Thursday, October 30, 2008

We got the story that Tweed tried to kill!

We got a copy of the Daily News story that got axed late last night. according to Gotham Schools. The original article, by Meredith Kolodner, about the personal wealth of some top Tweed officials, disappeared after a brief appearance on the web, after an angry call from DOE.

After a slew of negative revelations about the way Tweed botched the Gifted and talented admissions process so that it became much less diverse, schools have remained hugely overcrowded, they are paying through the nose for personal couriers and consultants, and the $80 million supercomputer ARIS that is a massive failure and waste of money, one wonders why the extreme sensitivity on this particular issue?

In any case, a very enterprising techie got the whole story somehow off the web and delivered into our inbox.

The funniest part of the article is this: "[David] Cantor also noted that other top DOE officials were not multimillionaires and that two of the chancellor's roughly 20 senior advisers were life-long educators." Wow! that's impressive indeed. Two out of twenty; wonder how they survive.

Parents slam fat cat lives of Joel Klein, other Education Department officials

Smith for News

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's building on Manhattan's upper East Side.

Klein with Garth Harries, who oversees creation of new schools and boasts investments of up to $6 million. Also pictured with Klein is former aide Kristen Kane.Rosier/News

Klein with Garth Harries, who oversees creation of new schools and boasts investments of up to $6 million. Also pictured with Klein is former aide Kristen Kane.

City schoolkids and their families may be feeling the pinch of hard times, but some top Education Department officials are rolling in dough.

While family income for most kids attending public school is well under six figures, at least five senior DOE advisers had salaries and investments that totaled between $1.7 and $6 million each last year, financial disclosure records show.

That's in addition to multimillion-dollar homes and the odd BMW and boat.

Some parents are concerned.

"It exposes a degree of insularity in this administration," said David Bloomfield, a parent member of the Chancellor's Citywide Council on High Schools. "It lends credence to the charge that the most powerful people in the school system are out of touch with average parents."

"You can't really run a school system if you don't understand how the people are living and if your kids don't have to go to the schools," said Theresa Diamond, whose son Tony is in the 10th grade at Benjamin Banneker Academy in Fort Greene.

Sascha Alper, whose son Jack is in first grade at Public School 107 in Brooklyn, agreed.

"Having that kind of money, it's hard not to be out of touch, because you don't have to deal with the same kinds of things as everyone else," she said.

The department's chief operating officer, Photeine Anagnostopoulos, was sitting on stocks and bonds worth anywhere from $2.2million to $4.8 million. Her home in leafy Bedford Hills in Westchester County was assessed at about $2.6 million.

Deputy Chancellor Christopher Cerf, who once ran the controversial for-profit education company Edison Schools, had between $1.8 million and $3.3 million in mutual funds and bonds, including a private retirement package worth more than $500,000.

Klein lives in a snazzy rental on Park Ave. and listed between $1.7 million and 3.2 million in investments.

Garth Harries, who oversees the creation of new schools, has investments that total between $3.9 million and $6 million.

The head of the agency's technology unit, Theodore Brodheim, reported stocks and partnership investments totaling between about $2 million and $4 million.

Supporters point out that Klein, who makes $250,000 a year, took a big pay cut to work for the city.

"We're proud that people who can and did make more money in the private sector would choose instead to devote their talents and energies to improving the education of the students of New York City," DOE press secretary David Cantor said in an e-mail.

Cantor also noted that other top DOE officials were not multimillionaires and that two of the chancellor's roughly 20 senior advisers were life-long educators.

13 comments:

David M. Quintana said...

Great story...I had to check a few times to be sure it wasn't a GBN exclusive, but not even Gary can make this shit up...The audacity of these folks is amazing...The Tweed honchos and the Mayor are just completely out of touch with average working middle class people...and just think we might get another four years of Klein and Co..!!

Joyce said...

Please do not entertain the idea that we might have another four years of Bloomberg or Klein. We need to work to unite the opposition. The Constitution says, "We the people.." not I the Mayor.

DOE greed and indifference are not the only issues. The Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District is appointed by the Mayor and should be an independent watchdog over the DOE. Complaints of criminal behavior and lack of licencing of favored personnel are ignored and reports are not published.

David M. Quintana said...

I just heard that the Mayor plans to have a hearing on Term Limits before he signs the bill Monday...

What:Term Limits Hearing
When: Monday Nov 3rd - 9:30 am
Where:City Hall Blue Room

Come out and have your voice heard..!

avoiceinthewilderness said...

Bravo!!!
You need a 'share this' button. My fingers hurt from having to manually share this around the web.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Daily news story should not have been pulled. That would bother anyone, First Amendment anyone?
BUT, the fact is that many teachers let alone educrats have made tons from the market in their TDA's. I know of several who have more than 1 million in their own TDA account. So, it is not unreasonable for some of the people at Tweed to have substantial amounts invested. The conflict of interest regarding hiring practices is another thing however, the story should never have been pulled due to obvious pressure from the DOE/Mayor.

Chaz said...

You wouldn't want the Daily News to publish a story that hurts their education reform darlings at Tweed.

It's good to make money...at the students expense..."Children Last" lives on!

Patrick J. Sullivan said...

This episode should be a lesson to us all. Don't ever pick up a newspaper without thinking 'what did the mayor's men censor of what I am reading or what story that I don't see was killed outright?' Even in this city of power politics, the sheer vulgarity of this display of influence is stunning.

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