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 The 90% failure rate is based upon unpublished UFT statistics, while the termination rate is a closely guarded secret, it appears to be over 95% based on anecdotal evidence from people familiar with the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".