Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time to put an end to The Discontinued - Dreaded D Teacher Blacklist at NYCDOE

Ed Notes has been covering the story of the Dreaded D - Discontinue - since teachers who have been blackballed by the vicious act of principals who were handed a loaded gun by the DOE without a peep from the UFT. Only non-tenured can be discontinued - where a mark is placed in the computer system and even if another principal wanted to hire them they couldn't.

The teacher is out of your school, so why would you give a shit if someone else wants to hire them? Only a personal grudge would lead to such a despicable act.

Below is a link to a petition.

Here are previous ed notes stories on the Dreaded D.

Nov 07, 2011
As a discontinued teacher, I completely understand the experience. I find that principals have too much and little is done to check and balance it. Principals know they have a better union than the UFT and know that teachers ...
Apr 11, 2012
I have been discontinued and U rated and I have been subbing in 2 other NYC public schools. The AP's in both schools picked up my resume (through networking). In fact, one of the AP's loves my classroom management and ...
Sep 28, 2012
Principal Olga Livanis gave out 7 U ratings and a Discontinue to a non-tenured and popular teacher last year, in addition to driving at least one top notch fed-up teacher into resigning. The D is a career-ender (vs a U which ...
Dec 30, 2013
End the Discontinue that kills a teacher's career immediately. Revamp DOE Legal and OSI. I will not be cheering for Carmen Farina until I see some changes in these policies. She ought to walk across the street one day in ...

Mar 18, 2010
Now on to the UFT. If you find you are blacklisted by the dreaded D and ask the UFT for help you will get 12 different answers. The most common is: Don't worry, that is only for your district. You can be hired by another district.
May 06, 2012
Over the years we at ICE have been contacted by a number of teachers who received the Dreaded D rating which basically blackballs them from teaching under their license again even if another principal wants to hire them.

Save the Careers of Discontinued Teachers

Save the Careers of Discontinued Teachers

    1. Dont Tread On Educators
    2. Petition by
      Staten Island, NY

Her name is Jennifer and she is in her early twenties. She wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl.  It’s August and she gets the call that her interview at a local elementary school went well. Principal Higgins wants her to fill an opening for a 5th grade position. Jennifer and her family of teachers are ecstatic. Then, several months later and out of the blue, it happened. Without even realizing it, Jennifer crossed Principal Higgins by questioning some change in assignment and a preparation period she felt she was owed. Suddenly, Jennifer stopped receiving "satisfactory" observation reports and began receiving several "unsatisfactory" ones. Principal Higgins then rated Jennifer unsatisfactory for her first year final rating. Jennifer was devastated. It didn’t make sense. The students and parents liked her. She received unofficial praise from the assistant principal, but to Principal Higgins Jennifer didn’t differentiate instruction. She didn’t have coherent lessons and didn’t demonstrate knowledge of resources.
Then came the letter from the district superintendent stating that the NYC DOE would be making a final decision concerning discontinuance of her probationary period. Jennifer’s heart sank even more. She rounded up exemplary student work. Her mother and family of teachers jumped in to help save her young career. Parents and students wrote letters. Jennifer even bound everything nice and neat before submitting it to the superintendent. Unfortunately, it was all for naught. She was ultimately discontinued and her probationary period terminated. Jennifer was now red-flagged in the DOE Human Resources system, and assigned a “problem code” next to her name. This meant that none of the other 1700+ principals in the NYC DOE could hire her.
Jennifer is not alone. From 2011 to 2013, over 450 teachers were discontinued and problem-coded. Many have been barred from teaching our 1.1 million children only because of personality conflicts with one administrator. In many cases, when attacking pedagogy was not enough, the administrator also submitted trumped up charges with the Office of Special Investigations, the Special Commissioner of Investigation or the Office of Equal Opportunity.
In light of a new mayor and chancellor in New York City, we are calling for a full and unbiased evaluation of the problem-coded railroaded teachers. These teachers were:
-Discharged with malice by limiting or preventing their ability to work as a teacher in other schools.
-Coerced to sign paperwork extending their tenure. Many of these teachers were terminated.

In the end it was another casualty and point for the attack on tenure and the teaching profession.

Katherine Rodi, New York City Department of Education Human Resources
OPI Problem Code, New York City Department of Education Human Resources
Ursulina Ramirez, New York City Department of Education Chief of Staff
New York City Department of Education, Chancellor Fariña
Chancellor Fariña,
Please consider reevaluating the way these probationary teachers are problem-coded with Human Resources and the Office of Personnel Investigation. You have the power to undo the previous administration’s methods and help competent teachers, like Jennifer, be allowed to teach our children again.
[Your name]


  1. I will happily sign this petition... this needs to be corrected with a new administration.

  2. OK, I need some help here. I think cases like Jennifer's are disgraceful, and something of course should be done about this. Quickly.

    But, we can't have it both ways. People complain that the union makes it hard to "get rid of bad teachers." The main answer to that is that principals have three years to determine whether a probationary teacher should be granted tenure. If someone doesn't do well in the classroom during all that time, they shouldn't be granted tenure.

    If you remove the D list, does it mean probationers with poor ratings can stay in the system forever without tenure, jumping from school to school? Wouldn't you be then killing off that strong argument for tenure, that if you are deemed suitable in those first three years, you should be granted tenure, and if you can't perform adequately, you should be cut at that time and not "gone after" for political reasons, personality conflicts, or activism later in your career?

    I know that probationers may be subject to the whims of unethical, unskilled and/or vindictive principals, but I think it's not as simple as getting rid of the D list concept. There are probationers that are profoundly unsuitable for the job, and a mechanism has to be invented that doesn't take away our argument for keeping tenure.

  3. UA,

    A lot of teachers have been unfairly victimized under the old Bloomberg/Klein/Walcott administration, many who were excellent and have developed inferiority complexes, post traumatic stress from being harassed on the job and insecure feelings from being scrutinized like a lab experiment.

    Yes, there may be teachers who do not belong in the profession however that does not excuse the many teachers who were unfairly victimized and harassed by their so-called administrators.

  4. The huge hole in this argument is not acknowledging that there are some people who should not be working in schools. It is not always a matter of the principal "not liking" a teacher. There are cases where there are numerous examples of documented evidence of repeated incompetent behavior that is detrimental to students and to the learning environment. There are two sides to every story.

    1. The huge hole in YOUR argument is that you are willing to hand over to the principal - many of whom are not fit - to make this sole decision to ruin a career. You should have seen me in my first year. Totally incompetent - By the end of my 2nd year I would say I was pretty darn good and recognized as such. The AP in the first year and a half would have discontinued me in a minute if he could. A few months later when I "got" it he went around the school raving about me.


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