Friday, October 31, 2008

Teaching Fellows Layoff: How Can They Do This?

A recent article in the Daily News, reporting on the dismissal of a Teaching Fellow from Global Enterprise Academy in the Bronx, highlighted the alleged basis for his dismissal but missed an important issue involving the future of unassigned Teaching Fellows. ESL teacher Steven Clarke, the News noted, was terminated for alleged verbal abuse. A closer look at the decision reveals a disturbing finding concerning the legal status of these teachers.

When Mr. Clarke was terminated he was an unassigned teacher who was hired for the 2007-2008 school year. The Court found "that Clarke was employed as a teaching fellow in the New York City Teaching Fellow 2007 program, an alternative means by which individuals who are not certified teaclicrs may become certified. The program pairs a teaching fellow with an experienced teacher during summer school. After the summer, fellows are expected to secure a regular teaching position on their own, failing which they are placed in a "teacher reserve pool" where they may be assigned to assist or substitute for regular teachers. Clarke had until November 10, 2007 to obtain a teaching appointment or be automatically dropped from the program."

Clarke's NYSUT lawyer argued that he was entitled to reinstatement since he was a probationary employee who was illegally terminated. The illegal termination, she argued, was based on the statutory requirement that Superintendant's and not the principal dismiss probationary teachers and that Clarke was entitled, by law, to 30 days notice.

The DOE argued that while it is true that probationary employees must be dismissed by a Superintendant and are entitled to 30 days notice it is not true that Clarke was a probationary employee. They argued that Clarke was, in fact, a provisional employee.

In Civil Service Law there is a marked difference between probationary and provisional employees. While probationers have few rights provisional employees have no rights to employment. They may be hired and dismissed "at-will," entitled to no civil service protection whatsoever.

Justice Shafer in Clarke v. Board of Education sided with the DOE finding that Clarke was a provisional employee entitled to no notice or dismissal from a superintendant. She found that Clarke had never been appointed. Only appointed teachers can become probationary. Since Clarke was terminated "automatically" at the end of the fellow's program he has no legal recourse and his petition was dismissed.


Anonymous said...

I guess that no layoff agreement is not real. It looks like ICE was right again.

Anonymous said...

ICE has been in the Bridge sales business for quite some time.

Did you hear ICE also stopped the sky from falling.

ICE recently singed a lease agreement with Goodyear in the hopes to use it at the end of the school year. (of course they'll have to pay extra to have it read BADYEAR)

Anonymous said...

Typical Unity, can't argue facts so distort. Sounds like the McCain campaign.

Anonymous said...

Unity man returns. It's like the return of Freddie Krueger. Nightmare and UFT Street Part 12.

Anonymous said...

Who is this ass that kepts saying the sky not falling. This coward would never give us his name because he knows too well that ATR's and teaching fellows will punch him in his face if we see him. This coward must be a unity asssucker. He does not want to get runned out of the building the way Charle Turner was at Carnise High School when he told those poor ATRs that they are likly to have a job and are getting paid. Poor Charlie, you would think he learned that that would be a stupid thing to say after the Tilden Staff, told him where he could put his stupid comment.

Anonymous said...

just wonder if people could spell their rants correctly otherwise you seem quite ignorant....

the Daily News did not print the fact that the teacher in question had been assaulted by students in the classroom and driven to the point of despair as there is ZERO DISCIPLINE in this school. I know because I've had over two years of the same treatment by these students with ZERO consequences. Now they are being given jobs as PAID INTERNS by the spanking-new principal (the other guy was canned).

good luck america

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the UFT get the real story out?

Public Employment Court Decisions said...

This summary states:

In Civil Service Law there is a marked difference between probationary and provisional employees. While probationers have few rights provisional employees have no rights to employment. They may be hired and dismissed "at-will," entitled to no civil service protection whatsoever.

Provisional appointment is a type of appointment in the classified service; educators are in the unclassified service.

There is a reference to "provisional" set out in Section 3033.4 of the Education Law,[New York state mentor teacher-internship program.] which, in pertinent part, provides "In order to participate as a teacher intern in a mentor teacher-internship program, a first or second year teacher shall hold a provisional or permanent teaching certificate, temporary emergency license, regular license, or temporary per diem certificate for a field in which no licensed person is available to teach and shall not have participated in such program in the previous year.

Does NYC BOE operate under a different law?

Jeff Kaufman said...

The provisional you reference refers to State Ed certification which is not related to provisional as used in Civil Service Law.

Anonymous said...

In prior contracts we had a no layoff agreement that covered prepratory provisional and certified provisional teachers. It was taken out in 2005 like so much else in our contract.

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