Tag Archives: William Hite

In Philly, New administrator has past controversies

Dr. William Hite Jr hires Eric Becoats who was among the finalist in 2013 PGCPS MESS . Eric Becoats scored poorly during the interview at Sasscer. dr-becoats

Eric Becoats who failed the test in PGCPS was recently hired for senior position in Philly school District by William Hite Jr. 

ERIC BECOATS was very dedicated to his administrator job in Charlotte, N.C.

He was also equally committed to his consulting business, Queen Educational Planning LLC, whose client was the Little Rock School District in Arkansas. Once Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials found he made at least 17 calls from district phones to Little Rock, he was censured and suspended for a day.

Becoats, now a newly hired top school district administrator in Philadelphia, has resigned from two previous jobs, including Charlotte, following accounts of his alleged misuse of public resources, the Daily News has learned.

Becoats, who has a business and financial-planning background, was forced to resign after a series of missteps that included underestimating the rainy day fund by $15 million and using a public school bus to ferry around friends and loved ones.

District officials, however, stood behind Becoats yesterday, saying in a statement that he was fully vetted and brings a “deep skills set” to Philadelphia.

School Reform Commission president Marjorie Neff was on vacation yesterday and unavailable for comment. Becoats was also unavailable, officials said.

But one Durham community activist, who butted heads with him during his tenure, warned:

“All I can say to Philadelphia is good luck and keep your eyes on the process,” said parent activist Rodrigo Dorfman, a multimedia producer. “There’s obviously a pattern and you can expect more, unless he had a come-to-Jesus moment.”

Background

Becoats will earn $150,000 as the district’s new assistant superintendent for the Turnaround Network, an office newly created by Superintendent William Hite to improve low-performing schools.

He came to the district from Chicago, where he was interim executive director at Distinctive Schools, a nonprofit that assists charter schools serving underserved children.

The Lincoln University graduate stepped down in December 2013 as superintendent of Durham Public Schools in North Carolina. Nearly a decade earlier, in March 2004, he resigned from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as assistant superintendent for Planning and Development.

When he left Durham, Becoats was in the middle of a contract that paid him $223,048.56 annually, according to Durham schools spokeswoman Chrissy Deal, and his term was expected to end in June 2016.

He walked away with a $298,074.54 severance package, according to a resignation agreement with the Durham Board of Education.

Decisions questioned

Among Becoats’ financial missteps in Durham, according to media reports and documents and minutes from Durham public schools, he was found to have:

*  Used a Durham school bus and driver in June 2013 to shepherd his family and friends to private events around the Durham area, including a stop at the upscale mall, The Streets of Southpoint.

*  Racked up $21,000 in credit-card bills over 12 months, mostly for out-of-state travel to professional conferences. The board suspended the credit card.

*  Underestimated Durham school’s unassigned fund budget by $15 million – an error that was discovered in an audit days before his resignation.

Becoats worked from 1997 to 2004 for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where he left as an assistant superintendent for Planning and Development earning $91,800 a year.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg officials reprimanded Becoats for violating district policies regarding his personal business, Queen Educational Planning, according to several media reports.

An internal investigation found that Becoats used Charlotte-Mecklenburg phones, computers, email and documents, the Charlotte Observer reported July 2003. Officials suspended him one day without pay, docked him a day of leave and told him to repay $3,625, the paper reported.

Newspaper editorials in the Durham area called for his resignation and by Dec. 31, Becoats was out.

In an email to the Daily News, Chanice Savage, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia school district, said, “We made the decision to hire Eric after fully vetting his candidacy, which we do with all executive hires.

“Our vetting process includes reviewing candidates’ background and work history information, conducting interviews, and contacting references,” the statement read. “Eric brings a deep skill set and experience to his role and we are excited to have Eric join the team.”

Repercussions

After a review by Durham lawyers regarding the bus outing in June 2013, the board issued a public statement a month later calling it “an inappropriate action,” but stated that Becoats had not “intended to violate school policy.”

Becoats had asked to be billed for the bus use and did pay it, but the investigation found his payment didn’t cover the full invoice amount, the statement said. He later paid the full amount.

The statement also included Becoats’ comments: “After the use of the activity bus on the contracted dates, I was informed of the local and state policy. I apologize for my mistake.”

He was issued a letter of reprimand by the board.

The media reported in late August, however, that Becoats had been made aware of the bus usage policy by a district lawyer in 2011. At the time, the lawyer had been advising the board about bus usage in another matter, The Herald-Sun in Durham reported.

The credit-card bills’ tally was uncovered by a local TV station. Becoats was authorized to use the school-issued credit card for professional conferences but with the prior approval of the school board chair. He reimbursed the district for about $580 to cover some of the expenses.

Becoats appeared to have lofty tastes and bought from minibars, purchased flowers for employees, and took limousines from the airport, according to receipts provided by Durham schools.

Becoats’ report to the board claiming the “rainy day” fund had only $4 million appeared to anger and embarrass the members.

“The Board of Education depends on the superintendent to present an accurate accounting of what our true financial status is,” board chairwoman Heidi Carter said in 2013, according to a report in The News & Observer of Raleigh. “I feel foolish having gone in front of the county and pleaded poverty, when that doesn’t appear to be the actual case now.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20150724_New_school_administrator_has_past_controversies.html#MsmXf6sZYAbddmob.99

>>>Read more 

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William Hite Jr hired Eric Becoats with growing charter-school ties and will earn $150,000 despite the fiasco in North Carolina and Maryland. 

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Philadelphia Charter School Abruptly Closes…

…Stranding Students and Teachers under William Hite leadership.

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Dr. William Hite leadership of charters and ensuing mismanagement of public funds has left Philly Schools in poor shape. 

The fallout from the abrupt closing of the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School is spreading.

Teachers say they fear they won’t be paid for working in December. And amid rumors that the charter’s flagship building in Northern Liberties would be liquidated to pay creditors, several teachers decided to retrieve personal items Monday – but were initially thwarted by security.

Frustrated parents held a protest.

“It’s unfair to receive notification over the weekend that the school will be closed,” said Jihan Pauling, a parent who organized a rally outside the charter’s main campus.

Citing insurmountable financial obstacles, the Palmer charter sent letters to families and staff on Friday informing them that the school would close permanently Wednesday.

The move sent teachers on quests for new jobs and information about filing for unemployment, and left families of the school’s 675 students in kindergarten through eighth grade scrambling for new schools.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20141230_Shuttered_charter_school_leaves_students__staff_scrambling.html#Z63ooCDEP7pqoyzf.99

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We must look for proper leadership in the fight against Illicit Financial flows involving charter schools. We must refuse the plunder of public Education.

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Teacher is knocked down to the floor under Dr. Hite Leadership.

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Video still showing that on Thursday, November 6, 2014, a substitute teacher was knocked to the floor at Bartram High. The teacher suffered a concussion. It was the third staff assault at the school in a month. 

A teacher at Bartram High School was attacked by a student and suffered a concussion this week after being thrown to the ground in an incident that was captured on video and widely shared on social media.

It was the third such assault in a month at the violence-prone school, which in recent months had made some strides in safety that teachers say seem to be eroding.

This week’s incident happened Thursday afternoon, when a student attacked a substitute teacher who had asked him to leave a classroom earlier in the day, Philadelphia School District officials confirmed.

The student waited for the teacher and threw the 68-year-old man to the ground. The student fled, and the school nurse attended to the teacher, who was later taken to a hospital.

In an interview Friday night, the teacher, Pewu Johnson, a Liberian immigrant with deep roots in Philadelphia and its schools, described the attack.

He said he had a run-in with his assailant early in the day when the boy behaved “inappropriately” with a female student, and he ordered him to stop.

Later, during seventh period, the teen found Johnson and angrily tried to block his way.

“He grabbed me, then lifted me up, then dropped me on my back, on the floor. I became unconscious. I wasn’t hearing anything. My eyes were closed,” Johnson said.

He said he had intense neck pain and was bleeding from his elbow, and ended up spending hours at the hospital.

He isn’t sure when he’ll be able to return to work, he said, adding that he was still quite sore.

>>>Read more at philly.com

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Under Dr. William Hite leadership, teachers are being knocked down unconscious by students at a rapid rate in Philadelphia School District. There is no transparency and accountability understand his watch and the whole school District is under heavy debt. Breach of contract is the order of the day. Same kind of scenerio he is repeating from his years in PGCPS District.  Read more >>> Education advocates are poised to take SRC to court over lack of transparency

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Superintendent of Philly Sued again by Former Principal.

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The Bed hopping love – Rat – Roving eyes at younger female Principal

Former Superintendent William Hite is now the new Superintendent in Philadelphia but he still got legal ties in Washington DC Metropolitan area: Several lawsuits against Prince George’s County Public schools (PGCPS) and Dr. William Hite Jr are currently pending in both Prince George’s County Circuit and Federal Courts in Greenbelt Maryland. The School Reform Commission (SRC) of The School District of Philadelphia made no mention of Hite’s spotty history nor of the suits when they hired him in 2012. Reading this post made me tired. There really is so much drama and cronyism involving Dr. Hite and what he did during his tenure in Prince George’s County. A serious look and an exposé by Philadelphia newspapers and others about Hite is long overdue.  Hite also has connection with Broad Foundation. We are sure many more facts will come up in Philadelphia as the time goes on.

On this note, Carol Barbour, former assistant principal/principal alleges that Dr. William Hite removed her name from a list of candidates to be considered for PGCPS positions after receiving an extremely negative review of her work from a colleague in North Carolina, where Barbour once worked. Barbour is Latina, a fact that Dr. Hite said he was unaware of despite meeting with her in her office, and she is alleging discrimination. In fact, Carol Barbor was criticized as being missing in action by the parents at the North Carolina school where she was principal (at the instigation of Dr. Hite’s friend). See story HERE. (Carol Barbour Affidavit)

Make sure you read it all because at the end of the post includes information on YET ANOTHER lawsuit filed by PGCPS Principals which we brought to your attention in November 2012.  I’ll paste it right here:  There have been new developments in that $100 million federal lawsuit alleging racial and sex discrimination by Hite and the Prince George’s County School Board. At the initiation of Association of Supervisory and Administrative School Personnel (ASASP) Union, the law suit was filed in November and it was withdrawn by the group in April 2013. (See our previous blog on the case here) Doris Reed, director of the Association of Supervisory and Administrative School Personnel, said last week that she and Prince George’s officials are working to get their members, who were part of the class-action suit, back to work.”

From Philly.com, “Carol Barbour, 44, of Upper Marlboro, Md., is slapping Hite, 51, with a Second federal lawsuit, accusing him of defamation and other charges including conspiracy. (See the entire complaint~>Second federal lawsuit<~here) The claims stem from a federal lawsuit Barbour filed in March 2012 against Hite and his previous employer, Prince George’s County Public Schools, alleging racial and age discrimination as well as retaliation. (See First complaint here – the other case)

Barbour, who is Latina, worked for Prince George’s County schools as an assistant principal and principal from 2002 to 2005. She claims to have applied for more than 20 jobs there since 2008. Hite worked for Prince George’s County schools from 2006 until 2012, when he came to Philly. What is not fully being disclosed is also a hint of sexual harassment – a  trade mark of the infamous and capricious Hite.

It was during the proceedings in the first case that Hite, who “had agreed, then unagreed” to answer email questions from Barbour’s attorney, Richard Patrick, signed a sworn statement that is the basis of the most recent lawsuit, said Patrick, of Fairfax, Va. In the affidavit signed March 28 by Hite, the superintendent acknowledges that he knows Peter Gorman, the head of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, where Barbour once worked, and is also named in the suit.

Dr. Hite Sideways

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Hite categorically stated he called Gorman for a reference and Gorman “specifically said that Ms. Barbour was ‘one of the worst principals he had ever been associated with’ and he said she was ‘terrible.’ “Gorman’s negative reference prompted Hite to instruct the Prince George’s County former human-resources chief Synthia Shilling who was caught drunk driving to remove Barbour’s name from “any list of candidates for positions to ensure that she was not hired,” according to the affidavit. (See Affidavit of William R. Hite Jr here)

Hite said he had no idea Barbour was Latina. “We were baffled,” Patrick said yesterday. “We did not know until his affidavit that that was why Ms. Barbour did not get any job at Prince George’s County.” Barbour’s evaluations from Charlotte-Mecklenburg, filed in the first lawsuit, show that Barbour received a “proficient” rating in her only year as principal of Winget Park Elementary School. The evaluation was signed by Elva Cooper. She was eligible for rehire by the North Carolina district, according to notations made on the school’s letter accepting her resignation.

“You really don’t know why it was said,” Patrick said, referring to Hite’s remark. “The second lawsuit is going to find out.” To the county employees victimized in similar fashion during Dr. William Hite’s reign of terror in Prince George’s County public schools, Carol Barbour is a “hero” to many. She deserves recognition for going after the barbaric and self-serving behavior exhibited by former king pin of public school system PGCPS and thatcher Law firm heads on. How can Dr. Hite say he did not know Carol Barbour was Hispanic or latina when he met her and he is very familiar with people of Hispanic origin with a large Hispanic population in Prince George’s County? It begs the question, did this lady stop Dr. Hite’s advances?… Time will tell.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard referred comment to Hite’s Maryland attorney, Robert Baror. Phone calls to Baror were not returned.

It’s high time we exposed Dr. William Hite Jr. Students, parents and staff of Philadelphia deserve better. He already messed up PGCPS before moving on to the next victims. It’s high time to stop the behavior heads on!

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From left: Karyn Lynch, chief of student service for the Philadelphia school district, Dr. William Hite Jr., school superintendent, and Dannielle Floyd, interim senior vice president of capital programs, answer attendees questions at the School District of Philadelphia’s Facilities Master Plan Meeting held at the Martin Luther King High School on Jan. 15. (Photo by Sue Ann Rybak)