ON THE APPOINTMENT OF KGIA PERMANENT PRINCIPAL
Statement from Communities in Support of KGIA
New York City, Januray 8, 2008-Given the circumstances in which Debbie Almontaser was forced to resign and that the DOE’s decision not to consider her application to the position is still being challenged in court, this appointment is illegitimate.
We challenge any self-respecting professional who would accept a position at the school at this time given the evidence of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism that hangs over Debbie Almontaser’s discharge.
Although the new principal may be qualified as an educator, she clearly does not have qualifications or experience for this position that come anywhere close to those of KGIA’s visionary and founding principal, Debbie Almontaser. Just take a look at each of their qualifications, and it is more than obvious that the best person was not selected for this position.
Additional statements from Communities in Support of KGIA representatives:
“It is clearly not in the best interest of the school for the DOE to have appointed a new principal when the case is going to be heard before the court of appeals in the next few weeks, determining whether or not founding principal Debbie Almontaser was unfairly excluded from the selection process for the position . The new semester doesn’t begin until the end of the month, and so there was no reason to bulldoze this through now. It shows a lack of integrity and concern for the well-being of the students and families of KGIA.”
-Rabbi Michael Feinberg
“The new principal is an employee of New Visions, whose president played a central role in Debbie Almontaser’s forced resignation from her position. Is it possible that the DOE or New Visions played an improper role in hand-picking the new principal? Something is very off here.”
“The DOE may point to all the qualifications of the new principal. What the DOE has failed to address is that the new principal’s qualifications fall dramatically short of Ms. Almontaser’s qualifications. The DOE forced Ms. Almontaser to resign and then unfairly excluded her from the process to become KGIA’s principal. Now they are offering the position to an individual far less qualified and with far less experience than Ms. Almontaser to lead a school that has fallen far short of its mission and vision without Ms. Almontaser’s leadership.”
“Today’s selection of a ‘new Principal’ of KGIA is very disappointing and yet another wrong move. Like Ms Reichert, the new Principal, I also taught students in Arabic as a Peace Corps instructor. And while I tend to regard fellow Peace Corps volunteers almost as family, I really have to wonder about Ms Reichert’s judgment here, choosing to step over Ms Almontaser in order to get the job. That is not the Peace Corps way and that is not the way to inspire confidence or support.
I am less surprised about the Department of Education and its partner New Visions which have shown a consistent lack of good judgment– in this case, selecting a new Principal when the court case could invalidate that selection. What brutal bureaucratic logic! Moreover, it is also clear that DOE will not hire an actual Arab American for this position. That racist message will seem very clear to many in this city and around the world.”
-P. Adem Carroll