Neil Ganesh, Principal

Richmond Hill High School. Neil Ganesh, PRINCIPAL. 89-30 114 STREET Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Principal Neil Ganesh

Principal Neil Ganesh

 

An anonymous letter.  http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/05/15/at-a-struggling-school-an-anonymous-letter-to-a-new-principal-sparks-a-backlash/#.VVpEe8vD_qD

9 Comments

  1. Although he may have started out with the best of intentions years ago, the system has completely molded and deprogrammed this guy into doing it’s filthy bidding. Mr. Ganesh has degenerated into nothing more than a social parasite preying on the weak and vulnerable (i.e.untenured teachers) and those naive enough to ensure their trust in him. (Although that’s very rapidly changing, and for good reason.) Mr. Ganesh became principal in 2013, and I can’t recall witnessing another person change for the worse in so many drastic ways in such a short span of time. Not only has he changed, but the circumstances surrounding our failing school have deeply worsened as well due to increasing negative stories about Ganesh and Richmond Hill in the media.

    I was hired back in 2011, and because Richmond Hill has consistently been a failing school, the turnover for administration is happening just as fast as staff and student turnover rates. In the past your years there have been three principals and four assistant principals for the department that I worked in.

    Last year when I first became acquainted with him, in my eyes he seemed like a decent guy looking to make the best of a poor situation. I remember having my first conversation with him, and he asked me if I had any recommendations for him. Of course the first thing that came to mind was lack of student accountability and how the school has long history of enabling. I very sincerely told him my account of whats been happening at the school and from my perspective, what needed to be done in order to remedy this long standing problem. Throughout last year and the two years prior I received nothing but positive evaluations from Mr. Ganesh and my former AP. Mr. Ganesh even wrote me a beautiful letter of recommendation highly commending me for the quality of my lessons and contributions to the school and the community. Although my probation was extended at the end of last year (political reasons due to the Bloomberg administration at that time) I chose to stay in Richmond Hill rather than seeking a position somewhere else, which I more than likely could have landed very easily due to my positive evaluations and statistics in the last three years. (This turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life)

    This past year for me and many many other teachers, and even some administrators, working at Richmond Hill under the dictatorship of Mr. Ganesh and some of his newly appointed cronies has been a complete nightmare. As crazy as it sounds myself and another teacher were denied completion of probation due to Mr. Ganesh’s marching orders given to one of his newly appointed APs directing her to relentless attack our lessons with manufactured and completely fabricated ratings.

    Where do I even begin? To start the first thing that Mr. Ganesh did was replace some of the existing long standing administrators (such as the AP of ISS, security, English, etc.) and replace these people far less qualified administrators…some of whom had negative records due to unprofessional behavior that had been publicized across various media sources. As bad and as underqualified as some of these people were, it became exceedingly obvious to eveybody how well Mr. Ganesh treated his newly appointed staff that he personally brought in, as compared to the existing staff at Richmond Hill who were struggling for years in attempting to reform the school, but had no nepotistic connections to Ganesh. This was horrible for the school’s overall health and morale.

    What I dislike the most about Mr. Ganesh is that he is the type of person prepared to do anything in order to save his job irrespective of whether or not it’s in the best interest of staff and students. He fired/excessed the AP of English who had the highest rate of student graduation and regents passage rates and graduation rates. She was fired for not meeting her ineffective quota. He forced the former AP of ISS out and in the middle of the year (to the complete detriment to the department, teachers, school, and students) he hired his wife’s friend and former colleague….a woman by the name of Christine Peterson. he instructed her to target myself and another teacher in order to build a false in seeking to improve his statistics.

    He went from over suspending students last year (which landed Richmond Hill with negative media attention) to completely 180 degrees in the opposite direction to suspending virtually no one (thus creating a culture of non-accountability) You can only imagine what it was like working there this past year…………..

    Towards the end of the year there was so much animosity and disgust directed towards Ganesh, there was an angry letter directed towards him that every single teacher was made aware of, a story about that letter in the press a rally outside the school, and now most recently a stories in the press exposing Ganesh for allowing score manipulation to take place in order to increase the school’s much needed passage rates.

    everything that Mr. Ganesh ever told me was a blatant lie. He is not your friend or somebody that can be trusted, he is simply out for himself and no one else. He has proven to me and everybody else that maintaining the “status-quo” while collecting his six figure income supersedes doing what what’s moral and serving the needs of the school, students, and staff.

    Obviosuly my suggestion is avoid Richmond hill or any school that Ganesh works at like the plague. But beyond just that, I think that Ganesh’s track record and horrible policies at Richmond Hill speak volumes and are a testament to the culture that is being created by the policy makers and those in power that enable this sort of behavior. I said that “he is a product of the system” because that’s indeed what this system is creating.

    Nobody gives a damn about the kids, the parents, or even the teachers. It’s people like him that are only looking out for themselves and unfortunately can’t empathize or sympathize with the people in the same position that they themselves were one in.

  2. Discontinued Teacher

    Principal Ganesh has created an environment of fear and disdain amongst his staff. He has alienated almost his entire staff in showing great favoritism towardshis newly hired staff and appointed administrators that he recently brought on. Pincipal Ganesh has targeted certain teachers by deliberately and knowingly giving these teachers poor ratings based on false information. Ganesh is not committed to seeing his staff grow and devlelop as any responsible and dignified administrator would. Principal Ganesh is completely ineffective in implementing safety and disciplaine codes as he has demonstrated to al lof us his gross incompetence. Recently there was a letter from a group of concerned staff members addressed to Ganesh calling him out for his ineptness, and made availabe for every single teacher in the building to to see.

  3. I worked in Richmond Hill and the place was an absolute zoo. Kids have been conditioned to believe that they may say and do whatever they feel like without any fear of possible consequences.

    Recently I was reading a West Indie community newspaper that featured a propaganda piece heralding Ganesh for improving the school and managing to get the school off the renewal list.

    Twaddle!! Like so many things in the DOE everything is being measured in numbers only! Nobody is bothering to take the time to look at data furnished by the schools “qualitatively.” A significant portion of the students at Richmond Hill are not graduating on time. A slither of the students who are graduating on time are not academically proficient and are not ready to enter any form of post secondary education such as college. People need to really look beyond the superficiality of boastful claims made by authors of such garbage.

    Many people don’t know this man for who he really is. While Richmond Hill is off the renewal list (for whatever that is worth.) Ganesh hurt so many good teachers in the process. How he could look himself in the mirror is beyond me. He removed several effective administrators and replaced them with ineffective ones who lacked relevant experience and were of bad overall character. So many teachers have left the school and can see through the ruse of all this bull*&*t. This man has misused and abused his position of power in hoping to achieve his goals. He has fabricated stories about certain teachers and as somebody else has mentioned has falsified information about teachers in seeking to have them removed from the school.

    If you have been given a job offer at Richmond Hill and have not reviewed the abundant information about Ganesh on this website, I would strongly advice thinking twice before stepping foot into that building in September.

  4. Ganesh is by no means an intelligent man, but he does know how to play the system and how to get by by the DOE’s rules.. He has directly and indirectly created an environment of fear where teachers know (if they don’t know they soon find out) that the must manipulate their grades if they hope to have any chance of keeping their job. Ganesh and the DOE in general are only concerned about student through a “quantitative lens.” In essence all that matters to him is numbers and nothing else. He at no time will question “the truth” of any data may suggest. His “are you green” student progress tracker suggests that. A father of a student commented on facebook how ridiculous this system was, and I’m inclined to agree. It should be noted that for the first time in many years last spring, the school finally got off the renewal list. However, having worked there for several years as a teacher, and knowing Ganesh’s agenda on an intimate level, it is my very strong opinion that this would not have been possible without fraud and falsifying grades. One glaring example is that in the 2015-2016 year a large number of experienced staff left to be replaced by an influx of far less experienced staff just entering the teaching profession. Paradoxically the schools numbers somehow improve. What fantasy are we living folks??!!

  5. I’m a former teacher at Richmond Hill High School who had been there since 2008. I’d like to offer my perspective on the progress of Richmond Hill after Ganesh had assumed the role of principal there. I’ll start by saying that I personally hope that every single parent, student, and even teacher who is considering going there read my comments ahead of time. For sure you would save yourself so much misery and grief. While many personally dislike Ganesh for the way that he’s treated certain people, I am far more concerned about the larger issue which the well-being of the students and teachers that work in that building. From what I (and many others) have observed, the leadership of Ganesh has been largely detrimental to almost every single person in some form or capacity in that building. In the first place this video was recorded in 2013. At that time Ganesh had only been principal there for not more than six months so he clearly knew little about the community, the school, and his own students. Prior to his appointment as principal at Richmond Hill he had no experience as a head administrator for a school. At an earlier point he had served as an APO of Jamacia High School that closed due to poor performance. Ganesh’s appointment as principal of Richmond Hill High was based on cronyism and nepotism (and not based on experience, expertise, and talent.) The Network leader who appointed Ganesh has been under investigation himself for embezzlement. I just love the propaganda and lies coming out of his mouth praising the school for its diverse programs, tight knit community, and individual pathways to success. Without doing your own research first or having any inside knowledge, one would be inclined to think very highly of Richmond Hill based on this propaganda video. What is clear to me is that his portrayal of the school is nothing more than a script from a terrible performer. Richmond Hill for many years has been a failing school. At the time this video was made, Richmond Hill was a renewal school, and was on the cities radar list of schools that may possibly close pending their graduation rate doesn’t improve. A long standing problem of Richmond Hill is that a significant percentage of the students are not graduating on time. On average only half the school graduates on time. According to the school’s most recent statistics, 55% of the students have actually graduated within their cohort which means that a significant portion of the students are being left behind. What is an even further disturbing trend is that an astonishing 15% of graduating 55% have been shown to be academically prepared for college. What this data is showing us is that Ganesh is far more concerned about simply graduating as many students as possible rather than offering these students a quality education in ensuring that they are proficient academically and well equipped to handle post high school studies. Take a look at this article:
    http://chaz11.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-disconnect-between-graduation-rate.html

    Ganesh has created a terrible working relationship with both his students and staff alike. Take a look at this youtube video where his own students denounce his actions. On a personal note I give these students so much credit and respect for speaking their minds.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQZUuce098I

    Ganesh made headline news once a letter circulated throughout the school that every single teacher saw calling him out for his ineptness.
    http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2015/05/15/at-a-struggling-school-an-anonymous-letter-to-a-new-principal-sparks-a-backlash/#.V8uSiFsrLfA

    Ganesh lost so much respect from teachers, parents and students. Based upon a school wide survey, his approval rating amongst his staff for the 2014-2015 school year was 60%. (The average citywide rating was 82%. )
    http://chaz11.blogspot.com/2015/08/principals-to-avoid-in-queens.html
    You’d think that upon his appointment as new principal, his first necessary course of action would be to try to establish good relations with his new staff. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case at all. Ganesh wrongfully fired several of his teachers and administrators for arbitrary and asinine reasons. *Ms. Garcia (former assistant principal for the English department) that you saw in the beginning of the video was wrongfully removed from her position by Ganesh for refusing to participate in his unscrupulous tactics of giving certain teachers bogus evaluation ratings. Similarly Ganesh has targeted and removed certain teachers for reporting the school of being in violation of special education laws which it was. Ganesh has a pratice of removing an targeting teachers who exercise their right in filing UFT complaints. Ganesh got rid of several respected teachers and administrators who had been at Richmond Hill for many years, and who knew the students of the school very well. Ganesh appoints friends of his (puppets) to replace these administrators. These new admins were far less educated and qualified and lacked good overall character. *Christine Peterson of ISS and Denise Gillmore Irving who was put in charge of two departments when she didn’t even have the credentials to one run are but two examples. Similarly Irving was in the news multiple times and not for good reasons.

    Let’s talk about Richmond Hill High School on an aggragate level. It should be noted that up until very recently Richmond Hill has been regarded as a renewal school (failing school) and has several negative distinctions. Richmond Hill was in the news at the end of the 2013-2014 year for being the number one school in all five boroughs to have the highest suspension rate.
    http://nypost.com/2014/05/17/queens-high-school-tops-citys-list-of-most-suspended-students/

    The following year (in part from receiving negative publicity, and in part from DOE politics,) Ganesh decides to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction and suspend almost no student for any reason. Ganesh will without hesitation target certain teachers that he wishes to get rid of when students act out in class, yet will never in a million years take a single ounce of responsibility for the culture of unaccountability that he has played a very large role in fostering. Richmond Hill yet again has been in the news for having the highest percentage of students concealing weapons into the building.
    http://chaz11.blogspot.com/2016/07/another-renewal-school-to-avoid.html
    At present Richmond Hill is an unsafe school where staff and students report that they feel unsafe on a regular basis. Students have been conditioned to believe that they can behave in any manner that they like without fear of ramifications. The school is an absolute zoo and is but just one example of what happens when collaboration between admin and teachers does not exist, and admin purposely turns their heads in the opposite direction. No disciplinary code was implemented at any time or exercised by Ganesh and his admin. You’d better believe however that Ganesh and his cronies will be the first to find you at fault in the vent of student misbehavior.

    Academic fraud is rampant at Richmond Hill. A teacher anonymously contacted the New York post when email was discovered suggesting that there was grade manipulation taking place. http://nypost.com/2015/07/12/e-mail-exposes-plot-by-city-high-school-to-fix-failing-test-scores/

    Ganesh is by no means an intelligent man, but he does know how to play the system and how to get by by the DOE’s rules.. He has directly and indirectly created an environment of fear where teachers know (if they don’t know they soon find out) that the must manipulate their grades if they hope to have any chance of keeping their job. Ganesh and the DOE in general are only concerned about student through a “quantitative lens.” In essence all that matters to him is numbers and nothing else. He at no time will question “the truth” of any data may suggest. His “are you green” student progress tracker suggests that. A father of a student commented on facebook how ridiculous this system was, and I’m inclined to agree. It should be noted that for the first time in many years last spring, the school finally got off the renewal list. However, having worked there for several years as a teacher, and knowing Ganesh’s agenda on an intimate level, it is my very strong opinion that this would not have been possible without fraud and falsifying grades. One glaring example is that in the 2015-2016 year a large number of experienced staff left to be replaced by an influx of far less experienced staff just entering the teaching profession. Paradoxically the schools numbers somehow improve. What fantasy are we living folks??!!

    Ganesh does not care about the school or his students. While I imagine he’d very aggressively professes does, his actions have consistently said something dramatically different. He desires to stay in power and cares greatly the “image” of the school. It is of no consequence to him of whether or not the best interests of his students are really being met. I have little doubt that at one point he legitimately cared about students and wished to make a difference. Most poor performing administrators do start out that way. Unfortunately he had sell himself to land in his current position. There is a double standard that exists within the DOE on two levels: Students and administration. It appears that just like in the case of the students, there are no consequences for administrators no matter what poor choices they make. Ganesh has been conditioned to think that he may do as he wishes without any fear of ramifications. He not only should be removed from his title, but should be barred from education as a whole.
    He is currently listed on solidarity’s “administrators in need of improvement list” and will always remain there for all to see. It should be a no brainer to everyone to simply avoid this school at all costs.

  6. I became an ATR last year when my school closed and I accepted what I thought was a permanent position at Richmond hill high school in October 2015. I went through two interviews and did a demo lesson in front of Mr. Ganesh and my AP. After I was hired I was told by the APO that it was a provisional assignment. I’m a veteran teacher with twenty years experience, knew the chances of me getting a permanent position would be very slim. But I decided to work hard and be a team player in hopes of getting a permanent position. I was very surprised when I received my first observation and saw mostly 2s. I used the same lesson plan model as my demo lesson and all the students were involved and working. Everyone was participating and asking questions. It was a student centered lesson, with students answering other student’s questions, agreeing and disagreeing with each other and giving the reasons why. A lot of accountable talk was taking place. I was positive that it was a highly effective lesson. I decided to let that observation go and thought maybe the new AP wanted to show improvement.
    The second observation was done along with the ISS AP. I wrote the lesson, my co-teacher was a first year teacher. I provided this teacher with a lot of help with the classes we taught together and the classes she taught alone. At times giving up my lunch period to help her with class management in another class. She was only 23 years old. When I received my evaluation again mostly 2s-Developing, when she received her evaluation for the same class, same day, same period. Her evaluation contained all 3s-Effective. All of the evaluations she had received contained 3s-effective, even her hard to manage classes.
    At this point I decided to question my AP about this observation and the difference in the scoring for the same lesson. My AP became very defensive and said he was there to evaluate me and the AP of ISS was there to evaluate my co-teacher and they may have seen different things. MY AP came in for another observation the next week, this time during the last half of my ninth period class. The class went well , but of course at the end of the day kids are restless. I received mostly 1s-Ineffective in that observation. At this point I realized I’m being targeted, probably was hired to obtain their quota and to help this new AP get points with the principal. I decided to do an APPR complaint, the Chapter leader didn’t seem to be onboard with it. I filed it anyway and gave him a copy. When we went met with Mr. Ganesh, I could tell he already had the AP’s back and nothing I was going to say was going to change his mind. I had the Danielson with me and pointed out discrepancies of my evaluation and what Danielson considers a 1-ineffective. Some of the things I did in class would be considered a 3 or 4. My lesson plan was 3 pages long. All of this went on deaf ears. Mr. Ganesh decided to remove only one 1-ineffective. I was observed two weeks later and again received mostly 1s and a few 2’s. I was thrown into the ATR pool at the end of the school year. I came into that school with an effective rating and this year I’m developing thanks to RICHMOND HILL. Do not take any positions there.

  7. Anon, Neil Ganesh targeted me and another teacher also. He’ll get his someday hopefully sooner than later.

  8. I filed four APPR complaints and provided a very solid case that the ineffective were arbitrary and completely deadlines to Danielson. The AP who Ganesh conspired with in having me targeted to meet their quota blatantly lied in her observation report. She took advantage of the fact that Ganesh chose to stay for my formal for not more than 15 minutes. Yet he stayed for the entire period for all the other teachers that were up for tenure. It was quite apparent that his denial to overturn anything in the observation report was based strictly on his agenda and had nothing to do with the facts presented. This happened to me and another teacher who was also discontinued. We both went from completely satisfactory and completely ineffective to completely ineffective.

    That same year there were at least two other teachers who did receive ineffective ratings but (unlike us) were not being targeted. The APS were just trying to show improvement. In both cases when Ganesh heard their APPR complaints he omitted 5 out of the 8 ineffective s for one teacher and converted all the 1s to 2s for another teacher. For myself and my co teacher we could have shown him video footage disproving many of the 1s and exposing the AP for the liar that she is. Ganesh would not have changed one single thing.

    Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see that man in the exact same position that he arranged to have other people put in.

  9. Anon, I do feel bad for you. I remember you telling bits and pieces of your story on Chazblog. At the same time just be happy that you still have a job with the DOE and that you weren’t rated overall ineffective for the entire year. Myself and another teacher were not as lucky you were. We were both probationers and that made us an easy target. Also, I don’t want to sound like an apologist for the chapter leader that you talked about because in my opinion he really was not all that effective, but perhaps your perception of him not being on board with your APPR complaints may have stemmed from his past experience and knowledge of Ganesh’s MO for just blatantly dismissing and disregarding everything that the chapter leader had to say during the APPR proceedings. In my case and in the case of my colleague, I thought that he made very powerful and effective arguments demonstrating the obvious dis-alignment to Danielson that our observations contained. As was true in your case as well as mine, it was already pre-determined that he was going to sustain whatever fraudulent and bogus ratings you were given by the AP. The facts were not important to Ganesh as his decision had nothing to do with the facts. He was far more concerned about doing what was best for him and his “image.” On average (historically speaking) there’s been 1-2 teachers every year that he will target with ineffective ratings. Out of over 100 staffers, 1-2 may not seem like a lot but the fact that it could happen to any one at any time should give people pause. It happened to myself, my colleague, and there was nothing whatever in our backgrounds that would have given an indication that it was gonna happen to us. In fact, there’s a reasonably good chance that if that same 23 year old girl sticks around Richmond Hill her ratings may mysteriously change in 1-2 years from now. Interestingly, in many ways our experiences with Ganesh were remarkably similar.

    Ironically in my 4th year, my problem was with the AP of ISS Christine Peterson (yes I will name her.) Ganesh however was really the root cause of everything.

    I taught in Richmond Hill for four years. Before I was offered a position I student taught there as well. The one thing about Richmond Hill was that it was a very unstable school. In the four years that I worked there, there were 3 principals and 5 assistant principals in my department. In my first three years there I had no problems whatsoever. My ratings were all satisfactory and effective when the new evaluation system went into effect. In my third year about 75 percent of all my ratings were “3s” effective and 25 percent were “2s” developing and zero percent were “1s” ineffectives.
    The funny thing that I always shake my head to the thought of was that I actually had a very good working relationship with Ganesh when he first became the principal in that school for the ‘13-‘14 school year. In January of 2014 I approached him and asked him to write me a letter of recommendation so I could get into my choice PhD program (which I eventually did get into.) He had no problem writing the letter. Before writing it he did request to see some things such as samples of student work, lesson plans, information on the specific PhD program, etc. All of this I eagerly provided him and he seemed to be very pleased with what he saw. I Also sent him emails inviting him into my classroom so that he could see for himself the flow of my lessons and get a general sense of my teaching habits. Around January (six months into the school year) He wrote me a very nice and very personal recommendation letter commending me very highly on the quality of my lessons, his observations of my lessons, and my service to the school and community. Later on I showed this letter to a principal that I interviewed with and he hired me right on the pot because he was so impressed with what the letter said. The unfortunate thing about the ’13-’14 year was that I did not get tenure because Ganesh was given a strict quota by the former superintendent.

    At the conclusion of my third year I could have left Richmond Hill, but I chose to stay. Had I left I don’t particularly think that I’d have had any difficultly getting a job elsewhere since every aspect of my record was unblemished. For the first half of the ’14-’15 things seemed to be going well. No complaints. In November Peterson was hired as the permanent AP of ISS replacing the existing interim acting AP. One month later I was observed in my co-teaching class by the ISS AP. The class went ok. The kids were a little restless because it was right before lunch, but I was doing my job by circulating throughout the room, assisting students who needed the assistance, and doing the best I could to ensure that everyone was compliant and working. I was very surprised when I get my first observation back and it was all 1”s” Despite my obvious feelings toward the AP and the observation, I decided not to fixate on the observation and just look ahead. I was rather concerned but not overly concerned since it was the first observation and maybe she was just looking to show improvement. Three months later my second observation (formal) was approaching. I was going to be observed for my self-contained class. This was a class that was exceptionally difficult to manage. Not just in terms of behavior, but also because the students were very low functioning and many did not speak
    English as their first language. Considering the gravity and importance of this lesson I spent over a week preparing for the lesson. I conferenced with other senior teachers getting their advice, spent so much time putting material together, and creating a lesson that would benefit every single one of the students by addressing their needs on multiple levels. I put together what I thought would be a highly rigorous lesson for these students. Even though I was for the most part effective for the previous year, I referred to earlier observations and looked for areas that I could potentially improve in. At my preconference (three days before the observation) with Ganesh and Peterson I had all of my materials, student, handouts, power-point presentations, 3-page lesson plan and misc. materials. Ganesh nor Peterson didn’t offer any feedback of substance. I desperately wanted tenure so I took every measure to ensure that this lesson would be as flawless as could be. The day of the observation I was so proud of how the class went. The students were actively engaged, asking questions, agreeing with each other and giving their justification why. There were virtually no disruptions and everything was very fluid. From beginning to end everybody was engaged and was working so hard. All my hard work seemed to have paid off. I am very critical of my own work and I thought to myself that they would have to be absolutely crazy to say anything negative about the lesson. At the end of the period, me and my two Spanish speaking paras all gave each other a big group hug since this class could have been used as a training video for other teachers.

    Nevertheless I just had this uneasy feeling that something wasn’t right. I was questioning the fact that Ganesh only stayed in my room for a total of 15 minutes in the middle of the period and then left knowing that he missed two thirds of the observation. On the day my post conference I was visited by my colleague (the other discontinued teacher.) She explained to me that she considered her formal to be best and most effective lesson that she ever did, and Ganesh and Peterson “completely ripped the lesson apart.” Those were her words exactly. At that point I somehow knew that I was next on the chopping block. I go into the office and sure enough I find out that the lesson was ineffective and nothing was done right, and that they had a problem with everything that they saw in the room, even though Ganesh wasn’t in the room for much of the lesson. At this point I instantly knew that we were both being targeted. We were both being used simply to help them meet their quota and to help the newly hired AP get points with Ganesh. I also knew that my two remaining observations would be also be ineffective, and there was nothing that I could do to change that. I was just heartbrokenand so angry. In the back of my mind I told myself that I didn’t even plan on reading the observation report since it was all predicated on lies and bogus claims. About one month later (we’re now around the end of April) I received my observation report in my mailbox and my curiosity got the best of me. I looked at the report and of course every single domain was rated as a “1” except one domain which was a “2.” One domain in particular that really stood out to me was a blatant lie that Peterson made up simply as a justification to rate me with an additional ineffective since there was literally nothing that happened in the classroom that could have been twisted or manipulated to go in the ineffective category. Everything that was said on the report was untrue and unsubstantiated, but this one thing was just a complete blatant lie that she just completely made up out of thin air. I filed an APPR complaint. I spoke with the chapter leader. I made a six-page rebuttal. Many of the things that did happen in the room should have been rated as a 3 or even a 4. Not one single thing was deserving of a 1 and that was not my opinion that is what Danielson is saying. I took witness statements from the adults in the room refuting her assertion that the incident that she lied about took place or had any true behind it. The chapter leader made a very powerful and very well put together argument that the ratings were arbitrary and did not align with Danielson. I sat back and felt very good about how the APPR went even though I knew that it was just falling on deaf ears. My colleague also filed an APPR for similar reasons and a very similar argument was made on her behalf. We get our results back the same day a couple weeks later. Not a single thing was changed for either us despite the overwhelming evidence that the observations were just plain wrong.

    As we predicted observation 3 and 4 were also completely ineffective. We knew that this was arranged to happen and we were both powerless to do anything about it. It was clear to both of us that Ganesh was going for a discontinuance. Every single thing that happened to my colleague, the manner in which it happened, and the timing of when it happened also happened to me in the exact same manner, and vise versa. I received a total 19 “1s” and 1 “2” for the year making my overall rating in the pedagogy section a “2” for the year. I later got a “15” and a “16” in the student growth portion of the overall rating bringing the 2 up to a “33” which is still ineffective and a far cry away from developing.

    I presently work in a charter school. For better or worse I decided not to file an article 78, but I did appeal the rating and the discontinuance. I had myhearing five months ago, but have not heard the results yet. I was very lucky to get an outstanding UFT advocate who also was assigned to my colleague. This guy was not a prick. He was very honest, very genuinem, and very sincere. He was highly familiar with my case because of his familiarity with my colleague. He knew that the observations that got me and my colleague discontinued were completely fabricated and manufactured. He knew Ganesh and Peterson’s motivation for why they did it and how it was a complete contradiction to everything else in our histories as DOE employee. He also knew that Ganesh was liar and how we were simply two victims of his corrupt regime. Even though it’s been more than 5 months, I have not received a decision yet from the hearing but I fully anticipate that the hearing officer and the panel are simply going to rubber stamp the original rating and discontinuance. I think we all know how rigged and bogus this hearing process really truly is. I will point out however that for me it was not about winning or losing, it was about getting closure since this no longer has to be something hanging over my head. I went in expecting the worse and knowing that I had virtually nothing to lose. I was/am gainfully employed in a better school earning a comparable salary.

    As we fully expected, Ganesh completely lied about everything every chance that he got. To both of us the lies that he told made him look like an even bigger idiot. He spent much of his time and effort stating at the hearing how poor and ineffective of a teacher I was, and how I failed to show improvement despite receiving support that was non existent. When questioned by my advocate if he knew about my three year unblemished history, he stated that “he was not aware of that.” This is despite him reviewing me for tenure two years in a row. When asked why he decided not to grant me tenure, Ganesh replied that “he had significant concerns over my teaching abilities and my ratings.” When my advocate asked Ganesh about the letter that he wrote for me back in the ’13-’14 school year, Ganesh replied that “ I was the one who wrote the letter and that he was the one who signed it”

    Right after this happened I wrote a letter addressed to the former superintendent Horowitz. Knowing Horowitz’s reputation I was far more concerned about the anticipated attention I hoped the letter would get as oppose to Horowitz overturning the discontinuance. I contended all throughout the letter that for Ganesh to so eagerly sacrifice the careers of a small number of his teachers in order to foster his own is one of the most foul and despicable things that anyone could and speaks volumes about hischaracter. Even if his arguments were true…..no support was offered on his end whatsoever. Instead of objectively looking at the situation and the ratings from a neutral and unbiased standpoint as any respectable administrator would, he decides to blindly support the opinion of his newly appointed AP no matter how irrational or how illogical.

    I wont even waste my time analyzing the stupidity of his lies and falsified statements. I have to say this: You know what I find absolutely amazing? Many of us (not all of us) enter this profession for the love of our students. We know that the money is not all that great, we know that our free time is limited and that there’s so much time needed to be spent outside of the classroom. We know these things but despite that we enter this profession fully committed knowing the great sacrifices that we all make. Some teach for a few years and then leave the classroom that they started out in to assume a leadership position in. And then every value, every moral, every bit of common sense just seems to vacate from their minds. They in turn seek to hurt and do every thing that they can to destroy and hurt the careers of the very same teachers that they themselves were (oftentimes just a short time before.)

    My colleague and I lost our jobs and were discontinued because we were two teachers who unfortunately were caught up in a sick numbers game. Nobody should accept any position at Richmond Hill under any circumstances.

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