Principal Accused of Helping Students Cheat & Union Cover Up

Posted: September 20, 2011 by Thos003 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Park City High School, Utah

Park City High School was ranked #1 for academic performance on KSL. (http://www.ksl.com/?sid=6223798&nid=148) But did the school cheat to get there?

I received the following story from a good source:

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On January 24th, 2011 at 1:03 PM, a teacher walking down the 240 Hall in Park City High School, noticed the principal in the hall speaking with a few students seated at a table.  After the teacher greets the principal, she notices the principal’s android phone is on and displaying math information.
The principal states, “I was just showing her (indicating one student) that the droid knows the answers to her test.”
The teacher replied, “oh”
And the principal followed, “I wasn’t going to five her the answer, I was just showing her that the droid knows the answers.”
After leaving the group the teacher asked her department-head what she should do.  The teacher then informed the student’s math teacher.  The math teacher watched the hallway video with Park City High School’s security guard.  The video lacks audio but shows the principal talking to the students, taking out her phone, the teacher approaching, the teacher and principal talking, and the teacher leaving.  Then the video shows the principal taking the students’ tests into the computer lab and then returning the tests to the girls.
The teacher and the math teacher, for fear of reprisal, did not report the incident.  The security guard thought it needed reporting, showed both the Park City High School Assistant principals and told the district office.
Later that day one of the student’s was overheard by a teaching assistant, bragging about the principal helping her cheat.
The Park City High School principal was allowed to investigate the allegations herself. She explained away the allegations and no formal investigation was issued by the district.
Some of the other teachers were harassed or frustrated and left ( See the park record for an article listing names of teachers leaving). 10 complaints were filed against the principal in the month of February alone.

After months, the cheating issue was filed UPPAC in July and in August they decided to investigate the complaint.
On August 16th a formal request and complaint was submitted to the Park City School Board by Roger Arsht regarding  this situation and others.

But wait, where was the Union to protect the teacher from the principal?

According to the teacher, the union not only failed to help her but gave her ill advice which ultimately lead to her being unemployable by other K-12 public schools. When the teacher went to the union, the union opened a case, which effectively shut down outside investigation removing the tape from public scrutiny. The union sought a diplomatic solution and did not want public attention. In the guise of diplomacy, they advised the teacher to resign from the school. The teacher was provided and promised legal counsel from the Union while the case was investigated. The teacher didn’t seek outside legal help because the Union was helping her. After the resignation went through the Union informed the teacher that they could no longer provide legal counsel as she was no longer a teacher and therefore not in the Union. Further, the teacher was being blocked for re-hire by other schools because they need the reference of the Park City High School principal. The records indicate that the teacher was in good standing and had no complaints from the principal prior to that date in the hall.

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Comments
  1. When you say union, are you talking about the representatives/individuals of the branch of the union that represents the teachers of the Atlanta School District? Before you bash teacher unions, make it clear that people run the unions and the teacher unions at the national level may not have condoned the behavior of individuals that ran the branch in Atlanta.

    There are two major teacher unions in the United States. The National Education Association (3.5 million members) and the American Federation of Teachers (1.5 million members).

    These national unions are then divided up into state organizations such as NEA’s CTA, The California Teachers Association.
    Then there are 14,000 public school districts and each district, as far as I know, is represented by a branch that works under the state organization.

    Therefore, are you saying those 14,000 different union branches under the fifty state branches that belong to the two national unions are all corrupt guilty or just the few individuals involved in one of those smaller branches that represent the teachers in one of those 14,000 democratically run public school districts.

    For example, the Department of Defense has 700,000 civilian employees and it is estimated that more than a 125 billion dollars is lost to corruption and graft among some of those 700,000 civilian employees that work for the department. Do we condemn all 700,000 employees or just those that are caught and are found guilty in a court of law according to the legal system in America?

    On the other hand, when Bernie Madoff’s $50 Billion Ponzi scheme was revealed and he went to jail, is everyone that worked in his organization guilty no matter what his or her position? Is the janitor that cleaned his offices and bathrooms guilty by association because he worked for Bernie Madoff?

    It wasn’t the teacher’s union that may have been corrupt. If there are any guilty parties, they were individuals that worked for that branch of the teachers union and if we follow the trail of results, I wonder if he or she still has a job with the union or are they being investigated according to due process of law that all citizen in this country are privileged to be protected by from the mob, vigilantes and rumors.

    • thos003 says:

      Thanks for your comment. I am reporting on an incident in Utah and the teacher’s union that gave bad advice to a teacher seeking their assistance. Said advice seemed most advantageous for the Union to sweep it under the rug. To advise a teacher to retire, then inform her that they could no longer advise her as she was no longer a teacher seems negligent to me.

      • The answer to the suggestion that this is not representative of the national union is easily ascertained: What has the national union done about it? Is the principal still employed? Has the teacher been rehired and compensated for her lost time? While it is true that the actions of one local union are not necessarily representative of the unions as a whole, the broader point is that the unions seem to be more interested in themselves, and in perpetuating their own power, than in doing what is right and best for the children. In any case, the answer to this immediate issue will be found in the national response. What has it been?

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