Thursday, July 30, 2015

DOE Gags Dewey Teachers Whose Ratings Were Reversed -- Let's Look at the Entire System of Principal Retaliation

I know that the UFT supposedly helped the Dewey teachers -- but I also know how they didn't seem to have the same sense of urgency the teachers had. What of the Discontinued under Elvin? What of the forced retirements? What of the years of misery so many teachers suffered?
Those teachers had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the changing of their ratings.... NY Post
Yes, they don't want these people to talk about it. Where was the UFT in protecting the rights of these teachers to talk about their own cases? Where is the UFT calling on more investigations of cheating and other abuses as scores of schools with monster principals? The UFT is best friends with the DeB/Farina regime and also with the CSA which represents principals so don't expect much from them.

The problem is there are hundreds of principals like Elvin who retaliate against teachers, many of them removed for numerous reasons, yet the ratings are allowed to stand. And that happened going back to the old U rating system -- I could see that in the 3020a hearings I attended -- the Peter Zucker case was an example - and he is losing 4 months pay on suspension over what was clearly a set-up.

One MORE member - a chapter leader - received 2 U ratings for union activity under a lunatic and was about to get a 3rd and be fired but she was mercifully removed and replaces by a benign principal - yet the history of these U ratings remain - and that school is now a renewal school and the CL may have to find a job with that history training behind.
The UFT should call on every teacher with a poor rating in a school with a suspect principal be reviewed. I would go back to the early days of BloomKlein.

NYSED Acknowledges Principals Can Use APPR As Weapons Against Teachers -
Given an "ineffective" rating for refusing to participate in fraudulent behavior involving grade-fixing.

Gee, that doesn't sound like an "objective" evaluation system to me.

And NYSED admits as much by overturning at least four of the "ineffective" ratings of tenured teachers who appealed them.

There may be more overturned ratings - we don't know the exact number because of the confidentiality agreements

But what we do know is this - if Elvin and her assistant principals used APPR as a weapon against teachers to perpetrate their fraud, other principals and assistant principals can use APPR as a weapon against teachers for other reasons as well.

Had Elvin not been exposed in the grade-fixing scandal, these teachers at Dewey would still be working with "ineffective" ratings on their records.

You can bet there are other administrators elsewhere who have handed out "ineffective" ratings for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the teacher.

We learned from Chancellor Farina this week that APPR is a sham when she acknowledged that "effective" teachers can have their ratings adversely affected by switching schools and going to teach  in a school with high poverty/high homelessness demographics.
Even the noted anti-union Post reporter, Carl Campanile, given the Post claims an exclusive on the Dewey story -- too bad they don't read Ed Notes -- takes a - sort of - pro-teacher position. Here is Campanile's story:

The Department of Education is moving to upgrade the ratings of teachers at Brooklyn’s Dewey HS who were rated as “ineffective” after they challenged grade-fixing by then-principal Kathleen Elvin, The Post has learned.
Elvin was fired on July 8 after DOE investigators substantiated that widespread grade-fixing went on at Dewey to boost graduation rates — a practice students mockingly referred to as “Easy Pass.”
The Post was the first to expose the scandalous practice, which largely occurred through bogus and shady “credit recovery” programs aimed at seniors on the verge of graduation.
Teachers complained that Elvin and other administrators punished them with poor ratings for refusing to participate in the fraud.
The “ineffective” ratings of at least four of 16 tenured teachers who received them were overturned following appeals to a state arbitrator, sources said.
Those teachers had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the changing of their ratings.
While not addressing the specifics of his appeal, English teacher Robert Kanyuk, a 22-year veteran, said, “I’m looking forward to working in a friendly environment and being treated fairly.”
He described Elvin’s four-year tenure as “hell.”
Records revealed that half of Dewey’s 101 instructors got ratings of either “ineffective (16 teachers) or “developing” (35 teachers) in the 2013-14 school year.
That 50 percent failure rate compared to a citywide average of only 8 percent.
The poor ratings contrasted with Dewey’s surging graduation rate, which jumped from 56 percent to 74 percent under Elvin’s ­administration.


  1. Why would any teacher have to agree to such a provision? The DOE is obviously trying to hide something. Why isn't the UFT all over this? Mulgrew feels he works for Farina and DeBlasio - another incarnation of Bloomberg and Klien. I'm tired of everyone withholding any criticism of those two, waiting for them to do something good. They have done NOTHING to improve my life as a teacher.

  2. May this not be the last time justice prevailed!
    Norm your heroic efforts led the way for truth to power to to be heard and publicized!


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