Ann Legra, a first-grade teacher in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, has received an “unsatisfactory” job rating for the past six years. Her superiors want to fire her, but have been barred from doing so.
Moreover, she’s now suing the Department of Education on discrimination charges for trying. And, chances are, she makes more money than you do; $84,500 per year.
As reported by the New York Post on Sunday, Legra has racked up “six [consecutive] years of failing her students,” which the city argued in a 16-day termination hearing.
Assistant principal Kevin Goodman recounted one example of “chaos” in Legra’s classroom:
“Students up out of their seats, at least one was running, another was demonstrating karate moves on the closet door and the majority of the students were not involved in anything instructional — an issue that has repeatedly plagued your tenure as a classroom teacher.”
Legra said she was “re-sharpening pencils” that were too sharp, in an effort to prevent students from injuring themselves or others. And that her students were “walking around the room working on word activities.”
Legra was also charged with excessive absence and lateness; over the 2012-13 school year, she was absent 27 times and late 37 times.
While hearing officer Eugene Ginsberg did uphold charges of Legra’s “inability to supervise students,” poor lesson-planning and excessive absence and lateness during the 2012-2013 school year, he opted for a 45-day suspension without pay vs. termination.
Ginsberg also dismissed charges that Legra was a bad teacher, saying she had not received sufficient coaching. She was hired as an aide 23 years ago and became a teacher at PS 173 in 2001. In a prior settlement, she admitted excessive absences from 2009 to 2012 – agreeing to a $2,500 fine.
Legra says she’s being targeted because of her high salary:
“They really want to get rid of workers who are there for a long time.”
She has since filed a lawsuit, charging discrimination based on her race, gender, national origin and “medical disability” – asthma.