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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

APPR, Rebuttals, and Appeals

All members of the UFT subject to observations must write rebuttals and send these statements to the person observing you and, if this person is not the principal, to the principal of your school. ADVOCATZ can assist in writing a polished rebuttal.

Any UFT member who receives an APPR end-of-year rating which is not correct or does not reflect  his/her performance accurately, must, in my opinion, file for an Appeal. You may lose this Appeal, but this step is an important part of the process you must take to clear your record and/or name. The UFT owns this part of the Appeals process.

The UFT website has the information you need to appeal. READ AND FILE!!

Betsy Combier

Process for teachers to appeal an Ineffective rating for 2014-15 school year


Two kinds of appeals

There are two different types of appeals in the new evaluation system: chancellor’s appeals and panel appeals. All teachers are entitled to a chancellor’s appeal. After talking to you and reviewing your forms and supporting documentation, the UFT will determine whether your case may be appropriate for a panel appeal.

Chancellor’s appeals

A hearing officer from the DOE’s Office of Appeals and Review, the same office that hears U rating appeals, will hear your case. Unlike the U rating appeals process, which can drag on for months, the DOE hearing officer has 30 days to issue a decision in a chancellor’s appeal.

Panel appeals

The union can identify up to 13 percent of all Ineffective ratings each year to challenge on grounds of harassment or reasons not related to job performance.

These cases will be heard by a three-member panel comprised of a person selected by the DOE, a person selected by the UFT, and a neutral arbitrator.

Cases that the UFT selects for panel appeals may require a follow-up meeting with a UFTadvisor.

All returning teachers covered by the new evaluation system should receive their year-end rating for the 2014–15 school year via Department of Education email. Hard copies of ratings will be provided when they return to school on Sept. 8, according to the DOE.

For those who receive a rating of Ineffective, there is a process in place to appeal the rating. Regardless of the reason you may feel the rating is unfair, the first steps you should take are the same.Call your UFT borough office to make an appointment to file your appeal. At that time, aUFT representative will guide you through the steps you need to take prior to the appointment.

To prepare for your appointment and your appeal, you need to be proactive and organized. You must submit the specific, detailed reasons for your appeal as well as all of the documents you plan to use to support your arguments. The UFT has posted online a checklist of materials that you should gather in preparation for your appeal. These include your Overall Rating Report, Observation Reports, Learning Measure results, documents related to your Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP), if applicable, and any other documents that you feel are pertinent.

In addition to the documents, you must provide the reasons your rating should be overturned. In order to help you, we have created forms that the borough office will email you when you contact them to make an appointment. The borough office will also provide you with an email address to which you can send the completed forms. Before your appointment, fill out all the forms you receive electronically and save them on your computer. Attach the forms to an email and send them to the email address provided by your borough office when you made the appointment. Include any supporting documentation that you are able to send electronically, such as your rating sheet and observations.

Bring hard copies of your completed forms and all your documentation with you to your appointment.

At your appointment, your intake advisor will review your forms and documentation for completeness, objectivity and clarity. The intake advisor will let you know if you are missing any documents or if you need to flesh out information on your form.

The UFT must submit electronically to the DOE the forms and accompanying documentation for all teachers filing appeals. This means that in order to ensure your case is filed, you must complete and submit your appeal package to the UFT by Monday, Oct. 26. We cannot guarantee that members who contact us after that date will have their cases appealed.

The DOE will begin holding its appeals hearings in late December or early January.

If you receive an Ineffective rating for the 2014–15 school year, you will be given a Teacher Improvement Plan this school year designed to pinpoint weaknesses and support you in addressing them. (Teachers rated Developing may also be given a Teacher Improvement Plan.) A trained Peer Validator, who is a fellow New York City public school teacher, will also observe you three times over the course of the year and review the fairness of your rating.