An Independent Voice That Advocates For The Classroom Educator Without The Corrupting Politics Tied To Our Union And DOE Leadership.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Cold Heart - Chancellor Joel Klein's Valentine's Day Idea To Solve The "Rubber Room" Problem. Let's Just Stop Paying Reassigned Teachers.
On this Valentine's Day, the cold hearted Chancellor Joel Klein's gift to reassigned teachers would be to stop paying them and giving them health benefits once an Administrator accused the teacher of misconduct or incompetence. Luckily, New York State Education Law requires that tenured teachers be given "due process" and face an independent Arbitrator who requires real evidence not just accusations by a vindictive Principal or a corrupt investigative process. In the DOE mouthpiece, the New York Post, who just can't help themselves in going after teachers with half truths and false accusations here, Chancellor Joel Klein stated the following.
Remove employees from payroll while their cases proceed. "When teachers are formally charged with misconduct or incompetence and there is probable cause to believe they are guilty, they should be taken off payroll pending the outcome of the charges. Exonerated teachers would receive back pay plus interest".
What the cold hearted Chancellor failed to say was that all 3020-a charges meet DOE's idea of "probable cause". Therefore, all teachers subject to 3020-a charges would automatically be taken off the payroll. Interestingly, Chancellor Joel Klein did have some valid ideas to speed up the discipline system. However, he failed to acknowledge that it is Tweed that caused the sixfold increase in reassigned teachers and the average of a two year stay for these "rubber room" teachers in the first place. The complete Joel Klein statement can be found here. To be fair, the New York Post did also allow the UFT president, Michael Mulgrew's statement in which he clearly pointed out how the union negotiated an expedited hearing process in 2002 only to see the DOE use it only twice in eight years! The reason being that the expedited hearing process does not allow for termination with the maximum penalty of a six month suspension. This shows that Tweed only wants to terminate teachers and not remediation as the State Education Law (3020-a) recommends. Mr. Mulgrew further pointed out that the UFT bent over backwards under Randi Weingarten by agreeing to more Arbitrators and a more DOE friendly discipline process (the three month suspension without pay or health benefits based upon hearsay) but the DOE rather supply rhetoric not action when it comes to a real efficient discipline process.
What I was unhappy about Mike (call me Michael) Mulgrew's response was his failure to recommend a fair investigation process by mediators or independent investigators, not the corrupt OSI or SCI investigators and penalties to Administrators who file bogus or frivolous charges just to get the teacher out of the school. However, I do expect when Mr. Mulgrew fleshes out his proposals, these actions will be part of the union's official position.
I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day by reading the heartless Joel Klein's proposal to take away a teacher's livelihood based upon mere accusations. Thank our lucky stars that the New York State Education Law and our union contract requires "due process" rights. At least for now.