Tuesday, December 04, 2007
DOE's Firing Squad
I found the e-mail from Chancellor Joel Klein quite humorous. The e-mail claimed how pro-teacher he is. However, it's not what you say but do and its very obvious that the reality is that Chancellor Klein and his cronies are anti-teacher.
The latest in his anti-teacher action is his use of one million dollars of precious funds to create a group of lawyers and retired principals to fire teachers for incompetence. It appear Kleinberg is frustrated how few teachers are fired for incompetence. The memo claimed only ten teachers were fired. Hence the DOE statement that they are not going after teachers. However, add hundreds (yes hundreds) of teachers who have been given (or will be given) 3020a charges for incompetence and DOE is trying to fire them all. How interesting Chancellor Klein's memo didn't include that! I guess he forgot.
The UFT calls this group the "gotcha squad". However, let's call it like it is a "firing squad".
The main purpose of this group is to help principals properly document their incompetence charges. To the uninformed teacher it might not seem like a big deal. However, it is a big deal.
Any teacher that runs afoul of a principal can be brought up on charges of incompetence. How you say?
First, you get a "U" observation and lesson plan. Next, the follow-up observation is "U". This continues for the year which finally results in a "U' for the year. The next year you are given a terrible schedule which will guarantee that you will be given the Peer Intervention Program (PIP). However, this will not stop the "U" rating the second year. Finally, you will be removed from classroom teaching and spend some time during clerical work in your school while the 3020a charges are filed.
This can't happen to you? Guess again. Even the best teachers can be railroaded. It only takes a student talking out of turn, or turning your back to the class to write something, and even a subjective determination that your lesson was not focused to get a "U" observation. The rest is obvious on the teacher's road to incompetence.
I believe the union needs to do more than simply wait out Bloomberg & Klein. The UFT should should be pro-active in demonstrating their objections to the anti-teacher DOE. We have given up too much to Kleinberg, its time to draw a line in the sand and yell "enough". We need to get our respect back. It's time to stop the DOE bullies!