Friday, August 11, 2017

The DOE Wants Another Bite Of The Apple To Terminate Teachers.




























Before 2009, the DOE had a policy that when a teacher won their 3020-a hearing but was fined for minor infractions, even a simple letter to the file, they were returned to their school and resumed their appointed position.  However, Chancellor Joel Klein and the Officer of Legal Services decided that principals did not have to take back their teachers who survived their 3020-a hearings. The result was that these teachers were dumped into the ATR pool, along with veteran teachers of closing schools (163 under Bloomberg), and excessed teachers from closing or reduced programs. The result was an explosion of ATRs that ranged from 1,300 to 1,800 educators. Once labeled, the DOE ensures that it sticks, no matter how many satisfactories or "effective ratings" the ATR receives.

Because of the ideological stand by Bloomberg and his Chancellors, the ATRs were subject to a dehumanization strategy through the media and education deformer groups, while the DOE was paying out over $150 million dollars annually at a time when school budgets were cut by 14%!  Instead of encouraging principals to hire certified veteran teachers the DOE encouraged principals to hire "newbies", by implementing the "fair student funding" policy (which is only 90% funded) that incentivizes schools to hire "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools, commonly known as "education on the cheap".

Next, in 2012, another Bloomberg Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, known as the Mayor's poodle allowed a discipline flag to be placed in the file, on any educator who had a substantiated OSI or SCI investigation, even when the 3020-a charges were found not to be true by the State arbitrator. This was known as the "Scarlet Letter".  Despite promises by the UFT leadership to take this unfair labeling to PERB or to court, they failed to do so.  During the Walcott tenure the ATR pool was separated into two lists.  Those that were simply excessed due to closing schools or subjects and those that were disciplined or received an "ineffective" or "unsatisfactory" rating. Another way the DOE gets a "second bite of the apple".

Finally, the DOE's Office of Legal Services have found a novel way to get a "second bite of the apple".  Up until this previous school year the Office of Legal Services would include every trivial infraction as a specification in an educator's 3020-a charges and this was known as "throwing shit on the wall and hope enough sticks" to get the arbitrator to terminate the educator.  However, in the 2016-17 school year the Office of Legal Services came up with a better way to get a teacher terminated in the 3020-a hearings.  What the DOE does is only charge the teacher with some of the specifications and wait and see how the arbitrator rules.  In almost all cases the arbitrator will give the DOE something for their troubles like a small fine.  Now that the teacher is labeled the DOE will then hit the poor teacher with the rest of the charges and show the arbitrator that the teacher had a previous 3020-a and was fined and that shows the teacher cannot be rehabilitated.

The New York Post reported on one such case in today's paper and you can read it Here Moreover, NYC Educator wrote an article about the case in depth and is a must read.  Adding to the two articles is that the Principal is a Leadership Academy Principal who never had a full time teaching gig and was accused of  running an academic fraud factory.  In conclusion, ni the collective eyes of the DOE once charged you are always guilty and its their duty to find novel ways to terminate you by getting a second and even a third bite of the apple.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

This case is unsettling on several levels. It's clearly retribution against someone who is a whistleblower. Then the splitting of the charges that occurred simultaneously into two separate 3020a s to facilitate a termination is beyond the pale. Let me say once again, I will never use a UFT lawyer. Any lawyer worth their salt has to know this is unethical and/or illegal. The UFT should seek this teacher out, bring him down to 52 Broadway, offer him a quail sandwich and have him present this travesty of justice to the Executive Board and the Flash. This makes all teachers potential targets.

Anonymous said...

What's going on with UFT lawyers? Whose side are they on?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mulgrew? Mr. Mulgrew are You there? Anyone????? Please!!!! Help!!! We are Paying Union Members...Please!!!!! Heelllllpppp!!!!! How much do they they think people can take??? How much more of this no-sense does the union and the DOE think a person can take?????

Anonymous said...

This case shows how little the UFT cares about teachers and our rights. These principals do whatever they want with no consequences. A principal who fixes grades, who still has a job, but the teacher that reported him fired and terminated in such a way as to insure his termination was all but guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

What is insane is the amount of money that the DOE is willing to pay to terminate a teacher for such trivial bullshit. Each 3020a case costs about $100.000 from start to finish. And now the DOE is doing this twice to fire a teacher for some nonsense? What a waste of tax payer money. BS politics at it's worst.

Anonymous said...

The case against teacher Richard Severin is even more egregious. Steven Dorcely the principal at the school had his hit team circulate a private email from a female teacher that had several intimate conversations throughout the building. Not just Urban Action but the other schools in the Canarsie Campus. This principal without principles or qualifications also happens to be a CSA district representative. In June 2016 there were multiple staff members who filed complaints with SCI and OSI regarding test irregularities, sexual misconduct, and theft of service. No doubt the DOE will pay for his actions when the case goes to trial as has happened before. His continued employment by the DOE is another example of the double standard you have exposed and there is little to no chance that miscreants like Dorcely will ever be expunged.

Anonymous said...

12:10, It's not about the money spent, it's the fact that this teacher publicly exposed grade fixing in an organization, the DOE, that is built on a foundation of grade fixing. You think Farina gives a crap about any of these principals - 400 of which she said shouldn't be leading schools? She makes a statement like that and won't fire them - because they are all fixing grades and manipulating statistics. Instead fire the whistle blower for turning off the lights during a video and looking at his cell phone. Insure it with two sets of charges and two 3020a hearings. Mulgrew knows the deal, and he doesn't give a shit. He'll never publically criticise Farina.

Bronx Teacher said...

Isn't there some time limit on when charges can be presented?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it's going to take a tragedy for things to change. People have suffered heart attacks, strokes and have even died facing this type of harassment. Administrators and the DOE could be ruthless for really no reason. It's going to take someone to snap, like you see employees do, all over this country for things to be taken seriously. It's a true shame.

Chaz said...

Bronx Teacher


There is a 3 year limit, except for criminal issues.

Anonymous said...

This once noble profession is toast, as you all are no doubt well aware.

Strange thing is that it is liberal social justice people who are doing this to us.
Why? They blame us (and only us) for the failure of achievement for black and brown students, so they are going full bore trying to get rid of us so they 'bring in a new generation' of newbies they feel they can mold and have more success.
To do this, they keep weakening our rights and have tenure firmly in their sights. They won't even wait the five years it will take for most of us to retire anyway.

At this point, for the life of me, I cannot understand why ANY teacher would even bother to 'speak up' or try to 'stand up for justice.' It will just get you on the road to being fired. I have felt the burn from an unfair administration twice.
I survived because I doubled down on meekness, gave them exactly what they wanted and caused no trouble. Never being late or absent and volunteering for everything also helped.

Other teachers in my building didn't get the memo and four have been fired in the last three years, others have been denied tenure repeatedly, and many others were driven away with bad evaluations. We are in a no win world now. I don't feel cowed down or depressed about it - I am just realistic about the lay of the land.
People! Preserve yourself. It's hell out there. We are the last generation of teachers who remember what education should and could be.

Anonymous said...

12:58-It's not the real "liberal social justice people" who are after teachers, it's the fake ones. The fake ones drape themselves in slogans in an attempt to distract everyone.

DOEvet said...

Anon 8:35

Wow, I read that article about Principal Dorcely and Severin - isn't he the one who covered up a Regents cheating situation and had another issue about a teacher and a cell phone? What is going on at that school? Sounds awful.

Anonymous said...

We all need to fight back. A date needs to be set multiple times this year. .

K.M. said...

Did anyone else get a call or an email telling them where they will be placed in September? A few of my friends have already been told and they are in 3 different boroughs. Apparently this is the DOE's scare tactic. They are going to place us in the worst schools with the toughest and craziest principals. Little do they know I am not going down without a fight. My grandfather was UFT Rep Nathan R. Jessup.

He used to tell me stories such as: "I run my class how I run my class. You want to u-rate me, roll the dice and take your chances. I eat breakfast 5 feet away from 15 administrators who are trained to u-rate , so don't think for one second that you can come down here, observe me, and make me nervous."

"There is nothing on this earth sexier, believe me, gentlemen, than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote 'em all,
I say, 'cause this is true: if you haven't gotten a blowjob from a superior, well, you're just letting the best in life pass you by."

"Take caution in your tone, Principal. I'm a fair guy, but this fucking heat is making me absolutely crazy."

Son, we teach in a school that has classrooms, and those classrooms have to be taught by men with balls. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Asst. principal Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for weak administrators and you curse unions. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know; that strong unions are dying, while tragic, probably will kill lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, *saves lives*. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that classroom. You need me in that hall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline at some admin Tweed meeting. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you go into a classroom and stand and teach. Either way, I don't give a *damn* what you think you are entitled to!

Anonymous said...

This is my 4th year as a principal and I am facing the same pressure many of you are facing. I am not sure what is going to happen to me if I do not get tenured. This is my 10th year as a principal and it has been hard every single step of the way.

I started as a new teacher in a new school. I was a founding teacher who loved my principal. In my first year we would hold hands and meditate for 30 minutes a day. I would usually take the time to pray that is will last forever which did not. My principal was removed after our first year.

I ended up in 4 schools in 3 years after that before running into a nightmare principal and his AP. They were the kind of administrators that believed teachers had to lesson plan and prepare. This is something I never believed in. I always felt I was better at improv. I am quick on my feet.

Principal hated me and wanted to discontinue me. He was trying to prevent me from returning in Feb. Lucky for me that superintendent observed me in January and instructed him not to terminate me. He told him this could make the press or even Tweed. He told him I am better off becoming an asst. principal and moving on.

I became an AP for two years in two different schools. Two different principals but both were cut from the same cloth. They were hard to communicate with and very difficult to figure out. One even hid in my office closet trying to listen in on my conversations. He told me he would rather burn down the school then spend another month working with me. He gave me a u-rating unless I found a different job.

I went to speak to the superintendent. He was a nice older guy who told me that I am probably better off being a principal - being the one who calls the shots. He suggested a few schools but not under him. He promised that I would not be u-rated if I got a P job.

I will explain more next time. Wife is telling me to come to bed.

Anonymous said...

@12:58pm so dramatic! nice to know you became a "yes sir boss" coat tale holder. I'm happy people like Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, A Philip Randolph, Samuel Gompers didn't feel like you.

Anonymous said...

Until the union get rid of the bullying so called administrators, we are all in for bad days.

Anonymous said...

@k.m.2am idiots like you make me glad I retired. I can now sit in the suburbs and ridicule the inferior city teachers, you are 1st on the list!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:57 a.m. Sounds more like the city system got rid of you and sent you to the suburbs. K.M. would have probably u-rated your ass.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:57 a.m. anonymous - Were you too stupid to realize K.M. posted at 2:19 a.m. The Jessup fella posted at 2 a.m.... Nevermind you were right. You are superior.

Anonymous said...

@3:13 you sound like you need a diaper change. have a drink and think about how close september is and how far away you are from that ideal life in education you wanted!

Anonymous said...

@3:19 only thing I can say about you is I truly believe you are a nyshitty teacher and DUHHHHHHH!!