Sunday, February 24, 2013

NYC Principal from Hell Iris Blige was Caught Conspiring to Defame and Destroy a Dozen Teachers, but Instead of Firing Her, Bloomberg Just Fined Her


"OUCH: Principal Iris Blige tried to run teachers out of Fordham High School of the Arts ."

Posted by Nicholas Stix

Iris Blige is a graduate of the perverse Leadership Academy that was founded by former Bloomberg schools chancellor Joel Klein, with millions of dollars in corporate contributions. The Academy purports to make top-flight school principals out of people with minimal classroom teaching experience, many of whom are only in their twenties. It imbues these ignoramuses with a sense of entitlement and omniscience. The only qualifications sought by the Academy’s gatekeepers are apparently that one be from an affirmative action group (incompetent black or Hispanic, etc.), and/or a well-to-do graduate of an Overpriced Private University (OPU). Brilliant, experienced, working-class white men obviously need not apply.

In case the reader doubts my take on the LA, even the New York Times has panned it. We’ll be hearing more about this institution.

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Principal's blunt ax
Unfairly gave teachers bad ratings: prober

By Yoav Gonen
January 22, 2011, 1:04 a.m.; last updated: 6:32 a.m.
New York Post
[No comments permitted!]

A Bronx principal who kept a so-called hit list of teachers she wanted swept out of the school instructed her subordinates to "get rid" of them by giving out unmerited bad ratings, a probe has found.

Even more shocking than Principal Iris Blige's apparent attempt to ruin the careers of nearly a dozen educators at Fordham HS of the Arts was the Department of Education's agreement to keep her in charge and levy just a $7,500 fine.

In a stipulation signed last month by Bronx high-school Superintendent Elena Papaliberios, Blige was even promised a "neutral letter of reference to any potential employer" should she decide to leave her post.

The two-year probe was conducted only after teachers lodged a host of complaints about Blige's wrongdoings, according to United Federation of Teachers officials.

"I think it's outrageous," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "If the price for ruining someone's career is $7,500, where's the accountability?"

Asked if Blige was getting off easy, a Department of Education spokeswoman referred a reporter to the signed stipulation -- which makes no mention of why a fine was deemed appropriate punishment.

Blige's lawyer, Stephen Hans, said he was "baffled" that the city had made a confidential stipulation public.

He suggested the light punishment was proof that the findings weren't solid.

"If they had the evidence on this case, they would have gone forward," Hans said. "She's faced with staff members ganging up on her."

The probe by the city's Office of Special Investigations included interviews with a half-dozen teachers -- and assistant principals who were asked to fudge the ratings -- who say Blige was unjustly gunning for staffers she didn't like.

One assistant principal, James O'Toole, made his boss' destructive directives sound like a hit job.

"Get rid of Mr. Herbert Drummond," O'Toole quotes Blige as saying about a teacher, according to the report.

Another assistant principal, Laurice Chambers-Blake, says Blige told her she wanted two teachers "out" by the end of the 2008 and 2009 school years.

Chambers-Blake said she was told "to start to write up the teachers" with negative reviews at the outset of the school year and to focus on another teacher's "weaknesses and deficiencies" rather than her positive skills.

Principal's Hit List

Directives from Principal Iris Blige to her subordinates on targeting teachers, according to an Office of Special Investigations report:

* “At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Blige directed [one subordinate] to “U” rate [unsatisfactorily] three teachers regardless of the outcome of his respective observations.”

* “[Another employee] stated that . . . Ms. Blige . . . told [her] that those teachers were to be ‘out’ by the end of the school year. Ms. Blige then instructed her ‘to start to write up the teachers.’ “

* “[Another subordinate] stated that Ms. Blige directed him to ‘Get rid of [teacher] Mr. Herbert Drummond.’ “

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