Monday, July 12, 2010
To All Chapter Leaders: Do Not Let The Teachers In Your School Take The PIP+ Program - Unless You Want To See Them Terminated
The DOE never stops in finding different and innovative ways to get around tenure and seniority rules to terminate senior teachers. One of their more successful attempts is the PIP+ program. This program is a voluntary program, approved by the union, to give a teachers who are being accused of incompetence by the administration a chance to show that he or she is not incompetent. I previously wrote about why no teacher should ever take PIP+ and one year later I am more convinced then ever that no teacher should ever take PIP+. It is simply a termination program for most teachers. While the idea of PIP+ seems good, the problem is the vendor who supplies the PIP+ educator (in many cases these are retired administrators with no experience in the NYC classroom) are paid by the DOE which brings into question how impartial is the PIP+ educator? The result after two years of data was that over 90% of the teachers who took the PIP+ program failed and 3020-a charges were filed for incompetence. Alternatively, the DOE has informed administrators to try to scare the teacher in resigning so they do not have to go through a costly ($250,000 or more) 3020-a hearing by offering them a deal that results in the teacher's removal from the DOE payroll forever.
Your District & Special Reps may tell you that all teachers offered PIP+ must take it, that is a lie! The PIP+ program is voluntary as stated in the latest contract (Article 21J-3 pg 123) and refusal to take it is not a chargeable offense (Article 21J -5 pg 123) as an Arbitrator has already ruled on that Here. You might ask why would the union recommend a program that has a 90% failure rate? Easy the union leadership, who have not been in the classroom for a decade or more, really believe that these teachers are incompetent! Shocking but true, I heard it myself from a union official high up in the UFT leadership.
To ensure that teachers who failed PIP+ were terminated, Tweed set up a unit of lawyers and retired principals whose only job is to file 3020-a charges against the teacher. This group is known as the "Teacher Performance Unit" or TPU for short. It is commonly known as the "Gotcha Squad" and with the new teacher evaluation program accepted by our union, look for the TPU to expand even more as additional senior teachers will be targeted by vindictive and biased administrators for incompetence. By the way, the union sponsored PIP program is not the same and all teachers offered it should consider taking it but not the DOE sponsored PIP+.
To all Chapter Leaders: Do not let the teachers take PIP+, unless you want to see them terminated.