Saturday, January 07, 2012
Why The Union Refused To Agree With The DOE's Conditions On The Teacher Evaluation System - No Teacher "Due Prtocess Rights"!
The framework of the teacher evaluation system that the DOE & UFT agreed to for the 33 restart/transformation schools is now little more than an exercise in futility as the two parties could not agree on what the final product would be. Despite the uproar in the daily tabloids, education reform organizations, and those fifth columnists at E4E, the major reason was the DOE's insistence in eliminating teacher "due process rights".
The problem with DOE's proposal is that if the teacher received two consecutive"ineffective" ratings from an Administrator the teacher would be immediately terminated, with only an appeal to a DOE hearing officer allowed while no longer receiving a paycheck. Based upon Leo Casey's analysis in the "U" rating appeal hearings, the teacher would have a 0.2% chance of success. Or one out of 433 cases overturned! That means that once a Principal targeted a teacher, that teacher was as good as terminated without any reasonable chance of appealing the decision in two years. By contrast, under the existing procedures, the Principal would need to give the targeted teacher three consecutive annual "U" ratings and the teacher would still have the right to have his or her case heard by an independent Arbitrator under the 3020-a State regulations, while still on the payroll to determine if the DOE can terminate the teacher.
Under the DOE's proposal, the Principal's decision is final because, according to the DOE, the Principal's decision "comes from god" and no Principal would give an unfair rating to a teacher that would jeopardize a teacher's career. It matters little to Tweed that many of these Principals have been exposed as petty, vindictive, incompetent, and worse. To Tweed, the Principal can do no wrong and even when they do, they are simply given a slap on the wrist and maintain their control of the school. Many of the more recent cases can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here. Yet the DOE wants these principals, many with little or no classroom experience to determine whether a teacher is "effective" or "ineffective". This is especially true of "Leadership Academy Principals" who make up 19% of the Principals in New York City. Had the union agreed to the DOE's proposal, it would be open season on veteran teachers.
The union did the right thing by opposing the DOE's attempt to eliminate teacher "due process rights" and need to hold firm against the media onslaught by the education reformers whose real agenda is to destroy the teacher unions and the public school system.