November 2, 2009

Raw experience into words

UPDATE Dec. 5th and 7th:

On Tuesday, the Village Voice blog reported on the lawsuit some educators filed in federal court against the DoE's rubber room abuses. Pakter apparently sent in a comment, but I don't see it's been posted there yet. Maybe it will be, but for now it's in the sidebar of this blog.

ALSO read Betsy Combier's Dec. 5 post in the NY Rubber Room Reporter. She makes the point that "union members and administrators are treated very differently in the New York City public school system. A principal who discriminates or does something else that is illegal or corrupt does not get the same punishment as a teacher or staff member, who, more often than not . . . is removed from the school — either fired immediately if this person is not tenured, or re-assigned to a "rubber room." We've heard many of these kinds of stories: principals striking out at kids, demeaning staff in front of children, and doing very many weird things with the budget and special ed.


At someone's request, Pakter gives a 3-part update to his case in the comments below and has now sent around some pictures of his famous plants — the subject of the latest charges brought against him by the DoE. Since I can't illustrate the comments, here is one of the offending plants.

The other one is also green, I guess.

I've posted Pakter before (feisty alliteration) and need to do it again, not only for the breadth of his commentary, but for his insight into the way this malevolent chancellorship distorts a profession and maims a generation of kids.

He wrote this to Norm Scott of Ednotes fame.

In New York City, Whistle-blower Teachers
— of Joel Klein's School System —
Get Blown Away

Dear Norm:

I read Ed Notes religiously, every day, as well as some of the other excellent Education websites, although nothing even comes close to your Ed Notes- may it go on till you are one hundred and perhaps for a few years after that.

All the present fuss over New York City Teachers reporting cheating truly amuses this old geezer writing to you. Not that the topic is not important.

Shocked- just shocked. You mean to say there are really car thieves and illegal Betting Parlors in every big City in America. Impossible - How can that be ??

So what else is new. Cheating went on in every school I ever taught in and at the High School where I taught for twenty five years, mark altering / "improving"/ "updating" - was raised to a virtual "art".

I wonder if Principals demand Kickbacks for all the gallons of "white-out" they order every June to ensure that their graduation totals will look even better and rosier than the previous year's stellar "improvement".

As for using a "Passing" Regents grade as an excuse to ignore a Failing Class Grade score- how the heck do you think they come up with those "regents scores".

At my former school, and I am sure many would not be surprised to learn, at 99 % of the NYC High Schools, all Regents Scores are referred to as a student's "Raw Regents Score". That is to say- the actual grade the student earned on the actual Regents Examination.

Then at my former school, the teachers were actually given printed "Regents Score Conversion Graphs" that indicated what to enter as the student's final official Regents grade in a particular subject- such as Earth Science for example.

If the student achieved a real grade of 43 for example- the teacher just ran his/her finger across the graph to find that this "raw" score was to be converted to a 65, for example. You can imagine what a "raw score" of 65, became in the final adjustment. "Harvard University - here we come".

When it comes to grades and grading, the entire 23 Billion dollar NYC DOE is one big scam from A to Z.

As for a Teacher going to "The Office of Special Investigations"- please - give me a break.

That office is the slickest shell game of all. Sure, they bust a small time independent electrical contractor from time to time just to make it look like they are really doing "Investigations".

But their real purpose for existing is to put out potential political fires before they even have a chance to become fires. I went to them with tons of stuff and got stone-walled every time. I know everyone down there by name. That office is a total crock.

I shall never forget the day, after I was most unceremoniously removed from my school (after I refused to surrender evidence in my possession of egregious Federal Civil Rights violations as well as financial fraud being perpetrated by the Principal and her cronies), when I received a very brief call on my cell phone.

I had just been removed and illegally transferred to a Rubber Room gulag in Brooklyn. The caller was one of several SCI "investigators", (most of them former or retired NYC Police Officers), assigned to look into the allegations I had reported to that agency on several different occasions.

His words were- and I recall them as though it were yesterday:

"Mr. Pakter, I am just calling you to inform you that I have been ordered to close the book on your case". The call was that short and simple.

But then again, you find this situation existing in the NYPD, the US Army, Mega Corporations, the US Post Office et al. It is the way of the world.

Anyone who seeks to have any type of wrongdoing investigated, quickly discovers that he or she soon becomes the prime object of "investigation".

It is, and has been the way of the world since the Dawn of Time- "Bad News- Then Kill the Messenger".

When I observe all those teacher "nubies" running down to SCI at 80 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, a stone's throw from Wall Street, to report horrendous and outrageous criminal activity in the NYC DOE, schools system, I never really know whether I should laugh or cry.

Any one who Whistle-blows in NYC, or most other places just doesn't understand that he or she has just signed and Notarized their own "Death Warrant".

As for going to the Newspapers- "paleeeeeze"- give me a break. Who do you think owns and controls the news media- and I mean 99 % to all of it ???

But every year, as sure as Day follows Night, some young group of idealistic Teachers, God Bless their innocent and naive beautiful Souls, goes running all over the Universe- here, there and everywhere, crying "the sky is falling".

You bet it is, right down squarely on their soon to be chopped off innocent heads.

We old timers smile and just send out our warmest telepathic messages of Love to all the Teacher Whistle-blowers in Gotham and wish them our deepest and most sincere hopes for Good Luck and that they may emerge at the far end of the SCI gauntlet with a little of their tattered skin still hanging from their bloodied backs and torn and broken bodies.

Can an old Geezer like me fault these young idealistic Teachers for all their efforts to make the system better for all the powerless and vulnerable children in NYC- most of whom are already "at Risk", from the moment when they first emerge from their Mother's womb and cry their very first cry.

Who am I to fault and be the least bit cynical that someone wants to protect Gotham's children. When I stare at the face of a NYC Teacher "Nubie'", all pink cheeked and eyes shining, hurrying through the ever-revolving glass doors at 52 Broadway, knapsack heavy with text books hanging over their shoulders, who, my old friend, am I really looking at, but the perfect reflection of who I myself was, almost 40 years ago, starting out in the world of Education in New York City.

I thought back then, as a young Teacher, in the South East Bronx and later, working in Bed-Stuy and Harlem and finally via my self created Medical Program for gifted Minority students at Art & Design High School, that I could, by sheer dint of hard work and a driving Idealistic vision of the Universe make a difference.

That somehow "Good" would triumph over "Evil", honest "Idealism" would or could vanquish rampant corruption, and that somehow, by hook or by crook- I would make a "Difference"- even if just a small degree of difference.

Tell me dear God, I did make a difference.

Tell me my old and dear friend, Norman Scott, that it was not all for nothing.

And that those young Teachers presently fighting the good fight we both began to fight also, in our long distant Youth, so many decades ago, long before the present Whistle-blowers were so much as a glint in their Mother's and Father's eyes- oh please do tell me that they will succeed where we failed to make things better.

Hey Jude- please tell me that things can and will be better and that some good and healing force in the Universe- call it what you will, can and will wash away all those twisted and demented minds and sorry excuses for human beings, who for now at least, have temporarily hijacked the futures of all of Gotham's innocent children and are Hell bent on privatizing all Education in Gotham and turning it all into one gargantuan, multi-billion dollar, For Profit, enterprise.

In some cases trading their future lives and future hopes for a bag of Silver coins.

And I still see, when I lay me down to sleep each night all the laughing, beautiful faces and shining innocent eyes of my former gifted, so very gifted and talented, Medical students in Room 316, so radiant with great expectations and so deserving of Hope, that this present Chancellor, a pathetic "Legend in his own mind", via his countless lackeys, lapdogs and stooges and confederates, criminally robbed from their futures when I, as payment for becoming a Whistle-blower myself, was so violently torn from their school and so violently torn from their Lives.

David Pakter, former Teacher of the Year, STILL STANDING


  1. David

    As one of the many who have been following the silly false allegations against you, can you provide an update?


  2. ___________________________________

    The NYC DOE's "Hundred Years War" Against David Pakter


    Thank you "Anonymous" for asking for an update on the DOE's pathological vendetta to drive me out of the teaching profession after I became a Whistle-blower.

    One would have to really characterize it as a never-ending War that goes all the way back to the day, October 2, 2003 that I wrote a three page letter to Joel Klein regarding things which I now fully realize in retrospect he very much did NOT want to hear or be accused of knowing.

    For those who are not familiar with my situation let me just note the following.

    During my highly decorated 37 year teaching career I never shied away from engaging in a bout of verbal "fisticuffs", now and then as long as it had to do with helping, nurturing, protecting and empowering my students, who invariably, were mostly Minority, from the inner City and in general- ipso fact "at risk"- Black and Latino children in particular.

    I have never deviated from the belief that everyone on this Planet must strive to put "children first"- both their own biological children as well as ALL children.

    Not the mealy-mouthed, empty and hypocritical use of the term and slogan, "Children First", via KLein-Talk, DOE Double Speak- etc., but I mean here -the real deal.

    It was specifically BECAUSE I DID put my children/students, first, front and center and foremost that Joel Klein, Esq.'s lapdogs, lackeys, sycophants and stooges, leaped out from under their countless dark and clammy rocks and went after me like a bat out of Hell.

    I actually believed for a whole eight seconds that Klein and his stooges actually cared about New York City's children.

    But I quickly learned differently when I tried to practice what they, in all their tons of Public Relations releases, were preaching.

    Mea Culpa- how could I, with all my decades of teaching experience, have been so quickly taken in by all the DOE Double-Speak and empty rhetoric emanating from the Tweed Courthouse, 24/7, as though there were no tomorrow.

    And now as the NYC DOE goes after me for the third time (they failed to get me terminated on a phony Medical that may cost a few DOE stooge "doctors" their Medical License and they failed to get me terminated in a first NY State 3020 Hearing Process "show trial".

    So now they have brought me up on even more ludicrous charges such a bringing two plants to my school, showing part of a Robert Rodriguez film to a class, giving prizes to students who attained a 90 average and dare I even say it out loud or here on the Internet- I actually dared to give a wrist watch I had designed and Patented to a colleague friend of mine at the High School of Fashion Industries.

    Here are some highlights from my present never ending NY State 3020-a Teacher trial. But will I ever live long enough to see this farce come to a final Verdict.

    (One more reason I have already filed a Thirty Million dollar Lawsuit against Mr. Joel Klein et al, in the United States Federal Court)



  3. ___________________________________

    The NYC DOE's "Hundred Years War" Against David Pakter


    The Official charge that I had brought "embarrassment" upon Joel Klein's 23 billion dollar DOE Fiefdom by allowing my story to be published in a newspaper, has been officially withdrawn by the DOE.

    Credit for that happening must be given to Randi Weingarten, Esq., who wrote a personal letter to Joel Klein, Esq., that we still have a functioninng Constitution and Bill of Rights in this nation that protects something called "Free Speech".

    Another official DOE charge against me, that I had shown part of the film "El Mariachi", the movie that years back made the super talented Robert Rodriguez, an overnight sensation, world wide and won countless International film awards, has also been recently Dismissed.

    But as my Hearings continue, I still remain Officially charged with bringing two plants to the High School of Fashion Industries- despite the fact that when the Hearings were moved for a few hours to the school- it was observed and documented with dozens of photos- that the school building was bursting at the seams with plants and small trees, everywhere you looked.

    I also remain Officialy charged with the supposedly heinous crime of giving a wrist watch I had designed and Patented to a fellow colleague at the High School of Fashion Industries during the 19 days I was assigned there as an ATR.

    OMG-Oh My God! Whatever was I thinking. I must have been inhaling the fumes from all that ultra nutricious tasty food, wafting out of the students' cafeteria.

    The NYC DOE and The Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the NYC School District sent an eight page Official Report to the personal attention of the so-called "Chancellor".

    "Off with Pakter's head- he is clearly an Enemy of the State and/or at the very least "a threat to the Good Order and efficiency of the System".

    But when I did my own research on the internet, (no doubt all my enemies residing at 52 Chambers Street in Boss Tweed's former marbled digs would claim Pakter was "Trolling")- guess what I found ?

    Voila- According to an Official New York City Govt. Publication titled:

    "ETHICS: A Plain Language Guide To Chapter 68, of New York City's Conflicts of Interest Law", I came across the following quote:

    "There is no gifts-related rule that prohibits you from giving a valuable gift to, or receiving a valuable gift from a colleague who is also a public servant...(provided)..neither person is in a position to affect the terms or conditions of employment of the other".

    Oops ! It seems that in their zeal, (as I mentioned before, clearly, "pathological"), it appears Mr. Former Federal Prosecutor, Joel Klein's lapdogs and eager Legal Beavers, have charged me with something that New York's own Official "Ethics" Laws and Statutes, clearly states is perfectly permissible and yes- Legal.

    Oops- again ! Apparently Klein's venerable, "esteemed" and learned attorneys either are not familiar with New York City Ethics Laws and Rules, or have, in my case, intentionally and knowingly disregarded Laws they were aware- existed. Oops, Oops and Oops again.

    Summer school for NYC DOE "Lawyers"- here we come. Or perhaps, would being disbarred be more fitting.

    "Let the punishment Fit the Crime" !



  4. ___________________________________

    The NYC DOE's "Hundred Years War" Against David Pakter

    On December 10 and 11, Thursday and Friday, one again my NY State Teacher Trial Hearings resume at the usual place:

    49 Chambers Street, on the 6th Floor at 10 AM - the Hon. Hearing Officer, Douglas J. Bantle, Esq., Presiding. With the brilliant NYSUT Attorney, Christopher M. Callagy, Esq, appearing for the Defense and the "learned" Philip Oliveri, Esq. appearing for the NYC Dept of Education- expected and required, to prosecute any young lawyer's very worst nightmare.

    To poor Mr. Oliveri, Esq., has been assigned the most unhappy task and responsibility of establishing and proving that a former Teacher of the Year should be Terminated from any and all Emplyment with the NYC Dept of Education, and banished forever from every classroom in our fair City for bring a plant to school and various and sundry equally ludicrous charges.

    I am afraid, not even I, who has played, toyed with and loved all the words in the English language for over fifty years would ever possess the sufficient imagination required to make such things up as you have just read.

    As a character in one of William Shakespeare's plays once said:

    "If I should see such things upon the stage right now, I should condemn it as an improbable Fiction".

    Thank you Mr. Shakespeare.

    I could not have said it better.

  5. I've turned to Shakespeare a few times myself these past couple of years . . .

    Richard III and Michael Bloomberg
    ( and

    Lear's Fool and ATR limbo

    Also Stoppard: Klein's failed chancellorship à la Arcadia ( .

  6. _________________________________

    A Charge That A Teacher Brought Plants To School, Without Official Permission - Just Keeps "Growing"

    DOE Witnesses Commit Perjury While Testifying Under Sworn Oath
    During NY State 3020-a Hearings

    The New York City Dept of Education has accused David Pakter of placing plants on either side of the Auditorium entrance at Fashion Industries High School in New York City.

    At Pakter's trial a representative of the NYC Dept of Education testified under Sworn Oath, that the offending plants had represented both a "Safety as well as Fire Hazard", claiming that in the event of an "Emergency" the plants, in wicker baskets, would create a life-threatening situation for students attempting to flee a fire in the Auditorium.

    Although Pakter had originally placed the plants in the actual lobby area in front of a glass display case, so they would be visible from all directions, he was ordered by an Assistant Principal to move them closer to the actual auditorium doors which Pakter pointed out immediately, prevented the plants from being seen by anyone walking towards the auditorium from the extreme Left or Right side of the School lobby.

    But had Pakter refused to move the plants closer to the indented door area, shown in the photos, he would have been accused of "insubordination".

    Amazingly the same Assistant Principal who ordered Pakter to relocate the decorative plants into the recessed door area, visible in the photos, testified at the Hearings that the plants donated by Pakter could make it difficult or impossible to push open the many auditorium doors from the inside of the auditorium entrance during an "emergency".

    After Pakter's NY State Hearings conclude and the Hearing Officer has made and released his final Decision regarding the plant charges and other preposterous and equally "troubling" charges against Pakter, it will be up to a Federal Judge and Federal Jury to try to decide if all the ludicrous charges lodged against Pakter had something to do with the fact that David Pakter had been a Whistle-blower and had written to Chancellor Joel Klein, Esq. on October 2, 2003 to report serious Federal Civil Rights violations Pakter had personally witnessed as well as serious financial improprieties and financial fraud occurring at his previous school, the High School of Art & Design.

    David Pakter was the Senior member of the Faculty and Director of the Medical Illustration program he had designed, built from the ground up and personally funded, at the time he was removed from the school for refusing to surrender evidence in Pakter's possession.

    The Pakter Hearings resume again on December 10 and 11 at :

    49 Chambers Street, 6th Floor at 10 AM and are Open to the Public.

    Please request the Hearing Room of the Hon. Douglas J. Bantle, Esq. as well as mention names of NYSUT Defense attorney, Christopher M. Callagy, Esq. and name of DOE Prosecuting attorney, Philip Oliveri, Esq.

  7. Best of luck David. Please provide updates.
    I always thought plants were harmless...your charges are a joke.
    And as far as watches go they are traditionally given out at all the lragest track and cross county meets in New York City to reward the top competitors.