Monday, August 01, 2011

The Peer Intervention Program Plus (PIP+) Is A Teacher Termination Program And No Chapter Leader Should Allow Their Staff To Take It.


We are approaching the beginning of the 2011-12 school year and there may or may not be a new teacher evaluation system in place. However, for many of the "U" rated teachers it is too late for them. Instead, they will be given one last chance to show that they are not incompetent by being offered the Peer Intervention Program Plus (PIP+). Unfortunately, PIP+ is a teacher termination program where 90% of the teachers fail and almost all are terminated in 3020-a hearings. The 90% failure rate is based upon unpublished UFT statistics, while the termination rate is a closely guarded secret, it appears to be over 95% based on anecdotal evidence from people familiar with the 3020-a process. Very few teachers subject to PIP+ escape with their job, once they participate in the program.

Of late, many of the Chapter Leaders realize that the PIP+ program is simply a teacher termination program and has told their teachers not to take it. In the Bronx Office, it is common practice to let their Chapter Leaders know not to recommend PIP+ to their teachers. However, the other Borough Offices have not been as active in opposing the PIP+ program and that is unfortunate.

The PIP+ program is different from the union's PIP program which cannot be used against the teacher in a 3020-a hearing. The PIP+ program is a voluntary program agreed to by the union in the October 13, 2007 contract (Article 21j page 123) that allows the DOE to hire a consultant who meets with the Principal and to observe a teacher a number of times and make a recommendation on whether the teacher is competent. Since the company that hires the consultant is paid by the DOE, the consultant is under pressure to follow what the Principal wants rather than come up with an independent evaluation of the teacher's ability. Therefore, that results in the 90% failure rate. Furthermore, the PIP+ consultant is considered an "expert witness" by the Arbitrator and their testimony in 3020-a hearings result in almost everybody being terminated. Of the hundreds of PIP+ cases heard by the 3020-a Arbitrators, only a handful of teachers have kept their jobs.

Remember, the PIP+ program is a voluntary program and teachers are not required to take PIP+ and they shouldn't take it unless they have a wish to be terminated. Yes, by agreeing to the PIP+ process, the teacher delays 3020-a charges for up to six months. However, is it really worth it that if you are one of the 90% who fails the program, the PIP+ consultant will testify against you as an "expert witness"? I certainly would take my chances at a 3020-a Arbitration hearing without the DOE bringing in an "expert witness" against me. Just check the Chris Lobo case to see what damage is done by the use of an "expert witness" against a targeted teacher.

To all Chapter Leaders. "Do not let your staff take PIP+, unless you want to see them terminated".

14 comments:

U-Haul her ass out said...

PIP PLUS for students...
Brooklyn principal sent students on dangerous furniture-moving U-Haul 'field trip.'


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/principal_sticks_kids_in_the_haul_FzloYsdwVGNYTIPHwhyOCJ#ixzz1ToXkyZoc

Does it get any better than this?

Chaz said...

More like credit recovery.

Jeff Kaufman said...

I agree with your post but you need to add that not only did the UFT agree to the PIP+ program in our contract (they told us this was really good since "outside" evaluators would do the evaluations) but they have oversight of the way the program runs. Where are they?

Anonymous said...

The only way to explain what UFT does is there was some mutual agreement between Randi and Bloomberg regarding the PIP plus and eventual 3020a charges against the targeted teachers. UFT leadership comes out and stands up for teachers when their interests are paralleled with the teachers, obviously there are some divergences of interests in pip plus and 3020a charges .

Anonymous said...

If teachers refuse the PIP program does it hurt their case if and when 3020a charges are brought against them by the employer?

chaz said...

Anon 3:12

No! Without a PIP+ evaluator, the DOE cannot present an "expert witness" against the teacher. The result should be few terminations, just like it used to be when there was no PIP+

Anonymous said...

Whenever a teacher is being targeted by his or her principal, it is a bad situation for the teacher. You do not want to be in a worse situation by taking the trap of pip+ and you definitely do not want to afford that principal a "expert witness" in your termination trial.

Anonymous said...

Of course the principal will later insist that you refused his/her good faith efforts to help you improve. Of course you can then produce this column and others like it to suggest that PIP+ is not a good faith offer to improve.

Anonymous said...

to anon 6:22 am

Yes, a principal can and will say anything against the teacher he or she wants to at the hearing, and the targeted teacher will have to take a hit one way or the other, but the fundamental difference of not taking the PIP+, enables that teacher not to face a "expert witness" whose testimony does a lot of damage and almost always corners an arbitrator to no other award but termination. I, as one who went to the whole ordeal, believe that not taking pip plus shifts the burden to prove on the side of DOE in such a way that no teacher should take PIP+ under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Chaz:

I can't agree more with you on PIP+. I thank my lucky stars that my Chapter Leader reads your blog and told me not to take PIP+.

The Principal, after first threatening me with instant termination for my refusal to take PIP+, then sent in one of her "F" status lackey to observe me. Of course my Chapter Leader and I objected and in writing inform the Principal on up to the Chancellor (Joel Klein) that the Principal cannot use her friend to objectively evaluate me. The Principal still went ahead with her "F" status friend to observe me and at my 3020-a Arbitration hearing, the Arbitrator was less than impressed with her testimony and objectivity and I ended up with a small fine.

Better a fine than termination. Do not take PIP+.

Anonymous said...

It is not as cut and dry as you think. Refusal to take plus eliminates the argument that the doe did not offer remediation. This blog does not prove that pip plus is a setup. You also cannot prove a setup because the uft supports this program and is not complaining.

Chaz said...

Anon 8:27

The UFT own data shows a 90% failure rate for teachers taking PIP+. Do you really think a program you have only a 1 in 10 chance of passing are great odds?

Moreover, the Arbitrator lookjs at the PIP+ person as an expert witness. Best to show the Arbitrator why you refused PIP+ than have the person testify against you.

Finally. i agree the union leadership supports the PIP+ program but increasingly the District reps are telling their Chapter Leaders not to accept PIP+ because of the 90% failure rate and almost certain termination.

Anonymous said...

This is Ann 827. Please post a document or provide other evidence showing a 90% failure rate. I actually think it is above 95% failure rate, but what you or I think is not relevant. I agree with what your saying about the expert witness problem, but declining PIP Plus is no bargain either. At least there is that 5% chance. Sorry, but the arbitrators are not going to care about what UFT Reps or Chapter Leaders think. They only care about the UFT's institutional position as reflected by our elected leadership. I am not saying that the teacher should take PIP Plus. All I am saying is that it is a difficult choice; one in which the teacher has no real great options. There are pro and cons on both sides. The real solution is to eliminate it and the real issue is why does the UFT support it??? Please give us your thoughts on that.

Chaz said...

Anon

The 90% failure rate came from testimony from Maisie McAdoo of the UFT and listed in my blog listed below.

http://chaz11.blogspot.com/2009/11/updated-statistics-o-pip-program-are.html.

Regardless, taking PIP+ leads to termination.