Sunday, April 28, 2013

When Teachers Are Snitches

If Dante had a twitter account you can be sure he'd have a special ring of the fiery place set aside for the miserable wretch who goes by @IthacaGorges on the Twitter. Apparently she's shut her twitter down but not before perpetrating one of the most unforgivable crimes a colleague can commit against a fellow teacher.  A teacher who uses @rratto on twitter made a comical remark that fifth graders better step up on their math exams and offered a sample of the kind of problems being tossed at 10 and 11 year olds. Anyone of marginal intelligence would get the joke. But then again we can't assign marginal intelligence to the type of invertebrate who'd try to get a teacher in trouble with his Superintendent accusing him of posting actual math problems from the NY State Assessments on twitter. Here is what was posted on facebook :

What follows is either straight out of Kafka or simply the stuff of 21st Century public education as determined by the for profit corporate reform movement. I will cut and paste some of the most egregious moments for your edification but you will want to read the whole thing. 

My initial tweet was an editorial comment based on a Common Core standard (which includes a similar example in the standard), and included a generic example that can be found in many practice workbooks. As you can see Allison Sitts, aka, IthacaGorges took exception to my message and accused me of posting an actual test question.  I followed up with a response stating that it was not an actual test question. At this point I thought little of Allison, I didn’t remember conversing with her before and just assumed the conversation was over.  Well it wasn’t!

The next morning ( Thursday) I administered part 2 of the New York State Math  Common Core Math assessments to my class. Immediately following this exam, ( It was literally minutes after collecting the test books.) My principal was standing at my classroom doorway , with a very distraught and serious look on her face, and says, “I need you to come outside now.”

I say, “OK, I’ll be right there.”

She then says, ” I need you right now. “

My first thoughts are about the well being of my elderly parents, my wife or my children.. so I leave the room and find my Superintendent there, who immediately hands me a letter, and says. “you must come with me now.” Without having time to read the letter, I grab a pen, and a notebook and then he, and my principal escorted me downstairs, into the administrative wing and ultimately into his office. On the way down he informs me that my union representative and union president are on the way and that they will join us. Once in the office, as we waited for my representative to arrive, I read the letter and it said that I was going to be interviewed regarding concerns about my workplace conduct. So there I sat.. wondering what is this about?

Once my representatives arrived, I was initially questioned whether or not I posted test questions on the internet, on my blog , or on Twitter. I replied I did not and then I was shown the tweets that are at the center of this controversy. I explained that it was a generic example with an editorial comment, and that I am entitled to post  my opinion. He then informed me that Alllison Sitts , who I just then found out is a math specialist for Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga- Boces, sent an e-mail to my principal accusing me of posting test questions and suggested my district conduct an investigation. ( Now to be fair, as of today I have not read that e-mail because it has not been provided to me yet.)

Based on this,  my superintendent informed me that he would be contacting the Nassau County BOCES Superintendent and the New York State Education Department, regarding my ” posting of a state test question.” He then informed me that I would be placed on administrative leave and would not be allowed back into my classroom. As you can well imagine, a heated discussion followed which I will not disclose at this time. Throughout the entire discussion I maintained my position that under the First Amendment I am entitled to post my opinions, and that I did not post any test questions.

I immediately expressed a concern for my students. I told him my students saw me removed from my classroom, and I know that they will be upset.I was basically told,  they don’t know why you left and they’ll get over it. I also expressed a concern that my students are facing a 6th day of extensive testing the next day and that it was unfair that they will be forced to face it without their teacher ‘s encouraging words. As you can imagine, that appeal fell on deaf ears... Here is the link to the rest of the story and believe me it gets worse before it gets better.

Message to teachers : This kind of shit is intolerable. There is absolutely no excuse on earth for any of us to turn on any of us. I wish Ms. Sitts well as I fear she is going to need it.  God knows Karma has its way of backfiring on people who attack their own. While I am sure Allison thinks deleting a twitter account will be the end of her headaches I believe she has no idea what she's brought down on herself with this obvious attempt to make points with and suck up to The State Powers that be. 

I heard a story recently of an unpopular figure in our district who'd done quite a bit of legwork to ruin the 1/200th pay for special ed. teachers in summer school. Well she finally got her way and screwed a bunch of people out of a living summer wage and put them into an hourly situation that ends up after planning, correction time and gas to and fro to be about a $12 an hour gig. Sadly for our friend she was shuffled to a new building and what do you know but nobdody would make room for her in their office. She now holds forth in what used to be a "lavatory" and if you are thinking "shithouse" as in "rat" you got it. Be nice to each other my friends. 


  1. I read his story...and it immediately tookcm back..,to exactly what happened to me. "A confidential informant" was on some of my paperwork. This turned out to be the building rat....who was not offended as he said, but rather quite worried what I was going to say about him and his pedophile behavior. People are such a major letdown!

  2. "Allison Sitts, Mathematics Instructional Specialist, is in charge of planning and implementing a customized, professional development service for TST BOCES and component school districts in the area of mathematics. Currently, Allison provides Network Team support to local districts and focuses her efforts on Race to the Top initiatives, including the Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics and Data Driven Instruction."

    The above description is from the Tioga Boces webpage. As you can see, Allison sadly has filled up on the RTTP kool aid. She is what we in Buffalo refer to as a "coach", that cadre of non-instructors who are in our buildings generating data and infusing data and helping administrators create data to present to the Superintendent and the State. Allison has lost her moral compass in the VAM data-driven world in which we teach. Allison has sadly alos lost her sense of humor. The "lack of humor" problem is a by-product of APPR, RTTP, SLO, AYP and other acronyms. This is very real issue for coaches and "instructional specialists". It stems from lack of interaction with children, yet still believing that you are a "teacher". Allison, you are not a teacher. You are getting a paycheck but producing nothing but nonsense. Sorry for you and all of the thousands of others like you. Maybe there is a support group out there?

  3. I guess this proves that your District Administrators will not have your back if even an unfamiliar, low grade ,self important, out of town, other administrator accuses you of something that isn't even true.
    None of these dimwits ever checked for the facts before they
    attempted to deprive another professional educator of his career.
    I think Allison should be fired for this absolute travesty of justice.
    The "shoot from the hip" Superintendent should also be demoted, and the Principal needs to buy a spine!

    King showed his true colors as well. His blaring non response was
    deafening, and demonstrates his lack of character and integrity.
    The Excessive testing is an expensive ploy to close public schools and deprive teachers of tenure , and he is aware of that fact.
    Look for him on Pearson's staff when he loses this "gig" .

  4. Really pleased you were cleared but further action should have been taken against Allison