2011-06-10 / Top Stories

Staff: PS 42 ‘Set Up For Failure’

By Howard Schwach


Teachers and parents protest on Beach Channel Drive near the school on Monday afternoon. Teachers and parents protest on Beach Channel Drive near the school on Monday afternoon. Dozens of teachers and parents took to the streets around Public School/Middle School 42 after dismissal on Monday afternoon to demand the ouster of acting principal Stephanie Martin.

Claiming that the Arverne school was, “Set up for failure” by the Department of Education so that it could close the troubled school, the protestors, carrying signs and chanting “UFT, UFT,” and “Call 311,” demanded the transfer of the acting principal.

“Teachers and parents at P.S./M.S.42Q feel that their school has been set up to fail,” said a staff member on the protest line, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution from the principal. “The staff members and parents question why the DOE would allow Interim Acting Principal Stephanie Martin to be a candidate for the second level of the C30 process. Under the failed leadership of Ms. Martin, the school has been investigated for administration not reporting a sex incident, numerous safety incidents and recently a school bus accident.”

Some of the staff members told The Wave that the school has undergone dramatic changes since Martin has been the principal.

“Martin’s motto is ‘No consequences,’ ” a teacher said. “The students run the hall, leave the building, fight, continually pull the fire alarm and even have sex, and nothing happens.”

“Just last month a student set a garbage can on fire and the students had trouble exiting the building,” the staffer pointed out. “Last week, two teachers were assaulted by middle school students. When the police arrived, the student had left the building. When teachers notified Martin about the assault, she simply just shrugged it off and continued walking to her office with her lunch.”

A parent said that Martin is not accessible, that parents come up to school frustrated and screaming that their messages to the principal are ignored and go unanswered. Many of their concerns about their children are of a serious nature. Many of these com- plaints by parents are about their children suffering at the hands of a bully, that they have been injured through physical assault, or are in an unsafe environment.

Both teachers and parents at the protest said that the C-30 process, the process for choosing a new principal, is rigged so that Martin wins.

A member of the 14-member committee told The Wave that they were given five questions to ask each of the three candidates, and that Martin did not answer the questions satisfactorily.

“We didn’t want to choose her, and she was the second runner-up in the three person field,” the committee member parent said. “We should have seen some improvement in the school over the past year, and we haven’t seen any at all.”

The parent added that they are waiting for the board’s decision, but she is sure it will be Martin.

“The process is rigged,” she concluded.

There have been several incidents at the school that have been reported in the pages of The Wave in the past year, including a sexual assault, an unreported bus accident in which children were injured and which was ignored by the school administration as well as several fires and missing children reports.

Calls to the Department of Education for comment were not returned.

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The other post here has it

The other post here has it exactly right. Set up for failure? I recommend each and every parent at that school repeatedly watch "Waiting for Superman" until it begins to sink in about what is really holding kids back academically.

In a education system dominated by a teachers union whose interest is the union (not the students) it is no small wonder the school gets failing grades. Whatever happened to self reliance, commitment to results and a can-do attitude when it comes to teaching? I'll tell you. It got decimated by the teachers union.

Remember the movie "Stand & deliver" wherein a committed teacher not only brought up the math grades of his students, but literally placed them amongst the best in the state. What the movie doesn't show is how the Union came down on him for working excessive hours with the students and pressured him out of teaching in the long run.

Time and time again, you'll see this story and until the system genuinely fails or is utterly reformed, you'll see these embarrassing marches supporting what can only be characterized as the union's best interest. They just don't get that they're burning daylight those kids will never get back when they commit to this short sighted path to mediocrity.

Once again the UFT has

Once again the UFT has managed to provide another "Black eye" for the school. While the teachers complain about the new principle, anyone who can read can look in back issues of the Wave to see that these same teachers complained and filed grievences against the previous principle. While there is plenty of good teachers in the school, there are still a small group of teachers who serve as devotees of the UFT chapter who herself has a less than steller record and reputation in that school.


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