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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walcott Says That "Just Cause" in arbitration is Harmful To His Agenda

In the Youtube video below, you can listen to NYC DOE CEO Dennis Walcott making fun of "Just Cause" in 3020-a. He says that this must be taken out of the process, it gets in the way of what he needs to get done, which is get rid of teachers. All teachers brought to 3020-a.

Priceless. Walcott gets my award for the most despicable member of any education administration currently in office. Cant we get rid of him?

The reason for my saying this is that I know how school administrators push good people out of their jobs, just read my post on this blog and on my website called "The Gotcha Squad". In NYC right now, if you dont use a pen instead of a pencil you can get terminated. For example, a teacher was accused of "pinching" a boy's ear so that it bled, and was fined $10,000. Go ahead, pinch your ear. Got any blood? No? Neither does anyone else I know. But the investigator found guilt after interviewing the boy and after taking a picture of the boy's ear a week later and saying that the ear was "pink"; and so Arbitrator Josh Javits (in my opinion an arbitrator who was "hired to fire") found guilt as well, but due to the long career of this person he did not terminate her, as requested by the Department Attorney. This decision, to not terminate, made the Department furious.

This Just Cause Standard seems to be the most important and only due process statute left in New York City for employees of the DOE brought to 3020-a arbitration. I have sat in on hearings of DOE employees because I want to see how the 3020-a Attorney for the Respondent (UFT tenured member) honors the due process cited in Just Cause. I am not there to see that everyone is exonerated, because many are guilty of something, just not what the Department is charging with a demand for termination. In my non-lawyer opinion, very rarely is a UFT member deserving of termination even if some of the ridiculous charges are validated by a "preponderance of evidence," which astonishingly doesn't happen very often (yet the arbitrator terminates anyway in an arbitrary and capricious manner).

When you get to 3020-a, all UFT members, and you meet with your NYSUT Attorney, remember that the Attorney you are speaking with does not represent you at 3020-a, but represents the UFT. This is difficult to imagine, but it is a fact. A NYSUT Attorney spent alot of time with me several months ago explaining how detrimental this is to individual representation, and this person was very unhappy about this. Ask you attorney how many cases he/she has won, and when/where. In NYC, NYSUT has won exoneration in very few cases over the past several years.

By the way, Walcott was advised by the panel chair not to read any documents into the record, and he says that he does not read from any prepared statements, he likes to "speak from the heart" - then proceeds to read from the document in front of him. I'm not impressed.

Youtube video (starts at 6 minutes, 10 seconds):
Public Hearing May 23, 2011

From the NYC DOE Website:

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott

Dennis M. Walcott is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. As Chancellor, Walcott oversees a system of almost 1,700 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $23 billion budget. Building on Mayor Bloomberg’s Children First reforms, Chancellor Walcott is committed to cultivating teacher talent; expanding school choices for families so that students attend schools that best meet their individual needs; creating strong partnerships with parents; and preparing students to graduate from high school and succeed in college and careers. 

Prior to his appointment as Chancellor, Walcott served as Mayor Bloomberg’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development for more than eight years. In that capacity, he oversaw and coordinated the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education. He also reviewed the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority, City University of New York, and the City University Construction Fund. Mr. Walcott was responsible for collaborating with community-based organizations citywide and coordinating policies concerning youth programs and adult education. He currently serves on the board of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, and previously served as Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Commission for Construction Opportunity. 

As a kindergarten teacher in the childcare center where he began his career, Chancellor Walcott recognized the need for a male role model in many of the children’s lives, and in 1975, he founded the Frederick Douglass Brother-to-Brother program, a mentoring program for young boys.  Before joining the Bloomberg Administration in 2002, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Urban League where for more than 12 years he expanded educational and youth service programs including Jeter’s Leaders and Bridge to Brotherhood programs, Healthy Start, Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, and the 140th Street Building Block Program. He was previously the Executive Director of the Harlem Dowling Westside Center where he expanded services to children and families.

Chancellor Walcott graduated from New York City public schools in Queens, including P.S. 36, I.S. 192, and Francis Lewis High School. A lifelong Southeast Queens resident, Chancellor Walcott graduated from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Education in 1973 and 1974, respectively, and in 1980, received his Master of Social Work from Fordham University. He has served on numerous boards including Carver Bank Corporation, Primary Care Development Corporation, and the former New York City Board of Education. He has also served as an adjunct professor of social work at York College and as a talk show radio host. Chancellor Walcott and his wife Denise have four children: Dejeanne, Dana, Shatisha and Timmy; and two grandsons, Justin and Gavin.


Anonymous said...

With respect, why should teachers get more than anyone else? Why should teachers receive tenure protections that other private and public sector employees do not have? Teachers do important work, but so do nurses. Please explain this.

Betsy Combier said...

I'm for tenure protection for teachers because I see so many administrators out of control in their removal of anyone at anytime who gets them angry, retaliates against those individuals who see abuse in the school and talk about it, etc. Try looking at this site, for starters:
and there is a good look at tenure in California here: