Stories & Grievances
Silencing Opposition: The Manual for Principals and The Monitoring Unit of the NYC DOE
The New York City Department of Education officials have no interest in teachers who complain, even if their complaints are valid ( parents as well). On November 17, 2004 we read in the NY POST that there is a manual for Principals on the "How to" get rid of teachers.
NYC'S SECRET GUIDE ON FIRING TEACHERS
By DAVID ANDREATTA , NY POST, November 16, 2004 -- EXCLUSIVE
It's the secret manual the city Department of Education wants no teacher to see - a 61-page blueprint for how to keep New York's Brightest in line without violating union rules.
The guidebook, drafted by the department's Labor Division and sent to principals last week, provides a step-by-step outline for rating teachers unsatisfactory, firing tenured teachers and school aides and preventing administrators' decisions from being overruled by a judge.
The manual even includes 13 sample letters that principals can reference when chastising a teacher for insubordination, tardiness and inflicting corporal punishment.
A sample letter for inappropriate punishment stresses principals should cite specific offenses, such as:
"You grabbed John Doe by the arm, twisted it, and ejected him from the classroom," or, "You called John a 'moron' when he asked you to explain the homework assignment."
Two furious Queens high-school teachers, who chanced upon the manual and gave a copy to The Post, called it "a blueprint for how to screw over every teacher in the city."
Word about the manual - which seeks to "ensure greater predictability that supervisors' actions will not be overturned" - comes as teachers and the city are engaged in contentious contract talks moving at a sloth-like pace.
Teachers-union President Randi Weingarten was more diplomatic in her assessment of the document than the Queens teachers, but no less outraged.
"I've never seen a document that is so unbalanced, so focused on finding the worst in teachers and not even attempting to figure out how to help principals make their schools better," she complained.
Weingarten added that the document is evidence the Bloomberg administration never had any intention of signing a contract before the Dec. 1 deadline.
"It's a perfect example of why contract talks have stalled to the brink of dying," she said.
Jerry Russo, a spokesman for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, denied there was any link between the manual and the contract negotiations.
"This is a training and technical assistance manual that is put out annually," Russo said, adding that the last one was issued in September 2003.
"It's confidential because it offers legal advice to principals."
Jill Levy, president of the union representing school supervisors, acknowledged there was nothing unusual about the department issuing guidelines to principals.
But she said the manuals are not issued annually and have never been so in-depth or kept confidential.
"Why shouldn't teachers have a copy of this?" Levy asked.
"There is something in here that doesn't make sense to me." (Italics added by parentadvocates.org Editor)
And we know that there is "The Monitoring Unit":
The Monitoring Unit of the NYCDOE is not linked to any other page on the NYCDOE Website and is the secret abuse hotline. No one can get into the data unless you are a Principal or Superintendent, according to Mr. Steve Catalano:
Dear Mr. Catalano,
Several weeks ago I sent a request to you concerning your email to me that is pasted here:
Subj: RE: USERID AND PASSWORD REQUEST
Date: 8/2/2004 8:48:04 AM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
I'm sorry but access to the U-Rating file is limited to superintendents,
dept superintendents and selected regional personnel staff.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 10:39 PM
To: Catalano Steven
Subject: USERID AND PASSWORD REQUEST
As I have been experiencing erratic service by my server, and as I have not heard from you concerning questions that I have about your reponse, I am resending my questions, and I hope you will reply quickly, and thank you for your prompt reply to my request to enter The Monitoring Unit's database!
I would like to know:
1. whether the decision to close The Monitoring Unit's database to anyone outside of "superintendents, dept superintendents and selected regional personnel staff" was your decision or someone else's?
2. If the decision was yours, I request your title, telephone number, and fax number; if the decision was someone else's, I need this person's name, title, telephone number, fax number, and E-mail address.
3. I request information that you used to make your decision to keep the Monitoring Unit's data closed. On what basis did you make your decision?
4. Is your decision appealable? If so, to whom? and what is this person's title, telephone number, fax number, and E-mail address?
5. What categories of information are kept in The Monitoring Unit's database?
I am disappointed that you have sent me an email maintaining the inaccessibility of The Monitoring Unit's data, as I believe that parents in New York City must be able to access information about U-ratings of pedagogical staff.
I am prepared to speak about this matter at City Council hearings and at meetings of the Panel for Educational Policy, as I feel that this database and your email needs to be brought to the public. I look forward, therefore, to a prompt reply to the above questions so that I can pursue further the release of the very important information in this database and your reasons for not granting me access to it.
Thank you very much!
DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES
65 Court St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
Phone (718) 935-2663
THE MONITORING UNIT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1999 TO INSURE TIMELY RESPONSE TO INCIDENTS WHICH ARE DETRIMENTAL TO THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS
SUMMARY OF FUNCTIONS
Develop a networked database, both inter-office and inter-divisional, to insure accountability in follow-up and closure for all employee reviews.
Provide on-going case status for all employee actions and distribution of system reports.
Provide ad-hoc reports as requested.
Organize and order processes to identify central accountability for office and division actions.
Maintain and distribute the DHR Ineligible List to all users.
Provide assistance to all corresponding departments in developing up-to-date data base systems to eliminate paper work and increase productivity.
Return to Division of Human Resources Home Page Interactive Turnaround Document Login screen M.U.I.T.D. Forms & Documents:
CSD's and HS Districts Central HQ & D85
Welcome to the Q/A section of the Interactive Turnaround Document
What is the Interactive Turnaround document?
Each day, communication is generated between districts and various central operations regarding disciplinary actions. It is done via telephone, mail or fax. The DHR Monitoring Unit has begun the process of organizing these communications into one on-line web site.
How does it work?
Over the past year, the relevant central offices, i.e., Office of Special Investigations, Office of Legal Services, Office of Personnel Investigations have developed new databases to track information. We are in the process of linking these databases to the Internet. When you enter data to the web site it is forwarded to the appropriate database. In this way, all information will be shared and available.
When you log onto the web site, the database with information specific to your district will open. There will be three areas, "Actions to Be Taken," "Actions to Be Monitored" and "Enter New Information."
Does the interactive turnaround system generate the same results as the paper forms?
We have the same results. It provides answers to our questions but it is done with a lot less work than before and a lot quicker.
Who should use this feature?
This site is designed for use by districts and central operations. We recommend that the Superintendent identify a designee who can check the web site each day. To go into the site, a log in and password must be assigned. If you are ready to begin, press the comments button below and send us an e-mail.
Please provide us feedback!
Give us suggestions for new content, information you need or better ways to present information. We know that the better we can share the information we have, the better we can provide safe schools for all of our children. Feel free to e-mail or call the Monitoring Unit Director, Bob Davidson, directly at (718) 935-5260.
Vacancy Circular Released: Applications: Supervisory Application
January 8, 2001
Application for Placement on Qualifying Supervisory Eligible List
February 7, 2001
QUALIFYING ELIGIBLE LISTS
LEGISLATION HAS BEEN ENACTED WHICH ELIMINATED THE REQUIREMENT FOR PASSING AN EXAMINATION FOR SUPERVISORY LICENSURE; HOWEVER, THE LAW STILL REQUIRES THE ISSUANCE OF QUALIFYING ELIGIBLE LISTS FOR APPOINTMENT TO SUPERVISORY VACANCIES. PLEASE REFER TO PERSONNEL MEMORANDUM # 3, DATED JULY 7, 1998 REGARDING THE PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF QUALIFYING ELIGIBLE LISTS FOR SUPERVISORY POSITIONS.
REQUIRED STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
All advertised positions will be filled in accordance with Chancellor's Regulation C-30. Only those applicants who are on qualifying supervisory eligible lists based on possession of a Certificate of Eligibility for Supervisory Placement issued by the Office of Recruitment, Personnel Assessment and Licensing (ORPAL), OR a valid New York City license issued previously are eligible to apply for advertised positions in the specific areas for which they hold a certificate or license. Qualified applicants will be appointed upon selection from qualifying supervisory eligible lists. However,if there are fewer than three (3) applicants for a position after everyone on the list has been contacted (hereinafter referred to as canvassing of the list), applicants who do not possess the appropriate New York City certificate or license but who hold appropriate New York State Certification and meet the experience requirements may be considered. Applicants who do not possess the required New York City Certificate of Eligibility or license who are properly selected shall be assigned as acting supervisors. Persons assigned as acting supervisors are required to apply immediately for an appropriate Certificate of Eligibility for Supervisory Placement. Upon issuance of the appropriate certificate, an acting supervisor will be appointed.
PLEASE NOTE: THE STANDARD APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY VACANCIES HAS BEEN REVISED. ALL APPLICANTS MUST USE THE REVISED APPLICATION WHEN APPLYING FOR SUPERVISORY VACANCIES. APPLICATIONS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISORY SUPPORT SERVICES AT 65 COURT STREET, ROOM 617, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11201 OR FROM THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSIBILITY CENTER.
To apply for positions, candidates must forward a standard Board of Education application directly to the responsibility center indicated in the Supervisory/Administrative Vacancy Circular. Each applicant should attach to the application a copy of the appropriate license, Certificate of Eligibility for Supervisory Placement or state certificate, whichever is required for the position. In addition, a completed Personal Information Form must be attached to each application. The required application and form may be obtained at the Office of Supervisory Support Services, 65 Court Street, Room 617, or the appropriate responsibility center. Applications must be mailed or hand delivered directly to the responsibly center.
Supervisors shall be eligible to apply for transfer in accordance with Article I of the Agreement between the CSA and the Board of Education.
It is the policy of the New York City Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or sex in its educational programs, activities, and employment policies, and to maintain an environment free of sexual harassment, as required by law. Inquiries regarding compliance with appropriate laws may also be directed to:
Mr. Stephen A. Mitchell
Office of Equal Opportunity
65 Court Street - Room 923
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Telephone # (718) 935-3320
"AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER M/F/H (MINORITIES/FEMALES/HANDICAPPED)"
NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION
DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES
65 COURT TREET
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11201
RE-ASSIGNMENT OF EMPLOYEE INFORMATION FORM
Please complete and fax to the Monitoring Unit of the Division of Human Resources
at (718) 935-2035 within five (5) days of re-assignment.
Name of Employee File# S.S.#
Reasons for re-assignment (Check one): Date Re-assigned
0 Pending medical exam
0 TAC scheduled
0 TAC held, charges being drafted
0 3020-a charges preferred
0 Arrest – no disposition
0 Arrest – disposition reviewed
0 Re-assigned per Office of the Special Commission of Investigation
0 Re-assigned per Chancellor's Office of Special Investigations
0 Corporal punishment investigation by OSI 0 By school
0 Corporal punishment finding
0 Other ______________________________________
0 Location District Office 0 Location Other:
Name, Title and Phone number of person completing the form:
NYC Teaching Fellows
A related secret - in this case anonymous - whistleblowing of Bloomberg's company can be read at the VAULT Message Board