Monday, July 28, 2014
The Fuzzy Math The Wall Street Journal Used For Their 3020-a Statistics
The Wall Street Journal received from the NYCDOE the 3020-a statistics for the last two years April 2012 to January 2014 on educators who were charged under section 3020-a for tenured educators. If you browsed through the chart supplied by the newspaper it would seem that only 40 out of 826 cases ended in termination or 5% and that's what the newspaper wants you to believe since it supports the attack on teacher tenure.. However, if you read the article more thoroughly, you realize that 330 of the 826 cases have not been resolved and the termination rate therefore jumps from 5% to 8%, not a large jump but its not 5%. Wait there's more. Of the 826 disciplinary cases, it turns out that apparently 235 educators agreed or were forced to resign or retire rather than go through the 3020-a hearing process. Add the 235 to the 40 terminated educators and the total educators removed from the system is 275. Since only 496 cases have been resolved (826 - 330). the total percentage of educators that left the system after being charged under the 3020-a law is 55%! That's right 55% not the 5% the Wall Street Journal would like you to believe is the case.
While the data shows no educator acquittal rates, historically, its been consistently around 4% in the last decade. Therefore, of the 826 disciplinary cases, one could expect approximately 20 educators to be exonerated.
The Wall Street Journal article is just another example of how the media uses "fuzzy math" to distort and pervert the statistics to suit their ideological aims and to support the attack on teacher "due process rights". Michael Bloomberg may be gone but his ideology still inhabits the corridors of Tweed and the New York City media. The ICEUFT blog also has a similar take on how the Wall Street Journal manipulated the statistics.
Update: The UFT decided to publish their own data for only teachers and found that for the last two school years (2012-13 and 2013-14) out of 637 disciplinary cases, 216 left the system by either termination (40) , resignation, or retirement (184). That is a rate of 34%. However, since 153 cases have not been resolved, the actual rate for teachers removed from the system is 45% For the DOE its not about how many terminations there are its about getting rid of teachers and whether its 55% or 45%, the fact is almost half the teachers charged under 3020-a are kicked out of the system by the DOE. This sample did not include administrators or teachers who employed a private attorney to represent them in their 3020-a hearings.
Interestingly, in the Schoolbook article, the amount of teachers that failed to obtain tenure between 2010-13 was 1549 for the sampled period. Hard to believe that the education reform groups have any leg to stand on in their lawsuit.