Five years ago I had also pointed out this issue of Long Island Superintendent's OUTRAGEOUS, ASTRONOMICAL SALARIES, funded by Long Island Property Taxpayers. While Superintendent Brian Desorbe fired teachers, consolidated duties, erased school programs, he continued to give himself a $15,000 raise each year for 5 years. This is in a district that does not even have decent furniture or text books for the students. They are animals!
November 11, 2007
Yes, I also have deja vu of my last year at North Bellmore, in 2005 - the repetitive "budget meetings" that we, the staff were required to go to, hosted by the superintendent and his right hand assistant, the teachers' union president. The number one object of these budget meetings were to avoid "contingency, or austerity". This was also their NUMBER ONE fear, which would of course effect administrators' salaries. I also remember the UNION PRESIDENT'S reaction when I went to her for advice regarding the the superintendent's abrupt and unfair "request for my termination". She absentmindedly told me to put it in her purse, and she would read it later, while she feverishly typed out a presentation for the next upcoming BUDGET MEETING!
D. Hall - Editor
October 5, 2007
We all know America is a great nation governed by the people, for the people, etc. etc. and about to bring democracy to the Middle East any day now. But seriously, maybe "We the People", should take a long look at the great respect, reverence and endearment which our counterparts in Asia and Scandinavia have for their cherished and dedicated teachers, and what a difference in results and outcomes for their students, teachers and societies.
The real Shame of the Nation is the way American "educrat$" use our students to abuse their teachers and get away with it. All in the interest of creating a false perception in the public's mind about public school education.
Personally, I'll be looking into a book deal and/or film deal. I have no illusions about remaining a teacher. None whatsoever. In fact, I curse the day I started teaching and am eager to get on with my life at the ripe age of 57, facing tremendous family responsibilities and drowning in debt.
The Rubber Room Experience has afforded me the most elite and esoteric education available or imaginable.
No program at The Harvard School of Government Policy could have better prepared me.
No school of thought at Chicago University could have given me a better degree in Sociology.
No professor at the Columbia School of Journalism could better or more elegantly have demonstrated to me the limits and limitations that exist --in the so called proverbial: freedom of the press.
No dictator in the world could better have lectured me about First Amendment Rights than our amicable host/ghost at Tweed.
Of course there was a price to pay for all this. But hey, if you want a truly elite and superior education, you got to be willing to pay. And now, I want to put my great education to work.
* A distinguished and dedicated social studies teacher who
was removed for reporting his principal's incompetence,
misconduct, deceptive practices and blatant corruption.
There is near total censorship of what is really happening with teachers, but we have to find a way to break through. We are all experiencing the same frustration. Hang in there with us!
Send this to everyone; the union papers, newspapers, individual schools' staff, Maury, Montel, Geraldo, internet blogs and website, politicians and clergy, and the radio stations. Then write a short-story, documentary style, --- for the purpose of exposing these SOBs. You might be surprised how many people will relate and empathize with you.
Include the ins and outs of this, the feelings; outrage, demoralization, the anger, the stigma; all for trying to be all that you can be to help children and society...etc. The feelings will make the story worth the reader's time – we all can relate to this.
Yup, send it to everybody. And leave it where it is for a while. Let them all see it. To use the old cliché - a picture speaks a thousand words !!!! Your document says it all!
I am astonished at this letter!! Obviously, neither Mills nor anyone else in the Education Department notices sloppy grammar, poor sentence structure, bad penmanship, or the fact that school districts are allowed to routinely ignore all lawful procedures that do not directly benefit their pocketbooks.
Just came across this blog and have seen the infamous "handwritten note", which represents the "Exhibit" from North Bellmore, which Mills, the Commissioner of Education accepted as rationale for FIRING YOU in 2005! On the note the "parent", or whoever, writes "no professional". They don’t even know how to write "not professional". Shows the level of education and mal intent of these people running the education department.
Even though they violated Education Law by 1) failing to keep your diplomas and certifications on file, then falsely accused you of not being "qualified", when YOU were the only person in the district with music education degrees and skills, 2) did not grant you the Mandated Mentoring Program, a law that was effective since 2003, 3) did not give you annual performance reviews required by Education Law, 4) and then proceeded to use fraudulent and unsigned observations to fire you, despite your 3 overwhelming positive reviews from 3 different principals in the district! Then, the union president aborted the grievance process, because Dominic Mucci, the new superintendent "denied" it! A new concept in the teacher’s grievance process. All is OK with Commissioner Mills – who sends you a bill each month for $23,000. White collar crime at its finest.
As fellow teachers in 2007, none of this surprises us.
E. BELFIORE - ON EDUCATION
Regarding your answer to the person looking to make a career change from corporate sales and needing advice on how to become a NYC teacher – you’re a broken record and inaccurate.
Yes, Sean, my advice was – NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
The Goal of College Teacher Certification programs is to make $$$$ and fill up the quota of matriculated students to feed into the system. Your money allows them to thrive. Bottom line is, only fellow cronies are given PERMANENT jobs. They just want all your MONEY which enables them to continue to suck the life blood out of new teachers. You will be left in the dust. Over 40? Human rights laws do not apply to teachers, and they will not TENURE you. Believe me.
Do not waste tens of thousands of dollars and precious years of your life to work for your Masters in Education! They will no longer pay for ultra-qualified teachers when they can hire disposable 22-year-olds at bottom pay. This is now the education game. "TENURE" and "AT WILL" employment laws make it all possible and are designed to work for those at the top who hire and fire. People are beginning to catch on to this sick and twisted school system.
You cannot discourage me from telling the story about what really goes on in the family owned and operated school districts. I worked in the Massapequa/Amityville area for 8 years and have eyes to see and ears to hear! It is one big organized crime cartel.
You can try to slander me so others won’t listen! The truth is people ARE listening. Denis Dillon listened. Kathleen Rice is listening, Betsy Combier is listening, Barbara Meskill is listening, Eliot Spitzer is very interested, Andrew Cuomo is listening. All have contacted me for info. So stop trying to prevent me from educating the taxpayers about the truth of our Public NOT Schools!
My name can be now be accessed on Google because broken records are the only ones who finally get heard. My mouth will keep on going, and going, and going, and going..................
Fighting New York School Corruption from the SWAMPGRASS
YET ANOTHER ADMINISTRATIVE LOOPHOLE
Yup, another loophole for the AGW (Administrators Gone Wild ). You have 10 DAYS to request a hearing, or else the AGW will sniff you out and say, "GOTCHA - YER DEAD!"
What brainiac lawyers and elected officials sat together, dreamed up, conspired, and finagled to give the DOE and other New York State school officials YET ANOTHER sneaky advantage over teachers? What rocket science plot was hatched to arrest all those incredibly dangerous TEACHERS at the same that time that high terrorism is threatening our national security! Where were the watchdogs (i.e., MILLS, UNIONS, DOE, etc.) that were supposed to protect teachers from this horrendous violation of our constitutional rights? Instead, this adds to MORE administrative terrorism aimed at teachers! (Among those responsible, see picture of Commissioner Mills on right. Note also his "WANTED" poster below, and please report him the the authorities if you spot him!)
According to New York State Educatioal Law 3020-a, if a teacher doesn't request a hearing within 10 days of receiving a letter called "Notice of Charges", they will automatically waive their rights to a hearing on those charges and will ultimately be terminated without a hearing! How convenient for ADMINISTRATORS-GONE-WILD!
So, let's get this straight: according to the mensas at the Department of Education, the assumption is that most teachers indicate that they would "not be interested'" in a hearing to fight for their careers and livelihood, by simply neglecting to request a hearing! Might the opposite assumption be conceivable perhaps? That if a teacher requests NOT to have a hearing, it can then be understood that they do not want a hearing? HELLO!
Shouldn't it be PRESUMED by the AGW that all cognizant teachers would obviously want their day in court to present and plead their case?
Somebody please explain to me the logic of the imbecils running the insane asylum known as the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION! (See illustrations on this page of various NYS Education Departments). Common sense doesn't seem to enter into their thought processes, (also lacking in critical thinking skills) since they routinely sentence teachers to the Rubber Room on the assumption that ALL TEACHERS ARE GUILTY --- until proven innocent!
And the beat goes on---until finally, when some butt-kicking begins to emerge, and gets the brown-nosing bureaucratic sycophants off their rumps to to at last defend, enforce and reinforce teachers' civil rights and the US Constitution!
Let's call for a close to that loophole that gives administrators yet another unfair tool to torture teachers!
Make those monkeys accountable! (Editor's Note: See monkey picture below. The DOE resemblance is strikingly similar to North Bellmore Board members!)
Respectfully, humbly and conservatively submitted by,
NYC Educator and Baloney Hater
Music is a CORE SUBJECT, according to Commissioner Mills, Dept. of Education Regulations
603 CMR 27.00: Student Learning Time
Note to Commissioner Mills: That the "arts", which include MUSIC are core subjects. By the way, this is YOUR regulation. Music Teachers should be evaluated by their credentials, skills and teaching ability and success, and not by a nasty note from parent.
Section 27.02: Definitions
As used in 603 CMR 27.00, the terms listed below shall have the following meanings:
Core subjects shall mean the core academic subjects specified in G.L. c. 69, section 1D (mathematics, science and technology, history and social science, English, foreign languages and the arts), and the subjects covered in courses which are part of an approved vocational-technical education program under M.G.L. c. 74.
Note to dummies: Learning to play a string instruments is not a "Mandated" service - a commonly held misconception of the public school staff and administrators. Please see "Music for Special Education" and the "Mandated School Lunch Program".
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education
Special Education and Music
QUES: Isn’t Instrumental Music Class a "Mandated Service"?
ANS: No, however, the LUNCH PROGRAM IS a "Mandated Service".
QUES: Aren’t all children in the "Bellmores" entitled to be in the string orchestra program?
ANS: No, that would be the concept of "INCLUSION", which does not apply to the string orchestra program, nor does the idea of "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND". It is not appropriate for ALL children to learn violin and string instruments. Do you allow all children into a higher math class, that requires symbolic thinking? Or randomely challenge those with specific mental or physical impairment with manipulation of fine motor skills? (Sigh)
QUES: You mean even if the Special Ed Parents DEMAND it? You know they RULE in our district, that is, second in command to CHILDREN. Arn't they ENTITLED? This is "the Bellmores", you know.
ANS: No, they are not ENTITLED.
QUES: Learning the violin is physical therapy, right?
ANS: (Sigh) No.
QUES: String Orchestra is where we can put our behavior problems, right?
ANS: (Sigh) Well, it used to be a privilege and reward to be in the orchestra, like an award for children who are doing well in school, not a subject to be taken when children are in need of remedial reading, for instance. (Sigh) But North Bellmore does not comprehend this, that's what a MUSIC CHAIRMAN is for - so the untrained non-musical staff does not have to necessarily get it.
QUES: Your class is where we always send ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) kids for therapy, right?
QUES: Don’t all Special Education children have a RIGHT to music class?
ANS: (Sigh) Yes – it’s called SPECIAL EDUCATION MUSIC class and requires a specialized certification, and the district has to pay extra for those teachers. I do not have that specialized license. This is what the Dept of Ed requires, but laws do not apply to administrators, only teachers. However, the administrators bullied me into inappropriately taking these children into my class. If I did not, I would be punished for "insubordination".
QUES: North Bellmore had no qualified music chairman, like other districts, between 2002-2005, and probably still don't have one today. Why do we need one?
1. So that music teachers don’t have to constantly answer these "frequently asked", ignorant questions
2. To prevent qualified teachers from being illegally fired, as I was
3. To prevent special ed kids from suffering from severe damage.
4.To stop taxpayers from shelling out a fortune to pay for the astronomical salaries of superintendents and litigation expense incurred for unnecessary and illegal termination of teachers. Instead, that money could go for qualified teachers, instead of firing them. (What a CONCEPT!) You know, those fired teachers who spent 10 years of their life preparing to teach in this Cuckoo's Nest, and then have to pay back $23,000 loan dept to the Ed Dept which financed all their music education. So they take it out of their of their Social Security check, because they've been fired, and have no job? You know, those teachers?
Read full details of my story at this link
Commissioner Mills Missing
Mills was last seen walking in a daze, carrying only rubber stampers, which say "DISMISSED" and "DENIED". If you see him, please report him to the authorities since someone must tell him that he is the Commissioner of the NYS Education Department!!
Commissioner Mills has sanctioned North Bellmore's contention that the superintendent can do "whatever he wants" when he stated in my legal papers that "the superintendent has "unfettered" power to hire and fire, despite evidence of official misconduct of the superintendent, malfeasance and fraud which I sent him personally, and which he most likely crunched up into a ball and deliberately filed in the "W"basket.
How can you recognize Commissioner Mills? He might be walking about dazed and confused carrying a rubber stamp which will render anything that he touches "dismissed" if it has to do with a teacher's legal case. We would advise that if you are a teacher to beware, because he has been known to use this stamp to indicate "dismissed" on some teachers' foreheads.
MY OPRAH SHOW FANTASY
I received a formal letter from Richard Mills, NYS Department of Education, expressing his sincere apology that my petition to him had been neglected for such a long time. He realized the extreme grief it must have caused me, as an Orchestra Teacher whose career was destroyed by one superintendent in the public school system in June of 2005. He agreed this termination was unnecessarily brutal and inhumane and violated my human rights, education and civil laws.
In his letter, Mr. Mills explained to me his problem getting back to me was due to the fact that he had been working very hard on the restructuring of the NB School District Administration, but it is indeed a daunting task! Replacing personnel such as superintendents is difficult, because it seems that such positions are filled only by those who are "connected" albeit incompetent. Mr. Mills closed his message to me with an all-expense paid invitation to a summit on "Educational Corruption in the Public Schools" as a special guest. This was to be an emergency session of the NYS Education Department to be held in Albany. This was part of a new "Education in Crises" program headed by Commissioner Mills. And off we went - me and a bunch of illegally fired, older, master teachers!!!!!!
There I was, a week later, in front of all these high-powered officials! I was finally face-to-face with all those people who I thought weren’t paying attention to the voluminous pages of pro se legal documents that I had written all summer, in an attempt to save my job. I job I had to do myself even though I was in the depths of despair! There I was, in the presence of the kind and benevolent Mr. Mills, the COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION! I believed he could solve any problem! He could finally solve my problems of scheduling concerts and the misplacement of special ed kids in a class that required fine motor skills and symbolic thinking!!!! Finally someone would listen to me when I said perhaps they would be better off taking academic subjects! !!!! I felt as if it was me and Toto, face to face with the Wizard of Oz!
Thanks to NAPTA, a myriad of issues of administrative malfeasance in today’s public schools were now under scrutiny by the public. This included rampant fraud, misrepresentation, defamation of character, excessive misuse of public funds, abuse of power and authority, age discrimination, sex discrimination, ethnic and race discrimination, perjury, cronyism, cowardice, and the unbridled narcissism and arrogance of school administrators and principals!!! I know that these hearings will be going on for a very long time.It was all because of the benevolent Commissioner Mills that these issues had been addressed.
He had scrutinized many times over my petition to him and voluminous pages of evidence of how I was fired to cover the school district's malfeasance, and misconduct of the superintendent. He had read it many times over. I was glad that he had not filed it under "W"!!!!! I was glad that he was an ONE Educational Official that did not hide under his desk. A baby boomer himself, he realized the plight of the older professionals. He realized that the tenure system no longer protected teachers or children. Even Mr. Mills was perplexed and still was trying to figure out how the term "insubordinate" applied to a violin teacher? But this is what it had come to. He was our hero. It was Commissioner Mills who got us on the OPRAH show, and I was to be one of her guests. And off we went - again, me and a bunch of older, overqualified teachers who had been illegally terminated!
Curiously, the audience was composed of many older, master teachers who had been routinely and illegally fired! Oprah had made sure all had received the routine and fun-filled, age-defying makeovers the day before. And today Oprah was not just giving away pencils!!We watched the video for the opening of a brand new Horwitz School for Administrators so they could learn how to do their jobs! Gifted students were now allowed an education too, formally just reserved for special ed kids.
Story continued on right side column..........
If I Illegally Destroyed a Teachers Career and Retirement, Here's How I Would Have Done It...
A letter from A SECRET SUPERINTENDENT,
Dear Ms. Hall,
I know that I might have destroyed your life, and that I sort of botched up your termination procedure. Consequently, it involved unnecessary defamation, age discrimination, because you were a whistle blower in our district. You exposed our negligence in our record keeping, fraudulent observations and the mistreatment of special ed students, just to mention a few things. But in my defense, I want you to know that I take my job seriously, which is protecting our school district, and you must understand that the end justifies my means. I want you to know my side of the story, I am not a bad person. I’m just doing my job.
In the interest of all school administrators, it is necessary that we do not allow teachers like you to set a precedent. Let me explain. We don’t need more teachers challenging the RULES. Just as regular citizens must obey laws. If you don’t obey the laws, we don’t have a system. And let’s get real here, what’s more important - some disgruntled teacher, like you, or the whole Administrative Body, and my job of keeping the system in order. I have a job and up-scale lifestyle to protect, and I also watch out for my buds. You really got out of hand talking about "legalities," - I mean there are laws, and then there is - REALITY. I have to admit, that’s why I let some of the younger teacher keep their jobs – they know how to follow the rules, and they keep quiet. If you had been a little more obedient, and not so ‘insubordinate", this case would not have blown up to this extent. You are really an embarrassment to our esteemed district and people like you who "think" have to be weeded out.
First of all, let’s talk malfeasance. OK, so the district is not doing it’s job in administration. Well, excuuuuuse, me! You say you had no supervisor, no job description, no administrative help, no observations like every other teacher, no help with scheduling your classes and concerts, and that we didn’t have your certifications, recommendations, diplomas or any evidence that you worked here, including 27 orchestra concerts. Well, la-di-da! Let me tell you something. Guess what? That’s not my job to go hunting for it. Not my job to be DETECTIVE.
So there was a little negligence as far as you were concerned. But what’s more important – protecting YOU, or a whole district? My job is to keep the budget low, and to keep out troublemakers like you. And I’m not the only one that thinks I’m doing a good job at it. Hey, did you notice that nobody’s paying any attention to you, Ms. Pro Se? Did you notice you can’t get a lawyer? That the system always dismisses your cases and always decides in favor of the distirct? Hmmm? HELLO!
Then, Ms. Goody Two Shoes, you start talking about the Special Ed kids and complaining how it was inappropriate that we placed them in your class. Talking about IEP consultations and complaining about not being part of the IEP teams. Picky, picky, picky – that’s what you get from you OLDER TEACHERS. How are we supposed to notify you when we don’t even know who your students are? How are we supposed to notify you when we don’t even know which building you’re in or your concert or rehearsal schedule? How am I supposed to know that you are a professional, teaching a specialty when I can't find anything in your personnel folder? I ask you, how am I supposed to know? It’s not up to me to keep your diplomas and certifications. As far as I knew, you weren’t even certified. That principal what’s-her-name said that you needed a video or something and that you didn’t have all your teaching requirements from the local tech institute. I don’t know anything about Masters Degrees, or Queens College, give me a break. I’m just a new superintendent here. I’m just here to decide who stays and who goes.
Ever hear of a ‘hit man?’ Well, I was hired as an "ax-man". Don’t give me any grief. It’s not my fault you got put on the wrong pile of papers and I forgot about TENURE. It’s not my job. And I don’t have to answer any NYS Education Department’s request to expedite a copy of your Permanent Certification that you earned in 2003. I do as I please. C’mon, I have enough to do. If nobody in this district knows what a teacher does, I have a duty to fire them.