Bronx Collaborative High School, 100 West Mosholu Parkway, Bronx, NY.
Abusive to students and staff. Regularly violates CBA, school found in violation of disregarding multiple IEPs, retaliatory.
1. Does not take responsibility for the school itself. Bronx Collab was reported several times to 311 due to issues with classrooms in the building itself including no doors in bathrooms, leaky bathroom fixtures, drafty rooms, lack of heat in some room, etc. Brett’s response was to tell kids to wear coats instead of working with the building staff to repair things.
2. Does not work well with women building staff and isn’t respectful to female students. Female student concerns about bathroom cleanliness routinely ignored and female absences related to health issues treated differently than with men for both students and teachers. Any time of females have anything to say he shuts them down and complaints about his actions haven’t been taken seriously.
3. Misallocates funds. Constantly is saying the school is for English learners but the English learning program is technically underfunded, special needs is the same way, AP for all, restorative justice is the same way, pretty much any program he can ask for money for he does but then that money isn’t allocated to supporting that program. It hurts the student’s progress and teacher’s performance. Prior school chancelors were alerted to this but as far as I know there’s never been an investigation.
4. Likes to hear himself talk. Meetings without him last 30 minutes and stick to an agenda. Meetings with him can last hours, often going well past allocated CBA guidelines, and have no agenda and no actionable items as results. Complaints have been filed several times over his attempts at circumventing CBA meeting allocations. If he wasn’t at a meeting he will often shut down the action items because he wasn’t involved to make the decision for himself.
5. Has contributed to high staff turnover. The school has gone through a number of APs and Department heads over the last several years, more than is normal. In some cases teachers and administrators who have left made it clear they were not happy with his leadership and those complaints should be on record and yet he’s yet to have his leadership challenged by the DOE.
6. Pivots constantly. Tries to do mid-semester changes in scheduling, in grading rubrics, in student policies which confuses the students and their parents and makes the job of teaching more difficult. This was an issue prior to the pandemic but his even moreso because of distance learning where he can more easily pretend to ignore concerns when he unilaterally makes decisions that hurt students and staff. Some of his schedules are on record as being violations of the CBA as well as state mandates relating to the students.
The principal is not fit. He has no understanding of pedagogy or how to be an effective leader. He perceives any constructive criticism as a personal slight. He repeatedly says he wants to build community but only ever implements his ideas. The joke is that at Bronx Collaborative, there is nothing collaborative about the place. The schedule (not programming as it should) changes, literally every semester. He is unable to develop structure and maintain it. The poor students never know what to expect. It is so sad to hear them say, “this school is trash”. The turnover is incredibly high, we have lost a number of great teachers who stayed because of the kids, but eventually left because they could not deal with Brett. He likes to triangulate and hates when teachers form good working relationships because he sees it as a personal threat as opposed to creating community and partnerships that can be a model of good working relationships for students. He is very misogynistic, he treats women very differently than men, especially young, handsome men. I have personally witnessed him berate faculty (including his APs), staff, and students to the point of tears; he is especially harsh to women. He is shameless in his approach to leadership, lying to parents, changing IEPs without data, and completely failing ENL students by not providing the proper structures for a “bilingual transitional program” which is essentially non-existent. He is also very shady about finances, misallocating funds. It is so sad that students in the Bronx have to put up with ineffective leaders because Bronx schools seem to be hard to staff.