Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The New York City 3020-a Process Part 1 - The Process Itself.

This post is part 1 of a six part series on the State tenured teacher disciplinary process as it applies to New York City.  At this point a little history of the 3020-a process itself and how it applies to New York City.

Originally, the New York City 3020-a process was the same as the State.  That is the School District filed 3020-a charges and the teacher would appeal to the State for a hearing on the charges.  The State would send a list of Arbitrators to both the teacher and the School District and have them agree to one on the list.  If the teacher rejects the Arbitrators on the list, a new and final list of Arbitrators will be given and one must be selected or the State will select the Arbitrator.  In teacher incompetence cases, a three judge panel will be selected and determine the proper "award" (penalty) for the School District.   However, in  2000 and again in 2005, the UFT and DOE decided to have their own version of the 3020-a process with a minimum of twenty Arbitrators jointly selected to hear all tenured teacher disciplinary and incompetence cases.  These Arbitrators were renewed yearly if both sides were satisfied with the Arbitrator decisions. Furthermore, only in New York City can a teacher be taken off payroll and health benefits if either OSI or SCI substantiates an accusation of non-felonious behavior such as sexual misconduct.  I have spoken about this terrible travesty of justice previously and can be found Here and Here.

The NYCDOE always go for termination when they file 3020-a charges against a tenured teacher and will remove a teacher once 3020-a papers are served, sometimes when the teacher is in the classroom teaching a class!  Of course for more serious accusations against a student, the teacher is usually removed from the school awaiting the outcome of the investigation and 3020-a hearing.  Unfortunately, some high profiled teachers and bloggers find themselves removed from their schools even if they are not a threat to the students.

Tenured teachers served with the 3020-a charges must go immediately to the union Borough office and have the Special Representative file an appeal within 10 days of receipt of the DOE charges.  Otherwise, the tenured teacher can be terminated at the next PEP meeting.  The next step can take up to six months or longer as an Arbitrator is assigned to the case.  At the same time NYSUT will assign a lawyer to represent you, free of charge.  I recommend you meet with your NYSUT lawyer and see if you connect with the lawyer.  If you decide on a private lawyer it will cost you $5,000 or more.  Within six months your 3020-a hearing will start.  The time can vary depending on the amount of Arbitrators that are on the panel (presently 19),  Usually it takes about 3 months for the Arbitrator to mail the parties the "award".

If the teacher is not terminated (61% are not), the teacher will find herself in the ATR pool, no matter what the "award" is.  It is highly unlikely that any NYC teacher is "acquitted" (4%) because of the tendency for the Arbitrators to give the DOE something for spending the time and money to try to terminate the teacher ($250,000 or more).  If there was a substaintiated OSI or SCI investigation, even when a teacher is found innocent of these charges, the teacher's file includes a bright red flag" that tells principals not to hire them.  So even when you win your 3020-a hearing the DOE makes sure you lose by claiming your guilty anyway.

Most 3020-a hearings are closed but the teacher has the right to have an open and public hearing however the NYSUT attorneys  will almost always recommend against having an open hearing.  Therefore, the final decision to have an open and public hearing is up to the teacher.  Finally, under 3020-a the DOE can only go back three years from the date of the charges.  However, it doesn't stop the DOE to bring up previous disciplinary issues even if they cannot  be used in the hearing.


Francesco Portelos said...

"Unfortunately, some high profiled teachers and bloggers find themselves removed from their schools even if they are not a threat to the students."

Strange..even if the staff votes them in as their union leader and the students request that they attend graduation?

Anonymous said...

Dear Teacher,

The Department is supplementing its model for supervision of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR). You are receiving this email because you may be included under this initiative.

Under this initiative you will be supervised by a licensed administrator (Field Supervisor), who will periodically observe your practice and provide you with feedback to support your professional development. The Field Supervisors are aware that as a teacher, in the Absent Teacher Reserve you do not have a regular program and that you rotate school assignments and they will take this context into account in their work with you.

Sometime in the next few weeks, you should expect your Field Supervisor to visit your assignment site to meet with you in person. At this initial meeting, the Field Supervisor will discuss expectations and how to support you in your professional growth and job search process.” The Field Supervisor will make an effort to contact you in advance of the initial meeting to give you a sense of when you can expect him/her, although know that they may not always be able to provide advance notification.



Anonymous said...

Yeah, this "Field Supervisor" (probably an ATR AP reject) will be sicced on you to harass you further so that you will resign or retire. What "professional development" is needed to hand out worksheets or tell kids to put their cell phones away? And, if you have no classes of your own, you don't get any practice with Danielson-crap. Trying to employ that stuff with kids you don't know and who don't know you is ludicrous. They are not going to listen to a word you say, because in their eyes, you're a "sub" and therefore no one.

As for the "job search process", the only announcements I've personally seen are all for provisional positions. Those are for suckers. Why would you want to kill yourself for students who will STILL consider you to be "only a sub" therefore not to be respected or obeyed, and with such students, put your neck in the Danielson gotcha noose?

Nope, this whole "Field Supervisor" garbage is just another form of harassment. What's the UFT gonna do about it?


jed said...

so, under the new teacher evaluation system after two years of ineffective test score results a teacher will be removed from the classroom. does this mean 3020a immediately kicks in? i know a teacher now has to prove they are not incompetent, as opposed to the old system that says the burden of proof is on the DoE.

Anonymous said...

Someone beat me to the punch and posted this crap we all got from doe today. Please chaz what do you know about this disgusting email and what do you think about it. It seems to me that atr observations must be done exactly according to contract ...a pre observation a class in our subject area and a post observation . In addition we need a class list bedside we are at a major disadvantage not knowing the kids. If we don't get all of the above aren't they setting themselves up for lots of grievances and even lawsuits . ?? Please advise. A bunch of us atrs value your knowledge and opinion

Anonymous said...

Major development!!!
Just heard from an atr that he ran into his old RETIRED AP and she told that that the DOE called her and asked her to come back to be A FIELD SUPERVISOR for atrs!! That means the department of excrement is spending additional money to hire people to go after us!!! They don't have enough atr APs to go after us and now they are going to spend extra money to hire extra people!. Disgusting!!!!

Anonymous said...

anon 12:57
you are spot on - couldn't have said it better myself

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the union contacted us en masse to tell us our rights, of the boro meetings, or just keep us informed of concerns like these up coming observations? The union paper doesn't have one iota of anything pertaining to atrs. I've paid over 20000 in union dues for what? I called the Bronx uft office and they told me there was only 100 atrs city wide! Also that we had to do anything asked of us. I'm frustrated and angry that we don't have a voice.

ATRs said...

There is a meeting of the ACR/ATR Chapter Committee

on Monday, October 28, 5:00 PM, at the Georgia Diner, 86-55 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, Queens, M, R trains. The diner's parking lot is on 55th Avenue,

to discuss these very questions.


Anonymous said...

Just another note to see how insane the ATR situation is: I met a sub in the teachers lounge and the sub asked if I was a sub and I said no I am an ATR. The subs response was oh yeah, the ATRs are taking away the jobs that the subs have.....omg this is the end all with regard to the atr situation

Anonymous said...

With the new attack on tenure, can a teacher be removed after two non sequential Unsatisfactory ratings? Will earlier ratings count? Are all teachers who have had Unsatisfactory ratings now at immediate risk?

Anonymous said...

Im having trouble finding the other parts to this "6-part" feature. Can anyone direct me? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I work in a school that has decided to go after the teaching staff using the APPR and creating a hostile work environment for their employees. Bushwick Community High School is a small high school in Brooklyn for kids that have aged out of the system. The teaching staff here was a team, until three years ago when the new Principal Llermi Gonzalez arrived. He has destroyed the teaching staff. Many teachers have left in the last two years, by retiring or transferring to other schools. Currently there are only 16 teachers at the school. Yet, more than half of the teaching staff was recently told that they are endanger of losing their jobs at the end of the school year because of their MOTP scores. Please keep in mind that none of these teachers have ever received an "ineffective" rating. But their being told that they will be brought up on 3020-a charges because they are close to receiving a third " developing" rating.

The observations are rigged by the administration in order for the staff to score low on the APPR. Teachers are being given low scores for not hearing and disciplining a student for saying a curse word, even if the teacher didn't hear it. If you file a complaint about an observation that you disagree with, a letter will be placed in your file, because you filed a complaint. Yet, throughout this, our students are increasing their test scores. The hostility towards the teachers is so blatant, that the students are seeing and feeding into it. We have no support from this administration. They are only bent on getting as many teachers out of the school on trumped up charges.

Our UFT district representative has stated that the observation process at our school is the worse that she has seen. She can see that the teachers are being targeted but doesn't know how to assist us. What can we do get others to be aware of what is going on at this school? The teaching staff is scared to death of this administration. No one should have to come to work under these conditions.

Anonymous said...

My decision to my 3020a came two and a 1/2 months after the hearing ended. There was evidence presented of a pattern by my principal for doing everything in his power to remove high salary staff members. He was involved in numerous special education violations and misuse of government funds. OSI and state violations did not remove this principal. Carmen Farina and her superintendent Meisha Porter protected him even after parents and teachers requested her help. I was a while blower for special education violations. Myself and other UFT members were targeted as incompetent teachers as a form of retaliation. We all went through the 3020a process. It was rigged from the start. 90% of the staff left the school because the school was a toxic environment. I have been a special education teacher for 28 years. I taught student teachers for years. All of a sudden I became incompetent. Older teachers used to be celebrated for their accomplishments. Now we are unwanted salary.