Monday, June 29, 2009

The DOE's Infamous Teacher Performance Unit Has Developed An "Action Plan" To Help Principals Terminate Teachers

Despite a severe recession and budget crunch the DOE has allocated 1.2 million dollars to hire a bunch of lawyers and retired Principals to work with Principals in terminating allegedly incompetent teachers. It is very difficult to terminate teachers when charged with incompetence in the 3020-a process. Usually, the administrators do a poor job documenting the incompetence and compound their problems by embellishing or lying about the teacher's ability in a hearing. Therefore, only about 7% of the teachers charged with incompetence are terminated. The rest usually end up with a small fine and are sent to another school.

Enter the Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) who the lawyers and retired Principals work for. The TPU's only purpose is to help the Principal to document the information and file 3020-a charges against the teacher. The first of these cases are now winding their way through the 3020-a process and it appears that the TPU directed cases are doing no better when it comes to terminating teachers. Therefore, the TPU has now come up with an "Action Plan" that will help administrators prove that the teachers are incompetent. The TPU "Action Plan" consists of the following components.

First, the administratrs must properly document the problems that the teacher is having. Just stating that the teacher is incompetent is not enough. This documentation includes.
  • Demand that the teacher's lesson plans for the week be given to the administrator on a weekly basis.
  • Compare the submitted lesson plan to what you observed and compose a written evaluation, including student work.
  • Do numerous informals and write them up.
  • Write "U" observations and suggest specific recommendations.
  • If teacher neglects or does not remedy the weaknesses then give the teacher a Letter-To-The-File (LIF) and work with the Principal on giving the teacher a "U" rating for the year.
Second, try to discourage the teacher from joining the Peer Intervention Program (PIP) since it takes time and few teachers will testify against their colleagues in the 3020-a hearings. However, strongly encourage the teacher to accept the PIP+ program since the PIP+ educator is selected from a (DOE paid) independent vendor and is more likely to come up with the appropriate decision on the teacher. In addition, the PIP+ educator is required to testify at a 3020-a hearing as a condition of their employment.

Finally, have the administrator develop a log of problems and issues with the teacher and assist the Principal in writing the Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) memo to terminate the teacher.

To all teachers: Do not accept PIP+!


Anonymous said...

Chaz, have you obtained current information about all of this from DOE or are you basing this on the public records that were disclosed to Betsy?

Anonymous said...

To All Teachers:
Keep a running log of all events taking place in your class. Keep a special notebook and record the time and the person coming in to harrass you. What did they say and do? At this point when they write you up, I would let them know they are being written up as well. Let the "union" know you are filing harassment charges and send a copy to division of human rights as well. send emails with copies to others, KEEP RECORDS!

Anonymous said...

Just do not put too much faith on any of the govt agencies like EEOC, NYS Division of Human Rights, or NYC Commission of Human Rights. These Govt agencies dismiss over 90 (94 to be exact) percent of the complaints they received. They are there to absorb, confuse or even to defeat most complaints except a few token cases to justify their budgets.

Be prepared to go to courts if you decide to put up a fight, you still may not get the justice you deserve, but at least, you will get DoE's attention, and in the end they are more likely to sit down and talk about settlement.

Chaz said...

Anon 1:51

I actually received this from a sympathetic administrator who was disgusted by the TPU "Action Plan".

Chaz said...

I agree with the last two commenters that it is important to keep your own log book on harassment and disparate treatment by the administrators.

I also agree that you really need to file a lawsuit to get DOE to notice that you are serious.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 1:51

Chaz, is there any way that you can scan and post the full text of the material? Is it a memorandum? How many pages is it? What names of staff appear on it?

Chaz said...


I cannot. I was given hand written notes from the administrator and if there were handouts, I was not given them by the administrator.

I am as interested as you are what the complete "Action Plan" looks like. Maybe Betsy can obtain it.

Anonymous said...

Q: What's so much better and way, way easier than keeping a running log of all events taking place in class?

A: Find out from a well-known teacher with initials DP.

Anonymous said...


You may be surprised at the size and shape of the newest digital voice recorders. And the ENORMOUS capacity. And the ease of downloading to one's own computer.

LI Educator

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaz said...

Anon 3:00

A well known teacher DP? I am at a loss of who that is.

LI Educator: You would be surprised how much due process we gave up in the 2002 and 2005 contracts. I spoke about this back in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, here's some info about DP:

For more info, Google his name.

I see that LIE is also aware of one of the DP techniques.

LIE probably shouldn't have posted the details as people from DOE and other school districts monitor the well-known blogs and websites.

Why raise their guard?

Chaz said...

I now understand who DP is. I am aware of DP's case.However,I am confused how this fits in with PIP+?

Also what/who is LIE?

Anonymous said...

Chaz, part of DP's advice is paralleled by LIE's (Long Island Educator's) advice!

DP has advised teachers of what to do as a much better alternative than "keeping a running log of all events..."

Definitely keep something running, and DP would have good suggestions as to what.

But, it's not really a good idea to tip one's hand publicly, so you may wish to remove all comments, or portions of comments, containing "spoilers."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaz said...

LI Educator:

I'm not paranoid and I will not delete your comment. True the DOE monitors the blogs but they are so clueless that teachers might protect themselves that there is little danger of the DOE checking the teacher for audio equipment.

As for the investigators, they are biased and out to get the teacher, Therefore, it might be helpful if you record them for your hearing.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, the real problem is that not only the DOE but also the CSA may get wind of this and warn their members to be on their guard during individual meetings with UFT members.

Why take a chance of tipping them off?

Anonymous said...

This has everything to do with PIP because one could actually and easily record a class and document that a post class observation report is false.

Chaz said...


I deleted the comments, against my better judgement.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, I think it was in the best interests of teachers to delete any comments that will tip off school supervisors.

In that regard, you should carefully read over the remaining comments and ought to delete all comments, or portions, which "give things away."

If I were able to communicate with you privately, I would send you all kinds of things that would be useful to teachers, but that should not be posted publicly.

Chaz said...

Sorry Anon. I don't give away my email address. I guess I will use my discretion on your suggestion.

By the way, you give the DOE and school administrators too much credit.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, if I were to open up a new Yahoo account meant only for private communication with you, would you open up a new Yahoo account so that you could communicate privately with me?

What I was thinking I could do is E-mail you copies of useful manuals and documents, and you could then use your own discretion as to whether to make excerpts from them public.

Chaz said...

Sorry, but since i don't know who you are and viruses are sent in executable files through the email, it is best that we don't communicate through the email. However, if you have things you want me to see, you will need to find another way.

Anonymous said...

Are .pdf, .doc, and .jpg files considered executable files?

Most of the material that I have is in the .pdf format. Some items are in the .doc and .jpg formats.

I believe that file attachments sent to Yahoo E-mail addresses are thoroughly scanned for viruses.

Chaz said...

I will get back to you with a Yahoo email address in the next few days.

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Anonymous said...

Chaz, do you have a Yahoo E-mail address yet?

I think it's very important that someone should obtain the full text of the TPU's "action plan" and then get it to you for public posting!