Monday, December 17, 2007

The "Probable Cause" Bomb By The DOE & The Union's Ignorance

The DOE has apparently expanded the definition of the "probable cause" section for teachers subject to 3020a proceedings. The "probable cause" section allows the DOE to suspend teachers for two months without pay. The union informed us that the "probable cause" section would only be used against teachers subject to felony arrest, sexual touching or repeated sexual talk. Seems fair if the police have a probable cause to arrest you or you deliberately touched a student in an inappropriate area (breast, ass, privates, inside thighs) or you repeatedly talked sexual things with the students you can be subject to the "probable cause" section of the contract.

However, lately the DOE and their investigating arms (OSI & SCI) are carving new ground on what is subject to the "probable cause" section", thanks to the failure of the UFT & NYSUT to challenge their perverted interpretation , that any touch or statement can, and will be determined to be sexual in nature.

Praise a student and use a word like kiss in a sentence and you can be subject to sexual talk.

Touch a shoulder or arm and you can be ac cussed of sexual touching.

You try to challenge a student to do better and the student doesn't like it, you can be ac cussed of sexual harassment.

Sounds crazy. How can anybody equate the above actions with the original intent of the "probable cause" section? Unfortunately Randi and her flunky, Leo Casey, convinced the members that only the most serious misconduct would apply to the "probable cause" section of the contract. When in fact it only takes an OSI or SCI investigator to state that he or she thinks it was sexual. Sure the teachers are allowed to try to rebut the SCI investigators (apparently not the OSI investigators). However, very few teachers win. The result is that the DOE has expanded the pool of teachers subject to the "probable cause". section.

Why haven't the UFT & NYSUT fought this expansion of the "probable cause" definition? I don't know. Maybe they don't care. Or worse, they are in agreement with the DOE and to keep the peace with the DOE, they just sacrifice some teachers. Whatever the reasons the unions are aiding and abetting the DOE in their attack on teachers.

While Randi dances with Bloomie her teachers are being suspended without pay for actions that no right-thinking people would find wrong. Thanks Randi, thanks a lot.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

How Come I Didn't Get Invited To Randi's Party?

I read with utter shock that Randi Weingarten had her 50th birthday party and didn't invite me. As a dedicated dues-paying member of the UFT, I am upset that Randi didn't give me the opportunity to donate $100 and rub elbows with the likes of Leo (Darfur) Casey, Chancellor Klein, and Mayor Bloomberg. Wait a second, why was the Chancellor and Mayor invited to the party? I'm sure they didn't donate $100!

How many of the rank and file teachers were invited? My guess, not too many. Is this the same Randi Weingarten who was outraged by Kleinberg's "gotcha squad last month? I guess now that she is 50 (AARP eligible) Randi is allowed to have those senior moments by forgetting how anti-teacher Kleinberg is. Let me remind Randi what Kleinberg has done.

First, the elimination of grievances of LIF

Second, the end of the senior transfer system.

Third, the inclusion of the "probable cause" in the teacher contract that is currently being abused by the DOE to suspend teachers for up to three months without pay.

Fourth, severely restricting teacher- directed classroom learning.

Fifth, any student accusation is believed while the teacher response is not. The result, lack of discipline as teachers are afraid of being removed.

Six, the rapid increase in ATR's and "rubber room" teachers.

Seven, the increase in teachers leaving the NYC school system due to the difficulties in the classroom and the culture of teacher disrespect by Kleinberg.

There are many more anti-teacher actions by Kleinberg. However, I'm too tired to list them all.

I am sooooooo depressed that Randi Weingarten didn't invite me to her birthday party, I think I will celebrate Randi's birthday with a beer and a candlelight vigil at the local pub.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DOE's Firing Squad

I found the e-mail from Chancellor Joel Klein quite humorous. The e-mail claimed how pro-teacher he is. However, it's not what you say but do and its very obvious that the reality is that Chancellor Klein and his cronies are anti-teacher.

The latest in his anti-teacher action is his use of one million dollars of precious funds to create a group of lawyers and retired principals to fire teachers for incompetence. It appear Kleinberg is frustrated how few teachers are fired for incompetence. The memo claimed only ten teachers were fired. Hence the DOE statement that they are not going after teachers. However, add hundreds (yes hundreds) of teachers who have been given (or will be given) 3020a charges for incompetence and DOE is trying to fire them all. How interesting Chancellor Klein's memo didn't include that! I guess he forgot.

The UFT calls this group the "gotcha squad". However, let's call it like it is a "firing squad".
The main purpose of this group is to help principals properly document their incompetence charges. To the uninformed teacher it might not seem like a big deal. However, it is a big deal.
Any teacher that runs afoul of a principal can be brought up on charges of incompetence. How you say?

First, you get a "U" observation and lesson plan. Next, the follow-up observation is "U". This continues for the year which finally results in a "U' for the year. The next year you are given a terrible schedule which will guarantee that you will be given the Peer Intervention Program (PIP). However, this will not stop the "U" rating the second year. Finally, you will be removed from classroom teaching and spend some time during clerical work in your school while the 3020a charges are filed.

This can't happen to you? Guess again. Even the best teachers can be railroaded. It only takes a student talking out of turn, or turning your back to the class to write something, and even a subjective determination that your lesson was not focused to get a "U" observation. The rest is obvious on the teacher's road to incompetence.

I believe the union needs to do more than simply wait out Bloomberg & Klein. The UFT should should be pro-active in demonstrating their objections to the anti-teacher DOE. We have given up too much to Kleinberg, its time to draw a line in the sand and yell "enough". We need to get our respect back. It's time to stop the DOE bullies!