the end-all, be-all, of your desire to rid yourselves of this unbelievable monster who is holding you to task?

    Clearly, the Special Complaint holds no merit. Do you have physical proof of your complaints (i.e.: recordings, documentation)? Clearly, you do not.

    Oh, and by the way, in the REAL WORLD, there is a such thing as a boss. When your boss tells you to do something, you do it. I am assuming that you went to college, never worked a day in your life, then became a teacher. For some reason, now you feel that you have a higher level of privilege than the rest of the world. Get real. Be thankful that you have a job right now. I am sure that Regular Joe on the unemployment line would be happy to take your place.

    Considering that you work at the BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, I strongly suggest that you shut your mouth, do your job, and be thankful that you have the pleasure to work with students that possess a high level of intelligence, I am sure. Some other teachers are not as fortunate as you.

    There is always the option to transfer to the South Bronx…

    • February 4, 2009 am28 8:10 am 8:10 am

      Patience. It took over a year to get the abusive administrators out of Brooklyn Tech. We will prevail.

      I just hope it happens before the current principal and her minions do more damage to the Bronx High School of Science.

      I advice other commenters here not to reply to the AP. Thanks for your restraint.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:35 am 1:35 am

      If this person ain’t Reidy…

      Did I mention that she was hated by teachers even as far back as the eighties? There were rumors about how this chick got where she got…and I must say my years in the DOE have only lent credibility to those rumors…

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:38 am 1:38 am

      People have been saying that South Bronx line for ever at that school, that crap always made me sick. By the way, it was always the admin. who used this line when ever we students did something out of line.

  98. February 4, 2009 pm28 6:18 pm 6:18 pm

    @100. jd2718 – You’re right, I was going to write a detailed response to 99. Astounding, but what’s the point? Res ipse loquator.

  99. Get the Facts Straight permalink
    February 5, 2009 am28 5:42 am 5:42 am

    Folks, it’s amazing (and, I suppose, astounding) how you believe that anyone saying anything positive has to be either Jahoda or another administrator. I know who Astounding is – and it is neither Jahoda nor any other administrator.

    @98: Bufo_marinus, has it ever occurred to you that the new teachers didn’t attend the retirement party simply because they, having only worked a semester, felt less a connection to their departing colleagues and so didn’t want to spend the money to go to a party. Certainly, they can think for themselves, and CHOSE not to attend. After all, they had never even had the pleasure (note the sarcasm) of meeting the sainted Greg Greene.

    @100: What “damage” is being done by the principal and her cabinet, exactly? You’ve cited some things you don’t particularly like, but can you show evidence of any damage in results? Test scores, for instance? Or mastery rates? Or NYML competitions? Surely you have nothing concrete, just a lot of complaining.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 1:43 am 1:43 am

      @98: Bufo_marinus, has it ever occurred to you that the new teachers didn’t attend the retirement party simply because they, having only worked a semester, felt less a connection to their departing colleagues and so didn’t want to spend the money to go to a party. Certainly, they can think for themselves, and CHOSE not to attend. After all, they had never even had the pleasure (note the sarcasm) of meeting the sainted Greg Greene.

      Ans.:Administrators should never tell us what parties we can and can’t attend was BM’s cogent and pertinent point, which incidentally was not addressed by you. Good job on beating up the straw man though. What’s the next the dead horse?

      @100: What “damage” is being done by the principal and her cabinet, exactly? You’ve cited some things you don’t particularly like, but can you show evidence of any damage in results? Test scores, for instance? Or mastery rates? Or NYML competitions? Surely you have nothing concrete, just a lot of complaining.

      Ans.:Bronx Science students are self-motivated

      • Fed Up permalink
        October 3, 2009 pm31 4:32 pm 4:32 pm

        One of them told a senior teacher that they were told not to go to the party.

  100. anonymous permalink
    February 5, 2009 am28 6:40 am 6:40 am

    Get the facts straight – It’s true, there can’t be anyone who knows Jahoda or Reidy that will have something positive to say about them – there have been too many instances of harassing and disrespecful conduct by them.

    Also, a new teacher told the “old” teachers that he was told not to go to the retirement party by Jahoda; Jahoda has isolated each new teacher, assigning as mentors the 2 teachers who did not sign the complaint – what does she have to hide and fear?

    Damage? Excellent teachers leaving or left (and being replaced by inexperienced teachers); students getting new teachers mid-year or not having returning teachers to get letters of recommendation for college; poor morale; cuts in courses in the math department and in number of times they meet, especially AP courses; students not getting the best math education they can because the Jahoda is impossible to deal with? The math teachers are dedicated and working hard for the students in spite of the way they are being treated – they should be applauded that they haven’t let their treatment affect their ability or desire to teach or that they care about their students.

    Now Reidy or Jahoda – whoever you are – why don’t you just give it a rest – or better yet, retire or quit, so the entire school can throw a party!

  101. Get the Facts Straight permalink
    February 5, 2009 am28 7:32 am 7:32 am

    Here goes…For the third time on this thread. I’m neither Reidy nor Jahoda. And I can’t retire…I’m under thirty and there’s this whole admittedly annoying regulation about having to WORK before one retires.

    As a teacher at Bronx Science, I have found both Ms. Reidy and Ms. Jahoda to be highly competent, enthusiastic and interested in doing the best possible things for students. Certainly the job is difficult, but I have never had cause to question their dedication, skill, and suitability for the jobs they hold. Ms. Jahoda, in particular, has been instrumental in my professional growth, and is a fine educator and human being, whose opinions I hold in the highest regard.

    Ms. Jahoda is a cutting-edge educator, and it is CHANGE that many in her department dislike, as under previous administrators they were allowed to sit for far too long on laurels that were modest as best. Again, you have failed to cite any EVIDENCE of damage that Ms. Jahoda has done that has manifested itself in ACTUAL RESULTS as opposed to perceptions. True, AB Calc now meets five periods a week, in line with all other specialized high schools. And the move of BC Calc from seven to six periods a week was a necessity so that all sections could be assigned to one teacher this year. It didn’t change until after Greg Greene’s cowardly week-before-school retirement. Mr. Greene surely expected that he was creating a large problem for Ms. Jahoda, never, in arrogance, realizing that a course that he needed seven period a week to teach could in fact be taught in six.

    As for your claim that “students are not getting the best math education they can” I ask on what basis you could possibly claim that. Are there AP or regents or competition results that would support that? Or are you merely assuming that some programs and teachers were changed that instruction is suffering?

    You say the math teachers should be applauded for working so hard…They would be working much less if they weren’t balancing their lesson planning with a negative publicity campaign.

    Enough already…Why don’t you just shut up until the math teachers actually get an answer on that special complaint?

    • February 5, 2009 am28 8:17 am 8:17 am

      No evidence that you teach. No evidence that Jahoda has brought any positive change.

      No reason to believe that anyone but an administrator would be so hostile to teachers. No reason that anyone but an administrator or a member of the math department would know the details you do. No evidence that you know anything about other specialized high schools.

      No reason to believe that a better school than yours (Bergen Academies) would hire your retirees, cowardly or otherwise, unless they were pretty damned good teachers. Same goes for fancy Westchester districts.

      20 teachers bravely signed their names. We know they are teachers. That’s far more than we can say for you.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 2:03 am 2:03 am

      “Here goes…For the third time on this thread. I’m neither Reidy nor Jahoda. And I can’t retire…I’m under thirty and there’s this whole admittedly annoying regulation about having to WORK before one retires.”

      In other words “you are a silly knucklehead who’s wet behind the ears.”

      “As a teacher at Bronx Science, I have found both Ms. Reidy and Ms. Jahoda to be highly competent, enthusiastic and interested in doing the best possible things for students. Certainly the job is difficult, but I have never had cause to question their dedication, skill, and suitability for the jobs they hold. Ms. Jahoda, in particular, has been instrumental in my professional growth, and is a fine educator and human being, whose opinions I hold in the highest regard.”

      Teaching at Bronx Science is difficult? Yes, I can tell you’ve taught at many schools.
      Ms. Reidy has been called many things, but I have NEVER heard her described as dedicated, skilled, or enthusiastic…ever!!!

      “Ms. Jahoda is a cutting-edge educator, and it is CHANGE that many in her department dislike, as under previous administrators they were allowed to sit for far too long on laurels that were modest as best.”

      Cutting edge? Since when did Bronx Science require a cutting edge educator to come in and revamp things?!?!? Previous administrators sat on “laurels that were modest as best.” One of the top public schools in the country had modest laurels? Bronx Science students did not depend on their school administration’s cutting edge practices to succeed. They succeed because they work hard at success. You don’t know how idiotic you’re bungling, half-assed, poor excuse of an argument sounded there.

      “You say the math teachers should be applauded for working so hard…They would be working much less if they weren’t balancing their lesson planning with a negative publicity campaign.”

      You meant to say they would be working much MORE

      You are an idiot. You’d better believe that you will be remembered by students and faculty as such Ms. Jahoda…where ever you are lol

      Res ipse loquator
      quod erat demonstrandum

      • Fed Up permalink
        October 3, 2009 pm31 4:37 pm 4:37 pm

        By revamp do you mean
        1. Cut the College Math course, the senior elective designed for students who are not Calculus material, designed to help them appreciate math from another viewpoint.
        2. Cut freshmen math team to 2 periods a week.
        3. Combine junior and senior math teams so that 17 junirs and 17 seniors can not take math team.
        4. Give soph math projects to a person who does not even require the students to produce a research paper and does not attend the Math Fair.

  102. February 5, 2009 pm28 9:57 pm 9:57 pm

    @104. Get the Facts Straight. I am glad that Jahoda treats you well and that you therefore consider her a fine educator and human being. However, that proves nothing. After all, even the Wicked Witch of the West was kind to her pets.

    @102. “You seem to have nothing concrete, just a lot of complaining”. What kind of concrete evidence do you want? A recording of Jahoda calling a senior teacher a “disgusting human being”? A film of Jahoda screaming at teachers in the halls? The fact that 20 of 22 members of the math department signed a Special Complaint and testified under oath about Jahoda’s behavior IS concrete evidence.

    @99 “I find it…astounding…that the article in the Daily News, and the television stories…was such a necessity. After all, shouldn’t the Special Complaint be the end-all, be-all…?” and @104 “Why don’t you just shut up until (you)…get an answer on that special complaint?” What incenses you is not the filing of the Special Complaint per se – although that clearly annoys you – but the outside publicity about it. How dare those peasants air their grievances in public? They should just take the abuse and wait for the Board to rule on the Special Complaint (and bury it, since it is in the Board’s interest to do so). Bringing this issue to the attention of the public makes it less likely for the Board to simply whitewash Reidy and Jahoda. Turning over this rock makes Reidy and Jahoda more accountable for their behavior.

    The math teachers should seek more publicity, not less!

  103. February 6, 2009 am28 6:10 am 6:10 am

    @104. “(U)nder previous administrators they were allowed to sit for far too long on laurels that were modest as best.”

    As one of the veteran teachers in the math department, I know that all of us have shared lesson plans, which we have fine tuned throughout the years, with all new staff members, undoubtedly including you! We do not sit on our laurels. We continue to work hard and stay on this job because we love the kids. Over the years, through hard work and dedication, we have established a strong department. Several members of this department have won awards for their teaching.

    Until recently, we were treated fairly and with respect, a policy not continued by this AP. The reason we filed the Special Complaint was because we wanted Beth, Tia, Nancy and Carolyn – and any new teacher – to be treated with the same respect with which we were treated, free of harassment and ridiculous forms of micromanagement. These 4 women were bright, hardworking, and intelligent teachers. We veterans watched their professional growth and regarded them as continuing our life’s work. They did not leave because they were looking for better jobs, but went elsewhere SOLELY because of the disgusting way they were treated by an administration that had unrealistic expectations of young teachers.

    As for your allegation that previous administrators allowed staff members to sit around for far too long. If you really are under 30, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about. Rather, you are uncritically taking the word of an AP who also was not there at the time, or of a principal who has her own agenda. The former chairs of the math department were compassionate, hardworking and dedicated professionals. They carefully mentored the staff, to the point that many of these extremely dedicated and gifted teachers have remained for 30+ years, long after they could have retired and earned more elsewhere. No teacher in our department ever had the occasion to file a Special Complaint against any previous administrator.

    The administration would like you to believe that we are resistant to change. We have embraced technology and have even acceded to the administration’s ridiculous “test more, teach less” policy.

    Except for calling us gripers, we have yet to hear any response from the principal or AP!!

  104. Astonished by administration permalink
    February 24, 2009 pm28 5:16 pm 5:16 pm

    As a parent of former graduates of Bx. H.S. of Science, I am appalled and actually sickened at the height of unprofessional behavior that the students – who are captive audiences – are exposed to by Ms.Jahoda It is so obvious to anyone who is reading the complaint by the teachers that she is totally out of place in this school. What other school in the WORLD has so many Nobel Prize winners? What other school has a WORLD wide reputation to equal it? How is it that for so many years the school enjoyed and DESERVED such a respected reputation in the academic field? WHY? Because they had a qualified principal who knew what he was doing and HOW to do it. He knew how to deal with problems and solve them!! Before Bronx Science becomes the laughing stock that Jaholda is going to make it, she should be discharged and the same fate should be dealt to Reidy – before more damage is done. The school is too good for them to ruin it. How can students not be harmed by sitting in a classroom and hearing their teacher be told they are “disgusting human beings and should never think they are as good as me”. I am amazed that this woman is still in the NYC education department. Look at the number of teachers who signed the complaint – 20 out of 22 (the others were obvious too fearful of signing it). Ooops, almost forgot.. After the News printed the article regarding the problems at the school and some students had the paper… DID YOU KNOW THAT JAHODA CONFISCATED THE PAPER FROM THE STUDENTS??? How dare she – guess she does not respect the property of others. IF I were the mother of a student attending the school TODAY, Ms. Jahoda would have to explain herself to me. Stealing is a crime, Ms. Jaholda!!!! How can anyone dictate who a teacher should speak to and with whom they can associate!! Unbelievable!! Situation is dire and if the President hears about this, don’t be surprised!!!!!!!!!

  105. Astonished by administration permalink
    February 24, 2009 pm28 6:03 pm 6:03 pm

    I have a saying that I have always used and I find it so appropriate at this time in this situation especially…. I believe that “good teachers are an endangered species – stress on GOOD teachers”. In Ms. Jahoda we have a “dangerous species”. I think she should reflect on something in her childhood that might very well account for her horrendous actions toward adults!!!!!! Professional help may be her only recourse!

    • February 25, 2009 am28 12:11 am 12:11 am

      I cannot imagine why anyone would be astonished by the administration. It is well on its way to accomplishing its mission.

      As I see it, Reidy’s goal has been to gain control over the faculty. To do this, she has appointed as chairs people with minimal administrative experience, who are therefore insecure in their positions and totally dependent on Reidy. These chairpeople also have volatile personalities and the need to be in control. They are like enforcers in hockey – marginal players who go out to pick fights with better players.

      This accomplishes two important goals. First, it alienates experienced teachers, hastening their departure. By getting rid of the experienced staff, and hiring less experienced teachers, Reidy can cut her budget. She does not care about the reduction in quality or the lack of continuity – she only cares about the bottom line.

      The second goal was to get rid of the younger teachers at Bronx Science who were there prior to Jahoda. This was not necessarily Reidy’s goal, but it was Jahoda’s. Jahoda wants absolute control over her department – she does not want anyone to challenge her authority. By getting rid of those ‘uppity’ young, but somewhat experienced, teachers, she can hire young teachers who are insecure in their positions and therefore totally dependent on Jahoda. She has already gotten rid of some of the best young teachers in her department and is well on her way (with U ratings) to getting rid of the rest.

  106. Lynne Winderbaum permalink
    February 24, 2009 pm28 9:01 pm 9:01 pm

    Please be aware that tomorrow, February 25, 2009, the union will be taking a “Union Initiated Grievance” before an impartial arbitrator because of the Department of Education’s unwillingness to schedule arbitrations for Special Complaints. The Department of Education simply makes them “go away” by failing to pursue them.
    So for those who feel that we should just let the complaint process run its course, know the truth. The Department of Education will thwart the airing of valid charges harassment unless and until they are forced to do otherwise.
    The Bronx High School of Science arbitration has been put on hold awaiting the outcome of this hearing tomorrow.

  107. Terry permalink
    February 25, 2009 am28 7:11 am 7:11 am

    Goodness I remember when I was a kid Bronx High School of Science was the “Harvard” or “Yale” of high schools. My doctor who graduated from
    there when he was a high schooler, is now one of the most highly respected orthopedics inthe country…….This entire bantor at this schoo today really proves how the NYCDOE has really hit rock bottom!!

  108. Anonymous permalink
    March 2, 2009 pm31 10:17 pm 10:17 pm

    Completely and totally disgraceful. The AP and Principal should be removed and have to face charges before the appropriate committee. The union would be correct in supporting the teachers.

    Gerald Chasin, Ph.D
    Science 1956

  109. fascinated permalink
    March 25, 2009 am31 1:22 am 1:22 am

    Ms. Abbott has landed. She’s teaching Integrated Algebra and Geometry in an NYC public school that is excited to have her!

    • March 25, 2009 pm31 6:34 pm 6:34 pm

      Great! Hopefully, Ms. Abbott is now with people who appreciate, rather than denigrate, her. As for Reidy and Jahoda, I hope they land somewhere their true qualities (administrative incompetence, overbearing and dictatorial attitude, pathologic insecurity) are truly appreciated (heck of a job, Valerie!).

      • anonymous permalink
        March 28, 2009 am31 6:35 am 6:35 am

        Jahoda and Reidy have landed at the right place for them – the NYCDOE under Chancellor Klein – in any other place they would be out on their asses by now! Instead it is the rest that are suffering.

  110. March 28, 2009 am31 1:32 am 1:32 am

    The latest outrage from Jahoda came up today in a faculty meeting. According to Jahoda, some students – who are children of teachers – get special privileges. And Jahoda doesn’t have to put any of her orders in writing.

    Apparently, a student who was absent for a test demanded to take a makeup at a time other than his usual class time. The teacher told him that it was his/her usual policy to give makeups at the same time of day that all other students took the test. The student became disruptive in class, preventing the teacher from teaching, to the point where the teacher had to threaten to call security.

    The student took the test, but didn’t do too well on it. At that point, the student’s mother, a teacher in another school, called Jahoda to demand that her child be permitted to take the test again. Of course, Jahoda caved in and ordered the teacher to administer a makeup exam to the makeup exam, at a time other than the student’s usual class time.

    The teacher asked that this be put in writing. Jahoda then said that she doesn’t have to put anything in writing and that she would cite the teacher for insubordination if he/she didn’t give another makeup by this Tuesday. The teacher pointed out that, to be fair, this new policy – to give makeups at different times than the student’s usual period – should be publicized to all students, so that those who did poorly on makeup exams administered during class would have the chance to do it over. When Jahoda heard that, she ordered the teacher not to publicize this change.

    According to Jahoda, all students are not equal – those whom she favors get the chance to take makeups of makeups; everyone else is tough out of luck. She also changes the rules after the game is over – she changes her policies to curry favor with certain people. Had the student done well on the makeup, none of this would have happened. Finally, she loves to threaten teachers with letters of insubordination, U ratings, and other methods of intimidation. Well, Ms. Jahoda, the teachers may be insubordinate, but you are definitely in contempt.

    • March 29, 2009 am31 4:27 am 4:27 am

      This raises the question: Why would Jahoda show special consideration for this student, not only allowing him a second make-up exam, but forbidding the teacher in question from publicizing it to other students and refusing to put this changed policy in writing?

      We can only speculate on the reasons for such favoritism. Perhaps Jahoda is friends with the student’s parent(s) and is doing a favor for a friend? Perhaps the student was once in Jahoda’s class and she has a soft spot for him? Perhaps Jahoda has an especially close relationship (remember Mary Kay Letourneau?) with this student? Who knows? Other than threats of insubordination, Jahoda hasn’t provided any explanations. She has given no reasons for singling this student out for special consideration and for making sure that none of the other students know about this. Something reeks at Bronx Science, and it isn’t the food.

    • Math Teacher permalink
      March 30, 2009 am31 12:16 am 12:16 am

      It’s not favoritism. It’s about being objective and being fair.

      This student should not have taken a test during class time. Arrangements could have been made for the student to have taken it after school or during a free period.

      It is COMMON SENSE to not administer a make up to your own student in his/her own class during a lesson (that might actually be related to the content on the test!). Arrangements should have been made for the student to take the test at another time.

      • March 30, 2009 am31 12:32 am 12:32 am

        Maybe, but all other students taking make-ups were able to do so during class time, without complaining about it. Only 1 student threw a temper tantrum – should that student be rewarded by getting to take the test at his convenience? There is no policy at Bronx Science forbidding this arrangement – until there is, the teacher was within his/her rights to administer the test at this time.

        Anyway, this is not about the teacher or the student – it is about Jahoda. Why would she let this student take a second make-up but not allow other students to do so? And why would she threaten the teacher with a letter of insubordination if the teacher did not administer a second make-up, or if the teacher publicized that she was doing so? If that is not favoritism, what is?

        • Math Teacher permalink
          March 30, 2009 am31 12:46 am 12:46 am

          Perhaps the students never spoke up because:
          1) They didn’t know any better.
          2) They were glad they didn’t have to spend a free period to take a make up.
          3) They were afraid.

          The Bronx Science Math Department chair cannot defend unreasonable actions and poor decision making. Once again, this is not favoritism. It is, however, an indication that she is an extremely capable, strong administrator. She made a tough decision, but it was the right one.

  111. Really? Seriously? permalink
    March 29, 2009 pm31 11:58 pm 11:58 pm

    So let me get this straight. It is OK to give a student a makeup exam in the same room, while the lesson is going on, and after the student is admonished in front of the entire class, and you threaten to call security on him. I mean, students can be unreasonable a great deal of the time, but they are KIDS!

    I am ashamed to be considered your colleagues. This is a plain example of how you could care less about students. And, frankly, Bufo_marinus, I could care less about your opinion either. You are the king of student manipulation.

    • March 30, 2009 am31 12:40 am 12:40 am

      I respect colleagues’ right to set classroom policy. If there is a schoolwide policy, of course the teachers’ should be consistent with that.

      In this instance there appears not to have been a schoolwide policy. It sounds like students are quite accustomed to taking make-ups during class time.

      However, perhaps the AP, conflict brought to her, decided that indeed there should be a policy against in-class makeups. Possible, right?

      But if that were the case, a good administrator would send the kid back with instructions to take the make-up when the teacher said to. The AP would then inform the teachers of the intent to add to department policy, and might even welcome some discussion. There would be a clear statement of the policy, and a clear implementation date.

      A good AP. That is not what we are looking at here.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 30, 2009 am31 12:43 am 12:43 am

      @ Really? Seriously?:

      If this teacher did not care about students, then I think he/she would not be so concerned about consistency. It’s clear that the teacher is objecting because he/she feels this student is receiving special treatment. This is, of course, unfair to other students.

      I also just read the latest posting of the “retaliation grievance” and it seems that they also made cuts to elective courses which give students fewer options. If cuts had to be made (there were budget cuts), it’s seems strange to cut mostly math courses at a school like Bronx Science, which specializes in science and math.

      With all of this, I’m surprised that the school’s Parent’s Association hasn’t gotten involved since we are seeing Jahoda’s actions adversely affecting students in more than just one isolated instance. (And by her inaction, the principal seems to be supporting her.)

  112. Really? Seriously? permalink
    March 30, 2009 am31 12:01 am 12:01 am

    And furthermore: if you do not enjoy working with Bronx Science students at this point, then you have two choices:

    1) Go work at another high school. Good luck with that, by the way.

    2) Retire. I am sure you would get your full pension at this point, anyways.

    You are a disgrace. All of you.

    • March 30, 2009 am31 12:25 am 12:25 am

      In regard to Really? Seriously? So let’s see, a student becomes loud and unruly in front of the class, throws a temper tantrum, and refuses to sit down, to the point that a teacher has to “threaten” to call security. And your response is to reward that student by letting him take the make-up at his convenience, showing favoritism to that student and putting all the students who took the test on time, without getting loud and nasty, at a relative disadvantage.

      Whatever you call yourself, you are neither real nor serious. It is you who are the disgrace, and all real teachers, who are not Jahoda’s toadies, should be ashamed to be your colleague – if indeed you are a teacher.

      Oh, and thank you for not caring about my opinion. I have equal regards for yours.

      • Really? Seriously? permalink
        March 30, 2009 am31 12:42 am 12:42 am

        Sure. Especially when I stay until 7pm to help students, and give up each of my free periods to tutor not only my own students, but students of some other teachers who have no desire to help them. My job is to help the students, not to be anybody’s “toadie”. Frankly, I find it offensive that, seemingly, you feel a teacher’s only job is to cover themselves.

        There is never any mention here about how great the students at Bronx Science are. How they go above and beyond the call of duty each day, just to simply get to school. It is my opinion that “unhappy” teachers of the school should merely walk into their classroom each day, and realize how truly blessed they are. Yes, certainly, not all students are perfect, but then again, it is THOSE students that we should pay extra attention to. After all, didn’t most of us get into teaching to make a difference.

        I think it is fine time to put all of our adult disputes aside, and concentrate on the students. They are being affected by this, and it is distracting. I have found that by merely walking into my classroom, teaching my lesson, and interacting with the students, all of the controversy that exists on the outside disappears – even if for those 45 minutes.

        Again, I go back to my original point. If you do not like it at such a high-class school, such as Bronx Science, then leave. Simple.

        • March 30, 2009 am31 1:25 am 1:25 am

          I am glad you stay every night until 7PM – we salute your dedication and heroism. Of course, you probably are sucking up to Jahoda and you don’t have much of a life anyway.

          By the way, and just for the record, Jahoda has been known to give make-up exams in classes where instruction was taking place. The teacher in question gave the make-up while instruction in a completely different topic was going on. Therefore, this teacher’s solution was comparable to Jahoda’s.

          As for your paean to the Bronx Science students, they still have some responsibility to behave a certain way. After all, this is BRONX SCIENCE, and, according to you, these students go above and beyond every day. Therefore, we expect a bit more of them, like not acting as if they were in kindergarten, where teachers cave in when students throw temper tantrums. Being at Science does not excuse disrespectful and disruptive behavior, nor does it entitle any student to any special consideration.

        • March 30, 2009 am31 6:27 am 6:27 am

          Your vulpine attempts to keep your identity hidden have not worked. You may be a Fox, but you are not crafty.

        • Bronxscience88 permalink
          August 26, 2009 am31 2:20 am 2:20 am

          Bronx Science students need tutoring till seven at night and on their free periods??? You must be joking…seriously…anyone who knows anything about Bronx Science would find this hard to believe. Help with outside projects, I’ll buy that one, but kids who need help that bad wouldn’t be at Bronx Science.

      • March 30, 2009 am31 12:47 am 12:47 am

        “Really? Seriously?” does care about your opinion. He previously responded directly to you (signing as “Astounded“) on February 4, above.

        • Really? Seriously? permalink
          March 30, 2009 am31 12:51 am 12:51 am

          Thank you for the clarification.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 2:14 am 2:14 am

      A disgrace over a simple disagreement. WTF? This is hilarious, a teacher objects to special treatment for one student (unfair but we’ve all caved in on this one I’m sure), and we are all a disgrace? When I went to Bronx Science this kid would’ve been expelled. That was the old way of doing things though. I guess we weren’t cutting edge back then.

  113. March 30, 2009 am31 1:12 am 1:12 am

    Our rights, “Really/Astounded”, are shared by all teachers in NYC public schools. We are, at the moment, not effectively protecting them, it is true. But the right to work without harassment belongs to all of us.

    We should add to that, a right to competent, professional administrators.

    One of the purposes of the Do Not Apply list on this blog is to call attention to some of the least competent, least professional administrators in the City (though through the lens of “most harassing” or “most likely to ruin a new career”).

    I resisted adding Bronx Science to the list. I’d heard the reports, but this is Bronx Science. Plus, I know that those on the scene, for any of these schools, tend to focus on the problem in front of them. Perhaps the case was overstated, exaggerated.

    But it ain’t so. The abuse at Bronx Science reaches a level that no employee in any school should have to tolerate. It points to the shortage of competent administrators in this system, and to the necessary cleansing that will take place when Bloom/Klein are replaced.

    Careful, students passed a test to attend your school. You did not.

  114. Disappointed permalink
    March 30, 2009 am31 2:26 am 2:26 am

    As a math teacher for many years, I feel that I have basically devoted the greatest portion of my life to working with and helping the students. The decisions that I make about grades and methodology are always because I feel that they are ethically the best decision, and in the long run, will will be in the best interests of the students. When teachers are asked to make changes by administrators with regard to grades and/or makeup policy, these too, should be well-thought out policies that the administrator feels comfortable putting in writing. If not, one can only think that policies are being established on a student-by-student basis to attain some effect at that particular moment.
    The current policy that the administration has taken that,”if you don’t do what I say, you are insubordinate” is extremely disrespectful of the teacher. At the very least, a positive discussion of the reasons should ensue with both sides being respected in the discussion. If a final decision is made by the administrator, then I see no reason that it should not be in writing and made available to the other teachers.
    To “Really seriously”, who thinks that the math teachers at Bronx Science are adisgrace, you should be ashamed to speak to dedicated people who have devoted a lifetime to this school in such a disrespectful manner.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 2:22 am 2:22 am

      Now this is what a dedicated teacher sounds like!!!

  115. March 30, 2009 pm31 5:31 pm 5:31 pm

    To Really? Seriously?
    Your vulpine attempts to keep your identity hidden have not worked. You may be a Fox, but you are not crafty.

    • Sly permalink
      March 31, 2009 am31 12:14 am 12:14 am

      Good job, Professor. Your investigative techniques cannot be denied. Your common sense, however (i.e.: an untenured teacher marching his purposefully manipulated students in front of the school in protest of a boss that would ultimately decide his job) can certainly be questioned.

      Glad to also see that you have a great command of the English language. We are all blessed being in the presence of such a wordsmith. Then again, appearances may be deceiving.

      • March 31, 2009 am31 12:43 am 12:43 am

        I don’t know where you get your ideas from – I never suggested marching students, manipulated or not, in front of the school, to protest a boss or anything else. So I guess you are just in error, Mr. Fox.

        I find it distasteful, however, that you, one of the only 2 (of 22) teachers who refused to sign the Special Complaint, has to spend his time defending Jahoda on this website. Doesn’t your neck hurt from having to bend down to kiss her behind?

        • Brownnoser permalink
          March 31, 2009 am31 1:34 am 1:34 am

          No, actually my neck is quite fine, thank you for asking. However, I am wondering if you behind is still in pain considering how you were veritably punted out of Bronx Science 4 years ago.

        • Student permalink
          June 3, 2009 pm30 9:02 pm 9:02 pm

          And what does it say for you that you spend your time attacking her? If you are a current teacher as you say, don’t you have students to teach? Lessons to plan?

        • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
          June 7, 2009 pm30 10:14 pm 10:14 pm

          That was me before. Im not the other “student”‘s.

      • Bronxscience88 permalink
        August 26, 2009 am31 2:29 am 2:29 am

        Did BM get brought up on charges? Surely he would’ve been brought up on charges…at least, if what you say is true. Wouldn’t be hard to prove either…

  116. March 30, 2009 pm31 5:39 pm 5:39 pm

    Another instance of Jahoda’s abuse of a teacher came to my attention recently:

    At a recent parent-teacher conference, one parent, an AP in another school became very angry at a teacher for failing her daughter. The parent accused the teacher of being out to “get” her daughter, wanting her to fail, and discriminating against her because she had surgery last semester. This parent threatened to report the teacher to the chancellor or some higher up. The parent
    persisted even after the teacher explained why she had had to fail her daughter, according according to the grading rubric in effect. The parent became so hasty and confrontational that the teacher had to call in the chairman (Jahoda). In front of the parent, Jahoda ordered the teacher to change the grade. The teacher of course refused. The mother responded by threatening disciplinary action against the teacher.

    If this is not abuse, what is? How long do the math teachers at Bronx Science have to put up with this?

    • Student permalink
      June 3, 2009 pm30 8:59 pm 8:59 pm

      To what exactly was the grade changed to?
      I doubt this student received an A.

  117. March 31, 2009 am31 1:43 am 1:43 am

    To Brownnoser: I am afraid you have mistaken me for someone else. I have never been punted out of Bronx Science. For all you know, I pass you in the halls every day.

    I am sure the others in your department would like to punt you out, along with your distinguished (by her unprofessionalism) AP.

  118. standupforyourselves permalink
    March 31, 2009 am31 2:09 am 2:09 am

    Tenure means nothing anyway!
    Some of these administrators are fabricating charges, such as verbal abuse charges and writing teachers up for it and giving an annual U rating for the year. I know of one case where a teacher grieved a letter to her/his file, and the next day the administrator snooped around this teacher’s class and coaxed kids into making allegations of verbal abuse, then she phoned in this fabrication to the Office of Special Investigations and gave the teacher a U rating at the end of the year. This administrator has not been the same ever since then….see… this administrator picked the wrong teacher!
    So administrators, I think are being told to do this since the NYCDOE cannot do away with tenure! The only problem here is that this administrator mistakenly picked a teacher who knows how to fight and
    can do it on her/his own feet!! by herself/himself!! Several years ago, this same teacher was instrumental in getting a principal removed when he/she was a paraprofessional!!

    I do not work at Bronx HS of Science.

  119. anonatbs permalink
    March 31, 2009 am31 3:02 am 3:02 am

    Justin Fox, for shame! Assuming this is really you, there is nothing worse than a two face – talking crap about Jahoda to all who would listen but then refusing the sign the complaint and posting anti-teacher and pro-Jahoda stuff. I guess you are scared you might have to teach a full schedule of math classes again! All of those who have helped you – provided you with lessons and tests that you took and didn’t even change and then claimed as your own – you are a sellout. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  120. April 1, 2009 pm30 9:22 pm 9:22 pm

    Just thought I should let everyone know that the two teachers I wrote about before (see my postings dated March 28 and 30) have received letters summoning them to Reidy’s office for possible disciplinary action.

    Goes to show you – if you do your job and treat all student’s equally, you risk letters of insubordination. Conversely, if you suck up to Reidy and Jahoda, like our friend Mr. Fox, and especially if you do so in a public forum such as this, you get tenure.

    Then again, getting called insubordinate by Reidy and Jahoda is like being on Nixon’s enemies list – a badge of honor. The teachers in question should frame their letters and hang them up in their classrooms.

  121. Get the Facts Straight permalink
    April 2, 2009 am30 4:59 am 4:59 am

    @ Publicola: It’s amazing how you will out someone else on a blog, but will do so anonymously. If you’re going to call out Justin Fox, you ought to at least have the nerve to sign your name.

    [balance of this comment has been deleted – jd2718]

    • anonymous permalink
      April 2, 2009 am30 5:24 am 5:24 am

      We are tired of you, Get the Facts Straight. Fox outed himself when he confirmed Bufo’s suspicions. As for your contempt for the math teachers who signed the special complaint, they have the honor and integrity to stand up for what is right and sign their names to an official document, when most of them were not even being directly persecuted at the time. You are pathetic and Bronx Science would be better off without you, not the teachers who are being harassed by Jahoda and Reidy.

      • Get the Facts Straight permalink
        April 2, 2009 am30 6:12 am 6:12 am

        Me? Pathetic? I think not…

        Let’s talk a bit about the two being summoned to Reidy’s office tomorrow, and, in the Vulpine spirit, let’s dispense with the fiction that we don’t know exactly who these people are.

        [the bulk of the content of this comment has been deleted. I feel no obligation to provide an unlimited forum for anti-teacher administrators – jd]

        All this Jahoda-bashing has led me to the inescapable conclusion–which I did not invent, and did not know about until it was placed in my mailbox but which I nonetheless now support–that the biggest bully in schools is the UFT.

        Fortunately, though, Jahoda’s got you beat!

        • Get the Facts Straight permalink
          April 2, 2009 am30 6:38 am 6:38 am

          So you can dish it, but you obviously can’t take it. For the tenth time, I AM NOT AN ANTI-TEACHER ADMINISTRATOR. I am, though, an anti-teacher teacher. [comment deleted]

          This is precisely the type of Nazi-era dictatorship that you accuse your boss of perpetrating. [deleted]

        • April 2, 2009 am30 7:18 am 7:18 am

          What? I like my boss.

          And if you don’t like having your comments redacted, leave teachers’ names and personal references out of them.

        • April 3, 2009 pm30 8:21 pm 8:21 pm

          And what has she won? A demoralized and antagonistic faculty too worried about their jobs to concentrate on teaching. Good teachers anxious to leave, who will be replaced by individuals with no teaching skills or experience. Jahoda will end up being the chair of an empty shell; she will be remembered as the person who destroyed the math department and ultimately Bronx Science.

        • Bronxscience88 permalink
          August 26, 2009 am31 2:34 am 2:34 am

          fox-an English word, derived from the Germanic FuKh

          This fox is a real fukh head. Yes indeedy!!!

  122. April 2, 2009 am30 6:37 am 6:37 am

    @Get the Facts Straight. From all your postings, and from the really nasty and personal comments (now deleted) about 2 of your colleagues, I have deduced that you are either Justin Fox (again!) or Zach Lynn. Either way, you are a worm – one who prefers to suck up to Jahoda than back his colleagues. You are truly despicable.

  123. Bronx Science 08 alum permalink
    April 2, 2009 am30 8:50 am 8:50 am

    I graduated last year; everyone knows that no one will ever hate Bronx Science administration more than the class of 08 did. We saw Bronx Science go from a haven for free spirited intelligent kids to a place that bred robots. By the end of my senior year, Bronx Science just wasn’t the same, and most of us were just glad to go. Not too many of us cried at graduation. Nothing was more insulting than when the rubber ducks were removed from the courtyard before first period. That was our last attempt to perpetuate the spirit of rebellion and free thinking that has always been cultivated in Bronx Science.
    Similarly, this blog has sort of deteriorated. What started out as a logical outline of complaints against Jahoda has turned into petty arguments, which current students are involved in. That’s ridiculous. Current students shouldn’t be on here. It’s dangerous; it’s too easy to find out who you are. Shut up until you get to college. It’s stupid to talk until you know where you’re going.
    I distinctly remember Ms. Jahoda being a complete bitch to me. I was bad at math, and she wanted no part of it. I’m sure everyone can agree that she’s pretty heinous. Therefore, unified in the opinion that Jahoda should be impaled with a t-square, the math department should be able to do something besides write a letter. People like her are manipulative and deceitful. Anything straight forward simply will not work. Fight fire with fire. Antagonize her until she leaves. She’s an insecure, jealous, unstable woman. This shouldn’t be too hard. Everyone needs a taste of their own medicine. Show em’ what we’re made of.

  124. April 5, 2009 pm30 10:50 pm 10:50 pm

    A hearing (a.k.a. kangaroo court) on the teacher I described on March 28, who refused to let a student dictate the time and place he would take a make-up examination, took place last Friday. As expected, the hearing was superfluous; Principal Reidy had already decided to support the decision of Chairman Jahoda, that the teacher should administer a second make-up examination. Principal Reidy ruled that the teacher was insensitive, since 1) the student stated he was still too sick to take the make-up (although he was willing to take it later that day, when he presumably would feel better or had gotten the answers to the exam from other students); 2) the student became too upset to take the exam; and 3) the student was being asked to take the exam in the same room as his own class.

    As a result, Chairman Jahoda, with the full agreement of Principal Reidy, has instituted a new policy regarding make-up examinations:

    1) Students who return from an absence, for whatever reason, can, upon pleading illness, take the make-up exam on the date and time, and in the place, of their choosing.

    2)Students who become upset or throw temper tantrums at the prospect of taking a make-up can choose to postpone the make-up at their convenience.

    3) Students who take make-up exams, don’t do well on them, and can allege either of the above conditions post facto are entitled to second make-up examinations.

    In the interest of fairness and equity, and to level the playing field among all students, Principal Reidy has extended this policy to all examinations. At the scheduled time of an examinations, students can choose to postpone that examination if 1) they are not feeling well, 2) they are too upset to take the examination, 3) they don’t like the room in which the examination is being given, 4) they have family problems preventing them from studying, or 5) they have any other quasi-legitimate reason. The word of the student is to be accepted verbatim; no written note from a parent or guardian is required. Again, students can choose to take the examination at the time, day, and place of their own choosing.

    Principal Reidy has not yet figured out how to apply this policy to Regents examinations, but she still has 2 months to do so.

    • April 5, 2009 pm30 11:26 pm 11:26 pm

      Students now choose date, time and location? The only thing missing is for students to choose what content will be tested…

      • April 7, 2009 am30 12:27 am 12:27 am

        Just wait until some parent complains to Reidy or Jahoda about the problems on some math test…

  125. April 7, 2009 am30 5:07 am 5:07 am

    In case anyone had any doubts about the character of Jahoda, this little story will disabuse them.

    Today, at a regular departmental meeting, Jahoda saw fit to publicly demean one of the outstanding senior math teachers at Bronx Science. This teacher had written the entire AP statistics curriculum, which has resulted in most Science students receiving a 5 on the AP exam. While praising some teachers for going beyond the call, Jahoda had to mention that other teachers could not even pick up a phone in the Math office – a dig clearly intended for the above-mentioned teacher. Rather than praising this teacher for her dedication in coming in early to work on behalf of her students, Jahoda saw fit to belittle this wonderful teacher of almost 30 years for not being her secretary. Jahoda then publicly sought to further embarass this teacher by stating that she should have answered the phone, because, after all, she was using the room, the computer and the paper in the department.

    In the same meeting,Jahoda also tried to entrap another senior teacher by presenting vaque statements in the departmental minutes to support her case against this teacher for insuborination for refusalto give a makeup to a makeup

    On the same day Jahoda had another math teacher summoned to the principal’s office, citing her for improper grading policy. The principal ruled in favor of the teacher’s judgement as did rest of the faculty at the faculty meeting.

    • fedupatbronxscience permalink
      April 7, 2009 am30 5:54 am 5:54 am

      Jahoda, also at the math department faculty meeting today, told teachers again that students cannot take a make-up exam during a math class, and if the student has no free periods, the teacher has to administer the makeup exam either before school or after school, ON THEIR OWN TIME. She said it is the teacher’s responsibility to give a makeup exam and says the math teachers consider themselves to be “SHIFT WORKERS”. Not that there is a teacher contract to bother with or the rights that come with it. For at the prior meeting she said she does not listen to our chapter leader or our union. Jahoda is on a power trip, refuses to listen to any arguments that contradict her policies and directives, and conducts each meeting in such a nasty tone that it makes one want to have a shower when it finishes.

    • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
      June 3, 2009 pm30 9:16 pm 9:16 pm

      You are right, why show common decency to pick up a phone. The horror of someone contacting the school. Good thing that teacher took a stand and ignored the call. Who knows, it may have been a concerned parent.

      You sure you are teachers. You sound like my little brother.

      What next; this teacher left the toilet seat up, that teacher stepped on my shoes?

      • Bronxscience88 permalink
        August 26, 2009 am31 2:40 am 2:40 am

        Picking up a phone isn’t common decency. According to the post Jahoda accused the teacher of being too busy working (burning up supplies) to pick up the phone. I would never feel it was correct to pick up another person’s phone…that could be construed as rude as well, more rude if you ask me…

  126. April 7, 2009 pm30 7:58 pm 7:58 pm

    @Peeved and @fedupatbronxscience – It seems as if not a day goes by without Jahoda doing or saying something to demean or belittle the members of her department. This, of course, is the hallmark of an insecure, incompetent administrator. Rather than building herself up by building up her department and its members, she builds herself up by denigrating the members of her department, thereby making herself look better, at least in her own eyes.

    Thus far, the members of the Math Department have attempted to modify Jahoda’s behavior, by going within channels and granting her the deference one would to a legitimate AP who had gone too far. That hasn’t worked; by stating a policy that contradicts the contract, Jahoda has shown her true colors. It is therefore time to call for regime change. The members of the Math Department should stop treating Jahoda like a legitimate AP and start treating her like the megalomaniacal, tinpot dictator she has become.

    A few ideas:
    1) Any of Jahoda’s policies (e.g. on make-up exams) that are contrary to the union contract should be ignored. Just because a chairperson promulgates a policy (e.g. that all teachers have to stay late, teach extra classes, or buy Jahoda a Porsche) doesn’t make it legitimate. You are not insubordinate for refusing to conform to such diktats.
    2) Let Jahoda know she has forfeited your respect and her authority. Don’t just wear buttons saying, “Support your colleagues”; wear buttons saying “Roe must go”. Picket in front of the school. Stage a teach-in.
    3) Take charge in departmental meetings. Don’t let Jahoda set the agenda, chair the meeting, and do all the talking. Take over the meeting. Discuss her outrages publicly. Denounce her high-handed manner. Chant “Roe must go”. Intr0duce and pass a No Confidence Motion.
    4) Contact the school newspaper, the Parents Association, the alumni, anyone who can help. Don’t only go through channels – it has been over a year and it hasn’t worked.
    5) Stop thinking of Jahoda as your boss, who can set policy and whom you have to obey. Challenge her “authority” – let her know that you are the people who teach the classes, and that without you, she is nothing – the chairman of an office and nothing more.

    It is time that you took back your department.

    • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
      June 3, 2009 pm30 9:23 pm 9:23 pm

      You are right. Forget the students and make a point. Jahoda wants you to stay and help students, forget that. Screw the kids, lets walk around and make her feel like crap, chanting slogans against her. She does the same to you right? Oh, wait, she doesn’t. Oops, my mistake. The way you guys were saying these things….

      Well you do have a point. Those teach-ins sound cool. We could bring it back to the late 60’s. Who wants to start a militant group? Teachers for a Democratic Society? The Weather-teachers? Green Panthers/Black Wolverines? Anyone have any ideas?

      As an example, a teach-in at the University of Michigan in May 1965 began with a discussion of the Vietnam war draft and ended with the logistics of a takeover of the University. So again, any ideas?

      • Bronxscience88 permalink
        August 26, 2009 am31 2:46 am 2:46 am

        You sound like a genius why don’t you neglect your family and other obligations to stay as late as necessary to help students at Bronx Science? Don’t ask for money, do it for the kids! Good job ridiculing those radical ideas though. Not like they ever worked before, right?

  127. Truth-Teller permalink
    May 2, 2009 am31 2:04 am 2:04 am

    go to the following link:

    [link removed]

    for the real truth about Jahoda and the math department written by teachers who want the truth to be known.

  128. Truth-Teller permalink
    May 2, 2009 am31 2:36 am 2:36 am

    We’ll try this one more time

    If Drake and Shahom and Mr. Bow Tie and the rest of you aren’t total cowards, then you should be OK with taking some heat, especially since you’ve given so much.

    • May 2, 2009 am31 2:42 am 2:42 am

      I’ll approve the comments that come from “Truth-Teller” – but not the links to his blog.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 2:48 am 2:48 am

      You look like such a brave soul compared to these cowards…whoa, kissing up to administration you must have some real big cojones Mr. TruthSeller

  129. May 12, 2009 pm31 7:50 pm 7:50 pm



    As a graduating senior, I must say I have a LOT regarding this topic. See you on June 15th!

    • anonymous permalink
      May 15, 2009 am31 12:12 am 12:12 am

      please don’t forget to give your 2 cents once you graduate! you may be outta there but so will many fine teachers!

    • anonymous permalink
      May 15, 2009 am31 12:15 am 12:15 am

      please don’t forget to give your 2 cents once you graduate! you may be out of there but so will many fine teachers! the demise of a great school needs to be stopped! the egos and insecurities of jahoda, reidy, cooper and chang are ruining bronx science and it will be a shell of its former self. anyone hear about them trying to run a great new english teacher (and published author and poet) out of the school?

  130. May 15, 2009 am31 11:13 am 11:13 am

    Have you heard about the letter that Cooper circulated last week, threatening teachers with disciplinary action for taking off for being sick? It seems that Cooper and Reidy are trying to unilaterally void the contract with the UFT.

    Also, last I heard, at least 5 teachers will be leaving the math department at the end of the year – they just can’t take it any more.

  131. May 17, 2009 am31 9:39 am 9:39 am

    Please do not even attempt to uncover my identity; any attempts to do so by a teacher or otherwise will not be tolerated. I obviously cannot sign this — not because I really don’t want to — but because as a student, it is very likely I would suffer severe punishment for being “caught” supporting teachers I love. A shame, isn’t it?

    First and foremost, we must begin our story with Ms. Valerie Reidy, “PhD”. There have been numerous complaints against her administrative capabilities from before she was even given the job of Principal (I have NO affiliation with the below links):


    Clearly, when the Principal of a school is so poorly qualified for this position, one must begin to question how she will appoint other administrators in her regime.

    On the subject of Ms. Rosemarie Jahoda, as a STUDENT I have seen a variety of her “faces”. First and foremost, most students who have her as a teacher can agree that she is an excellent and friendly teacher. However, one must keep in mind that as an AP, she is only required to teach one section of 34 students. I am positive that any teacher who only had one class a day would be able to maintain a happy-go-lucky mentality with said students.

    As an OUTSIDE OBSERVER who perhaps cares too much about this school, I have seen a multitude of things that are “red flags” in regards to Ms. Jahoda. I have personally seen her when she talks to teachers. If she is not aware that someone is watching, she can be condescending and rude. I was inspired to post here after such an event.

    I have no doubt that Mr. Fox gets “special treatment” from Ms. Jahoda, for his undying dedication to her. Granted, Mr. Fox is an excellent teacher (he is very organized, and puts a lot of time into his lessons). However, I do NOT believe he is being honest when he states that “I have found that by merely walking into my classroom, teaching my lesson, and interacting with the students, all of the controversy that exists on the outside disappears – even if for those 45 minutes”. As a former student of his class, he occasionally brings “Jahoda” into the mix. For example, he will frequently beg the class to be quiet because “my boss is next door”, and we might “cost him his job”. Even though he LOVES Jahoda, it is apparent that he has seen what she is capable of doing when a teacher commits a transgression. Therefore, I firmly believe Mr. Fox was one of the two teachers who refused to sign the complaint — not because he wholeheartedly believed Jahoda to be a competent administrator — but because he didn’t want to get on her bad side. As a reward for isolating himself entirely from his colleagues (and even some students), Mr. Fox is growing the Computer Science department at an exponential rate. A robot was recently purchased for yet another course next year; seemingly every student in the Math department is aware of said robot. Budget cuts? Hah!

    To the teacher (Mr. Fox again?) who claims the “groupthink” mentality regarding 20/22 teachers signing the Special Complaint — get real. I find it ridiculously unlikely that such a group of extremely intelligent and qualified instructors would all sign something like this without careful thought. I am also disgusted that you would dare insinuate such a thing, especially of some teachers who have been there “from before you were born”!

    I would also like to point out to Mr. Fox that if the regime change that most students and teachers want to occur DOES occur, you will be in a very, very unhappy situation because you have irreversibly alienated yourself from your colleagues. As a STUDENT, it’s obvious. Teachers who spoke with you freely last year (Ms. Robertson, for example), have absolutely no public contact with you anymore. If your students are noticing such negative changes, I shudder to think what else you have done.


    I would like to point out one thing that many people are neglecting to mention. The quality of teachers at a school DOES matter. Think of it this way:

    1. Parents and students want to attend a school where the teachers are known for their talent and experience. Parents will NOT allow their child to apply to a school (aka – placing Bx Sci #1 on the SHSAT) in which teachers have a reputation for turning over at a much faster rate than other schools, or where inexperienced teachers fresh out of college are hired.

    2. Teachers do not want to teach at a school where the administration has reached a reputation such as this. Additionally, many teachers would prefer to teach at a school like Science because it has good students.

    –> Consider this vicious cycle: Teachers would rather teach at a school with great students. Great students would rather learn at a school with great teachers. As one variable continues to negatively increment, the OTHER one will also follow — either in a few years, or several decades. Sooner or later, Bronx Science will begin attracting “lower-grade” teachers, and “lower-grade” students.


    Ms. Cooper and Ms. Reidy are notorious for their tight fiscal policies, even where doing so cuts “into the bone” of Bronx Science. A teacher fresh out of college, without a Masters, is currently slated to earn $45,530. A teacher with a Masters, who has been teaching for 30 years, is currently slated to earn $94,153. Both of these are from the UFT Teacher Salary Schedule effective May 19, 2008.

    For every SENIOR teacher replaced with a JUNIOR (fresh out of college) teacher, Bronx Science saves $48,623. The cost to students is immeasurable, as I can say with confidence that experience is something that is irreplaceable. Granted, there are exceptions to this rule — teachers who should have stopped teaching many years ago, or new teachers who are so enthusiastic that they instruct students well.


    What’s worse is the way Cooper/Reidy want to “improve” the school. They are OBSESSED with US News & World Report, which uses a ridiculous system to measure how great schools are. For example, the NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO TAKE AP EXAMS is a consideration — a school where every student takes an AP and earns a ONE is considered “great” compared to a school where 80% of the students take AP exams and earn 5’s. Cooper/Reidy have proposed a new policy effective next year, effectively expanding AP courses to students who are less-than-qualified to take them, by increasing the number of sections and courses available. Lowering the standards to increase the number of participants; this will increase the “rating” of the school, at the expense of instruction.


    By the way, teachers (save Mr. Fox) are very insistent upon having “no comment” in regards to the Jahoda issue. As a previous poster mentioned, they all tactfully decline to answer questions regarding this topic. TEACHERS AT BRONX SCIENCE ARE NOT INVOLVING STUDENTS IN THIS MESS, HOWEVER .. IT IS VERY OBVIOUS TO THE STUDENT BODY THAT SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG IS OCCURRING WITHIN THE WALLS OF OUR SCHOOL.

    I can say a lot more, but not for another 19 school days.

    • May 19, 2009 pm31 1:17 pm 1:17 pm

      Just for the record, the 2 (of 22) math teachers who did not sign the Special Complaint were Justin Fox and James Perna. Apparently, they decided they would rather suck up to Jahoda than stand with their colleagues. Then again, most of the younger teachers who signed the Complaint (Abbott, Philip, Bellantoni, Smith, and Dao) were forced out and Jahoda has her “U-knife” out for several others (Lamphere, Robertson). So, maybe Fox and Perna had it right: Better to kiss Ro’s butt and keep your job than to have integrity and lose it.

      • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
        June 3, 2009 pm30 9:40 pm 9:40 pm

        I have a question about Dao. Are you sure that he left because of Jahoda. He said that he had family issues to attend to, and i believe that. If he had been pushed out or left because he had enough then he would have just said it. Because remember, the best way to keep your integrity is to bitch about this stuff. Its what all of you are doing right? As for the Mr Fox comment above, i do feel bad about how things worked out for him. He really is a nice man and he cares about the kids. Do you really have the need to trash a fellow teacher and cast him aside for his beliefs. He wants to concentrate on the students. I know you all have to worry about all this and have to put aside the students. Thats just too bad. Those kids really do get in the way of making it easy to teach kids.

        Why don’t you all put this aside and TEACH. Its pretty close to regents time anyway.

        • June 3, 2009 pm30 10:15 pm 10:15 pm

          Dao signed the complaint.

          And teachers own their own time outside of the school day. Respect that.

        • June 4, 2009 am30 11:39 am 11:39 am

          Having to comply with the arbitrary diktats of a chairman who micromanages her department, makes it up as she goes along, and abuses teachers can get in the way of teaching students. You make it sound as if Mr. Fox were the only teacher who cares about the students, and the others don’t. It is because they care about the students and about the quality of their education that they are so opposed to what Jahoda is doing.

        • Anonymous permalink
          August 18, 2009 pm31 3:21 pm 3:21 pm

          Mr Dao left in June 2008 to take care of his sick mother in Georgia. However in July of 2008 he returned to NY and emailed Ms Jahoda that he was available to teach at Bx Science again. She did not respond to his email, despite the fact that the Math Department needed another teacher.

    • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
      June 3, 2009 pm30 9:34 pm 9:34 pm

      I think i know who this is. Did i speak to you yesterday about this?

    • June 7, 2009 pm30 9:16 pm 9:16 pm

      Note to blog author: I can assure you I am not someone who has previously posted on this article, despite the fact that I am using an anonymous IP. I would rather not be declared by you to be an administrator or specific teacher. Thank you.

      @Anonymous Student: I would like to point out that it is very unwise, as a current student, to make remarks with the intent of inciting a riot amongst fellow students.

      As a student, your primary concern should be how Mr. Fox handles his job — teaching YOU. It is not our concern how Mr. Fox and his colleagues interact, unless it begins to impede upon his professional duties in the classroom; it has not. Mr. Fox spends countless hours helping students both during class and after school. I couldn’t care less if he only stayed after school to impress his boss (not implying he does, but a previous post stated as such), because I as a student benefit from it. I’ve had Mr. Fox as a teacher on more than one occasion, and I do believe that he has occasionally let slip certain things that I prefer remained his own business; although I do not recall him stating anything so controversial or private that I ever thought twice about it. I think he may have done this because he considers his students to be mature and respectful. Unfortunately, several students within our class have proven time and again that they are not worthy of attending Bronx Science. However, I will not pretend for even a split second that OTHER teachers I have had over the past four years have not made similar errors. In fact, I have seen other teachers make far worse errors. For example, making it the business of everyone around them when they had a personal issue tied to the school (think the “quack” nonsense from a few years back); I had one teacher in an unrelated department literally cry in front of a class because she received a “U” rating which was later reversed; she left a year later. To bash Mr. Fox for being a human under great stress is not something honorable, especially while maintaining anonymity.

      The fact that the mathematics department at the Bronx High School of Science is having so many dramatic (and PUBLIC!!) issues is disturbing. I understand teachers united against a poor administration (I am not implying that it is indeed a poor administration), but I do NOT consider it acceptable for fellow colleagues to publicly humiliate each other on the public domain. I am very disappointed that such information is publicly accessible; indeed, a quick search for “Bronx Science” on Google leads to this page.

      I will not offer much more than this in regards to Ms. Reidy, Ms. Cooper and Ms. Jahoda: I have personally interacted with all three, and I find them to be extremely competent administrators. Although I cannot agree with each and every policy they institute, I do think that the overall direction the school is taking is a great one that keeps in line with our tradition. Keep in mind that one of the previous Principals at Bronx Science wrote one of the Physics textbooks we use today; Ms. Reidy faces tough competition from the past, and is sure to attract attention. In regards to experienced teachers .. many new teachers bring new ideas and techniques to the table. I think having a balance between new and experienced teachers is excellent, because it fosters an environment of better professional development. Experienced teachers do not always belong in classrooms, and many new teachers bring refreshing and exciting personalities to the school. I have loved (and learned from) virtually all my teachers at Bronx Science, even if they just came out of college.

      I would prefer that no particular teacher(s) confront me in regards to this post until after graduation, even if it is painfully obvious who this is. It is stressful enough joining an argument such as this one, but I do feel that the post I am replying to went WAY too far. This article focused on administrative issues within the school, not on particular teachers. I highly suggest that any teachers who have issues with each other mediate the issues in a private setting, not in the public eye where students can publicly read the back-and-forth arguments of two colleagues who might very well also be my teachers. I hope my tone doesn’t incite anger towards me, but I do personally believe that I don’t want to be seeing this sort of stuff online, especially when I was attempting to search for something completely unrelated to this on Google.

      • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
        June 7, 2009 pm30 9:46 pm 9:46 pm

        Good show old sport. I have a newfound respect for you. And i think i may just hug you tomorrow.

      • June 7, 2009 pm30 10:58 pm 10:58 pm

        You will see this stuff on line. If you read the posts carefully, you’ll see that they are public warnings to new teachers against, if possible, accepting employment at the Bronx High School of Science.

        I’ve posted such warnings about 15 or so schools. Where we can it is good to keep new teachers out of places likely to destroy their careers.

        It’s amazing that your school is on the list. I resisted adding it, figuring that a few isolated incidents do not make a career-ender. But they turn out not to be few, not to be isolated.


  132. May 28, 2009 pm31 4:55 pm 4:55 pm

    “Sentence first – verdict afterwards”, or Jahoda’s Witlessness

    If you thought that life for the math teachers at Bronx Science could not get more bizarre and/or surreal, think again. After all, over the past year, Jahoda has forced teachers to leave, humiliated others, and generally made it known that she is the Queen of her department, who will brook no opposition, disagreement, or dissent.

    Although it was clear that she hands out “U” ratings like candy, the basis for these “U” ratings was not clear. Until last week. One math teacher, who is active in the Union, received his second “U” of the year – for a review lesson! Among the reasons cited:

    1) She didn’t like the aim (“How do we review for tomorrow’s test using the law of sines and law of cosines?”), despite the fact it was elicited from a student and was reviewed the previous day in the aims and objectives meeting.
    2) She felt that the lesson prepared the students too thoroughly for the test by reviewing every possible problem. She didn’t like the use of a review sheet, and that students presented a variety of problems from the review sheet.
    3) She didn’t like the way questions were asked (i.e. “Who can tell us…?”) because she claimed that the teacher was only asking for volunteers. Although she admitted that the teacher called on many non-volunteers, she criticized the teacher for this because these students did not know the answers to the questions, and because the teacher did not return to them and ask them if they understood the answer once another student had clarified it.
    4) She didn’t like that the students presented only correct answers on the flex cam. When the teacher pointed out that two students had presented incorrect answers and that the class had corrected them, she said that this was an example of how confused the students were.

    What is crystal clear, even to someone who doesn’t know any of these people, is that Jahoda had decided to give the “U” rating to this teacher long before the observation, and that she came up with these “reasons” to justify the rating she already gave. Had one of her favorites (e.g. Fox, Perna) given the exact same lesson, with the exact same “flaws”, he would have gotten an “S”, and none of these “reasons” would have been mentioned. By coming up with such flimsy reasons, Jahoda has made her intentions clear – she is not interested in good teachers, just in subservient ones. She will use her position to get rid of teachers she doesn’t like, no matter how good they are.

    “Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

    “Who cares for you?” said Alice, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

    Time to treat Jahoda, Reidy, and the rest of them as such.

    • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
      June 3, 2009 pm30 9:45 pm 9:45 pm

      Ooh look at that, a boss that acts like a boss. You want her to take your hand and walk you through your lessons. Next time she says you did something wrong ask her how to improve instead of rushing to the internet. Sometimes you just have to live with a situation.
      Que sera sera.

      • June 4, 2009 am30 11:33 am 11:33 am

        Since you obviously did not understand the point I was trying to make, I will repeat it: Jahoda decided to give this teacher a “U” rating before the observation. She then created justifications for the rating she had already decided on. That is not acting like a boss; that is acting like the judge of a kangaroo court. “Sentence first – verdict afterwards”.

      • Disappointed permalink
        June 6, 2009 pm30 9:19 pm 9:19 pm

        @Now upset student: Due to your young age, you do not recognize that your self righteousness is really due to your own insecurity, and inability to look at issues in a more reflective way.
        I’d suggest that you stick to studying for your exams, and let the big people take care of themselves.

        • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
          June 7, 2009 pm30 9:48 pm 9:48 pm

          Wow. You just snap at anyone don’t you?

        • Now Upset Student (Formerly "Student") permalink
          June 7, 2009 pm30 9:56 pm 9:56 pm

          And btw, you are a math teacher and a psychologist?

  133. anonymous nonstudent permalink
    June 8, 2009 pm30 7:09 pm 7:09 pm

    WHO IS GOING TO BE TEACHING AT BX SCI NEXT YEAR? Returning students will likely be dismayed to find out how many teachers will not be coming back, most of whom will no longer tolerate the disrespectful and abusive behavior of the administration. Look in Sept and see (and it’s not just the math dept). The math dept is down 4 more teachers so far for next year. That means at least 10 of the 20 who signed the Special Complaint will be gone. Sure some are retiring but don’t be fooled – good teachers do not always retire as soon as they can. Many have indicated that it is the current administration and work environment that made the decision for them to leave. For those students who think Reidy and Jahoda are good just because they haven’t done anything to you – stick to your studies – you have no idea about what goes on behind the scenes.

  134. June 21, 2009 pm30 6:33 pm 6:33 pm

    For the past week, I have been listening to experts state that the actions of the Iranian regime to popular sentiment has undermined the legitimacy of the regime, that it may be the beginning of the end.
    Tomorrow, the Math teachers at Bronx Science will begin to testify against their regime to a binding arbitrator. The actions of Rosemarie (I Am A Dinner Jacket) Jahoda over the past two years – handing out “U” ratings, denigrating teachers in front of their colleagues and students, retaliating against teachers who question her dictatorial regime, forcing teachers to leave – and the unquestioning, union-busting support she has received from (Grand Ayatollah) Valerie Reidy have undermined the legitimacy of this regime within the school. The key now, as the protesters in Iran have shown us, is to bring this to the attention of the outside world. Teachers should be prepared to testify, truthfully but forcefully, against this regime. Document all their actions and testify about them!
    If the arbitrator asks what would satisfy the teachers, tell them nothing less than regime change. Remove these two, and their sycophants, from their administrative positions and reward them with the retirement they so richly deserve!

    • Get the Facts Straight permalink
      June 22, 2009 pm30 5:51 pm 5:51 pm

      @ Publicola:

      You are perhaps a good math teacher, but you make a lousy political scientist. The concept of “legitimacy” as you use the word stems from the claim to authority that the ruler makes. The Iranian government finds its legitimacy threatened because it purports to be a democracy. The outside world is aghast at the events in Iran because they seem to contradict the democratic electoral process that the leaders in Iran claim to have instituted and from which they claim to draw their legitimacy. The crisis in Iran, in other words, is premised on Iran’s representation of itself as a democracy.

      The math teachers at Bronx Science cannot demand regime change…Ms. Jahoda’s claim to legitimacy is not based on democracy, and your analogy to Iran is therefore fatally flawed. Ms. Jahoda’s claim to legitimacy derives from Ms. Reidy’s claim to legitimacy. The more apt political analogy is to divine right theory or to the mandate of heaven. The math teachers didn’t hire Ms. Jahoda…She is neither dependent on them to continue in her position nor accountable to them for her actions. She is accountable to her boss, who holds her responsible for improving teaching and learning and bringing student centeredness to a department that had, for too long, been mired in methods that were too outdated to even deserve the term “yesterday’s news”.

      I wonder how many of your students would demand “regime change” in your classrooms if given the chance. As I’m sure the math teachers realize in the course of their day, doing the right thing as an educator does not always coincide with doing the popular thing–Ms. Jahoda faces a similar problem. Change is a difficult process, especially with resistance so entrenched.

      Nevertheless, I cannot question Ms. Jahoda’s dedication and competence, and have no doubt that she will ultimately be successful. If you must a political analogy to satisfy yourselves, then try this one…

      Ms Jahoda could reasonably be compared to current president of Afghanistan, Harmid Kharzi, trying to impose some degree of order, uniformity, and accountability to a department that had heretofore been run like a “wild west” border outpost. The work is difficult, but, like the effort to bring democracy to Afghanistan, must continue, for price of failure is too high to contemplate.

      • June 23, 2009 pm30 3:33 pm 3:33 pm

        You are one condescending little worm in saying that Jahoda is trying to “impose some degree of order, uniformity, and accountability to a department that had heretofore been run like a “wild west” border outpost.” You evidently were not in the department before she arrived, so you have no idea what you are talking about. She has not imposed order, she has imposed disorder. Effective at the end of this term, she will have a 50% turnover in her department over 2 years. If the price of failure is too high to contemplate, then what is the price of success?

        No, Mr. Fox, the very question is one of legitimacy. The Iranian government does NOT derive its legitimacy from its purporting to be a democracy since all candidates must be vetted before being allowed to run. Ayatollah Khamenei was NOT elected by the people; rather, his legitimacy derives from the acquiescence by the Iranian people of his right to hold that position. The same applies to a Principal of a school and a Chairman of a department. Although they are not elected by their staff, their legitimacy derives by the acquiescence by the staff to their authority to hold their positions. Once they lose the confidence and trust of their staff, they lose their legitimacy. The filing of a Special Complaint and the “no confidence” motions cited elsewhere on this blog are clear indications that Reidy and Jahoda have lost the confidence of their staff and should be removed.

        As I mentioned above, half of the Math Department that was there when Jahoda took over has left, and others will no doubt leave, too. So I would not compare Jahoda’s tenure to that of Karzai in Afghanistan. Rather, it is like the Americans in Vietnam – “we had to destroy the village in order to save it.” Welcome to the wreckage.

        • June 24, 2009 am30 9:53 am 9:53 am

          @Get the Facts Straight: I was amused by your comparison of Jahoda to Karzai, especially the crack about “trying to impose some degree of order, uniformity, and accountability to a department.” I can’t decide whether you think she is trying to turn a group of dedicated professionals into Pod People or the Stepford Teachers, or whether you have watched “The Triumph of the Will” one too many times. In either case, she has gutted what was once a fine department.

          @Publicola: I don’t think Get the Facts Straight is Justin Fox; I think it’s Zach Lynn (see my posting on April 2). In either case, he would have to climb a high mountain to be a contemptible little worm.

        • Gone and glad permalink
          January 25, 2012 pm31 9:16 pm 9:16 pm

          And then there were 5 left…..4 who signed the original complaint against Jahoda.

      • March 31, 2010 pm31 11:38 pm 11:38 pm

        @Get the Facts Straight: “Ms Jahoda could reasonably be compared to current president of Afghanistan, Harmid Kharzi… (L)ike the effort to bring democracy to Afghanistan, (her work) must continue, for price of failure is too high to contemplate.”

        Reading about Mr. Karzai this week – the election fraud, the rampant corruption, the overture to Ahmedinajad and contempt for the US, which is trying to help him – I am afraid that Get the Facts Straight was exactly right.

  135. June 26, 2009 am30 11:58 am 11:58 am

    Question: How do Reidy, Jahoda and Cooper greet each other every morning?

    Answer: When shall we three meet again, in thunder lightning or in rain?

  136. June 26, 2009 pm30 4:43 pm 4:43 pm

    Mrs. Reidy has been notorious for not getting along with the teaching staff of Bronx Science, to put it lightly. It has been in the news on more than one occasions. This time, however, Mrs. Reidy made a personal attack on a veteran teacher who was retiring this year.

    Her inappropriate actions towards Mrs. Alexander and other teachers have resulted in students and teachers rallying against her administration of fear and disrespect. A large number of teachers are retiring/transferring out of Bronx Science this year, many in retaliation to this and similar events.

    In an email dated June 24, Mrs. Alexander sent the graduating officers of the S.O. this message:


    To the Student Organization.

    I just wanted to bring you up to date on Reidy’s latest actions. As you know, I have been a dedicated teacher in the Math Department at Bronx High School of Science since September 1977. On June 24, 2009, a few days prior to retiring, I received a U rating on my annual professional performance review, the first U rating of my professional career. The reason cited for this U was “Absence and Punctuality”.

    On May 7, 2009, I had received a letter from Assistant Principal Phoebe Cooper stating that I had been absent 10 days for self-treated (sic) and 4 days for religious observance and that I had only provided medical documentation for one of those days. The letter concluded by stating, “Continued absences could lead to an unsatisfactory rating for attendance.” After receiving this note, I provided the payroll secretary with medical documentation for the other days I was absent. Unfortunately my health continued to be poor and I was out 5 more days for illness, for which I provided doctors’ notes.

    Each morning this year I arrived at school one hour before my classes started, to do school work, and I also worked during my lunch hour. Every night and weekend during the school year, I worked countless hours at home on behalf of my students. To be given the only U rating of my career a few days before my retirement, after teaching at Science for 32 years, was a personal insult, a stab in the back. At the same time it served to further shock and demoralize many of the equally hardworking faculty members at Bronx Science.

    In the Teacher’s Handbook that was given to me along with this U rating is a statement that 10 or more absences MAY result in a U rating, meaning that the decision to do so is at the discretion of the administration. Principal Valerie Reidy evidently decided to make my retirement more memorable, to kick me out the door as I was leaving.

    Joan Alexandr


    There are a variety of interesting articles you may want to read, to better inform yourselves of what exactly is happening at Bronx Science:

    (links removed from quote by original author)

    The links above will also better inform you as to where the “Quack” campaign came from, and what happened to the teacher responsible for creating it.

    A copy of the above letter and a few links have been forwarded to the Bronx HS of Science Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Something MUST be done, to save our ALMA MATER (or in the case of underclassmen, YOUR EDUCATION)!

  137. Alm permalink
    June 26, 2009 pm30 6:44 pm 6:44 pm

    I just want to say the the math department has some amazing teachers. I had Mr. Fox my freshman year and he tutored me during his lunch periods because I was so behind. Up until the day I graduated he always said hi to me in the halls. He was a great guy! Ms. Bernstein was amazing too, and I know these are two of the teachers who signed this petition. I have complete respect for that decision. I cannot complain about the hard work because they were great teachers and should not be subject to this tyranny.

    As for Ms Abbot, I remember when she was only a tutor (before she got hired.) She was soo kind and smart, and Bxsci is going to miss her.

    • anonymous permalink
      June 26, 2009 pm30 6:51 pm 6:51 pm

      Fox and Perna did not sign. Every other teacher did!

  138. June 30, 2009 pm30 11:03 pm 11:03 pm

    In a bitter twist of irony, Mr. Fox sends me an email accusing me of writing a comment on this blog post. He was right about me writing a post, but was wrong in regards to which one I wrote.

    He accuses me of writing this:

    I actually wrote this:

    How wrong you were, Mr. Fox. I wish you and the rest of the staff at Bronx Science the best of luck.

  139. August 10, 2009 pm31 1:47 pm 1:47 pm

    Another one bites the dust.
    Just when you thought things could not get any more bleak in the Bronx Science Math Department, they did. Another good, experienced teacher is leaving – Jeremy Shahom. That makes 12 in a little over 1 year. Of the 20 teachers who signed the Special Complaint, only 8 are left – and for how long? This is the kind of employee turnover typical of a McDonald’s outlet.

    It used to be that teachers fought to get into Bronx Science – now they fight to get out. I wonder who the replacements will be for the six who have just left – Alexander, Rosen, Klausner, Mirsky, Robertson, and Shahom. Maybe Jahoda will have to actually teach. Or maybe she, Cooper, and Reidy will reinstitute press gangs, by going to local colleges and kidnapping students as they leave their classes. I will bet that, collectively, the 6 teachers hired as replacements will have less teaching experience than the least experienced teacher being replaced.

    I guess Reidy and Jahoda have won. Of course, the students have lost – they will now get the equivalent of a 4th rate math department. It gives new meaning to the phrase “pyrrhic victory”.

    • CATO (has also written as Veritas) permalink
      August 11, 2009 pm31 1:23 pm 1:23 pm

      The capacity for endless verbiage on the part of the lunatic fringe never ceases to amaze. On and on and on, agenda after agenda. Spinning on truth faster than the earth spins on its axis. Poor Bronx Science? Poor students? Fourth grade education? Only if you choose to believe and spin. Mr. Lamphere has proven beyond any human doubt that in his world, everyone but himself is expendable and ripe for being thrown under the bus. He came to Bronx Science on a mission having little to do with children and education, and the mission continues, even if his followers go right over the cliff and make a mess of their own careers. The positions will be filled. The candidates will be extremely qualified. And the Math Department will be – a wonderful department. Not a self-serving country club.

      • August 11, 2009 pm31 3:32 pm 3:32 pm

        I am glad the Censor has spoken.
        By dragging in Mr. Lamphere, whom I did not mention, and by implying that the pre-Jahoda math department was a “self-serving country club”, you have essentially outed yourself. Which one of Jahoda’s incompetent, anti-union hirees are you?

        As for the candidates for the empty positions being “extremely qualified”, that is irrelevant. Even if Jahoda were able to hand-pick the most qualified teachers in the entire school system (which she could not, since their current principals wouldn’t let them leave and since they would not want to work under Jahoda), a collection of extremely qualified teachers does not make a department. A good department has a certain cohesiveness, a sense of teamwork, an “espirit de corps”. When 12 of 20 teachers leave within a year, those left are too demoralized to form the core of a department, and the new hirees are too new to do so. And, of course, the leader of the department is too much of a paranoid, insecure, self-serving, incompetent administrator to foster a sense of cohesiveness among her staff. So what you get is a 4th rate department, with everyone too worried about their own jobs to care about forming a department.

        • Get the Facts Straight permalink
          August 11, 2009 pm31 4:02 pm 4:02 pm

          @ Publicola

          How can you blame CATO for bringing in Mr. Lamphere. He IS the special complaint. Even if he hasn’t been mentioned here before, he’s the bow-tied elephant in the room!

          A department IS a collection of good teachers…unless of course you’re used to having one good teacher for each course who shares lessons for the thirty years! You’re talk of cohesiveness is nothing more than leftist claptrap…How, after all, does it impact my students if there is an “espirit de corps” among teachers in my department? Are my students likely to score higher if I grab a drink with my colleagues…No, actually they would score higher if I decided to forgo the drink and went home and planned a lesson instead!

        • August 12, 2009 am31 12:40 am 12:40 am

          A great math department has teachers who know math, who can teach, who consult, collaborate, share. Teachers who continue to study math, continue to study methods, who bring back and discuss ideas.

          And a great math department has amazing senior teachers, a core of established, mid-career teachers, and renews itself with energetic, eager, knowledgeable newer teachers.

          But Bronx Science has chased senior teachers into retirement, has pushed out most of the mid-career teachers, and has failed to retain a single strong new teacher.

          The disruption of the department began with the arrival of one individual: Rosemary Jahoda. You don’t like how your betters fought back? Tough.

          But if you celebrate as some sort of improvement the departures of Bellantoni, Abbot and other amazing newer teachers, you are an idiot beyond words.

    • Get the Facts Straight permalink
      August 11, 2009 pm31 9:06 pm 9:06 pm

      Are two teachers leaving…You mention a “good experienced teacher” and “Jeremy Shahom”. Please clarify

  140. August 11, 2009 pm31 4:38 pm 4:38 pm

    @Get the Facts Straight

    Once again, you show your total ignorance of teaching. You make it sound as if each teacher taught and acted independently of every other teacher in a department. You get handed a curriculum, lock yourself in your classroom, and emerge at the end of the year? You never interact with your colleagues, exchange information about pedagogic tricks, consult others’ lesson plans? You sound like a rugged individualist, the Marlboro Man of teachers!

    A department is MORE than a collection of teachers. Teachers should be able to interact with each other, consult with and share with each other. Even if they don’t, they should feel they are together in a joint enterprise, that they are all working toward the same end. In a demoralized department, with high turnover and an abusive chairperson, they don’t.

    So, go off by yourself, teach your classes, and ignore and alienate your colleagues. You can continue to believe you are in a good department. Those of us who know what a good department is know better.

  141. senior teacher permalink
    August 11, 2009 pm31 5:23 pm 5:23 pm

    What I fail to understand is why you seem to believe that Peter Lamphere is at the helm of the special complaint. This is totally untrue. In fact, it was several of the senior teachers who saw their younger colleagues (Tia Smith, Beth Bellantoni, Carolyn Abbott, Peter Lamphere, and Nancy Philip) being mistreated, who decided to write this letter, in an attempt to inform the principal of what was happening to their colleagues.
    The very idea that the members of the math department do not have the moral fortitude to make their own judgments is insulting and absurd. Your contention that Peter is the “culprit” is dead wrong. In fact, he hardly had anything to do with the writing of the special complaint.

  142. August 11, 2009 pm31 7:46 pm 7:46 pm

    “Cato” speaking of lunatic behavior :when I told you that I got a U from Reidy, your immediate response was “and I should care?” Your next response was that and ” Did you think I had anything to do with it?” As I told you then and now I don’t think you had anything to do with it- but thank G-d you are my ex-colleaque.I really feel sorry for the students who have you next year and the staff that has to work with a despicable human being who doesn’t deserve to be a teacher.

  143. CATO (has also written as Veritas) permalink
    August 12, 2009 am31 10:14 am 10:14 am

    Amazing what a little bit of swimming against the collectivist tide can stir up from the bottom-crawlers! They’re never too far away from their own spleen. Spinning, lying, self-deceiving and finding each other in the dark. Always so professionally “busy”, but never too busy to make a bee-line to the blog. You can stir the pot, make yourselves believe that the older teachers weren’t getting ready to retire anyway, that each of the younger ones were intrinsically brilliant and ready to pour their hearts into the kids, brimming with the camraderie suitable to a submarine crew. Dream on. The proof will be evident two years from now — when everything is better than fine, and the collectivists have little to do but blog each other and pump themselves full of stories of the imaginary good old days. As for Mr. Lamphere, wake up gentlemen and ladies — he IS the primary in all of this, not Jahoda. ANY new chairperson would have had to make numerous, long-awaited changes, and change is just plain tough. Some folks can handle it, some cannot. But with Mr. Lamphere’s supra-agenda waiting to embrace everyone’s individual gripe, the die was cast for a significant struggle. Those who chose, time after time, to follow this class-warfare commissar over the cliff must surely notice by now that THEY fell all the way down – and HE pulled his ripcord and, for now, parachuted to survival. Don’t you get it — you are his cannon fodder. Or do you really believe he is your friend come hell or high water? You have been used – time to realize who it is who really used you.

    • August 12, 2009 pm31 10:27 pm 10:27 pm

      Contente and Green are still teaching. Several new teachers “miraculously” improved the moment they landed in sane math departments in other schools. And the poisonous atmosphere in the math department developed on the arrival of one person in particular: the new AP.

  144. Veritas permalink
    August 13, 2009 pm31 12:27 pm 12:27 pm

    It is with gread saddness that I read this blog. Personal attacks, misinformed children, bitter people- all takling to each other with pieces of information strung together to create a story that they pass at “truth”. The real saddness is that Bronx Science teachers and students alike cannot or do not analyze information before judging or maligning.

    1. Follow the money–It is true that Mr. Greene and Contente continue to teach–in New Jersey. Thus while collectint over 90% of their salary from Bx Science as pension, they are making another full salary.

    2. Follow the money– Of the 4 teachers who retired this year, one asked to be rehired as “F” status. The other three were probably losing money while working–just the nature of the Teachers’ Retirement System–“no one works for nothing”

    3.”Brilliant New Teachers”– How do you know? How many of you writing here actually observed thses people in action. As a senior teacher, I have seen reputations made and broken in the teaches’ cafeteria without any actual information–get the facts. Personality and good intentions do not make good teaching.

    4. Ms. Alexander and her student: While Mr.Zakariya

    Every teacher has some students who like-love them- Mark was lucky that he was one of the few who had a good experience with this teacher. What makes him privy or an expert to the inner facts and file info. about Ms. Alexander. Obviously Bx. Science did a very poor job with this young man– he has one side of the facts and therefore feels empowered to malign the entire administrattion, which I know was overly kind to him. Why get information, which might change your preformed opinions. Great use of the scientific method!

    By the way 26 days absent– without documentation- 6 religious holidays-I am not a math teacher,but that looks like 4 weeks of lost instruction. Administration should have Ued this person.

    5. Loss of New teachers:
    Every teacher does not make the grade. The argument against tenure is that once gotten, it is impossible to motivate an unmotivated teacher. Thus, when brand new teachers cannot or will not follow the direction set by their boss–(yes the Assistant Principan and Principal are bosses–hard pill to swallow for some)perhaps they should leave to an organization that fits their philosophy. Where is it written that you get a job and tell the boss I will not follow your directives. When I was a new teacher and told that I would be teaqching a new course just about every semester, I didn’t like it, but I wanted my job so I follow the direction set by the administration.

    If you want to change the system, you have to earn credibility and workw within the system. No one discusses all the new teacher who are happy at Bronx Science and go into Reidy’s office to discuss their concerns appropriately. How may of the disgruntled are on the SLT or attend the monthly union meetings in Reidy’s office. Complaints should come with solutions.

    As for Ms. Abbott- there were not only complaints from students, but teachers about her lack of concern for her own students- she stood them up or just downright refused to help them. We can go tit for tat, but facts are important before we glorify some very replaceable people who clearly did not see teaching as career, but merely a job.

    Tia Smith- nice kid, but did not now much math and did not care to learn.

    Bellantoni and Phillip did not lose their jobs. They were advised to leave by the UFT and chose not to work with the admin to hone their craft.

    We could go on and on, but has anyone stopped to analyze why any person–even an administrator woul “run off” great teachers, put herself in the eye of this storm, be hauled off to “headquarters” for days on end and put her job on the line if everything was so great!

    Maybe change was necessary.


    • August 13, 2009 pm31 3:45 pm 3:45 pm

      You speak anything but the truth.

      1. Ms. Alexander. Where did you get the idea she was out for 26 days over this past year? If you had bothered to read her letter, posted on this site (, you would have seen that she was out for 15 days for illness and 5 days for religious observance – all of which absences were (ultimately) documented. I am glad you think the administration should have Ued her – your colleagues should U you for being a self-righteous little cockroach.

      You are probably James Purna, Justin Fox (again!), or Zach Lynn or some other noble soul seeking to curry favor with the administration.

      2. “Brilliant new teachers” – Yes, many senior teachers observed these new teachers in action and found them brilliant. Where do you get off stating they were not? By calling their competence into question, and by maligning teachers like Tia Smith and Carolyn Abbott, you show what a despicable worm you really are. I particularly like what you said about Ms. Smith (nice kid, but did not now much math and did not care to learn). I guess you do not know much English (or decency) and do not care to learn.

      Oh, and by the way, the reason Bellantoni and Phillips were advised to leave by the UFT was because the UFT knew that they would be Ued out the door – no matter how good their classes were. It was better for them to find another position before that happened.

      3. As for why Jahoda would behave the way she has, running off good teachers and making life miserable for those who stayed, that is indeed a good question. I wrote the following on March 31; in the 5 months since, no one has answered my question:

      I agree with jd2718, that Reidy is responsible for the steady destruction of the faculty, for forcing out both senior and junior teachers, and that Jahoda is on a power trip, but to what end? What are they trying to accomplish?

      I could understand their actions if the various departments were staffed by incompetents who haven’t really had to teach for 30 years, and if they were trying to force these senior teachers out to bring in younger, more dedicated and dynamic teachers. But that is not the case, at least in the Math department, where they are primarily harassing the younger, more dynamic teachers (remember, the more senior teachers took action in defense of their younger colleagues). After forcing out these younger teachers, and making the older teachers so demoralized that they want to leave, Reidy and Jahoda are bringing in young people with no teaching experience, who are far inferior to those they are replacing.

      I also understand that, by doing this, Reidy and Jahoda gain a pliable faculty, teachers so beholden to them that their power is unchecked. But what have they gained by this? Yes, the faculty is subservient, but it is also inferior. They gain power over the wreckage of a once fine school. Their power then becomes essentially meaningless.

      Do they have a goal other than self-aggrandizement?

    • August 13, 2009 pm31 10:01 pm 10:01 pm


      You have managed in one fell swoop, to denigrate just about every teacher in the Math Department. If, as you state, you yourself are not a member of that department, how would you know about the quality of the math teachers? How would you know that Mark Zakariya was one of the few students who had a good experience with Ms. Alexander? How would you know that students and teachers were complaining about Ms. Abbott or that Ms. Smith didn’t know math? The fact is that you don’t know any of these things – you are making them up. And there are two other lies in your posting – that you are a senior teacher and that you are not a math teacher.

      Internal evidence strongly suggests that you are, once again, the Sly Fox – the Volpone of the Math department. So, to set the record straight, let us tell the tale of Justin Fox, the chief defender of Jahoda.

      As everyone knows, Mr. Fox was one of only 2 teachers in the Math department not to sign the Special Complaint. He told his colleagues that, although he agreed with them, he was up for tenure that year, suggesting that, if he signed the Special Complaint, Jahoda would deny him tenure. His colleagues understood.

      Although he was anti-Jahoda BEFORE getting tenure, he became pro-Jahoda after he got it (if you don’t think this was quid pro quo, I have a bridge you might be interested in). But he still wasn’t her chief defender. That had to wait for an incident in December 2008. In the middle of the day, in the middle of a class, Mr. Fox walked out and was not seen again in the building. Members of the department were not told anything, except that we would have to look for a replacement for Mr. Fox. Several months later, Mr. Fox reappeared in the school. He told his colleagues that he had had to leave for “personal reasons”, but he was quite cagey and close-mouthed about the real reason.

      Of course, rumors abounded that he had done something untoward and had been in the “rubber room” for the time he was out. The actions of the administration seemed to confirm this rumor – Reidy, Jahoda, and Cooper never revealed why he was out or why they agreed to take him back. After all, Tuan had left, but wasn’t allowed to come back. Nor was it made clear why Mr. Fox did not get a U for attendance – if Ms. Alexander could get a U for 15 sick days and 5 religious holidays, why didn’t Mr. Fox get a U for at least 40 days of undocumented absences?

      Now we can understand why Brer Fox has become Jahoda’s most vocal defender – it was part of the payoff for agreeing to take him back and not penalizing him for his unexplained absences.

      Mr. Fox has little knowledge of math or interest in being a math teacher. He got all of his lesson plans from the senior teachers he is now criticizing. No, his real goal is to become a school administrator, a goal being abetted by Jahoda (the other part of the payoff for his being her chief defender). He has had a running start – he already knows how to alienate his colleagues and suck up to his superiors. He will make a fine AP.

      • Justin Fox permalink
        August 14, 2009 am31 9:36 am 9:36 am

        Oh, and by the way, I had a 58% mastery rate on the Math B Regents. Second highest in the department for teachers with non-honors classes. After taking over in the middle of the year. So interesting how I have little knowledge of Math, huh?

        • Anonymous permalink
          August 18, 2009 pm31 3:38 pm 3:38 pm

          Will you be teaching the non AP Calculus classes next year? Whose lessons will you pass off as your own?

      • Justin Fox permalink
        August 14, 2009 am31 9:38 am 9:38 am

        I thank you, blog owner, for deleting my last post. However, the defamation lawsuit threat still stands. I know who you are, and know where you work. You have the next move.

        • August 14, 2009 pm31 7:33 pm 7:33 pm

          Your comment was snagged by the spam filter. It seems that you were able to post the same information, sans profanity, without difficulty.

          I rarely delete comments here.

      • Justin Fox permalink
        August 14, 2009 am31 9:42 am 9:42 am

        By the way, a close relative was on her deathbed in Barstow, California, with two young children and no husband, in December of 2008. This is why I left so suddenly on December 17th. I did not feel a need to share such a difficult experience with the bottom-feeders on this blog, but if you choose to make claims that I have been, in all places, the Rubber Room, then I feel a need to set the record straight. It was an extremely tough time for my family, and did not want to relive it through a recounting of the experience. Thank you for being so disgusting as to allow me to do that. You are certainly some true heartless folk.

        • August 14, 2009 pm31 1:13 pm 1:13 pm

          @ Justin Fox

          Sorry to hear about your relative, if that was indeed the reason for your prolonged absence. You should have confided in your colleagues – rumors usually spread in the absence of solid information. Then again, you have separated yourself from your colleagues, so I am not surprised at your lack of communication, or that your colleagues believed the worst about you.

          However, despite your posts, you completely missed the point – that you were singled out for special treatment. Tuan also left because of a family emergency, but was not allowed to come back – why were you? Alexander was given a U for attendance – you should have gotten a U as well. What’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander (or the Fox).

          Face it, you are Jahoda’s pet. Respond to this if you dare.

        • Anonymous permalink
          August 18, 2009 pm31 3:36 pm 3:36 pm

          Didn’t you leave in the middle of a class? or the middle of the school day?

        • Fed Up permalink
          September 19, 2009 pm30 1:25 pm 1:25 pm

          To quote the senator from South Carolina, Sly Fox….You lie.

  145. mathman42 permalink
    August 13, 2009 pm31 10:42 pm 10:42 pm

    I sympathize but would also like you to experience teaching a full class of students who would find scoring 32 points out of 87 on integrated algebra a difficult experience.

  146. CATO (has also written as Veritas) permalink
    August 14, 2009 pm31 1:21 pm 1:21 pm

    What a tanglewood we weave, when all we know how to do is deceive. More endless b.s., trashing administration, sanctifying teachers a priori (all the would-be, wannabe, never-to-be adminstrators who “know” how great every young departed Bx. Sci. teacher must surely have been, and how rightfully disgruntled the retirees must be, and bla bla bla bla bla.) The bloglodytes reach out across the desparate cyborg world for support, for comfort, for mutually acceptable rationalizations, and, at the end of the day, what have we got? The retirees had a long run at the great Bx. Sci. Some are now working on two pensions, fine, some are now looking forward to their grandchildren, etc. — fine. The departed “rookies” each has his/her own story to tell — but somehow, not one of them ever tells it all. The leaves it to the sad “Buffos” of the world to string together all the little lies and half-truths, just as Mr. Lamphere does as his stock-in-trade, and declare to the world that adminstrators want compliance, not brains, at the best high school on the planet. As I said a couple of days ago, you guys are the true self-deceivers, and the proof will be overwhelmingly evident as a reconstituted math department settles in, engages the kids, writes their own history, and leaves all this wretched disgruntlement and denial in the waste bin of history. But prattle on, ad hominem the world to death, and try, try, to face your own miseries and limitations.

    • senior teacher permalink
      August 22, 2009 pm31 9:42 pm 9:42 pm

      Cato: Get over yourself. You’ve got delusions of grandeur.

  147. Veritas (has also written as CATO) permalink
    August 14, 2009 pm31 2:23 pm 2:23 pm

    More Editing!!!

    I have just written a complete response to those who commented on my first posting. It seems that the blog’s administrator, reads all postings and he “decides” what is post worthy. He did not post my response. No democratic process here only what JD2718 wants everyone to read. What a coward!!

    • August 14, 2009 pm31 7:35 pm 7:35 pm

      Your comment was caught by the spam filter. On first reading, it appears to only have tripped the filter due to length. However, given the source, I will, in this case, review the content carefully, and may at that point release it.

      Please restrict yourself to a single name on this blog.

      Thank you.

    • Bronxscience88 permalink
      August 26, 2009 am31 2:59 am 2:59 am

      Apropos of nothing the Reidy quack article is hilarious

      Click to access Reidyarticle.pdf

  148. in the know permalink
    August 21, 2009 am31 1:25 am 1:25 am

    Re the Sly Fox, Jahoda was heard saying that he was “in trouble”, and Cooper said that “he did something bad but not as bad as teacher X”. Gee, if his relative was sick, that certainly is unfortunate, but that does not appear to be the reason he left.

    • August 21, 2009 am31 10:54 am 10:54 am

      Yeah, this sort of speculation is not particularly interesting, and no longer allowed here. Careful.

      • bxsciteacher permalink
        August 26, 2009 pm31 3:07 pm 3:07 pm

        I think it is important to comment on revisionist history which is unsupported by the facts. Fox left in mid-class on a day when it was announced that a student had died. Some thought his absence had to do with the death. It was Jahoda who started the rumors that Fox was in some kind of trouble. Jahoda responded to questions by math teachers who were sincerely concerned about Fox, first denying that it had to do with the student’s death. Another teacher asked Jahoda if Fox’s departure was due to him getting into trouble for say a DUI or smoking pot or something like that, and Jahoda responded that the teacher was “getting warmer” . Several math teachers were present. And it was known that Reidy told people that Fox was never coming back.

        [further comment redacted. On August 15 I wrote “I am not particularly interested in the junior member of the Bx Sci math department who did not sign the special complaint, or why he left/returned. He doesn’t want it discussed + I don’t care = that topic is closed.. I’ll let the guy dispute this if he likes, but that’s it.]

        • me too permalink
          August 26, 2009 pm31 4:06 pm 4:06 pm

          I heard the same story from Jahoda and also that Reidy said Sly Fox was never coming back! Unfortunately he did.

        • Justin Fox permalink
          August 27, 2009 pm31 8:20 pm 8:20 pm

          You will be hearing from my lawyer. This is totally uncalled for.

        • August 27, 2009 pm31 11:21 pm 11:21 pm

          I find it highly amusing that Mr. Fox would threaten a lawsuit over what is being published on this blog. How dare someone mention what Reidy or Jahoda said about him? How dare anyone speculate about the reason he left work in the middle of the day, in the middle of a period, and absented himself from school for several months? Justin Fox can insult other teachers, by name, on this blog, but how dare these peasants discuss him?

          Just to let you know, Mr. Fox, nothing written about you on this blog is defamatory. People speculated about your absence – mentioning what they said is not defamatory. People speculated about why you were allowed back and another teacher who left wasn’t – that is not defamatory. People speculated about how and why you became Jahoda’s biggest defender – that is not defamatory.

          Anyway, Mr. Fox, truth is a defense. If you sue jd2718, he will have the right to depose you, to ask you questions about your absence during those weeks. You will be under oath and will have to respond. He can also depose your colleagues, to ask them what Reidy and Jahoda said about him, and he can depose Reidy and Jahoda. He can ask them why you left, what you told them when you left and what you told them when you came back; why you were allowed to come back and another teacher wasn’t; why you did not get a U rating for attendance while another teacher, whose attendance was much better than yours, did.

          So Mr. Fox, bring it on! Sue jd2718, sue me, sue everyone on this blog who has written about you. By the time jd2817’s lawyers get finished with you, all the things you have attempted to hide about your absence, your attitude toward your colleagues (well in advance of this blog), your sycophancy towards Reidy and Jahoda, will be out in the open. Enjoy.

        • August 27, 2009 pm31 11:37 pm 11:37 pm

          Enough, stop.

          He’s not suing me. And I have no intention of deposing any teacher (unless it is somehow necessary to protect myself).

          You’re angry, I get it. We all get it. He should have stood up; instead he stood aside.

          But the people who did the harm, the three administrators, direct your fire that way. This one’s still a teacher. Leave him to reflect.

          Finally, this is not a request. Justin, one last response if you like. Anything else about what he did, why he did, etc, will be deleted.

        • bxsciteacher permalink
          August 27, 2009 pm31 11:51 pm 11:51 pm

          I feel the need to clarify. Math teachers were never angry that Fox didn’t sign the special complaint – while they wished he did and lost some respect for him for not doing so, they understood his predicament, given that he was up for tenure that same semester. Teachers did not like that he didn’t take the side of the 20, but, like their regard for Perna, who also did not sign, continued to treat him respectfully. Most were genuinely concerned when he suddenly left and some tried to reach out to him. The only issues the teachers have is that Fox has been two-faced, supporting Jahoda and Reidy to their face but trashing them to others, has denigrated his colleagues on this very web page (including colleagues he admired and called friends), and has made claims that are categorically untrue. No math teacher ever attacked Fox, answered students’ queries about his absences or spread false rumors. The above posts were only generated in response to Fox’s statements. The end.

        • Senior Counting His Days To Graduation permalink
          March 4, 2010 pm31 8:48 pm 8:48 pm

          Two faced, or an employee.
          What person trashes their boss TO THE BOSS?
          Do you tell Jahoda or Reidy that you hate them, or just your other coworkers?

        • Justin Fox permalink
          August 27, 2009 pm31 11:57 pm 11:57 pm

          Thank you, jd2718. I appreciate it.

        • September 7, 2009 am30 10:42 am 10:42 am

          Please do not be fooled, jd2718 – Justin Fox is not a teacher who cares about other teachers. Just for the record, and to warn all teachers at Bronx Science, the following should be publicized:

          Last Thursday, the arbitration panel last week hearing the Special Complaint again met. Representing the Complainants were 10 or so current and former. Appearing for the Administration were the three Weird Sisters (Reidy, Jahoda, and Cooper) and their two “familiars” – Justin Fox and Zach Lynn.

          Why would two supposed teachers (Fox and Lynn) appear on their own time for Reidy and Jahoda – especially Lynn, who is not even a member of the Math Department?

          I would seriously advise all teachers at Bronx Science NOT to regard Fox and Lynn as fellow teachers. Rather, regard them as informers for the Administration. Don’t say anything important to them or within their hearing – it will get right back to Reidy, Jahoda, and Cooper. Be very careful of them – they are not your colleagues. They are spies for Reidy, planted among you to catch you out, agents provacateurs posing as teachers! Speak to them at your own peril.

          When you sup with the devil, bring a long spoon.

        • CATO permalink
          September 8, 2009 pm30 4:40 pm 4:40 pm

          Considering the fact that Publicola is, in real life and on real time, a quasi-supervisor, it would seem odd that he takes it upon himself to instruct others at a distance as to which UFT members they should and should not trust, and to use invective and mediocre ridicule with which to describe real adminstrators whose petticoats he couldn’t possibly stand up to if his bloglife depended upon it. For the record, and based on personal contact, Justin Fox is a truly dedicated teacher, and in addition, more than fair to his colleagues. What he is not, and what sends the Publicolas of the world into yet another venomous blog-rage, is a lock-step, mass rally, pathetic blog-meister who must rage against any and all authority, be complicit with lie upon lie, and, like iron filings on a magnet, cling together with the other raging filings, hoping that, by alchemy, mass numbers morph into truth. They don’t. They never do. All administrators have strengths and weaknesses, but unlike Publicolas, they put their reputations on the line, and most are really looking out for the good of the majority. I’ll take a hundred Reidys and Coopers and Jahodas and happily wrestle with them till the end of time — it is time well spent, compared to life in Blogville, with liars like Publicola living their lives to lead gullible fools over yet another cliff. Justin Fox v. Publicola and Lamphere and their minions? Not even close — Fox wins every time.

        • September 8, 2009 pm30 5:10 pm 5:10 pm

          @CATO (aka, Zach Lynn):
          When did Justin Fox become an administrator? Is he an administrator or a teacher? As for being fair to his colleagues, I know for a fact that he has asked students for their opinions on other teachers in his department – and has then gone running to Jahoda to tell her what the student said.

          So, while not an administrator, he is not just a teacher – rather, he is a spy, a plant, and a collaborator.

          And, just for the record, I did not “instruct” anyone to do anything. I merely informed them of what I know – that Fox and Lynn went to an arbitration meeting to appear against their colleagues and to support incompetent administrators. It is up to the teachers at Bronx Science to decide whether to trust them or not. I certainly would trust them – to report back to Reidy and Jahoda everything I say or do.

        • Anonymous permalink
          September 19, 2009 pm30 1:17 pm 1:17 pm

          Sly Fox’s claim to being an administrator is that he was an assistant program chairman. Ask the program chairman what happened.

        • September 27, 2009 am30 11:23 am 11:23 am

          Has the Sly Fox finally outfoxed himself?

          Last Friday, Justin Fox decided to observe another teacher’s class. He walked into the class and sat in the back for about 20 minutes, without asking permission or saying a word to the teacher. After 20 minutes, Jahoda came in and pulled him out.

          It turns out that, during that period, the Sly Fox actually teaches a class. So, he must have walked out from his own class to observe this other teacher.

          Several questions arise:
          Did Jahoda put him up to this, or did he take it upon himself?
          Where does he get off spying on another teacher?
          Since he doesn’t have an AP license, what did he (or Jahoda) hope to accomplish?
          Finally, will he be reprimanded for his arrogation of “authority”, or will this clear violation of a teacher’s rights be swept under the rug, as Jahoda has done so many other times for the SlyFox (like walking out of his class for 10 weeks)?

          Stay tuned!

        • Fed Up permalink
          September 28, 2009 pm30 5:44 pm 5:44 pm

          I wonder who he was observing? Maybe he was observing a tenured teacher. According to the UFT contract, tenured teachers can observe each other and write up the observations. Ms Jahoda has encouraged this since she arrived….then she does not have to observe as many teachers. How will she handle 3 observations this term of the 9 new teachers in the Math Dept?
          But he should not have left class to observe another teacher. Maybe one of his cronies covered for him.

        • bxsciteacher permalink
          September 28, 2009 pm30 5:58 pm 5:58 pm

          At Bronx Science, only teachers who are at tenure max (tenured and teaching for 8 years) can observe each other – and the teachers who observe each other both agree to do this – Fox just received tenure a little over a year ago – he is not allowed to observe other teachers – and the other teacher most definitely did not agree. Jahoda also has to do 6 observations per year for those returning untenured teachers too! It is unbelievable how the math department is filled with inexperienced teachers, and the Bronx Science has somehow been allowed to hire new teachers despite the hiring freeze, to replace all those that left due to harassment. Seems like Reidy and Jahoda have been rewarded for their disgusting treatment of teachers.

        • Fed Up permalink
          October 3, 2009 pm31 4:02 pm 4:02 pm

          The new geometry teachers are lost. They meet with Sly Fox (Justin has not taught this course)who is mentoring them, but afterwards have to ask the “senior” teachers for help. One new teacher said Sly Fox says to ask Jahoda. This is mentoring?
          Sly Fox also approves their tests. What’s going on? Does Jahoda even see their tests? As I recall Abbott, Philip, Smith, Belantoni and Dao all had to submit their tests for her appproval well in advance of the test day.

        • Senior Counting His Days To Graduation permalink
          March 4, 2010 pm31 8:44 pm 8:44 pm

          I could argue against your behavior, but instead I ask this question:
          Why can’t we all be friends?

  149. Peeved permalink
    August 26, 2009 pm31 10:15 pm 10:15 pm

    It is sickening to read that Sly Fox would brag about his Regent scores when he took over a class taught my a master teacher called Carolyn Abottt.I think she should be given the credit for this high level of mastery.

  150. bxsciteacher permalink
    October 3, 2009 pm31 4:11 pm 4:11 pm

    It’s not just the new geometry teachers that don’t know what they are doing. Students have been complaining that the new calculus and precalculus with calculus teachers are having trouble teaching the material and that many students think they are all going to fail. And the seniors are having trouble reaching the teachers who left because Bronx Science ended the email accounts for the teachers but students need to contact them for college letter of recommendations.

  151. October 7, 2009 pm31 4:35 pm 4:35 pm

    Finally, the press is starting to take notice of what is going on at Bronx Science. The Riverdale Press ran an article in its October 8, 2009, edition. Take a look:

  152. bxsciteacher permalink
    October 7, 2009 pm31 9:54 pm 9:54 pm

    Article in Riverdale Press – 10/7/09:

    Math teachers’ complaint adds up to arbitration

    By Kate Pastor

    When kids fight, they’re sent to the principal’s office. When teachers fight with principals, they’re off to arbitration.

    The next meeting set up to resolve a special complaint filed with the Department of Education by the United Federation of Teachers in May 2008, and signed by 20 out of the 22 teachers in the math department, is set for Wednesday, Oct. 14.

    Special complaints are made by the UFT when members are “intimidated” or “harassed” at work and the principal or other supervisor has failed to adequately address the situation, according to article 23 of the teacher’s contract posted on the UFT Web site.

    A letter that was the basis of the complaint accuses Rosemarie Jahoda, the assistant principal overseeing the Mathematics Department, of intimidating, yelling at and verbally abusing teachers, while discouraging union activity. The letter was posted online by a former student.

    According to the UFT, special complaints go through fact-finding, nonbinding arbitration. Arbitrators then hear both sides and recommend a settlement, which can be accepted or rejected by the city’s school chancellor once it is sent to his office.

    Ms. Jahoda unfairly requires untenured teachers to supply lesson plans in advance, insists upon unusual grading systems and clamps down on new teachers, according to the contents of the letter.

    More than a year has passed since that complaint was filed, and in the time it has taken the Department of Education to make a decision on it, some teachers say administrators are further harassing the letter’s signers, who are then leaving in droves.

    Over the past two academic years, about half the teachers who left the school were from the math department, according to numbers provided by Principal Valerie Reidy. However, she said, while 20 teachers left the school last spring and 14 left the year before, those numbers do not differ much from years past. Additionally, she said, teachers in the math department tend to be older than in other departments. Several of them retired, she said.

    “The mobility of the workforce has increased. Certainly that is what’s happening at Bronx Science,” she said.

    Joan Alexander is one of those retirees. Though she says her decision to leave had nothing to do with Ms. Jahoda, the math teacher was a 32-year veteran at the school and says it is on a downward plunge.

    “ … The last two years were so horrendous and so heart-wrenching to the senior staff that it was just a nightmare to be there,” Ms. Alexander said.

    She said she and other senior teachers were concerned for younger teachers who, Ms. Alexander says, the new leadership tends push around in particular.


    She herself got her first “U,” or unsatisfactory rating for attendance, as she prepared to leave the school after more than three decades. Ms. Alexander said she felt it was in retaliation against her for signing the complaint.

    “I never thought I would get a U,” she said, admitting that she had taken more than 10 sick days, which is enough to lead to such a rating, but that she had legitimate medical reasons for doing so and the unfavorable rating is given at the principal’s discretion.

    She is fighting the blemish on her record and said the “polarized” environment she left was starkly different from the one she had come to love over the decades. She remembers teachers vying to stay at the school, not scrambling to leave.

    “I had 30 out of 32 wonderful years,” she said.

    They’re unhappy

    Whether teachers leaving is part of the normal ebb and flow of modern workplaces or a sign of something troubling is open to interpretation. Whether a number of teachers are unhappy there, is not.

    Seventy-five percent of Bronx Science teachers responded to the latest NYC School Survey, and 55 percent said school leaders let staff know what is expected of them, down from 71 percent the previous year. Twenty- five percent said school leaders invite teachers to play a meaningful role in setting goals and making decisions, down from 41 percent.

    The grievances raised by the math department are easy to find in the blogosphere.

  153. Dropping a Line permalink
    October 29, 2009 am31 12:34 am 12:34 am

    I know I might be one of the few, but I’m actually here to comment about your original post.

    While the math department is far from ideal, the fact that you label the school as an “unteachable” place is a little depressing. I’m a current student, considering a career in education, and I personally think that I would not mind teaching at Bronx Science in the future. Just not the math department. The others look decent to me.

    It is continually seen and thought, I admit from my friends and I, that the math department is the weakest major subject Department in school in terms of administration, teaching, and overall cohesiveness. Students are failing Calculus and Geometry left and right, and the new teachers receive barely any guidance from the administration. The Math Intel Class is clearly the weakest to the point I know people have have received 90+ averages for extremely basic and non-intel level projects.

    And then there’s the entire Jahoda thing. If I’m sitting in a math class, and I know of all this drama between teachers and administration, the mind definitely wanders. The fact that this information is so out there, that no result has been reached, and that the problem has festered definitely catches the attention of many students.

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 28, 2009 am30 11:50 am 11:50 am

      Dropping a line:
      You need to look at the turnover rates in ALL of the departments. I beieve Bio has the worst, then Physical Science. The Math Department used to be the most stable and one of the best departments in the school.
      Which math research class are you talking about? Sophomore, junior, senior?
      Re: Failing geometry and calculus–Some students are put into calculus and other honors/advanced classes without the recomendation of their previous math teacher.
      AND periods are shorter this year. AB calc was cut from 7 to 5 periods…more retaliation. BC from 7 to 6. What do you expect?
      But remember as we have been so often told on this blog…THIS is cutting edge.
      More soph computer classes, but fewer periods for calculus, math teams, sophomore math projects.

  154. bx student permalink
    May 11, 2010 pm31 9:42 pm 9:42 pm


  155. Retired Bronx HS of Science Teacher permalink
    June 16, 2010 am30 11:55 am 11:55 am

    One must remember the unique organization of the NYC Public High Schools, which do not have dedicated SUPERVISORY lines for a department head, a department chair, or a master teacher. The principal of a NYC Public High School is academically responsible for setting the school’s curriculum, for formally observing teachers and for formally rating teachers. The blogophere has posts alleging that the Principal, who was not appointed Principal until many years after my retirement from the school, has been performing all three tasks for the mathematics department Therefore, the special complaint would have gotten universal support from all the retirees and from all the UFT members still employed in the NYC Public Schools had it SPECIFIED that Ms Jahoda, the fiscal administrator/dean or AP Supervision of the Mathematics Department, was PERSONALLY processing, completing, signing and submitting to the DOE all FORMAL excessing papers for untenured faculty and all formal INVOLUNTARY service retirement papers for tenured faculty. It is therefore vital to realize that the NYC Public High Schools, as opposed to every other form of public and nonpublic high school in the US, appoints fiscal administrators on AP salary lines whose responsibility, under that branch of federal criminal law which justifies creating these salary lines in public school districts, is to provide to teaching faculty those dedicated materials needed specfically for instruction of particular classes required for graduation which are NOT used by citizens in traditional communities except when instructing students in those particular subject areas. ‘The fiscal administrator/dean, who is called AP Supervision, has therefore, been noted for a level of verbal abuse, physical punishments and sexual harrassment in the New York City Public Schools which does not occur when the school organization creates salary lines for department heads, department chairs and master teachers whose academic supervision is NOT directly associated as sometimes a conflict of interest with the fiscal responsibilities. Classroom teachers in the academic department are technically assigned at the whim of the AP to do perform traditional work of department heads, department chairs and master teachers. These assignemnts traditionally use up part of the general faculty allotment to the department over which the AP is given authority. The situation mentioned in the blogosphere that math teachers working for Ms Jahoda have actually been assigned some of these academic responsibilies toward the recently assigned teachers suggests that Ms Jahoda has actually been directing teachers under her command to do this work. One must remember that in decades long go, during that era when the long-retired teachers working under the otherwise-fabled conditions in public high schools got more than 5,0000 signatures on a petition stating that department APs were as likely to then heap physical punishments and sexual harrassment on teachers in their departments as is the verbal harassment alleged in the special complaint against Ms Jahoda recently placed in the blogoshere. The inference has been that” our approach” many decades ago effectively ended the widespread physical punishment and sexual harrassment complaints against department APs (eg AP Supervision) in the high schools. Perhaps it is time for today’s teachers to employ their own effective methods to end the verbal abuse as well, which would FINALLY defang AP Supervision whose salary lines are created ONLY in the NYC Public Schools from assuming that their function is to serve as drill instructors “barking” newly assigned teachers as well as teachers nearing retirement age through a never-ending routine of basic training.

  156. Noel permalink
    June 16, 2010 pm30 2:45 pm 2:45 pm

    Haha I go to Bronx Science, as a student, and I never realized so much politcs was involved in math, I thought that was for the history classes.

  157. September 7, 2010 am30 8:51 am 8:51 am

    I’m a student and I didn’t realize that this much stuff was happening in the math department. Everyone just complains about reidy.

  158. September 7, 2010 am30 8:57 am 8:57 am

    in fact if you want to see exactly what i see go to my website by clicking the permalink next to my name.

  159. ASadAlumna permalink
    December 10, 2010 pm31 12:21 pm 12:21 pm

    I was directed to this blog by a friend of mine.

    I graduated from BxSci almost 4 years ago and I had an extremely hard time during my senior year. My teachers were absolutely amazing and I don’t believe that I could have graduated without their support. I remember Mr. Fox, one of my teachers during my senior year, as being extremely helpful and he is someone I really respected: he was a great teacher… these rumors, allegations, possible truths are so disheartening to hear.

    Mr. Perna is a teacher who many of my friends absolutely adored– they were shocked when I showed them this blog.

    My friend, a fellow Science-ite has likened this to a soap opera, and I agree– this is so sad. The teachers on this forum are people we respected but this is name calling is absolutely disgusting.
    This is almost as bad as the time Dr. Drake, my chemistry teacher in my sophomore year (who was an absolutely amazing teacher otherwise), distributed the anti-quack to our class. (I hate Reidy too:I had her for freshman bio during that one semester she decided to “teach.” )

    But, I still cannot bring myself to blame the teachers for this unprofessional behavior. I remember the math department as one that was filled with amazing, experienced teachers. I can understand the frustration the administration has caused and hope that this school will recover… Bronx Science is a school where teachers would want to work.

    My best friend has always wanted to teach at Bronx Science but this blog has made her nervous (to the author of this blog, you have saved one great future teacher from making a career-breaking mistake). This bullying must stop. Is there nothing students, parents, teachers, and alumni can do? How on earth can the administration attribute all of the complaints from students, parents, teachers, and alumni from the better part of the last decade on some “misunderstanding”?

  160. February 9, 2016 am29 11:02 am 11:02 am

    I visited lots of time here, but this time i got a perfect article.

  161. Liz Specter permalink
    December 6, 2016 pm31 8:11 pm 8:11 pm

    Please consider disciplining this A.P.

  162. Creepy but True permalink
    December 8, 2016 am31 11:21 am 11:21 am

    Unfortunately there are many Assistant Principals in the system now because the nycdoe has been hiring “outsiders”. Outsiders are people who are not from nyc and come from many places throughout the country and even throughout the world. These people come to nyc and think because they received some bogus master degree from some corrupt liberal college that they have the right to treat people like they treat people from where they came from. Many times these freaks of nature have escaped from where they came from because of their hatred values and tendencies only to revisit them here in nyc. I would get this bitch jahoda and send her to the middle east to fight isis for the syrians and lets see how tough she really is.


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