February 12, 2008

A matter of public record

Someone sent me this link a few months ago, but I only just thought of putting it up on blog this evening. I had never run across it before, but others may well have.

It's the NYS Department of Education site for verifying a person's certification.
You don't have to feel like you're snooping. It's a public site.

You can look up your own name first, just to make sure the state recognizes you and the computers are working. Then try a friend's name, someone whose certification you're pretty sure of, and if it's still going okay, you can start checking all the administrators in your school who are giving you a hard time.

The ornery principal of someone near and dear to me, for example, doesn't show up at all. Isn't that a kick? Nor does one of the APs in that school, who I'm told is a lovely person, have a permanent administrator's certification. Gee, there's no "Acting" anywhere near his title. Can he be a real AP without state certification?

It says Joel I. Klein has a School District Administrator Permanent Certificate granted in September 2002. I thought he was waivered in. Apparently, at the state level being waivered in is the same thing as being given a real Permanent Certificate without having to go through the trouble of earning it. In my book, it's one thing to get a waiver and a totally different thing to get a legal document telling the world you completed something you didn't even start.

These results brought to mind a whole lot of questions, and I'd be grateful if anyone reading this blog can clarify any of this for me.


Most importantly, where you can check out a person's
city certification? And can you be city-certified and not state-certified these days?

Let's say you have a seniority or licensing issue with one of your colleagues and he doesn't show up in a search, is computer error a possibility? Does this happen frequently or are the state computers pretty up-to-date? Obviously, the more people who try out a few searches, the more we can see what kind of errors are cropping up.

If that colleague's certification cannot be traced on the computer, how would one go about verifying that the person actually holds a state license?

What if an administrator isn't showing up in the state system: Can I walk into their office and ask to see their license? And if they are reluctant to produce this document, how can I find out whether they are certified to run the school? If their info is not out in the public domain as ours is, would it be FOIL-able? Taking this a step further, if they are not state-licensed, does it mean they can legally observe us? Can they legally be in charge of children? Can they hold the position at all?

If anyone has answers to any of these questions or has some of their own, please send them in. To tell you the truth, I'm not trusting much of what anyone tells us these days.


  1. Thanks for posting this LINK! In fact I went on this link before to check the licence of the person who replaced me in my old school. I printed the info. sent it to RW. and the rest of the UFT leaders. Nothing happened. I was excessed and became an ATR teacher. I encourage anybody to see this LINK, it is a public record.

  2. Someone has written me privately about this link and said that several people who had worked in the city system a long time were not listed. Herself neither. All of the newer teachers I tried were there, as well as people with multiple licenses. One colleague also was not there; he has a halo of bad stuff around his head so I'm not surprised. I don't know what's up with this system, but if it's missing a lot of people, it stinks. Next step is to write to the NYS Ed Dept and ask for clarification, which I might do since it's vacation week.

  3. That could be a good idea to Write to the NYS Dept. of Educ., or maybe some people do not have any kind of licence to work and they are working because they have BIG!! CONNECTIONS.