Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Characteristics Of A Teacher That Principals Want According To The DOE Toolbox - The Reality Is Very Different. Today, All ATRs Have Been Assigned

The DOE policy not to place excessed teachers in vacancies has resulted in over 1900 teachers without a permanent assignment as the school year begins. This destructive and wasteful policy should not exist but it does, Thanks to ex-Chancellor Joel Klein and ex UFT President Randi Wiengarten as a result of the infamous 2005 contract. Belatedly, and reluctantly, the DOE has authorized their Teacher Hiring Support Center (THSC) to develop a toolbox how ATRs can be hired by telling teachers what principals want in a teacher. While the THSC means well, it is really unrealistic in this time of school budget cuts, (un)fair student funding, and Tweed's continuous attacks on senior teachers.

Here is what the THSC claims what principals want in a teacher.
  • Knowledge of teaching skills.
  • Classroom management skills.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Knowledge of subject matter.
  • Knowledge of student assessment strategies.
While I agree that the above referenced items are what principals should be looking for in a teacher. The reality, especially in the New York City School system is much different. In going to "job fairs", talking to other ATRs and Chapter Leaders, here are what principals are really looking for to fill their vacancies.
  • Inexpensive teachers.
  • Non-tenured teachers.
  • Young, preferably under 35 years of age.
  • Come from alternate certification programs (TFA or TF).
  • Willingness to take on extra duties without compensation.
While some of the old-time principals do try to ensure that they hire teachers that meet the THSC criteria, within their severe budget constraints imposed by Tweed, the "Leadership Academy Principal", on the other hand, only looks at the financial bottom line. That means hiring teachers that meet the criteria I have listed above. To these principals knowledge of a subject, demonstrated results, and classroom management skills are secondary to hiring a warm body based upon how expensive the teacher is, regardless of that person's teaching skill. Power and control is more important to these principals than hiring a "great teacher" and the financial constraints

While I might believe that the THSC is sincere about what principals want in hiring a teacher, the destructive policies by the leadership at Tweed and the rise of the "Leadership Academy Principal" has in reality, resulted in only the inexpensive, younger, and non-tenured teacher in excess getting job offers.

It is disappointing that the DOE is two-faced when it comes to placing ATRs. On one hand the DOE encourages the ATR to go to "job fairs" and apply for vacancies on their excessed teacher website while on the other hand discourages principals from hiring "great teachers" because they make too much money and then demonize them in the press as "bad, incompetent and lazy because of their failure to obtain a position. For senior ATRs it is a "stacked deck" against them and it takes a rare Principal who would hire based upon what is best for the school's students than on what is best for the Principal.

Finally, as of today, August 30th, all ATRs have been assigned to their schools and they could find their assignments by going on the Excessed Staff Selection System. These assignments are good until October 9th when the DOE can send you to another school. These placements do not tell the ATR if they are filling a long-term position or that it is as a day to day substitute in the school.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

All ATRs Are To Be Placed Next Week. Or So That Is What The DOE Central Office Claims.

I have been informed that all ATRs will be placed into schools next week by the Central Bureaucracy. How will these placements be determined? Hopefully, it will be by need basis. However, given the track record of Tweed, I wouldn't count on it being done with what will be best for the schools.

I will not be surprised that a school gets an ATR Social Studies teacher when they need a Math teacher. Or that a Science teacher fills a Math position while a Math teacher is sent to a another school to teach Science. It appears that the Children First Networks no longer have any authority over ATR placements and all assignments originate from "Central". That brings up the issue who is actually in charge of ATR placements and how does a school Principal know who to contact for an ATR? I have spoken to a Principal who told me that she was informed that she was to contact her Superintendent for an ATR. That is all she was told and not to contact anyone else.

Since there are over 1900 ATRs to be placed, it will be a real problem to match ATRs with vacant positions and I see numerous mismatches as "Central" fails to match school needs with ATR licensees. I hope I am wrong and the new ATR agreement is enforced. However, past agreements have failed as the DOE reneged or ignored the previous non-enforceable ATR agreements. (Yes, this agreement is also non-enforceable). Let's see if the DOE is serious about placing ATRs in schools by need basis or it is simply "the same old song" of the DOE doing what is best for them and not for the schools they run.

What's wasting $120 million dollars this school year during a budget crises when the DOE can continue to demonize the ATRs as lazy, bad, and incompetent teachers in the news media. To the DOE, portraying the ATR as a failed teacher is "priceless" when it comes to public relations.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Accountability For The Schools But Not For The DOE Bureaucrats As The Children Of PS 51 Were Exposed To Toxic Chemicals & Tweed Did Nothing About It.

The DOE's motto is "children first. Always". Of course the reality Link is much different. The DOE knew since January that the air in PS 51 in the Bronx had dangerous levels of the highly toxic and probable carcinogen, Trichloroethylene (TCE). For six months the DOE unbelievably sat on the report while 300 children in PS 51 repeatedly breathed in the TCE. It now appears that the school was built on a site that was an abandoned industrial plant and the DOE apparently never bothered to do an environmental study to ensure the site was safe for children.

PS 51 was built two decades ago and thousands of children who went to the school may have been exposed to the cancer causing TCE and who knows what health problems these children have and will suffer from over the years. If you like to know about the health effects of prolonged exposure to TCE, read here. While few DOE bureaucrats responsible for the travesty of locating a school in an environmental disaster area are with the agency now, an investigation should be done to find out who was responsible and fire them if they still work for the City or the DOE. Their selecting a potential environmentally dangerous site to put a school in is not only environmentally wrong but even criminal if you ask me.

What is even worse, is that the DOE knew in January the results of the air tests and did not immediately take action by evacuating the students and staff and let them breath in the cancerous TCE. This is unconscionable and the DOE bureaucrats responsible or not releasing the report and for their failure to evacuate the children from PS 51 should be fired.

Where is the DOE "accountability" to allow these children to be exposed to a cancer causing chemical TCE for the six months? The DOE wants "accountability" from the schools and their staff but when it comes to their own "accountability" the Chancellor and his minions believe it doesn't apply to them.

"Children last. Always" when it comes to the students of PS 51.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Mayor's Poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Fails To Live Up To His Promise To Take Action Against Cheating Principals - What Else Is New?

Chancellor Dennis Walcott has once again failed to live up to his promise to change the culture of the DOE by allowing a high school Principal to stay on payroll and not face 3020-a termination charges of cheating. It was only a month ago that in a response to a question about cheating that the Mayor's poodle said the following "falsifying information will not be tolerated". I guess he meant teachers not administrators. Just another example of the DOE "double standard" when disciplining teachers and administrators.

The story begins with the so-called super principal, Dr. Janet Saraceno taking over over the "B" rated Lehman High School to straighten out the financial irregularities under the departed former Principal, Roibert Leder in January of 2008. Under her three year tenure the school grade deteriorated from a "B" to an "F" while she received a $25,000 bonus on top of her $143,000 salary. Unbelievable. During this time many of the teachers were complaining about changed grades without their knowledge or approval, credit recovery afternoon courses that didn't exist, unearned credit, and failure to report violent incidents. Reluctantly, the DOE asked their investigative unit, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to investigate the charges. In what was a snail-like investigative process (I guess the DOE was hoping it would just go away), OSI finally released the report two years later. The report was vague and seemed to ignore or minimize many of the allegations, especially the validity of PM classes and the credit recovery that some students received. However, the OSI investigation substantiated that the Principal did illegally change 30 student grades from failing to passing it is a violation of both New York State and DOE policy. Interestingly, the OSI report made no recommendation about what punishment Dr. Saraceno should receive and the report was issued on a Friday afternoon in the summer as if to reduce the outcry on the OSI report. While I cannot prove that Tweed's hands were all over the report's findings. It would appear the snail like pace of the investigation, the reluctance to remove the Principal while the investigation was ongoing, and the issuance of the report on a Friday afternoon in the summer strongly supports it.

The Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, claimed it was "poor judgement"and not only refused to either terminate Dr. Saracena or put her through a 3020-a hearing but actually promoted her to become an instructional leader at Tweed. In other words here is a Principal that saw her school grade drop from a "B" to an "F", violated education policy, and was implicated in a bogus credit recovery program to artificially raise graduation rates and instead of being terminated, the Chancellor promotes her with only taking back the $25,000 bonus. Can you image if this was a teacher who improperly changed grades, what the charges would be? You guessed it cheating and that teacher would have been removed from the classroom and charged under the 3020-a for termination. Even the New York Post columnist, Michael Goodwin, has commented on this travesty, Here.

Yes under the Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, nothing has changed and the DOE's "double standard" between teachers and administrators is still going strong.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The ATR Crisis Gets Worse As Principals Refuse Or Can't Hire Experienced Teachers As Class Sizes Rise Significantly.

There are rumors that the amount of teachers in excess or as known as the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) will exceed the 2,000 mark as many schools are shedding teachers and class sizes are rising dramatically due to the Tweed imposed budget cuts. It seems the only teachers that are being hired are the "newbies" that some struggling and new schools have been given permission to hire since the DOE relaxed their hiring restrictions. Shockingly, many of the "newbies" are from the alternate certification programs the Teach for America's two year wonders and Teaching Fellows. Here. Most school principals have had to deal with an average budget reduction of 13.7% since 2007 and increasingly has excessed teachers and increased class sizes. In one large high school there were double digit retirements in the last year and the Principal was unable to hire any replacements due to the budget cuts.

By contrast, the DOE has seen a 8% increase in their total budget for bureaucrats with an astounding $20 million dollar increase for those non-educators at Tweed. Furthermore, Tweed plays "creative math" when it comes to allocating funds between the schools and their bureaucracy. Tweed pockets increases in funding and falsely claim they are reducing headcount. I won't even go into the obnoxious increases in consultant services and technology at Tweed.

But let's get back to the ATR crises and what needs to happen if we really care about what is best for the children. Many principals cannot or won't hire ATRs because of their budget problems. Therefore, the next best thing would be to place ATRs in unfilled vacancies and reduce the class size problem. Many of the ATRs are experienced and great teachers who would be a tremendous asset to many a school. However, this is only a temporary solution to a Tweed created problem. The real problem is to eliminate the "fair student funding" fiasco that reduces school funding by up to 20%. (interestingly, charter schools are exempt from the fair student formula so as to maximize their funding) and the reallocation of money from the bureaucracy and consultants to schools. However, as long as the unpopular Mayor Bloomberg and his pet poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott are in charge, don't look for that to change anytime soon.
It is time for the union to fight hard to reduce class sizes and make sure an experienced teacher is in front of the classroom. Presently, the union has quietly allowed the DOE to do as they please as long as the "ATR is getting paid". Good teachers want to teach and not be a glorified babysitter. The union must do what is best for the children and that is having low class sizes and an experienced teacher not all lowing the DOE to use or abuse ATRs, all 2,000+ of them.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Teaching Or Testing? For Charter Schools And Education Reformers Testing Is More Important Than Teaching?

The New York Daily News, the New York Post and Stanley Crouch have bragged how the Charter Schools had better test scores then their neighborhood schools with the publishing of the 2010 New York State results. What both ignore is that the test scores are based only on two subjects, English & Math. These tests fail to determine the entire academic achievement for all subjects and total learning of the students. Furthermore, neither article addresses the selective admissions policy of Charter Schools that are not accepting of students with disabilities, English language learners, or high poverty students with dysfunctional families which have lower test scores. Moreover, many of the Charter Schools are primarily two subject schools, English & Math, and test preparation is what is important not a whole education curriculum. Finally, Charter Schools have their own discipline and attendance policies that kick out many students that have discipline problems or miss too much school. Let's look at each issue.

Charter Schools are simply test preparation factories that focus on the New York State English and Math tests and minimize the total academic achievement of the students. Many Charter's have no physical education, art, or music teachers and in some cases, lack science and social studies teachers. Is it any wonder that the Charter Schools did poorly on the New York State "career and college readiness" statistics in 2010?

The Charter Schools have a selective admission process as they will go to great lengths to consul out students who do not fit their idea of a "student". Even the most passive Charter School will only accept applications from parents who actually apply to them. Since many students come from dysfunctional families and/or are homeless, they tend to be excluded from the Charter School admission process.

Charter Schools will limit the amount of students who have disabilities or are English language learners by claiming they do not have the resources to provide them services. The result is that the neighborhood public school has a much higher rate of the two groups then the Charter School.

The neighborhood Public School has more students in poverty and qualify for a free lunch than the Charter School and poverty has a direct correlation with student learning.

Finally, Charter Schools have their own, more stringent discipline code that expels many students who cannot abide by the school rules. These children are dumped into the neighborhood Public School.

A good education needs to have a whole learning approach, that includes low class sizes, experienced teachers, and Administrative support. By contrast most Charter Schools have only one of these three, low class sizes. The teacher turnover makes it difficult for Charters to retain experienced teachers, especially those "great teachers" the Education reformers preach about and the Administrative support is usually lacking as profits are maximized
and Administrators are replaced annually.

Go ahead and brag about how well Charter Schools did but when it comes to real learning it is all "smoke and mirrors".

Friday, August 12, 2011

Poverty, Family, And Community Are The Primary Causes Of Why We Have The Racial/Income Academic Achievement Gap - Not The Schools.

I am sick and tired of all these so-called Education reformers who have never taught in the classroom for any length of time (Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee) or have never set foot in the classroom as a teacher (Whitney Tilson and Eli Broad) ) and have decided that the best way to narrow the racial/income academic achievement gap is to put a "quality teacher" in the classroom. In fact Education reformer writer, Steve Brill, wrote a book that said that "quality teachers" can completely erase the racial/income academic achievement gap! What a fantasy. Yes, the very same Steve Brill who unfairly demonized teachers who were sent to the "rubber room" in the New Yorker back in 2008. Then there is Mayor Bloomberg who blames teachers for his and his Chancellor's failure to narrow the racial/income academic achievement gap.

The reality is that that the racial/income academic achievement gap is primarily a function of the student's socioeconomic environment and not the schools. Even University studies that Education reformers love to cite (Kane, Stalger, and Hanuchek) have shown that while "quality teachers" are the most important factor for academic improvement in schools, the major factors are the poverty, family, and community. Stanford's Eric Hanuchek stated in his study that "quality teachers" contributed 15% to a student's academic achievement while the socioeconomic factors totaled 60%! Yet, the Education reformers often cited claim "there are no excuses for the racial/income academic achievement gap", as if teachers are the blame, ignores the truth of the matter.

How can schools overcome dysfunctional families, lack of parenting skills, poverty, lack of fathers, and community problems? Sure, the schools can provide free breakfast and lunches for hungry children but how about dinner and hunger on non-school days? Moreover, how are the schools able to protect the health of children, except to ensure the children get immunized before the school year. What can schools do to improve parenting skills and eliminate the lack of role models, especially fathers in the community where drug dealers, gang leaders, violence, and disrespect for authority are what the children are exposed to as role models. While programs like "Head Start" help the youngest children, the advantages of the "Head Start" program disappears by the 4th grade as the student's world increasingly is influenced by the socioeconomic factors of their community. In my years of teaching and talking to deans at the High School, the most disruptive and academically challenged students were fatherless, came from poverty, and were involved in gang activities in the community. If we are to narrow the racial/income academic achievement gap, here is what most be done first and foremost.

First, bring fathers back into the family. Too many men father children and never have a role in their lives. Even the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, called this the major problem on why teenagers are misbehaving and not taking school seriously. When you have no father in the life of a child, there goes the best male role model that could modify student behavior.

Second, ensure that both parents financially contribute to the family. Too many families are single parent with the other (mainly the male) not contributing to the family income. The more a family makes the greater the academic achievement of the children in that family. Furthermore, two parent households not only make it more financially stable but shows the child how the two parents work together to safeguard the family from the most dangerous aspects of the community.

Third, community problems such as gang activity, criminality, and disrespect for authority must be eliminated. Just look at England, gone are the days that "boys will be boys" because they are poor is now being replaced with zero tolerance prosecution and this needs to be followed up with parent responsibility of their child's poor decisions and destruction of property. Without family responsibility, children will be influenced by the street gangs of the community. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should do what the Governor of Lagos, Nigeria is doing, criminalizing fathers who abandon their children.

None of these suggestions are easy but this is what I believe are necessary to narrow the racial/income achievement gap not just "quality teachers" as the Education reformers claim.

I would like to add that many other studies show that "small class sizes" are more important then "quality teachers" in improving student academic performance and my classroom experience believes that is true. Furthermore, Education reformers like Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg defined "quality teachers" very differently than most by claiming young, inexperienced, and cheap teachers as "quality teachers". Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Moreover, the Mayor Bloomberrg Bill to end "last in, first out" (LIFO) was riddled with ways to get rid of senior teachers, permanently not to keep "quality teachers". Finally, Mayor Bloomberg's threat to layoff 4,200 teachers or 80% of all City layoffs demonstrated his disrespect for the teaching profession and used this threat to get rid of senior teachers regardless of their ability.

If you really want to narrow the racial/income achievement gap then fix the family and the community that these low achieving students are exposed to.

The New York Times book review section blasted Steve Brill's book and can be found here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg, The Racial Academic Achievement Gap Is As Wide As Ever. As Your Ed Deformer Friends Would Say "There Are No Excuses" For That.

The 2010 New York State tests showed a slight improvement of New York City students in Math and English, except for the 8th grade English scores, while the State had minimal reductions. Scratching the surface it would appear this is good news for the Bloomberg/Walcott Administration. However, the racial academic achievement gap is as wide as ever. For example the difference between Black and White students in English was 30% and more between Asian and Black students. Hispanics fared little better showing a difference of 27% when compared to White students and 30% for Asian students. While the differences in Math were no better with a Black to White student difference of 29% and a Black to Asian difference of an astounding 40%! In NYC the racial achievement gap has actually widened since 2006 with a difference of 31.2% between Black and White students (30.5% in 2006) and 31.3% between Hispanic and White students (29.4% in 2006) in English. For Math, the Black and White student difference is 33.7% (30.7% in 2006) and 28.7% (27.5% in 2006) between Hispanics and Whites.

Since Bloomberg and Walcott are part of the education reform movement, there should be "no excuses" for such a wide racial academic achievement gap under their tenure. Furthermore, even the small improvements in scores can probably be attributed to the constant test preparation and in some cases only English and Math being taught as Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, and Physical education are minimized or as in some Charter Schools non-existent.

There is no excuse for such a wide racial academic achievement gap and as Harry Truman once said "the buck stops here". Hear that Mayor Bloomberg?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The DOE's Open Market Transfer System Is Simply A Joke As Few, If Any, Senior Teachers Are Hired And Most Don't Even Get Interviews.

On Monday the DOE's Open Market Transfer System (OMTS) ends and few, if any, senior teachers were hired through the process. In many cases teachers who applied didn't even get a courtesy interview. First, let's look at the history of the OMTS. The OMTS was created by the DOE in the wake of the infamous 2005 contract that eliminated seniority-based bumping and worst of all eased the excessing restrictions in the District. In other words, the School District no longer had to fill their vacancies with excessed teachers before they offered them to "newbie teachers". The result was an explosion of excessed teachers, called ATRs that ranged from 1,200 to 2,800 teachers depending on the time of the school year.

The union hailed the OMTS by claiming principals were no longer able to hide their vacancies (before principals were allowed to hide 50% of their vacancies). "Unity's" top propagandist and supporter of the infamous 2005 contract, Leo Casey, once even bragged how well the OMTS worked in the first year. Of course this was before Tweed's "fair student funding formula" was implemented (However, I believe even those statistics showed that schools did not want to hire higher salaried teachers). Of course as the DOE's "fair student funding formula" was fully implemented and principals were financially punished if they hired a senior teacher, those statistics changed drastically. By 2008 even Leo Casey obviously realized there was a problem and not to embarrass his "Unity" bosses, he failed to follow up on these more disturbing statistics that reared their ugly head in age and salary discrimination for the years that followed. I know the UFT has the numbers, why don't they publish them?

Now we come to the end of the latest OMTS and nothing has changed. I am in a DOE shortage area and applied to ten vacancies as well as going to a "job fair". Despite being an excellent teacher, I did not get one interview, not one! Why? Because I am an older teacher and make too much money. Is it just me? No, I know many ATRs in my situation and not one I know received a job offer and almost all did not even get an interview. Worse, I overheard a conversation at the "job fair" between two administrators who talked about how they are are looking for young, inexpensive, and preferably untenured teachers in excess to fill their vacancies.

The OMTS is simply a "waste of time" if you are a senior teacher and seems only to work for younger, lower paid teachers looking to transfer to a better school. "Children first"? Don't make me laugh. It is really "children last...Always" as great teachers are no longer given the opportunity to compete for a vacancy if they are a senior teacher.

P.S. tell me your story about the OMTS.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Here Is Just Another Way Of How Schools Improperly Use "Credit Recovery" To Graduate Failing Students. This Is Cheating The Students Of An Education.

Many education bloggers, including myself, have questioned the use of bogus "credit recovery" programs that allow failing students to graduate, unprepared for either college or the employment world. For example the now closed Tilden High School had an astounding 34% of its students graduating based upon their "credit recovery" program. In many cases, their were numerous complaints about how the "credit recovery" program was abused but simply fell on deaf ears at Tweed. To the DOE it didn't matter how these struggling students graduate as long as they graduated. Furthermore, principals were evaluated on their graduation rate and embraced the "credit recovery" system. To the principals, it was a way to artificially increase their school's graduation rate and get high grades for the school and a bonus for them.

Now it seems that one school, A Phillip Randolph, is under investigation for abusing the "credit recovery" program as Chancellor Dennis Walcott asked the Office Of Special Investigations (OSI) to look into the accusation after receiving several emails from teachers. Interestingly, the New York Daily News accused the union of making up these cheating scandals the very day the A Phillip Randolph story broke in the media. Talk about bad timing and having egg on your face.

Principals have been abusing the "credit recovery" program to artificially increase the graduation rate since the days of Joel Klein. To Tweed, it was all about graduation rates and not about accountability. To the DOE it did not matter that high schools were pushing failing students out by any means possible and that included bogus "credit recovery" programs. Remember this infamous story? In another case a Principal tried to give students "free credits" and was caught at it. The DOE responded by telling the Principal not to do it again. Is it any wonder that principals abuse the "credit recovery" program. There is no consequences to them if they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

It will be very interesting once schools will need to publish how much "credit recovery" programs contributed to the graduation rate. 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%? We should know in September when the data is supposed to be published. Look for many high schools and Tweed to be embarrassed how much these schools relied on "credit recovery" programs contributed to their graduation rate.

I guess the DOE policy is "Don't educate students just graduate them by any means necessary".

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Peer Intervention Program Plus (PIP+) Is A Teacher Termination Program And No Chapter Leader Should Allow Their Staff To Take It.

We are approaching the beginning of the 2011-12 school year and there may or may not be a new teacher evaluation system in place. However, for many of the "U" rated teachers it is too late for them. Instead, they will be given one last chance to show that they are not incompetent by being offered the Peer Intervention Program Plus (PIP+). Unfortunately, PIP+ is a teacher termination program where 90% of the teachers fail and almost all are terminated in 3020-a hearings. The 90% failure rate is based upon unpublished UFT statistics, while the termination rate is a closely guarded secret, it appears to be over 95% based on anecdotal evidence from people familiar with the 3020-a process. Very few teachers subject to PIP+ escape with their job, once they participate in the program.

Of late, many of the Chapter Leaders realize that the PIP+ program is simply a teacher termination program and has told their teachers not to take it. In the Bronx Office, it is common practice to let their Chapter Leaders know not to recommend PIP+ to their teachers. However, the other Borough Offices have not been as active in opposing the PIP+ program and that is unfortunate.

The PIP+ program is different from the union's PIP program which cannot be used against the teacher in a 3020-a hearing. The PIP+ program is a voluntary program agreed to by the union in the October 13, 2007 contract (Article 21j page 123) that allows the DOE to hire a consultant who meets with the Principal and to observe a teacher a number of times and make a recommendation on whether the teacher is competent. Since the company that hires the consultant is paid by the DOE, the consultant is under pressure to follow what the Principal wants rather than come up with an independent evaluation of the teacher's ability. Therefore, that results in the 90% failure rate. Furthermore, the PIP+ consultant is considered an "expert witness" by the Arbitrator and their testimony in 3020-a hearings result in almost everybody being terminated. Of the hundreds of PIP+ cases heard by the 3020-a Arbitrators, only a handful of teachers have kept their jobs.

Remember, the PIP+ program is a voluntary program and teachers are not required to take PIP+ and they shouldn't take it unless they have a wish to be terminated. Yes, by agreeing to the PIP+ process, the teacher delays 3020-a charges for up to six months. However, is it really worth it that if you are one of the 90% who fails the program, the PIP+ consultant will testify against you as an "expert witness"? I certainly would take my chances at a 3020-a Arbitration hearing without the DOE bringing in an "expert witness" against me. Just check the Chris Lobo case to see what damage is done by the use of an "expert witness" against a targeted teacher.

To all Chapter Leaders. "Do not let your staff take PIP+, unless you want to see them terminated".