Activists, officials furious over Garner case; protest today
A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought against Borough President Melinda Katz by six former Queens Library trustees who had sought to have their dismissals overturned by the court, Katz announced Sunday.
The six were members of a faction that had shielded now-suspended library President and CEO Tom Galante from attempts by a minority of the board to put him on leave while investigations into alleged financial mismanagement played out, and that had refused to provide City Comptroller Scott Stringer with all the documents he sought for an audit of the system.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and officials from Queens College on Monday released the results of a study that concluded reactivating the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch would generate 500,000 subway rides per day, but that residents of the Rockaways support the alternative park plan.
“Reactivating the Rockaway Beach line would connect South and northern Queens in a way that is not currently possible,” Goldfeder said at a press conference in Queens College’s library.
I am a Queens middle school principal who is dedicated to providing excellence in our New York City’s public schools. That is why I am concerned that hardworking assistant principals, principals and other supervisors may not receive the retroactive pay they are owed for the years they served in the classroom.
It’s fair to say that most educators around the city are concerned that teachers are being asked to give up the retroactive pay they have earned as teachers if they choose to accept a promotion to assistant principal or education administrator positions. In my six years as principal, I have had five of my assistant principals become principals and six of my teachers become assistant principals. The city has put forward an argument that these teachers have not worked “continuously” and therefore are not eligible for the retroactive payments earned during their many years without a contract. This makes no sense. As teachers and as administrators, they work continuously for the same employer: the NYC Department of Education.
My school, IS 61 in Corona, is dedicated to developing higher-order thinking skills through our rigorous instructional program. To successfully implement this program requires experienced and outstanding school leaders. I fear that the high-performing teachers we need will now be deterred from accepting assistant principal, education administrator or principal positions. After all, who would choose to take a promotion that also requires a loss of thousands of dollars — in many cases as much as $50,000 in real salary that they earned through the sweat of their brow?
I agree that schools are most likely to succeed when their leaders come from the ranks of experienced New York City teachers, as Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Fari–a believe. In fact, I have seen many teachers go on to become some highly effective assistant principals. Shouldn’t we encourage others to continue that tradition? Shouldn’t we make sure that they are not penalized instead? In fact, wouldn’t this reinforce the mayor and chancellor’s vision of sound educational leadership?
There are over one million students in New York City’s public schools who depend on excellent school leaders to guide their education. Those students need the city’s elected officials to come together and recognize the value of our principals and assistant principals.
Fortune Society sues R’way landlord over its denial of ex-cons
Too often under the last administration in City Hall, the answer to the problems faced by schools whose students were struggling was to shut them down. Often it seemed like the option of first resort rather than of last resort, with former Mayor Bloomberg getting a poorly performing school in his sights — Jamaica High School is the perfect example — and then depriving it of the resources it would need to succeed, so he could then declare it a failure, close it and replace it.
Many schools in Queens were on his radar, and some barely escaped closure at the end of his tenure, thanks to a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers that successfully blocked the shutdowns. Those included John Adams High School in Ozone Park, Flushing High School and Long Island City High School.
Mayor de Blasio on Monday announced that 94 low-performing schools throughout the city, including 12 in Queens, would be designated “Community Schools” in an effort to improve test scores of struggling schoolchildren and move away from a policy of closing struggling city schools.
“We believe in strong public schools for every child,” de Blasio said at a press conference at the Coalition School for Social Change in Manhattan.
“Temporary displacement is really forced migration, and is only true politically,” Deborah Gans, principal architect of the Gans Studio and professor at Pratt College of Art and Design, said during a panel discussion at Dorsky Gallery.
She and other members of the panel articulated the issues created from natural disasters: the destruction of residences and relocation of communities as part of a series of workshops and events inspired by the gallery’s newest exhibit, “Homeland [In]Security: Vanishing Dreams.”
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor, has some advice for anyone looking at the polls showing him far behind incumbent Democratic Gov. Cuomo: Don’t believe them.
“This race is going to be a lot closer than people think,” Astorino said.
For the second time in a little more than a week, a young child allegedly has been murdered in a New York City homeless shelter.
Latoya Curry, a resident of the Briarwood Family Residence at 80-20 134 St., was arraigned Saturday on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child after her 4-year-old daughter, Linayjah Meraldo, died in her sleep on Thursday, a day after she was allegedly brutally beaten by her mother.
Facing an audience of about a dozen supporters at the Northeast Queens Republican Club in the Clearview Golf Course on Oct. 15, Phil Gim, the party’s candidate running against incumbent Democrat Ron Kim in the 40th Assembly District, wasted little time before ripping apart the city’s education system, one of the two major issues on which his platform is based.
“We need to raise the under-performing schools to a level playing field,” Gim said. “But that’s a long-term process. Politicians have four years. That’s not going to be done in four years. They can’t wait that long, so they cover up.”
Some communities in Queens, such as Glendale and Elmhurst, view the Department of Homeless Services as an enemy, degrading their neighborhoods one homeless shelter at a time.
DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, in a sitdown interview with Chronicle staff on Thursday, said he and the agency are both proactively and reactively dealing with the city’s homelessness crisis the best it can in their first year in office.
For many prospective New York City high school students, getting into one of the specialized schools is like winning the lottery, except with years of preparation.
To get into Bronx High School of Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, Staten Island Tech, Queens High School for the Sciences, Brooklyn Latin School, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College or High School of American Studies at Lehman College, there is just one door — a test: three hours of 45 multiple- choice verbal questions, 50 multiple-choice mathematics problems, using a formula the city Department of Education keeps under heavy wraps.
The City Council Committee on Higher Education is slated to hold an oversight hearing on how city private and public colleges address cases of sexual assaults.
The move came in response to growing concerns nationwide, as women advocacy groups and sexual violence victims criticize college officials for their failure to investigate sexual assault cases.
After the false alarm Monday when two patients suspected of having Ebola were put in isolation at Bellevue Hospital, Queens medical officials are urging calm amid growing anxiety.
The scare occurred in between two incidents in which nurses who treated the first Ebola victim diagnosed in the United States tested positive for the virus within a week of each other.
“Japan — An Island Nation: 1870-1890,” Resobox Gallery, 41-26 27 St., Long Island City. Exhibition thru Oct. 10. Info: (718) 784-3680, resobox.com.
The battle lines have been drawn. Glendale and Middle Village have declared war on the City of New York.
Approximately 300 residents packed the Christ the King High School cafeteria on Oct. 1 to hear the newly formed Glendale/Middle Village Coalition outline its plan to fight the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.
While criticism of inmate treatment and safety at Rikers Island is nothing new, it has been brought to the forefront by the newly elected and progressive City Council and administration.
Questions of treatment of the mentally ill and the alleged covering up of correction officers being violent toward inmates have been brought up, but no practice has been scrutinized as much as the Department of Correction’s use of solitary confinement, or punitive segregation, of 16- and 17-year-olds.