Saturday, September 03, 2016
Which Teachers Have A Flag On Their Files?
Occasionally, I have written about the unfair flag put on teacher files that makes it virtually impossible to be hired by schools. Who has this flag? Quite a few teachers do and many have no idea that they do since only principals have access to the teacher's file and the flag attached to their file. I call it the "Scarlet Letter"
Any teacher that had a substantiated OSI or SCI investigation finding, even if it did not lead to a 3020-a termination hearing has a flag on their file. Moreover, if the teacher was charged under 3020-a. they also have a flag on their file. Having this flag on your file will discourage most schools from even interviewing the teacher for their vacancies. It matters little if the teacher was ultimately found innocent of the accusations and charges, the flag on the file stays and only a time-consuming and costly Article 78 hearing in front of a State judge can force its removal from the teacher's file.
For teachers who were discontinued or irrevocably resigned or retired, they also have a flag on their file that is known as the "do not hire" list. While discontinued teachers can theoretically get a job in another district, no principal would want to go through the hassle and the loads of paperwork to hire a previously discontinued teacher. Further, any teacher who irrevocably resigned or retired are assumed to have been under 3020-a charges and cannot be hired for a DOE position as well.
Any teacher that retired and want to come back as a substitute teacher (they really should have their head examined) must have 5 consecutive years of satisfactory or effective ratings in their last five years of active service to do so. One year of unsatisfactory or ineffective ratings in the last 5 years of active service will result in the DOE rejecting their substitute teaching application.
Unfortunately, our disconnected union leadership has allowed for this unfair situation to continue unopposed. Instead of filing a PERB complaint or file a lawsuit, they have buried their collective heads in the sand and allowed this abuse to continue for the last 5 years as far too many teachers are denied an opportunity to apply for vacancies or even to continue their livelihood in the profession.
Betsy Combier at the Rubber Room Reporter blog is reaching out to all teachers to join a potential class action lawsuit that will eliminate the unfair flags put on teacher files and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org