“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God” – John 3:20-21.”
As citizen journalist Trevor Colestock exposed the Adobegate scandal over the past four years and exposed it to the proverbial disinfectant of sunlight, the administration of Miami-Dade County public schools, chiefly Alberto Carvalho and Enid Weisman, decided to retaliate against him.
Mr. Colestock’s trial is set to commence on March 12, 2018.
Logic was defied in Miami-Dade County, Florida, as union steward and school library media specialist Trevor Colestock uncovered a massive test cheating scandal, Adobegate, at Miami Norland Senior High School and was unlawfully transferred to another school as a result; his findings verified by the Final Miami-Dade OIG Report; and the strange firing of one teacher and suspension of the other who was equally involved.
Mrs. Muchnick returned to Norland High in early January 2014 after a menial suspension and no disciplinary action by the State while her accomplice, Mr. Fleurantin, was fired and recently disciplined by the Florida Education Practices Commission.
According to the Florida EPC Report issued on October 27, 2017, Mr. Fleurantin received a two year suspension, two years probation, and a $750 fine along with taking an ethics course and limitations on proctoring tests.
In the past, the Florida EPC revoked certificates of teachers who were implicated in minor instances of test cheating. Seems like both Fleurantin and Muchnick got a sweetheart deal.
To date, the teachers involved, Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, were never arrested, charged, booked, and/or prosecuted as the State Attorney, the Florida Attorney General, and Governor Rick Scott refused to acknowledge this massive test cheating scandal and the almost $250,000 paid out through federal and state incentives to the faculty for an “A” grade for the 2011-12 school year tainted by cheating.
Each teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School received $1730.41.
Most crimes, such as theft and homicide, have varying degrees; test cheating does not and state law is straightforward and clear. In any given instance of test cheating, a role is a role; there is no distinguishing a major role from a minor role. Either one was involved or they were not.
Both Mr. Fleurantin and Mrs. Muchnick, according to the Miami-Dade OIG Final Report, allegedly “knowingly and willfully” violated test security rules irrespective of quantity of students in their respective roles.
When one reads that document and the Department of Administrative Hearings brief, issued by the School Board Attorney on January 8, 2014, justifying Mr. Fleurantin’s termination, one can reasonably conclude that Mrs. Muchnick is equally culpable, and a reasonable person would think her employment was up for termination as well.
In the meanwhile, the State of Florida or the USDOE, not to mention the Miami-Dade State Attorney and/or the U.S. District Attorney, declined to take action even though various crimes appear to have taken place akin to the test cheating scandals in Georgia and Texas, which have landed school administrators and teachers in jail.
Though the teachers got paid, the big winners from Norland’s academic successes tainted by cheating were school and district administrators: Reginald Lee went from being an assistant principal over the vocational department in which the cheating took place to the principal of Charles Drew Middle School and then Norland in November 2012; Luis Solano went from being the principal at Norland to the Associate Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction at Collier County Public Schools in Naples and was recently hired as the Chief Operating Officer for Detroit Public Schools by Nikolai Vitti; Nikolai Vitti went from being the Assistant Superintendent of the Education Transformation Office (ETO) at M-DCPS to the Chief Academic Officer of M-DCPS and then became the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville and recently was hired as the Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools; and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho became the Florida and National Superintendent of the Year shortly thereafter and is still in charge of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Also, the Florida Department of Education recently released information that revealed that Miami Norland Senior High School had 96 FCAT/EOC test invalidations over the span of three school years (2011-2014).
Combined with the questionable U.S. History EOC scores at Norland for the 2016-17 school year, it appears that test cheating is condoned and rewarded.
U.S. History EOC scores at Norland from the exam’s inception: 31% (2013), 47% (2014), 43% (2015), 41% (2016), and 83% (2017).
A reasonable person may assume that Miami-Dade County Public Schools “created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation” when it chose to transfer and retaliate against Mr. Colestock for reporting, exposing, and publishing articles about the test cheating while returning Mrs. Muchnick to Norland and never seeking her or Mr. Fleurantin’s prosecution.
The implied message to teachers in Miami-Dade seems to be “keep your mouth shut about test cheating lest you want to end up like Mr. Colestock.”
The lack of inaction by the federal and state governments seem to condone M-DCPS’s actions and test cheating in general.
Like Atlanta, the victims in Miami-Dade County, Florida, besides the taxpayer, were low-income minority (mostly black) school children who were denied the remedial help they needed as false and misleading test scores suggested otherwise and graduated with worthless Adobe credentials.
Despite the exposure of these issues over the past four years, it seems strange how the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter movement has been stunningly silent.
2016 Spring NGSSS US History EOC Results by School Summaries (Xls) (Gives a 4 year overview of test scores)
2017 NGSSS US History Results By School (Compares the last two years of test scores)