Had Campbell Brown did some simple investigations of the 95 teachers she said should have been fired, she would have found that many of the best and most experienced Arbitrators, after carefully, weighing the evidence, or lack thereof, found that these teachers were not guilty of what the DOE charged them with. In fact, many of these Arbitrators are still hearing teacher misconduct cases as the DOE has renewed their contracts year after year.
What do Arbitrators look for in the 3020-a hearings? Here is a list I wrote previously.
- Did the DOE meet the "just cause" standards?
- Were the witnesses credible?
- Did the evidence correlate with the charges?
- Did the defendant appear credible?
- Did the defendant show remorse and sorrow about the action?
- Were there extenuating circumstances?
- What was the defendant's disciplinary and educational record prior to the charges?
- Did the DOE meet the "preponderance of evidence" standard?
- What was the quality of legal representation (both sides)?
The bottom line is that the arbitrators want to see "relevant preponderance of evidence" before they
will uphold the DOE charges of misconduct and that is a much lower standard than the "reasonable doubt" used in the courts. Therefore, for arbitrators, it's about real evidence and supportable hearsay for them to find in favor of the DOE charges. However, in many cases the DOE investigator's job is not to find evidence to support teacher misconduct but simply provide the rumors, unsupported hearsay, and gossip to substantiate the allegations that result in the DOE charges. Maybe if the DOE investigative process would be fair and unbiased, the 95 school employees would never have been charged in the first place since the DOE did not have the evidence or supported hearsay to make their case.