DOE Won’t Throw in the Towel. I am now an ATR

If you are reading this, then you should have read the previous post on the decision.

DOE vs Portelos Termination Verdict Is In 826 Days After They Took Aim to Fire.

The DOE and UFT have been stating that they are attempting to reduce and eradicate the infamous ATR pool.

You don’t put out a fire by adding more wood.

I was just assigned to report to an elementary school in Staten Island. It’s not only that I have never taught elementary, but that I am the UFT Chapter Leader of IS 49. You know IS 49 right? My neighborhood school that I bent over backwards to make better. Where I was elected while exile and dodge three to four recall attempts.

I just informed lawyers and top brass of the UFT and NYSUT the following:

———————

I know you are all busy with contact negotiations, but this needs attention as well. No grievances and all that year long battle to put me back to my original school. I don’t want that route.

What I want is see written policy, that can be furnished, that shows the DOE can move me to ATR status after a decision like the one I received.

I was voted chapter leader after my removal.

I dodged three to four recall attempts.

We won an arbitration and supreme court confirmation.

The arbitrator noted my cordial and professional in person meeting the principal.

Please keep me in the loop of communication with the department.

Again…no grievance. PERB.

Francesco Portelos
Parent
Educator
IS 49 UFT Chapter Leader
educatorfightsback.org
Mrportelos.com

*sent from my Samsung Galaxy. Probably quick typing and little proofreading. Please excuse any typos.

“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Atrassignment” <Atrassignment@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: May 9, 2014 1:49 PM
Subject: ATR Assignment
To: “fportelos@gmail.com” <fportelos@gmail.com>
Cc: “Atrassignment” <Atrassignment@schools.nyc.gov>

FRANCESCO,

You are receiving this email because you are currently in the Absent Teacher Reserve. Included in this email is your school assignment for the upcoming week. You should report to the below location unless you are otherwise notified of an assignment change via atrassignment@schools.nyc.gov or by phone.

Timekeeping and Attendance
Your assignment school is responsible for your timekeeping during this period, so you should provide them with the required documentation pertaining to any absences. If you cannot report for any given day, please contact the school so that they can plan accordingly. If you do not report to your assigned school, you will be marked absent and your timekeeping will be updated.

Below is your official assignment for the period of 5/12/2014 to 5/16/2014.  Please report to the following school:

School Information
School: 31R004

School Name: P.S. 004 Maurice Wollin (R004)

Address1: 200 NEDRA LANE, Staten Island, NY 10312

School Phone: 718-984-1197

Contact Name (if applicable): NA

Reporting Instructions

If you have any questions regarding your assignment, please contact HR Connect at 718-935-4000.

Sincerely,
Teacher Hiring Support
NYC Department of Education

————————-

The latest from DOE.

DOE says not so fast: Exiled teacher may not be returning to his old assignment @UFT @nycschools #babies http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/doe_says_not_so_fast_exiled_te.html

There is no written policy to make me an ATR: http://www.uft.org/our-rights/memorandums-agreement/absent-teacher-reserve-and-vacancies

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrportelos

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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16 Comments

  1. Was scared this was going to happen. Keep fighting! You will succeed.

    Lydia

  2. Jane Martin-Lavaud

    Welcome to the club. Come to the meeting tomorrow. If anyone can fight this, you can!

  3. I know same thing happened to me. The union stand is that we were found guilty of something so that means we go to the ATR pool. I tried explaining that the 3020a is binding and that for us to change the decision we have to go to state court, but the DOE has an unwritten policy that if you guilty you’re out!
    Once again the DOE and its band of lawyers circumvent the law.

  4. Pingback: DOE vs Portelos Termination Verdict Is In 826 Days After They Took Aim to Fire. - Educator Fights Back

  5. Mr. Portelos’ new “teaching” assignment is part and parcel of the standard “modus operandi” the NYC DOE utilizes to punish and wreak revenge on the life of any NYC Teacher who manages to survive a DOE attempt to have said Teacher terminated.

    I had formerly been the Senior member of the Faculty at the High School of Art & Design. I had designed, built from the ground up and personally funded the first and only Medical Illustration Dept. in the entire nation for intellectually gifted inner City Minority American High School Students.

    The goal of the program was to assist these ultra talented and highly motivated students to gain entrance and full Scholarships to the nation’s leading Colleges and Universities- including Ivy League Universities.

    The program was personally observed and written about by such luminaries as Sarah Hemphil, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and Journalist.

    After I survived the City’s first attempt to terminate me as Payback for becoming a Whistle-blower ( I had written a three page personal letter that I arranged to have hand delivered to former Chancellor Klein, documenting ongoing Federal, State and City, Civil Rights Violations that existed within my High School), I was sent to a new school.

    Rather than return me to my Medical Program for gifted students, I was reassigned as an ATR to a school much further from my home and my “first in the nation” Medical Program for gifted Minority students was totally dismantled.

    The New York City Dept. of Education was not in the least bit troubled that they were effectively destroying and robbing countless intellectually gifted inner city children of their one big opportunity to escape from the hideous bonds of inner city poverty and economic deprivation and acquire a decent future.

    I was used as a day to day substitute to fill in for absent teachers and when no one was absent I was assigned to sit next to school Exit Doors, sometimes for many hours at a time to ruminate over both my own, as well as the Fate of my former gifted students.

    My assigned “Supervisor” would constantly “shadow” me around the school as I covered classes, desperately hoping to find some flimsy excuse to bring me up on new charges. The City had not given up on its quest to see me Terminated. Not by a long shot.

    During my Second Education Trial a reporter Testified Under Oath to a State Education Hearing Officer that this Assistant Principal admitted to the reporter, when he visited the school, that the Principal had direct orders and explicit instructions from the Regional Borough Office in Manhattan to “get something on Pakter” so that Pakter could be removed from the school and made to face new Termination Hearings.

    When all else failed, I was removed and charged with bringing a plant to the school, allegedly without permission, and installing it in the school lobby outside the Auditorium. Although I placed the large attractive silk plant several feet from the entrance to the Auditorium, the Assistant Principal ordered me to move the plant within two feet of the Auditorium doors and then that became the famous charge that I had endangered the safety of the students by allegedly obstructing the Exit to the Auditorium in the event of a fire.

    The State Hearing Officer found this charge so suspicious, if not virtually preposterous, that mid way through my Education Hearings, he insisted on making a physical visit to the school, accompanied by both Defense and Prosecuting Attorneys and myself to take photographs of both the “offending plant” and the doors to the Auditorium entrance.

    All the other charges made against me at my second Education Trial were equally preposterous and absurd. In the end, after a year of Hearings, the Hearing Officer threw out virtually every single charge against me. But the New York City Dept. of Education made certain my Trial would be the very last Trial at which this highly respected Hearing Officer ever sat in Judgment.

    It is worth noting that as I was aware from the first day at my new reassignment that I was a “walking target”, I always took the precaution of keeping a portable professional digital recorder running in my shirt pocket.

    From the first day I reported to the school I constantly requested a private meeting with the Principal for the purpose of setting up an academic incentive program for high achieving students. That meeting finally took place about five days before I was removed.

    At my Education Trial the school Principal Testified under Sworn Oath that the meeting in question had been a “Disciplinary” meeting requested by my immediate Supervisor.

    But the tape that was played at my Trial clearly reflected, and left not the slightest degree of doubt, that the entire meeting had been personally requested by me and dealt with my desire to initiate an Academic Incentive Program for all students who made the Honor Roll.

    Furthermore, the only time my immediate Supervisor ever spoke during the Meeting in question was when he stated he would have to leave the meeting early to do a “Classroom Teacher Observation.”

    It just so happens that the original DOE Prosecuting Attorney at that Trial was Laura Brantley, Esq. who is now the Chief of the DOE Teacher Trials Unit.

    On the precise particular day of the Trial when my tape of the meeting with the Principal was played, Laura Brantley, Esq. confessed to my Defense Attorney that the NYC Dept. of Education owed me an apology. The next day Prosecuting Attorney Laura Brantley was off the case and a new DOE Prosecuting Attorney was given the assignment to Terminate me.

    I very much regret to observe that- “No- you cannot make these things up.”

    And fortunately my hundreds of hours of tapes and Digital Recordings are NOT figments of my imagination.

    But forewarned is forearmed and Francesco Portelos, having already passed through the belly of the Beast a first time, is intelligent enough to take the necessary precautions his present situation demands and warrants.

    The NYC Dept. of Education will be “out for blood” and will attempt in every conceivable way to “get something on Portelos”. Just as in my case the City will try to invent some excuse/s to remove Mr. Portelos and put him through yet another Education Trial- all with the intended purpose of wearing him down till he finally resigns from the NYC Education system.

    The DOE will not succeed in this wholly illegal, unethical and immoral crusade.

    Mr. Portelos is a man of integrity and amazing strength of character, and unflinching “courage” under fire and passionate determination.

    But what a veritable human tragedy it is that the one million, mostly Inner City, Socio-Economically and at risk, school children of New York City should be deprived of the massive Educational gifts and potential contributions of an Educator such as Francesco Portelos.

    It is enough to make the gods avert their eyes from having to witness such despicable, human crimes and enough to cause the Angels to bow their heads and weep.

    There are no Punishments sufficiently harsh for the perpetrators who control the Public Education system in the State of New York- (and so many other States as well), whose unethical behavior and legally criminal behavior- has such a devastating and negative impact on the lives of innocent defenseless children- Nation wide.

    Such people are far beyond forgiving and wholly beyond redemption.

    If Truth be told, they represent Evil incarnate in the Twenty First Century.

    David Pakter

    http://www.OldMasterPortraits.com
    Paris, France

  6. The arbitrator’s decision clearly states that your penalty is a $10,000 fine. By changing your status to ATR the DOE is blatantly disregarding the 3020a penalty and they are imposing an additional penalty without authorization. When you challenge their actions in state court make sure to request punitive damages and /or payment of ALL your attorney ‘s fees.

  7. Also, I must say, the arbitrator ‘s lengthy written conclusion sounds like it was written by a first-amendment attorney.

  8. Mr Portelos I’m glad you have won most of what you were fighting. After having you arrested and now playing with your status, I think you should have your attorney contact he NYC corporation counsel. They will want to stop the bleed and will work to get you back into your school. The city will be paying a great deal of money already for the poor investigation, which is really misconduct on the part of their investigators and for accusing you of false criminal charges. Make sure you sue Mr Condon and his investigators personally as if the city finds abuse on their part they will be forced to pay a portion out of their own pocket. Only way to stop such madness. Keep up the fight. We are all very proud of you.

    • On March 14, 2014, the Department requested that the record be reopened
      because of a letter the Special Commissioner’s Office on Investigations (“SCI”) had
      issued to the Hearing Officer. This letter stated that SCI had discovered an error in its
      report and in the testimony of one of the investigators regarding documents on Respondent’s Department computer that were referenced in Specification 3. After
      Respondent contacted SCI, they reviewed the material and determined that these
      documents had been retrieved from the Internet and not from Respondent’s DOE
      computer. During a conference call on that date, the Department withdrew Specification 3

      No discussion of your arrest for false charges- Wonder why they left that out. Smells like investigatory misconduct

    • SCI and OSI has been ordered to furnish all their documentation by Friday. Can’t wait.

  9. Mr. Portelos. I would advise you to google the case Teachers4Action. Focus on the first and second ammended complaint. Federal second circuit Judge Peck manhattan
    The causes of action and a good deal of it can help you.
    Cheers.
    Angry Nog
    A scorpion with a sting who will not be tread on

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