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Bronx Science math teachers finally get their day

June 22, 2009 am30 8:09 am

(blog reader)

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!

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Notes by jd2718

Since Valerie Reidy took charge in a botched principal selection process, and since she was poorly greeted by her new staff, she has gone after them, department by department. English, Chemistry, one by one. There is hatred and malice.

2007 -08 was the math department’s turn. She hired Rosemarie Jahoda as AP Supervision to bully and berate, and bully and berate she did. Last May 20 of 22 department members signed a Special Complaint. It should have been heard and completely resolved early in the Fall, at the latest.

The New York City Department of Education did not allow the Special Complaint to move forward. They violated the contract. They are at war with us. It wasn’t just Science, they sat on every Special Complaint. We should know they are at war with us. We should act as if they are at war with us. Our union leaders do not.

Admitting they are at war with us means admitting that every agreement we sign is suspect. It means admitting that our contract is getting beaten up, our teachers abused. And it means saying we are ready to fight back, as best as we can. But our leaders do not admit that agreements are suspect (Randi was shocked, absolutely shocked that the Rubber Room agreement was being violated); they think admitting that we’re getting beaten up makes them look weak. And I do not know to what extent they are ready to fight back.

Is the delay the UFT’s fault? Absolutely not. It is the DoE that went after our rights, our members, even some of our jobs. And even if the UFT had stood up, hard, there is no guarantee that we would have done better.

But it would have been better, it would have felt better, it would have helped ensure more union participation if our members had seen our leaders in the trenches (up against admin trenches, I don’t mean the classroom), next to us. There is no way what continues to occur at Science, the outrageousness of union communication being prevented, vindicative letters in file, teachers held to follow rules that are nowhere written down, retaliatory U’s, distribution of anti-union literature, destruction of new teachers’ careers, there is no way that this should be going on without the UFT shining a light for all the world to see the DoE and one of their twisted minions at their vile worst.

More vigorous union action may not have gotten more done. But the lack of union attention is embarrassing. It is shameful.

In the meantime, many of the 20 signers have left. U’ed. Forced into premature retirement. Forced to transfer. The signatories can be found in a specialized high school in north Jersey, in fancy schmancy schools in Westchester, in the top-rated middle school in Manhattan. And in other schools, other places. The real danger today and Friday is that Jahoda and Reidy have buried the witnesses – have moved so many of them so far away, that they will not be able or willing to come back and face their tormenters. Let’s wish them for today and Friday the will, the stamina, the anger, and the opportunity to come, to speak, to accuse. Let’s wish them good luck as they stand up not as victims, but as heros.

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Previous coverage of the mess at Bronx Science, and the damage being done by its current administration:  

6 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    June 22, 2009 am30 8:56 am 8:56 am

    The Steering Committee at Bronx Science has conducted a number of surveys of teachers and staff over the past few months. The last one was Thursday, when 64 out of 67 teachers/staff said that, in their view, the administration DOES NOT treat the staff respectfully and professionally. A second question, added at the last moment and voted on by 43 members, found that the majority (22) felt that they, themselves, were treated disrespectfully and unprofessionally.

    A survey earlier this year, where certain questions in the DOE learning environment were repeated, and voted on my the majority of the faculty and staff, found that 78% of the voting members do not trust principal Reidy at her word and 73% do not believe that Reidy is an effective manager.

    It is past time that something is done about Reidy, Jahoda and the other administrators! Good luck math teachers! And thanks for being brave enough to stand up and say something. May others join in your fight!

  2. permalink
    June 24, 2009 pm30 11:01 pm 11:01 pm

    GOOD LUCK!!!! I hope all involved stand strong!!!


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