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Disciplinary record haunts Justin Koren in Miami-Dade School Board race

Court records show Koren removed from the classroom, charged with job abandonment.

Miami-Dade School Board candidate Justin Koren is under fire for his checkered disciplinary history as a classroom teacher.

Koren, an assistant principal at Miami Killian High School, was removed from the classroom as a teacher after administrators discovered that he had shared his username and password with other staffers, allowing them to alter the grades of his students.

Court documents also show that Koren was charged separately with job abandonment and was physically removed from the classroom.

Koren fought these charges and sued the School Board for unfair labor practices, while Koren lost his challenge in the lower courts he did prevail on appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Now, as Koren seeks to replace Dr. Larry Feldman on the Miami-Dade County School Board, these charges are reemerging.

A series of mailers from the Citizens Alliance for Florida’s Economy political committee bring up these charges and are forcing Koren to address the allegations in a series of emails and online videos.

The mailers also draw attention to a different allegation regarding Koren’s credentials.

Koren, who refers to himself as “Dr. Justin Koren” in campaign literature, claims to have earned a Ph.D. in “Education Evaluation in Research.” But that degree was from an online college in Western Australia.

And complicating matters further, that college doesn’t currently list any “Education Evaluation in Research” Ph.D. programs on their website.

Koren used the questionable degree to get a bonus in pay and a promotion.

Koren is facing several challengers for the District 9 school board seat, including former Miami-Dade PTA President Dr. Nancy Lawther and County Commissioner Dennis Moss.

The election takes place Aug. 18. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will proceed to a Nov. 3 runoff election.

The mailers are below.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. SC

    July 31, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I hope he wins- seeing how you people posting this and sending out those flyers are trying so hard to discredit him- you want Lawther in there- I hope it doesn’t happen now. Hopefully it backfires right in your face for all this BS

  2. THELMA CONNOR-MILLER

    July 31, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Hmmm,….This just does not add up! Clearly, Dr. Koren did something right! After he ultimately prevailed in his lawsuit against the school board, he received a PROMOTION and became an Assistant Principal at Miami Killian; he still currently holds that title! Someone needs to tell the WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH! Dr. Koren will be an INVALUABLE asset to the school board because of ALL his experiences in a district where he served as a student, teacher, and administrator!

  3. Steven L Redlich

    August 1, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Dr. Feldman also has an online Phd, his being in Educational Leadership/Systemic Reform from The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio which was established in 1964, says it has satellite campuses in Florida and California. and is unranked in National Universities.

    • A. ROSENBERG

      August 1, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      Curtin University is a notable university in the field of education. I do not understand the negative ad and its correlation to this article’s explanation. The source is Koren’s own LinkedIn account? That’s absurd. As a university professor, I can attest to the fact that collegial programs change/are renamed over time. Also independent studies are common for those pursuing a PhD in the field of education. According to his website, Koren received his degree seven years ago. Nevertheless, I searched, as someone did who commented above, and found his program of study on the university’s site without difficulty. It is terrible to attack a career educator for attaining higher education. We should commend those pursuing advanced degrees, not degrade their accomplishments.

  4. Audrey

    August 1, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    This is all a bunch of nonsense. Dr. Koren’s degree is 100% legit. I just Googled him and found his PhD dissertation and even a publication of his in a scientific journal. I then Googled the university he attended, which is NOT an online university at all. He did travel to Australia and earned that degree. Curtin University is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide in the highly regarded Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019. Check for yourself! This is why you can’t believe ANYTHING put out in political races. All an attempt to smear the reputation of what appears to be a really decent and intelligent young man. He’s got my vote.

  5. Chris P.

    August 1, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Why is Koren haunted by this if he won at the State Supreme Court 7-0?! Seems more like he is wearing a badge of honor for having fought and prevailed. And a bogus degree? So the school district prompted him to a major high school and compensated him for something that is not real? Yeah, right. I checked and the university exists, brick and mortar.

  6. Beeeeee

    August 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Bad karma. Who ever dug this up doesn’t think long term. You can not become an AP if you’re committing illegal/bad practices so just stop with the bashing and run a fair race.
    God don’t like ugly.

    • Nikki

      August 2, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      Go to the Miami Killian website where he is AP. He was promoted from teacher to boss administrator. Why would they promote him if these lies were true?? His opponents be running scared!!!

  7. Michelle

    August 1, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    So I guess “Staff Reports” is the byline used when cowards want to hide their true identity. There is a saying we use in the Bahamas: “Don’t mind the noise in the market, check out the price of the fish.”

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