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Friday, June 29, 2012

Dont Drink UFT President Mike Mulgrew's Brew

In my opinion, Mike Mulgrew's statement in the article below, "Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, said the results were evidence that the new procedures to resolve charges against teachers were working. All the demonizing that went on with these teachers, all of the complaints that this could never be fixed were wrong.” he said. “Once there was a will there was a way. Not only did this work, it worked better than we could have imagined" is accurate.

His statement "It’s fast and its fair, and that’s what we wanted.” is bull-oney.

Mike Mulgrew is one of the people who led the way on the most outrageous destruction of due process rights I have ever seen, and I've seen alot, both inside and outside of the court system. I also - in case you are new to this blog - have donated nine (9) years to attending open 3020-a hearings so that I could understand how teachers were fired and/or removed from their teaching positions after being thrown into a NYC "rubber room" or, as the "rubber rooms" are now labelled, "re-assignment" locations..

There are many articles available on how the rubber rooms of NYC were filled with tenured (and some untenured) teachers, but little has been written about the massive violations of due process that occurred when each case was brought to arbitration or resolution.
Here is an example:

A tenured math teacher placed into a rubber room because of an allegation of a child, then fired her NYSUT attorney and hired a private attorney to represent her at her 3020-a. He became ill, and had to go to the hospital. The lawyer requested time for his case to go forward. The arbitrator, Mary Crangle, refused. the teacher could not find another attorney and went to three days of the hearing begging for an extention of time for her case. She was denied. I was with her. Crangle was rude and condescending, clearly believing that the teacher was guilty of the charges and just needed to be terminated. I had read all the papers and I believed the teacher was not guilty of the charges and it was a set up by the Principal. (By the way, all those who say I think all teachers are innocent, this is not so, and I do not protect the guilty). On the third day we saw a woman being ushered into the hearing room by DOE Attorney Marvin Pope. I asked the teacher, "Who is that?" The teacher said she didn't know. I replied, well, as she is now testifying against you at your hearing, we have to wait outside for her and ask her her name. By this time the teacher refused to set through the hearing and hear Crangle's insults to her.
When this witness came out, the teacher said, "hello, can you tell me your name?"
The woman said her name, and then asked the teacher "Who are you?" (After the person had testified at the teacher's hearing).
The next day we appeared for the hearing day, and Crangle's name was not on the hearing schedule. The receptionist called Marvin Pope, and heard from him that he had rested his case the day before, and Crangle closed the record. The decision would be in the mail. The teacher was terminated.

The teacher and I complained to the UFT, NYSUT and the DOE, but no one responded. I'm not sure where Ms. Otterman got the facts for her article below.

March 11, 2011, 6:16 pm
Most Teachers in Disciplinary Limbo Have Returned to Class

Whatever happened to all those teachers who were cooling their heels in the city’s infamous “rubber rooms,” doing nothing while waiting to hear if they would be fired on charges of incompetence or worse?

Most have been returned to the classroom, according to new data released on Friday by the Department of Education.

Under an agreement between the city and the teachers’ union last April, all 744 teachers and administrators then awaiting decisions in the city’s reassignment centers — or rubber rooms — had to have their cases resolved by the end of 2010. Education officials said Friday that all hearings had been completed, although teachers still await judgments in 50 cases, and 33 of the teachers still have open criminal cases against them.

Of the 661 teachers and administrators who have learned their fates, 474 have been “returned to service,” which means they have resumed whatever job they were doing before, generally teaching. About 200 were cleared following the investigations and 270 received penalties, whether a fine, mandatory training, a letter being placed in their file or suspension without pay.

About a quarter of the teachers, 181 of them, are no longer employed by the Department of Education. Of those, 59 were fired following a legal process; 27 resigned or retired; 94 agreed to quit in a settlement; and one died.

Six teachers were permanently re-assigned to nonclassroom duties.

The rubber rooms formally closed in June, and teachers removed from the classroom these days are assigned to administrative offices around the city. They must be charged within 60 days, while before, it could take years. As a result, there are now only 123 reassigned employees, including the 83 old cases, the city said.

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, said the results were evidence that that the new procedures to resolve charges against teachers were working.

“All the demonizing that went on with these teachers, all of the complaints that this could never be fixed were wrong.” he said. “Once there was a will there was a way. Not only did this work, it worked better than we could have imagined. It’s fast and its fair, and that’s what we wanted.”

“Ending the rubber rooms was certainly a critical step,” said Barbara Morgan, a schools spokeswoman, said that but she added that the city still had to do more to make sure it retains the best teachers.


  1. 1. March 11, 2011 6:45 pm Link
    What does returned to service mean?
    I think this is another example of Mulgrew lying and hurting the students.
  2. 2. March 11, 2011 6:49 pm Link
    — STUPID
  3. 3. March 11, 2011 7:10 pm Link
    The best part was that the City was able to retain the services of the best teachers – excellent news for our children. In the real world most of these employees would have been fired.
    — Jim Hunter
  4. 4. March 11, 2011 7:27 pm Link
    Huh?! What??!! Huh?!.
    — Patrick Star
  5. 5. March 11, 2011 8:15 pm Link
    …which just goes to show that just taking the word of many of the ill prepared Principals that such and such a teacher is incompetent is terribly unfair It’s probably true of the vast majority of the teachers in the ATR whom the previous inmcompetent lawyer who masqueraded as an educator for 8 long dark years branded as teacher who nobody wants should also be back in classrooms. Which shows how idiotic the bill passed by the State Senate which would have summarily fired them made no sense.
    — Jeff S
  6. 6. March 12, 2011 8:16 am Link
    What !! You mean Michelle Rhee, Klein and bloomberg LIED!! Rather than the THOUSANDS of criminals and perverts etc they claimed–less than 1/10th of 1%of the city’s 80,000 Teachers end up having even the slightest issue. That’s right less than 1/10th of 1%—So lets compare these numbers to say-Elected Officials that are daily being brought up on criminal charges, or City Officials that seem to have a problem keeping our money out of their pockets.
    The Truth hurts when you you lie to the public they ALWAYS find out—always!
    — nuff said
  7. 7. March 12, 2011 8:23 am Link
    So lets look where the money really goes–Time for an in depth audit of the “Schools Construction Authority”–you know that opaque organization where the budget was just increased from $11.6 BILLION to $16.1 Billion–the same organization that AFTER Klein resigned 11/9/10 on 11/12/10 he moved $1 Billion dollars from General Ed to SCA for his IZone Schools–supposedly due to State accountability mandates that don’t exist!! And now hge gets $4.5 mmillion/year to run News Corps–yes you got it –IZone Project!!!- Conflict of interest -you bet!!
    — nuff said
  8. 8. March 12, 2011 10:05 am Link
    The fact that more than SEVENTY percent of the teachers who had been suspended and banished to a miserable limbo created by a busted system WERE RETURNED TO THEIR OLD JOBS after they were given due process is telling. When accusers were asked to provide evidence of any transgression, what happened? None existed. Strange. Here’s an idea! Teachers are sometimes removed from classrooms for arbitrary reasons that have more to do with self-serving administrators settling personal scores and protecting themselves than for doing anything that would be detrimental to the students. Bad teachers exist and should be fired. and excellent administrators abound. But if you’ve spent ten minutes in the NYCDOE system, you’d understand that gross ineptitude–stunning and often comic incompetence–and even corruption among administrators is downright common. This fact needs to be addressed when considering any educational policy in NYC.
    — concerned citizen
  9. 9. March 12, 2011 12:38 pm Link
    I would bet that a great many of these cases resulted from a vendetta or retaliation against teachers by administrators. The fact that many were returned to service indicated that there was little or no evidence of wrong doing.
    If it were not for tenure laws, many of these innocent teachers would have been deprived of their livelyhood and many students would have lost the services of possibly good teachers.
    Having worked in the school system for over thirty years, including many years for the central administration, I know that there are as many bad, malicious supervisors as there are bad, malicious teachers. Until we get rid of the bad supervisors, we need to keep strong tenure laws.
    — Cliff
  10. 10. March 12, 2011 1:58 pm Link
    Why are many citizens so stingy-minded when due process for teachers or other employees is in question? ALL workers in the public and private sector and at any level of service deserve due process in whatever form has been accepted practice.
    This is still the USA and due process rights are our inalienable right. The open season on reachers and schools is vicious and ill-motivated. There id too much propagandizing by the right when PUBLIC SCHOOLS are involved.
    — ron071
  11. 11. March 13, 2011 8:54 am Link
    I am curious and ask the Times to investigate and report how many of the teachers entered into stipulation agreements with the Department of Education. There has existed for some time a policy that the Klein administration seemed to encourage. Teachers would have charges dropped or reduced if they enter into stipulation agreements that usually offered reduced charges if they agreed to pay a fine of several thousand dollars. It would be interesting to find out the numbers of teachers and the amount s paid. I suspect that many cases were petty charges or trumped up charges but I am sure a certain number of cases would raise a few eyebrows and embarass the DOE.
    — richard mangone
  12. 12. March 13, 2011 2:09 pm Link
    Of course, every single returned teacher, etc. was absolutely innocent and the cream of the crop.
    There’s just no way that because all 744 cases had to be resolved by the end of last year, some cases that would have been more work to prove, were abandoned.
    It isn’t possible that maybe, just maybe, some people who really aren’t a credit to the system got the benefit of work rules designed to keep all but the most egregious violators in their job.
    Nope… not possible. Ask the union delegate.
    — neversleep
  13. 13. March 14, 2011 11:38 am Link
    The rubber rooms were created by Bloomberg and former chancellor Klein themselves, not by the UFT. Some of them never even got their cases heard and are still there now. Rather than putting them in limbo like the rubber room, they should be allowed to still keep their job until their hearings come. I am not surprised that Bloomberg is going up against something that he originally created in the first place, but that’s Bloomberg for you. I think his double speak was showing.
    — Tal Barzilai
  14. 14. March 15, 2011 2:19 pm Link
    What’s telling is the numbers became more of an embarrassment to Klein because principals were using the RR as a way of “getting even” with teachers who were not intimidated. To think that many of these people spent 5 years in solitary confinement also speaks to a very weak union.
    What happens to the principals who put in false claims?
    Shouldn’t they lose their jobs or at least be sued in civil courts?
    Guilty or not, justice isn’t this slow in America.
    — Linda