Sunday, March 22, 2009
A Peek Into The DOE's Secretive "Gotcha Squad" And How They Are Trying To Terminate Teachers
I have been viewing the blog "rubber room reporter" and found an in-depth account how the DOE's Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) operates. The TPU is a $1.2 million dollar group, made up of lawyers and retired Principals, and has developed a process, including a worksheet for Principals on how to terminate teachers for alleged incompetence. Randi Weingarten has nicknamed the TPU the "gotcha squad" and has complained about their purpose. However, the union has done nothing to combat this secretive group in their bid to terminate teachers. Little was known about how this secretive TPU group works until Betsy Combier filed a "Freedom Of Information Request" or otherwise known as FOIL and then published it on the blog.
What is very interesting about how the "gotcha squad" works is that they seem to require that the targeted teacher go through PIP+ where 75% of the teachers are found incompetent. More about PIP+ in a later article but it is safe to say that the union approved PIP+ is just another Tweed tool to terminate teachers. Furthermore, the Principals are required to fill out the "Principal Worksheet To Terminate The Teacher." Finally, the Principal gives the poor teacher her final "U" observation once PIP+ is completed and the teacher is now removed from the classroom and the eventual filing of 3020-a charges a couple of months later.
It is unfortunate that we have a real enemy in Tweed rather than a partner to improve education. Tweed will do anything they can to terminate senior teachers, whatever the cost. Remember this is not about the children and the collateral damage done to them when a teacher is removed from the classroom. It is about the DOE's "Children Last" policy.