Thursday, May 07, 2009

"The Needs Of The Many Outweights The Needs Of The Few" ."Or The One" - Except At The DOE Where "Children Last" Continues

In honor of the new Star Trek movie, I decided to use a quote from Star Trek's "Wraith Of Khan" where a dying Spock finally understood the logic that "The Needs Of The Many Outweighs The Needs Of The Few" While Captain Kirk stated "And The One". What this means is simple, it is more important to do the right thing for the students than cater to the dislikes of a teacher by an Administrator or a student. However, in the bizarro world of DOE's "children last" program the collateral damage done to the students are unimportant.

With Chancellor Klein and his non-educators in control of the schools, it is more important to pull quality teachers out of the classrooms for frivolous or minor issues then do what is best for the students. It is common for teachers to be sent to the "rubber rooms" when either a failing student or vindictive Principal accuses the poor teacher of misconduct, insubordination, or inappropriate behavior. In the NYC DOE the teacher is assumed guilty while the failing student and the vindictive Principal are assumed to be truthful. In fact when teachers are being investigated by OSI & SCI the investigators are not trying to find out the truth but to accumulate evidence to "get the teacher". The investigators will not question the teacher's witnesses and will omit any information that is favorable to the teacher. However, any unsubstantiated or hearsay statement against the teacher will be displayed in the investigator's report. The result is the teacher will languish for years in the "rubber room" while the students are usually taught by a substitute teacher and do poorly on tests. In many cases the school is unable, or even unwilling to find a quality replacement for years after. Therefore, the next few years the students will continue to fail. However, as I have said time and again in the DOE it is more important to "get the teacher" than what is good for the students.

"Children Last" continues,


proofoflife said...

I wish Scotty could "beam me up" all the time. Life is intolerable.

Chaz said...

Stick with it. You can't let the DOE win. That is what they want, for you to just leave. They will need to "rubberize me and terminate me under 3020-a. which is highly unlikely. I intend to fight until the bitter end and retire with a nice pension, and with lifetime health benefits. That will teach these administrators.

ed notes online said...

Draft of a proposed resolution for the DA on Wed we've been working on:

Chapter Leaders and Rubber Rooms

As principal power has grown, the devastation of so many school chapters can be traced to intimidation of chapter leaders. When a chapter leader is sent to the rubber room, shockwaves run through the school. Unfortunately they do not run through the UFT hierarchy. Almost 10 years ago, Education Notes presented a resolution at the Delegate Assembly calling for protections for chapter leaders and an extraordinary response on the part of the union when CL come under attack. The leadership opposed it, saying chapter leaders already had enough protections and it was overwhelmingly defeated. In June 2006, ICE’s Jeff Kaufman at an Exec Bd meeting called on the UFT to initiate its own investigations instead of allowing a biased OSI to do its hack jobs without monitoring. Randi Weingarten opposed it, saying it was too expensive (have you checked on how your dues is being spent?). It was turned down by a vote of 83-5.

A Case Study of one such chapter leader

∑ Currently teaching pre-k
∑ 35 years of teaching: Principal urging retirement since June 2008, and threatening if doesn’t do so.
∑ Every time assisted a teacher, received negative letter(s) in file the next day.
∑ Refused to all principal to use the Learn ‘nLunch where teachers are forced to give up lunch hours.
∑ Sent to rubber room March 16, 2009
∑ Three weeks later, principal institutes Learn ‘n Lunches.
∑ Receive charges from State Education Dept., School DistrictEmployer-EmployeeRelations Unit on March 19, 2009. Charges include verbal abuse and corpoeal puncishment dated from the 2007/8 school year, violating the 180 day limit
∑ Also include insubordination for refusing to sign letter on Feb 1, 2009 voluntarily resigning
∑ UFT Response: Sit tight and do nothing. Not time to file an Art 2 (Shouldn't tip your hand on type of defense)
∑ Also do not share info with fellow denizens in RR. Result: keep teachers isolated.

Resolution on Sending Chapter Leaders to the Rubber Room

∑ Chapter Leaders and others have been sent to rubber room after asserting members’ union rights, questioning and challenging principals on illegal mandates and practices, etc.;
∑ Older teachers have been targeted for placement in rubber room;
∑ Leadership Academy Principals have also targeted teachers who show independence or otherwise are perceived as threats to authority;
∑ Sending teachers to the rubber room can be a career breaker for teachers, regardless of the merits of the charges;
∑ Threats of rubber room have a chilling effect on the professionalism and independence of all teachers;
∑ The number of teachers sent to the rubber room has escalated since the beginning of mayoral control which has led to an increased level of autocratic rule in many schools;
∑ OSI has investigated in a biased manner;

∑ The UFT will set up hotline for teachers sent to rubber room and there will be an immediate response, including a demand immediate information about charges against the teacher, immediate legal assistance, a letter to principals putting them on notice that without a substantive emergency reason for rubber room placement there will be counter charges of harassment based on union/age/freedom of speech issues.
∑ After an initial rapid investigation of the circumstances, where there is a determination of harassment, the union will organize a daily picketing of the school until the harassed teacher is reinstated.
∑ The UFT will come up with a means to monitor OSI investigations.

Chaz said...


How about biased SCI investigations and financial consequences when the Administrators or investigators are caught in a lie?