Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The DOE's PIP+ Program Suffers A Severe Setback As An Arbitrator Throws Out Charges Against A Teacher Who Refused To Take The Program
In a little noticed decision an Arbitrator has dismissed a charge against a teacher who refused a Principal's order to take the Peer-Intervention-Program plus (PIP+). The Arbitrator rightly concluded that since the PIP+ program is voluntary, that the teacher had every right to refuse to take the PIP+ program. The teacher was leery of the PIP+ program and didn't believe the Principal was looking out for the teacher's best interest. Therefore, the teacher wisely chose not to participate in the PIP+ program.
For the uninformed, the PIP+ program is a program that was developed by the infamous Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) made up of retired principals and lawyers that allows the DOE to help document teacher incompetence by bringing in the PIP+ educator as an expert witness for the sole purpose to terminate the teacher in the 3020-a hearing. Because of the newness of the PIP+ program, statistics are hard to come by. However, the best information that is available show that only one in five to one in ten teachers who take the PIP+ program were found competent by the PIP+ educator. Very poor odds indeed. Both Betsy Combier and I have commented about the PIP+ program here, here, and here. The PIP+ program is simply a termination tool for principals to get rid of senior teachers and free up budget restrictions since the teacher, once removed from the school, is off the school's budget after only sixty days.
The union needs to reverse their position on PIP+ and must train their Chapter Leaders to recognize when their principals are targeting teachers for PIP+ and to inform them how to refuse the termination program. The union must stop burying their collective heads in the sand. PIP+ is not a fair or honest program. it is a tool for the DOE to terminate teachers. many of them senior teachers with good records.