Monday, April 19, 2010
The Good News Is The "Rubber Rooms" Are Closing. The Bad News Is That Teacher Due Process In The 3020-a Process Remains Unchanged
The demise of the "rubber room" is a great victory for all reassigned teachers, regardless how people feel about the union leadership and their exclusive (secretive) negotiating techniques. However, to claim it was a "pure win" for the reassigned teachers as a very respected blogger claims is quite an exaggeration. Nothing in this "rubber room agreement" makes the 3020-a process any more fair than before. Let's look at why the reassigned teacher still must deal with the unfairness of the 3020-a process.
There are no changes to how investigations are done. When a Principal goes after a teacher the final result is the teacher is removed. I have previously wrote about these unfair investigations Here, Here, and Here. An independent investigator would make this a fairer investigation and would require the teacher to fully participate in it.
No Consequences For "False Accusations":
The agreement does nothing to ensure that either the DOE or UFT go after administrators or students that were found to have given "false accusations" against a teacher, despite language to do just that in the previous "rubber room agreement". To date, no Administrator has been disciplined for giving "false accusations" against a teacher.
The Expansion Of The Hated & Unfair "Probable Cause" Provisions:
The awful "probable cause" provision was expanded to include violent assault. Despite Leo Casey's advocacy for this provision, mere hearsay is enough to get a teacher offline for up to three months. Now we are adding another accusation to remove more innocent teachers.
Shortening The 3020-a Hearing Process:
You might think that this is a good thing. However, there is real concern that the hearings, with their stringent timelines could pressure Arbitrators from hearing character witnesses for the teacher because of the requirement of meeting the timelines (teacher witnesses go last). The hasty hearing process may turn out to be unfair to the teacher.
The NYC 3020-a process is inferior to the State 3020-a process because teachers do not have the right to refuse an Arbitrator (the State allows this). Furthermore, for incompetence cases, one Arbitrator, rather than a three Arbitrator panel is used to hear teacher incompetence cases. More about this issue can be found Here.
Overall, it was a win for the reassigned teachers but a "pure win"? Sorry, I just don't buy it.
Thanks South Bronx for the use of your picture.