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Oh-so-amusing things have been happening in the New York City schools.

New York Notes: High School Follies

Oh-so-amusing things have been happening in the New York City schools.

Brooklyn Technical High School (“Brooklyn Tech”) can be proud of its many eminent graduates, including Nobel laureate George Wald, computer baron Charles Wang, world’s saddest songwriter Harry Chapin, bodybuilder-actor Lou Ferrigno, and congressman (and recent mayoral candidate) Anthony Weiner. But Principal Lee McCaskill did not do these notable alumni proud when he resigned under pressure after it was discovered that his wife had falsified residency documents in order to get their daughter into a prestigious Brooklyn public elementary school. The actual smoking gun: a lease with a date earlier than the lease form’s copyright date! The should-have-been smoking gun: the rent. Anyone knows you can’t even live in a box on the sidewalk for $200 a month in Brooklyn, much less rent a one-bedroom apartment.

Now, not content with purging the disgraced principal, the City’s Department of Education is moving to fire his wife, a social studies teacher at another Brooklyn high school. I say these menaces to society, who actually live in New Jersey, are getting what they deserve. Life’s Lesson Number One is to read the fine print, and people who call themselves educators shouldn’t have missed a detail like that. After they’re done paying the four years of out-of-state tuition they owe, they’d better set up a trust fund for their poor daughter’s future years of therapy. (Unless, of course, the daughter – now aged nine – has all along been the evil genius behind the plot. Probably not, though.)

In another boon to New York City’s therapeutic counseling corps – already a fourteen billion-quadrillion-godzillion-dollar industry, according to The Bagel and the Rat’s latest information – the ever-vigilant Department of Education has fired a janitor who’s been indicted on 360 counts relating to his hobby of secretly videotaping girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms in two high schools, one of which – and this can’t possibly be a coincidence, can it? – was Brooklyn Tech. 46-year-old Michael Conte also set up a secret camera in the bathroom of a female friend who lives in Long Island’s Suffolk County – where he’s being held on $50,000 bail – and in his own bathroom, which he shared with his mother and sister (now that’s just sick). There’s one piece of good news for Conte’s family, though, which has already bailed him out of Rikers Island. If they go broke defending him, there’s a $200 one-bedroom available somewhere in Brooklyn.

And finally in school news: if the state doesn’t cough up $6.5 billion soon, twenty-one school construction projects will have to be scrapped. Fortunately for Brooklyn Tech, it already exists, but other much-needed facilities will not come to be, and, as the teacher’s union president sagely notes, “you can’t lower class size without more capacity or fight obesity without gyms and playgrounds.”

In a pinch, the DOE could try fighting obesity by hiring well-known auteur Michael Conte to install locker room cameras, and telling the kids their fat bellies will be posted on the Internet for all to see if they don’t shape up.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

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