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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Teacher Performance Unit (TPU)

Re: The Teacher Performance Unit

Hi Betsy,

We teachers in the rubber rooms appreciated this article to no end. We feel so fortunate to have Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg looking out for the welfare of our children.

Lets get rid of these loser teachers! They are all no talent waste who have absolutely no business making a living for their families. This gravy-train has got to end!

And by the way, who are the "bad" teachers? Oh, come on! That's easy. Any tenured teacher who has over 10 years of experience and makes over $50,000. Lets replace them with "good" teachers. And who are the good teachers? Any inexperienced non-tenured teachers with less than 5 years experience making under $37,000 a year.

God bless Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg. They are true humanitarians and should be nominated for an award. How does the "Hitler Humanitarian Award" sound?


The NY TIMES published a story today on the Teacher Performance Unit that will serve to remove teachers “fast” and “efficiently” if a Principal hesitates.

November 15, 2007
A New Effort to Remove Bad Teachers

The Bloomberg administration is beginning a drive to remove unsatisfactory teachers, hiring new teams of lawyers and consultants who will help principals build cases against tenured teachers who they believe are not up to the job. It is also urging principals to get rid of sub-par novices before they earn tenure.
At the center of the effort is a new Teacher Performance Unit of five lawyers, headed by a former prosecutor fresh from convicting a former private school principal who had a sexual relationship with a student.
A separate team of five consultants, including former principals, will work with principals to improve struggling teachers’ performance. In cases where the teachers fail to get better, the consultants will help amass the documentation necessary to oust them.
The plans, at a cost of $1 million a year, are described in a memo and an accompanying letter to principals from Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. In the letter, he urged principals to help teachers improve but added, “When action must be taken, the disciplinary system for tenured teachers is so time-consuming and burdensome that what is already a stressful task becomes so onerous that relatively few principals are willing to tackle it. As a result, in a typical year only about one-hundredth of 1 percent of tenured teachers are removed for ineffective performance.
“This issue simply must be tackled,” he wrote.
In the memo, Dan Weisberg, the Education Department’s chief executive for labor policy and implementation, wrote that the Teacher Performance Unit “represents a significant infusion of resources that will ensure we have the capacity to seek the removal of all ineffective tenured teachers who, in spite of receiving the time and support sufficient to allow them to substantially improve, won’t or can’t do it.”
The unit, Mr. Weisberg wrote, “will also allow us to seek discipline where appropriate in a wider range of cases than before.” The unit is being run by Florence Chapin, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the city’s teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers, called the lawyers a “teacher gotcha unit” and said she found it “disgusting” that the Education Department would issue such a memo after the release of new school report cards that bluntly grade schools A through F.
“We’ve always been concerned that the first thing that would happen after somebody put out progress reports would be principals would go after teachers,” Ms. Weingarten said. “Basically, it’s signaling to principals that rather than working to support teachers, the school system is going to give you a way to try to get rid of teachers.”
New York City has roughly 80,000 public school teachers, and once they receive tenure it is notoriously difficult to remove them, because of the union contract and state labor law, which guards the rights of tenured public employees with an elaborate process of hearings and appeals.
Only about 10 to 15 tenured teachers a year leave the system after being charged with incompetence. Other teachers are removed for outright misconduct.
More than 700 school employees, mostly teachers, are now assigned to centers known as “rubber rooms,” after having been removed from the classroom. While school officials say those employees are under investigation or at some stage in the disciplinary process, teachers’ union officials say that many have had no charges filed against them.
Mr. Klein has long spoken out against three poles of the civil service system for teachers — seniority rights, lifetime tenure and lock-step pay.
The city and Ms. Weingarten recently agreed on a plan to reward teachers for outstanding performance by allowing successful schools to compete for bonuses that would allow them to dole out extra pay to teachers.
The push to remove bad teachers represents the flip side of the equation and comes as the city is less than a year into an effort to get principals to more rigorously review probationary teachers who are up for tenure.
Mr. Weisberg said in an interview that he did not know how many tenured teachers would be removed. He said there “probably will be an increase” in incompetence charges.
“I believe very strongly that the number of these struggling tenured teachers is very small compared to the total number of teachers, but even if it is 1 percent, even if it is half of 1 percent, we have to address it,” he said.
Since the mayor earlier this year announced a more rigorous tenure review process for probationary teachers, the numbers denied tenure at the end of the three-year probationary period has increased modestly.
Since late March, when the new system started, 66 probationary teachers were denied tenure , or 1.3 percent of those eligible. In the previous school year tenure was denied to 25 teachers, or .5 percent of those eligible.
In addition, 115 teachers had their probationary period extended this year, up from 30 in the previous year.
Mr. Weisberg’s memo also described a new program, agreed to by the teachers union, under which principals can call upon teachers from outside the school system to spend three months observing tenured teachers in danger of being disciplined for incompetence.
The memo said that while the outside teachers may help floundering teachers, their written evaluations would also “likely carry a great deal of weight in disciplinary proceedings seeking the teacher’s termination.”
I have posted the job alert for the TPU on my blog:
http://www.nycedadv/ 2007/11/job- alert-consultant -for-teacher. Html

Job Alert: Consultant for Teacher Performance Unit

The New York City Department of Education is looking to hire a consultant at $300/day, 2 days/week, who will help Principals get rid of "bad" teachers.

Consultant-Teacher Performance Unit
Tracking Code: 3241

Job Description

THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is the largest school system in the nation, with nearly 1.1 million students, 135,000 employees (including 80,000 teachers), and an annual budget of $15+ billion. Led by Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, the Department of Education (DOE) is committed to creating a system of 1,400+ great schools. Since its inception in 2003, the Children First Agenda for New York's schools has driven the Department of Education's work in adopting uniform, rigorous curricula for all schools, starting new small schools to increase educational options for students, and transforming the structure and culture of the Department of Education to encourage educational excellence and the work necessary to support that goal.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provides support to principals and other school-based supervisors in observing and evaluating pedagogues.
Assists in designing support for underperforming pedagogues.
Provides technical assistance to principals and other school-based supervisors in the evaluation and disciplinary processes.
Liaisons with Office of Labor Relations on labor/legal issues.
Where requested by principal, conducts observations and provides feedback to teachers.
Where necessary, assists in preparing documentation in connection with ratings, discontinuances and charges.

Selection Criteria


Valid SAS or SDA
Three (3) years' supervisory experience in NY required; minimum three (3) years' supervisory.
Experience in NYC public schools strongly preferred.
Knowledge and demonstrated success in supervising classroom instruction and improving underperforming pedagogues.
Working knowledge of evaluation/discipline process for pedagogues.
Salary Range: $300 per day at a minimum of 2 days per week.

Resumes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. We encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible.


It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, alienage and citizenship status, age, marital status, disability, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as provided by law), sexual orientation, gender (sex), and to maintain an environment free of discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, or retaliation as required by civil rights law. Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 923, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit the OEO website at

Job Location

Teacher Performance Unit (TPU)

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