Paul Thompson, Principal
A girl marked absent 76 days in a semester by me was listed by the school office as having missed just 11 days in the class. I do not not how the school cooks up these numbers!
My senior class has no senior activities, no trips and no fund-raisers, and it is mostly because of the lack of effort by Ms. Alma and the rest of the office administration
This school is a zoo. Kids did whatever they wanted to: curising, roaming the halls, fighting. There was no discipline. Mr. Thompson was never around. Most of us didn’t even know him.
Thompson is the founding principal. In January, 2014 held ATRs, George Art.an ELA teacher, an AP, Rafael, and two social studies teachers, Michael Lattimore and Niki Lucase in a “rubber room” (nominally the “teachers’ lounge”) at the school while a permanent sub, Anthony Williams taught the social studies classes for which there was a vacancy, supervised by a science teacher, Samir Vural. Anthony had to run all lesson plans, etc.past Vural. Vural was verbally abusive of other teachers in the lounge and students in the hallway. He wouldregularly pull kids out of class and berate them similar to a Marine drill sargent; in-your-face, loud, verbal abuse. Thompson also hires two to three SPED teachers as permanent subs each year in October but does not put the monh is table organization until January, so that they remain unpaid throughthe December vacation period. The school, which has 22 teachers,lost 13 at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. It advertizes special enrichmentcourses on the internet which do not exist. Students enroll for music and art, are frustrated by the absence of the advertised “teaching artists”, morale is low and lack of discipline is severe. The senior teacher inthe school (it’s either John Rhal, or Rahl) has been targeted the previous two years, receiving extra, unannounced, hostile observations,and required to give his science students reading and share-out lessonslike an English teacher. He is a science teacher, Thompson has an English licence. Other teachers, Ms. Rogers and Ms. Richards, have received lettersin their files andsuspensions without pay for trivial reasons. Teachers have been required to submit “5-week-planners” in violation of the contract. Thompson is said to be married to someone”high-up” in the Chancellor’s office.
The following relevant points were missing from the Sunday article and may be of interest.
1 – Most of the administrative staff (including Thompson) are members of the same church, and the Pastor of this church is a special education teacher. The UFT rep at the school is ALSO a member of this church, and is very friendly with the principal. This gives the other teachers effectively no representation. Thompson appears to have given a job to his own Pastor and many other fellow congregants. I do not recall the name of the church, but google the staff names to find the pastor.
2 – Thompson falsifies the class schedule to the board of education. The “need to read” program – one class a day of just reading books of some kind – is not listed on the schedule. Other classes are listed and each teacher is listed as teaching a class that does not exist, and posts grades in this fictional class.
3 – Thompson also changes grades given by teachers from failing to passing because otherwise too many students would be failing due to poor attendance or for not doing any work.
4 – Thompson has a unique and intimidating teacher management technique. After the 2014-2015 year Thompson FIRED 8 teachers as ineffective, fully 33 percent of the teaching staff. (The citywide average was less than 5 percent. None of the teachers wanted to contest the firing so the UFT was unable to make an issue of it.) Thompson intimidates teachers by giving them an ineffective rating and threatening to fire them. Again, all at a much higher rate than the rest of the city system. In other years he has fired 2-3 teachers. During the 2015-16 year Thompson has already fired one experienced and highly rated (and liked) teacher, pulling him out of a class in order to do so. The UFT has attempted to address this, but between the UFT rep and the protection offered by Thompson’s spouse, there has been no progress to date.
5 – Thompson was granted funds to hire a “Dean”, but no Dean was ever hired at the school. Where did the funds go?
6 – Thompson does not permit the use of textbooks, making the teaching of many subjects more difficult. Again, the school receives substantial annual funds for textbooks but the use of these funds is unknown to the teachers.
7 – Finally, Thompson provides no discipline. Students cannot be sent to office, suspended, or given detention of any kind and the administrators take the side of the students in all disputes. (One favorite teacher is able to do so). This undermines any classroom authority creating the discipline problems described.
In addition to firing 8 teachers at the end of 2014-15, Thompson has caused two more tenured teachers to be pulled from the classroom. One in December 2015, and another in march 2016. This is for a school with only 24 full teachers.
I am representing a teacher from this school whom Thompson is trying to fire. I will be continuing Thompson’s cross examination on MOnday 3/21. Can you help me with any documents/facts to cross examine what you say? Please let me know ASAP- thanks.
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