Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Veteran Teachers Beware, Administrators Are Using Charlotte Danielson As A Weapon To Terminate You.
It appears to me that school administrators have been told that they must stay within the recession era budgets that the DOE has imposed on its public schools. Most schools are only receiving 90% of their fair funding and principals are trying various cost saving strategies to stretch their budget. One of the favorite tactics, especially with the Leadership Academy principals, are to target veteran teachers and either force them to retire or charge them with incompetence or misconduct in their 3020-a hearing.
The weapon of choice is Charlotte Dainelson that allows school administrators to unfairly evaluate teachers based upon 8 components that can be easily manipulated to make the teacher look "ineffective". A case in point is the saga of teacher Donald Vanterpool, who was terminated, despite the fact he only had one "ineffective " rating.
Mr. Vanterpool was a veteran teacher who worked at a transfer school called Bushwick Community High School in Brooklyn. People familiar with transfer high schools know that it's for over aged students (16 to 21 year old) who have been removed from their previous school(s). Many of these students just want a minimum passing grade of 65%, while during little or no work. Passing a Regents is not their priority. Therefore, transfer high schools do poorly, compared to their State peers, who don't have these transfer schools. The result is that even the best teachers can only expected a "developing" rating in their MOSL.
Back to Mr. Vanterpool, he received a "developing" rating in 2013-14 school year and an "ineffective" rating the following year. Despite the union's claim that it takes two consecutive "ineffective" ratings to be charged under 3020-a, the truth is otherwise. In the last year I know of two other veteran teachers who were charged under section 3020-a with only one "ineffective" rating. Mr. Vanterpool's 3020-a arbitrator terminated Mr. Vanterpool, in part, because he failed to differentiate his lesson to the individual needs of the student. Moreover, the arbitrator claimed Mr. Vanterpool failed to take advantage of the extensive professional development opportunities he was afforded..
While the burden of proof is supposed to be the DOE's with one "ineffective" rating,, in all three cases I know of the veteran teacher was either terminated or was pressured to retire so as not to lose the almost $50,000 in lump sum payments owed to them in the contract
Charlotte Dainelson is not a simple evaluation tool but a weapon to destroy the careers of veteran teachers and that's how I see it.