Cindy Grosz
Cindy GroszCourtesy

Are you really surprised that national reading and math test scores were so below standard that many students are almost two years behind in learning?

Stop blaming COVID and Trump. Failing test scores, school reviews and scandals were plaguing public schools before 2020.

Parents from the school district in which I taught recognized the issue of poorly performing schools in New York well before this week’s national education report:

But did they realize why?

Discrimination Against Jewish Teachers

For decades, seasoned, tenured and often well qualified Jewish educators have been the target of discriminatory hiring positions in public schools across the country.

In most of these cases, many were overlooked because they were white and Jewish. Those often hired and/or promoted over them were chosen because of their minority status and ties to local elected officials endorsed and supported by teachers unions, instead of for their teaching ability..

  • As of August, Minneapolis public school teachers of color will have additional job protections this upcoming school year under a new contract that would allow them to keep their jobs rather than white instructors with more seniority. This has been going on for years in New York without any contractual promises and now it will probably become a 50 state practice legally.

  • Criteria for Talented and Gifted Programs are based on minority status instead of academic merits which impacts Jewish enrollment.

Harrassing Jewish Staff:

  • In 2021, Karen Ames, a 30-year Department of Education employee, says she was targeted by Carranza’s “Disrupt and Dismantle” campaign to oust or marginalize longtime employees because she is over 40, and Jewish. In her lawsuit, Ames claims she was grilled about her “ethnic background” and chastised by a colleague at a training session when she shared her grandparents’ experience during the Holocaust in Poland. She was “admonished” when she declined requests at superintendent meetings to take part in the comic book movie-inspired “Wakanda Forever” salute to “black power.”

  • In 2018, the principal of New York City's High School of Art and Design was accused of systematically removing white and Jewish teachers. Several former teachers filed multiple federal lawsuits against Art and Design High School principal Manuel Ureña, alleging he would fabricate performance and disciplinary reports against teachers who were Jewish or Caucasian in order to fire them.

  • In 2014, Lawrence Brenner, 57, sued the NYCDOE and PS 15 boss Antonio K’Tori for discriminating against older white and Jewish teachers. Brenner claimed he was fired in 2012 “based on the false disciplinary and performance record created by K’Tori. Brenner claims K’Tori told him he was “ruining his little black children” in 2009 and told others that “you white teachers are hurting my little black children.”

  • I filed my lawsuit in 2011 in District 29 in Queens. Half the requested witnesses for the offense have been arrested or been involved in scandals that made headline news. The school is still under-performing academically and now parents have threatened lawsuits against the school, the district and the Department of Education.

Jewish educators are often harassed for choosing to observe religious holidays and take personal days, despite contractual allocations and legal victories.

In 2006, a professional development workshop was attended by about 40 teachers. The topic was “gang awareness.” Rafiq Mohammed from the Giant Thinking Association gave a presentation insinuating that the Jews of Williamsburg have all the money and manipulate the power structure and employment.

One teacher spoke up and was fired:

Many of the educators hired, often not as trained and professional as those who had been fired, brought negative opinions on Jews, Israel and the Holocaust into lessons. Many indoctrinated, both in the past and present, young minds with misinformation about Palestinian Arab alleged suffering, Jewish money and false history about Jews and slavery.

It doesn’t help when there is a Jewish teachers union leader, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. It doesn’t help when a Jewish Attorney General, Merrick Garland, uses his power to attack parents at school board meetings.

While I support First Amendment Rights to free speech, I certainly oppose any words and actions used to incite hate and violence. That is not the issue.

Jewish leadership must put religious, political and personal differences aside and stop the discrimination felt by too many Jewish educators. It will help all students read, write, add and subtract.

All students matter and all lives matter!

Cindy Grosz is The Jewess Patriot, Radio’s Premiere Jewish Activist syndicated through Conservative Television of America, Real Talk Radio and the Black and White Network. The show streams through RokuTV, Amazon FireTV, iHeart, Spotify and Deezer and out of Israel through Jewish Podcasts. She is the chair of Jewish Vote GOP and a Jewish advisor for many 2022 candidates. Her lawsuit against the NYCDOE exposes scandals and corruption within public schools. She can be reached through [email protected]