Over the past year, I have seen the decisions of arbitrators on the Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) subtly change.
Now, many arbitrators who decide not to terminate the educator (for various reasons, but the main one is that the Department of Education did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the charges were valid) include in their decision as penalty some sort of professional development or classes.
Here are some of the decisions handed out in the past couple of months:
* "As a condition of his continued employment with the Department, Respondent shall be required to successfully complete twenty (20) hours of professional development within one (1) year of the date of this Opinion and Award. The Department shall be responsible to pay for the professional development and shall have the exclusive right to determine what type of professional development Respondent must complete."
* "At the Department's discretion, Respondent shall be required to complete additional training to address her pedagogical issues."
* "During his suspension without pay, Respondent shall enroll and successfully complete courses, approved by the Department, to achieve the goals and objectives contained in _____'s action plan..."
* "Respondent is to attend courses on the topics of Planning, Classroom Management and Delivery of Instruction, to be paid for by the Department."
These are just a few of the Awards given, in addition to a fine.
How did this penalty of taking PD and paying a fine become so common? At the same time, no less, that the Teacher Effectiveness Program became the new Gotcha Squad?
Were arbitrators told something by the Department and NYSUT that allows these types of penalty? Why I am asking these questions is because I know several of these cases, and it is doubtful that these teachers needed any PD.
The DOE Attorney Jade Fuller is one of the prosecuting attorneys who are on the TPU panel, and she wants all teachers terminated no matter what the allegation is. She always wears an elephant pin. Different elephants.
Here is her background:– Present (3 years 1 month)Everest College-Online
Immediately. Without any hearing or due process.