District turns up heat on Moffett

Daily News reporter Valerie Russ reports:

Penny Nixon, the distict’s associate superintendent of schools, discussed questions raised about Hope Moffett’s impending firing on Tuesday.

“This is not about Ms. Moffett’s teaching performance, whether she’s a great teacher,” Nixon said. “It’s not about her views on the Renaissance process. We have many teachers who express views and concerns about that.

“It is only about that one day in question when Ms. Moffett provided tokens to students to leave school grounds without parental permission. Those actions placed the safety of those students in jeopardy.”

Moffett, has taught English at the school since it reopened in September 2008 and acknowledged giving a student tokens on Feb. 15, the day some students traveled to district headquarters on Broad Street, near Spring Garden, to protest the Renaissance process.

Moffett responded to Nixon on Tuesday night.

“I would like to ask Penny Nixon how this [the giving of tokens] can be the case when I was removed from my classroom without charges before I acknowledged that I had given one student tokens that morning, as I have done on many, many occasions in the past.

“The timeline is very clear. I spoke at an open community meeting with District officials, I authored an objective editorial making the case that Audenried is not a failing school, and I attended the SRC meeting in support of dedicated and vocal students who represented themselves to board members as the successful students that they are. The day after the SRC hearing, I was removed, allegedly to have a meeting, but, in my opinion, as a clear warning to teachers to keep quiet. Only after my removal did I make public that I support the right of students to use peaceful protest as a method to gain the ear of a district that had refused them recourse in a community meeting only a week before. Community leader Charles Reeves has gone on record saying that he planned and organized the walkout.”

Moffett, 25, spent her 11th day in teacher jail Tuesday after learning Monday that Linda Cliatt-Wayman, assistant superintendent for high schools, had recommended she be fired.

She faces a “Level 2” hearing in front of Nixon as early as Thursday, where Nixon will review Cliatt-Wayman’s recommendation to fire her. Nixon said Tuesday she intends for Moffett to have “due process.”

Moffett’s firing must be approved by the School Reform Commission, if Nixon recommends it. That could take place as early as March 16.
Until the SRC votes, Moffett will have to continue to report daily to the rubber room, also known as “teacher jail.”