Saturday, March 12, 2011
Some Questions On What Happened To The 744 "Rubber Room" Teachers. Do The DOE Numbers Make Sense?
Yesterday the DOE released some statistics on what had happened to the 744 "rubber room" teachers and broke them down. While some of the numbers seem to make sense, there are some questions about the numbers assigned to certain categories.
The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and the New York Post all had articles on the statistics and based upon what I had read, I must question some of the numbers that were assigned to different categories. However, let me first tell you which statistics appear to be correct.
The number of "rubber room" teachers was listed at 744. This number appears to be correct. Interestingly, both the DOE and the UFT had claimed the number was much smaller at the time of the "rubber room agreement". Both groups had numbers ranging from 550 to 650 respectively. I guess the DOE and UFT were embarrassed about the continuing increase in reassigned teachers as principals saw their last chance to get rid of the senior teachers they didn't want or like and get them off their payroll before the summer.
Also the number of teachers who were terminated, 59, or a 8% termination rate, at first glance this number seems to be a tad low when compared to the 10% termination rate on the average. In addition, I have seen about a 10% termination rate during my almost 5 year DOE incarceration. , However, some teachers who started their hearings probably were going to be terminated and took deals to resign or retire in mid-hearing and this group is part of the 121 who resigned or retired by now. Moreover, there are 83 cases unresolved and that if you follow the 10% termination rule you can add an additional 8 educators to the termination list. Consequently, the 10% termination rate average appears to be correct based upon the numbers.
What appears questionable is the number of teachers "cleared". According to the DOE numbers 200 of the 744 educators were "cleared" and sent back to school. However, this numbers appears to be deceiving. First, only 5% of the teachers who showed up in the Queens reassignment center were ever sent back without 3020-a charges and some of them did receive disciplinary letters and should not be considered "cleared". It is difficult to determine which group the DOE put these educators in but I must assume they were considered "cleared". Otherwise the discrepancy is even wider. Assuming the same 5% holds in the other TRC's that would come out to only 37 educators not 200. Even if you add the 4% acquittal rate, this would only add another 30 educators giving a total of 67. What accounts for this discrepancy? Maybe it is how the DOE uses the word "cleared". In some settlements the DOE drops all 3020-a charges and gives the teacher a "neutral recommendation" in exchange for the educator to resign from the DOE at the end of the school year (June 2011). This could account for the large discrepancy in the numbers since many teachers accused of PIP+ for example took such deals and have been returned to the classrooms to finish out the school year teaching and their career in the NYC Public Schools. Therefore, the DOE's definition of "cleared" can be misleading. It would appear that the DOE definition of "cleared" is very different then what you and I might think. By the way you are only really "cleared" if you are taken off the ineligible list for employment in the DOE and since the settlements say that you agreed to irrevocably resign or retire, you stay on the ineligible list forever!
It would be interesting if the DOE numbers were verified by the UFT/NYSUT and how they would break down the same numbers and why did they decide now to give them to the media?