Fired teacher rallies against DOE’s policies
By Sarina Trangle
A dismissed special education teacher from Kingsbridge Heights says she is determined to school the Department of Education on fair evaluation practices.
Alice McIntosh, who was fired in July 2011, organized a rally against the DOE’s appeal process for fired teachers this Sunday. She described the secondary review as a rigged formality that allowed the superintendent who authorized her initial dismissal to review – and ultimately deny – her appeal this April.
Dozens of supporters from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and New Day Church, where Ms. McIntosh works as the Sunday school director, clustered in front of the PS 10X at PS 15 Throggs Neck special education school where Ms. McIntosh used to work. The crowd came armed with signs reading “NYC DOE Appeal Process: F” and “Support Our Teachers.” Speeches were punctuated with chants demanding that school officials be held “accountable” to the communities they serve.
Ms. McIntosh, who filed a lawsuit against the DOE in Manhattan Supreme Court last October, said the “sham” didn’t start with the appeals process. In September 2009, she joined the Teaching Fellows Program, which helps recent graduates and professionals entering the education field earn teaching licenses while working in high-need public schools. Though her principal signed a mentoring agreement with her, Ms. McIntosh said she never got any of the support she expected. The state requires schools to provide monitoring for teachers with less than a year of experience, she said.
She received an unsatisfactory rating during her second year. Ms. McIntosh said her supervisors’ reviews ignored favorable feedback from parents because she and the administration butted heads over unorthodox lesson plans such as using Jay Z lyrics to teach literary devices.