Skip to content

Do Not Apply: A Bronx middle school

February 13, 2009 pm28 11:44 pm

There are good schools, bad schools, mediocre schools. But in New York City we have a handful of schools that are so poorly run, so out of control, with administrations that are so incompetent, mean, arbitrary, or vindictive, that getting a job in these schools often means ending your career before it starts.

Last summer I started a list. I started with Bronx high schools, and moved on to Manhattan high schools. Since then I dropped Pablo Neruda (lack of evidence of an ongoing problem; there were a series of bad incidents of teacher harassment, U, discontinuance, but not ongoing) and added Bronx HS of Science.

Today, we have our first Bronx middle school, from the Pelham Parkway area, District 11.

The Bronx Green Middle School is on Wallace Avenue, in the MS135 building. It is not a good place to work. Incidents are not reported, including threats to teachers. Administrators treat one group of teachers as favorites, and the rest as garbage. And those teachers are regularly abused by administrators.

If you know about other schools that fit the “Do Not Apply” category, let me know. E-mail is [this blog name] [at] [gmail] (and then dot com). Tell me, as specifically as possible, why the school fits that category.

Here are the Bronx high schools:


  1. Bronx Aerospace HS (+) (in the Evander building) (follow up)
  2. Eximius College Prep HS (near Crotona Park) (follow up)
  3. Bronx Theater HS (in the JFK building)
  4. Discovery HS (in the Walton building)
  5. Fordham HS of the Arts (in the Theodore Roosevelt building)
  6. HS for Performance and Stagecraft (no longer in the Truman building)
  7. Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology (in the Theodore Roosevelt building)
  8. Bronx High School of Science [follow up with details of special complaint]
  9. [Felisa Rincon de Gautier Institute for Law and Public Policy]*


  1. ~And here are Manhattan high schools:
  2. *HS of Art and Design
  3. *Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS
  4. *Life Sciences HS
  5. Urban Assembly School for Media Studies (in the MLK building)
  6. *MLK HS of the Arts and Technology

The sources for this list are (highly) reliable, but I do not have supporting details at this time. Until I have those details and anecdotes, I will leave an asterisk next to a school, to show that its inclusion is unconfirmed. I believe my sources, I believe that these schools belong, but I still want confirmation.

The reasons vary. In some cases discipline is not enforced. In others teachers are arbitrarily disciplined, in some cases by screaming administrators, in front of classes. Administrative incompetence may lead to frequent, disruptive schedule changes. Special Ed kids (12:1:1) may get dumped into CTT classes, or regular ed kids may get classified to keep them from taking state exams.


Contractual rights (duty-free lunch, no 4 in-a-row, right to decline per session, pre-ob for untenured teachers) may be routinely violated, or those who exercise them may be retaliated against.

In the end, when we see 40%, 50% of the faculty from September doesn’t return the following September, we know.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2009 pm28 7:33 pm 7:33 pm

    135 was one of the first places I subbed as a new teacher.

    Even years ago, the administration was nasty and unsupportive. They knew I was brand new, straight out of college and needed advice. All they gave was criticism.

    I worked there one day and never went back.

    • February 16, 2009 am28 10:54 am 10:54 am

      135 has been phased out and replaced by 3 mini-schools. This is one of them.

  2. April 7, 2009 am30 2:11 am 2:11 am

    I believe that you could actually add not only Bronx Green to your list of Do Not Apply Schools, but you could probably add the 2 other schools(Urban Assembly for Wildlife Conservation and Aspire Preparatory Middle School) in the old M.S. 135 building to the list as well because just like the old M.S. 135 had gotten out of control in recent years, ALL of the schools in that building can’t seem to get a handle on the student behavior. Moreover, things are still so out of control in the old M.S. 135 building that the you even have administrators hitting teachers !!

    • cynthia permalink
      March 2, 2012 pm31 8:25 pm 8:25 pm

      Actually Aspire Prep does not have to be on the list…….i go to that school and it actually shows alot on what you have to know….but any ways the school is closing down. this is closing down because people like you do not cherish the things that you need in order to succeed. don’t you think that many gifted kids deserve a chance too.?

  3. alsopissedoff permalink
    June 4, 2009 pm30 8:52 pm 8:52 pm

    I am just finishing my first year teaching at IS 129 – Twin Parks Upper School in the East Tremont section of the Bronx. The administration has been arbitrarily vindictive to me and other new teachers at the school. This includes – steadily increasing my teaching load throughout the school year, no positive feedback for anything, impossible class schedules, nasty negative feedback, no help or advice with classroom management, and administrators who have asked me to lie. I have never received any feedback but criticism. The administrators certainly know how to talk themselves up, but I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses, and they squarely fall into the bad boss category. I’ve never felt supported with classroom management or curriculum planning. The school culture is toxic. Administrators create management problems by speaking to the students like they are dirt and undermine teachers they don’t like in front of students, furthering management problems. There is no way I am teaching here again next year.

  4. R.C.Hechler permalink
    March 18, 2010 am31 10:51 am 10:51 am

    you should take a look MS144 in the Bronx. You would have a new Principal from Hell in Katina Lotakis.

    • March 29, 2010 pm31 2:50 pm 2:50 pm

      She’s been there for a very, very long time.

  5. Someone permalink
    November 2, 2012 am30 3:22 am 3:22 am

    Are youh serious ? This is my school your talking about ! I am now a senior i am going to graduate i have been in Bronx Green Middle School for 3 years now 6th,7th &’ now 8th okay so stop with your dumb comments okay bronx green is a bad school but atleast I have good grades &’ yes there may be fights in the school but who cares people with no lives like you ! Kay bye thts all i had to say hunn :]]

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 2, 2012 am30 3:54 am 3:54 am

      LMFAOOOOO :’) YA is funny tryna violate and shit ,
      I bet sum of ya saying bronx green is horrible prob. NEVER even been there ! LIKE get ya facts straight before ya try to do sum retarded shit like dis ~ 8))

      • Someone permalink
        November 2, 2012 pm30 1:10 pm 1:10 pm

        Werdd -.-! Like just STFU !


  1. Remainders: Teenagers say the best incentive is food | GothamSchools
  2. Do Not Apply: PS/MS4 « JD2718

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: