NYC’s Renewal Schools Programs: “A Place to Reward Cronies and Dump the Unfit”

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s Renewal schools program, their signature school improvement plan, has been “stocked,” according to today’s NY Post, with “bureaucrats who were ineffective and tainted by scandal in previous school jobs.”

In other words, the Renewal program is functioning like an alternative “rubber room” that parents allege is “a place to reward cronies and dump the unfit.”

“The DOE has many former principals still working who should have been fired,” said a member of the Brooklyn Community Education Council. “The bad news is that they are now the ones in positions telling others how to teach, and that’s not right.”

One of  the Renewal staffers listed by the Post is assistant Renewal Superintendent Elif Gure, who makes  $171,601  per year. As principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights,  Gure created “a “hostile, race-based work environment”  and called a parent coordinator the N-word, a federal judge ruled in March 2014.

The executive director of Renewal high schools, Eileen Coppola, makes $144,824. Her previous post was principal of Park Slope’s Secondary School for Journalism where “the school’s PTA president said students failed Regents exams despite getting A’s and B’s in class” and students complained that they missed multiple mandatory Earth Science labs.


Joelle Mcken, a Renewal director in District 17 making $141,765, was principal at PS 73 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a school later phased out for abysmal performance. In 2003, the city Conflicts of Interest Board fined her $900 for having an employee chauffeur her kids.

The Renewal schools program is slated to cost $887 million through 2019.

What do you think?

More Comments