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UFT.org Home > News > New York Teacher > News stories > Principal fined for ‘ruining careers’ still on job
by Michael Hirsch | February 3, 2011 New York Teacher issue
Fordham HS Principal Iris Blige strong-armed assistant principals to “get rid of” nearly a dozen teachers on her “hit list” by giving them unmerited U-ratings, a report from the city’s Office of Special Investigation found.
Despite the finding, the Department of Education chose to keep Blige in her job and slap her with a $7,500 fine.
Calling the light punishment “outrageous,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew asked, “If the price for ruining someone’s career is $7,500, where’s the accountability?”
One assistant principal at the Bronx high school told probers that Blige told her that several teachers were to be “out” by the end of the school year. Blige ordered her “to start to write up the teachers” negatively from the start of the school year, emphasizing “weaknesses and deficiencies” and minimizing pedagogical strengths.
Another assistant principal told investigators that Blige directed him “to U-rate three teachers regardless of the outcome” of his respective observations.
Mulgrew called Blige “extremely unscrupulous in the way she does her job.”
The two-year investigation was sparked by complaints from numerous teachers. The New York Teacher reported on Blige’s abuses in its April 23, 2009 issue.