Wrong, ugly wrong.
- first of all, it is very easy with the new set of arbitrators on the NYC permanent panel in NYC (and nowhere else is there a permanent panel) to fire anyone. If you do not know (as most private attorneys don't, especially if they are on their first 3020-a, or second-third) all the ins and outs of the UFT contract, the ATR agreement, buyout, Fair Student Funding, senior transfers and exactly how the Danielson rating system and HEDI fail, anyone can be fired at any time. 3020-a hearings are a minefield, even for my legal team after 14 years of observing and working on 3020-a cases. Every case has a WHAT???!!! moment that makes it unique and unforgettable. The charged Respondent can win, if the representative - the legal team - is experienced enough to know the minefield and how to defuse it.
-secondly, many (not all, true) ATRs are senior teachers at the 20+ years into teaching, usually with all S ratings until the Danielson rubric raised its horrible head and the principal decided he/she was too expensive to keep on the school budget. Without senior transfers, the only way a principal can get an expensive employee out of the school is to charge that employee with anything, i.e., sharpening a pencil too long, if that's what kind of 3020-a charge which must be made up.
- third, the rubber room folk waited for 2-15 years to have their days in arbitration, and that was the fault of over-anxious principals dumping anyone who would not do something or, who would. Mayor Bloomberg woke up one day and realized that there were not enough hearings and too many people in the temporary re-assignment centers ("TRCs") . He did what all politicians do when confronted with a mistake they made: first, try to hide the facts from the newspapers (that did not work, I made sure of it when I used to work for the UFT), then, try to make the mistake go away (not necessarily fix it, because then it will look like you are admitting the mistake). But the rubber roomers are almost always folk who had not had a hearing yet. ATRs are employees who have been excessed after a school was closed, or who won the 3020-a and did not get fired. There is a reason why the tenured employee did not get fired!!!! Principals lie under oath, and tell their AP, parents, students, staff to lie as well. Everyone follows a script. In my opinion, most people are bad liars. You can spot a lie immediately, because the person who does not tell the truth gets confused, and loses track of what they said, and change their story. When I read the transcripts to prepare for closing arguments, the lies stand out as if there were red highlights.
- fourth, the Editorial Board did the easiest thing for people who have made their minds up and refuse to see anything different (which is surprising, considering that the Wall Street journal is widely respected): go with the prevailing theory. The Board is misinformed, but probably could not look at any other versions than what their funders wanted, which is disappointing.
- fifth, many ATRs that I know are the best in the business. They are intelligent, hard-working, terrific individuals who asked the right question (why do I have to change the grades? Where's the money?) to the wrong person, and before they can blink are being accused of harming a student, having sex with a child in the classroom, saying something that "upset" someone, etc. But, when you look deeper into the situation, you find out it never happened.
Anyway, articles like the one below are extremely harmful to all the wonderful ATRs out there, and I apologize for re-posting such an ugly piece of someone's miniature brain. But I could not resist the urge to tell the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board that this post is just, plain, stupid.
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
|NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio|