There is little doubt that the DOE is dysfunctional and rather than cooperate and support schools, they instead appoint and protect unqualified administrators. Moreover, the DOE imposes top down policies that have little or no support by school staff. Be it the unfair "Fair Student Funding" or the Charlotte Dainielson rubric. Finally, the NYCDOE has a large legal organization, called the Office of Legal Services who's main job is to fire teachers through the 3020-a process. Many educators call then the "gotcha squad".
Successful school districts have one very important thing in common, that's collaboration. From the Superintendent down to the novice teacher all employees support each other. The school district usually goes out of their way to support the school and the classroom with adequate resources, a culture of cooperation, and an appreciation of all employees. These school districts might have one lawyer on staff or simply contract the few legal issues to an outside law firm. 3020-a hearings are a rarity and usually a fair settlement is negotiated. Students need not worry that their teacher will suddenly disappears and they suffer academically for it.
By contrast. welcome to the bizzaro world of the NYCDOE. The DOE is anything but cooperative. Rather the DOE polices incentivizes principals to hire "newbie" teachers through their Fair Student Funding policy and encourages the pushing out of veteran teachers into either the 3020-a process or eliminate programs to dump them into the ATR pool. To achieve this goal the DOE needs and employs a hundred or so lawyers and support staff to assist principals in getting rid of teachers and apparently money is no object. For the 361 teachers, charged under section 3020-a in 2016, It costs an average of $215,000 to complete a 3020-a hearing, start to finish, and while schools have recession era budgets and are only funded at 90% of what they should be, the bloated DOE Central Bureaucracy just gobbles up more money for themselves.
Every year or two the DOE has a new "flavor of the day" program or policy and pushes it on schools that end up not to work and wastes time and money to implement the failed program. Moreover, NYCDOE appoints Superintendents based more on who they know and not what they know. Teachers have little or no respect for these political appointees and the inferior principals they appoint. Finally, the DOE looks the other way when school administrators commit academic fraud and allows it to continue that allows students to graduate unprepared for the adult world.
In my opinion the NYCDOE practices policies and the disinformation that make the New York City Public Schools dysfunctional and only hurts teacher morale and adversely affects student academic achievement.