Marcella Sills, New York City`s Worst? Or the Norm? Government Subsidized Failure

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PS 106 was allotted $3.3 million in 2013-14, including more than $160,000 in federal Title I funds to serve kids from poor homes. Yet the “School of No” had a library in shambles, a nurse with no office, no Common Core math or reading books, first-grade special-ed students without a qualified teacher and no payroll secretary to keep the books. (NYP)

The New York Post reports the following, on the “Principle of the Year”

“Get rid of her before it’s too late,” a 2007 letter urged District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey, who oversees Queens principals…

…Sills, 48, was a graduate of the DOE’s “Leadership Academy,” which trains principals, and had little teaching experience. Insiders said she lacked literacy skills, noting her invitation to a Nov. 23, 2005, holiday buffet “in honor of my gradutitude” to employees, including “security personel” and “custodially staff members.”

Sills ruled by threats and intimidation, ex-staffers complained. She “yells at a volume that resounds throughout the building, slams doors and uses foul language,” a 2006 letter to Condon claims.

That letter also accuses Sills of racism: “She has hired only black teachers and has targeted white teachers and a secretary.” Many left or were forced out.

One former teacher charged that Sills fabricated several observations, rated her “unsatisfactory” and then forged her signature on the documents…

Maggie’s Notebook fills in some craziness from the school:

"Belle of the Gall" New York Post (Sills in white in the middle in the strapless gown.

Marcella Sills is the principal at Queens Rockaway’s PS 106, a Title 1 School, 98% of the children are eligible for the free lunch program. The Free Lunch does not include learning. The New York Post has been busy skewering Sills. Parents say the school is rat-infested and children watch movies a good part of the day, quote “The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Egert.” Substitutes are not called when a teacher doesn’t show. The school has not received Common Core math or reading books, and apparently have decided not to use whatever textbooks they’ve had in past years. Sills seldom occupies her school office, but she throws a heck of a party for the kids who can afford to rent the required clothing for a “wedding themed” event — bored children, learning nothing while risking rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, and maybe the bubonic plague.

…read more…

Could you imagine having her as the principle… teachers? Via Nicholas Stix:

….A Department of Education spokesman said Sills was required to report her absences and tardiness to District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey but would not say whether Sills did so last week.

Lloyd-Bey did not return a call. Sills hung up on a reporter.

When she is out, an assistant principal is left in charge. Yet Sills, who gets a $128,207 salary, also pockets overtime pay — $2,900 for 83 hours in 2011, the latest available records show.

“This school is a complete s- -thole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.

PS 106 families hope their cries for attention bring newly installed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to the rescue, saying they can’t recall any prior DOE leader visiting the remote school.

She would find it sinking, they say.

The isolated building sits a block and a half from the beach, surrounded by vacant, weed-choked lots, the road behind it strewn with trash bags and broken TVs.

The floods of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 wrecked a hangar-like annex, called the Early Childhood Academy, which housed pre-K, kindergarten and first and second grades. It has not been repaired.

Two kindergarten classes moved into “temporary classroom units” in the yard. The other children moved into the main building, forcing some classes to squeeze into small offices and storage rooms. The pre-K class sits in the auditorium, but has to move to the cafeteria during the movies.

Kids in several grades said that last week they watched “Fat Albert,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Monsters, Inc.,” but did not relish the downtime.

“I like gym. I like to draw,” said Charm Russell, 10, who added her peers are too restless and bored to watch the screen. “They’re always making noise, and there’s nothing entertaining going on. No art, no gym, no music class.”

More alarming, the teachers have gotten no curricula since Sandy. Last February, the DOE announced several new options, including “Go Math” for grades K-5, and “ReadyGen” or the state Education Department’s “Core Knowledge” for English language arts. The books cover the Common Core standards, skills that kids should master at each level.

But five months into the school year, PS 106 classes still don’t have the books or teacher’s guides.

“They have no reading program, no math program,” a source said, adding Sills blames outside administrators for not sending materials.

Teachers muddle through by printing out worksheets they find online, buying their own copy paper.

…read more…