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Sun Jul 26, 2015, 11:22 AM

Principal commits suicide amid Common Core test scandal

The principal of an innovative West Harlem public school killed herself the day after her students took the state Common Core exams — which were later tossed out because she cheated, The Post has learned.

Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, 49, of Teachers College Community School, jumped in front of a B train in the 135th Street station on St. Nicholas Avenue on April 17, police said.

She was pulled out from under the train and taken to Harlem Hospital, where she died eight days later. The city Medical Examiner’s Office ruled it a suicide.

The leap came at 9:20 a.m., less than 24 hours after her 47 third-graders wrapped up three days sweating over the high-stakes English exam — the first ever given at the fledgling school.

It was also the same day a whistleblower reported the cheating to DOE officials.


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Reply Principal commits suicide amid Common Core test scandal (Original post)
n2doc Jul 2015 OP
shenmue Jul 2015 #1
bluestateguy Jul 2015 #2
Starry Messenger Jul 2015 #3
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2015 #4
Igel Jul 2015 #5
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2015 #6

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 11:28 AM

1. Awful

Both her actions in cheating, and then her suicide.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 11:51 AM

2. Common Core sucks


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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 12:21 PM

3. Our high stakes testing culture is abusive.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 12:42 PM

4. The NYC ED Bureaucracy is a Totalitarian State.


She dies on April 25.... and somehow or other the manner of death ( and even the fact that she's dead) doesn't emerge until the end of July?

God knows what really happened.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 26, 2015, 01:31 PM

5. Lots of the facts were known.

It's hard to hide a dead body on the tracks, so somebody knew this--officials, family, next of kin.

Or the fact that the principal vanished from school. Parents were told she died--and it was none of the parents' business as to how she died. Suicide has a stigma associated with it, let the woman have her dignity.

Some in the school would have learned of the allegations of cheating. It may even have been rumored. That would have stayed "rumor" and even parents wouldn't have reported it. Nobody wants to be told that a school's standardized test results are bogus. And there are for sure people who would defend the school on all kinds of grounds.

First, you need to determine if there was cheating. That's a pointless thing to announce by itself, so you don't.

Second, you need to determine what to do about the screwed up test scores and announce the solution. That was June 22. It was probably reported.

Third, you work on assigning responsibility, prior to working out a mechanism to fix the problem.

"On Friday, the DOE blamed the dead principal."

And there you have the reason for the story now. The rest is background.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 04:42 PM

6. More "background". From Today's NYT:


>>>In 2009 and 2010, while Ms. Worrell-Breeden was at P.S. 18, she was the subject of two investigations by the special commissioner of investigation. The first found that she had participated in exercise classes while she was collecting what is known as “per session” pay, or overtime, to supervise an after-school program. The inquiry also found that she had failed to offer the overtime opportunity to others in the school, as required, before claiming it for herself.

The second investigation found that she had inappropriately requested and obtained notarized statements from two employees at the school in which she asked them to lie and say that she had offered them the overtime opportunity.

The department sought to fire Ms. Worrell-Breeden, a spokeswoman said Monday, but an arbitrator instead issued a written reprimand and a fine equivalent to two weeks’ salary.

She moved to P.S. 30, another school in the Bronx, where she was principal briefly before being chosen by Teachers College to run its new school.

Teachers College Community School, which opened in 2011, was meant to be racially diverse in a neighborhood where white and Asian public school students are few. Admission is by lottery, and this year 464 families applied for 50 kindergarten spots.

Nancy Streim, associate vice president for school and community partnerships at Teachers College, said Ms. Worrell-Breeden had created a “culture of academic excellence” at P.S. 18, where many students are poor. She said that Teachers College was aware of the investigations but decided that they did not substantially detract from Ms. Worrell-Breeden’s record of academic success.

“We felt that on balance, her recommendations were so glowing from everyone we talked to in the D.O.E. that it was something that we just were able to live with,” she said.

Because this was the first time the school had third graders, this year’s state tests would be the first comparative measure of how the school was doing. In Community School District 5, where the school is, only 15 percent of third- through eighth-grade students scored as proficient on the English tests last year. Many students statewide have had trouble finishing the English tests. This year’s results have not been released.

Statewide, roughly 1,000 tests are invalidated each year for improprieties, out of 2.2 million tests taken, a State Education Department spokesman said.>>>>

NYT : 7/28/ 2015

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