The Josephsons contend that the Board has been little more than a rubber stamp regarding the way crucial policies and practices within the scope of their responsibility were created and implemented of the Head of School.
The impact of this “hands-off” approach can be seen not only in the vast damage done to all the plaintiff’s by the unaccountable conduct of Ms. English, but also by the board’s failure to meet its obligations to assure that Ms. English effectively pursues and accomplishes specific aspects of the Five Year Strategic Plan, which would have prevented or made less likely the improper conduct described in this document.
In particular, Ms. English has not been held accountable with respect to her failures regarding the following aspects of the Board’s Strategic Plan.
1) Goal 7 states that “Equally important to academic excellence is the quality of community that has been established by the School’s commitment to character development.” Ms. English has not been held accountable to demonstrate specific, tangible and effective means of promoting character development employed during her tenure.
To the contrary, she dismembered the formal character development models that were in place and in process when she arrived at the school and failed to replace them with an effective equally comprehensive different strategy or program.
Instead she installed an inherently defective student review process that has been ineffectual at widely promoting the development of positive ethical values and has, instead, promoted fear and distrust. Most pertinent to our case, she also used the discretionary power, conferred on her by the Board, to maliciously punish the Josephson children for what she perceived as a challenge to her authority.
2) Goal 2 requires the Head of School to “Create compelling incentives to continue to attract and retain an outstanding faculty, administration and staff from diverse backgrounds.” It adds that “Excellent schools require outstanding educators. The caliber of its teachers is the School’s highest priority.” An explicit objective of efforts in this area is to encourage long-term commitment to Archer.”
Had the Board monitored the pursuit of this objective, it would have found that another negative result of allowing Ms. English to base her management style on intimidation rather than inspiration is the departure of an unprecedented number of outstanding faculty members and a palpable alienation of a significant number of current teachers and administrators who are in constant fear of the consequences of disagreeing with Ms. English on any issue.
3) Goal 3 focuses on Archer’s commitment to academic excellence. While the many excellent faculty members who remain have, by and large, achieved this goal, the lack of board oversight has permitted Ms. English to conceal or understate major deficiencies in the math and science curricula, so as to force families, including Josephson’s, to supplement Archer curricula by online courses (approved of and subsidized by Archer).
Moreover, the Board of Trustees permitted Ms. English to proclaim that Archer is a STEM school (an institution with robust courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) although she has not been able to attract or retain teachers capable of offering calculus-based physics, computer science or a math class beyond Calculus BC, a math level two full levels lower than other independent schools in the area.
4) Goal 7 also imposes on the Head of School the obligation to “support the highest ethical and moral standards in an atmosphere of honesty, respect and responsibility for all members of the school community.”
Ample evidence of her dishonesty, disrespect and irresponsibility (detailed in the attached Memorandum) during her dealings with my clients demonstrate the impact of the Board’s failure to hold Ms. English accountable to this objective.