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Bronx Science Arbitration – DoE Rejects Findings

April 30, 2010 am30 7:58 am

Two years ago the level of harassment in the mathematics department at the Bronx High School of Science reached a point where almost all of the teachers signed a special complaint. The new AP had, in their opinion, been making their lives miserable, and had been picking on teachers. And, according to them, continued after the complaint was filed.

Attempts at resolution, to the extent they were made, went nowhere. The complaint went to the American Arbitration Association, to an independent arbitrator, for fact-finding and recommendation. Teachers testified. Administrators testified. Evidence was introduced. And the proceedings dragged on.

Two years later, the arbitrator issued her report. (published in the NY Times, open the document, it’s 9 pages). Her reference to tape-recordings of the AP were especially compelling. She found that there had been harassment, had been intimidation by the AP. She found that the principal was aware, but had not intervened. And she made a series of recommendations.

For two years the teachers had been waiting. Some retired prematurely. Others transferred. Or moved to schools out of the system. And for two years, through DoE excuses and delays and foot-dragging they waited.

And in two days the DoE rejected the facts. In two days the DoE rejected the recommendations. In two days the DoE showed us, again, that it knows how to adhere to the letter while doing violence to the spirit of our agreements.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. teacherhusband permalink
    April 30, 2010 pm30 12:24 pm 12:24 pm

    Is anyone really shocked that the DoE’s only goal is to fire teachers who show interest in a long-term career? It is beyond obvious that the DoE always rules in favor of the DoE, and they care less about actual arbitration processes.

    How many more teachers need to be harassed and fired under false pretenses before the teacher’s union does something more than give a good song and dance about being upset?

  2. chaz permalink
    April 30, 2010 pm30 6:01 pm 6:01 pm

    This is the typical DOE lack of accountability. Why should anything change. That is why many bloggers are skeptical about the “rubber room agreement”.

    • May 1, 2010 am31 10:40 am 10:40 am


      several of us are concerned about holding the DoE to the rubber room agreement. More than several of us.

      But let’s not confuse that important issue with the coterie of bloggers who started discussion of the agreement by opposing it, and flailed around for a week or so looking for a reason.

      • philip nobile permalink
        May 1, 2010 pm31 2:27 pm 2:27 pm

        As the Bronx Science situation shows, the DOE has dirty hands. Consequently, the TRC agreement, which depends too much on Klein’s good faith–all thanks to the UFT’s Munich Pact style of negotiation–is not worth the paper it’s written on. Such is Mulgrew’s contempt that he called Klein “Chancellor Numbnuts” at the last DA. Yet we’re supposed to believe that “Chancellor Numbnuts” will keep his end of the agreement?

        jd2718 PERMALINK is correct to wonder about “the coterie of bloggers who started discussion of the agreement by opposing it, and flailed around for a week or so looking for a reason.” However, for a brief shining moment Joan Selin’s and my questions about the agreement were posted on Norm Scott’s Ed Notes on April 27/28, reproducing an ICE leaflet passed out at the DA.

        I have reprise d the questions in a op-ed, rejected by the Times but now on its way to NEW YORK TEACHER. I will address Mulgrew during “open-mike” at Monday’s Executive Committee meeting. I will ask him to publish the op-ed and respond to it as well in THE TEACHER.

        According to a survey of rubber rooms in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, the roommates are unhappy v. happy with the agreement by an almost a 3-1 margin (140-50), which is why the first question asks Mulgrew whether he will meet with the reassigned …

        • May 3, 2010 am31 12:08 am 12:08 am

          I hope you don’t ask Mulgrew about “Munich-style negotiating.”

          If you have questions, and their answers matter, please ask. I have my own questions.

          But I have to say, I felt uncomfortable when I read that leaflet (and I was standing with Joan as we read it together). I understand wanting to vent, but even if you believe the agreement was a mistake (and on the contrary, I think it is a win for all of us), many would not read past the ad hominems, making it less likely to get any answers.

  3. philip nobile permalink
    May 3, 2010 am31 10:13 am 10:13 am

    To jd2718 PERMALINK,
    Munich is merely a reference to appeasement that the RR Agreement represents. If Mulgrew can call Klein “Chancellor Numbnuts,” I think he can handle my rhetoric. Tough times deserve
    tough words. Despite my confrontational tone, my ad hominems were that awful, were they?

    • May 3, 2010 pm31 2:37 pm 2:37 pm

      I thought you had a few legit questions. And it took a while to find them, mixed in with the rhetoric and accusations.

      I’m sure Mulgrew can handle your tone, but wouldn’t you rather he not be distracted from what you are asking?

      I don’t know. It’s your time.

  4. philip nobile permalink
    May 3, 2010 am31 10:14 am 10:14 am

    *were NOT that awful–I meant

  5. May 25, 2010 am31 3:45 am 3:45 am

    This kind of horrible things happened in 2002, eight years back.

    Did anybody care about the case published at:

    NYC Public school is the most dangerous place and that is why I do not send my children there.

    I cannot trust the teachers or the chancellor. Sex predators and sex abusers are caught from New york city public schools. I lost trust in NYC DOE.

    Where is justice for me New York City chancellor and NYC mayor?

  6. September 10, 2010 pm30 1:19 pm 1:19 pm

    If you want to see whats REALLY happening at Bronx Science click the peramlink next to my name.


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