Saturday, June 26, 2010

More on Anthony Rotunno and the culture of "empowerment" at DOE

See the comment below our previous posting, from a student at Pleasantville high school in Westchester; where Anthony Rotunno was recently hired to be principal.

As reported yesterday in the Daily News, Rotunno was the subject of a scathing new audit from the NY State Comptroller's office, accusing him of allowing his staff to raid thousands of dollars of funds from student bake sales and more when he was principal of JFK HS in the Bronx. More on this in today's Daily News:

Pleasantville School District officials said it wasn't until they saw the Daily News' front-page story Friday that they learned Rotunno was in charge of a school where staffers ran a giant swindle. "Reference checks were extremely positive and no wrongdoings of any nature were reported," the statement says….

But Kennedy PTA President Robert Bosolet Sr., said he long suspected staffers were plundering the students' account. "Each year, there were always kids complaining that they did fund-raising, and they never saw a dime from it," fumed Bosolet, whose triplet sons graduated this year.

"Every time an event happened, and we asked where did that money go, we were never provided with that information."Bosolet said he e-mailed his concerns to the Department of Education, but he couldn't provide evidence.

A DOE spokesman said it "hadn't received a credible accusation of financial mismanagement at the school" prior to the audit.

Yet see our previous posting about years of allegations of cheating on Regents scoring and fake credits at Kennedy that occurred under his watch, and/or the even more devastating account by Lynne Winderbaum, former UFT Bronx HS representative, about Rotunno’s egregious misconduct reported to DOE and going back as far as 2003, with the Chancellor looking the other way each time. Instead, it was the whistleblowers who lost their jobs as a result.

I guess Klein and the educrats at Tweed didn't think that any of the numerous reports of misconduct, nor the findings of this devastating audit that finally prompted Rotunno's dismissal in May, meant that they had the obligation to offer any warning to Pleasantville -- no less refrain from offering positive referrals.

As the Comptroller said yesterday, in rightly laying blame on Rotunno for the financial corruption at the school, "The Kennedy principal did not establish basic accountability for student funds."

Question: if Rotunno was rightly found to be responsible by the Comptroller for the misappropriation of funds that occurred repeatedly under his watch, shouldn't Klein be held to at least the same standard, by having allowed this sort of corruption to go on, year after year, and failing to take any attempt to prevent it?


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Kaitlyn said...

Teacher's Professional Development

Kale said...

According to several former members of the JFK football team, Mr. Rotunno attempted to “intentionally and vindictively” ruin the pride and tradition of their beloved pigskin program on his way out the door.