Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tenure Laws Run Amok: The City Of New York Can't Fire Misbehaving Teachers

Idiocy In Education
This is the disgusting tale of how the City of New York has to keep four public school teachers and one counselor on their payroll despite the fact that they are all guilty of unprofessional conduct that involves sexually inappropriate incidents involving students. To the district's credit, they have been removed from classrooms, but continue to work for the district in various "staff" positions. This sorry situation is not the District's fault. The blame lies with the State of New York. They have passed what must be the most idiotic set of tenure laws in the country.

These are the malefactors, with a brief explanation of their misdeeds:
  • Math teacher Francisco Olivares kissed a seventh-grade student and "snapped inappropriate pictures of another." He continues to draw a $76,445 annual salary.
  • Chemistry teacher Cary Hershkowitz has drawn his $81,232 salary for the last five years, in spite of the fact that he sent sexually explicit Emails to a student at Health Profession and Human Services High School in Manhattan.
  • Guidance counselor Radhasamar Upadhyaya was arrested and accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old special education student. In violation of District policy, he did not inform the District of his arrest. Because the student could not testify in court, the criminal case was dismissed, but Upadhyaya continues to draw his $71,793 salary.
  • Music teacher Aryeh Eller continues to get paid $60,729 in spite of the fact that he admitted making lewd comments (in 2002) to students at Hillcrest High School in Queens.
  • Allan Rosenfeld, a middle-school teacher from Queens, enjoyed leering at girls as they walked out of a nearby restroom. He continues drawing his $81,232 annual salary.

The article stated that attempts were made to contact each teacher in order to learn their side of the story, but none "could be reached for comment."

Surprisingly, the teachers union President Randi Weingarten has indicated that she is willing to "discuss" stricter punishments for teachers that are accused of sex crimes.

Tenure laws were never intended to protect criminals such as these. They were designed to ensure that teachers were not unjustly fired and to ensure that they received "due process," regarding complaints by the public. Tenure laws were also implemented to protect teachers from being fired by capricious Superintendents seeking to entrench themselves by giving jobs to their friends and associates.

And the 'Wonks thought that things were bad here in The Peoples Republic Of California...

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