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

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

What the DOE can do to vocal and veteran teachers. It can happen to you.

Vocal Veteran teacher This can happen to you. Stay strong! Continue reading

UFT Union Corruption. Where’s the money going Who Cares

The DOE has a $27 billion dollar budget. There is a lot of room for that money to go missing here and there. I certainly wrote enough about how it’s done on this blog. Part of that $27 billion goes to UFT members in the form of salaries. They in turn pay union dues and some of it goes for political action (COPE). But then what Continue reading

Association for Union Democracy Finds Solidarity a “New Kind of Opposition in the UFT”

Last fall,UFT Solidarity caucus members met with Association forUnion Democracy founder Herman Benson. We were asking him manyquestions regarding the upcoming UFT elections and he invited us to his home in Queens to speak in person. Herman is 100 years old and has trouble hearing. I attended his 100th birthday… Continue reading

UFT Leadership Takes Steps to Expel Mulgrew Challenger from Union Before Election

The Executive Board by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members present shall have the power to expel, or to suspend for a term not exceeding one year, Continue reading

The 2016 UFT Election Campaign Continues – Visiting Schools Via Webcam

Recently UFT Solidarity, began getting requests from chapter leaders to come speak at their school. Now I, and almost all the other UFT Solidarity candidates are actively working. This makes visiting schools during school time almost impossible. But it is 2015, so we have made arrangements with staff to have virtual visits like the one below. Continue reading

Mayor and School’s Chancellor Call it Counseling, We Call it Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying Awareness week ends tomorrow, but workplace bullying continues and escalates in the New York City Department of Education. I know I don’t write on this blog as often as I used to. There are many reasons for that. Aside from trying to be a better husband and father,… Continue reading

There is hope in the system – Myra S. Barnes IS 24 Staten Island

Last Friday I finished my “temporary” assignment at Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School 24 in Staten Island, NY. I have been there since January 20, 2015as Iwas originally placed there to cover an Earth Science teacher’s maternity leave for a few weeks. The teacher wound up takingthe rest of the… Continue reading