The Wall Street Journal article is just another example of how the media uses "fuzzy math" to distort and pervert the statistics to suit their ideological aims and to support the attack on teacher "due process rights"... Chaz School DazeNote to reporters: What you leave out assumes more importance than what you include. The sad thing is that WSJ ed reporter Leslie Brody probably thinks she did not write a biased article. Rather than rehash, here are 2 excellent commentaries by Chaz and Eterno.
Chaz on ICE blog: The exoneration rate in 3020-a cases has remained consistent over the years at 4%.
Eterno at ICEUFT blog:
I am no fan of the Wall Street Journal. However, today's article with NYC teacher tenure trial statistics is somewhat interesting reading because there are some actual, although incomplete, figures presented.
Looking inside the numbers, it is clear that teachers who choose to go to a hearing, rather than settle beforehand, usually receive a fine. That seems to fit in with anecdotal information we have heard over the years.
However, the Journal does not put in their big chart (copied below) and barely mentions that out of 826 cases filed by the Department of Education, "Hundreds of cases settled, often with teachers agreeing to resign or retire, and hundreds haven't been resolved." Their chart shows only 261 decisions out of 496 resolved hearings. That leaves 235 which they agree are often resignations or retirements. Add say 150 resignations or retirements to the forty terminations and their chart would look completely different. See how statistics can be played with.
The Journal is obviously trying to lowball the numbers on how many teachers are no longer working in the system so they can prove how hard it is to terminate a tenured teacher. This shows their anti teacher prejudice. If someone resigns or is forced to retire, they are no longer teaching in the system. I gather that in private business many employees are urged to resign or retire rather than be fired but showing these statistics for teachers would not fit in with the Journal's preconceived notion that the Department of Education can't get rid of us.
They also neglect to note how many teachers are completely exonerated in the 3020a process. That number from what we have been told is so small that to print it would make the union look weak and that would also not coincide with the right wing myth on how strong the union is.
Remember all of these cases were heard under the old evaluation system. Under the new evaluation system's weakened due process provision that will start in 2015 in NYC for most teachers, there will be a presumption of incompetence after two ineffective ratings. The burden of proof will shift to teachers to prove we are not incompetent if a validator upholds an ineffective rating.
The Wall Street Journal received from the NYCDOE the 3020-a statistics for the last two years April 2012 to January 2014 on educators who were charged under section 3020-a for tenured educators. If you browsed through the chart supplied by the newspaper it would seem that only 40 out of 826 cases ended in termination or 5% and that's what the newspaper wants you to believe. However, if you read the article more thoroughly, you realize that 330 cases have not been resolved and the termination rate jumps from 5% to 8%, not a large jump but its not 5%. Wait there's more. Of the 826 disciplinary cases, it turns out that apparently 235 educators agreed to resign or retire rather than go through the 3020-a hearing process. Add the 235 to the 40 terminated educators and the total educators removed from the system is 275. Since only 496 cases have been resolved (826 - 330). the total percentage of educators that left the system after being charged under the 3020-a law is 55%! That's right 55% not the 5% the Wall Street Journal would like you to believe is the case.
While the data shows no educator acquittal rates, historically, its been consistently around 4% in the last decade. Therefore, of the 826 disciplinary cases, one could expect approximately 20 educators to be exonerated.
The Wall Street Journal article is just another example of how the media uses "fuzzy math" to distort and pervert the statistics to suit their ideological aims and to support the attack on teacher "due process rights". Michael Bloomberg may be gone but his ideology still inhabits the corridors of Tweed and the New York City media. The ICEUFT blog also has a similar take on how the Wall Street Journal manipulated the statistics.