An investigation determined that a South Bronx elementary school principal who posted student test scores in the school lobby to humiliate underachievers into improving was “unprofessional and possibly cruel.”
Victoria Najera, the principal of PS 333, the Longwood Academy of Discovery, also staged an assembly to announce a trip to Cirque du Soleil for the students with the top test scores, naming each recipient individually.
The exclusion of struggling students from the trip devastated them.
Teachers recalled a youngster who sobbed so intensely he gasped for air and a girl who scrawled on paper that she wanted to kill herself.
In addition to being “cruel,” Najera’s actions “may have also violated the Chancellor’s Regulations as well as other state and federal safeguards” against the release of student records, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools concluded in a report to Chancellor David Banks on January 18 and released to The Post.
Victoria Najera, principal of PS 333, also conducted an assembly to announce a trip to Cirque du Soleil for the highest-scoring youngsters.
Special Commissioner Anastasia Coleman suggested that the DOE “take appropriate action” with Najera, who is still the principal of the school.
The SCI states that Najera told investigators that she began “goal setting” for all pupils and presenting their “progress” during the 2019-2020 school year. Najera said she aimed to “motivate” and provide kids “incentives” to improve.
According to a member of Najera’s staff, pupils “need to be embarrassed” to perform better.
LaTicia Thompson asserts that Najera employed discriminatory recruiting practices and misappropriated cash.
J.C.Rice According to professors, failing students who were barred from the trip were devastated.
Last year, only 4% of PS 333 pupils who took the state math test and 10% of those who took the state reading test passed.
Save Our District 8 Public School has collected 242 signatures on a Change.org petition.
It alleges that Najera employs intimidation and bullying to create a toxic work environment for children, parents, and teachers.
Last year’s PTA president and current Title I chair, LaTicia Thompson, has filed various complaints against Najera with District 8 Superintendent Jennifer Joynt and Banks’ vice chancellor for leadership, Desmond Blackburn, alleging discriminatory hiring and misuse of funds.
“Clearly, she was not punished, as nothing has changed. “The situation is deteriorating,” Thompson stated.
“They are allowing a principal to create and foster a traumatic, toxic, and chaotic environment for our children.”
The SCI said that it forwarded four complaints to the Office of Special Investigations of the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy refuses to comment.
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