To the Editor:
In “Remembering Long Time Principal,” (Express, Dec. 10) reporter Dan Rivoli appears to have been completely beguiled by Mr. Morison’s wife and her attempt to have him memorialized. As the “keeper of the flame,” it is hardly surprising that she would attempt to perpetrate this bit of revisionist history and depict her husband as “an education advocate” and a “pioneering principal.”
As someone who had the opportunity to work at P.S. 84 for many years, I had ample opportunity to observe Mr. Morison’s less than stellar performance. As an educational leader, his tenure was marked by a period of stagnation, during which standardized reading and math test scores plummeted. This was a far cry from the reputation that the school enjoyed prior to Mr. Morison’s arrival.
To fully understand why such an individual would have been selected [as principal], one must recall that it was at a time when the system was in the midst of the “community control” movement. A small, hard-core group of militant, highly vocal parents asserted themselves, imposing their choice of Mr. Morison as “community principal” of the school. He was in no way qualified for the position, other than that he subscribed to the radicalized agenda being espoused by this group, and he was all too willing to impose their will. In no time, the school’s reputation for academic excellence was a thing of the past, thanks to the “leadership” exercised by Mr. Morison!
There really is no need to name a street after Mr. Morison. His “legacy,” and a sad one it is indeed, is the hundreds of children who passed through P.S. 84’s portals, devoid of the basic elementary education to which they were entitled. Hopefully, Community Board 7 will consider this, rather than the poignant pleas of the “keeper of the flame.” Let us not add insult to the injury that has already been done!
Former P.S. 84 teacher
Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.
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