Saturday, March 23, 2013

How will Unity explain itself when U-rating appeals like this become a flood with Danielson?


In 2011 United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew and the UFT's ruling caucus, the Unity Caucus, enthusiastically endorsed the Danielson Framework as something constructive. However, many teachers are seeing the Framework as an assault weapon, that has many rounds of ammunition available for taking down the careers of so many teachers. This sentiment was echoed in the comments of respondents to the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) caucus' online survey of teachers' experience with the Danielson Frameworks, "Reports From the Field." This was reported early on at some Queens high schools, such as the one reported in this case. Unity and the New York City Department of Education are truly having it both ways with this one, with the DOE constantly reciting this as THE basis for assessing what good teaching is, and Unity trying to save face by pretending that it is just being misused.

So, a post at EdLawFaqs poses an unsettling case of an administrator going all out against a teacher, and sinking her career after 33 years of illustrious service. The casual manner in which the judge reflexively deferred to the DOE's decision.
Will a court overturn two U-ratings of a 33 year veteran teacher who claims the ratings were a pretext and part of continuing harassment?
Posted on February 21, 2013

No. Margaret Poplinger was a 33 year veteran special education teacher when the administration of her school changed. Despite 33 years of satisfactory ratings and numerous complementary letters in her personnel file the new principal began to closely observe her. In a series of observations, both formal and informal, Poplinger was rated unsatisfactorily. After two years of what she claimed was consistent harassment and poor treatment due to her allegiance to the prior administration Poplinger retired and sought to have the ratings reversed by the court.

Justice Donna M. Mills found that although she sympathized with Poplinger great deference was required to be accorded the DOE. Mills wrote, “Petitioner has failed to show that the U-Ratings were arbitrary and capricious or made in bad faith.
For the rest of the post and the conclusion of the story, go to "Will a court overturn two U-ratings of a 33 year veteran teacher who claims the ratings were a pretext and part of continuing harassment?" at EdLawFaqs. Unity's Leo Casey said that only three of 1100 U-rating appeals were successful.

So, just how will the Unity group explain away the apparent use of Danielson for U-ratings. Note how the admin made a subtle omission, in this testimonial from MORE's "Reports from the Field" last month.
Francesco a middle school teacher in Staten Island shared his experience from last year:
“After being out for a week for jury duty, [the] first period bell rang, in walks in an AP and Children First Network rep with clipboards. It was a “short” frequent observation that lasted 90 minutes. Short right? During post observation meeting, AP started by saying we were looking at Danielson Framework Domain 1e. She however omitted that wording from the write up that became “unsatisfactory”
This way, the DOE and the Unity enablers can say that the Danielson Frameweork was not really the basis for the U.