Sunday, November 08, 2009
Why Is Our Union Not Telling The Members At The Schools What They Know About How Administrators Target Teachers For Incompetence?
Over the last few years the DOE was increasingly frustrated in getting arbitrators to terminate teachers charged with incompetence. To try to increase the number of teachers to either be terminated or quit teaching in the NYC schools, they took precious money (1.2 million dollars) and setup a special unit dedicated to terminate alleged incompetent teachers. This unit was named the Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) also known as the "gotcha squad" named by Randi Weingarten. The TPU consists of lawyers and retired principals whose only purpose is to terminate teachers accused by their principals of being incompetent. The TPU developed different strategies to help principals get rid of teachers that they didn't want. While Tweed developed these strategies to help to terminate teachers, the union remained silent and failed to inform the District Representatives (DR) and Chapter Leaders (CL) about these TPU strategies and how to combat them.
Many of the TPU strategies were identified by either Betsy Combier and myself. Here, Here, Here, and Here. However, unless you read the two blogs the teacher would be unaware that the DOE has given the administrators the tools to go after the classroom teacher. The question is why does the union allow the DOE to get away with these horrible strategies to terminate the teacher? The answer is that it appears that it is in the Union's best interest to sacrifice some teachers to the DOE termination process for the sake of maintaining a good relationship with Tweed. For the union leaders it seems that an occasional teacher or two that are targeted are not as important as getting along with the DOE overseers. My conclusion may seem harsh to some and I am sure that many of the anonymous union hacks will object to my statement. However, when was the union going to let the teachers know about what lengths the DOE will go to terminate them? Further, the union knew full well that the PIP+ program resulted in a 90% failure rate and that the teacher cannot be charged for not taking PIP+. Therefore, the union had a responsibility to inform its members and their representatives (DRs and CLs) and not keep silent.
It is bad enough that we have an anti-teacher Chancellor in charge but we do not need our union leaders allowing his programs go unchallenged when it adversely affects the teacher.