Should NY Teachers Use Betsy Combier as an Advocate?

Betsy Combier Elizabeth Kapel advocate

In the education activist arena there are personality conflicts and, unfortunately, there is greed. Enter Elizabeth “Betsy Combier” Kapel stage left. Your misfortune yesterday, is her profit today. Continue reading

Built to fight, but not to win? Appeal denied.

I slept rather well last night. This, despite receiving news that the second highest court in the country, the Court of Appeals, denied my appeal for my first amendment federal case last August. Continue reading

Portelos v DOE Federal Appeal Update -Oral Arguments This Wednesday 11.15.17

[UPDATE] Oral argument audio added here 16-3932 For those of you who have been following the years of battles for parents and educators’ first amendment rights, know that my appeal is moving forward. The judge in federal court made some decisions that did not fully allow my case to go before… Continue reading

DOE Legal’s New “Non-Letter to File” for Discipline. Where Does It Go?

Francesco Portelos File Missing

The DOE has three months to put a letter to file after an alleged incident. What happens if that time runs out and they still write up a letter? Continue reading

DOE Investigative Office Finding Challenged in Court

Allegations are made to the NYC Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI), or to the DOE’s internal Office of Special Investigations (OSI), but are their findings final and set in stone? We already know, through several cases, that SCI has actually reinvestigated and overturned OSI findings of misconduct. However, can someone… Continue reading

Teacher was Retaliated for Engaging in Union Activity. A Small Win at PERB.

In sum and substance, an administrative law judge can hold a small trial to see if you were retaliated against for engaging in union activities. If so, then the employer probably violated Section § 209-a of the Taylor Law. Continue reading

The “GOTCHA” Freight Train Cometh. Derail it.

There are many common themes and tools used when an educator is targeted. This post specifically looks to help derail and stop the subjective observation freight train. Continue reading

NY Appellate Court Rules School Leadership Team Meetings Be Open to the Public

Finally! I love when there’s a win for parents, the community and transparency.  As most of you know, my battle began when I became a parent and questioned violations of state law and chancellor’s regulations at my school’s School Leadership Team. See here .  Years later, Michael Thomas, a teacher that was… Continue reading

Portelos vs DOE. Why we lost at trial.

In case you haven’t heard by now, my federal lawsuit did not end the way we wanted it to. By “we” I do not mean just me, my lawyers and family, but rather “we” as also a countless group of educators, across the country, who needed a win against corruption and harassment in our public schools. Continue reading

Green Light for Trial by Jury- Portelos v DOE et al

It has been a long time coming, but we finally go to trial this Monday August 15, 2016. Over four years. Over 900 phone calls between my attorney Bryan Glass, Esq. and I. Not to mention over 3,800 emails between us. 23 court appearances and court phone conferences. Almost 80,000 pages of… Continue reading