This is, in my opinion and experience, bulloney, and Ive written about the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) and Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) before on this blog as well as on my website, Parentadvocates.org. All the people who work as "investigators" in any of these groups are, in my opinion, members of the Gotcha Squad. When given an allegation of misconduct the duty and responsibility of these agents are to substantiate the claim, not to find out if it is true or not.
The same is true of someone given a "U" rating. The principal and/or another designated person is given the responsibility to observe the person. Protocols in the contract may be in place, such as a pre- and post- observations and written reports given to the teachers at mandated conferences, but no one at the DOE, PIP+, or UFT enforces the Collective Bargaining Agreement in this area, so no one does anything if, indeed, the CBA is violated.
Read the Chicago Teacher Observation Guidelines and you will see a different perspective.
The PIP+ program is a termination program, based on observations. The observation process has been criminalized, just like the misconduct category on the "Form 3020-a" that the Office of Legal Services under Director Theresa Europe and Naeemah Lamont (Administrative Trials Unit and Teacher Performance Unit, respectively) send out when they charge the employee with 3020-a. Ms. Europe and/or Ms. Lamont appoint a "charging attorney" to sift through the personnel file of the person who is targeted, and, when this attorney under their administration has enough so-called "evidence" to "prove" that the employee is indeed "guilty" of the incompetency (Lamont's group) or misconduct (Europe's group) at a minimal level, then NYSUT sends out the letter to the member telling him/her that NYSUT NYC Director Richard E.Casagrande has picked attorney X to represent him/her at 3020-a. A DOE Attorney told me that Claude Hersh is involved in picking the arbitrator for the case. Some arbitrators are pro-Union (NYSUT does not defend individual members at 3020-a) and others are pro-DOE, which shows when the so-called "evidence" is presented as well as when the decision is handed out for the case.
The member then makes an appointment and hears that he or she will probably lose or pay a steep fine, and the best thing to do is resign, retire, get very sick and take permanent sick leave, or.....ooops, I mean the NYSUT Attorney will try to tell you gobblygook about the process and tell you not to discuss your case with anyone, including, but most importantly, with Betsy Combier, who will "get the member terminated if the member speaks with her." Several people have told me about these conversations, and I even have a statement on tape recorded by a member who was assigned NYSUT Attorney Maria Elena Gonzalez Lichten about how harmful I am to members. I may post her recorded discussion on this blog in the near future.I suggest that you discard this as revenge for my posting information about the disastrous harm that both the UFT and NYSUT do to the members. You decide, but do ask your NYSUT Attorney how many of their clients win at 3020-a arbitration under his or her management and control.
If the UFT and/or NYSUT wanted to stop the criminalization of the observation process, the people who work under these titles should have brought to the table the ruling by the New York State Supreme Court and Appellate Division in the matter of Elentuck v Green, wherein the both Courts ruled that there are no facts in observations...."The lesson observation reports consisted solely of advice, criticisms, evaluations, and recommendations prepared by the school assistant principal regarding lesson preparation and classroom performance.":
SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, SECOND DEPARTMENT
202 A.D.2d 425; 608 N.Y.S.2d 701; 1994 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1956
February 14, 1994, Argued
March 7, 1994, Decided
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: In a proceeding pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. art. 78 to compel respondents to give petitioner teacher access to certain documents, the teacher appealed, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (New York), which, upon reargument, adhered to its original determination, which granted the petition only to the extent of permitting the teacher access to certain hearing panel reports prepared pursuant to N.Y. Educ. Law § 3020-a.
OVERVIEW: The teacher sought disclosure, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law, N.Y. Pub. Off. Law art. 6, of various documents related to the termination of his employment. On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court's decision. The Chancellor's Committee reports consisted of findings and recommendations regarding personnel actions to be taken by the board of education. The reports were prepared to assist the chancellor and were not binding. The hearing panel reports relating to N.Y. Educ. Law § 3020-a consisted of findings and recommendations subject to challenge by an appeal to the State Commissioner of Education, were not binding on either the board of education or the commissioner of education, and did not constitute final agency determinations. Thus, the requested Chancellor's Committee reports and hearing panel reports were pre-decisional material exempt from disclosure under N.Y. Pub. Off. Law § 87(2)(g).The lesson observation reports consisted solely of advice, criticisms, evaluations, and recommendations prepared by the school assistant principal regarding lesson preparation and classroom performance. As such, these reports fell squarely within the protection of § 87(2)(g)
OUTCOME: The court affirmed the trial court's decision, which granted the teacher's petition only to the extent of permitting the teacher access to certain hearing panel reports and, which denied the teacher's petition with respect to the disclosure of the other documents.
Administrative Law; Governmental Information; Freedom of Information; General Overview
Education Law; Departments of Education; State Departments of Education; Authority
Chancellor's Committee reports, which consist of findings and recommendations regarding personnel actions to be taken by the Board of Education, are prepared to assist the Chancellor and are not binding. Similarly, hearing panel reports relating to N.Y. Educ. Law § 3020-a, which consist of findings and recommendations subject to challenge by an appeal to the State Commissioner of Education, are not binding on either the Board of Education or the Commissioner of Education, and do not constitute final agency determinations. Accordingly, Chancellor's Committee reports and hearing panel reports are predecisional material exempt from disclosure under N.Y. Pub. Off. Law § 87(2)(g).
Lesson observation reports that consist solely of advice, criticisms, evaluations, and recommendations regarding lesson preparation and classroom performance fall squarely within the protection of N.Y. Pub. Off. Law § 87(2)(g).
COUNSEL: [***1] Harvey M. Elentuck, Jamaica, N.Y., appellant pro se.
Paul A. Crotty, Corporation Counsel, New York, N.Y. (Barry P. Schwartz and Carita R. Zimmerman of counsel), for respondents.
JUDGES: GUY JAMES MANGANO, P.J., VINCENT PIZZUTO, MYRIAM J. ALTMAN, GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, JJ.
HN1Chancellor's Committee reports consist of findings and recommendations regarding personnel actions to be taken by the Board of Education. The reports are prepared to assist the Chancellor, and are not binding. Similarly, hearing panel reports relating to Education Law § 3020-a consist of findings and recommendations subject to challenge by an appeal to the State Commissioner of Education, are not binding on either the Board of Education or the Commissioner of Education, and do not constitute final agency determinations. Accordingly, the requested Chancellor's Committee reports and hearing panel reports are [***3] predecisional material exempt from disclosure under Public Officers Law § 87(2)(g) (see, Matter of McAulay v Board of Educ. of City of N.Y., 61 AD2d1048, 403 N.Y.S.2d 116, affd 49 N.Y.2d 659; Matter of Herald Co. v School Dist. of City of Syracuse, 104Misc 2d 1041, 1046-1047, 430 N.Y.S.2d 460)
61 A.D.2d 1048 (1978)
In the Matter of Mary McAulay, Respondent,v.Board of Education of the City of New York et al., Appellants
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department.
March 27, 1978
[ 61 A.D.2d 1049 ]
|[ 61 A.D.2d 1049 ]|
accords with, and is in large part based upon, decisional law interpreting the Federal Freedom of Information Act (US Code, tit 5, § 552), upon which our statute is patterned (see Renegotiation Bd. v Grumman Aircraft, 421 U.S. 168;National Labor Relations Bd. v Sears, Roebuck & Co., 421 U.S. 132).
Therefore, if there are no facts in observations, how do so many teachers get terminated at 3020-a for having taken PIP+ (conclusions based upon observations of the RMC observer), or having one- or more - "U" ratings? I have been speaking out about the biased opinions of PIP+ observers for years, even though I was ordered by Mike Mendel at the UFT to support the program and urge members to sign up for the program. I couldnt do it.
Q&A With An 'Unsatisfactory' Teacher
By Kelly Virella, City Limits
In the debate over budget cuts, teacher layoffs and improving schools, much has been said about teachers who get “unsatisfactory” ratings. But little has been heard from those instructors.
Principal’s Weekly May 1, 2012
New Notification of Employee Disciplinary Flags
All schoolsIn accordance with the DOE’s effort to provide more comprehensive personnel information to principals, employees who have been the subject of disciplinary action will be identified with a flag symbol in Galaxy. The DOE is currently conducting a review of prior disciplinary cases and will be updating Galaxy with disciplinary flags as this review proceeds. Going forward, flags indicating employee disciplinary actions will be displayed in Galaxy.Please note that access to this information is limited to principals and is confidential. You may share this information with your assistant principal(s) but you should not share this information with students, families, members of the community, or other staff members.For questions, contact your senior field counsel or network HR director.