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

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

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

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

Final Report on Principal Hill is Published -Falls Short of Finding All Misconduct.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Final report on Principal Linda Hill misconduct finally out 1,224 days after allegation made. Continue reading

A Big Victory for Transparency in NYC Schools

“…remember the names of the lions at the main library: Patience and Fortitude. There is a terrible urge to lash out wildly in protest of injustice. Resist the urge. The battle must be won in the courts, but cases must be legally sound.” Continue reading

Throwback Thursday- How to Distract Students Taking State Tests

Principal orders classroom locks of whistleblower to be changed during state test. Continue reading

Principal Linda Hill Pays $801 Restitution and Announces Her Retirement

My phone was abuzz today as messages started coming in. The messages were informing me that Principal Linda Hill made an announcement to the IS 49 staff that she will be retiring this June. “Are ya happy and excited” I was asked. The answer is “No.” Principal Hill will now continue to take the money she stole to through retirement. Continue reading

A Year Ago Today: NYC Dept. of Education Jails Whistleblower When No Crime Committed

It’s hard to believe that a year ago today I was in a jail cell when when DOE Chief Information Officer (CIO) Hal Friedlander made an allegation when no crime was committed. Meanwhile Principal Linda Hill admitted to stealing for years and over two dozen DOE employees, two chancellor’s and two mayors helped cover it up…no arrests, no fines…not even a disciplinary letter. Continue reading

NYC DOEs Million Dollar Cover-Up of a Staten Island Principals Theft

With a budget of over $25 billion, an employee roster of over 136,000 and over 1,400 buildings to manage, there is plenty of room for theft and corruption at the New York City Department of Education. Continue reading

Some DOE Employees Suffer from “SAD” – Sudden Amnesia Disorder

I’m just past the three-year mark from when my fight began. By “fight” I mean I raised real concerns about public education, the Department of Education came after my career, in an attempt to cover up their misconduct, and… I “fought” back. I must have hit some of these DOE employees back prettyhard, because they suddenly forgoteverything! Continue reading

NYC Public Advocate Joins in SLT Transparency Issue

  One of thereasons this blog even exists is because of the concerns I raised at the IS 49 School Leadership Team (SLT) meetings. Yesterday, January 7, 2014 NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and Class Size Matters filed papers to intervene in a lawsuit Thomas v City of NY. Michael… Continue reading

Back to School with a New Position -Ambassador Teacher on Rotation

A quick recap of the summer and an email for a new position I was assigned by the DOE. Ambassador Teacher on Rotation. Excited to get back to school. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday, Thank You Emails and Tenure

A section of my blog I have not touched in over 2.5 years. The “Thank You” emails I received before I raised concerns and became a “bad teacher.” Continue reading

FOIL Friday – Did Those Incidents Get Reported or Swept Under the Rug

The Online Occurrence Reporting System (OORS) is what is used to keep track of all incidents that occur in or around a NYC DOE school. At one point, the school I tried to improve had 1,283 incidents in 180 days. That is an average of 7.12 incidents a day or roughly an incident a period. Continue reading

A Case For Teacher Tenure Part 3 – The Rest of the Charges

We continue with charges, from my 3020-a termination, hearing where Arbitrator Felice Busto sustained the specifications including bringing notoriety and ridicule to the DOE. Continue reading

A Case for Teacher Tenure Part 2 Guilty…As Charged

In Part 1 I shared all the charges against me that were dismissed by thearbitrator from my termination hearing. Those did not include the over 25 allegations and investigations against me that were unsubstantiated. Do not mistake investigations with charges. All in all, with investigations and charges, the Department of Education has taken over 50 shots at my career and missed. Thanks TENURE!!

Now for some of the charges that were sustained by Arbitrator Felice Busto. Continue reading