You are on page 1of 2


159-16 Union Turnpike 185-06 Union Turnpike

Flushing, NY 11366 Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
Tel. 718-820-0241 Tel. 718-454-3027

March 3, 2017

Carmen Faria
NYC Schools Chancellor
Department of Education
Tweed Courthouse
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chancellor Faria:

Following up on our promise to keep you apprised of any new concerns raised over the
ongoing situation at Townsend Harris High School at Queens College (Townsend
Harris), we are writing to alert you of some alarming comments reported at this
mornings School District 26 Leadership Team meeting.

A representative from the high school superintendents office, Fran DeSanctis,

participated in the meeting to provide a brief update on Townsend Harris C-30 process.
Ms. DeSanctis update included comments that expressed little concern for the issues
raised over Interim Acting Principal Rosemarie Jahoda (Ms. Jahoda). While Ms.
DeSanctis did not confirm or deny whether Ms. Jahoda would still be considered as a
candidate as part of the C-30 process, she affirmed her opinion of Ms. Jahoda as a
qualified candidate.

These comments neglect the outpour of concerns expressed by students, parents, and
faculty. As the Townsend Harris community and local electeds have clearly
communicated in the past, we are disappointed by the lack of community input during the
selection process and the lack of engagement by your office.

The update provided this morning does not lead us to believe that the concerns we have
outlined and shared with the City Department of Education (DOE) will be considered
during the C-30 process.

While Ms. DeSanctis acknowledged community concern, she did so while referencing
the current environment in which fake news is being widely circulated. To insinuate
that the communitys shared concerns could be equated to fake news further
demonstrates the lack of transparency and understanding that has guided the C-30
Through our work with the DOE on other issues, we know that your administration
prides itself on community input. Unfortunately, our experience as it relates to Townsend
Harris is a stark departure from previous collaborative efforts to provide a supportive
environment for our students.

Dismissing the concerns of the Townsend Harris community as fake news goes against
the call to action we as public servants must foster in our current political climate. Time
and time again we remind our students how important it is to be advocates for their
communities. Yet, the students, teachers, and parents at Townsend Harris who have
demonstrated the courage and willingness to speak out against behavior that does not
reflect their community have not been met with the same desire from the DOE to do what
is in their best interest.

We want to reiterate once more that we will do everything we can to protect our students
and to amplify their voices. Again, we hope that you will join us in rejecting Ms.
Jahodas candidacy. We look forward to hearing from you on new developments and to
discussing steps that can be taken to ensure greater transparency in the search for the next


Nily Rozic David Weprin

25th Assembly District 24th Assembly District