Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Vergara be damned: NY Tenure Unofficially Undermined by DOE and UFT Silence

A lot has been made of the overturning of Vergara in California as Randi and crew celebrated the victory while the UFT remains silent in the face of stories of years of extensions of tenure here in the city.

At the MORE retreat last week the issue of forcing the UFT to address the extension/discontinue issue was raised as a project to take on this year.

Chalkbeat makes this point "state lawmakers have actually changed some of the disputed laws: They lengthened the period needed to earn tenure to four years, and altered the statewide teacher-evaluation system." (They still managed to dredge up a quote from scuzball Moaning Mona Davids whose 15 minutes expired a long time ago.) In California tenure was received in 18 months while in NYC it had been 3 years, now extended to 4.

What Chalkbeat is not reporting is that beyond the 4 years needed for tenure (during which time probably 40% of the teachers have already disappeared) in NY, principals have the power to extend/postpone people with no time limit -- we have heard people are in their 6th or 7th year without tenure, all the time under the threat of instant discontinuance.

A MORE teachers recently was completing her 5th year without tenure and was told by the principal she would not get tenure once again. Having been accepted to law school she decided she had had enough. When she told the principal she was leaving to go to law school in Sept. the principal told her she had to resign immediately (thus losing summer health care benefits) and if she didn't she would be discontinued and lose her teaching license.

At one DA about 2 years ago someone asked Mulgrew what the union was doing if a teacher was extended for a 2nd or 3rd year. He acted surprised as if he had never heard of that.

Principals withhold tenure for political and career reasons - to show that they are tough -- "I don't give tenure to everyone -- some aim at a 50% rate or less. But then again it was they who hired the teachers. Or what happens when there is a change in principal for a teacher say in the 4th year? That principal may automatically extend tenure, claiming he/she needs another year to evaluate the teachers. Or teachers are extended based on Supt. recommendations. I heard one case where most of the entire core of 8 3rd year teachers were denied because the school was a "failing" school -- according to my contact who was the CL these people had worked their asses off to keep the school afloat.

One of the things the MORE Ex Bd  members need to do this year is force the union leadership to address the tenure, or lack of, issue.

And when the scuzballs like Campbell Brown and Moaning Mona go to court the unions can site the tenure denials and extensions that they have allowed as proof there is in effect a weakened tenure law in NY.


  1. Tenured teachers are also now guilty until proven innocent which makes 3020-a charges much more difficult to overcome.

  2. The UFT will not appeal a teacher's rating if they get two ineffectives in a row. So, after one failed appeal (which appeals are all pretty much failed when you consider 99 % fail on appeal to have rating over turned) the uft will not even bring an appeal of the rating up on the teachers behalf. This will allow principals to just negatively rate a tenured teacher for two years and then 3020 them while the uft only appeals the first ineffective rating. So in effect we really have no tenure at all. If the principal hates you or wants to cut the budget or God forbid you advocate for a child against the principal's wishes, you are a goner and the uft will collect dues right up until you are terminated

  3. Out here in Jersey, the amended tenure law for all purposes eliminates tenure as we once knew it. The strongest weapons in the administrative arsenal against veteran teachers are harassment and intimidation. Vergara is irrelevant. While Weingarten is celebrating, the rest of us are left to our mourning rituals.

    Abigail Shure

  4. Principal APPR includes an evaluation of who they give tenure to. The formula requires that they tenure those with the highest levels of demonstrated growth (i.e. test scores of students). UFT does not care much because one dues-paying teacher is the same as another in their books. And though tenure job security is not what it was, it does protect against the rampant abuse/over work of the new teachers that most schools allow--the administration and too often the tenured staff as well who are glad to not have to be on those committees or given the horrible C6 assignments that are non-pedagogical.


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