Thursday, June 04, 2009
Why A Teacher Should Never Accept The Phony PIP+ Program - Unless The Teacher Wants To Be Terminated
For teachers who have been targeted for incompetence, the procedure by the Principal is to first give "U" observations the first year and give a "U" rating for the year. The second year the "U" observations continue and the Principal offer the Peer Intervention Program (PIP). The Principal must offer PIP if the Principal is to file future 3020-a charges against the teacher. However, even if the PIP teacher does not find any significant problem with the targeted teacher's classroom instruction, the Principal will continue to order the APs to give "U" observations and for the second year, an annual "U" rating.
Because the PIP program is a union program to help the teacher, the PIP teacher usually gives favorable comments about the targeted teacher's teaching ability. The PIP program in conjunction with the poor write ups the administrators do make it very difficult to terminate a teacher for alleged incompetence. Hence the PIP+ program.
Enter the DOE's infamous Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) otherwise known as the "Gotcha Squad". The TPU is a 1.2 million dollar group of retired Principals and DOE lawyers who's only purpose is to terminate teachers by any means possible. One of the components of the TPU is to make sure that the targeted teacher be given the PIP+ program. Unlike the PIP program the PIP+ program is fully funded by the DOE and uses outside vendors to supply retired teachers, usually not affiliated with NYC to evaluate the targeted teacher. Since the vendor is dependent on the DOE for their funding, it makes sense that the teachers they hire for the PIP+ program will follow the Principal's wishes and help terminate the teacher. Admittedly, not all PIP+ teachers do this but enough do that over 75% (some say its 90%) of the teachers fail PIP+. Once the targeted teacher fails PIP+, the poor teacher is removed to the "rubber room" and given a third consecutive annual "U" rating. It goes without saying that if a PIP+ teacher is too favorable of the targeted teacher, and pisses off the Principal, they will not be selected by the vendor for future assignments. Therefore, the high failure rate under PIP+.
Once the targeted teacher fails PIP+, the Principal notifies the TPU unit who starts 3020-a termination procedures as found on this link The question becomes what should a targeted teacher do? The answer is simple. "DO NOT ACCEPT PIP+" Despite the union's approval of the PIP+ program under article 21G.9 (pgs 121-123) of the Contract, it is simply a means to terminate teachers. Why our union has bought into this DOE inspired termination process is quite simple. Our union leaders, who have not been in the classroom for decades, has lost touch with what really goes on in the schools. Furthermore, our union leaders are not affected by PIP+.
Shame on the DOE, for using a program that the only purpose is to terminate teachers. Shame on the Union that accepts this program and knows that failing it will add ammunition to the DOE in their efforts to terminate the teacher. Finally, shame on teachers that for a few pieces of gold are willing to help terminate their peers.