NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- In a stunning development, one day after Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne announced the resignation of Reggie Richardson as New Rochelle High School Principal to take a job in New York City, the NYC Department of Education rescinded their job offer to Richardson. This according to The New York Post which began asking questions on Friday.
New York Post Investgative Reporter Susan Edelman said the DOE apparently decided to run its own Google search after The Post asked about his hiring. Parts of the New York Post article will sound familiar to Talk of the Sound readers; the paper relied, in part, on articles on Talk of the Sound.
In January, New Rochelle student, Valaree Schwab, 16, was chased out of the school during a gang-related fight and fatally stabbed at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.
Days later, two other students were knifed — one during a Spanish class.
Critics blame Richardson for changing the school to an open campus about two years ago — letting kids come and go during lunch and free periods.
He also slashed suspensions under a new disciplinary policy of “positive behavioral intervention and supports.”
Richardson quit amid an investigation into the school’s online classes after the Journal News of Westchester found a pattern of “perfect scores” entered in 2016 — in the weeks before graduation — for seniors whose work was incomplete or incoherent.
In an open letter to the New Rochelle High School Community on Friday, Richardson said he had been hired as a “director of school quality.”
Richardson told the Post that DOE interviewers never asked him about his “past controversies”, documented online primarily by Talk of the Sound.
“Those specifics did not come up,” Richardson told the Post.
According to Edelman, Richardson had agreed to a pay cut from $187,326 in New Rochelle to $160,000 in New York City.
The news which was published at 9:40 pm on Saturday night lit up social media in New Rochelle. News of Richardson's resignation Friday was hailed in some quarters of New Rochelle and decried in others. Richardson, who is black, has had strong support in the African-American community. The news of the DOE rescinding his offer was greeted with a similarily polarized reaction.
The question now is what will the City School District of New Rochelle do with Richardson's resignation.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne who was ousted last month in a 5-4 straw vote of board members has been a firm supporter of Richardson over the past several years.
Board members have told Talk of the Sound that there is a majority of the board that has supported Richardson.
Richardson has tenue so there was no solid legal basis for removing him as Principal
Richardson has been reportedly looking for a new job for a year, long before the murder of Valaree Schwab on January 10, 2018. He had been close to being named an Assistant Superintendent in New Rochelle at the beginning of the year but saw that opportunity dissolve in the wake of a rash of student-on-student violence in January. By February, he was told to accelarete his job search. He interviewed for a number of positions in the area including cabinet level positions and principalships without success. The decision of the DOE to rescind their offer to Richardson and the ensuing media coverage -- more is expected in coming day -- will only further complicate his job search.
"He is toxic right now," said one former New Rochelle school official.
The unprecedented situation will create tremendous pressure on the administration and the school board which 24 hours ago had thought they had neatly and cleanly resolved what some called the "Reggie problem". Sources at City Hall prevoiusly told Talk of the Sound that District leadership did not want to push Richardson out without a job in hand but for Richardson to get a job which could then be portrayed as Richardson advancing his career not being run out of New Rochelle. Such a scenario would relieve pressure from Richardson supporters which include progressive organizations, student leaders at the high school, and New Rochelle's black community.
Read the entire New York Post article here: