Minutes from the meeting by Arthur Goldstein here
UFT Ex Bd: UFT members, parents and students demand removal of Interim Acting Principal Michael Weinstein High School of Applied Communication
By Norm Scott
Hey, CSA, here’s another slug for you to defend.
Last night’s Ex Bd meeting brought out another batch of teachers from a school under assault by an abusive – and incompetent – and creepy – principal. In the pre-meeting we heard tales of sexual harassment and misogyny, a gift trip to Disney World for certain teachers, in addition to the list of grievances below. Some of them have been at the school since its founding a dozen years ago. Both previous principals had been excellent. To put a monster like Weinstein into this school is criminal. But the Supt is Elaine Lindsey, the very same who installed Rosemary Jahoda into Townsend Harris HS.
Also the sad situation where the chapter leader is in the pocket of Weinstein. A recall petition got over 50% of the vote, but not the required 2/3. I was told that the CL installed someone to monitor the vote, which was not secured. I’m checking to see if the CL is in Unity Caucus to see if there is any coverup.
As I say often — I didn’t expect much from being on the EB this year but being able to raise these issues with the schools and getting rank and filers involved is true grassroots organizing. And even if on the surface, the leadership is forced to respond.
What the UFT misses – intentionally I believe — is the pattern — the blueprint principals are following while the UFT doesn’t prepare its people for the arrival of a new principal who could turn into a monster — what are the immediate signs to look for and intervene in the process?
With the big court cases coming up, the major thing the union can do to keep people from not paying dues is to defend them. At the very least we can keep shaking the tree.
UFT members, parents and students demand the removal of
Interim Acting Principal Michael Weinstein
High School of Applied Communication
3020 Thomson Avenue, 5th floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
UFT members from Weinstein’s school testified at the UFT Executive Board meeting Monday 5/817 on the abusive conditions they are forced to work under since his arrival. They are receiving the support of elected high school representatives from the MORE caucus: Schirtzer, Goldstein, Gupta, McArthur, and MORE/NA VP candidate James Eterno, in addition to Halabi and Ahluwalia of New Action.
Our union sisters and brothers, many of whom have been at that high school for over 10 years, have come under attacks from day 1 of his reign, which began in Sept. 2016. Weinstein was formerly an AP at Leon Goldstein HS and MORE members there have been advising the teachers.
The school is a Title I school; 406 students,, 17% Special Education, 7% ESL
- Students had 3 sit ins (December 13, December 16, March 22 ) and 1 walk out (February 15)
- PTA meeting was cancelled February, March and April. Last PTA meeting was in January although parents have requested the meeting be scheduled… PTA President states she is given “the runaround” by Interim Acting Principal Weinstein.
- Teacher received a letter to file for publicizing the SLT meeting in accordance with Open Meetings Law. Meeting is not publicized and the teacher received directive in disciplinary conference not to inform school community about SLT meetings.
- Two teachers have Article 23 harassment cases in process
- Two UFT Special Education complaints filed due to IA Principal Weinstein’s refusal to follow compliance in mandates. This resulted in vicious retaliation toward the Special Education department.
- 19 grievances filed to date for the school year
- UFT members testifying against other UFT members during harassment meetings
- 4 Chancellor’s A830 complaints filed for retaliation and sexual harassment
- teacher and student programs changed 3 times this year resulting in one 10th grade ICT/ESL ELA class having 7 different teachers this year
- under the direction of Interim Acting Principal Weinstein, ICT classes were amended to include up to 50% Special Education students exceeding the maximum allowable ratio of 40% or 12 students. Students did not receive services and parents were sent P4 letters for the mistake of missing services and costing the city thousands of dollars for his poor leadership
- constant harassment and following of students in the hallway. Pulling students in for meetings threatening their transcripts and potential for college. These “meetings” are conducted without parental consent.
- Teachers followed and watched by IA Principal Michael Weinstein: followed the perimeter of the school, at their classroom doors, outside the bathroom, at the time clock when they enter the building
Requests to UFT:
- visit by President Mulgrew and leadership to our school to speak for and on behalf of UFT membership
- motion to support our school
- public pressure by UFT on IA Principal Weinstein to cease and desist harassment and intimidation of students, staff, and parents
- review of all internal memos, regulations, directives, and protocols to assure they comply with school, city, state, and federal law
- facilitation of PTA meeting at a neutral location free from the abuse and manipulation by IA Principal Weinstein
- immediate removal of Weinstein from the school
By James Eterno
I made my first appearance at the UFT Executive Board in quite a while. Secretary Howie Schoor chaired.
Open mic period was used by three schools.
It was enlightening hearing my friends from the High School for Applied Communications address the Executive Board. They had multiple complaints about their Interim Acting Principal Michael Weinstein and asked for UFT support and for the Union to publicly expose their out of control principal. One teacher had the principal in his room 40 times this year.
A group from CPE 1 came to support their embattled principal and criticize people attacking principal.
Finally, the chapter leader and the student newspaper advisor from Townsend Harris told the story of how their school worked with the Queens UFT to have IA principal Jahoda removed. They thanked Queens office.
No Mulgrew as he is in DC at AFT Executive Board.
Mike Schirtzer asked about helping High School for Applied Communications as principal is his former APO. Schoor said UFT will be at the school.
Question about UFT being proactive against abusive administrators
Howie Schoor said 13 schools are a problem. Superintendents not supervising principals. We are focusing on Superintendents.
Leroy Barr then said we are proactive.
Question was asked about grievances. Ellen Procida said there are many ridiculous rulings at chancellor’s level and we are getting resolutions at arbitration but we are not where we want to be yet.
Question on class sizes from Francis Lewis not being lowered even after ordered by arbitrator. Ellen said we will be strong in compliance conference and principal could be warned to stay in compliance with class size limits in the fall as well as lowering class sizes now.
A question was asked about CPE1. Lawsuit has been filed. UFT working on making sure members are protected.
Question asked about connections on DOE attacking progressive schools. UFT focusing on superintendents. They are the principal’s bosses. More paperwork problems in Queens High Schools than in other districts.
Secretary Schoor noted that UFT District Rep James Vasquez was complimented a record 3 times for his work.
Other reports were given. Some candidates were endorsed and the the accountant gave a report saying the UFT was in good shape financially.
Refinanced 50 Broadway at a lower rate recently. Capital improvements including a new roof need for 52 Broadway. Renting fourth floor of 50 to Molloy College.
UFT pension plan 108% funded.