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The 74 has a piece up today on Yonkers Public Schools, one of New York State’s most troubled school districts, with 8 schools in receivership and 4 listed as “priority schools” which are “persistently struggling.”
It’s a place where some 25,200 students crowd into neglected city school buildings every day, lacking anywhere near the number of guidance counselors, social workers and librarians as their better-off suburban neighbors. Eight of the city’s 39 schools are considered chronically struggling by the state, based on test scores and graduation rates.
It’s also a place where the city Board of Education finally got around to firing a teacher 11 months after he started serving a 22-year prison sentence for kidnapping, The Journal News/lohud.com reported in December.
The latest blow to the City of Hills (where nothing is on the level, as the saying goes) landed last week when two top union leaders were caught in an ambush video advising a “teacher” on how to cover up a scenario where a black child was hit and left bloodied and bruised in an incident involving a “racial aspect.” The white teacher tells the union honchos he then took off for two weeks to Mexico on an unapproved, paid vacation.
Longtime Yonkers Federation of Teachers President Patricia Puleo emphatically — and profanely — tells the teacher to keep his mouth shut: “You don’t (expletive) tell anybody anything.”
YFT Vice President Paul Diamond in a separate session casually remarks, “Kids get bruised all the time.”
The Yonkers Board of Education just put out a statement which reads, in part, “”the implication that a child’s well being is ignored or that fraud is encouraged by leaders of one of our bargaining units mandates that we pursue every legal option available; we will be guided by the law. We take our responsibility to protect our students as well as Yonkers’ taxpayers very seriously.”