Upon being hired by the Valley View School Board in February, soon-to-be Bolingbrook High School Principal Fabby Williams said he would make it a priority to make sure every classroom had a “good, effective teacher who cares about children.”
The article, published Thursday, says Williams, currently the interim principal at Austin Polytechnical Academy in Chicago, fired some academy teachers that had received excellent ratings the year before.
In May, Williams fired seven teachers and gave five of them “do not hire” designation, which bans them from future employment from any school in the Chicago Public Schools system, the report said.
That despite the fact that four of those seven had positive teacher reviews.
The report says repeated calls and e-mails to Williams spanning over the course of the last eight months were not returned, and reporters were turned away when they showed up at the school.
Since then, students and families have been in uproar over the dismissals, holding walk-outs and signing petitions in support of the fired teachers.
The demonstrations reflected a perception that Williams and his school administration are unresponsive to the interests of teachers and students, the report said.
While interviewing 17 teachers, nearly two-thirds of the staff at the academy, the New York Times found that each of the teachers cited poor communication by the administration with staff members and students, a lack of access to professional development and inconsistent disciplinary measures and a feeling of having no voice in administrative decisions.
Students are blaming the administration for a constant flux in faculty members, the report said.
Williams was in February. It was one of the first major hiring decisions made under the watch of Jim Mitchem, the current BHS principal and next superintendent of the Valley View School District 365U.
“I want you to hold me accountable for the education of all of our students,” Williams told the board then. “My vow is to make sure every classroom in will have a good, effective teacher who cares about children.
"It’s more than just teaching them how to write or read. It’s about caring about them as individuals.”
Austin Polytechnical Academy has been on academic probation from the Chicago Public Schools since October.
Comments from Valley View officials, including Mitchem and school board President Steven Quigley, were not immediately available.