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Old 06-28-2020, 07:12 AM
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Default Six NYC teachers ousted in ‘witch hunt’ over alleged grade-fixing

https://nypost.com/2020/06/27/six-ny...-grade-fixing/

Six NYC teachers ousted in ‘witch hunt’ over alleged grade-fixing
By Susan Edelman
June 27, 2020 | 6:30pm


Costas Constantinidis (left) and Anna Marie Mule. Vimeo; Facebook


Cobbie Hill High School ousted six of its 34 teachers Friday in a bloodbath staffers called retaliation by Principal Ann Marie Mule over embarrassing leaks involving alleged grade-fixing, The Post has learned.

Several of the teachers who were notified by letter that they had been “placed in excess” previously filed Equal Employment Opportunity and retaliation complaints against Mule.

Some of the booted staffers have also reported alleged grade fraud to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, saying they were pressured to pass students who did not meet requirements.

“This is clearly retaliation for staffers who stood up against the principal,” one of the removed teachers said. “And it’s sending a warning to the remaining teachers that they’re in danger if they challenge the principal in any way.”

The six teachers — including four women, and two people of color — received the same letter stating, “I regret to inform you that you have been placed in excess from our school for next year.”

The letter, signed by Acting Principal Costas Constantinidis, instructs the teachers to start looking for jobs elsewhere in the DOE.

Excessed teachers with tenure remain DOE employees. If they are not re-hired by other schools or programs, they go into the Absent Teacher Reserve, a pool of substitutes without permanent jobs.

Mule, the longtime Cobble Hill principal, took a one-year position as a “new principal coach,” but is set to return in July. Staffers say she has kept in touch with school administrators.

“Mule has been on a witch hunt ever since the audio was leaked,” another teacher said, referring to secret recordings of a virtual staff meeting in which Constantinidis said too many students were failing remote classes.

“If a child is engaged, if the child is doing work, but somehow the child doesn’t get it, gives you the wrong answer, but the child is doing something, checking in with you, doing work … I would have passed the child,” Constantinidis said in the meeting.

After The Post aired the audio, Cobble Hill administrators called in faculty members one at a time to quiz them about the leak.

Mayor de Blasio and teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew have warned that teachers would be excessed due to looming school budget cuts, but none had been announced so far.

DOE officials denied any retaliation by Mule or other Cobble Hill administrators, adding that “no final excessing decisions have been made yet.”

“Those notified of potential excessing are not necessarily officially excessed until school starts in September,” said spokeswoman Danielle Filson.
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