How many times have we read in the newspapers how Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein only want “great teachers” in the NYC school system? Now we all know their definition of a “great teacher” is young , cheap, and disposable that is consistent with their “education on the cheap” program. However, the DOE’s Office Of Legal Services do not even bother to determine who are “great teachers” when looking into the allegations charged against the teacher. To these lawyers and their supervisor if the teacher is willing to make a deal and plead guilty, they will settle with the teacher and make them an ATR, and send them to a school.
Now, the great majority of teachers who take a settlement are probably hard working and good with the students who may have committed some form of minor misconduct that was embellished and twisted due to a Principal who just wanted them out of the school. Therefore, they decided that it was in their best interests to settle their case and get on with their lives. To these teachers it is worth the DOE extortion that results from settlements ($5,000 to $15,000 and worthless courses)and are no longer a “threat to the children”. However, there were a select few known as the “worst of the worst”. This group of teachers was taken out of the classroom for a myriad of issues but they all had one thing in common. These teachers were true screw-ups, knuckleheads, and in some cases, downright dangerous to themselves and others. Incredibly, the DOE’s Office Of Legal Services after filing 3020-a charges against this select group of teachers made a settlement with them, even when they had a “slam duck” termination case against these teachers. By contrast some of the best teachers I have known refused to submit to the DOE’s extortion request and were forced to defend themselves in the 3020-a termination hearings.
Let’s look at some of these “worst of the worst” teachers who have been sent back to the schools. Previously, I wrote about two of them, Ebony & Ivory, and nothing more needs to be said about them. Now to promote gender equality I now bring you “Mutt & Jeff”. The two teachers are not only a danger to the classroom but to themselves as well. Mutt, was removed for erratic behavior as well as time and attendance issues from his school. Reliability was a problem for “Mutt” while at his school. Once “Mutt” was reassigned and received his 3020-a charges his erratic behavior and attendance problem persisted to the point that “Mutt” was given numerous disciplinary letters to his file and two consecutive “U” ratings during his reassignment. His eyes seemed bloodshot and there were allegations of improper behaviors exhibited by him and noted by the Site supervisor in his disciplinary hearings. Suspicions of drug use, drinking, insubordination, and sexual harassment were only some of the accusations associated with “Mutt”. However, the DOE’s “Office Of Legal Services” does not care whether “Mutt” is incapable of teaching children or that he is a threat to himself and others. As long as “Mutt” is willing to pay a fine and take a course, back he went to another unsuspecting school who’s children will be exposed to this unstable character.
As for “Jeff” . This teacher is a total screwup. He was taken out of classroom for a myrid of issues. He had separate SCI and OSI investigations and before his removal, even the State of New York came from Albany to evaluate his teaching ability, he failed. His charges were so many that I could not even list them in this post. This teacher was one of the laziest individuals I knew. The students called him “Mr. Ditto” because he never taught only gave photocopies of work sheets. Had he not been taken out for misconduct when he was, he would have been taken out for incompetence by the end of that year of his reassignment. His behavior did not improve while reassigned. He used a phony handicap parking permit to park in handicapped spots and when caught he just shrugged his shoulders and continued to do it anyway. He had time and attendance issues both at his school and during the reassignment, and would sneak up to different floors to steal food from workshops given at the building he was reassigned to. “Jeff” was a real screwup and yet the DOE’s Office Of Legal Services” did not care about his lack of teaching ability and his ability to screwup, the only thing they cared about was the money.
I can only laugh when I hear how Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel claim they want only “great teachers” in the system while closing their collective eyes to the hypocrites at the “Office Of Legal Services” who see no problem in putting the “worst of the worst” teachers back into the classroom and endanger the academic welfare of the unfortunate students who have them.