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Friday, May 17, 2019

JOSE COLON-RIVAS INVESTIGATION REPORT

Jose Colon-Rivas, Thief or justmisunderstood?


I originally requested this report after Jose Colon-Rivas was terminated by the Hartford Schools on April 24, 2019. After numerous requests and weeks of run around by the Superintendent's Office and City Hall, today I filed an FOI complaint with the FOI Commission for a violation. Minutes later, the report arrived in my e-mail, isn't it funny how that works?

It is some interesting, but if Jose Colon-Rivas is such a thief as the report seems to portray, why would they fight so hard not to release the report?

There were some shady things going on but it obviously seems to point to a much larger problem with incompetence and management  that this behavior goes on in the Hartford Schools.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

HPD INVESTIGATING ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT AT P.A.L. PROGRAM

FROM HPD:

The Hartford Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving two fourteen year-old participants in the Hartford PAL program.
On Tuesday, May 7th, members of the Hartford Police Department responded to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on a report of a sexual assault.  During the course of the preliminary investigation, it was determined that the location of incident was at the PAL program located at 50 Williams St. Initial investigation revealed that a juvenile male lured a juvenile  female to an unsupervised area of the building.  The victim alleges that the suspect performed a lewd sexual act, at which point they then both returned to the program.  The incident was reported to the police the following day, at which point appropriate action was taken, and an immediate investigation was launched.  The suspect in this incident has been suspended from the program pending the outcome of the investigation.  DCF has been notified, and are conducting a parallel investigation into the matter.
A forensic interview was conducted with the victim by the Klingberg Family Centers in Hartford. These interviews are conducted by independent organizations by qualified personnel. This  is done to preserve the integrity of the investigation and also to provide services to the victim and their family members. Klingberg works with the courts, police and DCF to provide and coordinate services.
The PAL program is operated by a board of directors from various organizations throughout the city and provide services to youth, between the ages of 6 to 18, with alternatives to violence, gang membership, truancy and substance abuse.  The programs instill the importance of integrity, respect, discipline, self-esteem, leadership, teamwork and other valuable life skills that increase individual self-worth and breed success.  The overall PAL program offers a variety of programs which serves 60-90 kids per weeknight as well as weekends when field trips, competitive athletics and other programs are conducted. There are currently over 1,500 youth in the newly formed database.
The PAL program is a not for profit 501 (c)(3) compliant to  the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations, specifically those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations.
The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Special Investigations Division (SID) of the Hartford Police Department.
Further information regarding the incident will be provided at the conclusion of the investigation.
LT. Paul C. Cicero
Major Crimes Division & Media Relations

Saturday, May 11, 2019

LESLIE, YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN JUST COLLECT A PAYCHECK



If you have been following the blog the last few weeks, the floodgates have been opened and people are stepping up to speak out about problems in Hartford's Schools.

Some of it may be personality issues, but clearly something is wrong. The common theme seems to be a lack of leadership by the people at the top. Leadership can not be obtained with a college degree, in many cases it needs to be taught by those willing to mentor the next generation to follow them.

That is not happening in the Hartford Schools, despite the numerous high price, overinflated salaries being paid out for the Superintendent and her  minions. That failure is compounded by a Board of Education comprised of puppets who have no idea why they are there.  These "so called" education experts should start every day off by asking themselves "are we doing the most we can and the best we can do for the children in our care". They would be lying to themselves if they said yes.

I would hope they were asking that, but they are probably more concerned about what to pack for their next junket to Orlando, or Dallas or wherever the next taxpayer funded trip  is being held. And if they aren't planning for travel, they are probably planning the menu for the caterer's for their next meeting, again paid for by the taxpayers..

If Leslie Torres-Rodriguez was really interested in turning around Hartford's Schools, she wouldn't be waiting for them to implode  with the excuses to "restructure and rebuild". But that would require leadership, something sadly missing in the Torres-Rodriguez circle.

If one tenth of what is being said about Hartford High being a "powder keg" ready to explode is true, I would think that would stir a genuine leader to action before, God forbid, the blood is on her hands. I would think that a real leader would have been forming an action plan long ago to restore order and education back to the halls of 55 Forest Street.

I would think that the orders would have come down from the golden towers of the Hartford Schools to "FIX IT". Some of those high priced salaries should have taken up residence in Hartford High School long before now and the Principal should be mentored to do the job properly. Hartford High is probably not the best  spot for "on the job training" for a principal, but it is what it is, make it work.

Anyone with a sense of smell should be able to identify the unmistakable smell of marijuana as soon as they enter the building. There are more students wandering the hallways when they should be in class than there are commuters  during rush hour in a New York subway.

What is going on in the Parkville School is a travesty. The only ones suffering from this mess will be the children. I have received a lot of calls and information about the bad things happening there. I have also received phone calls from people that personally know the principal, and tell me she is a good person. Now there is a big jump from gym teacher to principal running an elementary school, but it is not impossible. A true leader would recognize that and set the gym teacher/principal  up to succeed rather than dooming her to failure.

Failure will mean that the students fail also. Maybe some proper mentoring and support and a little leadership on the part of Leslie Torres-Rodriguez could begin to heal the Parkville School community and pave the way to success rather than failure

I really wonder when the last time was that Leslie Torres-Rodriguez made an unannounced visit, without Security Officers accompanying her, to Hartford High or to meet with teachers at the Parkville School. When was the last time a Board of Education member took a walk though Hartford High to observe the conditions themselves.

What are they waiting for? That is what leaders do if they really care.

We have a lot of great teachers and employees in the Hartford Schools who really want to do the right things to benefit the students. If only we had some leaders ready to bring it all together

Leslie, you are being paid very well to do a job, please start doing it

Thursday, May 9, 2019

MORE OBSCENITY FROM THE HARTFORD SUPERINTENDENTS OFFICE

The more I look at the Hartford Schools, the more I realize that it is not about educating children. It is about the adults pimping and living off the system.

Recently there was a post on Facebook by someone attempting to raise money for locks on lockers when the Milner School  moves to Tower Avenue.

The person attempting to raise the funds for the locks is Patrick Williams, the Academic Support Co-Ordinator at the Thirman Milner School. Now I think it is commendable that Mr. Williams  took it upon himself to try to provide locks for the students, but in a system that pays its Superintendent in the area  of $276.000 a year in salary (not including benefits) and funds over $17,million for staff in the Central Office and Administrators it is beyond comprehension.























Should we really have to resort to Facebook fundraisers and bake sales to support the infrastructure of a school?

Even more disgusting is the total disregard for academics as opposed to once again taking care of the adults.

I went through Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez's proposed budget last night, line by line and it is just amazing to me the waste on things that have nothing to do with education. As an example, In the Superintendents Office under the Office of Academics, Teaching and Learning. What could be more important than Teaching and Learning? You would think that is the reason the Hartford Schools exist, to teach and for students to learn.
.

Imagine my surprise, no one in the Superintendents Office could find $1,000.00 to buy locks but the budget for travel in the Office of Academics, Teaching and Learning more than tripled for next year. This years budget in the Office of Academics , Teaching and learning alone is $7825.00, for just one office. That budget is proposed to more than triple next year to $24,045.00 an increase of over 300%  for just one office.

I keep hearing the horror stories from teachers who can't get teaching supplies for their classrooms and bathrooms without handsoap or paper products, but $24,000 to travel?

An yes, it is obscene that children are not receiving the educations they are entitled to because very well paid staff members want to hop on airplanes for their junkets and stay in the best hotels

And the rubber stamp puppets on the Board of Education will just skim right over this budget.

Standby for the  next car wash or bake sale to keep the Hartford Schools afloat.




Wednesday, May 8, 2019

OH LESLIE ,WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE, WHEN FIRST WE PRACTICE TO DECEIVE

Something stinks in the Hartford Schools

It just keeps getting better and better.

Although the members of the Hartford Board of Education seem to be blind to what is going on in the Hartford School System, at least one person seems to realize it is a sinking ship under the current leadership.

Sadly that one person is the person most likely responsible for the problems. Several sources have concerned that Superintendent Leslie Torrres-Rodriguez is ready to jump from the sinking ship ASAP. and may be working hard to jump like the proverbial rat from a sinking ship.

Torres-Rodriguez had apparently applied, but didn't make the cut for the position of  Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. The applications were narrowed down to the final three candidates and Torres Rodriguez was not one of the finalists. Boston Schools selected  Dr. Brenda Cassellius  as their new Superintendent last week.

An FOIA request for the documents submitted for Torres-Rodriguez's application has been submitted to the Boston Schools as well as any reports of Colon-Rivas's comments.

Other sources familiar with the process claim that the demise of Chief Operating Officer Jose Colon-Rivas arose from the selection process. Two independent sources who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity feared for retaliation of their jobs if they spoke publicly.

They relayed that Colon-Rivas was contacted during the search process and asked about Torres-Rodriguez's capabilities by a representative from the Boston Schools. Colon-Rivas allegedly gave a less than stellar, honest evaluation assessment of her performance. Apparently that did not sit well with the members of the search committee, and Torres -Rodriguez was moved down on the list of candidates. 

Although the inquiry was supposed to be confidential, it didn't remain that way and word reportedly got back to Torres-Rodriguez that Colon-Rivas was not supportive in his evaluation of her, thus he was apparently expendable and we all know the result of that. 

In full transparency I have to wonder if the "internal Investigation "conducted by the Hartford Schools was a set up as a way to remove Colon-Rivas.

Today, in an effort to get to the truth , I have requested that the Hartford Police Department open a criminal investigation into the matter. If Jose Colon-Rivas actually admitted to removal or "mis-appropriation" of computer equipment and giving computer equipment to a "third party" as detailed in his termination letter from Torres -Rodriguez, as taxpayers I feel we have a right to know that and criminal charges should be brought.

If it was a setup,we should know that also and LTR should get a one way bus ticket out of town  for  her to the next school system she wants to tear down.

I requested the following in my e-mail to Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody earlier today


Chief Thody,

I am writing to you regarding the termination of Jose Colon-Rivas from the Hartford Schools.

Apparently one of the reasons detailed in his termination letter from Superintendent of Schools Leslie-Torres- Rodriguez dated April 24, 2019 (copy attached as PDF file) was the alleged misappropriation or mishandling of several thousand dollars of computer equipment and the letter actually states that he gave equipment to an unidentified "third party"

I am not sure why this investigation was not automatically referred to the Hartford Police Department for a proper investigation and possible criminal charges from the start.

I  am requesting , as both a taxpayer and resident of the City of Hartford that this matter be properly investigated and action taken by the Hartford Police Department  to ensure that our City dollars are being properly maintained against theft and that action is taken if any thefts are documented.

Thank you

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE PARKVILLE SCHOOL?

Omaris Journet, Parkville Principal



According to sources in the Parkville School, a vote of "No Confidence" was held last week regarding the Principal of the school, Omaris Journet.

According to a concerned educator familiar with the school asked me by e-mail for help:

What can we do to expose this for what it is? We are all nervous to go back in to school tomorrow. This district will sweep it under the rug. Our principal needs to realize from day one she has had an agenda. One of her  first comments to us back in August when we were meeting her was we need to take " care of our brown and black babies” . Who says this in a leadership role? Not once have I ever referred to any student as my “ brown and black babies.”

Why are so many blind to this serious race issue happening?

 Our principal is not a good fit. End of story. To have so many valuable colleagues leave due to intimidation from this principal should be a huge red flag.

 I’m not sure if I mentioned before that she was not voted in by the School Goverance Committee. Interviewing possible candidates is the responsibility of this group. I am familiar with the  committee and no interviewing was done.

However, a couple of weeks ago the new goverance interviewed her. Sadly, they did not follow proper guidelines. Rules being you have to have same number of staff as parents voting. There were 2 staff and several parents. Questions being asked are highly confidential and yet parents were overheard discussing the vote.
Where are the other candidates? Her executive director/ boss Oliver Barton I am sure is no angel in this. He knows how unhappy we are. Why isn’t he guiding her to be a better leader?

Please Help us any way you can!

According to sources, at least one teacher in the Parkville School has been threatened with Administrative suspension for speaking out. The Secretary/Administrative Assistant from the school has been transferred out of the school (not willingly) and the schools Union representative has been placed on Administrative suspension

Hartford Schools spokesperson John Fergus claimed he had no knowledge of the vote of no confidence being taken and had not received any notification from the Hartford Federation of Teachers Union when I contacted him for comment. I guess word had not reached Leslie Torres -Rodriguez  in the bunker yet

What is going on here.

And in case you missed it, here is another informative comment posted this afternoon:

"A comprehensive audit by the city or state of the office of talent management needs to happen immediately. All of the issues in the past few years have had a nexus in that office. The been there so long she has moved from secretary to Executive Director needs to be removed immediately. Over the past few years previous people have been permitted to leave under cover so they can ply their incompetence in other school districts. Ms. Banks has been there through all of the scandals from the P-Cards to Jill Cutler-Hodgeman's cover up of the other administrative failures like Eddie Genao. The main office covers for the failures of the administrators and blames teachers for the failure of the system. The superintendent is just the 270k per year place holder that allows this cadre of evil to fester. This rot is so bad that people are terrified to fight against it for fear of harassment and termination. You are bringing much of this to light and look at those abandoning the ship like rats.

The office of talent management is used to keep the dedicated teaching staff from calling out the inept and failing actions of administration. Even the new administrators throughout the district are fearful of standing up to the central office. The teachers who are committed to the academic growth and advancement of the students are treated with contempt. If you contact the HFT you will hear many of the horror stories. You work with Ms Yennie and she spends a lot of time in the schools. Ask her how the central office had destroyed the school district. We need to encourage the teaching staff to continue to bring this administrative malfeasance to light. This is the opportunity teachers to let the citizens of Hartford know how their money is being wasted.

We challenge the Courant's reporters who we know read your blog to step up and be true journalists not just parrots of the pablum spewed by the self-aggrandizing administration. This is a crime what the leadership in Central office is doing. Superintendent, take this opportunity to show you really care about the Hartford Students of which you are one. You know the dedication of the teachers you had the Hartford Public. Show us that you are with us for the well being of our students and not just for the educational executives. Our students are losing and your inaction is setting them up for a harder life because they are not getting what they should.

The commands that come from central office along with threats for non-compliance are adversely affecting education. You have the power to make it stop. The people downtown including your cabinet are only interested in their advancement. Although you applied to Boston, you have the opportunity to show that you are dedicated to our students and teachers. You have been given a great opportunity to give back to the community, please don't waste it.

Empty central office and start over starting with the draconian office of talent management."

And while we are at it, if anyone would like to fill me in on what has happened to the Dean at West Middle School as well as the Principal at West Middle, the Principal at Burr or any other "Administrative Suspensions" that are of concern, please feel free to contact me. I think the pot is about to boil over.