Posts tagged "double jeopardy"
September 4, 2012
Lynn Passarella lost her position as principal of Theatre Arts Performing Company School in March when an investigation concluded that a host of academic and financial improprieties had taken place under her watch.
This summer, the suspended adminstrator lost some of her savings, as well, when the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board fined her $3,500 for two violations of city ethics rules. The board levied the fine in July after Passarella accepted its ruling, according to a disposition released today.
Both offenses violated city rules that prohibit city employees from using their positions to benefit themselves or people close to them. In one, Passarella paid a school worker $60 to prepare an annual holiday party at her home. In another, she encouraged a community group that worked with TAPCO to hire her sister.
The offenses turned up in the report issued in March by Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon, but they were not the impetus for the investigation or its main findings. We reported at the time:
New York City’s top-ranked high school two years ago achieved its lofty score under a veil of academic improprieties that ranged from fudged student records to inflated test scores, according to a lengthy report released today by the Department of Education. … (more…)
April 17, 2012
Plans to close and reopen Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School using turnaround, the controversial school reform model, could leave this year’s juniors without state certification in the fields they have been studying for the past three years.
For the students and their teachers, Smith’s turnaround hearing marked a return to the front lines of a battle they thought they won two years ago, when the school was narrowly spared from closure.
After initially proposing to phase the school out, the city opted to keep Smith open but downsize it by eliminating all of its career and technical programs but one: automotive technology. Five other CTE programs — in carpentry, electrical engineering, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing, and pre-engineering — would close over time.
This year’s juniors would be the last to earn certification in those programs, entitling them to a license to work in some industries immediately after graduation. The school has continued to maintain a staff to help them through their career coursework.
But under turnaround, the school that replaces Smith will constitute a new staff, drawing from Smith’s faculty roster and elsewhere to find teachers to meet its needs.
If multiple teachers choose not to reapply for their jobs or are not selected during the hiring process — a conceivable outcome because the replacement school might not want to hire teachers for programs that would not exist after one year — Smith’s career programs could be severely affected. State certification for CTE programs requires schools to offer particular courses and have teachers with certain credentials.
Department of Education officials told attendees at last night’s closure hearing that it is not guaranteed that Smith’s replacement school would be certified to offer the technical programs. But the officials — who included the department’s former top CTE executive, Gregg Betheil — repeatedly assured families that students “should” still be able to receive CTE diplomas in coming years. They said they are encouraging teachers to gain certification to teach across disciplines so that no single program has a shortfall of qualified teachers and that they expected the state to sign off on the programs again. (more…)