Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Why Is The DOE Allowing Principals To Be Insubordinate By Refusing To Allow Teachers Back Into Their Schools And Their Rightful Teaching Positions?

One of the more interesting results of the April 15th 2010, "rubber room agreement" is that Tweed has decided to allow teachers who have not been charged under section 3020-a or are not terminated after their 3020-a hearings to reclaim their teaching position in their old school. This apparent reversal of policy by the DOE appears related to the existing and future budget cuts and Tweed does not want these teachers on their payroll. The Tweed policy change has forced principals and teachers to be reunited when they thought they would never see each other again. Worse for the Principal is that the teacher is immediately put back on the school's payroll and this is a real hit on the school's already reduced budget and with further reductions projected for the rest of the school year and next the Principal's ability to meet a budget becomes a real problem.

While most principals are reluctantly abiding by the DOE policy change, a couple of principals have refused to accept the teachers back. In fact, in one case a high school Principal refused to even let the teacher into the front door of the school. This Principal had a School Safety Officer hand a letter to the teacher at the front door to go to his CFN. The CFN's are caught in the middle since they are simply a messenger service and cannot assign these teachers to another school since they are not ATRs. Presently, there has been no resolution of this issue.

To me,the principals should be charged with insubordination by refusing a lawful order by the DOE to allow the teachers back to their rightful positions. However, presently no disciplinary actions have been taken against these principals for willfully disregarding a DOE order to reinstate the teachers in their rightful position. I have no idea whether the union is actively involved in resolving this mess but they should be by sitting down with the DOE about how to get principals to follow the rules. To date, the union has not taken any real action, except to encourage the teachers to file a grievance that can take up to a year to be heard. Filing a grievance is only a first step. A more important step would be to take these insubordinate principals into PERB for violating the teachers rights if the DOE fails to take the appropriate action against them. I do not blame the union since this is really a DOE problem. However, our union can certainly "nudge" Tweed in making sure their employees follow their own directives. If a teacher was insubordinate, the DOE would waste little time in holding a disciplinary hearing against the teacher for refusing a lawful and reasonable directive. Why is it different for these principals?

The more things change, the more they stay the same when it comes to the "double standard" when disciplining teachers and principals.


Anonymous said...

All you do is complain but never propose a realistic solution to any of the problems.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 6:55 pm:

What do you expect a blogger to do besides making complaints when UFT sits on its hands?

Chaz said...

Unity Hack:

My realistic solution is to charge the offending principals with insubordination by the DOE.

Explain to me why we pay almost $100/month when the union does nothing to protect the teachers jobs and fails to take action against these insubordinate principals?

Anonymous said...

How is the union not protecting teachers jobs?? These teachers are still employed and being paid. All the union does is protect jobs. They don't do anything but that.

All you are worried about it is keeping teachers jobs and not about the quality of education that is being provided.

That $100/month is suppose to be used to support the voice of the teachers for what they really need.
Why does the union not fight for what is really needed; better support for administration, more and better training for teachers, better feedback on performance, proper supplies for the classroom, etc. We are not even given paper to print tests on. Can you imagine any other job that would require you to bring your own paper and pens to work? I don't think so.

The union should be used for more than just protecting jobs and benefits.

Under performing teachers need to be retrained, given direction on how to improve, given the administration support to improve and finally shown the door if they don't improve. You would never agree to that because in your mind ever teacher is perfect and no teacher should ever be fired.

Your view is that once a teacher is hired they should have that job for life. That is just sad.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:13
Put the bottle down and re-read Chaz'post. Not every column/post can be about all that ails the NYC schools and all that the union should address. Focus.

Chaz said...

anon 1:13

I do not protect all teachers. If you followed my blog you will see how I questioned the DOE' allowing some of the worst teachers back into the classroom.

Furthermore, if you really want student academic achievement, you need to have experienced and innovative teachers running their classrooms. The union has not fought the DOE on this. Finally, the union does not protect bad teachers. State 3020-a law requires due process for all teachers accused of misconduct and incompetence.

Read my blog more closely next time.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but the state 3020-a process is nothing like the 3020-a process in NYC and you should know that. We get much less due process protections and are rushed into hearings to avoid cases getting backed up into rubber rooms. Just look at the CBA and the 2008 side agreement as well as the famous 2010 rubber room agreement.
By the way Chaz, the union is paying for your lawyer so your in no position to complain are you?

Chaz said...

Anon 6:03:

What does having a NYSUT lawyer have to do with the DOE & union's failure to take action against insubordinate principals??????

Keep to the topic please.

Anonymous said...

What school or schools refused to take someone back after being directed by an arbitrator?

By the way, can anyone estimate how much it would cost to hire a private attorney instead of using a NYSUT attorney? How many years of dues does it take?

Anonymous said...

"Finally, the union does not protect bad teachers. State 3020-a law requires due process for all teachers accused of misconduct and incompetence." was written by Chaz. So, Anon 6:03 was correct. Chaz, please stick to the topic and answer the question.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:12
Chaz was noting that the due process protection clauses within the 3020a state education law protect teachers's jobs. He was responding to a unfocused reader (anonymous 1:13) who thought that it was the union itself that protects teachers. Focus. Wait for his next post, read it carefully and then sling your attacks.
And BTW it is OK to criticize DOE actions in a blog...or even principal actions...don't be so sensitive to your own imagined/invented oblique criticisms of the union.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the attacks on Chaz. He was just pointing out the double standard between principals and teachers who were insubordinate.

Chaz is right to bring out these injustices and to question why the DOE and our union is not doing anything about it.

Chaz is right, responding to his posts by attacking him is inappropriate and puts you in a bad light.

Anonymous said...

AGAIN: What school was insubordinate? Why are you guys protecting the principal by refusing to name the school?

Or is it a fabrication?

Chaz said...

Anon: 7:39

The union knows well who these principals are as the teachers contact them in the first place when they were not allowed in the schools.

As for who they are? I have been told by both teachers to please not identify them or their schools for fer of further retaliation.

Fabrication? I do not lie about what I write and I stay on the topic, something you seemingly fail to do.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:39
Why not print your name ...or are you a fabrication?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaz said...

Unity Hack:

Why don't you check with your "Unity Masters", they know who the two principals are.

The two teachers are fearful of DOE retaliation since they have little hope for the union to protect them. However, when both situations are resolved I will identify the two principals and the stories behind it.

Since you are not intelligent enough to stay on task, I had to delete your ridiculous accusations and misinformation.

I warned you before, I will not allow personal attacks on my blog.

FidgetyTeach said...

Chaz, I have to commend you on your patience and tolerance for ignorant responders who choose to remain anonymous. What you have stated in your post is all true...And btw, I know of an additional school where a teacher was refused by a principal after the DOE sent the teacher back. The teacher was never charged.