Monday, July 28, 2014


I am no fan of the Wall Street Journal.  However, today's article with NYC teacher tenure trial statistics is somewhat interesting reading because there are some actual, although incomplete, figures presented. 

Looking inside the numbers, it is clear that teachers who choose to go to a hearing, rather than settle beforehand, usually receive a fine. That seems to fit in with anecdotal information we have heard over the years.

However, the Journal does not put in their big chart (copied below) and barely mentions that out of 826 cases filed by the Department of Education, "Hundreds of cases settled, often with teachers agreeing to resign or retire, and hundreds haven't been resolved."  Their chart shows only 261 decisions out of 496 resolved hearings. That leaves 235 which they agree are often resignations or retirements.  Add say 150 resignations or retirements to the forty terminations and their chart would look completely different. See how statistics can be played with.

The Journal is obviously trying to lowball the numbers on how many teachers are no longer working in the system so they can prove how hard it is to terminate a tenured teacher.  This shows their anti teacher prejudice. If someone resigns or is forced to retire, they are no longer teaching in the system.  I gather that in private business many employees are urged to resign or retire rather than be fired but showing these statistics for teachers would not fit in with the Journal's preconceived notion that the Department of Education can't get rid of us.

They also neglect to note how many teachers are completely exonerated in the 3020a process. That number from what we have been told is so small that to print it would make the union look weak and that would also not coincide with the right wing myth on how strong the union is.

Remember all of these cases were heard under the old evaluation system.  Under the new evaluation system's weakened due process provision that will start in 2015 in NYC for most teachers, there will be a presumption of incompetence after two ineffective ratings.  The burden of proof will shift to teachers to prove we are not incompetent if a validator upholds an ineffective rating. 



Chaz said...

The exoneration rate in 3020-a cases has remained consistent over the years at 4%.

James Eterno said...

You won't find that in the Journal. Doesn't fit the argument.

Anonymous said...

They (the DOE, media and politicians) are just sinister and there is nobody out there to put a stop to it. They are afraid of nothing and go after teachers without remorse.