A Rat-Infested "Shithole" - This Is New York City's Worst School (And The Reason Why)

Tyler Durden's picture

In Europe, "it is all austerity's fault" or so the conventional, and very wrong, wisdom goes. Or rather, fauxterity, because as we showed months ago, with European debt and spending soaring, tax revenues plunging, and zero actual reforms since Draghi's "whatever it takes" speech made any actual attempt to fix the economy through fiscal policy irrelevant (after all the Goldmanite at the head of the ECB will fix any runaway bond yields), the main thing that actually ails Europe is sheer political incompetence and unbridled corruption (and the hangover of record debt, but as every Keynesian knows, even more debt will easily fix that).

As it turns out, the same applies for the US: because in a country in which the lack of economic "growth" and prosperity are attributed to the occasional sequester, and a stingy congress that refuses to unleash the spending floodgates, the money is perfectly sufficient - the problem is that quite often it ends up in the hands of people who one may call criminals, if one were so inclined (although legally is prohibited at least until they end up convicted in a court of law).

Take the case of public school PS 106, located in Far Rockaway, Queens - the school is allocated $2.9 million to serve a low-income population with 98 percent of its students eligible for free lunches. As a Title 1 school, it gets extra federal funds. There is one problem: none of that state money actually makes its way to the students, and with no class, or books, and a rat infestation, PS 106 has officially earned the title of New York's worst school.

The Post details the educational process at one of New York's public schools:

Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say. The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day. “The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.


The school nurse has no office equipped with a sink, refrigerator or cot. The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”


No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes. A classroom that includes learning-disabled kids doesn’t have the required special-ed co-teacher.


About 40 kindergartners have no room in the three-story brick building. They sit all day in dilapidated trailers that reek of “animal urine,” a parent said; rats and squirrels noisily scamper in the walls and ceiling.


* * *


But five months into the school year, PS 106 classes still don’t have the books or teacher’s guides.


They have no reading program, no math program,” a source said, adding Sills blames outside administrators for not sending materials. Teachers muddle through by printing out worksheets they find online, buying their own copy paper.


The DOE gave no explanation for the missing curricula but said it’s “working with the school to provide students with physical education.”

Surely, all of the above is the result of some evil, cheap legislator who refuses to release another million or two to satisfy the school's pressing budgetary needs. Actually, no. It turns out it is all the principal's fault:

The principal — Marcella Sills, who joined PS 106 nine years ago — is a frequent no-show, sources say.



Sills did not come to school last Monday. On Tuesday, she showed up at 3:30 p.m.


On Wednesday, The Post found her at home in Westbury, LI, all day before emerging at 2:50 p.m. — school dismissal time. Wearing a fur coat, she took her BMW for a spin. She showed up at school Thursday, but not Friday.


When Sills, 48, does go to work, it’s rarely before 11 a.m. — and often hours later, say sources familiar with her schedule. “She strolls in whenever she wants,” one said.


The school hasn’t had a payroll secretary in years.

Not only that, but the school's community members also state that they have never seen a budget tracking the income and spending. Well, the income is clear: generous taxpayers. As for spending: it's quite clear where the funds are being embezzled.

When [Marcella Sills] is out, an assistant principal is left in charge. Yet Sills, who gets a $128,207 salary, also pockets overtime pay — $2,900 for 83 hours in 2011, the latest available records show.

Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there, because any attempts to rectify the situation are halted before they will even begin.

Staffers won’t speak up or even file a grievance with their union because Sills will retaliate, a source said. Parents wonder if higher-ups know what’s going on.


“Why don’t they get on them? I don’t understand that,” said Michael Moore, father of a second-grader.


Another father, Roland Legions, added. “They’re not doing right by the kids.”


One mom said she couldn’t get a meeting with Sills to discuss concerns. Another said Sills is “just not professional.” “She should be here,” the mom said. “How is she going to run the school if she’s not here?”

She won't. But she will gladly collect her paycheck while the student spend time watching movies with the rats. Actually, scratch that: "A spokesman denied the trailers are rat-infested."

In conclusion:

“This school is a complete shithole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.

That's ok - nobody cares, which means one can once more fall back to the traditional bullshit excuse and again blame those evil stingy legislators who refuse to give Ms. Sills a few more million to collect for doing... nothing.

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wisehiney's picture

Time for the fed to break out the 3D school house printer.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

That story seems a bit hard to swallow. 

akak's picture

Damn, a swallow infestation too?

nmewn's picture

Clearly, this school needs moar administrators and less teachers!

PrecipiceWatching's picture

Less of both.

Less money too.

Much more of the intact, monogamous, heterosexual nuclear family unit.

SafelyGraze's picture

documentary of the day:


War Zone-The Destruction Of An All-American City

Clint Liquor's picture

Anyone that would steal the education of a child should be gutted like a fish.

Son of Loki's picture

Obviously, she's due for a promotion in the FSA.

Anusocracy's picture

It's not as bad as it seems.

That school is on loan from Detroit.

flacon's picture

Marcella Sills is a gay actor from that gay movie that they indoctrinate kids with, Rocky Horror Marxist Darwinist Show - It's all good... "she didn't kill those mink [synthetic Chineze plastics]".

TruthInSunshine's picture

Throwing more money at schools, teachers, administrators, technology systems, unions, etc., etc., is always and forever the governments "answer" to improving academic performance.

What a load of shit.

I lived in Japan for a year when I was in college (on an exchange program).

In Japan, the school buildings are old, most are unheated, extremely few have air conditioning or what we'd consider modern HVAC systems, the classrooms are spartan, the STUDENTS ACT AS THE CUSTODIAL STAFF in most schools, and yet Japanese Students crush even "elite" American Students @ the elementary and high school level (a Japanese high school senior is more apt in science and mathematics than nearly any American University undergrad).

American's educational crisis is one born of a cultural deficit, and throwing gobs of money at that crisis will do nothing to resolve it (but will reward public school, bureaucrats).

MisterMousePotato's picture

Since I am the only one here trained in arithmatic, let me explain it:

Average spent per pupil: $12,000 per year (figure is from five or ten years ago. Higher now?)

Average number of children per classroom: 30. Was 20ish for a while, but then the Free Shit Teachers figured out they could steal more if class sizes were larger. (Not that there's anything wrong with that - that was typical for my school years; I just get tired of the ruse used to increase taxes for "smaller class sizes," but then they just stuff the dough in their pockets at the end of the day.)

But I digress.

30 x $12,000 = $360,000. Per classroom. Per year.

Hm. I know I'm small time, but that sure seems like an awful lot of money to me.

James_Cole's picture

Yeah the US is famously shit at money management. See if you notice a similarity between these two:



Lotta money, shitty outcomes. 


Yes bitchez, invest in teachers not administrators and bullshit tests. 

...Race to the Top initiative invites states to compete for federal dollars using tests and other methods to measure teachers, a philosophy that would not fly in Finland. “I think, in fact, teachers would tear off their shirts,” said Timo Heikkinen, a Helsinki principal with 24 years of teaching experience. “If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect.”

Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians.

AldousHuxley's picture

money for education ends up in fancing buildings built by construction companies who fund local politicians' elections

and in areas where politicians own land/buildings to artificially raise real estate value all paid by your taxes.


your tax dollars --> school leaders --> fancy buildings that has nothing to do with education --> construction companies --> election fund for politician & construction union vote --> increased desirability of shitty home next to the new school building --> money into owner of that land = political insider who knew about the "redevelopment" projects and bet early


that's how most government corruption works....cry for money, funnel funding to 3rd party, kickback to politician's kids bank account in the form of sudden increase in asset value.

James_Cole's picture

Hence why American pols love the voucher system so much, even easier to send taxpayer money right to their buddies. 

jcaz's picture

But, but...  We've managed to employ yet another black woman,  so it's all good......

onewayticket2's picture

this has been going on for years....here's the same deal from 2008

it's not changing.



kralizec's picture

Having a hard time moving my meter to "I give a damn"...it seems stuck at "Don't give a flying fuck"!

These people elected progressives to school boards, city councils, state legislators etc etc...

They made their rat-infested bed...they can die in it too.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Asterisked with:  *Long as my family don't have to pay for it.  

HurricaneSeason's picture

Schools get race to the bottom bidding for new construction, every 20 or 30 years, with $15 an hour construction workers that don't see any significant retirement. Teachers that vote themselves raises and outrageous retirements in their 40s dig a deeper and deeper hole. $100K a year and more for 1000 hours of glorified babysitting and "See Spot run" instruction is what is killing the schools, not construction kickbacks or bribes. The NEA kickbacks and bribes to politicians are upfront and above the table and standard procedure.

AldousHuxley's picture

This is small fry..

as many as 1,000 police officers and firefighters already collecting pensions from the city — were suspected to have bilked the federal government out of an estimated $400 million.

"half the defendants falsely claimed that their psychiatric disabilities were caused by the 9/11 attacks"



Your tax dollars paying for this ahole to go fishing:


cherokeepilot's picture

I read this column on a daily basis and enjoy most of the comments, even though some of them are not well researched as your's was AldousHuxley.


I usually do not comment since my grandmother once told me that, at times, "it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove that your are" (maybe not the exact words).  However, in this case I will take the chance.

You have taken part of the referenced article and totally misquoted it.  There were not 1,000 police and firefigthers involved in that process.

This is the actual quote from the article. "Many of the 72 city police officers and eight firefighters named in the 205-count indictment had blamed the Sept. 11 attacks for what they described as mental problems: post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and severe depression." 

Furthermore, the actual statement that you attempt to qoute was "a scheme stretching back to 1988 in which as many as 1,000 people — many of them officers and firefighters already collecting pensions from the city — were suspected to have bilked the federal government out of an estimated $400 million."

I know that a majority of people commenting on this site think that pensions received by police and firefighters are unjustified and in some cases probably are, but if you are going to bash these people that put their lives on the line to protect and save the citizens for which they work, get you goddamn facts straight.

As an aside, my father was a Chicago firefighter who was killed in the line of duty and his badge was retired and hung on display in the Chicago Fire Academy.  How much do you think his pension was overvalued by?

ATM's picture

I think it was overvalued by all of it. Taxpayers funding the risk of paying retired employees retirements for 40 years is a scam.

There is a thing called life insurance and I hope your father was responsible enough to have purchased it for his family as well as having saved his wages for the future. 

cherokeepilot's picture

Your response is exactly the type of comment that pisses me off. Obviously you have no idea of how my father's pension was funded since you refer to a "taxpayers funding".  My father paid 10% of his salary into his pension fund.  The City of Chicago was to pay 2.2% into the fund in addition to what my dad paid into the fund.  They, historically, have never paid unless threatened with a lawsuit and were way behind, even when my father died.  The fund is not owned or administered by the government.  It is basically a private fund, administered by current and retired firefighters.

As far as the fund paying a retired employee for 40 years, I have to ask "where did you get that figure?"  When my dad died, the average life expectancy of a retired firefighter was 3 to 7 years after retirement.  The earliest that a firefighter can retire today is at age 50 with 20 years service.  Using you figure, that would mean that the retiree would live to age 90.  Rediculous!!  The average of retirement for a firefighter is 57.  How many 97 year old people are running around, even today?

There are certain cities and towns that do fund and administer pensions and yes, these are taxpayers funded.  Hell, all the salaries of goverment workers are taxfunded.  The pensions are/were supposed to be part of the pay package.  The pensions in private industry are/were funded by receipts for the product that the companies produced.  Are these also a "scam"?  Taxpayers purchased a product, the company supposedly put part of the receipts in a fund for the pensions of their employees.  How is this different from a government agency funding a retirement program through their receipts (taxes)? 

It would be a great world if we didn't have to pay taxes, but they are necessary for the operation of any governmental agency.  As a member of a city, town or county you expect certain services and those services are paid for through taxes.  Pensions are part of the compensation package that helps attract people to these dangerous professions. 

By the way, my father did have life insurance.  As far as having saved money, he didn't.  When he was hired, the pay for a firefighter was 75% of that of most other jobs.  He took the firefighter job, even though it did not pay well at that time, because it included a pension when he would retire.

To bad that he didn't have your foresight and pick an occupation similar to yours, whatever the hell it is that you do.

TBT or not TBT's picture

It's not small fry.   The teacher's unions are the biggest in nation, and they're uniformly for the Government Party, which pays them back in kind.     Firefighters and cops are far less numerous, but yes you get the same issues out of public service sector unions, uniform support of the Government Party.

insanelysane's picture

"30 x $12,000 = $360,000. Per classroom. Per year."

I was told by someone in my town that you can't look at it that way.  I stared at him and asked, well, which way would you look at it.  Crickets.

401K of Dooom's picture

Amen brother!  You forgot to add that the Japanese prize academic success over most everything else.  Also the Japanese students will attend after school tutoring academies called "cram schools". 

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I know. All of that scholastic excellence has really worked out great in the land of the rising sun. You are comparing a country with an even worse economy and many times worse cultural problems. I'll take our fancy schools any day.

ElvisDog's picture

My thoughts too. The Japanese are steadily going batshit crazy with their current society. They can keep it.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Actually they can't keep it entirely.   It's the deathbed demographics guaranteeing that.   On the other hand, unlike the Europeans, the replacement population in Japan will still be Japanese, so there's that.   The baked-in fruits of their extremely strong ethnic/national/racial preferences in immigration policy.    In Europe the replacement population will be from the middle east and northern africa, where Islam and and Islamicate cultural values subject women to second class family making duties.

Rukeysers Ghost's picture

Is this the same Japan that is in an economic death spiral and has their younger generations paying whores to cuddle with them because they don't want the hassle of wives, husbands, girlfriends, et al? Some way to spend all that educational capitol.


The grass is always greener....unless it's dead and just painted green.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Japan most definitely has MANY IMMINENT SERIOUS problems, but I assure you that the educational achievement and competency of their young people in advanced math & science is NOT one of those problems.

p.s. - Japanese University is party drinking time, totally lax, where the only pressure students FACED was the admission/entrance exam.

Rafferty's picture

Everyone dancing around the problem again. Look everywhere but at the root cause.   This is a BLACK problem.  Take virtually any all-White school in the country, even in really poor areas like West Virginia, and they'll be nothing like this.  It's axiomatic that if you cannot or will not identify the cause of a problem you cannot fix it.

starfcker's picture

i've always thought the answer to the black problem is to take all the resources nessesary and starting with first grade, intensive, focused attention on teaching reading and basic math. whatever it takes. every single kid can learn to read proficiently. no social promotion. they don't go anywhere until they can read, and read well. that's the key. reading is fundamental. every kid who can't read is a future disaster. you can't teach them anything else. libs are very credential focused. they think a credential is the answer. that's how you end up with people like this woman. i'm sure she is very credentialed. but i'll bet she is not very educated. obama said, on leno, he can only do 7th grade math. how did he get into harvard?

TBT or not TBT's picture

Hey, Obama is the smartest man ever to be President!   Haven't you read the brilliant work he did at Harvard, Columbia, and Occidental?   He was the editor of the Harvard Law Review.    His "present" votes were brilliant too.   

verum quod lies's picture

It's all about the students and the people; therefore, it is as bad as it seems as the same people that populate Detroit, for example, populate that school. The need fewer sons of Barry. You have third world people you get a third world shithole, just like Detroit.

starfcker's picture

verum, i disagree a little bit. the public schools i went to were considered experimental at the time, and were desegregated ten years before it became law. every kid had the same expectations not only in learning, but more importantly, in behavior. we didn't know we were all different because we were all treated the same. there were some pretty good outcomes from those experiments, judging from my class reunions.

Againstthelie's picture

My grandparents in elementary school had one room for all four classes.

My grandmother and grandfather never visited a high school but their culture techniques were perfect (reading, writing and calculating).


It's a marxist lie that money was the solution.

The REAL problem is:

1. A degenerating society hailing egoism and condemning discipline cannot produce a disciplined, well educated and intelligent youth.

2. Biology...

401K of Dooom's picture

Thank you!  I have been waiting to find someone else who can tell people about the youth culture that was created by the government in order to control the kids.

zhandax's picture

Take a lie, and pile a union on top of it, and what, you expect something different from this?

Tall Tom's picture

Anyone that puts their children in a Public School steals their chance for an education.


If you truly love your children then remove them from Public Schooling today.