Saturday, October 10, 2015

Can A Developing Rating Terminate A Teacher? Yes, If You Are Not Tenured!



























In a previous post a commenter asked if a developing rating can resulted in 3020-a charges for incompetence.  Of course the answer is no.   However, when it comes to teachers who are not tenured the answer is very different.  Teachers who have not gained tenure are considered "at will" employees and have very limited "due process" rights.  They can be fired for any or no reason at all, including getting a "developing" rating.  While the discontinued teacher can request a hearing with the Superintendent, usually 6 months to a year after the discontinuance, very few, if any are reversed.  The Superintendent simply rubber stamps the Principal's recommendation.  No investigation of the discontinuance is required. Remember this outrageous case?  Unfortunately, a developing rating can result in a teacher who is not tenured to be discontinued from employment as a teacher in the DOE.

Theoretically, the discontinued teacher can reapply to another school district in the City schools or in another license.  However,  the teacher's file will have a flag on it (a scarlet letter) showing the discontinuance and few principals will be willing to fight through the bureaucratic red tape to hire a discontinued teacher when there are other applicants available for the position.

The end result is that once a teacher is discontinued, their career as a New York City public school teacher is effectively over.  It only takes one Principal who does not like you to ruin your career and in far too many cases potentially great teachers saw their dreams and aspirations of making a difference terminated by the whims of a Principal who has discontinued the teacher based upon personal differences, unfair observations, or prejudice.

While the attack on teacher tenure continues throughout the country the unfair and discriminatory actions against teachers who have not attain tenure in the New York City public schools, simply based upon a Principal's like or dislike of that teacher is really a moral crime.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've met a couple of non-tenured teachers (who were discontinued) on my travels last year. One was excellent and the other couldn't control the thugs she was stuck with all year. You could be the best teacher in the world and you wouldn't be able to teach in most of the Bronx high schools. Many principals will preface an interview with 'All I want to know is if you can control a class?'. Perhaps we should hypnotize them like the principal in Florida, (without the tragic consequences). I wish I could be put in a hypnotic trance for the rest of the year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the general tone of your blog that attacks on teachers have to stop but this idea that there are all these amazing teachers being denied tenure is just untrue. Almost all the teachers I know I extremely hard working; However, few are truly amazing - the working conditions don't ever permit this type of development. Part of the problem is that administrators have let the ineffective/ mediocre teachers slip through the cracks. Also I know of no current administrator who is actually an amazing teacher - in fact they are some of the worst teachers I have ever seen. These administrator have no idea how to even begin to foster greatness. Bottom line - There really are some terrible teachers in the system; teachers who never should have been granted tenure because they either have no technique or terrible classroom management. Of course the percentage of teachers who fall into this category is very low. I would rather see a weeding out of teacher early rather than later. Make it harder to get tenure - I don't really care. If fact the less people who are granted tenure the better it is for people like me who are stuck in this nightmare.
Full Disclosure: I think anyone who becomes a teacher today is an absolute idiot or they must be a trust fund kid or have some alternative plan. Since we don't have an effective union the only possible thing that could stop this madness is a teacher shortage. this is of course until technology replaces us all - face it people this job won't even exist in 100 years.

Anonymous said...

In one of the "out of time" schools, non-tenured teachers were discontinued after one developing rating, and all of these teachers have had unsuccessful appeals. This is what happens when well intentioned, idealistic teachers set foot in environments like this.

James Eterno said...

I know of someone who has been charged with incompetence based on two developing ratings. This teacher is tenured Chaz. From my information, NYSUT lawyer is saying the DOE is violating the spirit, but not the letter of the law.

Anonymous said...

You CAN be 3020a'd with a developing rating but the burden of proof for incompetence is on the DOE.

Anonymous said...

In 100 years, all robots that replace teachers should also have to earn tenure or be discontinued.

Anonymous said...

My lawyer as advised me of a case where a teacher rated "effective" after his fifth year of service was denied completion of probation and subsequently terminated.

Chaz said...

James:

It just proves the DOE under Carmen Farina hasn't changed as they can do what they want.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I was rotated through one of those early college high schools for a week. You know the ones, where they actually have entrance exams and hand pick the freshman class. The 30 yr old teachers (Phd's) actually feel they are superior to ATRS because the kids do so well.

They should come down to the South Bronx and see if they get the same stats.

Anonymous said...

There are also teachers that can do a good observation.. but, then play movies throughout the day when they think that no one is watching, go out for a coffee after signing in... complain, about things not being fair, have head phones on in class (listening to music), etc... and, still want to have tenure. Is that the kind of teacher that we want teaching our kids?

Anonymous said...

This year's over. Bunch of holidays & sick days to take. May 2018 will be here soon enough. 120K top pay. Haa!!!!!! Oh wait, I do a 6th class for 12K. Per session + summer school hits 20K easily. What's that? Yes, you're correct, 152K!!!! Finally. If you are similar to me, congrats! We DESERVE it. I could care less after 20+ years. Now, it's ALL about the money and building my TDA. These new administrators are pathetic (capital P)! Only in NYC can you pay such incompetent individuals. Anyway it's not about the kids anymore. It used to be fun. Now, just about going in and leaving. The city has a TON of money and I'm here to do my part and take as much as I can. If they can pay incompetent ATR u tenured administrators 140/150K for being zombies at various schools with no ties, then I can have this mindset. I will gladly make my 150K from 2018 till I retire. Not bad for a "push in" teacher with 5 students in classes, watching the subject teacher teach. I will gladly make copies for her and get some coffee. No problem. Taking Friday off too. I deserve that!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing my thoughts as well. Screw them all, it's about me now.

Anonymous said...

7:50,
There's absolutely no way you're a teacher. It would be nice if it were all true, though. If you have over twenty years in you're an ATR, have been terminated or on your way to being terminated. I think you're a clown.

QueensSpedTeach said...

I am actually fighting this at perb this week! Anyone who is available!!! Retirees and discontinued teachers!! Please come and support me at PERB hearing Wednesday October 14 at 10:00! I was targeted and retaliated against for speaking up for students and making special education violation complaints!!!! I was then given false and capricious observation reports so I could be discontinued!!! 55 Hanson place Brooklyn!!!

Unknown said...

How do you do this?

I'm currently a science teacher struggling and I work so hard.